Horror in the nursery and on the streets of Naples returns, the queen of murder mysteries gets two specials and Marvel kicks off the TV arm of its film universe with a fresh, zany comedy.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
Roku has acquired the rights to the majority of Quibi’s programming portfolio, which accounts for more than 75 shows. It will make them free to stream in 2021 on the Roku Channel.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
Set in a Miami hotel room, “One Night in Miami” (Jan. 15, Amazon) imagines a conversation between Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) after Clay knocked out Sonny Liston in February 1964. Regina King directs.
Creepy horror series “Servant” returns for more scares of the infant kind (Jan. 15, Apple TV+). Lauren Ambrose plays a Type-A mom whose child is an actual baby or a baby-shaped doll, depending on the scene.
The TV section of the Marvel Cinematic Universe hits Disney+ with “WandaVision” (Jan. 15). The weird and funny story, which relies heavily on classic sitcom tropes, features secret superheroes Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) who start to suspect that something is off about their idealized suburban lives.
“Batwoman” starts its second season with Javicia Leslie in the title role following the unexpected exit of Ruby Rose (Jan. 17, The CW, 8 p.m. ET).
Agatha Christie wrote 66 murder mysteries, and several plays, including “The Mousetrap,” the longest-running play of all time. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English and a billion in translation. Millions of readers across the world know her characters but much less about the writer herself. Two new specials offer some insight on the prolific author. “Inside the Mind of Agatha Christie” (Jan. 17, PBS, 10 p.m. ET) uses her letters, manuscripts and notebooks to explain how her experiences shaped her stories while “Agatha Christie’s England” (Jan. 24, PBS, 10 p.m. ET) explores the settings of her work and their connections to real places.
In the early 1960s, Perth, Australia was plagued by a series of murders. The media was convinced that a serial killer was on the loose and nicknamed him “The Night Caller.” In a new true crime series of the same name, director Thomas Meadmore explores the case, the failure of the local police to connect the murders to one man until it was too late, and the devastating impact that the killer had on a community that eventually came together to hold the police accountable. “The Night Caller” premieres on Jan. 19 on Sundance Now.
The fight for control of the drug trade in inner-city Naples continues on the long-awaited third season of “Gomorrah” (Jan. 21, HBO). The story catches up with Genny and Ciro (Salvatore Esposito and Marco D’Amore) who are busy navigating a complex maze of secrecy and betrayal. For fans of gangster drama, it’s a welcome return.
Report Card: Ratings winners and losers
Winners: New comedy, “Mr. Mayor” (NBC), starring Ted Danson, debuted solidly in the ratings. Over 4 million viewers tuned-in for each of its first two episodes.
Losers: The potential “Arrow” spinoff about the Canaries will not go forward at The CW.
Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.
This article originally appeared on Taft Midway Driller: Stay Tuned column: Marvel’s ‘WandaVision’ is weird, wonderful fun