This week brings another batch of new series, including a period twist on the medical drama genre, a time-traveling romance, and the return of Kelsey Grammer to comedy, plus a quirky comedy-folk duo and an online original.
Monday, August 4
Partners (10-11 pm, FX)
This new comedy stars TV veterans Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence as two mismatched lawyers who form an unlikely partnership. Both are great, as you’d expect from two pros like them, but the show is only so-so. (Two-episode premiere)
Tuesday, August 5
Crackle is the online “channel” responsible for bringing you Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, but like many other websites they have also ventured into original programming, first with the cheesy action series Cleaners and now with this court-case drama starring Patrick Warburton, Summer Glau, Jesse Bradford, and Dina Meyer.
Wednesday, August 6
Altman (8-9:30 pm, Epix)
This documentary examines the life and career of Robert Altman, one of cinema’s most iconoclastic directors.
Also tonight: Reservoir Dogs is on (8-10 pm, IFC), and you probably don’t need an excuse to watch it again.
Thursday, August 7
Garfunkel & Oates (10-10:30 pm, IFC)
It’s unfair to describe G&O as simply a female Flight of the Conchords, but it’s a good starting point. You’ll likely recognize Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci from various other TV shows and appearances, plus videos from YouTube and Funny or Die featuring their comedy-folk songs that became the basis for this new show.
Also tonight: the premiere of Aaron McGruder’s Black Jesus, about a modern-day Savior living in Compton, CA (11-11:30 pm, Adult Swim).
Friday, August 8
The Knick (10-11 pm, Cinemax)
Steven Soderbergh says he has retired from making movies, but he’s involved in plenty of other projects, including this period drama set at a fictional New York hospital (the Knickerbocker of the title) at the turn of the 20th century, and starring Clive Owen as Dr. John Thackery, its chief surgeon. Soderbergh is an executive producer and directed all ten episodes; the show has already received a second season order, so those who are curious can watch with the assurance that they won’t be left hanging.
Saturday, August 9
Outlander (9-10:10 pm, Starz)
Getting a two-week jump on the new season of Doctor Who, Starz brings us another time-travel story, this one a romance from Battlestar Galactica honcho Ronald D. Moore adapted from a series of books by Diana Gabaldon. Outlander centers on Claire, a World War II nurse who finds herself inexplicably transported to 18th-century Scotland, where she must contend with warring Highlander clans and her attraction to a wounded soldier.
Sunday, August 10
Why fight it? The annual finfest kicks off tonight on Discovery with Air Jaws: Fin of Fury (8-9 pm), followed by Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine (9-11:02 pm). (Do you get the feeling they started with the titles on those?) And of course, let’s remember the immortal words of 30 Rock’s Tracy Jordan: “Live every week like it’s Shark Week!”
The Tick (2001)
A live-action version of an animated show based on comic-book characters, The Tick offered humorous insight into what being a superhero was like outside of the time spent catching bad guys. It’s one of those shows that gets tagged as “misunderstood” and was pretty much doomed from the start, but its inspired lunacy is worth a few hours of your time. (Nine episodes total)
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)