Midseason crush of new shows, returning series, movies and specials
Midseason crush of new shows, returning series, movies and specials
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The blizzard about to strike is not in any way meteorological. It’s an annual programming phenomenon known as midseason, and it brings with it flurry after flurry of new and returning shows.
It’s a condition that blankets the entire television landscape, from the networks and PBS to cable channels and streaming services. It’s constant, and you can expect the show-fall to be heavy in places.
For the traditional broadcast networks, it’s the time to realign their scheduling strategy and deploy the series they’ve been keeping on the bench for midseason. So the emphasis for the likes of ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the CW is to better position themselves for the second-half stretch to the official end of the ratings season in mid-May.
For everybody else, it’s business as usual, which is to demonstrate in no uncertain terms that television long became a 52-week business. Each year sees an uptick in the amount of original programming, and this is never more noticeable than when the weather gets colder and the viewership levels rise.
Fox already has jumped out to its usual early midseason start, fielding new shows even before all traces of New Year’s Eve hangovers have faded. For instance, the second season of “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back” began at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, followed by the premiere of the game show “The Masked Singer,” which features contestants trying to guess the identity of celebrity performers dressed from head to toe in elaborate costumes.
Fox then began the fifth and final season of “Gotham” at 8 p.m. Thursday, the same time that NBC premiered “The Titan Games,” Dwayne Johnson’s sports competition reality show. Later that night, at 10, NBC launched the sixth season of “The Blacklist.”
But this was just the first minor squall before the full-fledged midseason blizzard hits. Here are just 40 of the high-profile new and returning series, as well as movies and specials, showing up over the next three months:
“America’s Got Talent: The Champions” (8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, WKYC Channel 3): Terry Crews is the host for this special edition of the talent competition series. It will bring back top acts from various international versions of the reality show.
“The Bachelor” (8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, WEWS Channel 5): Colton Underwood, a former San Diego Charges tight end, is the bachelor for the 23rd edition of the reality that premiered in March 2002.
“Project Blue Book” (10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, History Channel): Aidan Gillen plays astrophysicist Josef Allen Hynek in this series based on the U.S. Air Force investigations into UFOs. Neal McDonough also stars.
“Schooled” (8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, Channel 5): ABC’s “Goldbergs” spinoff is set in the ’90s with Tim Meadows and Bryan Callan as faculty members at the William Penn Academy, where, despite their eccentricities and crazy personal lives, are heroes to their students.
Bryan Callen, left, Tim Meadows and AJ Michalka star in the ABC comedy “Schooled.” Eric McCandless/ABC
“The Dictator’s Playbook” (10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, WVIZ Channel 25 and WEAO (Channel 49): This six-part PBS series looks at the shared tactics of dictators as Kim Il Sung, Saddam Hussein, Benito Mussolini, Manuel Noriega Francisco Franco and Idi Amin.
“You’re the Worst” (10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, FXX): This will the fifth and final season for the comedy-drama mix starring Chriss Geere as selfish British writer Jimmy Shive-Overly and Aya Cash as PR executive Gretchen Cutler.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, Channel 3): Dropped by Fox, the New York police comedy returns on NBC with its sixth season.
“Fam” (9:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, WOIO Channel 19): Nina Dobrev stars in this new CBS comedy about a young woman whose dreams of an upstanding life with her new fiancé and his upstanding family are dashed when her younger train wreck half-sister comes to live with her to escape their train wreck of a father (also in the cast are Tone Bell, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Sheryl Lee Ralph).
“When Heroes Fly” (Thursday, Jan. 10, Netflix): Tomer Kapon, Ninet Tayeb and Oded Fehr star in this Hebrew-language Israeli drama will be presented with English subtitles. It follows four Special Forces veterans reuniting for a deeply personal mission.
“The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Celebration” (9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, Channel 25 and Channel 49): The Cleveland Orchestra centennial gets the “Great Performances” spotlight, featuring a a concert with pianist Lang Lang and works by Mozart, Strauss and Ravel.
“Sex Education” (Friday, Jan. 11, Netflix): Created by Laurie Nunn, this British comedy-drama series follows a socially awkward teenager who lives with her sex therapist mother. Gillilan Anderson (“The X-Files”) stars.
“Masterpiece” (9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, Channel 25 and Channel 49): The long-running PBS series presents the third season of “Victoria,” starring Jenna Coleman as the long-reigning British monarch.
“True Detective” (9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, HBO): After a long delay and a mediocre second season, the anthology crime series from writer-producer Nic Pizzolatto returns with a third season set in the Ozarks across three separate time periods. Mahershala Ali, Stephen Dorff, Carmen Ejogo and Scoot McNairy star.
Stephen Dorff, left, and Mahershala Ali star in the third season of HBO’s “True Detective.” Warrick Page/HBO
“Valley of the Boom” (9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, National Geographic): This six-part mix of scripted and documentary elements charts the rise of the Silicon Valley in the 1990s. Steve Zahn, Bradley Whitford and Lamorne Morris lead the cast.
“The Passage” (9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, WJW Channel 8): Based on the trilogy by Justin Cronin, this new Fox drama is part action thriller, part supernatural drama. It focuses on Project NOAH, a top-secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus. Saniyya Sidney and Mark-Paul Gosselaar star.
“Roswell, New Mexico” (9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, WUAB Channel 43): This CW drama is a new take on the 1999-2002 sci-fi teen drama that aired first on the WB, then on UPN, the two smaller networks that merged in 2006 to form the CW. It stars will star Jeanine Mason (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Nathan Parsons (“The Originals”).
“Temptation Island” (10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, USA): This is a revamp of the controversial 2001 Fox reality show about couples agreeing to test their relationships by living with a group of singles.
“Deadly Class” (10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, Syfy): Cleveland’s filmmaking Russo brothers, Anthony and Joseph, are the executive producers behind this cable drama set in the 1980s and based on the graphic novel of the same name. It follows Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth), a teen living on the streets who is recruited into an elite private academy where the world’s top crime families send their children.
“Star Trek: Discovery” (8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, CBS All Access): The 14-episode second season of the streaming “Star Trek” will feature Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) facing her past with the return of her estranged foster brother, Spock (Ethan Peck).
“Brexit” (9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, HBO): The HBO film stars Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”) as Dominic Cummings, who spearheaded the Vote Leave campaign in Britain. Rory Kinnear also stars.
“Escape from the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story” (9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, Lifetime): Christina Ricci stars in this cable movie about the young journalist who, in 1887, went undercover to expose the brutal conditions at a mental institution.
“Black Monday” (10 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, Showtime): Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells , Regina Hall and Paul Scheer star in this Wall Street comedy set around the stock market crash of Oct. 19, 1987 (known as Black Monday).
“Pure” (10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, WGN America): Ryan Robbins (“Falling Skies”) and Alex Paxton-Beesley (“The Strain”) play a Mennonite pastor and his wife who get thrust into a world of sin when they are forced to lead a drug-smuggling ring in order to save their family.
“The Other Two” (10:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, Comedy Central): Drew Tarver plays a struggling 28-year-old actor, Heléne Yorke plays his 30-year-old sister, Case Walker plays their suddenly famous 13-year-old brother and Shaker Heights native Molly Shannon plays their mother in this new comedy.
“The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Friday, Jan. 25, Netflix): This will be the final six episodes of the streaming comedy starring Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski and Cleveland native Carol Kane.
“Kingdom” (Friday, Jan. 25, Netflix): It’s a Korean zombie thriller set during medieval times. It begins with a kingdom beset by strange rumors about their ill king. The crown prince becomes their only hope against a mysterious plague overtaking the land.
“Rent” (7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, Channel 8): Fox’s three-hour live production of the award-winning musical stars Kiersey Clemons, Tinashe, Brandon Victor Dixon and Vanessa Hudgens.
“I Am the Night” (9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, TNT): Chris Pine and India Isley have top billing in this six-episode crime drama inspired by true events. Setting out to uncovers the secrets of her past, a teenager follows a trail that leads dangerously close to the Black Dahlia murder.
“The ABC Murders” (Friday, Feb. 1, Amazon Prime Video): John Malkovich becomes the latest in a long line of actors to play Agatha Christie’s master detective, Hercule Poirot. This adaptation of the 1936 mystery novel also stars Rupert Grint (Ron in the “Harry Potter” films).
“Russian Doll” (Friday, Feb. 1, Netflix): Created by Natasha Lyonne , Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland, this eight-episode comedy follows Nadia (Lyonne), the guest of honor at a party that she can’t seem to escape.
“Man With a Plan” (8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, Channel 19): Matt LeBlanc returns with a third season of his CBS comedy.
“American Experience” (9 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 5, Channel 25 and Channel 49: The PBS series premieres “Sealab,” the mostly forgotten story of the U.S. Navy’s daring program that tested the limits of human endurance and revolutionized the way humans explored the ocean.
“American Soul” (9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, BET): Sinqua Walls stars in this series dramatizing the life of “Soul Train” creator and host as Don Cornelius.
“Miracle Workers” (10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, TBS): Daniel Radcliffe stars in this comedy about Craig, a low-level angel responsible for handling all of humanity’s prayers. Steve Buscemi plays his boss, God.
“Proven Innocent” (9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, Channel 8): Rachelle Lefevre stars in this new Fox drama about an underdog criminal defense firm. Also in the cast are Riley Smith, Russell Hornsby and Kelsey Grammer.
“American Masters” (9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, Channel 25 and Channel 49): Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak are among those interviewed in the documentary “Sammy Davis Jr.” I’ve Gotta Be Me.”
“The Voice” (8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, Channel 3): This will be the 16th edition for NBC’s singing competition reality show.
“The Enemy Within” (10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, Channel 3): This NBC espionage thriller stars Jennifer Carpenter as a notorious former CIA operative released from prison to help catch a spy.
“Whiskey Cavalier” (10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, Channel 5): The new ABC drama stars Scott Foley as an FBI agent teamed with a CIA operative played by Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead”).
“Better Things” (10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, FX): The comedy directed and produced by series star Pamela Adlon begins its third season. She plays Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), a single mother and working actor with no filter/
“American Idol” (8 p.m. Sunday, March 3, Channel 5): The singing competition reality show begins its 17th season (its second on ABC after a long run on Fox).
“American Gods” (8 p.m. Sunday, March 10, Starz): It has been a long wait, but Starz finally unveils the second season of the fantasy drama based on Neil Gaiman’s book. Gillian Anderson and Kristin Chenoweth aren’t returning, but Dean Winters and Kahyun Kim have been added to the cast.
“The Village” (10 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, Channel 3): The NBC drama stars Moran Atias, Dominic Chianese and Frankie Faison as neighbors in a Brooklyn apartment building.
“Shrill” (Friday, March 15, Hulu): Executive producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks are behind this comedy starring Aidy Bryant (“Saturday Night Live”) as Annie, an overweight young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. Also in the cast are John Cameron Mitchell, Julia Sweeney and Daniel Stern.
“Billions” (9 p.m. Sunday, March 17, Showtime): The fourth season of the outstanding drama finds former enemies Bobby Axelrod (Lewis) and Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) working together to vanquish their rivals, including former enemies, and Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), the chief counselor to each, Grigor Andolov (guest star John Malkovich) and Waylon “Jock” Jeffcoat (guest star Clancy Brown).
“The Fix” (10 p.m. Monday, March 18, Channel 5): The ABC drama stars Robin Tunney as a former prosecutor who returns to Los Angeles eight years after losing the biggest case of her career (Marcia Cark is one of the executive producers).
“The Act” (Wednesday, March 20, Hulu): Patricia Arquette, Joey King and Chloe Sevigny are among the stars of this new true-crime anthology series that begins with an eight-episode story of a toxic mother-daughter relationship.
“Game of Thrones” begins its eighth HBO season in April, but no date has been confirmed. Also in the to-be-announced category are the seventh and final season of Showtime’s “Homeland” in June, the fifth and final season of the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” the third season of Netflix’s “The Crown,” the second season of BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” the return of HBO’s “Deadwood” and the CBS All Access revival of “The Twilight Zone” (from writer-director Jordan Peele, who also will be the host).