Year: 2021

“Walker”: An eternal TV show walks anew

From time to time, people have asked Paul Haggis about “Walker, Texas Ranger,” which he co-created.
“You can’t kill it with a stick,” he would say with a grin.
Not that he would want to; the show has been an eternal payday. It ran for nine years and 196 episodes … was a TV movie … reran on cable … reached more than 100 countries … and now is back as “Walker,” debuting at 8 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 21) on CW.
It has spanned generations. When the show debuted in 1983, Jared Padalecki (shown here), the new Cordell Walker, was 11; Lindsey Morgan, who plays his ranger partner Micki Rodriguez, was 3. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 20: all-day inauguration

1) Presidential inauguration, noon ET, everywhere. It’s the start of a new era … or, at least, the end of a noisy one. Joe Biden will be sworn in and give his inaugural address. The news channels and the big networks plan to be there long before — starting with the morning shows — and afterward. Biden and three ex-presidents plan to go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; at night — see next item — Bruce Springsteen (shown here) and others perform. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 19: dramas on inaugural eve

1) “The Resident,” 8 p.m., Fox. Here’s the rare case of a show that keeps getting better. Merely OK at first, it keeps adding depth. That peaked with last week’s season-opener, which focused on the COVID crisis, but also flashed ahead to a post-pandemic time and the Nicolette/Conad wedding. Tonight’s excellent hour stays in the future, with a high-profile patient (shown here) and aftershocks from last week: Devon’s father, a cab driver, died of COVID. Dr. Cain, nudged by his boss, did unneeded surgeries. And Austin and Okafor had a surprise kiss. Read more…

CW is back (finally) with good, bad and Walker

If there’s a TV award for pandemic patience, it should go to the CW network.
Others scrambled to get many of their shows on the air by November; CW simply waited. Now – midway through the season – most of its shows are starting their seasons. The result, as usual, is mixed:
– One show is surprisingly good. The first season of “Batwoman” (8 p.m. Sundays), shown here, was beautifully crafted, in a grim and gloomy way. Then its star quit; the show found a way to keep the quality, while brightening a bit. “We wanted to add a little fun to the show,” said producer Caroline Dries, “because it is so bleak.” Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 18: A top-quality MLK Day

1) “Bob (Hearts) Abishola,” 8:30 p.m., CBS. This has quickly become one of TV’s best comedies, built around two sorta-opposites. Bob is wealthy and sometimes whimsical; Abishola is neither – she’s a diligent nurse who’s been raising her son ever since her husband returned to their native Nigeria, eight years ago. Now the husband is back; Abishola is still married to him … and is engaged to Bob, who meets him (shown here) today. It’s the first half of a two-week story that offers big laughs and strong emotions. Read more…

Black actresses found fame and frustration

This was the sort of break a young actress might covet:
Abbey Lincoln was given the same dress – red, tight, low-cut – that Marilyn Monroe had worn. She could become the new Black sex symbol.
Her reaction? She later told a friend she’d burned the dress. “I’m not wearing no white woman’s hand-me-down.”
That’s an example of the independent spirit shown by many Black women — including Lincoln, Lena Horne (shown here) and others — in Hollywood. Now we see that in “How It Feels to Be Free,” a fascinating “American Masters” film at 9 p.m. Monday (Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Day) on PBS (check local listings). Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 17: Meet Eliza and Batwoman

1) “Miss Scarlet and the Duke” debut, 8 p.m., PBS. Eliza Scarlet has always wanted to solve crimes, like her dad did. She learned his skills, but now faces a roadblock: This is Victorian London, when women aren’t taken seriously … and Eliza (Kate Phillips, shown here) is the very image of a society beauty. To succeed, she needs the reluctant support of Detective Inspector William Wellington, kmown as The Duke. The result spins some good mysteries, brightened by bits of humor and human quirks. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Jan. 18: MLK Day and Inaugural Day

1) Presidential inauguration, Wednesday. A new era begins in two phases: At noon ET, Joe Biden is sworn in as president and gives his inaugural address. And from 8:30 to 10 p.m., Tom Hanks hosts “Celebrating America” on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, news channels and more. The evening will include music – Demi Lovato (shown here), Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Ari Clemons, John Legend, Foo Fighters and, reportedly, Jennifer Lopez – plus remarks by Biden and Kamala Harris and tributes to medical people, teachers, police and others. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 16: Heat of night, cold of day

1) Football, 4:35 p.m., Fox, and 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC. We’re two steps from the Super Bowl, with this weekend’s winners colliding next week for the conference championships. First, the Packers (shown here with Davonte Adams), who are used to the cold, host the Rams, who aren’t; the winner faces Sunday’s Bucs-Saints winner. Then the Bills (another cold-weather team) host the Ravens; the winner faces Sunday’s Browns-Chiefs winner. Read more…

Inauguration special adds Springsteen and more

Plans for TV’s Inauguration Day special have expanded.
Now Bruce Springsteen (shown here), John Legend and the Foo Fighters have been added. They join a music line-up (from scattered locations) that has Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons and, reportedly, Jennifer Lopez.
That will be from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 20) on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC and more. It will be live in the East and delayed in the West, with many networks setting news specials at 8 p.m. Other Inauguration Day TV details include: Read more…