Week’s top-10 for Jan. 17: Star mastered tragic drama, vibrant musical

1) “Women of the Movement” (shown here) conclusion, 8-10 p.m. Thursday, ABC. In a packed Mississippi courtroom, two women offer crucial testimony. One is a store clerk, 27; after Emmett Till (14, visiting from Chicago) talked to her in 1955, he was kidnapped and killed. The other is his mother, Mamie. The case would propel the civil rights movement; Mamie Till-Mobley would go on to be an educator and an activist. This wraps up an intense, six-hour mini-series; a documentary will follow at 10 p.m.. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 15: Big dudes play superhero or football

1) “Peacemaker” opener, 10:15 p.m., HBO. Chris (John Cena, shown here) is a superhero, but not the modest sort. He has a pet eagle, a red-white-and-blue car and a weird helmet he even wears in a restaurant. He’s also a survivor; in the second “Suicide Squad” movie (8 p.m. on HBO), he was shot and a building fell on him. Now he’s out of the hospital; the result – launching an HBO Max series – leaps between fierce action and sharp wit, beautifully written by director James Gunn and perfectly played by Cena. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 14: Tough “Ray” pierces reality overload

1) “Ray Donovan: The Movie,” 9 and 10:40 p.m, Showtime. The “Ray Donovan” series ended a year ago, with lives shattered. Ray’s daughter was widowed, his half-brother was wanted by police and his dad was running loose with $20 million in stolen stock. Now Ray (Liev Schreiber, shown here) phones his therapist to say he’s killed his father. Then the story backs up a little – and a lot; flashbacks show the rift that sent the dad to prison for decades. This is beautifully acted and sharply crafted, but it’s also a tough, bleak ride. Read more…

ABC plans Oscar host, adds Koy pilot, renews “19”

(Please note: This is anewsy TV brief, from information that’s EMBARGOED until 12:45 p.m. ET today. The “Station 19” info is embargoed until noon, the Jo Koy info until 12:45, so please don’t put this online or elsewhere until then.)
By Mike Hughes
Looking ahead to next season – one without “Black-ish” – ABC has ordered a comedy pilot with comedian Jo Koy (shown here).
It has also nenewed “Station 19” for its sixth year. “Grey’s Anatomy,” the show that spawned it, had already been renewed for its 19th year.
Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 13: Lots of laughs … and real-life agony

1) “Call Me Kat,” 9 p.m., Fox. Low-key and kind of goofy, this is also oddly enjoyable. In the season-opener (after football on Sunday), Kat (Mayim Bialik, shown here in a previous episode) was in the unfamiliar position of choosing between two guys. She chose Oscar; now the show settles into its regular slot as they try to celebrate and their friends, Randi and Carter, build their own romance. The result, as usual, is light and likable. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 12: Octopus is a fine houseguest

1) “Nature,” 8 p.m., PBS. Many teens might be expected to walk the dog or feed the cat; Laurel Scheel may have been the only one to feed and play with the octopus. Her dad, David, is a professor at Alaska Pacific University. After years of standard research, he went a step further – keeping an octopus named Heidi (shown here) in a tank in his house. Heidi surprised him by solving some obstacles, bonding (especially with Laurel) and watching TV. This rerun is light and entertaining, but also has nuggets of information. Read more…

“Naomi” transforms young lives

Imagine a teen girl whose world suddenly flips upside-down.
That’s what happens in “Naomi,” the new teen-superhero series (9 p.m. Tuesdays) on the CW network. It’s also what happened to Kaci Walfall (shown here), who stars. At 16, she was suddenly flying from New York to Los Angeles and Atlanta for a new life ,,, and new eats.
That was courtesy of Mary-Charles Jones, who plays her best friend and lives in Atlanta, where “Naomi” is filmed. “She sent me a great list of food when we first came here,” Walfall said. Read more…

She found stardom in both Manhattans

Like many show-business stars, Bridget Everett (shown here) is from Manhattan.
But this is the other Manhattan, the one in Kansas. “They actually call it the Little Apple,” she said.
Now that’s the setting for “Somebody Somewhere,” which debuts at 10:35 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 16) on HBO, rerunning at 12:40 a.m. It’s a comedy-drama that faces a key fact:
Growing up in America’s mid-section, kids might see life divided into two phases: There are the school years, when they can do it all – arts, academics, sports, more. Then there’s … well, the rest of life. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan.10: hot football or frozen Texas

1) Football, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN2. Five weeks ago, two powerhouse teams collided; Alabama beat Georgia, 41-24, for the SEC championship. Now they do it again, for the national title, with no clear-cut favoite. Outside of that game, Georgia is 13-0, with an average score of 48-7; Alabama (shown here) is 12-1, with a 41-18 average. Tonight, one will become champion. Read more…