Chris Pine delivers a stand-out performance in a dark mystery, Fox gets edgy with the latest live TV musical and CNN debuts an acclaimed documentary.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
Gillian Anderson will play British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in season four of “The Crown.” The Netflix series about Queen Elizabeth II has yet to announce its third season premiere date but the streaming service renewed it for seasons three and four in 2017.
Wendy Williams is taking an extended leave from her daytime talk show due to health complications related to Graves’ disease. Williams revealed her diagnosis of the disease last February. After a week of airing reruns, “The Wendy Williams Show” will return to original episodes featuring guest hosts on Jan. 28.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
For fans of true crime, Netflix is streaming a four-part documentary to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Ted Bundy’s execution. “Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” features taped interviews with Bundy that previously have not been made public. It airs on Jan. 24.
Sadly, it’s not the bad place playing a trick on us. “The Good Place” ends its third season this week (NBC, Jan. 24, 9:30 p.m. ET). It will be back for season four.
A new Comedy Central series takes a look at the siblings of an overnight success in “The Other Two” (Jan. 24, 10:30 p.m. ET). After 13-year-old Chase becomes a breakout internet star, his aspiring actor brother and his sister, a former professional dancer, try to figure out their feelings about his sudden fame. Former “Saturday Night Live” star Molly Shannon plays their mother.
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” begins the second half of its final season (Netflix, Jan. 25). Will selfless Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) finally put herself first? With Jane Krakowski as Jacqueline and Carol Kane as Lillian, this quirky comedy has a skilled ensemble cast that holds it together, particularly the always funny Tituss Burgess as who else, but Kimmy’s selfish, lovable, over-the-top roommate Titus.
Live TV musicals are getting edgier. It began with “Sound of Music” then moved on to “Peter Pan” and “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.” On Jan. 27, it’s “Rent: Live” (Fox, 8 p.m. ET, PT tape-delayed). The Tony Award, Grammy Award and Pulitzer-winning musical about seven struggling artists living in New York City’s East Village stars Vanessa Hudgens.
Imagine learning you’re a triplet after coincidentally being reunited with your siblings as an adult. Three brothers share that story in acclaimed documentary “Three Identical Strangers” (CNN, Jan. 27, 9 p.m. ET), which uncovers the dark secrets behind their separation.
Chris Pine gives a strong performance as a ruined reporter who teams up with Fauna (India Eisley), a teenager girl who wants to investigate her mysterious past in “I Am the Night” (TNT, Jan. 28, 9 p.m. ET/PT). Written by Sam Sheridan, the story is inspired by true events.
Report Card: A look at ratings winners and losers
Winners: “Dirty John” was Bravo’s highest rated freshman series in four and a half years among total viewers.
Losers: Hulu has cancelled space exploration drama series “The First” after one season.
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 @MelissaCrawley.