1) “The Loudest Voice” debut, 10 p.m. Sunday, Showtime. As Fox News prepares to premiere, its rehearsals are a disaster. A host bumbles, directors flail … and a dog has just taken an on-camera dump. The boss, Roger Ailes, will soon call a 4 a.m. meeting, filled with loud rage. Won’t this be a disaster? Not really. Ailes, understands a new TV era; instead of seeking a mass audience, he’s carving a specific one. Russell Crowe (shown here) plays the role with a skilled mix of subtlety, venom and volume.
2) “Big Brother” season-opener, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, CBS. It’s time for millennials – frisky, pretty ones – to take over CBS’ summer. Julie Chen Moonves introduces 16 strangers; 14 are between 22 and 31, joined by a “thirty-ish” model and a Texas oil engineer, 53. The others include a waiter, a “wine safari guide” and such. Tommy Bracco danced in Broadway’s “Newsies” and “Pretty Woman”; Analyse Talavera, described as a “soccer star,” was a reserve at the University of Nevada.
3) “The Amazing Race” finale, 9-11 p.m. Wednesday, CBS. This began with 11 reality-veteran duos – five from “Amazing Race,” three each from “Survivor” and “Big Brother.” Now, 25,000 miles later, three of those “Race” vets remain – Colin Guinn and Christie Woods are “life partners,” Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl are friends, Leo Temory and Jamal Zadran are cousins. The lone outsiders are Nicole Franzel and Victor Arroyo, “Big Brother” vets who are engaged. Now, one duo will win $1 million.
4) “In the Dark” season-finale, 9 p.m. Thursday, CW. Last week’s episode ended with a double jolt: There was a sudden romance between Murphy (the blind woman obsessed with solving her friend’s murder) and Dean (the cop working the case). Then came word linking a cop – maybe Dean – to the killing. That sets up a terrific finale, with great work from Perry Mattfeld as Murphy and Rich Sommer as Dean. There are tense scenes and spectacular moments; “Dark” ends its season with raw power.
5) “The Son” series-finale, 9 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 29), AMC, rerunning at 10:05. Sprawling across Texas and across 130-some years, this has told a massive story. In the 1850s, young Eli has been “rescued” by soldiers, but is still a Comanche at heart …. In 1916, the old Eli (Pierce Brosnan) has his mega-ranch in oil counry …. And flashing forward, his granddaughter is the elderly matriarch, flashing his cold pragmatism. Last week, she told her version of his death; tonight, an epic story ends fiercely.
6) First Democratic debates, 9-11 p.m. ET Wednesday and Thursday, NBC. Three years ago, Republican debates drew huge ratings. Now the networks hope to repeat that on the other side. A semi-random drawing has given each night a mix of better-known and lesser-known candidates. Wednesday has Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Bill de Blasio, Amy Klobuchar and more. The rest – including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg – will follow on Thursday.
7) “Legion” season-opener, 10 p.m. today, FX. This starts with a 1950s-style test pattern … then seems to be a 1960s LSD film. A teen (newcomer Lauren Tsai) is barraged by images telling her to do … something. She ends up in a kaleidoscope and beyond, in a world that makes Alice’s wonderland seem semi-normal. What’s going on? “Legion” viewers know not to ask, just go with the weird flow. After 20-some minutes, we finally re-meet David, whose mind has strayed through many realities.
8) “Tiananmen: The People vs. The Party,” 9-11 p.m. Tuesday, PBS. Thirty years ago, China was on the brink of transformation. “It was China’s Woodstock,” an activist recalls. “It was the first opportunity of the people, since 1949, to fully express themselves.” Tiananmen Square was packed with protesters … a million Beijing workers went on strike … and leaders talked of compromise. Then the army opened fire and it all crumbled into violence. The story is passionately told by activists and others who were there.
9) “Life in Pieces” series finale, 9 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, CBS. This season started with a very bad family vacation; it ends (almost) with a better one. Matt helps his grandfather (Paul Dooley, 91) plan a trip to the Bahamas; Greg, forever competing with his brother, tries to top him. Then the finale finds the siblings facing life decisions. Matt has a job offer in Germany, Jen and Greg are looking for a new house and Tim and Heather – with no grandkids likely soon – think about having another baby.
10) “What Just Happened?” debut, 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Fox. This is for fans of “The Flare.” They’ll discuss the latest episode, visit the set, even go to Comic-Con. The catch: “The Flare” doesn’t exist; it’s a made-up show, based on a made-up book, “The Sun is the Moon at Night.” In an offbeat comedy, we’ll see glimpses of the fake show (molded by the “24” director), with fake reactions from the host (Fred Savage), his guests (Ken Jeong, Rob Lowe) and even one of its stars (Shiri Appleby).
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