It’s finally March, and the new shows keep on coming: four more this week, including another spinoff of CSI, a miniseries, a provocative crime drama from John Ridley, and yet another Netflix premiere.
Monday, March 2
Stare at a Test Pattern
If you could find one, that is… or, if you must, watch the season three premiere of The Following (9-10 pm, Fox). I wonder if Kevin Bacon regrets his decision to do a TV series, considering the one he chose turned out to be so grim, poorly executed, and generally terrible?
Tuesday, March 3
Misery (7:45-10 pm, Sundance)
Wow, this is 25 years old but it’s still worth a watch, primarily because of the strong performances from James Caan and (especially) Kathy Bates.
Also tonight: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns from its winter hiatus (9-10 pm, ABC). Side note: can we please have more of Agent Carter next year?
Wednesday, March 4
Broadchurch (10-11 pm, BBC America)
All right, I gave you enough advance notice so you’d have time to get through season one. Season two begins tonight with the alleged killer’s arraignment and gets twistier from there.
Also tonight: the premiere of CSI: Cyber 10-11 pm, CBS), a blatant and rather disappointing attempt to breathe life into the franchise. Patricia Arquette, who signed on before winning her Oscar for Boyhood, is perhaps now questioning her decision to star as Avery Ryan, an agent with the FBI’s cyber crime division. I don’t hate-watch anything, but I guess you could say I’ll be goof-watching this for at least a couple of episodes to see how lame it is.
Thursday, March 5
Dig (10-11:23 pm, USA)
From Gideon Raff (an executive producer of Homeland) and Tim Kring (creator of Heroes) comes a ten-part miniseries that’s a murder mystery connected to an ancient conspiracy that could rewrite history—kind of a Dan Brown thing, I guess. It was filmed partly on location in Jerusalem, with additional shooting in Croatia and New Mexico. The always watchable Jason Isaacs and Anne Heche lead the cast.
Also tonight: the premiere of American Crime (10-11 pm, ABC), a timely drama from John Ridley (the writer of 12 Years a Slave) that examines how a violent event reverberates through a community and stirs racial tensions; the cast includes Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Regina King, Benito Martinez, and Penelope Ann Miller.
Friday, March 6
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
This comedy from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock was supposed to be on NBC, but after the first season was produced it was sold to Netflix a few months back, and they have already ordered a second season. Ellie Kemper (The Office, Bridesmaids) stars as Kimmy, who has just been liberated after spending years living in isolation with a doomsday cult, and upon reentering the world she decides to dive into life in New York and finds a job as a nanny.
Also tonight: Vice returns for its second season (11-11:30 pm, HBO).
Saturday, March 7
Viewer’s Choice (or lack thereof)
There are Saturday nights when there are several decent movies on; this is not one of those. If you have HBO, last year’s Neighbors is on (8-9:45 pm); if you have Showtime, the choice is easy: Inside Llewyn Davis (9-11 pm). If, like me, you have neither of those channels available to you, there’s nothing decent on that doesn’t have incessant commercial breaks; maybe tonight’s a good choice for going out?
Sunday, March 8
Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs (8-10 pm, Comedy Central)
Jon Stewart again hosts this semi-occasional event that raises funds for autism services, this year featuring Amy Schumer, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K., Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, John Oliver, and many others.
Mission: Impossible (1966-73)
Those Tom Cruise movies didn’t just appear fully formed in some screenwriters’ minds; they’re based on this spy series that straddled the 1960s and ‘70s and demonstrated that a James Bond-type formula could successfully be transposed to an episodic TV format, and on a TV budget. Actors came and went—some for one season, others for most of them—which worked within the construct of a spy agency, where missions could claim lives. The cast includes Peter Graves, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus, Barbara Bain, Martin Landau, Lynda Day George, Steven Hill, Lesley Ann Warren, and, for two seasons after Star Trek was canceled, Leonard Nimoy. (Seven seasons, 171 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.)