What's Worth Watching: Sherlock, The Mick, Ransom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and more for Friday, Dec. 30 thru Sunday, Jan. 1
Sherlock (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): A happy new year indeed, as PBS welcomes back the Emmy-winning contemporary adaptation starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the mercurial sleuth for three new adventures. The first, "The Six Thatchers," is based on the Arthur Conan Doyle story "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons," which puts Sherlock on the case of desecrated sculptures of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. But the real news involves Watson (Martin Freeman) and wife Mary (Amanda Abbington, Freeman's off-screen partner), who are welcoming their first child. Will they still have time to indulge Sherlock's tantrums?
New Year's Eve on TV: Something for just about everyone if you decide to make TV your vantage point to welcome 2017—or more to the point, to put 2016 in the rear-view mirror. Some top options:
The traditional choice is ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest (8/7c), with the former American Idol host presiding from Times Square with Jenny McCarthy, and Fergie hosting from Los Angeles. The show expands its reach to New Orleans, where Pretty Little Liars' Lucy Hale introduces acts including Jason Derulo and Panic! at the Disco. And from the Caribbean seas, Demi Lovato performs aboard a cruise ship from St. Maarten. Once the ball drops, Lionel Richie rings in the new year from Las Vegas, christening 2017 with "All Night Long."
On NBC, you can raise a glass with tipsy Today personalities Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb in A Toast to 2016! (8/7c), reliving watercooler moments from the past year. More promising is Late Night With Seth Meyers New Years Eve Special (10/9c), giving us a closer look at the outspoken comedian in prime time, with guests including Jennifer Lawrence, Kelly Clarkson and Saturday Night Live's Leslie Jones. To watch the ball drop, NBC's New Year's Eve With Carson Daly counts down in Times Square with co-host Mel B. and performers including Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton and the ubiquitous Pentatonix.
Fox contains its celebration to late night, with the third year of Pitbull's New Year's Revolution (11/10c), with Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg joining Pitbulll in Miami to host a lineup including Nelly, Coolio, Naughty by Nature, Salt-N-Pepa and Tone Loc.
For fits and giggles, tune to CNN for the 10-year anniversary of New Year's oddest couple cavorting amid the revelers in New Year's Eve With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin (8/7c).
And should your tastes run a little more refined, PBS presents a Live From Lincoln Center special, New York Philarhamonic New Year's Eve: Enchanted Evening on PBS (8/7c, check local listings at pbs.org), featuring Tony winner Paulo Szot (South Pacific) and opera star Joyce DiDinato in a program conducted by Alan Gilbert and hosted by CBS Sunday Morning humorist Mo Rocco. The program includes Lerner & Loewe and Rodgers & Hammerstein classics from Broadway, with samplings from Aaron Copland and waltz king Johann Strauss.
Or you could do what I do, and tune in and out of Syfy's weekend-long annual marathon of Rod Serling's classic The Twilight Zone (starts Saturday at 6 am/5c), which kicks off with the 1983 feature film—highlighted by John Lithgow in a reprise of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, as the terrorized airplane passenger—followed by 128 episodes of the legendary anthology, wrapping Monday at 4 am/3c.
New Year's Premieres: You know the holiday's over when new series begin to appear, and this January promises to be one of the busiest ever. The networks are wasting no time presenting their new shows, with two previewing on Sunday, Jan. 1.
The better of the two is the Fox sitcom The Mick (8/7c), a raucous slapstick romp starring It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Kaitlin Olson, seemingly typecast now as a snarky skank. She's the title character, Mickey, a bad-news good-time girl who trashily crashes the Labor Day barbecue of her well-heeled sister in tony Greenwich, CT, only to find herself babysitting the family's three entitled brats when the parents are hauled off for fraud and flee the country. The Nanny this isn't. But there are laughs as she invariably steers the kids in the wrong direction: "I give terrible advice, everybody knows that!" More barbed hilarity ensues Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c.
Begging the question of if or when CBS will finally reach the tipping point with generic crime procedurals, here comes Ransom (8:30/7:30c), a drearily ordinary and thoroughly uninspired entry about a team of hostage negotiators led by monotonal hunk Luke Roberts (think Dylan McDermott without the smolder). Even CBS may not believe in this one. Future episodes will air Saturdays at 8/7c, where it will be indistinguishable from repeats of any other show CBS has ever aired. Only worse.
Inside Weekend TV: An annual New Year's tradition, PBS presents From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2017 (Sunday, 2:30 pm/1:30c and 7:30/6:30c), with Julie Andrews once again hosting, and Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Vienna Philharmonic's holiday performance for the first time. The program is heavy with light Strauss waltzes and polkas. … A legendary rock band marks its 50th anniversary in the CNN rock-umentary Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago (Sunday, 8/7c). … Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine wraps its fourth season with an hourlong episode (Sunday, 8:30/7:30c) featuring NFL great Marshawn Lynch as the key witness to a prison escape.