Weekly Previews

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…

Week’s top-10 for Jan. 11: New shows, new Batwoman

1) “Batwoman” season-opener, 8 p.m. Sunday, CW. This could have crumbled when Ruby Rose (shown here) quit the title role. Instead, it’s better than ever. We won’t spoil any surprises, but the bat suit ends up with Ryan (Javicia Leslie, the sister on “God Friended Me”), a homeless, jobless ex-con (she says she was framed) with martial-arts skills. Passionate and energetic, she’s worth rooting for. Meanwhile, Alice – the hour’s one over-the-top character – schemes, disguising Tommy as the missing Bruce Wayne. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Jan. 4: New shows, new bachelor, old games

1) “Mr. Mayor” debut, 8 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday, NBC. Neil (Ted Danson, shown here) looks like a mayor; he’s tall and silver-haired. But when it comes to government, he has no experience or goals; he ran to impress his teen daughter, who remains unimpressed. This is a slickly written comedy from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the “30 Rock” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” duo. The first episode is good, the second is big, broad and very funny; both get strong support from Holly Hunter and Bobby Moynihan. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Dec. 27: Stay-at-home New Year

1) “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” 8-11 p.m. Thursday and 11:30 p.m. to 2:13 a.m., ABC. Back in 1973, Dick Clark launched his clever hybrid: He was in Times Square live, cutting to music that was taped in California. Later, competition forced him to add live music in New York. This year, that includes Jennifer Lopez and Jimmie Allen. Ryan Seacrest (shown here) hosts with Lucy Hale and Billy Porter, who duets with Cyndi Lauper. Ciara hosts the California part, with Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, Nelly and more. Read more…

Week’s top-10: Christmas movies, music, more

1) “A Christmas Story” (1983) marathon, 8 p,m. (TBS) and 9 p.m. (TNT) Thursday. At first glance, this is just a modest-budgeted film by the guy who directed “Porky’s.” But it manages a rare feat – mixing warm nostalgia with dark humor. This is the 1940s and Ralphie (shown here) has one desire — to have a Red Ryder BB gun. Cleverly written by Jean Shepherd and others, “Story” keeps surprising us. Here’s the annual, 24-hour marathon, rerunning every two hours. With two networks, you can start it at the top of any hour. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Dec. 14: Finals for “Voice,” “Masked,” more

1) “The Masked Singer” finale, 8-10 p.m Wednesday, Fox. Three finalists remain, masked up as Sun, Crocodile and Mushroom. Chances are, they’re music pros; they’ve already outlasted some strong talent – Tori Kelly (shown here in her Seahorse mask), Taylor Dane, Paul Anka, Clint Black and Dr. Elvis Francois, the Mayo Clinic’s “singing surgeon.” Then again, snowboarder Chloe Kim and basketball’s Lonzo Ball also made it close to the finals.. Tonight, the last three will be unmasked and the judges will choose the champion. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Dec. 7: Lotsa Christmas, lotsa football

1) “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” 7:30 p.m. Sunday, PBS. For a time, one of TV’s greatest half-hours (shown here) seemed to be out of reach for most viewers. The entire “Peanuts” collection had gone to Apple TV+; that’s fine for Apple’s 40 million subscribers, but what about everyone else? Fortunately, there are solutions: The show will be available to non-subscribers this weekend (Friday through Sunday, Dec. 11-13) online. And on Sunday, it gets this spot on PBS – which seems ideal for a show that satirizes commercialism. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Nov. 30: CBS has its (almost) full line-up now

1) “MacGyver,” “Magnum, P.I.” and “Blue Bloods” season-openers, 8-11 p.m. Friday, CBS. In one sudden swoop, we get an entire night of adventure hours. That starts with Mac (shown here) and his team infiltrating a glamorous hotel; they must find someone with key information … but she has a new identity and a new face. Then Magnum’s new case leads to Higgins being shot and TC being abducted. And on “Blue Bloods,” Frank (Tom Selleck) and the City Council speaker (Whoopi Goldberg) clash over protests. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Nov. 23: Parade, cartoons and lotsa football

1) “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, NBC, repeats 2-5 p.m. Each year, this marks the start of TV’s Christmas season – this time, a season of change. The fuss of past years (shown here) will be gone. Floats will “parade” for one block, before the NBC cameras. There will be no spectators, no outside bands; some performances will tape in advance. The line-up has Broadway musicals (“Hamilton,” “Mean Girls,” “Get Ready,” “Jagged Little Pill”) and individuals — Dolly Parton, Bebe Rexha, Sofia Carson, Leslie Odom Jr.,, many more. Read more…