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Best Spring TV
By Solana Hawkenson & Raeanne Rubenstein

 

VickingVIKINGS | History Channel, Sundays, March 3
The Storm Is Coming. From the network that brought you the hit scripted miniseries Hatfields & McCoys comes the extraordinarily complex and violent world of Vikings, a new scripted series on HISTORY. Filled with conflict, warfare, and bloodshed, this new drama portrays the world of these Dark Age raiders, traders, and explorers, from the point-of-view of Viking society itself.


Red WindowRED WIDOW | ABC, Sundays, March 3, 8 et/pt
This riveting new drama, starring Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D), about one woman's dangerous journey into the world of organized crime, all in the name of keeping her family safe. Marta Walraven seems to have an idyllic life. A stay-at-home mom in tony Marin County, just north of San Francisco, she is devoted to her three children and her husband. Behind this perfect façade, however, is a more complicated story; Evan, Marta’s husband, supports the family by exporting marijuana. Marta is familiar with the world of organized crime, because her father, Andrei Petrov, and his loyal bodyguard, Luther, are Bratva – Russian gangsters – in San Francisco. It’s a world from which she and her sister Kat always wanted to escape, though they never quite did.

But when Evan is brutally murdered in their driveway, everything changes. Marta’s first concern is to protect her children – and yet when FBI Agent James Ramos promises Marta justice in exchange for her co-operation, she cannot go against the Bratva code. She refuses his help.

      
Magic CityMAGIC CITY | STARZ Edge, Wednesdays, March 13 - April 3, 10 et/pt
Miami Beach, 1959 - As Ike Evans rings in the New Year at his luxurious Miramar Playa Hotel, Havana falls to Castro’s rebels. It’s a turbulent time in Miami, but it’s THE place to be. The Kennedys, the mob and the CIA all hold court there. And Ike, he’s the star of his hotel.

But everything comes at a price. To finance his dream, he sold his soul to mob boss Ben “The Butcher” Diamond. Ike’s wife Vera, a former showgirl, and his three kids think he’s an honorable man, but he can’t break his pact with the devil. His life is a façade. In fact, nothing at the Miramar Playa is what it seems to be. By day, it’s diving clowns and cha-cha lessons.  By night, high-priced escorts have secret liaisons with husbands in the family cabanas, while Miami’s seedier residents and the law drift together to hear legendary singers, musicians and comics. As Ike’s world threatens to implode, he fights for his family, and the Miramar Playa, in Magic City.   

Catch up on season one on STARZ Edge before the second season premieres this summer!


Tom Dick and HarrientTOM DICK & HARRIET | Hallmark Channel, Saturday, March 16, 9 et/pt
When Tom Burns (Steven Weber) loses his job at advertising agency Rage because he isn’t young or hip enough, he enlists the help of youthful con-man Dick Sweeney (Andrew Francis) to pose as a copywriter. Tom secretly generates the campaigns, and Dick presents them to Rage with his innate charm and confident attitude. The scam fools everyone including Rage CEO Reese Danzinger (Michael Eklund), Creative Director Derek (Hamza Adam), and even Art Director Harriet Fellows (Michelle Harrison). With the help of Tom’s ideas, Dick quickly becomes a superstar at the agency and is tasked with spearheading a Super Bowl campaign for a new client. As Tom and Dick find success in their professional arrangement, Tom begins to develop a romance with Harriet and works to improve his relationship with his daughter, Kelly (MacKenzie Porter). But when Dick falls for Kelly, it complicates their personal lives and threatens their working arrangement. As Tom and Dick lie to both women to protect themselves, their lies ultimately take a toll on their relationships and they must decide if maintaining their scheme - and the success and wealth that goes along with it - is worth the personal turmoil it causes.

Top of the LakeTOP OF THE LAKE | Sundance Channel, March 18, 9 et/pt
12 years old and 5 months pregnant, Tui Mitcham walks into a freezing lake ... then disappears. Detective Robin Griffin returns home to investigate, but it's not a simple missing persons case. In this breathtaking but remote mountain town, there are evil forces as powerful as the land itself, and those who offer a glimpse of paradise also provide a path to hell. And Griffin has her work cut out for her; she must not only find the girl but also face her own haunting past. With men that she once left behind now standing in her way, every step that brings her closer to solving the case, also unearths a dangerous truth about herself. A 7-part series starring Elisabeth Moss (Robin Griffin) and Holly Hunter (GJ). Written and directed by Academy® award winner, Jane Campion and co-director, Garth Davis.


Bates HotelBATES MOTEL | A&E Mondays, March 18, 10 et/pt
“Bates Motel,” serves as a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film, Psycho, and promises to give viewers an intimate portrayal of how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years. Fans will have access to the dark, twisted backstory and learn first hand just how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma, truly is and how she helped forge the most infamous serial killer of them all. Bates Motel is produced by Universal Television for A&E Network. Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) serve as executive producers for Carlton Cuse Productions.


SplashSPLASH - CELEBRITY DIVING | ABC, Tuesdays, March 19, 8 et/pt
ABC announces the first round of celebrities to join the cast of Splash (formerly titled Celebrity Diving). From one of the most beautiful women on the planet, to a legendary athlete and a larger-than-life comedian, these celebrities will look fear in the face as they leap off the 10-meter high dive, pair off to complete synchronized stunts, and flip, twist and spin into the depths of the pool below. Each week the competition will get stiffer as the dives and challenges increase in difficulty.

So far, the celeb lineup includes: Louie Anderson, comedian; Drake Bell, star of Nick's old Drake & Josh; Chuy Bravo, Chelsea Handler’s personal assistant; Nicole Eggert, former Baywatch beauty; Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Rudy on The Cosby Show; Ndamukong Suh, member of the Detroit Lions; Katherine Webb, former Miss Alabama and on-camera personality; and Kendra Wilkinson of The Girls Next Door. Judges include Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, and David Boudia, who won the gold medal for diving at the 2012 Olympics.


RevolutionREVOLUTION (s2) | NBC, March 25, 10 et/pt
What would you do without it all? In this epic adventure from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions and Supernatural's Eric Kripke, a family struggles to reunite in an American landscape where every single piece of technology - computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights - has mysteriously blacked out forever. A drama with sweeping scope and intimate focus, Revolution is also about family - both the family you're born into and the family you choose. This is a swashbuckling journey of hope and rebirth seen through the eyes of one strong-willed young woman, Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos, Being Human), and her brother Danny (Graham Rogers, Memphis Beat). When Danny is kidnapped by militia leaders for a darker purpose, Charlie must reconnect with her estranged uncle Miles (Billy Burke, The Twilight Saga), a former U.S. Marine living a reclusive life. Together, with a rogue band of survivors, they set out to rescue Danny, overthrow the militia and ultimately re-establish the United States of America. All the while, they explore the enduring mystery of why the power failed, and if - or how - it will ever return.


The VoiceTHE VOICE (s4) | NBC, Mondays, March 25, 8 et/pt
New coaches Shakira and Usher join Blake and Adam to find the best singer in America. The show's innovative format features three stages of competition: the first begins with the blind audition - during the blind auditions, the decisions from the musician coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks. The coaches hear the artists perform, but they don't get to see them, thanks to revolving chairs. If a coach is impressed by the artist’s voice, he/she pushes a button to select the artist for his/her team; and then the competition enters into a battle phase; and finally comes the final live do-or-die performances. In the end, each coach will have one star artist left ready to compete against the other teams' finalists to be named "The Voice" – the winner will receive the grand prize of a highly-covetedrecording contract.


Phillip RothPHILIP ROTH UNMASKED | PBS, March 29 (Check Local Listings for time)
American Masters explores the life and career of Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novelist Philip Roth, often referred to as the greatest living American writer. Reclusive and diffident, Roth grants very few interviews, but for the first time, allowed a journalist to spend 10 days interviewing him on camera. The result is Philip Roth: Unmasked, a 90-minute documentary that features Roth freely discussing very intimate aspects of his life and art as he has never done before. The film has its world theatrical premiere March 13-19 for one week only at Film Forum in New York City and premieres nationally Friday, March 29 on PBS in honor of Roth’s 80th birthday.


Orphan BlackORPHAN BLACK | BBC America, Saturdays, March 30, 9 et/pt
Sarah has always lived the life of an orphan outsider. But as she learns, a clone is never alone.
Experience a whole new side of BBC AMERICA with the channel’s next original scripted series, Orphan Black, the exciting and ambitious new addition to the channel's Supernatural Saturday programming block. The show features rising star Tatiana Maslany (Cas & Dylan, Picture Day) in the lead role of Sarah, whose life changes dramatically after witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks just like her. Sarah assumes her identity, her boyfriend and her bank account. But instead of solving her problems, the street smart chameleon is thrust headlong into a kaleidoscopic mystery. She makes the dizzying discovery that she and the dead woman are clones… but are they the only ones? Sarah quickly finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly conspiracy, and must race to find answers about who she is and how many others there are just like her.


Mr. SelfridgeMASTERPIECE - MR. SELFRIDGE | PBS, Sunday, March 31, 9 et/pt
Created by Emmy® Award-winning writer Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House) and executive produced by Kate Lewis for ITV Studios, Mr. Selfridge recounts the real life story of the flamboyant and visionary American founder of Selfridge’s, London’s lavish department store.

Set in 1909 London, a time in which women were reveling in a new sense of freedom and modernity, Mr. Selfridge follows Harry Gordon Selfridge (Jeremy Piven), a man with a mission to make shopping as thrilling as sex. Pioneering and reckless, with an almost manic energy, Harry created a "theater of retail" where any topic or trend that was new, exciting, entertaining —or just eccentric—was showcased.


BroadchurchBROADCHURCH | ITV, March 2013
Broadchurch is a new drama series by Kudos Film and Television for ITV. The star-studded cast includes one of our favorite Dr. Who's, David Tennant,plus  Olivia Colman, Andrew Buchan, Jodie Whittaker, Vicky McClure, Pauline Quirke and Arthur Darvill.

Broadchurch
was created and written by Chris Chibnall (United, Law and Order: UK) and explores what happens to the picturesque seaside town of Broadchurch in Dorset, when it finds itself at the heart of a major police investigation and a national media frenzy following the tragic and mysterious death of eleven-year-old, Danny Latimer (Oskar McNamara) who was found bloodied, dirty and dead on an idyllic local beach, surrounded by rocks and a jutting cliff-face from where he may have fallen.

The sadness of losing a child consumes the family, Beth and Mark Latimer (Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan), their daughter 15 year old Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont) and Beth’s mum Liz (Susan Brown) as they attempt to cope with their grief, everyday normal life and the abruptness of the unwarranted attention heaped upon them. Devastated by their loss, it’s the most stressful and emotional time in their lives as they struggle to relate to their friends, neighbours, the church, the press, and the police.


How to live with your parents the rest of your lifeHOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS (FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE) | ABC, Wednesdays, April 3, 9:30 et/pt
Polly (Sarah Chalke) is a single mom who has recently divorced. The transition hasn’t been easy for her, especially given the poor economy. So, like a lot of young people living in this new reality, she and her daughter, Natalie (Rachel Eggleston), moved back home to live with her clearly eccentric parents, Elaine (two time Golden Globe® and Emmy® nominee Elizabeth Perkins) and Max (three time Emmy® winner Brad Garrett). But Polly and her parents look at life through different generational lenses. Polly (in contrast to how she was raised) aspires to be organized and together, while Max and Elaine live a more free-flowing, improvisational lifestyle. Polly wants to take it slow with new relationships, while her parents encourage her to be more sexually adventurous. Polly’s co-worker and close friend, Jenn (Stephanie Hunt), also encourages her to jump right back into the dating world.

Polly and her parents’ views on parenting itself also conflict; Polly wants to be an involved modern parent, but Max and Elaine are laid back, hands-off couple with a parenting style they learned in the 1970s. Polly believes children need to be sheltered and have structure and guidance, while Max and Elaine feel that children need the freedom to fall, and then pick themselves back up. After all, Polly turned out okay, so what’s the big deal?

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but in Polly’s case, this village is on fire, and although her ex-husband Julian’s (Jon Dore) intentions are good, he doesn’t exactly help extinguish the flames. But through figuring out how to live with her dysfunctional family, Polly realizes she might even be able to learn a few helpful things about herself.


RogueROGUE | DirecTV, April 3
DIRECTV’s upcoming first original series Rogue premieres this April on the AUDIENCE Network – Ch 239. Rogue stars Grace Travis (Thandie Newton) as a morally and emotionally-conflicted undercover detective who is tormented by the possibility that her own actions contributed to her son’s death. Grace’s search for the truth is further complicated by her forbidden relationship with Jimmy Laszlo (Marton Csokas), the crime boss who may have played a hand in the crime.

HannibalHANNIBAL | NBC, Thursdays, April 4, 10 et/pt               
One of the most fascinating literary characters comes to life on television for the first time: psychiatrist-turned-serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In this new drama from Bryan Fuller ("Pushing Daisies," "Heroes"), based on the characters from Thomas Harris' classic novels, we see where this incredible story began. Will Graham is a gifted criminal profiler who is on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI. Graham's unique way of thinking gives him the astonishing ability to empathize with anyone - even psychopaths. He seems to know what makes them tick. But when the mind of the twisted killer he's pursuing is too complicated for even Will to comprehend, he enlists the help of Dr. Lecter, one of the premier psychiatric minds in the country. Armed with the uncanny expertise of the brilliant doctor, Will and Hannibal (known as a serial killer only to the audience) form a brilliant partnership and it seems there's no villain they can't catch. If Will only knew... Starring brilliant young actor Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, "Hannibal" will breathe new life into a deadly classic.


Da Vinci's DemonsDA VINCI’S DEMONS | STARZ, Fridays, April 12, 10 et/pt
In a world where thought and faith are controlled, one man fights to set knowledge free. The secret history of Leonardo Da Vinci's tantalizing life reveals a portrait of a young man tortured by a gift of superhuman genius. He is a heretic intent on exposing the lies of religion, an insurgent seeking to subvert an elitist society and a bastard son who yearns for legitimacy with his father. He finds himself in the midst of a storm that has been brewing for centuries, a conflict between truth and lies, religion and reason, past and future. His aspirations are used against him by the opposing forces of the time—luring him into a game of seduction where those who despise his intellect need him most. Leonardo must take up the fight against foes who use history to suppress the truth.

A hero armed only with genius, Da Vinci stands alone against the darkness within, and the darkness without. Facing an uncertain future, his quest for knowledge nearly becomes his undoing as he explores the fringes of his own sanity. Da Vinci throws himself into his genius and emerges as an unstoppable force that lifts an entire era out of darkness and propels it into light.


The Central Park FiveTHE CENTRAL PARK FIVE | PBS, April 16, 9 et/pt
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of brutally beating and raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. New York Mayor Ed Koch called it the “crime of the century” and it remains to date one of the biggest media stories of our time. The five each spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a shocking confession from a serial rapist and DNA evidence, proved their innocence. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of how five lives were upended by the rush to judgment by police, a sensationalist media and a devastating miscarriage of justice.


Hemlock GroveHEMLOCK GROVE | Netflix, April 19
Hemlock Grove is an original Netflix horror/thriller television series from horrormeister and executive producer Eli Roth, developed by Brian McGreevy & Lee Shipman, and produced by Gaumont International Television. It is based on McGreevy's novel Hemlock Grove. After a young girl is found brutally murdered near the former steel mill, two of the suspects in her killing set out to find the murderer themselves. the awesome cast includes Dougray Scott, Penelope Mitchell, Landon Liboiron, Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard. By the way, as is becoming common on the internet these days, all 13 original episodes will premiere the same night

 

Remember SundayREMEMBER SUNDAY | ABC, Sunday, April 21 9 et/pt
A lonely down-on-her-luck waitress meets a handsome, quirky jewelry store clerk and thinks that maybe, finally, she’s met “the right guy.” The more Molly (Alexis Bledel) gets to know Gus (Zachary Levi), the more she’s intrigued by him. But she’s also mystified, and sometimes miffed. Gus seems really absent-minded, really preoccupied. Is there already a girlfriend in his life? Is he harboring some big secret? What is his problem, Molly wonders. Well, Gus’s problem is that three years ago he suffered a brain aneurysm. He can remember everything that happened in his life pre-aneurysm, when he was a star astrophysicist; but his memory grasp on everything since then is virtually non-existent. Every day is a brand new day – literally – for Gus. From the moment his alarm clock goes off, his life is directed by Post-it notes. You can imagine the complications that arise when Gus meets Molly. As her love for him continues to grow, he discovers that he can indeed fall in love with the same woman every day. But can Molly imagine a future with a man who cannot recall their past?



The Big CTHE BIG C: HEREAFTER | Showtime, Mondays, April 29, 10 et/pt
Laura Linney is back in her Golden Globe winning role. Highly regarded school-teacher Cathy Jamison has always played by the rules, that is, until she finds out she's got cancer. But instead of giving up, Cathy decides to live it up. She is going to say and do exactly what she wants from here on out! No more submitting to her son's pranks, no more indulging her husband's childish ways, and no more letting her students walk all over her. It's Cathy's turn to live, and she's skipping the main course and going straight to the liquor and dessert. Laura Linney and Oliver Platt star in this surprisingly different series.


Web Series


Old Jews Telling JokesOLD JEWS TELLING JOKES | Blip.TV
Risqué jokes from a bygone era, delivered by a generation that loves to tell them...in private. Directed by Sam Hoffman. Blip.TV features over 43 pages of 1-3 minute clips of old Jews telling jokes with episode titles ranging from “Broccoli” to “I Need a Viagra”.


DerekDEREK | Channel4.com, new episodes premiering Wednesdays, 10 et/pt
Derek Noakes (played by funny man Ricky Gervais)  is a tender, innocent man whose love for his job in a retirement home named Broadhill, and the people he cares for, shines through. Derek cares deeply for old people because they're kind and funny and tell him stories about the olden days. He's also 49, adores animals, Rolf Harris, Jesus, Deal or No Deal, Million Pound Drop and Britain's Got Talent - but his main hobby is autograph hunting. So when the powers-that-be decide to close the facility due to lack of funds, he decides to sell his collection to save it. The only problem? He can't remember whose autographs he actually has. Hannah is also a care taker at the home and is Derek's best friend. She's smart, witty and hard-working, but unlucky in love, until now?


Coming in 2013...


FAMILY TREE | HBO, Coming in 2013
Having recently lost his job and his girlfriend, 30-year-old Tom Chadwick has a rather unsure sense of his own identity. But when he inherits a mysterious box of belongings from a great aunt he never met, Tom starts investigating his lineage and uncovers a whole world of unusual stories and characters, acquiring a growing sense of who he and his real family are.

Written and created by Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock, the new comedy series Family Tree is a single-camera, documentary-style show in the manner of Guest's acclaimed feature films (such as Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman and A Mighty Wind). Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids) stars as Tom Chadwick in the HBO presentation, along with Tom Bennett and Nina Conti. The series also features appearances by Carrie Aizley, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley, Jr., Maria Blasucci, Matt Griesser, Christopher Guest, Don Lake, Michael McKean, Lisa Palfrey, Jim Piddock, Kevin Pollak, Amy Seimetz, Meera Syal, Ashley Walters and Fred Willard.

 

 

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 144 - September 1112
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