Winter TV Preview

New series and returning favorites populate the winter television lineup.

click to enlarge Diane Keaton escorts Jude Law in HBO’s new "The Young Pope" - Photo: Gianni Fiorito / HBO
Photo: Gianni Fiorito / HBO
Diane Keaton escorts Jude Law in HBO’s new "The Young Pope"
The Man in the High Castle (Season Premiere, Dec. 16, Amazon Prime) — Season 2 of this dramatic reimagining of 1960s America if the Axis powers had won World War II has cast its titular character, propaganda filmmaker Hawthorne Abendsen: Stephen Root (Office SpaceTrue BloodBoardwalk EmpireJustified).

The Bachelor (Season Premiere, 8 p.m. Jan. 2, ABC) — Twice scorned on The Bachelorette, Bachelor Nick Viall deals out the roses this time around.

The Celebrity Apprentice (Season Premiere, 8 p.m. Jan. 2, NBC) — Arnold Schwarzenegger takes over hosting duties from the president-elect.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. Jan. 4, FXX) — The Gang enters its 12th season.

Emerald City (Series Premiere, 9 p.m. Jan. 6, NBC) — This surreal reimagining of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz brings Dorothy and friends into the present day.

Taboo (Series Premiere, 10 p.m. Jan. 10, FX) — Tom Hardy stars in this dramatic British miniseries he co-created with dad Chips Hardy and Steven Knight (writer of Locke and Peaky Blinders, both of which Hardy also appeared in) about an adventurer who returns to Britain from Africa, along with stolen gems, to exact vengeance for the murder of his father.

The Young Pope (Series Premiere, 9 p.m. Jan. 15, HBO) — Jude Law portrays Lenny Belardo, aka Pope Pius XIII, the titular Catholic leader who shocks the church by rejecting the publicity and the liberal philosophy embraced by the previous pope. Diane Keaton stars as the nun who raised the orphan Lenny and becomes his personal secretary as pope.

Baskets (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. Jan. 19, FX) — Come to watch Zach Galifianakis play a rodeo clown, stay to see Louie Anderson in his Emmy-winning role as that character’s mother.

Beaches (8 p.m. Jan. 21, Lifetime) — Idina Menzel and Nia Long star in this Lifetime movie remake of the classic 1988 sob-fest.

Planet Earth II (Season Premiere, Jan. 28, BBC America) — You’ve likely seen some amazing clips from this follow-up to the popular 2006 nature docuseries; now, the British series makes its U.S. debut.

Girls (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. Feb. 12, HBO) — The final season of Lena Dunham’s ode to the ubiquitous millennials of New York will wrap up the stories of Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna (and the Girls boys!) — probably not neatly so.

Humans (Season Premiere, February, AMC)  —This story of lifelike A.I. gaining sentience may seem a little underwhelming after the debut of the mindfuck that is HBO’s Westworld, but this robot drama is worth a watch, too.

Picks Of The Week

Hairspray Live! (8 p.m. Wednesday, NBC) — This live musical adaptation of the campy John Waters flick follows 1960s Baltimore teen Tracy Turnblad as she sets out to strut her stuff on the Corny Collins Show and integrate the all-white broadcast. Newcomer Maddie Baillio stars alongside big names including Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson.

Shut Eye (Series Premiere, Wednesday, Hulu) — Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) stars as failed magician-turned-bogus psychic Charlie Haverford in this new original series from Breaking Bad producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein.

The Walking Dead (Midseason Finale, 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC) — In this final 90-minute episode before a long winter’s nap, Negan’s unwelcome stop in Alexandria continues as the group scrounges up supplies for the taking. Madness unfurls.

People of Earth (9 p.m. Monday, TBS) — Ozzie makes a shocking admission during an interview; Jeff hunts down Kurt’s killer; Father Doug encounters an “experience” of his own.


CONTACT JAC KERN: @jackern

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