comscore Winter television season arrives with new options | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Winter television season arrives with new options




If it seems like a new TV series premieres every day now, you’re not far off.

“Peak TV” — today’s record deluge of scripted shows — was coined as a term by FX Networks chief John Landgraf, after his research team counted 419 original series presented in 2015 by broadcast networks, cable channels and streaming services. (That’s up from 216 shows in 2010.)

That number again went up in 2016, to an FX research tally of 455.

You can’t watch them all. We can’t list them all. But we can pinpoint highlights among the flurry coming up in coming weeks.

Could TV’s 2017 total hit 500? Start counting. (Dates subject to change.)


>> “Victoria” (today, 8 p.m., PBS): Jenna Coleman (“Doctor Who”) is the young queen of 19th-century England in this “Masterpiece” series. With Rufus Sewell, Tom Hughes.

>> “Homeland” (today, 7 p.m., Showtime): In Season 6, Carrie (Claire Danes) is in Brooklyn, N.Y., working as an advocate for Muslim-Americans, while Saul (Mandy Patinkin) remains with the CIA.

>> “The Young Pope” (today-Monday, 7 p.m., HBO): The first American pope? It’s Jude Law in this speculative drama of Vatican politics, in 10 parts, run twice-weekly. With Diane Keaton, James Cromwell.

>> “Summer House” (Monday, 8 p.m., Bravo): Montauk, N.Y., housemates let loose on summer weekends in this unscripted eavesdrop.

>> “Divided States of America” (Tuesday-Wednesday, 9 p.m., PBS): Two-part “Frontline” explores social schisms seen during President Barack Obama’s terms and November’s election.

>> “SIX” (Wednesday, 8 p.m., History): Walton Goggins (“The Shield,” “Justified”) leads this Navy SEAL team drama, “inspired by real missions.”

>> “Baskets” (Thursday, 8 p.m., FX): Second season for this eccentric/endearing portrait of a wannabe clown (Zach Galifianakis), his peculiar mother (Emmy-winner Louie Anderson), and other oddballs in their orbit.

>> “Frontier” (Friday, Netflix): Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones”) moves in on Canada’s 1700s fur trade through six episodes of power grabs and cultural conflict.

>> “The Magicians” (Jan. 25, Syfy): Brakebills students search for the fabled-yet-real thrones of Fillory in Season 2 in a series based on Lev Grossman’s books.

>> “Riverdale” (Jan. 26, CW): Archie Comics teens as told by producer Greg Berlanti, with stars KJ Apa (Archie), Cole Sprouse (Jughead), Lili Reinhart (Betty), Camila Mendes (Veronica) and Ashleigh Murray (Josie).

>> “Scandal” (Jan. 26, ABC): Kerry Washington’s wild drama of Washington chicanery makes its sixth-season return at a time when reality seems stranger than fiction.

>> “Planet Earth II” (Jan. 28, BBC America): Seven-part sequel to 2006’s natural world smash, now employing improved technology (4K Ultra-HD). David Attenborough narrates.

>> “The Quad” (Jan. 31, BET): Anika Noni Rose plays the embattled new president of a fictional historically black college in Georgia, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson plays the leader of the school’s famous marching band, which eats up a disproportionate chunk of the academic budget. (New York Times)

>> “The Expanse” (Feb. 1, Syfy): From the James S.A. Corey novels of space-colony conflict, this second season unspools the conspiracy behind human experiments and resource exploitation.

>> “Madiba” (Feb. 1, BET): Laurence Fishburne is Nelson Mandela in a miniseries about the battle by the African National Congress against South African apartheid. With David Harewood, Orlando Jones.

>> “The Carbonaro Effect” (Feb. 1, truTV): Season 3 starts in Chicago for trickster Michael Carbonaro.

>> “Santa Clarita Diet” (Feb. 3, Netflix): Drew Barrymore stars as a mom whose sudden zombification draws her family together and noticeably improves her sex life; Timothy Olyphant plays her beta-male husband. (New York Times)

>> “24: Legacy” (Feb. 5, Fox): Corey Hawkins (“Straight Outta Compton”) as a young Army Ranger out to thwart a terror attack in real-time against a ticking clock. Also with Miranda Otto, Jimmy Smits. Premieres in the post-Super Bowl slot.

>> “APB” (Feb. 6, Fox): Justin Kirk stars as a billionaire who reboots his troubled Chicago precinct with a private police force. Natalie Martinez plays an ambitious cop.

>> “Legion” (Feb. 8, FX): Adapted from Marvel Comics: Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”) stars as a psych patient beginning to realize that his visions and voices may be real. With Rachel Keller (“Fargo”), Jean Smart, Bill Irwin.

>> “Reign” (Feb. 10, CW): It’s Queen Mary (Adelaide Kane) versus Queen Elizabeth (Rachel Skarsten) in Season 4 of the young-cast historical drama.

>> “The Walking Dead” (Feb. 12, AMC): Eight episodes finish a seventh season controversially dominated by baddie Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

>> “Girls” (Feb. 12, HBO): Sixth and final season for Lena Dunham’s one-time sensation of young women making their way through New York City jobs, dating and friendships.

>> “The Good Fight” (Feb. 19, CBS All Access): The CBS broadcast network premieres this sequel to “The Good Wife” with Christine Baranski only on its online service.

>> “Big Little Lies” (Feb. 19, HBO): In David E. Kelley’s dark dramedy, three mothers of first-graders descend into murder. Limited series with Reese Witherspoon (also producing), Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Alexander Skarsgard.

>> “Crashing” (Feb. 19, HBO): Judd Apatow produces, with Pete Holmes as a suburban dude switching gears to try stand-up comedy.

>> “The Blacklist: Redemption” (Feb. 23, NBC): Spinoff with Famke Janssen, Ryan Eggold, Edi Gathegi has a team of operatives atoning for criminal pasts.

>> “Sun Records” (Feb. 23, CMT): Eight-part limited series depicts ’50s rock’s Million Dollar Quartet — Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash — under producer Sam Phillips (Chad Michael Murray).

>> “National Treasure” (March 1, Hulu): This BBC miniseries — based on the police investigation that resulted, most notably, in the posthumous sex-abuse revelations about television and radio personality Jimmy Savile — has a great central duo: Robbie Coltrane (“Cracker,” the Harry Potter movies) plays a revered British comedian accused of pedophilia, and Julie Walters (“Educating Rita,” “Billy Elliot”) plays his wife. (New York Times)

>> “Trial & Error” (March 7, NBC): There’s no reason to think that this series, about a young New York lawyer who travels to the South to defend a wacky poetry professor accused of murder, won’t be an entirely conventional network sitcom. But the professor is played by John Lithgow, so it might be worth a look. (New York Times)

>> “Underground” (March 8, WGN America): John Legend plays Frederick Douglass, with Aisha Hinds as Harriet Tubman, in this second season of acclaimed drama of escaped slaves.


>> “Everest Rescue” (Sundays, 8 p.m., Discovery): Ascend the world’s tallest mountain as high-altitude helicopter pilots aid climbers. Augmenting its six episodes: virtual-reality extras (see

>> “Being Mary Jane” (Tuesdays, 7 p.m., BET): Season 4 for Gabrielle Union as a TV host whose personal complications include her parents, siblings and male companions.

>> “Taboo” (Tuesdays, 8 p.m., FX): Tom Hardy stars as a 19th-century adventurer who finds his years away in Africa far less dangerous than his return to Britain, where enemies threaten his family empire.

>> “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” (Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m., TBS): New day/time for this wicked take on current events, likely even more viral during presidential transition. Other comic commentary: “Real Time With Bill Maher” (premiering Friday, HBO); “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (Feb. 12, HBO).

>> “Colony” (Thursdays, 10 p.m., USA): Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies fight to keep their family together in a second season of L.A. controlled by alien overlords — he working for them, she among the resistance.

>> “A Series of Unfortunate Events” (Netflix): Neil Patrick Harris headlines eight episodes from the Lemony Snicket stories, with Patrick Warburton, Joan Cusack, Aasif Mandvi, Malina Weissman (young Kara on “Supergirl”).

>> “Sneaky Pete” (Amazon): David Shore (“House M.D.”) and Bryan Cranston are behind this series about a con man (Giovanni Ribisi) who is released from prison and stumbles into an opportunity: pretending to be his former cellmate, whose family is in the bail-bond business. The cast includes Margo Martindale, Peter Gerety and Marin Ireland, and the storytelling is light but soulful. (New York Times)


>> “The Americans” (March, FX)

>> “The History of Comedy” (CNN)

>> “The Wizard of Lies” (HBO; Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff)

>> “Genius” (NatGeo drama; Geoffrey Rush as Einstein)

>> “Doctor Who” (BBC America)

>> “Class” (BBC America; “Doctor Who” spinoff)

>> “Top of the Lake” (Sundance)

>> “12 Monkeys” (Syfy)

>> “The Kennedys: After Camelot” (Reelz; Katie Holmes, Matthew Perry)


>> “Bates Motel” (A&E)

>> “The Leftovers” (HBO)

>> “TURN: Washington’s Spies” (AMC)

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