News · TV

‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’, ‘Black Lightning’ And More TV You Must See This Week

Plus a new David Attenborough miniseries and a Netflix home-invasion thriller.
Edgar Ramirez Assasination Of Gianni Versace
By  · Published on January 14th, 2018

This week’s TV has both new beginnings — a new vigilante joins the ranks of The CW’s DC Comics superhero roster — and endings, as a beloved sketch comedy premieres its final season. Intrigue also abounds: the second season of an acclaimed true crime anthology drama looks into the murder of a fashion icon, and Netflix delivers a home-invasion thriller. Also, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin get back to golden-years shenanigans and a mesmerizing David Attenborough documentary miniseries finally arrives on American channels.

To help you keep track of the most important programs over the next seven days, here’s our guide to everything worth watching, whether it’s on broadcast, cable, or streaming for January 14th – 20th (all times Eastern):

Black Lightning (The CW, Tuesday 9pm)

A new hero comes to town The CW’s roster of DC Comics series. Even though he will not be part of the shared Arrowverse, the channel’s producer extraordinaire Greg Berlanti brings DC’s first African-American standalone superhero to the screen. The show follows Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), retired masked-vigilante-turned-high-school-principal with the power to control electricity. Almost 10 years after hanging up the suit, Pierce is compelled to don the Black Lightning guise once again, as a new gang threatens his city and his family. Jill Scott, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, James Remar, Damon Gupton, and Marvin “Krondon” Jones III also star.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX, Wednesday 10pm)

After the success of Ryan Murphy’s first dive into true crime with the O.J. Simpson case, it seems very fitting that the second installment of his anthology series is focused in another high-profile and scandalous story. The second season of American Crime Story kicks off with the murder of Italian fashion icon Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramírez), with Miami’s thriving ’90s gay scene as backdrop. Latin popstar Ricky Martin stars as Versace’s longtime lover Antonio D’Amico, alongside Penelope Cruz as the designer’s sister, Donatella, and Glee’s Darren Criss as the infamous serial killer Andrew Cunanan. If you are searching for lush, but fact-based and socially-aware drama, look no further than this.

Portlandia (IFC, Thursday 10pm)

Farewells (and final seasons) are hard. It’s sad to think that after eight years, we have to bid feminist bookshop owners Toni and Candance, goth couple Vince and Jacqueline, gender-swapped Nina and Lance, hipster Spyke and Iris — and many more characters — goodbye for good. But before Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein take their last bow, Portlandia’s eighth season will go out not with a fizzle, but with a bang filled with the show’s trademark quality absurdist humor. This Thursday night, raise your glasses and turn your TVs on for the first episode of the Oregonian swan song.

Grace and Frankie (Netflix, Friday)

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are at it again. After hitting a rough patch in their friendship in Season 3, the dynamic duo is back and stronger than before. Grace and Frankie continue their vibrator/female empowerment enterprise, while Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterson) try open marriage, as they all navigate the ups and downs of everyday life, from dating in the modern world to aching knees. June Diane Raphael, Baron Vaughn, Brooklyn Decker, and Ethan Embry reprise their roles; and Lisa Kudrow joins them for this fourth season run.

The Open House (Netflix, Friday)

Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote’s The Open House follows recent-widow Naomi Wallace (Piercey Dalton) and his teenage son Logan (13 Reasons Why’s star Dylan Minnette), as they move into a relative’s vacant vacation home in a secluded mountain town. But the place is not as calm as it seems: a series of eerie events turn out only one explanation: someone has broken into the house. Fair warning: watch  this movie while home alone at your own peril.

Blue Planet II (BBC America, Saturday 9pm)

If you were mesmerized by the beauty of David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II last year, we have good news: another enthralling sequel from the British naturalist documentarian finally arrives on American TVs. Filmed over four years and featuring a score composed by Hans Zimmer — including the hypnotizing collaboration with Radiohead, “Bloom” — and Attenborough’s mellow narration, Blue Planet II takes us in an even deeper dive into the marine life of our pale blue dot. This beautiful miniseries spans seven episodes every week in BBC America, AMC, IFC, and Sundance Channel.

Black Lightning


Bob’s Burgers S8E8 “V for Valentine-detta” (FOX, 7:30pm)

The Simpsons S29E11 “Frink Gets Testy” (FOX, 8pm)

Ghosted S1E10 (FOX, 8:30pm)

Star Trek: Discovery S1E11 “The Wolf Inside” (CBSAA, 8:30pm)

Family Guy S16E11 “Dog Bites Bear” (FOX, 9pm)

The Untold Story of the ’90s (History, 9pm) – documentary special

Victoria S2E1 “A Soldier’s Daughter” (PBS, 9pm) – season premiere

The Last Man on Earth S4E10 “Paint Misbehavin” (FOX, 9:30pm)

Divorce S2E1 “Night Moves” (HBO, 10pm) – season premiere

The Chi S1E2 “Alee” (Showtime, 10pm)

Crashing S2E1 “The Atheist” (HBO, 10:30pm) – season premiere


Detectorists S1 (Acorn TV) – series American premiere

Supergirl S3E10 “Legion of Superheroes” (The CW, 8pm)

The Gifted S1E12 & E13 “eXtraction” & “X-roads”  (FOX, 9pm) – season finale

Scorpion S4E13 “The Bunker Games” (CBS, 10pm)

The Good Doctor S1E12 “Islands Part Two” (ABC, 10pm)


Lethal Weapon S2E13 “Better Living Through Chemistry” (FOX, 8pm)

The Flash S4E10 “The Trial of The Flash” (The CW, 8pm)

Black Lightning S1E1 “The Resurrection” (The CW, 9pm) – series premiere

LA to Vegas S1E3 “Two and A Half Pilots” (Fox, 9pm)

This Is Us S2E12 “Clooney” (NBC, 9pm)

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World S1E12 “Caugh White-Handed” (ABC, 10pm)


The Path S3E1 “The Beginning” (Hulu) – season premiere

The Blacklist S5E11 “Abraham Stern” (NBC, 8pm)

The Librarians S4E9 “And a Town Called Feud” (TNT, 8pm)

The X-Files S11E3 “Plus One” (Fox, 8pm)

Riverdale S2E10 “Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle” (The CW, 8pm)

Vikings S5E10 “A Simple Story” (History Channel, 8pm)

Alone Together S1E2 “Roadtrip” (Freeform, 8:30pm)

Speechless S2E13 “D-i-Dimeo A-c-Academy” (ABC, 8:30pm)

9-1-1 S1E3 “Next of Kin” (Fox, 9pm)

Law & Order: SVU S19E11 “Flight Risk” (NBC, 9pm)

Modern Family S9E13 “In Your Head” (ABC, 9pm)

Corporate S1E1&E2 “The Void” & “The PowerPoint of Death” (Comedy Central, 10pm) – series premiere

Criminal Minds S13E12 “Bad Moon on the Rise” (CBS, 10pm)

Happy! S1E6 “Losing My Religion” (Syfy, 10pm)

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story S2E1 “The Man Who Would Be Vogue” (FX, 10pm) – series premiere


Grey’s Anatomy S14E9 “1-800-799-7233” (ABC, 8pm)

Supernatural S13E10 “Wayward Sisters” (The CW, 8pm)

Arrow S6E10 “Divided” (The CW, 9pm)

Superstore S3E10 “High Volume Store” (NBC, 8pm)

The Good Place S2E11 “Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent” (NBC, 8:30pm)

Lip Sync Battle Live: A Michael Jackson Celebration (Paramount, 9pm) – special episode

Project Runway All-Stars S6E3 (Lifetime, 9pm)

Scandal S7E8 “Robin” (ABC, 9pm)

Will & Grace S9E10 “The Wedding” (NBC, 9pm)

Great News S2E12 “The Fast Track” (NBC, 9:30pm)

How to Get Away With Murder S4E9 “He’s Dead” (ABC, 10pm)

Damnation S1E10 (USA, 10pm) – season finale

Portlandia S8E1 “Riot Spray” (IFC, 10pm) – final season premiere

S.W.A.T S1E11 “K-Town” (CBS, 10pm)

Superstition S1E12 “Resurrection” (Syfy, 10pm) – season finale


Grace and Frankie S4 (Netflix) – season premiere

The Open House (Netflix) – movie premiere

High Maintenance S2E1 “Globo” (HBO, 11pm) – season premiere

Wonderstruck (Amazon) – movie streaming premiere


ABBA: When All is Said and Done (Reelz, 8pm) – documentary premiere

Planet Earth: Blue Planet II (BBC America) – documentary miniseries premiere

Pocket-sized cinephile analyzing things as a hobby.