TV previews for the week of Jan. 20–26, 2020
We’re only three weeks into 2020 and guess what? There are even more new and returning TV shows coming your way. They include at least two about alien threats, one taking a trip to hell, and, most frightening of all, a look at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop. At least there’s Awkwafina, CableTV.com’s favorite player of the week.
Project Blue Book
Drama/Sci-Fi | Tuesday, Jan. 21 | History
Season 2 premiere: Dr. Hynek and Capt. Quinn (a reality-based ’50s Mulder and Scully) investigate more UFO phenomena, like Roswell and Area 51, under the watchful eyes of both the US military and the KGB. Project Blue Book is historical drama with a capital D-R-A-M-A.
Awkwafina is Nora from Queens
Comedy | Wednesday, Jan. 22 | Comedy Central
CTV Pick of the Week: Golden Globe–winning (and Oscar-snubbed—boo!) actress Awkwafina produces, writes, and stars in a new, semi-autobiographical comedy about growing up in Queens, New York. Finally, we have something to fill that Broad City–sized hole in our hearts.
Star Trek: Picard
Drama/Sci-Fi | Thursday, Jan. 23 | CBS All Access
Series debut: It’s 2399, and retired Starfleet commander Jean-Luc Picard is mounting a rogue mission with a new crew—no, not stopping the Y24K bug. Picard has already been renewed for a second season, because CBS All Access can’t survive on Nash Bridges reruns alone.
Comedy | Thursday, Jan. 23 | FOX
Series debut: The pitch meeting went, “What if Young Sheldon. . .times three?!” Outmatched is a laugh-tracked sitcom about a blue-collar New Jersey couple raising certified-genius kids, with a little Tony Danza thrown in. Hey, paired with Last Man Standing, the comedy bar isn’t high.
Comedy/Drama | Friday, Jan. 24 | Hulu
Season 2 premiere: Aidy Bryant’s breakout hit of last year returns with more cute fashions, body-positive vibes, and all the feels—but no job. Will Annie (Bryant) find a new gig before she finds herself? At least season 2 will have more episodes to explore it (eight instead of six).
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Fantasy/Drama | Friday, Jan. 24 | Netflix
Season 3 premiere: Not only does Sabrina have to go literally to hell to rescue her boyfriend from Madam Satan (who should really get her own spin-off), she also has to stop the Prince of Hell’s hostile takeover of the joint. Makes the nonsense going on back in Riverdale seem trivial.
The Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow
Docuseries | Friday, Jan. 24 | Netflix
Series debut: Now the recent release of that “special” candle makes sense—it also smells like a PR stunt. The Goop Lab may look like an infomercial posing as a behind-the-scenes docuseries about Paltrow’s lifestyle brand. . .and it totally is, but it just may be impossible to look away.
TV previews for the week of Jan. 13–19, 2020
Reality | Mondays | ABC
Season 24: America’s greatest resource for Instagram belly-tea detox ambassadors is back with another interchangeable white guy (Peter Weber—even his name is boring) looking for. . .love? Sure. Which of the ladies will become Mrs. Weber or the next Bachelorette? Stay tuned!
The New Pope
Drama | Monday, Jan. 13 | HBO
Series debut: Following up 2017’s The Young Pope, which starred an over-the-top Jude Law as the divisive title character, The New Pope names his successor (obviously). That would be John Malkovich, who’ll be joined by guest stars Sharon Stone and Marilyn Manson. Yes, really.
Drama/Comedy | Wednesday, Jan. 15 | Paramount
Series debut: A ridiculously good-looking team of US Army medics stationed in Afghanistan navigate danger, love, and non-regulation facial hair in what Paramount might as well have called Sexy M*A*S*H. As a comedic war drama, 68 Whiskey’s timing is just slightly off.
Fantasy/Drama/Comedy | Wednesday, Jan. 15 | Syfy
Season 5 premiere: After a mopey-soapy debut in 2015, The Magicians has evolved into Syfy’s smartest, and funniest, series. It’s a deep dive; the uninitiated are advised to catch up on Netflix, where this tight ensemble was throwing down R-rated Hogwarts long before Sabrina.
9-1-1: Lone Star
Drama | Sunday, Jan. 19 | FOX
Series Debut: In this spin-off of Ryan Murphy’s first-responders hit 9-1-1, the procedural action moves from Los Angeles to Austin—Dick Wolf already has Chicago locked down. Here, Rob Lowe is charged with rebuilding a tragedy-stricken firehouse and arguing with Liv Tyler. Yee-haw!
Comedy | Sunday, Jan. 19 | HBO
Series debut: In the year 2060, luxury cruise liners have moved from the oceans to outer space—what could possibly go wrong? Everything, hilariously. Hugh Laurie captains this sci-fi comedy from the producers of Veep, which is surprisingly light on Uranus jokes.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Comedy | Sunday, Jan. 19 | HBO
Season 10 premiere: Larry David has been pissing off his fictional friends for 20 years on Curb Your Enthusiasm—is this the decade he finally turns an existential corner? Nah. Joining the meta-misery this season are guest stars like Jon Hamm and Laverne Cox (RIP Funkhouser).
TV previews for the week of Jan. 6–12, 2020
Drama/Mystery | Monday, Jan. 6 | NBC
Season 2 premiere: The passengers and crew of Montego Air Flight 828, who disappeared for five years in the first season of Manifest, are back to face more questions than answers (yes, it’s very Lost). The most pressing: Are they destined to die anyway? Air travel is worse than ever.
Comedy | Tuesday, Jan. 7 | Pop
Season 6 premiere: The Rose family heads into the final eight episodes of Schitt’s Creek—and we still haven’t placed Moira’s (Catherine O’Hara) accent. FYI: Schitt’s Creek is a Canadian series that airs in the US on Pop before it winds up on Netflix (where you’ll eventually catch it).
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Comedy/Drama/Musical | Tuesday, Jan. 7 | NBC
Series Debut: After a bizarre accident involving an MRI scan and iTunes, San Francisco coder Zoey (Jane Levy) is suddenly surrounded by people breaking into song and dance—but only she can see it. It’s like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but with Top 40 hits and Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows.
Party of Five
Drama | Wednesday, Jan. 8 | Freeform
Series Debut: In this reboot of the ’90s FOX drama, the parents of five California siblings aren’t dead, they’re deported; this time around, Party of Five is a timely commentary on immigration. If you just can’t wait, the first episode of Po5 2.0 is available to stream on Hulu now.
Comedy | Friday, Jan. 10 | Netflix
Series Debut: Remember Childrens Hospital on Adult Swim? Medical Police (a.k.a. Cop Doctors, or Doctor Cops) pits those inept physicians against a global bioterrorism plot—a terrible, but funny, idea. Stars Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Malin Ackerman, and more return in their silly, silly roles.
Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector
Drama/Mystery | Friday, Jan. 10 | NBC
Series Debut: Don’t have enough serial-killer shows in your life? The exhaustingly-titled Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector is here for you, Karen. Good-looking detectives Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are tracking the BC, but not cheating by reading ahead in the novel.
Drama/Mystery | Sunday, Jan. 12 | HBO
Series Debut: Speaking of books turned into TV shows, Stephen King’s 2018 thriller The Outsider gets a creepy screen makeover via HBO. A small-town cop (Ben Mendelsohn) investigates the murder of a young boy, who was killed by either supernatural forces or Jason Bateman’s goatee.