What’s on TV – Thursday (1/3/19) – ‘The Titan Games’ Lead an Action Packed Night

With 2019 officially underway, get ready for some big new shows to hit television. It’s exciting to get back into the flow of regular television, but not everything is back yet. With that said, gladiatorial combat could be a theme for Thursday night. Kicking off our action-packed Thursday is none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his new NBC series, “The Titan Games.” Several shows, including “Gotham,” and “The Orville” make their season debuts. The “Under Armour All-American” game showcases the best high school football players in the world. Finally, we also get some thrills on the movie side, as “Ready Player One” and “Ben-Hur” both air tonight.

Pick of the Day

“The Titan Games” (SERIES PREMIERE) – 8 PM (EST)

If we’re being honest, no one in TV is bigger than one Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and on Thursday night, we kick off his brand new series, “The Titan Games,” a new reality competition show. The new show feels like an adult version of “GUTS” in its aesthetics and should be a fun one to check out. While future episodes will likely have some strong emotion and really cool physical triumphs, tune into this one to hear the inspirational stories that will carry through the season. If this one does not hook you, it’s unlikely you’ll be in on the show. It’s also a jumbo 2-hour premiere (8p – 10p).

What’s Premiering?

During the week, the networks will hold most of the cards. If you’re not in the mood for Dwayne Johnson, there are a few other new episodes to check out. After ‘The Titans Game” ends, we get the return of “The Blacklist” for Season 6. The James Spader-led show premieres at 10 PM.

Meanwhile, Fox is wrapping up its own show with “Gotham” moving into the final season. The Joker and Batman are finally here, and there’s a limited amount of time to spend with this iteration of the classic DC characters. The final season will introduce Bane and Harley Quinn into the mix, hopefully culminating in a strong finish for the Batman-inspired series. The season will consist of 12 episodes, which concludes later in 2019.

What’s Returning?

CBS has a double run of new episodes for “The Big Bang Theory” (8 PM EST) and “Young Sheldon” (8:30 EST) this evening. With “Big Bang Theory” heading towards the series finale, the midseason return could help set up the last arcs of the show. If you’re more of a Sheldon fan at this point, the fresher “Young Sheldon” returns as well. To close down the night, “SWAT” returns at 10 PM.

On the flip side, Fox hopes “The Orville” tries to turn a new leaf. While the first season was painful at times, it came more into its own as the season evolved. Rather than the “Family Guy” style spoof, the show was a slightly more comedic “Star Trek” style show. It’s possible that “The Orville” will right its ship in Season 2, and the mid-season premiere might give it the opportunity to do just that.

The Off-the-Path Pick of the Night

ESPN 2 – The Under Armour High School All-American Game 6p – 9p

There won’t be many opportunities for ESPN 2 to usurp the throne, but the “Under Armour High School All-American Game” certainly will. The high school football game brings together some of the stars of tomorrow and should be a great time. If you’re a college football fan, you can begin to root for your future superstars. Trust me, as an FSU alum, you know I’ve got my eyes on Akeem Dent. The full rosters were released yesterday for the scrimmage, and like any “all-star” game, expect the players to go half speed to ensure no injuries befall them.

Movies on TV

One of the films stands above the rest, with a 4-hour presentation of “Ben-Hur” leading the night on Turner Classic Movies. Starting at 8 PM EST, the gladiatorial Oscar juggernaut certainly helps add to the jammed packed schedule. The movie made history at our favorite awards show, winning 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Charlton Heston, and Best Director for William Wyler. It’s an all-timer.

Meanwhile, HBO will allow you to catch up on two of the 2018 titles you may have missed. Both “The Life of the Party” and “Ready Player One” start at 8 PM EST, so make your choice.  Personally, I would go Spielberg and spectacle. “Ready Player One” also made the ten-film shortlist for Visual Effects, so if you missed it in theaters, check it out, even if just as a refresher.

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.

  • “The Titan Games” (NBC) at 8 PM
  • “The Blacklist” (NBC) at 10 PM
  • “Big Bang Theory” (CBS) at 8 PM
  • “Young Sheldon” (CBS) at 8:30 PM
  • “Swat” (CBS) at 10 PM
  • Gotham” (FOX) at 8 PM
  • The Orville” (FOX) at 9 PM
  • The Last Days of JFK, Jr.” (ABC) at 9 PM
  • The Secret Life of the Zoo” (Animal Planetat 9 PM
  • Top Chef” (BRAVO) at 8 PM
  • “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles” (BRAVO) at 9 PM
  • “Flip or Flop: Nashville” (HGTV) at 9 PM
  • “American Pickers: Bonus Buys” (HISTORY) at 8 PM
  • “Ex on the Beach” (MTV) at 8 PM
  • “MTV Floribama Store” (MTV) at 9 PM
  • “Life Below Zero: Ice Breakers” (National Geographic) at 9 PM & 10 PM
  • “Impossible Engineering” (Science) at 9 PM
  • “How It’s Made” (Science) at 10 PM
  • “The Dead Files” (Travel) at 10 PM
  • “Most Haunted” (Travel) at 11 PM
  • “The Carbonaro Effect” (TruTV) at 10:30 PM

What do you think you’ll tune into? Did we miss any new shows you’ll be watching? Let us hear your picks in the comments below! 

Be sure to check out our Official Oscar Predictions Page to see where this year’s films and performances rank among the contenders!

What do you think?

AC Fan

Written by Alan French

Alan French is a movie buff, a TV lover, and a sports fanatic. His favorite TV shows are 'Parks and Recreation,' 'Rick and Morty' and 'Game of Thrones.' He's also a Spielberg fanatic. You can find him on Twitter and Medium @TheAlanFrench.

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