Best-bets for Jan. 23: ABC’s dramas are back

1) “Station 19” season opener, 8 p.m., ABC. The season starts big, with a car crashing into a bar. Trapped inside are Ben Gordon (the doctor-turned-firefighter/EMT) and Pruitt Herrera, the former firehouse chief; outside, Pruitt’s daughter Andy links with Robert Sullivan to try to get them out. That crosses over into “Grey’s Anatomy” … and Ben’s wife, Dr. Bailey (shown here), is soon on the scene. It’s a sharp, emotional hour … a promising start to a year that’s planning to continue blending the two shows. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 22: Arctic, Archie and Awkwafina

1) “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens” debut, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central. Nora Lum grew up in Queens, with a Chinese father and grandmother; she was 4 when her mother, who was Korean, died. She was an ambitious kid who studied classical music in high school and journalism in college, then became an outspoken rapper/actress named Awkwafina (shown here), now with an Oscar nomination for “The Farewell.” Here, she borrows only the funny parts of her life, for a loosely amusing series about a 30-year-old who is jobless and clueless and still living at home. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 21: The end is near for “Schitt’s” and “Arrow”

1) “Schitt’s Creek” (shown here), 9 p.m., Pop (rerunning at 12:30 a.m., after last week’s episode at midnight). In the final season, dreams extend beyond this tiny town. Johnny wants to buy a second motel; his son David wants to be a flight-attendant … a dream he stole from Stevie. It’s a funny episode that starts with a reminder: It’s difficult to have video-sex when a sharing a motel room with your brother and parents. Read more…

A hostless night (alas) begins

Let’s make this clear again — a no-host awards show is an awful idea
.Music shows can get away with it sometimes; the Oscars did because they had a musical start. But mostly, it’s a dreary notion … as proven by the Emmys, most of the Oscares and more.
These shows soon deteriorate into droning speeches, thanking agents and such. With rare exceptions — one at tonight’s Screen Actors Guild was Alex Borstein (shown here in her “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” role) — this becomes dull; it needs a clever host to spark things. Read more…

A small show, a tiny network … and big success

PASADENA, Cal. – For Dan Levy, it was a big (and uncharacteristic) step: He asked his dad for help.
The result is “Schitt’s Creek” (shown here), which has just started its final season, amid praise and nominations.And yes, his dad was surprised.
“He never came to me for anything,” Eugene Levy told the Television Critics Association. “I would say, ‘Do you need me to help you read lines?’ ‘No, no, I’ve got it.’” Read more…

It’s a miracle: Dark Ages are funny

PASADENA, Cal. – So you go to the Ivy League, where your parents spend approximately a zillion dollars.
Then … well, you write comedy. Will you ever use that education?
Sort of. Just ask Simon Rich, whose “Miracle Workers: Dark Ages” (shown here, with Daniel Radcliffe) is a new cable comedy.
“I did study Medieval history at Harvard,” he said. “And I live in fear that (my professors are) going to somehow get access to a television and watch this.” Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 20: Brains, Bob, bachelor, more

1) “9-1-1: Lone Star,” 8 p.m., Fox. After getting a big-platform start Sunday (after a football title game), this slides into its regular slot. In the opener, Owen (Rob Lowe, shown here) was asked to do in Austin, Texas, what he’d done in Manhattan – rebuild an entire firehouse staff after a tragedy. He hired his son and a collection of lone-wolf types; he also learned to co-exist with the EMT’s, led by Michelle (Liv Tyler). Tonight has a wave-pool tragedy, plus mercury poisoning that leaves zombie-like victims. Read more…

Hillary Clinton: “Vote for someone who will win”

PASADENA, Cal. – As Hillary Clinton prepares for a film-festival surge, she has a thought about the Democratic primaries:
Choose someone who will win in November.
“Vote for the person who is most likely to win,” she said this morning. “And not just the popular vote.
”That last part brought a laugh from the people who were questioning her, the Television Critics Association. Clinton won the popular vote by three million voters … but lost to Donald Trump in the electoral vote. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Jan. 20: Grammys and a million little shows

1) Grammy awards, 8-11 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS. Alicia Keys (shown here) hosts a night filled with music stars. Ariana Grande and Demi Lovarto will be singing; so will Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani. Bonnie Raitt will perform a tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award-winner John Prine; another lifetime award-winner, Run-D.M.C., will perform with Aerosmith. There’s much more, including Camilla Cabello, the Jonas Brothers, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, H.E.R., Charlie Wilson, Rosa, Lizzo, Tyler the Creator and late additions. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 19: Football and comedy soar

1) “Avenue 5” (10 p.m., HBO) and “Miracle Workers: Dark Ages” (10:15 p.m. ET, TBS and TNT) debuts. For fans of droll, dark comedy, it’s a great night. In a new show from the “Veep” creator, HBO has Hugh Laurie as captain of a tourist space ship … or as someone posing as captain of a ship which is now wandering off-course. And TBS has an almost-new comedy (shown here): The stars (Daniel Radcliffe, Steve Buscemi, etc.) and creator of “Miracle Workers” go to Medieval times, with hilarious results. Read more…