Whats on TV? – (1/20/19) – Premium Networks HBO and Showtime Begin New Seasons of Fringe Emmy Contenders

There are a lot of season premieres tonight on both HBO and Showtime. “True Detective” continues on after leaving the audience with a lot of questions after its premiere. Showtime hopes it has a new hit on its hands with “Black Monday” from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The comedy and drama will take on the world of Wall Street during the 1980s and has an impressive cast to boot. Meanwhile, “Shamless,” “SMILF,” “Crashing” and “High Maintenance” all return tonight. It’s a busy Sunday night, so check out the full breakdown below.

Pick of the Day

True Detective” on HBO at 9 PM

There were a lot of questions for us to ponder on the return of “True Detective,” but the quality of Mahershala Ali‘s performance was not one of them. He simply stunned out the gate. Considering the season will run at least three timelines, his ability to portray Wayne Hays speaks again to his talent. Meanwhile, Stephen Dorff is going for it in the best ways and seems to have a violent streak beneath the surface. Carmen Ejogo built wonderful chemistry with Ali, and Scott McNairy embodied loss in a very tangible performance. Watch purely for these performances. Yet the story, which could very easily tie back to the Yellow King, The West Memphis Three, or other similar true crime murders, continues to hook audiences. The return to form for “True Detective” has been welcome.

What’s Premiering?

“Black Monday” (Showtime)

There are plenty of reasons to be excited by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s latest series. First, the cast is loaded. Don Cheadle leads the group that also includes Regina HallAndrew Rannells, and Paul Scheer. The show tells the story of Wall Street outsiders who inadvertently caused the stock market to crash in 1987. Rogen and Goldberg have each crafted excellent television in the past. Look for “Black Monday” to push for Best on TV status by the end of the season.

What’s Returning? 


Shameless” continues its 9th season, which made it the longest running series in Showtime history. After finishing the first half of the season in October, the last seven episodes of the season will air in 2019. Emmy Rossum really dominates the headlines here, as she will be leaving at the end of the season. Cameron Monaghan already left the show as well. With some of the cast jumping ship, it seems likely that the tenth season could be the last for “Shameless.” Until that announcement comes, join Frank and the Gallagher family for more shenanigans.


Pete Holmes star continues to rise, and “Crashing” looks to benefit from that. The stand-up comedian turned TV actor has drawn considerable praise for his series so far. “Crashing” has been hailed by most standups as the most realistic depiction of the grind required to make the profession work. Holmes charms on the show, and with some fun guest stars this season, including John Mulaney, the series looks to climb new heights.


Fionna Shaw broke out in a big way with the first season of “SMILF” and Showtime may have found their best comedy in years. The second season took a little longer to produce this time around, but the cast continues to grow. Samara Weaving and Rosie O’Donnell are excellent on the show, as is Miguel Gomez. While Shaw remains the undeniable focus of the series, look for this season to explore deeper aspects of its cast of characters.

High Maintenance

The web series turned HBO comedy half-hour continues to draw strong reviews. Ben Sinclair remains the consistent thread of each episode. While Sinclair wanders through characters’ lives, each story acts as its own story. Thus, the comedy anthology falls somewhere between a personal characters pieces and a weed-fueled “Twilight Zone” style series. Check out “High Maintenance,” because all the episodes are available on HBO (even the first five seasons from Vimeo).

Movies on TV

If television wasn’t already getting good tonight, other networks leave audiences with an embarrassment of riches. The night features two of the best action films ever made, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” on the Paramount Network at 7:30 PM, and “The Matrix” on AMC at 6 PM. “Raiders” remains one of the definitive films of the genre, earning a Best Picture and Director nominations and scoring four wins on the night. It remains a masterclass of visual storytelling and launched one of the iconic characters in film history.

Meanwhile, if you’re in the mood for a more philosophical action film, “The Matrix” has got you covered. From the Wachowskis crafted a unique vision of the digital age that pushed cyberpunk into the mainstream. While the sequels dropped off considerably in quality (although there is a fair argument that “Reloaded” might be secretly brilliant), this one stands completely on its own. Featuring great performances from Laurence FishburneCarrie-Anne Moss, and Hugo Weaving, this one went four for four on Oscar night.

A different kind of action blockbuster released in 1998, and further crowned Will Smith a superstar. Check out the action-comedy “Men in Black” at 8 PM on A&E and you should be in for a night of laughs. Tommy Lee Jones and Rip Torn sell the secret society that keeps the planet Earth safe, and Vincent D’Onofrio kills as the villain. It’s funny, gross, and again, an Oscar winner (this time for makeup).

Last, but not least, the Disney musical fans among us may choose to hang out with “Moana” on Freeform. The film features some great songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, and helped cap off a great year for Disney. “Moana” was better than many thought it was going to be and was particularly fun for how weird it got at times. Dwayne Johnson sang some big ballads, the cast almost entirely used Pacific Islanders, and there was a dumb chicken named Hei Hei. It’s a good time that continues to be enjoyable years after its premiere.

New Episodes

There are plenty of other shows airing new episodes tonight. Use this as a helpful guide when channel surfing tonight. Make sure you don’t miss the latest episodes of your favorite shows. Once again, times may vary by local area. Please check your local guide for the most accurate times.

  • “Magnum P.I.” (CBS) at 10 PM
  • “Shark Tank” (ABC) at 9 PM
  • Victoria on Masterpiece” (PBS) at 9 PM
  • Victoria & Albert: The Wedding” (PBS) at 10 PM
  • Supergirl” (CW) at 8 PM
  • Charmed(CW) at 9 PM
  • “Crikey! It’s the Irwins” (Animal Planet) at 8 PM
  • “How Do Animals Do That?” (Animal Planet) at 9 PM and 9:30 PM
  • “Real Housewives of Atlanta” (Bravo) at 8 PM
  • “Watch What Happens Live” (Bravo) at 11 PM
  • Star Wars Resistance” (Disney) at 10PM
  • “Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest” (Disney XD) at 9 PM and 9:30 PM
  • “Building Alaska” (DIY) at 9 PM
  • “Alaska: The Last Frontier” (Discovery) at 8 PM and 9 PM
  • “The Last Alaskans” (Discovery) at 10 PM
  • Total Bellas” (E!) at 9 PM
  • Nightly Pop” (E!) at 10 PM
  • Worst Cooks in America” (Food) at 9 PM
  • True Detective” (HBO) at 9 PM
  • Crashing” (HBO) at 10 PM
  • High Maintenance” (HBO) at 10:30 PM
  • “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” (HGTV) at 8 PM and 8:30 PM
  • “Bahamas Life” (HGTV) at 9 PM and 9:30 PM
  • “Island Life” (HGTV) at 10 PM and 10:30 PM
  • “Ameican Pickers” (History) at 8 PM
  • “Valley of the Boom” (National Geographic) at 9 & 10 PM
  • Expedition Unknown: Hunt for the Yeti” (Science) at 8 PM and 9 PM
  • “Houdini’s Last Secrets” (Science) at 10 PM
  • “Shameless” (Showtime) at 9 PM
  • Black Monday” (Showtime) at 10 PM
  • SMILF” (Showtime) at 10:30 PM
  • “Outlander” (STARZ) at 8 PM
  • “Counterpart” (STARZ) at 9 PM
  • “Sister Wives” (TLC) at 8 PM
  • “Seeking Sister Wife” (TLC) at 10 PM
  • “Expedition Unknown” (Travel) at 9 PM

Will any of these shows contend for awards? Check out our predictions at the Circuit Hub.

What are you watching right now? Share with us in the comments below!