Daily Best Bets

Best-bets for Jan. 26: new night for ABC, old story for Trump

1) “Mixed-ish” season-opener, 9:30 p.m., ABC. Back in 1986, Bow says, her family loved “Dukes of Hazzard” – a show about White guys eluding the police in a car with a a Confederate flag. (“1986 was a really long time ago,” she decides.) She and her siblings (shown here in a previous episode), all mixed-race, had spent their early years on a commune, where race was never an issue. Now Bow’s brother is pulling off a racial deception, in an episode that’s fairly funny and sometimes serious. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 25: Laughs and deadly crises

1) “Bob (Hearts) Abishola,” 8:30 p.m., CBS. This wraps up a terrific two-parter that sees the romance wobbling. Bob and Abishola are engaged … but she hasn’t shed her marriage in her native Nigeria. Now her husband (shown here, right) is here, insisting they’ll never divorce. Strong wills collide, in a funny episode. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 24: Brady, Batwoman and witches

1) Football, 3 p.m. ET, Fox; 6:40 p.m., CBS. The conference-championship games start with two of the all-time great quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers (shown here) and the Packers host Tom Brady and the Bucs. Combined, those men are 80 years old and (counting post-season) have passed for 1,128 touchdowns, 333 interceptions and 50,462 yards. One will go to the Super Bowl, facing the winner of the game between the Chiefs (hoping quarterback Patrick Mahomes has recovered) and the Bills. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 23: BBC has a natural high

1) “A Wild Year on Earth” (shown here), 8 p.m., BBC America. This is what BBC does magnificently – gorgeous wildlife scenes, weaved together with a grand score. The six parts will cover two months at a time. That starts with a few creatures – great horned owls (beautifully filmed) and polar bears — that are comfy in the frozen North. We also learn odd facts: Otters have nature’s thickest hair; manatees, by comparison, need warmth because (despite appearances) they lack blubber. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 22: tough times for Red and Mac

1) “The Blacklist,” 8 p.m., NBC. After giving us exactly two episodes, “Blacklist” took a two-month break. At least, those two had some big moments – peaking with Red killing Liz’s mother, before she could reveal Red’s murky secrets to Liz. Now Liz is not happy; the former friendship (shown here in an earlier episode) has shattered. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 21: Comedies soar, “Walker” broods

1) “Mom,” 9 p.m., CBS. Even after a big loss – the departure of Anna Faris as Christy – this remains one of TV’s best comedies. Tonight, Jill (Jaime Pressly, right) worries that her romance with Andy (Will Sasso, left), the beefy cop, is over; her friends soon join her on a stake-out. That part is fairly good, but the big laughs come from Adam – Bonnie’s husband and Andy’s friend. When it comes to social signals, he’s genuinely clueless. 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. Garth Brooks, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga perform at the ceremony; 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…

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…

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…