“Mercy Street” season-opener, 8 p.m., PBS.
Chaos keeps bubblng
in this Virginia mansion, which was converted into a Union hospital.
The dentist (a Confederate spy) almost bombed President Lincoln, then
attacked someone who detected him. As doctors rush to save the
victim, Allan Pinkerton (head of Union intelligence) stares and
Summers frets about losing his new Washington job. Also, an activist
arrives to help her fellow ex-slaves. There's more, including a
furtive romance. Much of this is too frantic, too overwrought ... yet
holds our interest, with compelling characters in mid-crisis.
Football, 3:05 pm. ET Fox, 6:40 p.m. ET, CBS.
football, with the winners going to the Super Bowl. The first could
be an air war. Matt Ryan's Atlanta Falcons – the top-scoring team
by 100 points – host the Green Bay Packers, who have a troubled
pass defense, but a great quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) and an
eight-game winning streak.
Then Tom Brady's New
England Patriots – with a lofty 15-2 record – host the Pittsburgh
Steelers, who rode a tough ground game to last week's no-touchdown,
18-16 win over Kansas City.
ALTERNATIVE: “Homeland,” 9 p.m., Showtime.
Danes) has put her old life behind her now. She's out of the CIA,
running a defencants' law firm and spending time with her daughter.
Except, of course, that her old life never goes away.
The legal work is
painful, defending a young man who has a pro-terrorist Web site.
Also, Carrie may or may not be advising the female president-elect.
(That's asked and answered in this hour.) And she's temporarily
caring for Quinn, the ex-colleague with a shattered mind and troubled
soul. That leads to tonight's final scene, which reminds us that
Danes may be the best drama actress of her generation.
ALTERNATIVE II: “Masterpiece: Victoria,” 9 p.m., PBS.
Enough of the
life-and-death world of “Homeland” and “Mercy Street.” It's
time for some fun, watching the would-be romances of the rich and
The teen queen says
she wants to remain single; other royals seem determined to make a
match. Most of the prospects are dim; then there's Albert, an obscure
German prince with an interesting mind. Nothing is decided tonight,
but it's fun watching Jenna Coleman field the possibilites.
movies, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
Skillfully written, directed and acted, these films offer subtle
elegance, with Tom Selleck as a small-town police chief. Here are the
seven most-recent ones, from “Death in Paradise” (2006) to “Lost
in Paradise” (2015).
p.m. ET, NBC. The women had the primetime spotlight Saturday. Now the
men compete for their U.S. championships ... at a time when most
viewers will obsess on football.
8:30-11 p.m., NBC. Seth MacFarlane is big on Sundays, with Fox
cartoons (including “Family Guy” at 9 p.m. today); NBC counters
with a movie – a teddy bear comes to life – he wrote, directed
and co-starred in. Other top movies include the brilliant “Gone
Girl” (2014) at 8 p.m. on FX and the hilarious “Pink Panther”
(1963) and its sequel, at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on Turner Classic Movies.
“The Young Pope,”
9 p.m., HBO. The first public homily by Pope Pius XIII leaves
confusion. Now he asks Sister Mary (Diane Keaton) to present his
10 p.m. Sunday, ABC. On Monday, this moves to its new timeslot, a
comfy one behind “The Bachelor.” First, here's a final Sunday
rerun (nudging the “Conviction” finale back to next Sunday). Alex
and her colleagues scramble to destroy the biological weapon.
10 p.m. ET, CBS (or later, with football overrun). CBS takes
advantage of the big football lead-in to launch this
reality show, which then
moves to Wednesdays.Think of it as high-tech hide-and-seek: Nine
teams try to disappear in the U.S., while skilled pros try to find