Kicking off the new year, Fox plays it safe with a new police drama, while Netflix opts for some controversy. Happy 2020!
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
- It’s the case of the missing jersey. Fox Sports Films announced the premiere date for “The Great Brady Heist,” which investigates the disappearance of Tom Brady’s jersey after the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl LI win over the Atlanta Falcons. Debuting on Feb. 1, the documentary offers new footage, conversations with Brady and the first on-camera interview with the thief.
- EPIX has greenlit a 10-episode season for a drama series based on the Stephen King short story “Jerusalem’s Lot.” Set in the 1850s, the series will star Adrien Brody as Captain Charles Boone, who moves his family to his ancestral home in Maine after his wife dies at sea. Dark and sordid family secrets soon reveal themselves. Production begins in May 2020 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a planned fall 2020 premiere.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
- Director Ron Howard’s “Pavarotti” will make its television debut on Showtime (Dec. 30, 8 p.m. ET). The intimate look at the beloved opera singer will feature his iconic performances and never-before-seen footage.
- If staying home to watch New Year’s Eve specials are more your thing than going out to celebrate, you have plenty of options. Carson Daly and Julianne Hough host NBC’s annual event live from Times Square, with Leslie Jones working the crowds. On ABC, it’s Ryan Seacrest and Lucy Hale on hosting duty for “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve.” Steve Harvey anchors the celebrations for Fox and PBS showcases the New York Philharmonic with a 90-minute special that celebrates the orchestral music of Stephen Sondheim in “Live from Lincoln Center: New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve 2019: Sondheim Celebration” (8 p.m. ET).
- Science Channel is starting off 2020 with a bang, literally. “The Explosion Show” (Jan. 1, 10 p.m. ET) goes behind the scenes to explore how things go boom. Hosts Tory Belleci and Tommy Passamente suit up with a California-based bomb squad, design a firework show, get up close and personal with blast waves and explore the special effects magic behind some of Hollywood’s most iconic explosions.
- Netflix begins the new year with a controversial thriller about a mysterious Middle East religious leader who is pursued by the CIA. “Messiah” stars Belgian actor Mehdi Debhi as a prophet who defies the Islamic State. Is he the genuine Messiah? Or a political agent with bad intentions? Also this week is “Spinning Out,” a drama about a competitive ice skater who attempts a comeback after a traumatizing injury.
“Deputy” (Jan. 2, Fox, 9 p.m. ET) stars Stephen Dorff as Bill Hollister, an old-fashioned fifth-generation lawman, more interested in justice than politics, who is suddenly appointed to lead the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department. Expect a police drama/modern-day Western.
Report Card: Ratings winners and losers
Winner: Netflix renewed “Virgin River” for a second season.
Loser: NBC’s broadcast of “Global Citizen Prize” scored low.
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.