Stay Tuned: The Rock kicks off 2019 with ‘The Titan Games’
Pop stars and news anchors count down to a new year that kicks off with winter premieres, masked singers and an inspirational reality show from The Rock.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
Third time’s the charm? CBS is hoping that “Beverly Hills, 90210,” a pop culture phenomenon when it ran from 1990-2000, can make another comeback. The CW brought it back with a new cast from 2008-2013, and now CBS is gauging interest in a second reboot with the original cast said to be on board.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
As 2018 winds down, WE TV is offering a twist on love stories with “Extreme Love” (Dec. 28, 10 p.m. ET/PT). Based on a popular digital series of the same name, the show explores odd relationships around the world.
Seth MacFarlane’s “The Orville” returns for a new season on Dec. 30 (Fox, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT live to all time zones). Also, on Dec. 30 is “The Lake Erie Murders: Who Killed Amy Mihalejevic,” a new true crime miniseries from Investigation Discovery (9 p.m. ET).
There are plenty of choices on New Year’s Eve, from classical to pop to news anchors letting loose. On PBS, it’s “New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve with Renee Fleming” (9 p.m. ET) while ABC has “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest (8 p.m. ET). Fox’s contribution is “Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square” (8 p.m. ET live, CT/MT/PT tape-delayed). There are also specials on CNN, Fox News Channel and NBC.
“Downton Abbey” may be over but the Earl of Grantham himself, Hugh Bonneville, will host a classical start to the new year with the Vienna Philharmonic in “Great Performances — From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2019” (Jan. 1, PBS, 2:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.). The Bruins take on the Blackhawks in the “NHL Winter Classic” (Jan. 1, NBC, 1 p.m. ET), while the winter premiere of “The Gifted” is on Fox (8 p.m. ET), followed by “Lethal Weapon’s” winter debut episode (9 p.m. ET).
Gordon Ramsay returns to save failing restaurants in the season premiere of “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back” (NBC, Jan. 2, 8 p.m. ET). The celebrity chef is on a tight schedule, having only 24-hours to turn around a struggling business. It’s followed by the premiere of “The Masked Singer” (9 p.m. ET).
Criminal mastermind Reddington (James Spader) returns on Jan. 3 and 4 in “The Blacklist” two-night season premiere (NBC, Jan. 3, 10 p.m. ET and Jan. 4, 9 p.m. ET). The cat and mouse game between him and Agent Keen (Megan Boone) continues, as she digs further into the past.
The fifth and final season of “Gotham” premieres on Jan. 3 (Fox, 8 p.m. ET).
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s new reality competition series “The Titan Games” (NBC, Jan. 3, 8 p.m. ET) features everyday men and women finding their inner warrior. If this show doesn’t inspire you to get started on your “get fit” new year’s resolution, nothing will.
Report Card: A look at ratings winners and losers
Winners: USA Network is on track to close out 2018 as the number one overall cable entertainment network in total viewers.
Losers: NBC has canceled “Midnight, Texas” and “Marlon.”
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.