TV Jan. 12-15: Sanditon, The Outsider, New Pope, Ackley Bridge, Magicians, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Grace and Frankie, 68 Whiskey

A lot more series are back from the holiday break (The Good Doctor on Monday; New Amsterdam and This Is Us on Tuesday; The Goldbergs, Schooled and S.W.A.T. on Wednesday) so yay! Who needs a social life with this much TV? Hello? Oh right. Never mind. TV!

Sunday Jan. 12

Sanditon (9-11pm PBS) Woot! A new Masterpiece mini! “Jane Austen was chronically ill with a mysterious disease in early 1817, when she turned her thoughts to a happier subject. She started work on a witty and delightful novel set in a seaside town. She never finished it. Now, noted screenwriter Andrew Davies (Pride and PrejudiceLes Misérables, Primetime Emmy® winner for Little Dorrit) picks up Austen’s plot and takes it in a glorious and satisfying direction, on Sanditon. MASTERPIECE’s bold and lavish adaptation of Jane Austen’s final work stars Rose Williams (Curfew) as Austen’s lively but levelheaded heroine, Charlotte Heywood; Theo James (Divergent) as the humorous, charming (and slightly wild!) Sidney Parker; Anne Reid (Years and Years) as the forthright grande dame of Sanditon, Lady Denham; Kris Marshall (Love Actually) as Sanditon’s compulsively enterprising promoter, Tom Parker; and Crystal Clarke (Ordeal by Innocence) as the mysterious West Indian heiress, Miss Lambe.”

The Outsider (9-11pm HBO and Crave) is a new thriller based on the Stephen King novel, “a new drama series that explores the investigation into the gruesome murder of a local boy and the mysterious force surrounding the case. The 10-episode series follows police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) as he sets out to investigate the mutilated body of 11-year-old Frankie Peterson found in the Georgia woods. The mysterious circumstances surrounding this horrifying crime leads Ralph, still grieving the recent death of his own son, to bring in unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo), whose uncanny abilities he hopes will help explain the unexplainable.’

Cravings: The Aftershow (11pm, HBO, Crave) “Immediately following the double-episode premiere of THE OUTSIDER, don’t miss the debut of new Crave original series CRAVINGS: THE AFTERSHOW (11 p.m. ET). Hosted by pop culture maven, author, and podcaster Lainey Lui (THE SOCIAL, ETALK) and a rotating panel of guests, this new weekly companion series recaps episodes of THE OUTSIDER, dissecting the biggest plot twists and developments, and providing comprehensive analysis.”

Monday Jan. 13

The New Pope (9-10pm, HBO and Crave) “The follow-up to 2017’s THE YOUNG POPE from Oscar®-winning filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, THE NEW POPE starring John Malkovich and Jude Law, dives into the inner workings of the Vatican, while exploring the very human desires, vices and fragilities of those in power and the complexities inherent in faith today. All nine episodes of THE NEW POPE are directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Paolo Sorption.”

The Healing Powers of Dude (new to Netflix Family) “When an 11-year-old boy with social anxiety disorder has to start middle school, he finds strength in a lovable comfort mutt named Dude.”

Ackley Bridge returns to Acorn with the Season 3 premiere. “From the creators of Shameless (UK) comes the return of this hit British dramedy for a run of eight new laugh-out-loud, irreverent and highly emotional episodes set in and around a multicultural academy school in a small Yorkshire mill town. This series offers a gritty, funny, truthful, and mischievous angle into the daily drama of the teachers, teenagers and families whose lives and cultures collide when two schools are integrated after years of racial segregation.  The series 3 cast includes new additions Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey), and Charlie Hardwick (Emmerdale), as well as longtime cast members Jo Joyner (EastEnders), Liz White (Life on Mars), Sunetra Sarker(Broadchurch), Adil Ray (Citizen Kahn), Poppy Lee Friar (Mr. Selfridge, In The Club), Amy-Leigh Hickman (EastEnders), Tony Jayawardena (Holby City, The Tunnel) and Megan Parkinson (Game of Thrones.)”

Tuesday Jan. 14

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow returns to CTV Sci-Fi (formerly Space) at 9pm with the Season 5 premiere, Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part 5. No bumph to speak of … but superheroes!

Wednesday Jan. 14

Grace and Frankie (Season 6 premiere on Netflix). Ladies, where have you been!!! And is that Michael McKean I see being shamed into drinking by Lily Tomlin? Also, somebody’s gotten married, and somebody else is having a medical emergency and may or may not also be keeping a secret so… really it could be any one of the previous five seasons but we’re just glad they’re back.

Expedition with Steve Backshall (10-11pm PBS) is a “new 10-episode series (that) reveals there are still parts of our planet yet to be discovered. Explorer and naturalist Steve Backshall pursues incredible journeys and world firsts — unclimbed peaks, unexplored cave systems and uncharted landscapes — setting foot where no human has been before. As the preeminent destination for engaging, enlightening and entertaining science and natural history programming, PBS continues to deliver with this series.” In tonight’s premiere, “Oman – Desert Canyon, our man Steve pops down “into an Arabian desert canyon that no human has ever explored.” NO HUMAN!

The Magicians returns to Showcase for the Season 5 premiere Do Something Crazy (10-11pm). This bumph provokes more questions than answers, but here you go: “Penny and Julia go stargazing; Eliot and Margo forget a sandwich.”

68 Whiskey is new Afghanistan-set army-medic drama premiering on Paramount 10-11:02pm. “Roback convinces Davis to join him in a get rich quick scheme which lands them in serious trouble; Alvarez gets some upsetting news; Roback and Durkin continue their secret affair; Petrocelli finds a new friend in a lost goat.” But remember, “You’re gonna be OK.”

What is d2tv anyway? I’m so glad you asked. This is the latest iteration of my TV writing/blogging that began back in 1986 or so? at the Winnipeg Sun, continued in print and web at the Montreal Gazette (only occasionally now) and finally, here, for myself and YOU! Owing to the time demands of full-time employment for an unnamed news outlet, d2tv is currently reduced to covering mostly the premieres of new and returning series, specials etc, with the occasional series finale thrown in for sentimental reasons, for both broadcast and streaming. Reviews are, for the moment, only occasional. If you spot an error or oversight or have a recommendation to share, please do so in the comments or by emailing me at the above address. Glad you’re here. And isn’t this era of too much TV a great time to be alive? 

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