What To Watch: 01/04/2022

It’s a big day for old-fashioned network television. For CBS, that means the return of its Federal Bureau of Investigations-themed line-up. However, we’re more excited for the second episodes of three shows which had promising pilots aired last month.

FIONA’S PICK:
Abbott Elementary [ABC, 9p]
After premiering in December, this new comedy is back in a new time slot. This week Janine takes it upon herself to fix a lightbulb despite everyone else advising against it. What could go wrong? 

BRAD’S PICK:
American Auto [NBC, 8p]
A lot of fans were disappointed when Superstore ended. Something that can take that sting away is the quick turnaround of this new show from that show’s creators. A sitcom talking place in Detroit may not scream funny but its star, SNL-alum Ana Gasteyer brings the humor.

JASON’S PICK:
Grand Crew [NBC, 8:30p]
Of the three shows returning after a December premiere, this one is the only one having a hard time staying in the green on Rotten Tomatoes (it just ticked up into the green at 60%), and I’m not sure why. The affable sitcom comes from Brooklyn Nine-Nine writer Phil Augusta Jackson, boasts a great cast, including Screen Scholar favorites Nicole Byer and Carl Tart, and its pilot possessed its own unique charm and a great amount of chemistry among the team of friends–a group who although they number the TV standard of six, are far from standard or cardboardy.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • While Harvey has said a show like his new reality show, Judge Steve Harvey, where the veteran comedian known for his blustery charm dispenses justice, was inevitable, was it though? Was there not a spot in time where we could have prevented this and/or can we build a time machine or summon a Scott Bakula to right what has gone wrong? Seriously, though, it’s on ABC tonight and we’re sure it will be a whole lot of fun.
  • The return of Anthony Anderson’s consistently funny black-ish rounds up the ABC half-hour line-up as Dre, Bow, and the fam dig into its long-awaited eighth (and final) season.
  • For hourlong dramas, ABC’s got that too as the Eve-sporting, grief-overcoming Queens returns for the second half of its debut season.
  • Investigation Discovery looks into a true crime that happened against the backdrop of high school football in Murder Under the Friday Night Lights. We’re sure there is a “clear eyes full hearts can’t lose” joke somewhere in there (probably many) but a person has died, so have some respect.
  • CBS slots in its Tuesday Night Line-Up in an easy-peasy fashion as they bring back the three shows that make up its FBI-iverse. The original, FBI, returns mid-season 4, FBI: International is in the middle of its inaugural season, while FBI: Most Wanted currently resides in its third season.
  • A certain angry English chef’s trips continue on Fox, this time to one of the early democracies–a land that has taken some economic blows as of yet. It’s Gordon Ramsay’s Road Trip: Greek Vacation.
  • NBC cuts the fun new sitcoms with a heavy dose of tearjerking goodness as This is Us comes back for its sixth and final season. There’s also the return of its fellow weeper New Amsterdam, which enters into the second half of its season 4, featuring an episode taking its song from a classic Tracy Chapman tune that (don’t you know) sounds like a whisper.
  • Finally, it’s the start of the seventh season for the PBS ancestry show hosted by the historian Presidents want to have a beer with. Henry Louis Gates returns with Finding Your Roots and this year’s gasping guests include Terry Crews, Melissa Villasenor, Mario Lopez, Kathryn Hahn, Regina King, Nathan Lane, long-haired Tony Danza, John Leguizamo, Lena Waithe, David Chang, and many others.

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