Harry Potter Reunion, Carole King & James Taylor, ‘Yellowstone’ Finale, PBS Goes ‘Around the World’
Happy new year! And it’s going to be a busy one for TV viewers as the networks and streamers waste no time in rolling out must-watch TV. HBO Max stages a 20th-anniversary reunion of the Harry Potter cast. CNN showcases the friendship and partnership of Carole King and James Taylor in a dazzling concert special. PBS’ Masterpiece adapts Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days, starring David Tennant. Yellowstone wraps its record-setting fourth season of intrigue and mayhem. A curated critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts
Friends, schmends. For Harry Potter devotees, this is the reunion to end all reunions, as the stars of the blockbuster fantasy-film franchise reunite to mark the 20th anniversary of the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson lead the parade of magical memories, joined by co-stars including Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton and Alfred Enoch.
Carole King and James Taylor: Just Call Out My Name
“You’ve Got a Friend” is more than an anthem for Carole King—who wrote, recorded and won a Song of the Year Grammy for it—and for James Taylor, for whom it was a No. 1 hit. The song also defines their longtime mutual admiration and support for each other, manifested in 2010’s Troubadour Reunion world tour, the centerpiece of director Frank Marshall’s captivating concert documentary. It often feels like two greatest-hits celebrations in one. Lifelong fans won’t want to miss it.
Around the World in 80 Days
Like The Amazing Race for the Victorian era, this breezy eight-part adaptation of the globe-trotting Jules Verne classic sends stuffy and cloistered British gentleman Phileas Fogg (David Tennant) on an 1872 odyssey to settle a reckless wager to circumnavigate the Earth with never-before-seen haste. His companions include the mercurial French valet Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma) and fledgling journalist Abigail Fortescue (Leonie Benesch), who knows a good story when she sees one. Just the ticket for those whose wanderlust may have been curtailed these last few years.
What could make a stone-cold barracuda like Beth Dutton (the tremendous Kelly Reilly) dissolve in tears? Being shunned by her dear dad John (Kevin Costner), for starters, after he’s repulsed by her latest act of cruelty towards those she sees as the ranching family’s enemies. (The list is legion.) We don’t know exactly what to expect from the Season 4 finale, after weeks of record ratings, but if the vision of a lone wolf was enough to send brother Kayce (Luke Grimes) on a spirit quest, watch out when “lone wolf” Beth takes matters into her own hands to settle some scores. Who’ll be left standing at the end of this season?
Dexter: New Blood
Christmas Day is a time for families to come together—and in the revival’s penultimate chapter, it’s the perfect occasion for Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and prodigal son Harrison (Jack Alcott) to finally bond over the “dark passenger” they have in common. It only took a near-death experience at the hands of local serial-killer madman Kurt Caldwell (Clancy Brown) for Harrison to appreciate the depths of his once-distant dad. But how much can Dexter afford to share as he makes a move to bring down his latest perverse prey? And how long will it take for police chief/girlfriend Angela (Julia Jones) to connect all of the bloody dots surrounding the guy she once knew as Jim?
Also nearing the end of its season, the dual-timeline thriller piles on the trauma for the soccer-team airplane-crash victims, whose desperation to get back to civilization escalates after a savage wolf attack. Can devout Laura Lee (Jane Widdop) come to the rescue with her high-flying rescue scheme? In the present day, Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) and Taissa (Tawny Cypress) open up during a sleepover and Misty (Christina Ricci) proves to be the craziest hostage-holder since Misery’s Annie Wilkes. But what’s the story behind Shauna’s secret boyfriend, Adam (Peter Gadiot)?
Inside Weekend TV:
- Hart to Hart Movie Marathon (Saturday, starts at 9 am/ET, Ovation TV): Between 1993 and 1996, eight TV-movie sequels continued the adventures of Jonathan and Jennifer Hart (Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers) in light-hearted mystery romps. The binge continues into the wee hours of Sunday, with guests including Ken Howard, Maureen O’Sullivan, Roddy McDowall, Vicki Lawrence, Fred Willard, Marion Ross, Joan Collins, James Brolin and George Hamilton.
- Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks (Saturday, 2 pm/1c, BBC America): Outgoing Doctor Jodie Whittaker stars in a holiday-themed special featuring Aisling Bea as the proprietor of ELF Storage who welcomes a certain Nick (Adjani Salmon) to his unit every New Year’s Eve. But as the title suggests, not everything’s as it seems.
- Where Your Heart Belongs (Saturday, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel): Moving on from Christmas, a new Hallmark movie enlightens a New York marketing exec (Jen Lilley) to the rules of romance when she comes home to help at her best friend’s wedding.
- Great Performances—From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2022 (Saturday, 8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): An annual tradition lets classical-music fans chill to the sounds of Strauss by the Vienna Philharmonic and dances from the Vienna State Ballet. Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville hosts.
- The Incredible Dr. Pol (Saturday, 9/8c, Nat Geo Wild): Michigan vet Jan Pol and his dedicated staff open their 20th season with cases including a constipated cat and a hypothermic horse. Followed by the premiere of Pop Goes the Vet with Dr. Joya (10/9c), set at a Kentucky animal dermatology clinic.
- New York Homicide (Saturday, 10/9c, Oxygen): A new true-crime series digs into the files of former and current New York detectives to relive only-in-New-York cases.
- Ghost Hunters (streaming on discovery+): In a reboot of the trendsetting paranormal show, original members Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango team with Shari DeBenedetti on creepy new explorations, starting with a visit to Illinois’ Old Joliet Prison alongside cast members of Destination Fear.
- Next Level Chef (Sunday, 8/7c, Fox): Gordon Ramsay’s latest innovation in cooking competition involves a three-story-high set where the ingredients become elevated the higher the chefs ascend. Joining Ramsay as mentors: Richard Blais and Nyesha Arrington.
- This Came Out of Me (Sunday, 9/8c, Discovery): Featuring cases from SignatureCare Emergency Center locations throughout Texas, this new series is obviously not for the squeamish.
- Guy’s Chance of a Lifetime (Sunday, 9/8c, Food Network): Guy Fieri puts seven plucky hopefuls through a six-week job interview in search of the perfect person to run one of his “Chicken Guy!” restaurants. Followed by Alex vs. America (10/9c), which pits master chef Alex Guarnaschelli against three culinary challengers each week.
- S.W.A.T. (Sunday, 10/9c, CBS): Capping an all-new night of CBS programming, the L.A. crime drama relocates to its new Sunday time period, with Deacon (Jay Harrington) and Chris (Lina Esco) under fire from a drug cartel while working on an off-duty private security detail.
- The Rookie (Sunday, 10/9c, ABC): While Nolan (Nathan Fillion) considers his future with Bailey (Jenna Dewan), the squad races to the site of a plane crash in the middle of the city.
- Mountain Monsters (Sunday, 10/9c, Travel Channel): The surviving members of the AIMS (Appalachian Investigations of Mysterious Sightings) team head back to West Virginia’s Tygart Valley, still seeking Bigfoot.