Every few years, in a pattern established by his emblematic 1990 breakthrough The Civil War, documentary maestro Ken Burns upstages the fall TV season in mid-September with his latest monumental immersion in historical storytelling. He triumphs again with PBS's seven-night, 14-hour The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, which, as its subtitle suggests, never loses sight of the poignant human drama unfolding against a tide of national and world turmoil. (The series begins Sunday, Sept. 14 at 8/7c and continues nightly through Saturday, Sept. 20.)
WGN has added another original program to its slate, giving a straight-to-series order to Titans on Wednesday.
The drama follows the Farrell family in the Appalachian mountains. Their reclusive home allows the Farrells autonomy from the law and society, creating a way of life they'll do anything to defend. Titans is created and written by the playwright Peter Mattei, who will executive-produce alongsideRescue Me's Peter Tolan, Paul Giamatti and Dan Carey.
Michelle Dockery, Julian Ovenden
[WARNING: The following contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of Downton Abbey. Read at your own risk.]
We are grateful to have Downton Abbey in our lives, but our devotion to the show is the very reason we're so irked at how it progressed this season.
Although we've come to terms with the loss of Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay), it doesn't seem like the writers quite know what to do in the wake of those deaths. So much of this season felt either forced or false or just failed miserably. Has Downton Abbey lost its charm?
Before launching into the season as a whole, let's go over the highlights of the finale, shall we?
Minnie Driver, David Walton, Banjamin Stockham
This week's gold-medal question: Can NBC reverse its spotty track record when it comes to using the ratings boost of the Olympics to launch new programs? (Remember the Summer 2012 debacle when the network interrupted the flow of London's Closing Ceremony to inflict Animal Practice on an unwilling captive audience?)
The news is better this weekend, during the closing nights of the Games. The comedies getting a sneak peek are considerably more entertaining than Animal Practice — what wouldn't be? — and they won't air until after that night's Olympics packages are finished.
First up is NBC's best new comedy of the season (including the star-driven disappointments that flopped on Thursdays this fall): About a Boy, airing Saturday night at approximately 11/10c before moving to its regular time period next Tuesday at 9/8c. This charmingly offbeat ...
John Carroll Lynch, Tammy Blanchard
John Carroll Lynch and Tammy Blanchard will star opposite Paul Giamatti in the FX pilot Hoke, the network announced Friday.
The dramedy, based on Charles Willeford's novel series, follows the unbalanced homicide detective Hoke Moseley (Giamatti) during a murder investigation and his midlife crisis in early '80s Miami.
Last year's Golden Globes hits and misses
Soon after the conclusion of another record-breaking season of Downton Abbey in the U.K., executive producer Gareth Neame, who has worked on the international phenomenon with series creator Julian Fellowes since its birth, sat down with TV Guide Magazine to share some scoop. The much-anticipated series about the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants returns to PBS's Masterpiece this Sunday.
Season 4 of Downton Abbey hasn't even premiered in the U.S. yet, but it's already coming to an end in Britain.
Michelle Dockery, Allen Leech
[Spoilers! The following contains information about the first three seasons of Downton Abbey. Read at your own risk.]
Downton Abbey's Lady Mary may be in mourning, but will we get to see her eventually find happiness this season?
FX has given the green light to drama pilot Hoke, which will star Paul Giamatti, the network announced Wednesday.
Based on Charles Willeford's series of novels, Hoke is...
Michelle Dockery, Allen Leech
Pull out your dancing shoes, because Downton Abbey will be entering the Jazz Age.
[Warning: The following contains major spoilers from the past three seasons of Downton Abbey. If you haven't caught up yet, read at your own risk!]
It's been months since fans reeled from that shocking Christmas episode that also rocked the Crawley family, and now they're moving into the 1920s with new babies, suitors and even a musician or two. The story picks up in February 1922, when Downton Abbey is still in deep mourning for the loss of heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) from an auto accident.
13 reasons we want to grow up to be Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess
"Both the audience and the characters have experienced some passage of time," executive producer Gareth Neame said at PBS' Television Critics Association fall preview on Tuesday.