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5 Best Bets on TV This Week: Jane Campion's Mystery Miniseries and Carlton Cuse's 'Psycho' Prequel Both Premiere

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire March 18, 2013 at 9:42AM

This week on television, both Jane Campion's mystery miniseries "Top of the Lake" and A&E's "Psycho" prequel series "Bates Motel" have their premiere.
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A&E Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga in 'Bates Motel'

Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV, including "The Walking Dead," "Shameless," "House of Lies" and "Vikings," but what to watch the rest of the time? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week.

"American Winter": Broadcast Premiere
Monday, March 18 at 9pm on HBO

Directed by brothers Harry and Joe Gantz, the creators of HBO's long-running nonfiction series "Taxicab Confessions," this HBO documentary looks at eight different families living in the Portland, OR area who've sought advice from a nonprofit for help with housing, bills or other financial difficulties. The film looks at the realities of life in poverty and at the continued decline of the middle class in America.

Parisa Taghizadeh 'Top of the Lake'

"Top of the Lake": Miniseries Premiere
Monday, March 18 at 9pm on Sundance Channel

Jane Campion's terrific mystery arrives on the small screen as a seven-part miniseries after having had its world premiere in its full six-hour form at the Sundance Film Festival in January. "Mad Men" actress Elisabeth Moss stars as Detective Robin Griffin, who on a trip home to New Zealand gets caught up in a case involving the disappearance of pregnant 12-year-old girl. Campion's gathered a strong cast in her first work to be set in her native country since "The Piano," including the star of that film, Holly Hunter, Peter Mullan, David Wenham and more.

"Bates Motel": Series Premiere
Monday, March 18 at 10pm on A&E

"Lost" showrunner Carlton Cuse turns from enigmatic islands to Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" for his drama, which is a kind of prequel to the classic film, albeit one shifted to the present day. Vera Farmiga plays the alive and vibrant Norma Bates, who with her teenage son Norman (Freddie Highmore) moves to a new town where she's purchased a foreclosed-on motel. Things don't go so smoothly for the pair in premiere episode "First You Dream, Then You Die" -- as you might expect, given where they end up by the movie.

BBC America 'Gizmodo: The Gadget Testers'

"Gizmodo: The Gadget Testers": Pilot Premiere
Monday, March 18 at 10:20pm on BBC America

Having had luck turning Chris Hardwick's podcast/YouTube channel "The Nerdist" into a TV series, BBC America is now turning to another web property -- the Gawker Media-owned tech blog Gizmodo. "Gizmodo: The Gadget Testers" is a special that, if successful, will serve as the pilot for a series featuring writers Joel Johnson, Greg Foot, O.J Borg and Veronica Belmont putting different gadgets to the test, including miniature action cameras and traditional and non-traditional vacuums.

"GLOW: The Story of The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling": Broadcast Premiere
Tuesday, March 19 at 9pm on Logo

After making the festival rounds from Hot Docs to Comic-Con to Austin, Brett Whitcomb's film about the rise and fall of the first ever all-female wrestling show arrives on TV to kick off the new season of Logo's doc series "WHAT?!" The film tells the story of Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling through many of the colorful figures involved in the organization's creation and its four years on air.

Also worth a look: "Splash," the celebrity diving show no one asked for, premieres on ABC on Tuesday, March 19th at 8pm; ABC Family's hit and social media phenom "Pretty Little Liars" will have its season finale on Tuesday, March 19th at 8pm as well.

This article is related to: Television, TV Features, Top of the Lake, Jane Campion, SundanceTV, Carlton Cuse, A&E, Bates Motel, BBC America, HBO , Logo