Compared to last week things are somewhat slower, but still three new shows are arriving (once again, one of them is on Netflix) and Sundays are as busy as ever, especially with another block of returning HBO shows.
Monday, April 6
Basketball, or Something Else?
Turner Classic Movies has a nice bit of what could be interpreted as counter-programming against the NCAA championship tonight: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe (8-9:45 pm), followed by Russell in Howard Hughes’s infamous Western The Outlaw (9:45-11:50 pm).
Tuesday, April 7
Behind the Story with the Paley Center (8-9 pm, Sundance)
The Paley Center for Media is an institution dedicated to promoting and preserving television. They host regular panel discussions with the casts and creators of some of the best and most popular shows on TV, and some of those panels have been filmed for this new series, which kicks off tonight with Parks and Recreation. (Think of it as an expanded version of Sundance’s The Writer’s Room.) This season will also feature The Big Bang Theory, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, The Mindy Project, and Orange Is the New Black.
Wednesday, April 8
The Last of the Mohicans (7:30-10 pm, BBC America)
If you can deal with the commercial breaks (or record it and skip them), Michael Mann’s take on James Fenimore Cooper’s 19th-century classic is lushly visual and features a great performance from Daniel Day-Lewis.
Thursday, April 9
The Comedians (10-10:30 pm, FX)
Most of the time I try to present the info for new shows impartially and allow readers to decide whether or not they want to invest time in them. In this case I already know I won’t be watching this new series about the behind-the-scenes goings-on at a late-night sketch comedy show. I don’t harbor any animosity toward Billy Crystal, but I don’t feel that enthusiastic about him either. On the other hand, I really can’t get past my dislike of Josh Gad. He’s probably a nice guy and my feelings are certainly subjective, but in the absence of being paid to watch TV, I’m not going to be able to disregard my opinion of him. (For what it’s worth, Entertainment Weekly gave it a B.)
Also tonight: following The Comedians is the season five premiere of Louie (10:30-11 pm, FX).
Friday, April 10
Netflix’s big bet on Marvel (or is it the other way around?) begins with a fresh take on the blind lawyer Matt Murdock and his fearless vigilante alter ego. If you’ve seen the trailer you know this is going to be quite a bit darker and grittier than any of the movies or TV series that have come out of Marvel in the past decade, which is probably why it’s running on Netflix. Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent D’Onofrio headline the cast. Following Daredevil on Netflix over the next year or two will be series about Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, then the four will come together in a Defenders miniseries.
Saturday, April 11
Viewer’s Choice: Sports
There’s a NASCAR race on Fox (7-11:30 pm; that’s a long race) and boxing on NBC (8:30-11 pm). If your tastes run more toward classic cinema, I suggest 1974’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, an early directorial effort by Martin Scorsese starring Ellen Burstyn (who won an Oscar for her performance) and Kris Kristofferson. It’s also the source material for the 1976-85 CBS sitcom (8-10:15 pm, Turner Classic Movies).
Sunday, April 12
All HBO, All the Time
The lineup: season premieres of Game of Thrones (season five, 9-10 pm); Silicon Valley (season two, 10-10:30 pm); and Veep (season four, 10:30-11 pm).
Also tonight: I sort of feel bad for Showtime and Nurse Jackie, which is returning tonight for its seventh and final season (9-9:30 pm). You’d think someone in programming would have suggested not scheduling against GoT, but with multiple showings of each episode I suppose it doesn’t matter as much.
Netflix Streaming Pick
At the risk of sounding like a shill (this is not sponsored, and I have no particular affection for Comcast), there is a nice bonus this week if you happen to be a Comcast cable customer. The Watchathon runs all this week, Monday through Sunday, and allows cable subscribers to enjoy all the programming that is normally available only to those who pay for premium channels like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz, as well as content from regular channels. For people who don’t have access to the premium channels it’s an excellent way to catch up on shows you wanted to see but couldn’t. Shows are available online or on-demand. Last year I watched the first two seasons of Veep and fell in love with it immediately. This year I plan to watch season three, then I can’t decide how to spend the rest of my time: True Detective, Silicon Valley, The Knick, The Affair…?
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels, providers, and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)