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When do shows return? Let’s update, via ABC, CBS, Fox changes

The list of returning TV shows now gets a major update.
Newly arrived are the mid-season plans (January, mostly) for Fox and for ABC’s game and reality shows. That follows CBS’ news that its entire Friday line-up will start Dec. 4. And it follows ongoing arrivals, including “Young Sheldon” (shown here).
The only major shows still in limbo are ABC’s “The Rookie” and two CBS shows — “Evil” and the Queen Latifah reboot of “Equalizer. Here’s a revised list of season-opener dates, alphabetical by category. It sticks to primetime and to the five commercial broadcast network; others — cable, streaming, PBS — tend to have shows come and go throughout the year. It skips shows that were simply added to fill gaps this fall. Read more…

It’s charming-village time, yet again

A familiar story gets fresh twists in “The South Westerlies.”
That’s a mini-series that arrives Monday (Nov. 9) on the Acorn streaming service (www.acorn.tv). Despite a slow-start and an open-ended finish, it’s a journey worth taking.
And it happens to be a scenic journey. This is set in West Cork, an Irish area popular with tourists, with its jagged coastline and even a tad of surfing.
Kate Ryan (Orla Brady, shown here) used to love summers there, but now she’s strictly a city person, living in Dublin and ready for a promotion to Oslo. First, however, she’s assigned to spend some time in a West Cork village. Read more…

It’s a Sean-a-thon on Nov. 6

A Sean-a-thon is coming to cable on Friday (Nov. 6).
It’s a BBC America nod to Sean Connery, who died Oct. 31 at 90. His first three James Bond films will run back-to-back — “Dr. No” (1962) at 3:30 p.m. ET, “From Russia With Love” (1963) at 6 and “Goldfinger” (shown here) at 8:30.
Watch them in order and you’ll see the Bond films transform. “Dr. No” is a fairly straightforward, tough-spy tale. “From Russia With Love” also starts that way, adding some glitz in the later scnes. “Goldfinger” is sheer golden glitz, setting a pattern for decades to come.
You’ll see the transformation again on Nov. 29, when BBC America reruns those three movies, plus one apiece with Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. You also may agree on this: Craig and Brosnan are very good, but Connery is the ultimate Bond. Read more…

Waiting for CW shows? Be patient

It will be a slow roll-out – very slow, in some cases – for CW’s new-season shows.
Most will arrive in an eight-day stretch from Jan. 17 (“Batwoman,” now with a new star, shown yhere) to Jan. 24 (“Charmed”). But viewers will have to wait until Feb. 8 for “Black Lightning” and Feb. 23 for “The Flash” and the new “Superman & Lois.” Read more…

Film captures a passionate, election-time Chicago

“City So Real” is epic in size, scope and ambition.
Its debut – 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) Thursday on the National Geographic Channel, before moving to Hulu on Friday – runs six hours. And that’s without commercials.
During that time, it tries to portray the entire city of Chicago. Mostly, it succeeds.
Steve James has used segments of Chicago as the backdrop for many of his films – “Hoop Dreams,” “The Interrupters,” “Life Itself” and “America to Me.” But now he wants to portray an entire city. Naturally, it t centers on an election (shown here). Read more…

Yes, books — real, physical ones — are still an artform

Yes, this is an era of Twitter and Tik Tok and tiny treatises. Thoughts are expressed in 280 characters.
But there’s a flip side to that. “The physical book is alive and well, thank you very much,” Mark Dimunation says in “The Book Makers” (shownhere), which airs Tuesday (Oct. 27) on PBS World and then is at pbs.org.
He should know; he works at the Library of Congress (as head of the rare books division), a place that has 38 million books. There are plenty more coming, as the film finds at the CODEX Book Fair. Read more…

CBS sets start dates for more shows

By the end of next month, CBS will have most of its fall line-up in place.
The network has just announced five more season-openers – “The Unicorn” on Nov. 12, “Bull” on Nov. 16, “FBI” and “FBI: Most Wanted” on Nov. 17 and “SEAL Team” (shown here) on Nov. 25.
Previously, it announced 10 November starts, ranging from three comedies Nov. 5 to “NCIS” on Nov. 17.
That leaves only five shows in limbo – all three Friday ones (“MacGyver,” “Magnum” and “Blue Bloods”), plus “Evil” and CBS’ only new drama this fall, Queen Latifah in “The Equalizer.” Read more…

Masterful films eye voting and gossip

Let’s say you decide to turn Tuesday (Oct. 20) into a documentary film festival.
You ignore the rest of TV – “Voice,” “Bachelorette,” even the World Series – and watch two PBS films back-to-back. It’s “American Masters” at 9 p.m. and “Frontline” at 10:30 (check local listings).
Chances are, you’ll emerge impressed. These films are richly crafted … yet thoroughly different.
The “Masters” film – “Walter Winchell: The Power of Gossip” – is set mostly in the 1930s to ‘50s; the “Frontline” one – “Whose Vote Counts?” – is about the current chaos of long lines (shown here) and tangled rules for votin Read more…

Baseball bumps Bart’s “Treehouse” tales

One national pastime (baseball) has blotted out another (“The Simpsons”).
That means this year’s “Treehouse of Horror” episode (shown here) – a good one – will be delayed by Fox. However, the previous ones will be rerun often on cable.
Fox had been promoting the 31st annual “Treehouse,” a “Simpsons” Halloween special that spins three bizarre tales. What it sometimes didn’t mention was that the show would be bumped if a seventh and final game emerged in the National League playoffs.
And then? The Atlanta Braves led three games to one, but the Los Angeles Dodgers won the next two, forcing the game at 8 p.m. ET Sunday (Oct. 18). Read more…