"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" returns for a second season this week.
Photo: Nicole Rivelli
Photo: Nicole Rivelli

TV best bets with ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ ‘Top Chef,’ Quincy Jones, Michelle Obama

Originally posted Sunday, December 2, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

While ABC gives us Christmas light fights, Charlie Brown and Christmas baking challenges, Amazon brings back “The Amazing Mrs. Maisel” while Bravo returns with its 16th season of “Top Chef.”

And BET offers both a Michelle Obama and a Quincy Jones special in one week.

This covers Monday, December 3 through Sunday, December 9, 2018. 


“The Great Christmas Light Fight” 8 p.m. ABC — Kicking off the first-ever "Heavyweights" episode: displays that have grown too large for any home

“The Neighborhood” 8 p.m. CBS — When Calvin and Tina learn Marty has a new girlfriend, they insist he invite her over for dinner, with surprising results.

“The Voice” 8 p.m. NBC — The top 10 perform.

“PopUp Santa Holiday Special” 9:30 p.m. Freeform — After a devastating fire in December 2017, Army veteran Stephen Brantley, his wife Iliana and their four children lost their home and all of their possessions, including photographs and Stephen’s war medals. With the help of former NFL athlete DeMarco Murray and his wife, actress Heidi Mueller, the Brantleys are in for an incredible surprise that will change their lives forever.

Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland 10 p.m. HBO — In 2015 black activist Sandra Bland died in police custody after being arrested. Exploring the nature of her crime, her wrongful arrest and her alleged suicide in her police cell, this documentary explores questions about racial.

“The Good Doctor” 10 p.m. ABC — In the winter finale, Dr. Shaun Murphy and Dr. Alex Park treat two patients who collapse at the local airport and whose symptoms point to an infection that may become airborne.


“The Conners” 8 p.m. ABC — Dan questions Peter's motives when he learns about the pricey Christmas gift Jackie purchased for her new, unemployed beau.

“The Flash” 8 p.m. the CW (100th episode) — Barry and Team Flash come up with a plan to stop Cicada. The plan calls for Barry and Nora to travel back in time to gather some key necessities.

“The Gifted” 8 p.m. Fox — Tensions within the Inner Circle are at an all-time high, as Andy comes to Rebecca's defense against Reeva.

“NCIS” 8 p.m. CBS — The lead suspect of an unsolved and high-profile robbery case is released from prison, and the NCIS team resumes their investigation with an undercover stakeout.

“Black-ish” 9 p.m. ABC — Bow makes a new friend at work and Dre thinks she has broken bird syndrome.

“Saturday Night Live Christmas” 9 p.m. NBC — Check out the best holiday skits from the past four decades. Here’s a sampling:

“Lethal Weapon” 9 p.m. Fox — Cole gets into the holiday spirit for his first Christmas with Maya, while Murtaugh hopes he can convince RJ to come back home from Costa Rica for the holidays.

“The Rookie” 10 p.m. ABC — Sergeant Grey informs Officer Nolan and Officer Bishop that they are going to have a movie director as a ride-along during their patrol after a fun afternoon granting the wish of a Make-A-Wish kid as honorary police officer Kaydence Patton. Meanwhile, Officer Bradford.


“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” 3:01 a.m. Amazon (second season debut) — After Midge’s triumph at the Gaslight, the fallout from her takedown of Sophie Lennon looms large, making her climb up the comedy ladder more challenging than ever.

“Empire” 8 p.m. Fox — The financial security of the Lyon family is on the line as their LFM showcase quickly approaches

“Survivor” 8 p.m. CBS — So is Gabby going to try to take down her closest ally Christian?

“Modern Family 9 p.m. ABC — Dede's husband, Jerry, comes to town to bequeath her possessions to the family.

“A Thousand Words with Michelle Obama” 9 p.m. BET — Former First Lady Michelle Obama sits with Valerie Jarrett for an intimate one-on-one conversation covering her upbringing, life in the White House and overall coming of age as told in her new autobiography, "Becoming Michelle."

“Chicago Fire 9 p.m. NBC — A massive car pile up on the freeway impacts someone dear to the firehouse family.

“Star” 8 p.m. Fox — Carlotta does what she can to make the Rhythm and Bells Festival a success.

“Criminal Minds 10 p.m. CBS — A professor from Lewis' past tips off the BAU to an alarming number of overdose deaths of patients who just completed rehab.


“The Big Bang Theory” 8 p.m. CBS — Sheldon and Amy are still down about their theory being disproven, but a VHS tape from Sheldon's past inspires him not to give up.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” 8 p.m. ABC — Linus Van Pelt: "I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It's not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love."

“The Good Place” 8:30 p.m. NBC  With Janet's help, Michael hatches a plan.

“Young Sheldon” 8:31 p.m. CBS  Sheldon learns that people with stunted childhoods can turn into social outcasts, so he tries to act like a kid.

“The Great American Holiday Baking Show” 9 p.m. ABC (fourth season debut)  Ten bakers face six challenges. The theme: cake and pastries.

“Top Chef” 9 p.m. Bravo (16th season debut)  Fifteen American chefs are off to the races at Churchill Downs.

“Will & Grace” 9 p.m. NBC  Jack convinces Will to act silly and stupid in order to attract a handsome, gay TV news anchor with a pension for dim, frothy men.

“Mom” 9:01 p.m. CBS  Bonnie and the ladies help Tammy prepare for her first date since getting out of prison.

“Murphy Brown” 9:30 p.m. CBS  During Corky's live "National Adopt a Pet Day" segment, she guilts Murphy into adopting a dog.

“S.W.A.T.” 10 p.m. CBS  The SWAT team sets out to recover dozens of DNA evidence kits stolen from an LAPD crime lab and bring in the crew responsible, after a close friend of Captain Hicks is harmed during the theft.


“Bad Blood” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (first season)  Anthony LaPaglia stars in this sprawling drama about an organized crime family in Montreal. It’s a Canadian import, obviously:

“Last Man Standing” 8 p.m. Fox  Kyle's first day in Outdoor Man HR is more than he bargained for when Chuck and Joe file a complaint against Mike.

“MacGyver” 8 p.m. CBS  Matty reveals a shocking secret to the team: she has a husband who's been undercover in a criminal organization called D-Company for eight years.

“Blindspot” 8 p.m. NBC  Remi races against the ever-worsening ZIP poisoning to enact her ultimate plan.

“Dynasty” 8 p.m. the CW — Fallon recruits her mother's help with wedding planning, only to realize that Alexis may have ulterior motives.

“Hell's Kitchen” 9 p.m. Fox — The final 10 chefs are surprised when Chef Ramsay brings in his daughter, Tilly, to celebrate her Sweet 16.

“Hawaii Five-O” 9 p.m. CBS — After fighting off an assassin in his own home, McGarrett and Joe White flee to Montana to prepare for a battle against those exacting revenge for a past SEAL mission.

“Blue Bloods” 10 p.m. CBS — A video surfaces of officers partaking in a clear case of entrapment, and Frank focuses on finding the cop who leaked the video.


“Oprah at Home” 8 p.m. Saturday OWN — Oprah interviews Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade

“Saturday Night Live” 11:29 p.m. Saturday NBC— Jason Mamoa hosts.

“Q85: A Musical Celebration for Quincy Jones” 8 p.m. Sunday BET — Performers include Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Meghan Trainor, John Legend, Patti Austin, Gloria Estefan, Charlie Wilson and Gladys Knight. Oprah Winfrey is the host. 

“Dancing With the Stars Juniors” 8 p.m. Sunday ABC (season finale) — 'Black-ish' actor Miles Brown has the highest average judges' score of the final four but given what happened with the regular 'DWTS,' who knows who'll win?

“Outlander” 8 p.m. Sunday Starz — Jamie and Claire are surprised when Lord John Grey drops in on Fraser's Ridge with an unexpected traveling companion.

“Shark Tank” 9 p.m. Sunday ABC — A family of entrepreneurs from Chapin, S.C., and Fairhope, Ala., present a product that satisfies a unique obsession.

“Madam Secretary” 10 p.m. Sunday CBS — Elizabeth and Jay work to keep an historic agreement between Serbia and Kosovo from falling apart after a mass grave is discovered in Serbia dating back to the Kosovo war.

“Dirty John” 10 p.m. Sunday Bravo — Debra discovers John's criminal record. In the past, John starts his first family.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.