Sofia Vergara as Griselda in Netflix's "Griselda."

Sofia Vergara as Griselda in Netflix's "Griselda." Credit: Netflix/Elizabeth Morris

After two lengthy strikes and the derailment of that once-unstoppable Peak TV express, will there be anything on TV to watch (at all?) this winter?

In fact, yes, and the international TV marketplace is why. South Korea and Japan have long produced first-rate TV series, and we'll be seeing more of those shortly. England, France and Germany have their own massive production combines. They too will be well-represented this winter.

In addition, those domestic producers that forged deals with overseas ones were even better positioned to get around the strike, a key reason why series like “Griselda” and “Shōgun” will be arriving shortly.

Then, there was the element of luck. After years of delay, “Masters of the Air” finally went into production in 2021, then wrapped before the Writers Guild strike began last May. It'll be here (on Apple TV +) by the end of January.

Meanwhile, a lot of network dramas and sitcoms were stockpiled in anticipation of a long strike last year. Those too will be arriving soon.

Here's a glance at a surprisingly packed winter lineup:


GRIMSBURG (Fox/5, 8 p.m.)

A sad-sack boozer of a detective (Jon Hamm) returns to sad-sack Grimsburg, which warns visitors on a signpost outside of town that “if you lived here, you'd be dead by now.” This animated series is also voiced by Erinn Hayes, Alan Tudyk, Rachel Dratch, Greg Chun and Kevin Michael Richardson.


Easter, 1940, and big (nonanimal-related) challenges lie ahead for Helen (Rachel Shenton), Siegfried (Samuel West) and James (Nicholas Ralph) in the 4th season launch of this still-unsurpassingly gentle TV escape from the real world.


JAN. 8


The poet (“Black Feeling/Black Thought”) and one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement of the late '60s is now 80, and despite a seizure that she says has robbed her of some of her memories, viewers will meet a dynamic artist who still engages audiences a fraction her age. (And no, she's not going to Mars, or anytime soon.)


JAN. 9

ECHO (Disney+, Hulu)

Alaqua Cox in "Echo."

Alaqua Cox in "Echo." Credit: Marvel Studios/Chuck Zlotnick

“Echo” arrives as the first of what Marvel is calling a “Spotlight” series, which means you don't really need to know anything about the ridiculously expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe from which it sprang. (How is that even possible?) This 5-part “Hawkeye” (2021) sequel brings back Alaqua Cox, reprising her hearing-impaired Cheyenne hero, Maya Lopez (Echo). Devery Jacobs (“Rservation Dogs”), Zahn McClarnon and Graham Greene also star.


JAN. 10


Cush Jumbo (“The Good Wife/Fight”) and Peter Capaldi (“Doctor Who,” “The Thick of It”) are a pair of London detectives vying to solve an old crime that began with an anonymous call. From what I've seen, this looks good.


JAN. 11

TED (Peacock)

Seth MacFarlane voices Ted.

Seth MacFarlane voices Ted. Credit: PEACOCK

Anyone remember Ted, the talking teddy bear with the comic sensibility of an Artie Lange and the voice of a Seth MacFarlane — the real Seth in fact? After a pair of movies, the TV series prequel is here: By 1993, we find Ted living in suburban anonymity in Framingham, Mass., with his best friend, 16-year-old John Bennett (Max Burkholder, “The Purge,” “Parenthood”), along with John’s parents, Matty and Susan (Scott Grimes and Alanna Ubach), and cousin Blaire (Giorgia Whigham). Ted is ordered to attend high school. Cue the laughs (a few genuine ones) and vulgarity. Seven episodes drop today.


JAN. 14


Veteran showrunner Tom Fontana wrote and produced this unusual sequel to Dashiel Hammett's “The Maltese Falcon,” and picks up with Sam Spade (Clive Owen) in the south of France right after the war, then fast forwards to 1963, and six horrific murders (of nuns) at a local convent. Spade's on the case — a particularly convoluted one. The series has a nearly-all-French cast (although Alfre Woodard is also here). “The Queen's Gambit” creator Scott Frank is a co-showrunner.



Jodie Foster and Kali Reis in HBO's "True Detective: Night...

Jodie Foster and Kali Reis in HBO's "True Detective: Night Country." Credit: HBO/Michele K. Short

After a hit-and- (mostly)-miss four-season run, “Detective” returns with a new showrunner (Issa Lopez) and hopefully new energy. Set in Alaska, this is about the disappearance of eight research scientists, and the two detectives, Liz Danvers and her partner, Evangeline Navarro, brought in to find them. You probably already know Jodie Foster plays Danvers, but the actor behind Navarro may be even more compelling: Kali Reis, a recent World Boxing Council champ in a couple of weight classes.


JAN. 16


Rufus Cotesworth (Mandy Patinkin) is the World's Greatest Detective but he's hit a rough patch, or as we're told here, he's “been brought low by circumstances.” The circumstances we find him in at outset are onboard a luxury ship where he's been hired to protect a wealthy family. Murder, naturally, will happen. Rufus and protégé, Imogene Scott (Violett Beane), must find the killer and no doubt will. (In 10 “chapters,” two of which stream today.)


JAN. 17


This latest high-concept K-thriller — think “Squid Games”' or “Tunnel” — is about a teenager Jian (Lee Dong Wook) who's being chased by the world's deadliest assassins. What did poor Jian do to upset them? Watch the (wild) opening act, and you'll start to get the sense that she can handle herself perfectly well. 


JAN. 19

HAZBIN HOTEL (Prime Video)

This new animated series from (relative) newcomer Vivienne Medrano, is based on a 2019 YouTube video that she crowdfunded. Oh, and it's a musical and a comedy. Anyway, the “hotel” is a place where demons go to rehabilitate themselves so they can get into heaven.


JAN. 21


A woman (Ruth Wilson) wakes up on a wild, lonely stretch of road in Ireland with no memory of how she got there. Returning home, she finds a dead body in the wall of her house, and has no idea how that got there either. This 10 — partner is really about Ireland's so-called “Magdalene Laundries” — asylums once run by Catholic orders to imprison so-called “fallen women.”


JAN. 23


Yup, he's back in his third streaming comedy special — this time on Prime. It streams just one month before the launch of his new “Owl's Don't Walk” tour.



This “American Experience” film looks at the notorious German-American Bund of the 1930s, with a side glance at Camp Siegfried, the Bund camp that brought thousands each weekend out to Yaphank.


JAN. 25

GRISELDA (Netflix)

Sofia Vergara in "Griselda."

Sofia Vergara in "Griselda." Credit: Netflix

Sofia Vergara stars as the Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco (who died in 2012). Sure you're supposed to think of a female-centric “Scarface,” but Vergara? Here's a tip to viewers: Don't even think “Gloria Delgado-Pritchett.” In fact, Vergara is a good dramatic actor, and from what I've seen so far, shouldn't have much trouble carrying this six-parter.


IN THE KNOW (Peacock)

This stop-motion comedy comes from the funny Zach Woods (“The Office”) and Mike Judge (“Silicon Valley,” and so much more). It's about stop-motion “hosts” who interview real people.


SEXY BEAST (Paramount+)

Recall the much acclaimed Ben Kingsley 2000 crime thriller about the retired criminal (Ray Winstone) forced by a psycho (Kingsley) to rob a bank? The boys are back in this 8-episode prequel (starring James McArdle and Emun Elliott in the Kingsley/Winstone roles) set in the early '90s.



Long Island's own ghost whisperer is back in this new series marking her 10th year of live touring. It's new, but really? As she told Newsday TV recently, “at the end of the day, I still talk to dead people.” She calls this series a “more intimate, behind-the-scenes” look at the process. Viewers will also see her on the road, wrapping with the recent live show at the Paramount.


JAN. 26

EXPATS (Prime Video)

Brian Tee and Nicole Kidman in "Expats." 

Brian Tee and Nicole Kidman in "Expats."  Credit: Amazon MGM Studios

Nicole Kidman stars in this 6-part adaptation of Janice Y. K. Lee's 2016 novel, “The Expatriates,” about three women living as expats in Hong Kong. Sarayu Blue (“I Feel Bad”), Ji-young Yoo (“Smoking Tigers”) and Jack Huston (“Boardwalk Empire”) also star.



Ncuti Gatwa in "Masters of the Air" on Apple TV+.

Ncuti Gatwa in "Masters of the Air" on Apple TV+. Credit: Apple TV+/Robert Viglasky

Donald L. Miller's 2006 “Masters of the Air: How The Bomber Boys Broke Down the War Machine” was an intricate (and highly readable) account of the 8th Air Force in World War II and now comes the TV-worthy adaptation. This nine-parter arrives with a laundry list of superlatives — all-star cast (Austin Butler, Barry Keoghan, Nate Mann, Callum Turner), vast production budget ($250 million, and renowned production team (Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Steven Spielberg).


JAN. 31

FEUD: Capote vs. The Swans (FX/FXX, 10)

Those “swans”' (glamorous women) who told Truman Capote (Tom Hollander) their deepest secrets usually lived to regret their candor. This second season of Ryan Murphy's anthology vividly explains why. The cast of this Gus Van Sant-directed eat-the-rich satire includes Naomi Watts, Chloë Sevigny, Calista Flockhart, Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald and Diane Lane. This also marks Treat Williams' last TV role following his death last June.


FEB. 1

GENIUS: MLK/X (Nat Geo, 9)

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X after King's press conference...

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X after King's press conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 26, 1964 about the Senate debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Credit: Library of Congress via Disney +/Marion S. Trikoskor

In an unusual move for a franchise that launched in 2017 with just one towering subject (Albert Einstein), “Genius” has devoted the fourth season to two. How to link disparate lives with sharply differing views of the struggle over Civil Rights in (just) eight episodes? The opening minutes offer a hint, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Kelvin Harrison Jr., “The Trial of the Chicago 7”) and Malcolm X (Aaron Pierre, “The Underground Railroad”) meet for the first time in Washington, D.C. on the eve of the vote to pass the Civil Rights Act. That was 1964, or just a year before the publication of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” — and his assassination. 


FEB. 2

MR. AND MRS. SMITH (Prime Video)

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." 

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."  Credit: Prime Video/David Lee

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine (“PEN15”) co-star in this remake of the 2005 Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt movie about the husband/wife spy team. There's a big supporting cast too (John Turturro, Paul Dano, Michaela Coel, Parker Posey, Sarah Paulson, Sharon Horgan, Alexander Skarsgård, Ron Perlman).


FEB. 4


Larry David attends the premiere of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm"...

Larry David attends the premiere of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" at Paramount Pictures Studios on Oct.19, 2021 in Los Angeles. Credit: Getty Images/Rich Fury

With his series ending after 24 years and 12 seasons, star and creator Larry David has said nothing about what to expect about this sprint to the April 7 finish line. But Jerry Seinfeld has: “Something is going to happen that has to do with that ['Seinfeld'] ending,” he said at a gig in Boston this past fall. “And just what you are thinking about, Larry and I have also been thinking about it. So you’ll see, we’ll see.”


The 369th Infantry Regiment — the Harlem Hellfighters — spent 191 days in the trenches of France and suffered more than 1,500 casualties , both records for an American regiment during World War I but as narrator Robin Roberts (whose father was one of the Tuskegee Airmen) says here, “their legacy has been overlooked for over a hundred years [and] that changes now.” Formed in 1916 as the 15th New York National Guard Regiment, overcame “the Germans and racism, segregation, and prejudice at home,” per History notes, while this one-hour film spotlights some forgotten stories, like that of James Reese Europe, a popular bandleader, soon to be a Hellfighter standout.


FEB. 8

ONE DAY (Netflix)

The day of their graduation from the University of Edinburgh on July 15, 1988, Emma (Ambika Mod, “This Is Going to Hurt”) and Dexter (Leo Woodall) meet at a party, then chastely spend the night together. And if this sounds familiar, well it should: Anne Hathaway starred in the 2011 rom-dram based on the David Nicholls novel that follows a pair of lovers over 20 years, each year on the same day. (Fans of “The White Lotus” will vividly remember Woodall as Jack, the lover of Tom Hollander's Quentin.)

FEB. 9


Based on a manga series by Kaiji Kawaguchi, “The Silent Service” was about a Cold War Japanese/American nuclear sub that went rogue then headed for New York — presumably with ill intent. A “Hunt for Red October”-like chase ensued. A live-action movie adaptation streamed recently on Prime, and now the series, also live action, and once again, with a Japanese cast.


FEB. 11

TRACKER (CBS/2, after the Super Bowl; regular time slot, Feb. 18 at 9)

Justin Hartley in CBS' "Tracker."

Justin Hartley in CBS' "Tracker." Credit: CBS/Michael Courtney

Based on the 2019 Jeffrey Deaver novel, “The Never Game,” about Colter Shaw — a survivalist and backwoodsman who helps the cops track people, this is the big new network entry of the winter. Starring Justin Hartley (“This Is Us”) as Colter, the series picks up the action (and the trail) in Alaska. Mary McDonnell and Robin Weigert also star.

FEB. 12,13

GOSPEL (WNET/13, 9) 

This four-hour tour, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., as tour guide, explores that “one sound that has been a constant source of strength, courage, and wisdom from the pulpit to the choir lofts on any given Sunday.” With lots of interviews, and especially lots of music, “Gospel” should be public TV's major draw this winter.


FEB. 14


Ben Mendelsohn in "The New Look." 

Ben Mendelsohn in "The New Look."  Credit: Apple TV+

In postwar Paris, designer Christian Dior (Ben Mendelsohn, “The Dark Knight Rises”) is almost instantly ascendant, but such fame does not come without complications (or back story). For one, the top designer, Coco Chanel (Juliette Binoche) has set a target on his back: What did her rival do during the four-year Nazi occupation of Paris, and for whom did he do it? Maisie Williams, John Malkovich, Emily Mortime, and Claes Bang also star. Ten episodes drop today.


FEB. 16

LIFE & BETH (Hulu)

This Amy Schumer dramedy returns for a second season, with a throughline that picks up on the end of the first, and distantly echoes her own life: “As Beth [Schumer] and John's [Michael Cera] relationship grows more serious, Beth begins to examine the possibilities of marriage and having a family, as she and John seek answers for their communication problems.”


THIS IS ME … NOW: THE FILM (Prime Video)

Jennifer Lopez will release her first album in a decade on Feb. 16, and to mark the occasion, here's the already much-promoted film. As the trailers have indicated (or promised) a deep look into the musical and emotional journey of J Lo, and Ben Affleck is certainly part of this as well.


FEB. 19


After “Oppenheimer,” this docudrama (with archival footage and re-creations) feels like a natural extension. It explores Albert Einstein's life and work, but picks up in 1939 when he signed the letter written by physicist Leo Szilard warning FDR of the Nazi development of the atomic bomb. Nothing to see (yet) but this does sound promising.

FEB. 21


As more evidence that Apple TV+ has enough money to buy Hollywood, this ten-parter from “Breaking Bad” producer Michelle MacLaren and written by Peter Harness (“Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell”) is about “a woman who returns to Earth after a disaster in space — only to discover that key pieces of her life seem to be missing.” “Better Call Saul's” Jonathan Banks and Noomi Rapace (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) head the cast.


FEB. 22


Gordon Cormier as Aang in  Netflix's "Avatar: The Last Airbender."

Gordon Cormier as Aang in  Netflix's "Avatar: The Last Airbender." Credit: Netflix

There is perhaps no other series this winter as anticipated or as dreaded as this live adaptation of the Nickelodeon cult classic (2005-08). Of that dread, there are reasons, like the other live adaptation (the panned 2010 movie) and also that the series creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, have already left over “creative differences.” This series is set in a place ruled by four elements (water, earth, fire, air) while the “avatar” (played by Gordon Cormier) is the only one who can “bend” them all, bringing harmony to a world under attack.


FEB. 25


The series about the dead that will never die returns in this latest spinoff with a pair of genuine fan faves, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira.) This first season has six episodes.


FEB. 27


Hiroyuki Sanada as Yoshii Toranaga in FX's “Shōgun."

Hiroyuki Sanada as Yoshii Toranaga in FX's “Shōgun." Credit: FX/Kurt Iswarienko

Shōgun were the military rulers of Japan from 1185 to 1868, and also the inspiration for James Clavell's 1975 bestseller set in 1600, about the rise of one feudal lord in particular named Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada, most recently “John Wick: Chapter 4") with the help of a marooned sailor named John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis, “Persuasion,” in the role that Richard Chamberlain played in the 1980 NBC miniseries) This ten-parter — filmed in Canada and Japan — has a huge Japanese cast, and contains a lot of Japanese dialogue. From what I've seen (and heard), this and “Masters of the Air” are the two must-watch series of early 2024.


FEB. 29


Carrie Preston in  CBS' "Elsbeth."

Carrie Preston in  CBS' "Elsbeth." Credit: CBS/Elizabeth Fisher

Carrie Preston is returning as her character of the same name from “The Good Wife” and “Good Fight.” Need we say more? Oh, right, she's in New York now and one of her clients is the NYPD. Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”) and Cara Patterson (“Rustin”) also star.



The guy who wakes up in the Australian outback with no memory (amie Dornan) is back for a second season. The logline: “Elliot [Dornan] and Helen [Danielle Macdonald] travel to Ireland to find answers about Elliot’s identity, but instead, they are forced to face the dangerous consequences of his past actions.”


JAN. 7 “Great North”

JAN. 9 “LaBrea”

JAN. 17 “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Med”

JAN. 18 “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Law & Order: Organized Crime”

JAN. 22 “The Bachelor”

FEB. 7 “The Conners,” “Abbott Elementary,” “Judge Steve Harvey,” Not Dead Yet”

FEB. 12 “NCIS,” “The Neighborhood,” “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “NCIS: Hawai'i”

FEB. 13 “FBI,” “FBI: International”

FEB. 15 “Ghosts,” “Young Sheldon.” “So Help Me Todd”

FEB. 16 “Blue Bloods,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Fire Country”

FEB. 18 “American Idol,” “The Equaizer,” “CSI: Vegas”

FEB. 20 “The Rookie,” “The Good Doctor,” “Will Trent”

FEB. 26 “The Voice”

FEB. 28 “Survivor”

MARCH 4 “So You Think You Can Dance,” “MasterChef Jr.”

MARCH 5 “The Cleaning Lady”

MARCH 6 “The Masked Singer,” “Animal Control”

MARCH 13 “The Amazing Race”

MARCH 14 “9-1-1,” “Grey's Anatomy,” “Station 19"

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