Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV like “Downton Abbey,” “Girls,” “The Good Wife,” “House of Lies,” “Shameless,” “Sherlock” and “True Detective,” 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.
Discovery Channel’s first scripted venture is a high-end three-part historical miniseries about the Yukon Gold Rush starring “Game of Thrones” alum and King in the North Richard Madden as an adventure who heads to snowier climes in search of riches. Tim Blake Nelson, Abbie Cornish, Tim Roth and Sam Shepard co-star in the series, which will air over consecutive nights and is directed by Simon Cellan Jones (“Treme,” “Boardwalk Empire”) and executive produced by Ridley Scott.
PBS’s venerable biodoc series “American Masters” kicks off its 28th season with a flashy 200th episode — “Salinger,” the film about J.D. Salinger directed by Shane Salerno, who spent a decade investigating the life of the famously reclusive “Catcher in the Rye” author. The film, which was released in theaters in September by the Weinstein Company, attracted mixed reviews, with some praising its insight and others feeling it was intrusive and more focused on Salinger as a celebrity rather than as a writer. “American Masters” will be airing a director’s cut containing 15 minutes of new material.
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Comedians Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer bring their web series “Broad City” to Comedy Central as a new half-hour scripted show executive produced by Amy Poehler. The two UCB alums play outsized, far more broke versions of themselves struggling to navigate life in New York, with an array of guest stars that includes Fred Armisen, Rachel Dratch, Amy Sedaris and Janeane Garofalo.
Netflix’s third acquired original doc release is from director Greg Whiteley (“New York Doll”), who spent nearly six years filming Mitt Romney and his family over two presidential election campaigns. The resulting film presents a warm, intimate look at a candidate who on television tended to come across as stiff and robotic. The film is less political than a character study that stands in contrast with the public image Romney presented, and as such makes for an interest watch regardless of your party affiliation. “Mitt” comes to Netflix having premiered last week at Sundance in an excitingly quick turnaround — check out our review of the film.
Starz tries to make the case that pirates are the new vampires with its latest series, executive produced by Michael Bay in what is the blockbuster director’s first television venture (his second, the similarly naval but contemporary “The Last Ship,” premieres on TNT this summer). Toby Stephens, Hannah New, Luke Arnold and Zach McGowan star in a gritty take on piracy that’s also a prequel to “Treasure Island.” Starz has put the full Neil Marshall-directed first episode online ahead of the TV premiere.
Also worth a look: “Sleepy Hollow,” which has grown into one of the surprise big network hits of the year, has its sure-to-be-crazy two-hour first season finale on Fox on Monday, January 20th at 8pm; David Redmon and Ashley Sabin doc about Antonio Bussone’s attempt to open one of the first lobster factories in the U.S. in Maine “Downeast” airs on the World Channel on Tuesday, January 21st at 8pm; Chiller’s latest original film “Monkey’s Paw” premieres on the network on Friday, January 24th at 9pm; “Dracula” ends its first season on NBC with vampire battles, past life obsessions and technology on Friday, January 24th at 10pm; Christina Ricci plays an infamous murderer in Lifetime’s “Lizzie Borden Took An Ax” on Saturday, January 25th at 8pm.