TV best bets with Christian Bale, Reba McEntire, R. Kelly, Bernie Madoff, ‘Will Trent’

CNN looks at Rudy Giuliani while Paramount+ explores soft rock
TV this week includes a Netflix drama starring Christian Bale "The Pale Blue Eye," a Lifetime movie "Reba McEntire's The Hammer" and the final two episodes of Lifetime's "Surviving R. Kelly" docuseries. NETFLIX/LIFETIME



TV this week includes a Netflix drama starring Christian Bale "The Pale Blue Eye," a Lifetime movie "Reba McEntire's The Hammer" and the final two episodes of Lifetime's "Surviving R. Kelly" docuseries. NETFLIX/LIFETIME

As we enter the first week of 2023, there is a coterie of dark dramas and documentaries with a smidgen of soft rock brightness.

Oscar-winning actor Christian Bale and Emmy winner Gillian Anderson star in Netflix’s “The Pale Blue Eye,” a horror/mystery focused on an 1830s murder, in which one of the main characters is a young Edgar Allan Poe. It comes out Friday.

On Wednesday, Netflix also explores the genesis and mechanics of Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme, uncovering how the fraud was aided and abetted by a wide array of people. On Thursday, Netflix debuts the second season of its drama “Ginny & Georgia.”

Paramount+ on Tuesday provides a three-part look at the rise of 1970s/80s soft rock in “Sometimes When We Touch.” (Atlanta’s Yacht Rock Revue gets some love in the third episode.)

And while Discovery+ is known for lighter fare focused on food and house flipping, the streaming service tackles the 2021 insurrection in detail with its documentary “January 6th” on Thursday.

HBO Max debuts horror thriller “The Menu” on Tuesday, starring Ralph Fiennes as a malevolent chef.

Over on network TV, NBC on Monday carts out another version of “America’s Got Talent,” this one focused on winners from all over the world competing against each other. On the same day, Fox brings back the second season of “Fantasy Island” while PBS offers up the 27th season of “Antiques Roadshow.”

Also on PBS, Frontline on Tuesday tackles the powerful spyware company Pegasus. On the same night, ABC takes Atlanta author’s Karin Slaughter’s book series “Will Trent” and turns it into a scripted police procedural.

On cable, Lifetime also brings back the final season of “Surviving R. Kelly” over two nights Monday and Tuesday while Starz debuts season two of “BMF” on Friday.

Lifetime on Saturday introduces the movie “Reba McEntire’s The Hammer,” loosely based on the life of traveling circuit judge Kim Wanker with McEntire playing a firecracker lawyer appointed judge of the 5th District of Nevada.

AMC and AMC+ on Sunday brings the world “Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches,” based on the author’s iconic series while CNN digs deep into the unusual career of Rudy Giuliani the same night.

WE-TV Thursday gets into hard-boiled scripted drama with “Kold x Windy” in cooperation with sister streaming service AllBlk.

This covers Monday, Jan. 2, through Sunday, Jan. 8.


“134th Rose Parade Presented by Honda” 11 a.m. NBC — The annual parade will open with Fitz and the Tantrums.

“The Rose Bowl” 5 p.m. ESPN — Penn State vs. Utah.

“America’s Got Talent: All-Stars” 8 p.m. NBC (new series) — Sixty acts from past “AGT” seasons and “Got Talent” shows from around the world face off.

“Antiques Roadshow” 8 p.m. GPB (27th season debut) — Hitting a high note with a $200,000 to $330,000 musical instrument appraisal.

“Fantasy Island″ 8 p.m. Fox (second season debut) — Longtime best friends, Tara and Jessica, want to rule their 30th high school reunion, but their plans go sideways when everyone is forced to tell the truth.

“TMZ Presents: Lamar Odom: Sex, Drugs & Kardashians” 9 p.m. Fox — Lamar Odom talks about his drug addiction and marriage to Khloé Kardashian.

“Surviving R. Kelly: The Final Chapter” 9 p.m. Lifetime (third season debut) — Focusing on the fallout of the former R&B superstar’s crimes as he faces multiple federal and state trials.

“Quantum Leap” 10 p.m. HBO — Ben lands in 1979 Chicago as Jack Armstrong, a devoted security guard to talented pop singer Carly Farmer.


“Welcome to Chippendales” 12:01 a.m. Hulu (first season finale) — In a bucolic Swiss village, Steve’s sins finally catch up with him; as he stares down the consequences of his actions, he makes a final, fateful choice.

“The Menu” 3:01 a.m. HBO Max (streaming debut) — The Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes and Nicholas Hoult delicacy that first tantalized audiences upon its release back in November in theaters.

“Sometimes When We Touch” 3:01 a.m. Paramount+ (limited series) — Charts the soft rock musical movement through its most treasured songs, stories and stars.

“FBI” 8 p.m. CBS — The abduction of a young woman leads the team back to a cold case from 18 years ago, which pushes Isobel to reconnect with her old partner Jake (Tate Donovan)and take another shot at solving one of her first cases at the Bureau.

“The Resident” 8 p.m. Fox — A famous cardiothoracic surgeon, who happens to be Dr. Yamada’s mentor, comes into Chastain after experiencing heart pain.

“The Rookie” 8 p.m. ABC — Detective Nyla Harper and James find themselves in the middle of a bank robbery that leads the entire team on a citywide manhunt.

“FBI: International” 9 p.m. CBS — The Fly Team races through the streets of Budapest to put a halt to a major art heist about to be perpetrated by an American.

“Frontline: Global Spyware Scandal: Exposing Pegasus” 10 p.m. GPB — Investigating the powerful spyware Pegasus, which is sold to governments around the world by the Israeli company NSO Group.

“New Amsterdam” 10 p.m. NBC — When Helen Sharpe unexpectedly returns to New York, Max escapes to the wilderness on a corporate retreat with Bloom, Dr. Wilder and Iggy.

“Will Trent” 10 p.m. ABC (new series) — The book series by Atlanta’s Karin Slaughter is turned into a scripted police procedural starring Ramon Rodriguez.


“The Lying Life of Adults” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (fifth season debut) — Young Giovanna navigates her passage from childhood into adolescence as she experiences the different sides of Naples during the 1990s.

“Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street” 3:01 a.m. Netflix — The rise and fall of financier Bernie Madoff, who orchestrated one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in the history of Wall Street.

“National Treasure: Edge of History” 3:01 a.m. Disney+ — Trust no one on a treasure hunt. Jess begins to wonder if this is true as she suspects someone close to her might’ve leaked an important clue to Billie.

“Chicago Med” 8 p.m. NBC — Charles and Nellie help an elderly patient and her developmentally disabled grandson.

“Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test” 8 p.m. Fox (new series) — An all-new series in which household names endure some of the harshest, most grueling challenges from the playbook of the actual Special Forces selection process.

“Abbott Elementary” 9 p.m. ABC — The competition heats up between Melissa and Janine as their classrooms go head-to-head in a read-a-thon sponsored by a local pizza shop.

“Tough as Nails” 9 p.m. CBS (fourth season debut) Covington, Georgia, laborer Aly Bala is among those who compete for $200,000.

“Home Economics” 9:30 p.m. ABC — After Marina begins working with a hunky new contractor, Tom’s envy causes him to overcompensate.


“Death in the Dorms” 12:01 a.m. Hulu (new series) — The unimaginable true stories of six college students whose lives tragically ended in murder.

“January 6th” 3:01 a.m. Discovery+ — Takes viewers inside that momentous day when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in what many observers have called an attempted coup.

“Ginny & Georgia” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (second season debut) — How do you live with the knowledge that your mother is a murderer? That’s what Ginny is going to have to figure out.

“Celebrity Jeopardy” 8 p.m. ABC — Quarterfinals feature Michael Cera, Brianne Howery and Zoe Chao.

“Hell’s Kitchen” 8 p.m. Fox — The Final 9 chefs are put to the test, creating elevated tacos with various proteins.

“Law & Order” 8 p.m. NBC — When a homeless migrant is murdered, evidence leads Cosgrove and Shaw to a mysterious cover-up at a construction site.

“Young Sheldon” 8 p.m. CBS — Sheldon considers dropping out of college to focus on building his database.

“Ghosts” 8:30 p.m. CBS — Sam and Jay are thrilled when they find a highly qualified assistant for the B&B — however, their new employee comes with some surprising baggage.

“Law & Order: SVU” 9 p.m. NBC — When Benson becomes the target of a ruthless gang leader, Capt. Duarte takes the case.

“The Chase” 10 p.m. ABC — Victoria “The Queen” Groce graces the throne once again as the featured Chaser, facing off in a battle of the brains against a diversity executive, a mystery writer and a Ph.D. student.

“CSI: Vegas” 10 p.m. CBS — A social media influencer party ends with the brutal murder of a popular guest.

“Kold x Windy” 10 pm. WE-TV (new series) — Exposing the reality behind Chicago’s South Side and its street culture that has influenced our entire nation.


“The Pale Blue Eye″ 3:01 a.m. Netflix — Veteran detective Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) investigates a series of grisly murders with the help of a young cadet who will eventually go on to become the world-famous author Edgar Allan Poe. Gillian Anderson co-stars.

“Pressure Cooker” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series) — Living under one roof, 11 chefs use culinary skills and strategic plays in a tense cooking contest where they vote on who among them will win $100,000.

“BMF” 3:01 a.m. Starz (second season debut) — Meech smuggles drugs from Las Vegas as a test to secure a new plug for BMF, a vicious gangster from the Brewster Projects.

“Lopez vs. Lopez” 8 p.m. NBC — When the Lopez home is disturbed by an evil spirit, the family enlists a curandero (Cheech Marin) who tells them the house isn’t haunted.

“Ready to Love” 8 p.m. OWN (seventh season debut) — The hit dating show returns to Miami.

“S.W.A.T.” 8 p .m. CBS — When faced with a series of random shootings, one SWAT member’s family connections could be the key to stopping the next attack.

“Shark Tank” 8 p.m. ABC — Gwyneth Paltrow, CEO and founder of lifestyle juggernaut Goop, makes her first appearance in the Tank as a guest Shark.

“Young Rock” 8:30 p.m. NBC — Hawaii, 1985: Ata and Rocky try to outmatch Lia’s promotion with a stable of new big-name wrestlers.

“Fire Country” 9 p.m. CBS — An internal investigation is launched after a difficult rescue went awry and a life was lost.

“Blue Bloods” 10 p.m. CBS — Reagan family tensions run high when Frank and his grandson, Joe Hill (Will Hochman), contend with a grievous insult to the memory of Joe’s father, Joe Reagan.


“Reba McEntire’s The Hammer” 8 p.m. Saturday Lifetime — Kim Wheeler (Reba McEntire) is an outspoken, firecracker lawyer who is appointed judge of the 5th District of Nevada and is one of the few traveling judges left in America.

“Alert” 8 p.m. Sunday Fox (new series) — A procedural drama in which each episode features a heart-pounding search for a missing person.

“East New York” 8:30 p.m. Sunday CBS — With Bentley fighting for his life, Haywood and team race to track down the shooter, whose true target may have been another one of their own.

“Anna Rice’s Mayfair Witches” 9 p.m. Sunday AMC, BBCA, IFC, Sundance, WE-TV (new series) — An intuitive young neurosurgeon, Rowan discovers that she is the unlikely heir to a family of witches.

“George & Tammy” 9 p.m. Sunday Showtime (first season finale) — After over a decade apart, a devastating event reunites George and Tammy for one final tour.

“Giuliani: What Happened to America’s Mayor?” 9 p.m. Sunday CNN — Exposing the psyche of one of America’s most iconic politicians.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” 9:30 p.m. Sunday CBS — When NCIS investigates a shootout on a boat in which a rare cultural artifact is stolen, they’re shocked to learn who owns the boat.

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