What’s Worth Watching: Midwinter of the Spirit on Acorn TV, plus Superstore on NBC and the College Football Championship

Matt Roush
Midwinter of the Spirit, Anna Maxwell Martin, David Threlfall ACORN TV

Midwinter of the Spirit (premieres Mondays on Acorn TV): The British have a knack for producing chilling supernatural stories that spook you without the wretched excess of shows like American Horror Story. Latest example is this absorbing three-part mystery, with new chapters each Monday, starring The Bletchley Circle‘s Anna Maxwell Martin as a widowed country vicar in training to be an exorcist—or “deliverance ministry,” in today’s parlance—who’s out of her depth when a dangerous cult targets her church, and her impressionable daughter. Among the co-stars: Siobhan Finneran (still missed on Downton Abbey as the devious O’Brien) as a local mystic whose intentions are less than pure.

College Football Playoff National Championship (8:30/7:30c, ESPN): Sports is the biggest draw on the night (which is why CBS is in repeats, importing two Big Bang Theory reruns to give Supergirl a rest), with Alabama’s Crimson Tide gunning for its fourth national title since 2009, taking on the Clemson Tigers at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.

Superstore (8/7c, NBC): Among the night’s very few scripted options are new episodes of NBC’s freshman sitcoms. On the charming Superstore, the work relationship between Amy (American Ferrera) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) takes a new step when she brings her daughter Emma (Isabella Day) to work against store policy, and Jonah has to play babysitter to keep her secret. On the wackier Telenovela (8:30/7:30), exes Ana (Eva Longoria) and Xavi (Jencarlos Canela) confront their married rivals on a competing soap as they build a home for charity, which we figure will end with the walls coming down.

Inside Monday TV: History goes to pot with The Marijuana Revolution (9/8c), a two-hour special inhaling deeply on the roots of the cannabis industry and the current legislative and entrepreneurial evolutions of marketing marijuana. … Hollywood press agent Dick Guttman is TCM’s guest programmer for the night, and his picks include 1967’s iconic Bonnie and Clyde (10:30/9:30c) with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, followed by 1952’s movie-about-moviemakers The Bad and the Beautiful (12:30 am/11:30c), which was the film I introduced in my brief stint as a super-fan programmer two years ago. Still holds up.