‘Expanse’ Final Season, New ‘Peanuts’ Special, Cyberattack on ‘Blue Bloods,’ Sandra Bullock in ‘Unforgivable’
The epic sci-fi drama The Expanse launches its final season on Prime Video. Good grief: Apple TV+ presents a new Peanuts special set on New Year’s Eve. Cyberattacks plague CBS’ Blue Bloods and Magnum P.I. in their final 2021 episodes. Sandra Bullock plays an ex-con seeking redemption in the Netflix film The Unforgivable.
The colonized solar system is at war in the sixth and final season of the Hugo Award-winning sci-fi drama, with Captain Holden (Steven Strait) and the crew of the salvaged warship Rocinante caught in the conflict. When zealot Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander), on behalf of the downtrodden Belters in the asteroid belt, launches asteroid attacks on Earth and Mars, U.N. secretary-general Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) sends former Martian Marine Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) on a secret mission to even the fight. But beyond the Rings, there’s a new threat lurking.
Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne
The streamer’s first new original holiday special from the beloved Peanuts franchise is set on New Year’s Eve, when Lucy Van Pelt decides to throw the best party ever to make up for a disappointing Christmas. For good old Charlie Brown, the clock is ticking as he tries to accomplish even one of the resolutions he made on New Year’s Eve a year ago.
ER’s Alex Kingston returns as Sloane Thompson, former Commander of the City of London Police, enlisted by her good friend Frank (Tom Selleck)—who she once invited to her hotel room for a nightcap (!)—to get to the bottom of a cyberattack hacking the NYPD that forced Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) to release a suspect. An hour earlier on Magnum P.I. (9/8c), there’s another cyberattack, this time a ransomware scheme targeting the Honolulu P.D. on Christmas Eve, leading to Det. Lia Kaleo (Chantal Thuy) revealing a secret to Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and fellow detective Katsumoto (Tim Kang). Both series return in early January, while S.W.A.T. (8/7c) prepares for a move to Sundays in the new year.
Oscar winner Sandra Bullock stars in a grim, character-driven mystery as Ruth Slater, who’s just been released from prison on parole after serving 20 years for a terrible violent crime. The outside world isn’t willing to forget let alone forgive, so she seeks redemption by seeking her younger sister, the only family she knows. The impressive supporting cast includes Viola Davis, Richard Thomas, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jon Bernthal.
West Side Story
As Steven Spielberg’s terrific new version of the classic musical hits movie theaters, with more inclusive casting and many bold changes, TCM presents Robert Wise’s 1961 movie as a fascinating contrast. Among the 10 Academy Awards the film won, still a record for a musical, was Rita Moreno’s Supporting Actress triumph as the fiery Anita. Her role in the new film, as the widowed drugstore proprietor, could land her an historic second nomination at the very least. Both versions are worth your time.
On the heels of last week’s exclusive interview with Alec Baldwin by George Stephanopoulos, the newsmagazine follows with a two-hour report on the fatal shooting on the set of Rust. Parts of the Baldwin interview will be replayed, along with new interviews, including Thell Reed, veteran Hollywood armorer and father of Rust’s set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and from Rust, actor Devon Werkheiser, special effects coordinator Thomas Gandy, chief of lighting Serge Svetnoy and costume designer Terese Davis. 20/20 also checks in with Santa Fe County’s district attorney and sheriff.
More true-crime TV:
- Dateline NBC (9/8c, NBC): A two-hour report investigates allegations of international sex trafficking involving fashion mogul Peter Nygard, including interviews with accusers, former employees and members of his family.
- Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story (streaming on Netflix): The gift that keeps on giving… us headaches: Another spinoff of the hit docuseries focuses on embattled private-zoo operator Doc Antle, with disturbing allegations of abuse and intimidation painting him as one of the worst of Tiger King’s cast of miserable miscreants.
The Yule Spool:
- A Dickens of a Holiday! (8/7c, Hallmark Channel): Channel regular Kristoffer Polaha stars as an action movie star invited back to his hometown to play Scrooge in A Christmas Carol that marks the 100th anniversary of the local Victorian festival.
- Holiday in Santa Fe (8/7c, Lifetime): Mario Lopez and Aimee Garcia are siblings who work to keep the family holiday-decoration business going after the passing of their matriarch.
Inside Friday TV:
- Ricky Powell: The Individualist (8/7c, Showtime): As part of Showtime’s “Hip Hop 50” initiative, a new documentary celebrates the life and career of photographer Ricky Powell, seen in some of his last interview footage before passing away earlier this year. He became known as “The Rickster” as he captured and embodied the hip-hop and pop art scenes of the 1980s and ’90s, with indelible images of the Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, Basquiat, Madonna and more.
- Craft in America (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): The Peabody-winning series that honors the creative spirit offers back-to-back hours: the first dealing with “Harmony” and music played on lovingly crafted instruments, the second all about “Jewelry.”
- Encounter (streaming on Prime Video): Aliens are all the rage. Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) stars in a thriller about a decorated Marine on the run from the military as he races to save his young sons from an alien invasion. Similar threats occupy the characters on the Apple TV+ series Invasion, which airs its Season 1 finale, having just been renewed for a second.
- Saturday Morning All Star Hits! (streaming on Netflix): Saturday Night Live’s Kyle Mooney is co-creator and star (as twins) of a surreal send-up of ’80s and ’90s Saturday morning TV, mixing live action and adult animation.
- Twentysomethings: Austin (streaming on Netflix): Reminiscent of The Real World, this reality series brings together seven young adults in the Texas capital as they seek purpose and romance. Six episodes drop this week, with six more next Friday.
- Play-Doh Squished (streaming on IMDb TV): Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland hosts a holiday-themed competition special in which teams of kids and adults engage in physical and creative challenges on a Play-Doh winter wonderland set.
- Crossing Swords (streaming on Hulu): The Great’s Nicholas Hoult returns for a second season of animated medieval mayhem as Patrick, the hapless squire who suffers many a humiliation to win the favor of brutal King Merriman (Luke Evans).