TV Best Bets

Tuesday, Jan. 26: The Johnsons Are Back for More in ‘mixed-ish’ Season 2 on ABC

ABC/Brian Bowen Smith

All Times Eastern.

Tuesday, Jan. 26

ABC, 9:30pm
Season Premiere!

Season 2 will continue to tell the story of a young Rainbow Johnson (Arica Himmel) and her family as they recount the experience of being a mixed-race family in the ’80s and the dilemmas they face as they navigate a world where the kids are perceived as neither black nor white. While the parents deal with the social dynamics of fitting into the suburbs, Rainbow and her siblings find themselves figuring out how to fit in when everyone else can’t decide where they belong.

Special Theme: The Studio System: “Universal & Paramount”
TCM, beginning at 11:30am
Catch a Classic!

TCM’s final look at the heyday of Hollywood’s studio system features films from two iconic studios. Universal dominates the morning and afternoon, with the film lineup featuring Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931); Abbott and Costello in Buck Privates (1941); Deanna Durbin in It Started With Eve (1941); Rock Hudson in All That Heaven Allows (1955); and Tony Curtis and Jeff Chandler in Six Bridges to Cross (1955). The primetime film lineup is devoted to Paramount, with Mae West in I’m No Angel (1933); Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in Road to Utopia (1946); Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor (1963); Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake in The Blue Dahlia (1946); and Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich in Morocco (1930).

To Tell the Truth
ABC, 8pm
Season Premiere!

Hosted by black-ish star Anthony Anderson, To Tell the Truth is the funny reimagination of the beloved game show featuring prominent pop-culture icons and unique commentary and banter from Anderson’s mother, Mama Doris, bringing the excitement to another level.

ABC, 9pm
New Episodes!

In its seventh season, black-ish will continue to tell stories that shine a light on current events through the lens of the Johnson family, addressing the global pandemic, voting, systemic racism, and the movement for social justice and equality.

Fixer to Fabulous: “Historic House Gets Pretty Pink Overhaul”
HGTV, 9pm

After seeing the overhaul they did on her parent’s house, a woman moving back to Bentonville knows that Dave and Jenny can create her dream home, too. The Marrses use her love of pink to craft the ultimate starter home that she’ll never want to leave.

PBS American Portrait: “I Rise”
PBS, 9pm

Go inside the lives of people working to create an anti-racist American future. They film themselves doing the hard work, confronting the obstacles and achieving the small victories that could add up to real change in the movement for racial justice.

Big Sky
ABC, 10pm
New Episodes!

This thrilling series from David E. Kelley returns with new episodes.

The Proof Is Out There
History, 10pm

Journalist Tony Harris analyzes what’s really going on in bizarre footage, photos and audio of unexplained phenomena. Back-to-back episodes include an impossible escape from a sinking car, a man’s superhuman reflexes, NASA photos of possible Mars colonies and a mysterious global hum.

Frontline: “China’s COVID Secrets”
PBS, 10pm

This is the untold story of the first two months of the coronavirus pandemic in China. It investigates the origins of the outbreak, when the Chinese authorities first knew about it, and what they told the world. Interviews with Chinese scientists and doctors, international disease experts, and health officials unravel the tale of early missed opportunities to suppress the outbreak, and the lessons for the world.

The Misery Index
TBS, 10:30pm
Season Premiere!

Back for its third season, this series features teams competing against each other by attempting to rate hilarious and miserable real-life events based on the “misery index,” a ranking system created by a team of therapists. Jameela Jamil stars as the show’s host with the Tenderloins comedy troupe and stars of Impractical Jokers — Brian “Q” Quinn, James “Murr” Murray, Joe Gatto and Sal Vulcano — starring as recurring panelists. This season will feature special appearances from celebrity guests including Travis Kelce, Joel McHale and All Elite Wrestling’s Jon Moxley.

The Terror
AMC, 3am

Tonight through Friday, spend the wee hours with this 2018 series — about ill-fated Royal Navy explorers in the Arctic — that critic Matt Roush called “a Masterpiece version of a classic horror movie.”

Wednesday, Jan. 27

New Series!

This Turkish series follows a mysterious hitman named Gölge (Engin Ozturk). After betraying and escaping from the wealthy and sinister Servet Nadir, who raised him, Gölge suddenly finds himself living in a 50-square-meter tailor shop in a foreign neighborhood. While hiding in there until the situation settles down, he discovers that those in the neighborhood think that he is the son of the deceased storeowner, and he goes with that. However, Gölge quickly realizes that maintaining this identity won’t be as easy as he thinks.

Penguin Bloom
Original Film!

Naomi Watts (also a producer), Andrew Lincoln and Jacki Weaver star in this drama based on the book by Bradley Trevor Greive and Cameron Bloom, and inspired by real-life events. In 2013, Samantha Bloom (Watts), was paralyzed from the chest down. Sam — a lifelong outdoorswoman, surfer and traveler — was unrecognizable to herself, and spent long months in a depression. A year later, her children brought home a wounded baby magpie they found and named “Penguin.” Sam bonded with the household’s new member, beginning a process of emotional healing that surprised her husband and sons, her mother (Weaver) and herself.

NBA Basketball
ESPN, beginning at 7:30pm Live

LeBron James leads the L.A. Lakers into Philadelphia for a matchup against Joel Embiid and the 76ers. In ESPN’s second game, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors host the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Big Interview With Dan Rather: “Randy and Mary Travis”
AXS TV, 8pm

Dan Rather has a moving conversation with country music legend Randy Travis seven years after the stroke that left an indelible mark on Travis’ life and career. Together with his wife, Mary, Travis explains his road to recovery and the fight to regain his mobility, speech and singing, and takes viewers through his powerful performance of “Amazing Grace” at the 2016 Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The couple reflects on their love story and the moment in the hospital when Mary knew her husband was ready to keep fighting for his life.

House in a Hurry: “Carolina Is Calling”
HGTV, 8pm

Tracy and Skyeler have always wanted to live in North Carolina. In 2008, the couple attempted to make it happen, but the United States was rocked by a recession and they were forced to move home to Eugene, Oregon. Twelve years and two kids later, the planets are aligning and the two are ready to make the leap once more. With their current home already under contract, they have no time to spare finding their next family home in the Tar Heel State.

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

TCM’s final night of films dedicated to classic murder mysteries concludes with an evening of cinematic portrayals of famous crime-solvers. The schedule begins with After the Thin Man (1936), featuring William Powell and Myrna Loy in one of their many beloved outings as mystery-solving high-society couple Nick and Nora Charles. Powell returns in tonight’s next film as Philo Vance in The Kennel Murder Case (1933). Then, it’s Alastair Sim as Inspector Cockrill in Green for Danger (1946); Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson in The Woman in Green (1945); Warren William as Perry Mason in The Case of the Lucky Legs (1935); Ray Milland as Bulldog Drummond in Bulldog Drummond Escapes (1937); and George Sanders as Simon Templar (a.k.a. “The Saint”) in The Saint Strikes Back (1939).

For Life
ABC, 10pm
New Episodes!

Aaron (Nicholas Pinnock) continues his battle against the very political machine that once put him away, undeservedly, as the wrongfully convicted prisoner turned litigator and social crusader embarks on a more personal journey.

True Conviction: “Dead Wrong”
Investigation Discovery, 10pm

Horse grooms at a racetrack find one of their own dead in her dorm. Her death is ruled a suicide, but her family suspects foul play. Three years later, the original investigator gets a tip about an eerily similar death 1,400 miles away. Can this suicide be turned into a homicide case? A detective who won’t give up hope tries to connect the two and bring closure to the families of these victims.

Resident Alien
Syfy, 10pm
New Series!

Based on the comic book, this series follows Harry (Alan Tudyk, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Firefly), an alien who crash-lands on Earth and passes himself off as a small-town human doctor. Arriving with a secret mission to kill all humans, Harry starts off living a simple life, but things get a bit rocky when he’s roped into solving a local murder and realizes he needs to assimilate into his new world. As he does so, he begins wrestling with the moral dilemma of his mission and asking the big life questions like “Are human beings worth saving?” and “Why do they fold their pizza before eating it?”

Thursday, Jan. 28

NBA Basketball
TNT, beginning at 7pm Live

TNT’s Thursday NBA doubleheader opens with Kawhi Leonard and the L.A. Clippers in South Florida for a showdown with Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. The second game takes place in Houston, where Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers face John Wall and the Rockets.

Celebrity Wheel of Fortune
ABC, 8pm

It took nearly 38 years for the beloved syndicated game show to go primetime with celebrities spinning the iconic wheel for charity — and now we don’t want the feel-good fun to stop. Neither does longtime letter-turner Vanna White, who admits she got starstruck meeting The Bachelor host Chris Harrison in particular, and emotional in general: “When I’d see the amounts [they’re winning] for their charity, it is so heartwarming, you can’t help but tear up.” Having four million-dollar wedges on the all-cash wheel certainly feeds the excitement, as does the playful trash-talking among the contestants: “You see a little tension,” White says, laughing. “It’s like, ‘Wait. How’d you get that? I should be getting that!’ ” She’s also enjoying having her own mic — another show first — and joining the game chatter. “The celebrities are able to say, ‘Vanna, why wasn’t there an R?’ And I say, ‘I’m sorry!’”

Lethal Weapon
AMC, 8pm
Catch a Classic!

While five years earlier Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte had paved the way for the modern era of “buddy cop” movies that paired action with some humor with their film 48 Hrs., it was 1987’s Lethal Weapon that took the genre to a new and often-imitated (even by its own three sequels) level. Danny Glover plays Roger Murtaugh, an LAPD detective who has just turned 50, is close to retirement and is, as he likes to remind people, “Getting too old for this @#$%.” Mel Gibson, who had already been established as an action star at the time thanks to the initial Mad Max films, forged a new iconic action character for himself as Martin Riggs, the apparently unstable partner assigned to a reluctant Murtaugh. The actors’ chemistry is great as the men feel each other out and begin to understand each other while they work to bring down the bad guys. Those bad guys are former Special Ops forces who are now smuggling heroin into the country, led by creepy characters like Gary Busey’s brutally psychotic Mr. Joshua, one of the most memorable of the ’80s action-movie villains.

grown-ish: “Hard Place”
Freeform, 8pm

As her relationship with Javi heats up, Ana makes a discovery about him that challenges her entire belief system. Meanwhile, Aaron learns about Cal U’s investment in private prisons, challenging him to reconnect with his activist roots.

Flipping Across America
HGTV, 8pm

In this new episode, Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead (Flip or Flop) are flipping a house in Anaheim, California, designed by an iconic midcentury architect. Eric and Lindsey Bennett (Desert Flippers) are working on a midcentury marvel of their own in Palm Springs. Both teams bought their houses for around the same price, and both have a lot of work to do to restore them to their former glory. Will the market make a difference in which team gets the most bang for their buck?

Mr. Mayor
NBC, 8pm

Deputy mayor Arpi Meskimen (Holly Hunter) helps her boss, Neil Bremer (Ted Danson), prep for his trickiest public service since taking office. Sadly, it has nothing to do with the robot police force he referenced in the series opener.

Rehab Addict Rescue
HGTV, 9pm
New Series!

In this case, SOS means Save Our Structures! Overwhelmed owners call on renovation pro Nicole Curtis to help them restore the stately homes they purchased. First up: a pair who bought an old 8,000-square-foot mansion and only have a few thousand dollars left to fix it up.

Go-Big Show
TBS, 9pm

A stunt motorcycle rider and rodeo athletes are among the acts performing for judges Snoop Dogg, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Nettles and Cody Rhodes on the over-the-top talent show this week.

Friday, Jan. 29

The Ray Bradbury Theater
Comet , 1pm

Veteran actor Richard Kiley — so memorable as a Nazi in the Night Gallery pilot — shines again in the horror anthology genre. In this 1992 outing, he seeks the ultimate revenge on a childhood bully.

NBA Basketball
ESPN, beginning at 7:30pm Live

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are in the Big Easy for a battle with Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. ESPN’s second game features Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks in Salt Lake City for a showdown with Bojan Bogdanovic and the Utah Jazz.

Self-Made Mansions: “Hometown Heroes”
HGTV, 8pm

Clinton Kelly helps Jeresha White, creator of a childcare empire, and Travis and Cathleen Rivera, owners of a nationally renowned coffee company, find the homes of their dreams.

Starring Laurence Harvey
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!

British actor Laurence Harvey (born in Lithuania as Zvi Mosheh Skikne) only lived to age 45, but in that short time he was able to star in a number of memorable performances, three of which are featured in tonight’s lineup. The evening begins with a movie featuring perhaps Harvey’s most famous role, as traumatically brainwashed war veteran and potential assassin Raymond Shaw in the classic political thriller The Manchurian Candidate (1962), alongside Frank Sinatra and Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Angela Lansbury, who delivers a truly chilling villainous performance. Next, Harvey costars as the married lover of Best Actress Oscar winner Elizabeth Taylor’s call girl character in the 1960 drama BUtterfield 8. Finally, he and Kim Novak lead the 1964 British adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s classic novel Of Human Bondage.

Little Women: Atlanta
Lifetime, 9pm
Season Premiere!

The Southern sextet face their biggest challenges yet in Season 6: dealing with the pandemic and the loss of Ashley “Minnie” Ross, who died in a car crash last April. An aftershow follows.

Lidia Celebrates America: “A Salute to First Responders”
PBS, 10pm
Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich travels across the country visiting the men and women serving on the front lines. Lidia meets first responders who’ve worked quietly in the shadows and now find themselves thrust into the spotlight by crises facing the country. From coast to coast, Lidia follows dedicated police officers, firefighters, paramedics, military and medical workers, and also observes firsthand the prominent role that food plays in these first responders’ lives.

Saturday, Jan. 30

Captain Blood
TCM, 5:45pm
Catch a Classic!

Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland were relative unknowns when Warner Bros. took a chance on casting them to lead this 1935 swashbuckler that finds Flynn portraying a 17th-century doctor who, with other prisoners, escapes his cruel island imprisonment in the West Indies and becomes a pirate. The studio’s gamble paid off — Captain Blood became a hit and established Flynn as a dashing screen hero; he and de Havilland’s pairing was so effective and popular that they went on to costar in seven more films; and the film received two official Oscar nominations. Director Michael Curtiz was not officially nominated for an Oscar, but received the second-greatest number of votes solely as a write-in candidate. Likewise, composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold — who somehow was not officially nominated by the Academy for his rousing, romantic and iconic musical score — was third on the final ballot due to a write-in campaign, as was screenwriter Casey Robinson in his category. The film did not win any Oscars, but remains an action classic.

Wendy Williams: The Movie
Lifetime, 8pm
Original Film!

Talk show host Wendy Williams executive produces this biopic on her life, revealing the highs and lows she has experienced throughout the years. The film provides a revealing look at Wendy’s journey, from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show. Despite all the naysayers and obstacles Wendy encountered throughout her life, her strength and determination have allowed her to thrive. Ciera Payton stars as Wendy, and Morocco Omari stars as Wendy’s ex Kevin Hunter.

NBA Basketball: L.A. Lakers at Boston Celtics
ABC, 8:30pm Live

Primetime Saturday NBA action on ABC has LeBron James and the 2020 NBA champion L.A. Lakers at TD Garden to face Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics.

Hallmark Channel, 9pm
Original Film!

New Yorker Kate (Jen Lilley), who never leaves Manhattan, travels to Canada for a writing assignment where she unwillingly finds herself on a tour of the great outdoors with an adventurous tour guide, Noah (Chris McNally).

Wendy Williams: What a Mess!
Lifetime, 10pm

The self-anointed Queen of all Media, Wendy Williams, sheds her private persona and speaks directly to the camera, discussing every inch of joy and humiliation she has experienced since childhood in this deeply personal documentary. It’s a raw, no-holds-barred look with never-before-heard truths about Wendy’s notorious feuds with celebrities, her shocking divorce, her childhood and the private darkness she has endured.

Heartland Docs, DVM
Nat Geo Wild, 10pm
Season Premiere!

Kindhearted rural Nebraska veterinarians Erin and Ben Schroeder return for a third season of their unscripted series and more difficult cases: a horse with the worst leg injury they’ve ever seen, a dog with new pups and a deadly infection, and a combative cat hiding a secret. The married couple also bid a (happy) farewell to a clinic favorite.

Kindred Spirits: “Libby House”
Travel Channel, 10pm

Amy Bruni and Adam Berry check themselves into the historic Libby House in New Hampshire to investigate a haunting so vivid the ghostly guests in Victorian dress are mistaken for the living. With help from psychic medium Chip Coffey, they make a startling discovery that uncovers a very disturbing presence.

Saturday Night Live
NBC, 11:30pm

The cast return to Studio 8H for their first show of the new year, and Alex Moffat officially begins his term as President Joe Biden.

Sunday, Jan. 31

From Here to Eternity
TCM, 2:45pm
Catch a Classic!

In this legendary 1953 drama, passion and tragedy collide on a military base as a fateful day in December 1941 draws near. Private Prewitt (Best Actor Oscar nominee Montgomery Clift) is a soldier and former boxer being manipulated by his superior and peers. His friend Maggio (Frank Sinatra, in a role that established the beloved singer’s acting career) tries to help him but has his own troubles. Sergeant Warden (Best Actor Oscar nominee Burt Lancaster) and Karen Holmes (Best Actress Oscar nominee Deborah Kerr) tread on dangerous ground as lovers in an illicit affair (their embrace in the surf remains an iconic Hollywood scene). Each of their lives will be changed when their stories culminate in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The film won eight of the 13 Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), and Best Supporting awards for Sinatra and for Donna Reed as a not-so-wholesome “club hostess.”

Love Is a Piece of Cake
UPtv, 7pm

Another TV movie, another heroine in danger of losing her beloved business to a developer at the same time she’s falling in love! This time, she’s a baker (All Rise’s Lindsey Gort).

Disasters at Sea: “Capsized”
Smithsonian Channel, 8pm

When a massive passenger ferry sets sail with its huge bow doors wide open, it capsizes in just 90 seconds — taking the lives of nearly 200 people. But this oversight alone shouldn’t have spelled disaster. Investigators have two mysteries to solve: what was different about this night; and why had no one closed the doors?

American Gods
Starz, 8pm

Noble hero Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and the smarmy Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) put aside their differences to rescue Bilquis (Yetide Badaki).

All Creatures Great and Small: “A Tricki Case”
PBS, 9pm

While Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) gives Tricki-Woo the spa treatment, James (Nicholas Ralph) deals with Helen’s (Rachel Shenton) champion bull. Meanwhile, Siegfried (Samuel West) makes a decision about Tristan.

How Did They Build That?: “Supertalls & Firehouses”
Smithsonian Channel, 9pm

Discover what happens when the world’s most radical architect reinvents a 100-year-old fire station in Rotterdam’s port area; how engineers managed to keep one of the world’s tallest residential skyscrapers standing; and the building that would have been impossible just 10 years ago.

Cal Fire
Discovery Channel, 10pm

The real-life heroes of Cal Fire (the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) race to battle neighborhood blazes in Southern California before the famed hot and dry Santa Ana winds arrive and spread the flames even faster. When the gales do hit, crews fight a tragic memory along with the inferno.

The Long Song
PBS, 10pm
New Series!

Based on a novel by Andrea Levy, this series is set during the final days of slavery in 19th-century Jamaica. It follows the hardships and survival of plantation slave July and her mistress Caroline, and stars Tamara Lawrance and Hayley Atwell. In the first episode, Caroline adopts the child slave July as her maid. July grows up to witness the Christmas Rebellion and the radical transformation of her world.

Mountain Monsters: “The Great Skull Wall”
Travel Channel, 10pm

The team continues to be guided by Trapper’s journal as they head out to do a field investigation equipped with Wild Bill’s “cutting-edge technology.” After hearing a mysterious roar from the hollers, the team sets out in the darkness to determine its source. They close in on an entrapped creature as Willy heads inside a hallowed tree and comes face-to-face with the beast. The team then encounters a land marker unlike any they have ever seen. What is the meaning of this great wall of skulls, and what monster lurks behind the bone-filled boundary?