TV Best Bets

Wednesday, Jan. 6: ‘When Disaster Strikes’ Presents Stories of Bravery and Hope


All Times Eastern.

Wednesday, Jan. 6

When Disaster Strikes
PBS, 10pm
New Series!

See the mechanics of disaster relief from those responding on the ground. Government leaders, humanitarians and survivors tell their extraordinary stories of survival, determination and hope. In tonight’s episode, hear the extraordinary stories of bravery and hope after Cyclone Idai strikes Mozambique. The world races to help rescue and support survivors from flooding on a biblical scale.

Surviving Death
New Series!

Based on Leslie Kean’s book, this in-depth, six-episode investigative series explores the possibility of an afterlife. Over its episodes, Surviving Death explores questions that have been contemplated throughout time: What does it mean to die, and is death the end of our existence? Weaving together innovative new research with firsthand accounts from those who’ve been close to — and even experienced — death, the series takes viewers on an extraordinary journey into a world beyond human existence as we know it.

The Big Interview With Dan Rather
AXS TV, 8pm
New Episodes!

Famed newsman Dan Rather returns this month with four new episodes of his interview series (more new episodes will return in early spring). Due to the pandemic, these episodes were filmed remotely, using both Zoom and in-person camera teams. The interviews put the spotlight on candid conversations with entertainment icons and influencers. In tonight’s episode, Rather talks with rock star Perry Farrell, frontman for Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros.

Undercover Billionaire
Discovery Channel, 8pm
Season Premiere!

In Season 2, three successful entrepreneurs are betting $1 million that they can go undercover in three different cities, start their own business with just $100 and top the million-dollar mark in just 90 days. At the end of the challenge, each of them will reveal their true identities to the people who helped build their business. But will they be able to turn their big ideas into a reality? And can they navigate the impact of COVID-19 that has forced so many businesses across the country to shutter?

The Masked Dancer
FOX, 8pm

The guessing game continues as the second group of five costumed characters perform.

House in a Hurry
HGTV, 8pm

In the new back-to-back episodes, each house-hunting couple will work with a real estate agent who they have never met in person, hitting the ground running to find a home in just one weekend. Stakes and emotions will run high for these families who have exciting life changes on the horizon. Plus, they will face a hard deadline to find and buy their new dream home in an unfamiliar city. From a former pro cheerleader and her husband moving back to her hometown to a family of four relocating to the mainland from their Hawaiian island home, House in a Hurry will spotlight the challenge of finding properties that can check off the wish list and fit the budget in red-hot markets.

Chicago Med: “Do You Know the Way Home?”
NBC, 8pm

NBC’s franchise of Windy City favorites returns to resume their current seasons tonight, beginning with Chicago Med, now in its sixth season. Dr. Charles (Oliver Platt) and April (Yaya DaCosta) team up to take on a mysterious patient in the ED. Dr. Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) is forced to make a life-or-death decision for one of his trial patients. Dr. Marcel (Dominic Rains) is confronted by his past when a former acquaintance is brought into the ED.

TCM Spotlight: Whodunit Wednesdays: “Whodunit Revivals”
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!

If you love a good mystery, tune in to TCM each Wednesday this month for an evening of great cinematic whodunits grouped by a particular theme. Tonight’s focus on “Whodunit Revivals” begins with two Agatha Christie adaptations — Death on the Nile (1978) and Evil Under the Sun (1982) — then continues with The Last of Sheila (1973), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Deathtrap (1982) and The Honey Pot (1967).

My 600-lb Life
TLC, 8pm

Follow the journeys of morbidly obese people as they fight to save their own lives by making the courageous decision to undergo high-risk gastric bypass surgery. Chronicling lifelong hardships with addiction and the inevitable impact their condition has on their closest relationships, each episode gives a personal look at the extreme emotional and physical journeys each person must undergo to qualify for lifesaving surgery with Dr. Younan Nowzaradan.

Rolling Stone: Stories From the Edge
AXS TV, 9pm
New Series!

Helmed by award-winning filmmakers Alex Gibney and Blair Foster, and featuring narration by actor Jeff Daniels, this six-part limited docuseries captures the last 50 years of American culture — from music and politics, to pop culture and more — through the lens of Rolling Stone, the iconic magazine that broke new ground with its view of rock ’n’ roll as a cultural force that shaped the country. Blending never-before-heard recordings from some of the publication’s top journalists with exclusive interviews and rarely seen pictures and footage, the series guides viewers on an immersive journey through the ever-changing cultural landscape of America.

Name That Tune
FOX, 9pm
New Series!

FOX revives the beloved game show that tests contestants’ music knowledge as they battle it out in an assortment of challenging musical games for cash and prizes. Jane Krakowski hosts, joined by bandleader Randy Jackson.

Trafficked With Mariana van Zeller: “Tigers”
Nat Geo, 9pm

Mariana tackles what one of her sources calls “the untouchable smuggling story.” The black market for tigers and tiger parts is so lucrative, so secretive and so dangerous that few have attempted to uncover its ugly details. Mariana journeys near and far to meet the smugglers face-to-face.

Chicago Fire: “Smash Therapy”
NBC, 9pm

As Season 9 resumes with new episodes, a mishap on the aerial ladder in the midst of a fire rescue leaves Mouch (Christian Stolte) shaken and questioning his abilities; Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) looks for support from Severide (Taylor Kinney); and Casey (Jesse Spencer) and Brett (Kara Killmer) discuss their future.

Nature Gone Wild
A&E, 10pm
New Series!

Professional guide, explorer and Emmy winner Greg Aiello has traveled to the most remote corners of the world documenting everything nature has thrown at him. Based on Aiello’s own extreme encounters and footage of everyday explorers caught on camera, this new series highlights and analyzes some of the most jaw-dropping footage of unbelievable occurrences in nature.

Undercover Billionaire: Comeback City
Discovery Channel, 10pm
New Series!

Glenn Stearns from the first season of Undercover Billionaire returns to Erie, Pennsylvania, where he built his business, Underdog BBQ, in just 90 days. Now he has a new mission: rescuing small businesses on the brink of going bust. When the economy hit the skids earlier last year, Glenn was contacted by other Erie businessmen and -women who were struggling to keep their own dream alive. Each episode will follow Glenn as he works to turn around one of these small businesses. After assessing their operation and identifying areas to change, he’ll work with them to transform it in just 27 days.

True Conviction: “More Than a Statistic”
Investigation Discovery, 10pm

A crime wave is sweeping Boston, and police resources are stretched thin. The murder of a single mother is on the brink of becoming just another number in a wave of unsolved homicides. As the case goes cold for years, a toddler is left without his mom and an immigrant family faces an overwhelming justice system they can barely comprehend. Then, the nation’s top cold-case duo attempts to catch her killer. They develop a technique that would change investigative procedure forever, hoping to secure justice for a mother gone too soon.

Chicago P.D.: “Tender Age”
NBC, 10pm

Season 8 returns with new episodes. When a child is found walking alone in the middle of the street, the team later discovers that her entire family has been murdered and that she narrowly escaped. The investigation leads to a complicated family story that hits home for the members of the Chicago P.D.

Thursday, Jan. 7

Pieces of a Woman
Original Film!

Martin Scorsese is an executive producer of this drama that is a deeply personal, searing and ultimately transcendent story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss. Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean (Shia LaBeouf) are a Boston couple on the verge of parenthood whose lives change irrevocably when a home birth ends in unimaginable tragedy. Thus begins a yearlong odyssey for Martha, who must navigate her grief while working through fractious relationships with her husband and her domineering mother (Ellen Burstyn), along with the publicly vilified midwife (Molly Parker) she must face in court.

Celebrity Wheel of Fortune
ABC, 8pm
New Series!

It’s a new spin on the iconic game show, where celebrity contestants try to solve word puzzles for their chance to win up to $1 million for the charity of their choice. Pop culture legends Pat Sajak and Vanna White will host.

Young Sheldon: “Freshman Orientation and the Inventor of the Zipper”
CBS, 8pm

College orientation does not go as Sheldon (Iain Armitage) planned in the new episode “Freshman Orientation and the Inventor of the Zipper.”

Hell’s Kitchen
FOX, 8pm
Season Premiere!

Chef Gordon Ramsay takes Hell’s Kitchen to Las Vegas for Season 19, as 16 aspiring chefs from around the country roll the dice in the hopes of winning big.

Flipping Across America
HGTV, 8pm

In the blue corner, Eric and Lindsey Bennett (Desert Flippers) are flipping a mid-century desert home with a big surprise in Palm Springs, California. And in the red corner, Jessie and Tina Rodriquez (Vintage Flip) are restoring a 1920s hillside home to its former glory in Los Angeles. The homes were purchased for similar prices but how different are the markets in their respective cities? Will the market make a difference in which team gets the most bang for their buck?

Mr. Mayor
NBC, 8pm
New Series!

Two back-to-back episodes kick off this new comedy series we’re beyond excited about. Ted Danson stars as a retired businessman who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, however, he’s left to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.

Star of the Month: Miriam Hopkins
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!

Versatile golden age Hollywood star Miriam Hopkins is the subject of film salutes each Thursday evening this month on TCM. Tonight’s lineup of Hopkins classics begins with the three pre-Code movies she made with famed director Ernst Lubitsch: The Smiling Lieutenant (1931), Trouble in Paradise (1932) and Design for Living (1933). This is followed in late night by other notable Hopkins titles: the 1931 horror classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the drama Men Are Not Gods (1936).

B Positive: “Open Heart Surgery”
CBS, 8:30pm

Gina (Annaleigh Ashford) needs to keep herself together to pass a psych evaluation while dealing with the news of an ex’s engagement in the new episode “Open Heart Surgery.”

The Chase
ABC, 9pm
New Series!

This heart-racing quiz show pits three competitors against the Chaser, a ruthless quiz genius determined to stop them from winning cash prizes. Each hourlong episode is a fast-paced battle of brainpower, where contestants are challenged to think faster than they ever thought possible to answer up to 166 questions across all topics.

Mom: “Woo-Woo Lights and an Onside Kick”
CBS, 9pm

The ladies indulge Jill (Jaime Pressly) when she goes to extremes to get her relationship with Andy (guest star Will Sasso) back on track in the new episode “Woo-Woo Lights and an Onside Kick.”

Call Me Kat: “Double Date”
FOX, 9pm

In the new episode “Double Date,” Randi (Kyla Pratt) confronts a Kat’s Cat Café customer, Daniel (guest star Lamorne Morris), who never tips.

Flip or Flop: “Go Big or Go Home”
HGTV, 9pm

Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead take on one of their biggest projects to date in Anaheim Hills, California, but modernizing this 90s mansion will cost them a fortune. If they don’t get the design just right, it could jeopardize the profit and their big investment.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
NBC, 9pm
New Episodes!

Season 22 of the long-running Dick Wolf crime drama resumes with new episodes. At some point among those episodes, former costar Christopher Meloni will return a bit as he sets up his spinoff series Law & Order: Organized Crime, which is expected to debut sometime this year.

Go-Big Show
TBS, 9pm
New Series!

On a scale never before seen on television, this series celebrates daring acts that include monster trucks, alligator and snake trainers, stunt archery, world-record holders, and other radical feats. Challengers battle head-to-head to impress celebrity judges Snoop Dogg, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Nettles and AEW’s Cody Rhodes for their chance to win the ultimate prize of $100,000.

The Unicorn: “The First Supper”
CBS, 9:30pm

Things take an awkward turn when Wade (Walton Goggins) introduces Shannon (guest star Natalie Zea) to his friends in the new episode “The First Supper.”

Last Man Standing: “Dual Time”
FOX, 9:30pm

The Baxters see double when Vanessa (Nancy Travis) hires a repairman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Mike (Tim Allen) in the new episode “Dual Time.”

The Hustler
ABC, 10pm
New Series!

Comedian Craig Ferguson hosts this fun new game show that features five contestants who work together to answer a series of trivia questions worth $10,000 each. The catch is that there is one contestant — the Hustler — who knows all the correct answers and must keep his/her identity a secret in order to have a shot at winning the prize pot that could be worth over $100,000.

Star Trek: Discovery: “The Wolf Inside”
CBS, 10pm

Season 1 episodes of Star Trek: Discovery continue on CBS with “The Wolf Inside,” in which Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) embarks on a merciless mission in hopes of helping the Discovery return home.

Mountain Men: “Meltdown: Tornado Alley”
History, 10pm
New Episodes!

As the spring melt sweeps the mountains, Jake sets his sights on bagging a black bear for the larder; Eustace and Raleigh race against time and weather to plant crops; Mike sets out to harvest a bounty from the Gulf of Alaska; Kidd and Harry drop and haul lumber for their ranch; and Jason puts his homestead expansion on hold when a tornado comes crashing through.

The Real Blac Chyna
WE tv, 10pm
New Series!

Follow entrepreneur, model and reality star Blac Chyna in this no-holds-barred docuseries. The show reveals the behind-the-scenes dynamics of Chyna’s life and relationships never before showcased onscreen, including her ongoing efforts to change the direction of her sometimes controversial and always complex life — relationship statuses with her mom Tokyo Toni, her exes, various lawsuits, business ventures and more.

Friday, Jan. 8

Amazon Prime Video
Original Film!

A single mother (Clare Dunne) escapes her abusive partner with her two young children and tries to rebuild her life.

Apple TV+
Season Premiere!

The Peabody Award-winning half-hour comedy/drama that audaciously explores the constraints of society, gender and family from the perspective of rebellious, young 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld) returns. In the 10-episode second season, Emily is pulled out of her private literary life and thrust into the public eye, while struggling with the sense that the pursuit of fame might be a dangerous game for her to play.

Marvel Studios: Legends
New Series!

This series serves as a refresher on the various heroes and villains making their way to the upcoming streaming shows premiering on Disney+, setting the stage for the upcoming adventures. The first two episodes launching today will feature Wanda Maximoff and Vision, who are featured in the upcoming series WandaVision, coming to Disney+ Jan. 15.

Original Film!

This Turkish film follows discontent Aziz, who is heading toward a midlife crisis. His relationship has stagnated, his job sucks and his family has taken over his home. All he wants is a little peace and relaxation. In an attempt to get out of this rut, Aziz ends up sucked into a web of lies.

Cobra Kai
Season Premiere!

This contemporary comedy/drama series that is a follow-up to the classic 1984 film The Karate Kid returns for Season 3, its first original season on its new Netflix home. Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and Martin Kove are back reprising their original roles.

New Series!

Omar Sy stars in this series that is a contemporary retelling of the classic French story about Arsène Lupin, a gentleman thief and master of disguise first chronicled in early 20th century detective novels by Maurice Leblanc. As a teenager, Assane Diop’s (Sy) life was turned upside down when his father died after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Now, 25 years later — after receiving a book about Lupin, which grants him resources and wealth, and multiple lives in which to spend them — Assane will use Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar as his inspiration to avenge his father.

Original Film!

On the eve of his 21st birthday, an adored prince must find his one true soulmate before a spell takes away all love from his kingdom. Wilmer Valderrama, Demi Lovato and Sia star.

Syndicated, check local listings

Legendary Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away Nov. 8 at the age of 80 due to complications from pancreatic cancer, but continued to work up until 10 days before his death. The last episode of Jeopardy! that Trebek recorded airs today, and it may be the only time in history that a game show has made viewers cry.

TCM Birthday Tribute: Elvis
TCM, beginning at 6:15am
Catch a Classic!

On what would have been his 86th birthday, Turner Classic Movies remembers King of Rock ’n’ Roll Elvis Presley with a 12-plus-hour lineup of films in which the music icon brought his charisma, charm and sex appeal to the screen as an actor as well as a rocker. Get all shook up watching and listening to the birthday boy in the following films, in order: Double Trouble (1967), Stay Away, Joe (1968), Charro! (1969), The Trouble With Girls (1969), Girl Happy (1965), Jailhouse Rock (1957), Viva Las Vegas (1964) and Spinout (1966).

MacGyver: “Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason”
CBS, 8pm

In the new episode “Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason,” Mac’s (Lucas Till) meeting with Desi’s (Levy Tran) parents takes an unexpected turn when her brother is in trouble and desperately needs their help.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?
The CW, 8pm
Season Premiere!

Hosted by comedian Aisha Tyler, this series features cast members Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie, who helped make the original U.S. version of this comedy improv series such a hit. Along with a special guest comedian in each episode, the cast members must put their comedic skills to the test through a series of spontaneous improv games.

Self-Made Mansions
HGTV, 8pm

Entrepreneurs who struck it rich with one brilliant idea and are now ready to make the ultimate upgrade to a high-end home will get the guidance they need from lifestyle expert Clinton Kelly. New episodes follow Clinton as he activates his personal passion for real estate and keen eye for design to show new millionaires what it means to live large.

The Wrong Fiancé
LMN, 8pm
Original Film!

When Abby (Jessica Morris), a photographer, is sent out of town on a job assignment by her boss Charlotte (Vivica A. Fox), she thinks it is the perfect opportunity to get away from her nightmarish ex-fiancé, Richard (Jason-Shane Scott). But Abby quickly discovers it may be impossible to escape Richard altogether.

Magnum P.I.: “First the Beatdown, Then the Blowback”
CBS, 9pm

In the new episode “First the Beatdown, Then the Blowback,” Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) help an up-and-coming mixed martial arts fighter who is being pressured by a gang to throw an illegal fight.

Penn & Teller: Fool Us
The CW, 9pm
Season Premiere!

On each episode of this one-hour competition series, aspiring magicians are invited to perform their best trick to try to fool the world-famous team of Penn and Teller. Anyone who succeeds wins the right to perform with Penn and Teller in their celebrated show at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Frontline: “A Thousand Cuts”
PBS, 9pm

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is waging a crackdown on the press and on his prime target, journalist Maria Ressa. Ressa, the CEO and executive editor of the independent news site Rappler and a Time magazine Person of the Year, is currently facing jail time under a cyber libel law, and her case has become a cautionary tale of the escalating threat to freedom of the press. The film follows Ressa and her colleagues, and key players in the government through this escalating war.

Blue Bloods: “Redemption”
CBS, 10pm

Frank (Tom Selleck) must decide if a detective (guest star Ali Stroker) who is wheelchair-bound after being wounded in the line of duty can remain in the field in the new episode “Redemption.”

Saturday, Jan. 9

A Discovery of Witches
Sundance Now & Shudder
Season Premiere!

The modern-day love story that is set in a world where witches, vampires and demons secretly live and work alongside humans, hidden in plain sight, returns. Season 2 sees Matthew (Matthew Goode) and Diana (Teresa Palmer) hiding in time in the fascinating and treacherous world of Elizabethan London, where they must find a powerful witch to help Diana master her magic and search for the elusive Book of Life. In the present day, however, their enemies have not forgotten them.

NFL Football: AFC and NFC Wild-Card Playoffs
ABC/ESPN/Freeform/ESPN2, CBS/Nickelodeon, FOX & NBC, beginning at 1pm Live

The NFL playoffs expand to 14 teams this postseason, and there are now six games played on wild-card weekend. Seven teams in both the AFC and NFC are seeded 1-7, with the wild-card round being No. 7 at No. 2, No. 6 at No. 3 and No. 5 at No. 4. ABC/ESPN, CBS, FOX and NBC air traditional game broadcasts on Saturday and Sunday, with alternate game feeds on ESPN2, Freeform and Nickelodeon.

Florida Man Murders
Oxygen, 7pm
New Series!

This series zeroes in on America’s most notorious and outrageous killers from the Sunshine State. Often referenced as “Florida Man” in headlines, these killers commit bizarre and outlandish crimes that captivate the nation and sometimes feel as though they are straight out of a Hollywood movie. With the aid of Florida investigators and prosecutors, the series unravels the cases’ strange twists and examines what drove these killers to commit attention-grabbing murders brutal enough to mistake for fiction.

Rise of Empires: Ottoman
History, 8pm
New Miniseries!

In this six-part historical docudrama, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II wages an epic campaign to take the Byzantine capital of Constantinople and shapes the course of history for centuries. Charles Dance narrates, and Cem Yiğit Üzümoğlu and Tuba Büyüküstün star. The first three episodes air tonight; the series will conclude with its final three episodes tomorrow night.

Obsessed With the Babysitter
Lifetime, 8pm
Original Film!

Elaine, an injured dancer, catches the eye of a psychologist who believes her to be the perfect woman. Realizing he is manipulating her mind and using her injury against her, Elaine must escape with the children before she becomes another casualty in his psychotic study. Stars Kristen Vaganos, Simon Haycock and Castle Rock.

Flight of the Innocent: “North by Northwest” & “Saboteur”
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!

A number of classic Alfred Hitchcock films deal with the theme of a man wrongly accused who is forced to go on the run as he tries to clear his name and avoid the baddies who actually are guilty. Two of Hitch’s foremost examples of this theme can be seen in tonight’s TCM double feature, which the network is fittingly airing under the thematic umbrella title “Flight of the Innocent.” First up is North by Northwest (1959), which is not only one of Hitchcock’s finest “wrong man” films, but also one of the best films ever, featuring plenty of wit, excitement and suspense. Here, Cary Grant’s ad exec Roger Thornhill is mistaken for a spy and must flee across the country (eventually accompanied by Eva Marie Saint) as he is pursued by foreign agents (led by James Mason and Martin Landau) and the government, all leading to an iconic climax atop Mount Rushmore. Another thrilling ending atop a famed landmark — this time, the Statue of Liberty — is featured in tonight’s second feature, the World War II thriller Saboteur (1942). Robert Cummings’ aircraft factory worker Barry Kane is wrongly suspected of sabotage when a fire destroys his plant, and he is pursued by federal agents and the real saboteurs cross-country as he works to prove his innocence.

Most Terrifying With Jason Hawes: “Jason’s Top 10”
Travel Channel, 8pm
Season Finale!

From a ghostly pirate hideout to the spookiest castle in England, Jason Hawes reveals his top 10 haunted locations.

A New Year’s Resolution
Hallmark Channel, 9pm
Original Film!

When a morning show producer makes a New Year’s resolution to say “yes” more, she crosses paths with a confirmed Yes man who just might hold the key to her biggest story — and to her heart. Stars Aimee Teegarden and Michael Rady.

Ghost Nation: “Do Not Disturb”
Travel Channel, 9pm
New Episodes!

Jason, Steve, Dave and Shari investigate the Hotel Conneaut in Pennsylvania. Reports of a ghost bride and mysterious attacks have put the lakeside resort’s existence on the line, and the team must dig deep into the property’s fiery past to find answers.

Kindred Spirits: “Zombie Boy”
Travel Channel, 10pm

Amy Bruni, Adam Berry and Chip Coffey research claims of possession and lost time at a historic estate in Middleborough, Massachusetts. A mind-bending discovery makes the team realize that the paranormal field is more dangerous than anyone anticipated.