by Amanda Thornton, AKA Media Manda
Development Assistant, Red Arrow Industries
There is a flood of new programming coming through every network, which can become overwhelming when you’re just trying to relax and find something to watch on a Tuesday evening. Luckily, Media Manda has combed through loooong lists of programs and has found the best in scripted and unscripted for your viewing pleasure!
A&E’s has extended its season one run for a total of 21 episodes. The network’s original series boldly showcases the policing of America by following six diverse police departments in real time as they patrol their communities on a Friday night. Since its premiere in October 2016, ‘Live PD’ has averaged 1.1 million total viewers a week in Live+7 viewing. It has out-performed A&E’s regular primetime average by 29% with total viewers.
REVIEW: Basically this is COPS if it was live. The only difference is the hosts in a control type room who coordinate the live feed to different cities throughout the episode. They also have guests from the police departments on sometimes to explain their tactics and actions the officers make in the series. Sometimes the hosts narrate over the live viewings of the police officers in action to explain what’s going on or cutting to commercial breaks. This is definitely resonating with viewers, taking into account A&E’s first season extension for the series. However, it’s not always “live” as sometimes things happen when they are live in other cities, on a commercial break, or discussing events from previous live broadcasts. Overall, it’s a fascinating series to watch, but has with predicable awkward lulls in some spots of the live broadcast.
This sci-fi drama series is set in a parallel universe where technology is highly advanced and lifelike humanoids called Synths are the must-have machines for any household. Joe Hawkins decides to buy a Synth to help out at home, but his wife, Laura, feels uncomfortable around the humanoid. Elsewhere a widower tries to fix his malfunctioning Synth, Odi, who holds some precious memories of his late wife. The second season of Humans has Carrie-Ann Moss (The Matrix) joining the predominately British cast as an AI developer trying to solve the mystery of select synthetic robots gaining consciousness in a parallel-present England. Season 2 premieres February 13.
REVIEW: People think HBO’s Westworld was amazing and the best show about robots on TV. Well, in my opinion, it’s not. Humans on AMC was released one year before Westworld and covers much of the same principles about artificial intelligence with much more emotional depth and less flashy effects and scenery than Westworld. The series is one of my favorite shows on television today and I wish more people watched it, especially if you liked Westworld or Black Mirror. Season one is available on Amazon Prime for streaming.
Mark Halperin, John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon — co-hosts of the SHOWTIME documentary series THE CIRCUS — had unparalleled daily access to the candidates from January to November 2016. With an incredible treasure trove of never-before-seen footage secured during the making of THE CIRCUS, the documentary will follow the rise of Donald Trump, from the primaries through the debates, to the dramatic election night results. Premieres February 3.
REVIEW: Showtime aired a live political documentary show called The Circus that aired from January 2016 to the election. Throughout that series, you could tell they thought, like the rest of the world that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election, until it was evident she wouldn’t. This documentary film uses extra footage from the filming of that series to show just how in the world Trump won and leaves the viewer hanging for more at the end. All in all, it’s a pretty good documentary. The most memorable part for me was a scene where the interviewers ask a Trump aide if they think Trump will win, and he admits he doesn’t think he will.
Nat Geo Wild
Big Cat Week is an extension of the Big Cats Initiative, a long-term commitment by the National Geographic Society to stop poaching, save habitat and sound the call that big steps are needed to save big cats around the world. This global initiative actively supports on-the-ground conservation projects and education to help stem and eventually reverse the rapid disappearance of big cat populations. Premieres Monday, Feb. 20 at 9/8c.
REVIEW: This is one of my favorite animal themed weeks of the year next to Shark Week. I like Big Cat Week a little more because my dogs like it more than Shark Week. Plus, there’s more variety in Big Cat Week than Shark Week. With Big Cat Week, you can have cheetahs, lions, jaguars, and leopards. I sometimes feel like Shark Week focuses too much on the infamous Great White Shark and it seems to be the same old same old every year. All in all, the 7th Annual Big Cat Week is a fun group of specials to watch.
Everyone knows of the infamous feud between Hollywood legends Joan Crawford and Better Davis. This anthology series comes from FX’s favorite show runner, Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story). The anticipated series follows the behind-the-scenes antics of the only film Joan and Bette ever starred in together, the 1962 psychological thriller, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” Starring Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and American Horror Story alum, Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford, this series is sure to be fascinating.
REVIEW: While, I haven’t seen it yet, this is one series I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced. I recommend watching “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane” before the series releases, because judging by the trailer; they are reenacting scenes from the famous film. Although, some seasons of American Horror Story have been hits and misses, we can all agree The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was amazing. But, just because you have an all-star cast doesn’t always mean it’ll be a hit, so hopefully, this first installment of Feud is a hit and not a miss.
Features the Conservation Officers of New Hampshire Fish and Game who work tirelessly to preserve and protect the natural resources of the Granite State. New Hampshire’s wild and rugged landscape makes the state a premiere destination for outdoorsmen and women and makes the work of Conservation Officers diverse and demanding. They are tasked with enforcing all laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the state’s fish, wildlife, recreational vehicles, and marine resources and they prosecute all of their own cases involving offenders of wildlife law. Premieres March 5 at 9p.
The series, set to debut in March, charts the rise of some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs through intimate one-on-one interviews. Each episode looks at the trajectory of their success to date and explores what makes these individuals ‘brave’ – from their determination to their ability to embrace setbacks. Premieres in March 2017.
Near the nation’s capital, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health, sits Building 10: the largest hospital in the world devoted solely to research. Inside, our country’s most brilliant scientific minds carry out some of medicine’s riskiest and most critical research, testing new treatments in people for the very first time. With unprecedented access to the halls of Building 10, this series reveals for the first time how the medical breakthroughs of tomorrow make their way out of the hi-tech research laboratories and into the hands of our world’s medical professionals. The series explores the lives of the doctors, researchers, and patients who together make progress possible in this cutting-edge testing ground. The three-part documentary series premieres May 18 at 9p.
Challenging terrain, brutal elements and hazardous conditions are the status quo when building in the remote Alaskan wilderness, but resourceful builders are up for the challenge. Premiering Sunday, February 26, at 9 and 10 p.m. ET/PT, the eight-episode series follows the intrepid journeys of three young builders, Nick Blanco, Ben Crew and Brannon Richart as they each set out with their teams to construct one-of-a-kind lodges among the stunning landscape.
Direct from NYFW: The Shows, E!, ELLE and IMG officially kicked-off the most fashionable week of the year with an exclusive celebration hosted by the brands, alongside celebs, designers and VIP guests. The celebratory soiree took place on Wednesday, February 8th and footage from the night will be exclusively featured on “Fashion Police” on Friday, February 17th at 8p and on “E! News” throughout Fashion Week weeknights at 7p and 11p.
In this short form series, couples get to spice up their spouse’s style, turning them into the stylish fantasy BAE they always wanted. With the help of a celeb’s personal stylist, we’ll follow the makeover process from start to finish and reveal the final looks ‘ hairstyle updates and all ‘ to capture the funny, dramatic, and adorable reactions from each couple. Finally, a chance to make your boo dress to impress and retire their attire. Short-form series is airing Sundays at 11p.
Home renovation experts Ben and Erin Napier combine their love of small town living and revitalizing historic houses. The series highlights the couple as they work to deliver eclectic yet traditional designs for families. First-time homebuyers, couples with young children and adults wishing to live closer to grandchildren all benefit from Erin’s imaginative hand sketches and Ben’s custom handiwork showcasing local reclaimed materials. The 10-episode series premieres March 21 at 10p.
“Frontiersmen” will span a formative period of American history – the first 75 years from the post-revolutionary war colonies through the California Gold Rush. The series will show how the frontier helped shape us from colonists into today’s Americans. Executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, this eight-hour documentary series will follow the stories of iconic pioneers such as Daniel Boone, Lewis & Clark, Tecumseh, Davy Crocket and Andrew Jackson as they set forth across untamed land.
Five Chicago-area entrepreneurs whose kids are some of the country’s most elite young basketball players, the six-episode series follows these feisty moms who will stop at nothing to ensure that their businesses are successful and their boys are on track to make it to the NBA. These ladies are anything but benchwarmers as they balance their households and businesses, while managing their sons’ daily practices and games. Together they are the ultimate Hoop Moms and are not afraid to call foul on each other as they fight to ensure their kids make it to the top. Premiering Wednesday March 1 at 10p.
“The series drops 10 adventurers on an island with nothing but the clothes on their backs and $1 million in cash. Those who survive for 40 days filled with gut-wrenching journeys and demanding physical challenges will split the money as their prize. The catch? They can buy all of the survival supplies and creature comforts they desire, but everything is crazy expensive (think $30K for a tent), all decisions to make a purchase require a group majority and the cost comes out of their shared prize money. Premieres February 21.
From Executive Producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, National Geographic’s first scripted anthology series, GENIUS, will focus on Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein. The all-star cast includes Geoffrey Rush, Johnny Flynn, and Emily Watson. Premiering in April.
In Ovation’s newest show, The Method, the spotlight is turned on content creators whose viral videos have taken the digital world by storm. Artists, dancers, filmmakers – in each episode, we’ll take you inside the maker’s unique world and see the drive and passion that fuels their method and work.
A series that reexamines some of the most high-profile and controversial cases through the eyes of the original jury.
Spike (soon to be Paramount Network)
Weinstein Television and Shawn “JAY Z” Carter have teamed up with Spike TV for a groundbreaking event series that will forever change the way we look at the criminal justice system in this country. A compelling, six-part documentary event series tells the story of Kalief Browder, a young African-American student who spent three years on Rikers Island without ever being convicted of a crime. Premieres March 1.
In Take 5: A More Perfect Patriot, filmmakers will explore the concepts of patriots and patriotism, touching on geopolitical conflicts and hot button issues including immigration, challenging one’s government, and flag burning. Season two questions what and who is a patriot through complex narratives and vivid imagery. Take 5: A More Perfect Patriot will be available exclusively on Sundance Now in Spring 2017.
TBS’s late-night hit Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is pleased to announce its first annual “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” which will take place on Saturday, April 29 at The Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. (the Old Post Office being regrettably unavailable due to a Bahraini Press Freedom Consortium). Samantha Bee, noted purveyor of FAKE NEWS™, will host the gala affair, welcoming journalists and non-irritating celebrities from around the world. We suspect some members of the press may find themselves unexpectedly free that night, and we want to feed them and give them hugs. Premieres April 29.
With more than 20 million views on her “Don’t Go in the Shark’s House” clip, Veronica “Pooh” Nash-Poleate has solidified her place in viral video history. A school guidance counselor with degrees in psychology and education, she thrives on the online conversations with her loyal fans, but she’s decided it is time to hit the road and meet them in person. People have been reaching out to Veronica for advice nonstop since she gained online fame, and now, she’ll start doing house calls – giving advice and spreading love every step of the way. In each one-hour episode, Veronica will visit people who have asked her for help. From mothers looking to control their children to parents trying to rekindle their love life. The eight-episode series premieres Tuesday, March 7th at 10p.
Professional travel writers Jason Kessler and Jeff Miller get paid to travel the world for a living. Now the duo will determine if activities at the country’s most popular vacation destinations live up to the hype in Travel Channel’s new series “Trip Testers.” The series puts the spotlight on Jason and Jeff as they check out the best bargains and over-the-top adventures. Premieres February 6.
The original film, which aired last year on VH1, followed three young friends fulfilling their hip hop dreams in New York City in 1990. The series continues to explore their triumphs and heartbreak trying to make their mark in a new and complex hip hop culture. “The Breaks” ranked as the #2 original cable movie of 2016 among adults 18-49.* Across all premiere night airings, it tallied 2.6 million total viewers. Inspired by The Big Payback, a nonfiction history of the hip-hop business. Premieres February 20 at 9p.