“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” stars Henry Simmons as Agent Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie. (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio ); MARVEL'S CLOAK & DAGGER - "Suicide Sprints" - EMMA LAHANA (Freeform/Alfonso Bresciani); Marvel's Luke Cage star Alfre Woodard (Cara Howe/Netflix); Black Lightning - China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce (Richard Ducree/The CW); Riverdale -- Casey Cott as Kevin (Katie Yu/The CW

(Photo by ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio; Freeform/Alfonso Bresciani; Cara Howe/Netflix; Richard Ducree/The CW; Katie Yu/The CW)

Sometimes the major heroes of television shows based on comic books just need some support. It can be in the form of a best friend, a worthy opponent, a character to carry a secondary plot or someone just to be there and literally tell the main character that they’re doing a great job. Characters can start out as the latter and emerge as fan favorites. They can also remain on the periphery of the frame, offering commentary or a key piece of info. And then there are also a few who are just criminally underutilized.

So let’s celebrate the characters who help make the heroes look good, be they guests, recurring parts, or reliable presences. Here are a few of the best supporting characters in 2018.


M’yrnn J’onnz (Carl Lumbly) | Supergirl 88%

In some ways, it is a cheat to bring the superlative Carl Lumbly onto Supergirl as J’onn J’onzz’s (David Harewood) father M’yrrn. But as Lumbly defined the role of the Martian Manhunter on television – he voiced J’onn in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series – it was also fitting to bring that persona of dignity and gravitas to the part.

In doing so, it opened up M’yrnn to a wealth of new experiences and some of the best moments in Supergirl’s third season. His delight in discovering coffee, his karaoke night with the gang, and J’onn’s attempt to give them more of a family life by moving them both out of the DEO and into an apartment all revealed added and welcome dimensions for both characters. Sadly, Lumbly and M’yrnn were not to be permanent additions, as the writing team saw fit to almost immediately give the character a degenerative brain disease. But even as that story line continued to its inevitable conclusion, both performer and character embraced their scripted fate with dignity and a performance far beyond the material as written.


Herr Klaus Starr (Pip Torrens) | Preacher 87%

As opposed to his comic-book counterpart, it is easy to imagine the Herr Starr of AMC’s Preacher would like a quiet retirement. Despite being the most efficient and ruthless agent of The Grail, the strain it puts on him is easy to see even as he carries out its directives. It is also the underlying reason why he’d rather see Jesse (Dominic Cooper) become the Messiah over The Grail’s inbred scion Humperdoo (Tyson Ritter). Granted, any sane person would make that choice as well, even in the insane world of the show.

But for all his motivations and skills, the guy can’t catch a break and finds himself forever at Jesse’s heels, even when he should have the upperhand. That said, it seems he finally has a way to hold sway over Jesse thanks to a deal with Gran’ma Marie (Betty Buckley) and the ever-present carrot of Jesse’s Genesis-infused soul. Will he finally get everything he wants exactly how he wants it?

Well, if the show follows even just 10 percent of Starr’s story from the comics, it seems unlikely. Nonetheless, it makes Starr the best of the supporting foils on Preacher.


Sheriff Randy Nedly (Greg Lawson) | Wynonna Earp 92%

As the top lawman in Purgatory, Sheriff Nedly would like nothing more than to see the town resume its sleepy ways. But that’s really a front, as he has always known Purgatory and the surrounding Ghost River Triangle is a magnet for supernatural happenings. He does his best to keep the strange incidents Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) and her friends get into from becoming public knowledge. And while initially standoffish with Black Badge Division agent Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson), he ultimately embraced his presence as another line of defense against the demonic forces in the region. He also proved to be an able mentor to Officer Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell), a woman who, like Nedly, seems destined to tangle with the unexplained.

And yet, Nedly faces those horrors with a quip and that gruff, irritable manner we saw in the first season — even if he has become something of a teddy bear to the main cast. He faced down the widows of Sheriff Clootie by asking if they were Pokemon and had, perhaps, the best reaction to being glamored by vampires by dropping his irascible facade entirely and embracing an ascot. Nedly may not be a constant presence on the show, but he is definitely welcome whenever he appears.


Malcolm Ducasse (Eka Darville) | Marvel - Jessica Jones 83%

Marvel's Jessica Jones, Season 2, EPISODE 1, PHOTO CREDIT David Giesbrecht/Netflix, PICTURED Eka Darville

(Photo by David Giesbrecht/Netflix)

Malcolm has come so far since his days as Killgrave’s (David Tennant) victim and Jessica’s (Krysten Ritter) junkie neighbor; in fact, this may even be the last time he will still be considered a “supporting character.”

While The Defenders and the early parts of Jessica Jones’ second season saw him dutifully fulfilling his self-appointed role as her sidekick, we soon saw Malcolm’s own innate detective skills and sense of justice leading him away from Jessica. In his spare time, he replaced his drug habit with a long string of hook-ups, leading to a one-night stand with Trish (Rachael Taylor) that both seemed to regret in the end.

And though moving away from Jessica as a truly supporting player, his emerging B-Plot highlighted one of Jessica’s big faults – her inability to embrace people – while defining him as one of the best characters in the second season. Sadly, his success meant he had to leave Alias Investigations entirely for a rival P.I. firm and stealing away Jessica’s best client, Jeri Hogarth (Carrie Anne Moss). Hopefully, it will work out for Malcolm and, just maybe, he and Jessica will mend things before too long.

 


Zari Tomaz (Tala Ashe) | DC's Legends of Tomorrow 89%

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Guest Starring John Noble" Pictured: Tala Ashe as Zari -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

(Photo by )

When Ashe was first announced as a new permanent member of the Legends team, the character was said to be something of a foil for the established characters. But when she finally debuted, she quickly went from criticizing the ne’er-do-wells’ habit of making situations worse to munching on kettle corn while watching them do it. But considering she came from a 2042 in which A.R.G.U.S. turned the United States into an anti-metahuman police state in which food was scarce, it makes absolute sense she would abuse the Waverider’s food replicator and collection of video games.

Though haunted by the death of her brother in 2041 and stand-offish with the team for the first few months, Zari finally embraced them as friends after spending an incalculable amount of time inside a time-loop which reset with the Waverider exploding. While still sarcastic and occasionally emotionally distant, Zari accepted the ship as home, aiding the team in fashioning a Beebo doll powerful enough to stop the demon Mallus.

And even though the treat to her life from Mallus was over, she choose to remain with the Legends. We’re definitely glad she did.


Detective Brigid O’Reilly (Emma Lahana) | Cloak and Dagger 87%

MARVEL'S CLOAK & DAGGER - "Suicide Sprints" - EMMA LAHANA (Freeform/Alfonso Bresciani)

(Photo by Freeform/Alfonso Bresciani)

Making her presence felt in the second episode of Cloak & Dagger as an almost completely silent detective, O’Reilly quickly distinguished herself as an upstanding officer of the law. With a keen eye for detection — she knew almost instantly that Tandy Bowen’s (Olivia Holt) first stabbing was in self-defense — and a true sense of justice — she chaffed after being told she could not pursue Tandy’s case any further — she quickly became Tandy and Tyrone Johnson’s (Aubrey Joseph) only real support; in fact, she was more supportive of the two than they were of each other.

When neither the light-wielding Tandy nor the darkness-controlling Tyrone could turn to their parents, she became the go-to adult. But as viewers saw, her willingness to bend some laws for a greater good or even do a line of coke for pleasure and business suggests she is more than just a good cop, making her a rough balance of the Johnsons’ tendency toward precise order and Melissa Bowen’s (Andrea Roth) love affair with chaos. Created by Bill Mantlo in the first issue of Cloak & Dagger in 1985, O’Reilly was always a supporting character for the duo. Including after she died and became something else – a change in status seemingly teased in the closing moments of the show’s first season.


Morgan Jones (Lenny James) | The Walking Dead 80% and Fear the Walking Dead 75%

For some, The Walking Dead never quite worked because Morgan was missing for so long. Debuting in the first episode as a distraught man readying himself to shoot his zombified wife’s corpse, James made a staggering impression in what was his only appearance until a single episode in season 3. The character remained alive in the story via a walky-talky and Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) constant attempts to give him some clue of where his group was headed.

But when the pair finally reunited in season 5, Morgan was a changed man. His journey to Alexandria was not an easy one, and it saw his strength collapse into profound grief over the loss of his family and a willingness to kill anyone who got in his way. Eventually, he met a man who helped him recover some of his humanity. After which, he choose to find Rick.

Despite learning a way of peace, events since joining Rick’s group have led him back to violence. Still suffering from PTSD, the control Morgan thought he had wavered in the face of the world Rick and other groups were building. Consequently, he began to kill again and later suffered hallucinations of some of his victims. When last seen, Morgan appeared ready to leave the group and heal.

Now, on Fear the Walking Dead, Morgan is maintaining his wish to be alone while healing, even if he’s coming to understand that isolation is just not practical. To those he encounters, he’s something of a soothsayer, but it may just be a matter of time before Morgan resumes the way of violence.


Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) | Riverdale 84%

Riverdale -- "Chapter Twenty-Seven: The Hills Have Eyes" -- Image Number: RVD214a_0028.jpg -- Pictured: Casey Cott as Kevin -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

(Photo by Dean Buscher/The CW)

If there is one character on Riverdale who genuinely remains in the support category, it’s Kevin Keller. While presented as important part of the gang – he is Betty’s (Lili Reinhart) confidant – he is not one of the main four and often finds himself either aiding Betty or offering quippy commentary on the events of the week while passing through the halls of Riverdale High. Early in the second season, the Black Hood story line dovetailed with Kevin’s penchant for cruising, but it was dropped before anything truly meaningful could come of it, and that’s despite Kevin’s decision to come out to his father.

Nonetheless, Kevin is always around to back up the gang or literally set the stage with his production of Carrie: The Musical. And his continued presence as a supporting player may be rewarded in the third season as he and Josie (Ashleigh Murray) – another underutilized character – find themselves living under one roof when their parents decide they should become a family. Hopefully, it will lead to more of a presence for Kevin (and Josie) going forward.


Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie (Henry Simmons) | Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 95%

After all these years, it is difficult to remember a time when Mack was an agent of a rival version of S.H.I.E.L.D., looking to steal Nick Fury’s Toolbox from Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). But as the show looked back on itself during season 5, Mack’s original status on the show underscores where he is now – the resident healthy skeptic. Even after traveling through time, experiencing another life in a computer and becoming possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance, Mack is always the first to call shenanigans on any new ridiculous threat or tech the team encounters.

But even as a plant, Mack endeared himself quickly by becoming Fitz’s (Iain De Caestecker) interpreter while he recovered from brain trauma and an indispensable part of Coulson’s core team when the two S.H.I.E.L.D.s merged late in the second season. Not that it’s been easy for him. He’s tried to quit multiple times and always ends up with more responsibilities as a consequence. He also carries the memory of a child he lost in real life and in that computer simulation, and his relationship with Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) has hit one of its roughest patches going into the sixth season. Through it all, Mack perseveres, though. Sometimes thanks to his faith — he’s also the only truly religious member of the team — and sometimes because he’s the guy holding the shotgun-axe.


Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain) | Black Lightning 92%

Though Black Lightning is still a young series – its first season ran 13 episodes – it worked hard to get to places some of its CW brethren would reach far later in their runs. Consequently, the show opens with a team practically assembled already – the Pierce family; in fact, a threat to the family forces Jefferson (Cress Williams) into taking up his Black Lightning identity again.

But in the subsequent weeks, younger daughter Jennifer distinguished herself as a character to watch. While headstrong, she is not necessarily bratty. And in those times when her antics are the legitimate actions of a brat, she always finds a way to square things with Jefferson, her mother Lynn (Christine Adams) or older sister Anissa (Nafessa Williams). Despite being the odd one out in the family, the bond she felt for them was strong and always workable. And that’s before the onset of her powers.

Once her abilities emerged, and her family learned about them, Jennifer became one of the most intriguing characters on the show because she did not want them. Finally revealing that she wants “a normal life,” she took a key step toward maturity and defining who she will be even as it seems she has embraced her powers.


Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) | Marvel’s Luke Cage

While much of the talk about Luke Cage’s second season centered on new villain John McIver — aka Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir) — the show-stealing Mariah Dillard elevated the program in unexpected ways; for one, Bushmaster’s real conflict was with the former councilwoman and criminal mastermind. Luke (Mike Colter) just kept pushing his way into the crossfire. The character’s attempts to go legitimate underscored the legacy of her grandmother and the ugly truth about her daughter Tilda Johnson (Gabrielle Dennis), revealing the real theme of the season while also giving Mariah a layered relationship with Shades (Theo Rossi). As Bushmaster unraveled Mariah’s schemes and pushed her closer and closer to the Stokes legacy, so too did Mariah’s ability to maintain her composure and lie convincingly to those closest to her.

Add a legitimately award-worthy performance by Woodard and you get a stunningly complex look at a woman on the brink of getting everything she wanted, but failing to get it or the peace she was really looking to find. Even in her final acts, she chose to be vindictive instead of resolving her remaining grief with Luke or Tilda.

Stranger Things (Courtesy Netflix )

The amount of TV out there these days can be truly terrifying. And, no, you’re not going to get to all of it. But Rotten Tomatoes is here to help you cut through the clutter with our 15 most-anticipated series, genres, and other programming options of fall — from the roughly 1 billion comic book–based shows (give or take) to the return of broadcast titans new (This Is Us) and old (Will & Grace), and everything in between, including football! Read on to find out what programming deserves your attention when you have an embarrassing wealth of choices.


1. Return to the Upside Down

Stranger Things: Season 2 (2017) 94%


“Nothing’s going to go back to the way it was,” warns David Harbour’s Chief Hopper in the trailer for season 2 of Netflix’s retro thriller series Stranger Things, which returns for more supernatural adventures in the Upside Down just in time for Halloween.

2. CBS Doubles Down on Nerds

The Big Bang Theory: Season 11 (2017) 75%


The gang is back for an eleventh season, and there is one major cliffhanger to resolve in the premiere: will Amy (Mayim Bialik) accept Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) proposal? The episode picks up immediately where the finale left off, so you’ll get the answer ASAP when the series returns on Sept. 25.

Young Sheldon: Season 1 (2017) 76%


If 22 minutes a week isn’t enough Sheldon Cooper for you, get a second dose on Thursday nights beginning in November. CBS’ single-camera BBT prequel series Young Sheldon follows, well, young Sheldon as he grows up a misfit in East Texas. It’s a very different feel from its multi-cam parent series, but Jim Parsons’ narration should help bridge the format gap.  Premieres at 8:30 on Sept. 25, immediately after BBT.

3. The Walking Dead Lives On

The Walking Dead: Season 8 (2017) 65%


There’s no stopping The Walking Dead as it enters its eighth season — even with slightly lower ratings, it’s still the biggest show on television (hence its own place on this list, despite falling under the umbrella of TV with roots in comic books). And if you weren’t a fan of the scattered nature of season 7, the cast and producers have promised the characters will come together again (presumably to fight the evil Negan — and those pesky walkers).

4. Football!

Ah, fall — time for changing leaves, pumpkin spice–flavored everything, and football. Take your pick: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, professional, collegiate — there’s a game for everyone. The NFL’s regular season begins Thursday, Sept. 7 with the Kansas City Chiefs versus the New England Patriots, and will conclude on New Year’s Eve. The post-season will start on Jan. 6, 2018, and Super Bowl LII will air from Minneapolis on Feb. 4.

Keep up with the schedule on NFL.com.


5. Grab Some Tissue — the Pearsons Are Back

This Is Us: Season 2 (2017) 92%


Time to head to your preferred warehouse club to buy some tissues in bulk, because This Is Us is returning to make you cry on a weekly basis. While the present-day storylines will pick up several months after the events of the season 1 finale with the Big Three turning 37, the past storyline with Mandy Moore’s Rebecca and Milo Ventimiglia’s Jack will resume almost immediately where it left off.

6. Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before

Star Trek: Discovery: Season 1 (2017) 82%


The highly anticipated, much-delayed latest Star Trek iteration is finally hitting screens — but not necessarily your TV. While the debut of Star Trek: Discovery, which takes place 10 years before the original series, will air on CBS proper, the subsequent episodes will live on the network’s streaming service, CBS All Access.

7. A Blast from the Past

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They’re baaaaack! Roommates Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) find themselves single and living together once again, a decade after the show’s original series finale (the final scene of which will be ignored — so much for that flash-forward). Expect many hijinks, especially from sidekicks Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally).

8. Join the Cult

American Horror Story: Cult (2017) 73%


The seventh season of FX’s horror anthology begins on Election Night 2016 and features Evan Peters as a charismatic cult leader and Sarah Paulson as a woman being terrorized by clowns. (It’ll all make sense soon…)

9. True Crime Stays Strong

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murderers: The Menendez Murders () 64%


The latest Law & Order spinoff is no thinly veiled retelling of a ripped-from-the-headlines story — it’s actually following a real case, a la FX’s American Crime Story. The first installment revisits the 1994 Menendez murder trial, in which brothers Lyle and Erik were convicted of killing their parents.

11. Comic Book TV Thrives

There are four new Marvel series headed to the small screen this fall (Marvel’s The Punisher on Netflix, Marvel’s Inhumans on ABC, Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu — we get it, Marvel — and The Gifted on Fox) along with new seasons of your favorite DC dramas (The CW’s Riverdale, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, plus Fox’s Gotham). Get the full rundown on the page-to-screen series here.


12. Season 3.0

Mr. Robot: Season 3 (2017) 92%


The theme for season 3 of USA’s hacker drama Mr. Robot is democracy — at least that’s what the first, mysterious trailer for the new season implies. The show will pick up after the events of season 2’s cliffhanger finale, and will explore the disintegration between Elliot (Rami Malek) and Mr. Robot.

13. Netflix’s Elite Crime-Solver

Mindhunter: Season 1 (2017) 96%


David Fincher and Charlize Theron are the executive producers behind this period Netflix drama, which follows two FBI agents in 1979 (played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) as they attempt to solve current cases with insights gleaned from interviews with imprisoned serial killers. The show, which also stars Fringe‘s Anna Torv, is inspired by the book Mind Hunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit.

14. Lords, Ladies & Vikings

If costume dramas tickle your fancy, take your pick from any era. In addition to the three returning series below, there’s also Versailles and The Halcyon on Ovation this fall, while The Crown (Netflix) returns in December and Victoria (PBS) in January 2018 for their second seasons. Serial killer event series The Alienist is also expected soon from TNT.

Outlander: Season 3 (2017) 90%


After an ultra-long Droughtlander, the third season of the Starz time-travel drama, based on the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s series, is finally coming back. But star-crossed lovers Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) are still living apart in different times. How long will it take for them to find their way back to each other?

Vikings: Season 5 (2017) 91%


The fifth season of History’s scripted drama will return with Ragnar’s sons embroiled in a civil war. Ivar (Alex Hogh Andersen) killing his brother Sigurd (David Lindström) will do that to a family, you know? Jonathan Rhys Meyers, introduced as the naughty Bishop Heahmund in last season’s finale becomes a force to reckon with in season 5.

Poldark: Season 3 (2017) 100%


This crowd-pleasing PBS bodice-ripper has already aired in the U.K. and has generated some positive critical response already — in keeping with previous seasons.

15. ABC’s Latest Genius M.D.

The Good Doctor: Season 1 (2017) 63%


Freddie Highmore stars in House creator David Shore’s newest medical drama, The Good Doctor. Based on a South Korean series of the same name (and co-developed by Hawaii Five-0 star Daniel Dae Kim), the show follows a young pediatric surgeon who has autism and savant syndrome and lands a job in a prestigious pediatric department at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.

Disagree with our recommendations? Which series are you most looking forward to? Share your picks in the comments!

Agents of SHIELD (ABC), Arrow, The Flash (The CW), Luke Cage (Netflix), Supergirl (The CW)
Not since the end of the ’70s — when The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, and Super Friends were all on the air at the same time — have there been so many superheroes on television as there are now. Between the DC Comics heroes on The CW and Fox, and Marvel’s on Netflix and ABC, TV these days looks more like an aisle of The Android’s Dungeon. And that’s not counting such animated ones as Teen Titans GO! and The Power Puff Girls on Cartoon Network or the Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, and Guardians of the Galaxy triumvirate on Disney XD.

But if you’re behind on your TV watching, or your reading for that matter, never fear true believers: We have a guide to current superhero shows on television and available for streaming, including which comic universe they belong to, so you know who’s likely to do a crossover episode or two … or three or four.


THE ARROWVERSE

Though inspired by comic books that are part of the same fictional universe as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the shows in the Arrow universe are actually unconnected to such DC Comics movies as Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and the upcoming Wonder Woman, Justice League, Cyborg, Aquaman, and Flash flicks. Or, for that matter, a certain show about a juvenile Caped Crusader. They’re all encapsulated in the Arrow-verse, and will see a four-way crossover this season in which Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, and the heroes of Legends of Tomorrow join forces to battle an alien race called the Dominators that was introduced in 1980s comics-crossover Invasion!

Arrow: Season 5 (2016) 88%

Arrow (The CW)

Played By: Stephen Amell (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows)
Show Created By: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim
Where to See It: Wednesdays, 8 p.m., on The CW returning October 5. Seasons one through three are available on Netflix.
Who Is He? After being stranded on a deserted island for five years, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen returns home to Starling City, where he uses his considerable skills with a bow and arrow to fight crime.
Fun Fact: Three of the actors who’ve co-starring or had recurring roles on Arrow — John Barrowman (who plays Malcolm Merlyn), Alex Kingston (Dinah Lance), and Colin Salmon (Walter Steele) — also had recurring roles on Doctor Who.

 The Flash: Season 3 (2016) 85%

The Flash (The CW)

Played By: Grant Gustin (Glee)
Show Created By: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns
Where to See It: Tuesdays, 8 p.m., on The CW returning October 4. Season one is available on Netflix.
Who Is He? After being struck by lightning that was infused with radiation from a malfunctioning particle accelerator, crime scene investigator Barry Allen finds he’s become the fastest man alive.
Fun Fact: Mark Hamill, who played The Trickster on this show, previously played that same bad guy in the 1991 TV series The Flash, and has voiced him in both the Justice League cartoon and in the animated movie LEGO DC Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom!

DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2 (2016) 88%

Legends of Tomorrow (The CW)

Played By: Rip Hunter: Arthur Darvill (Broadchurch); Atom: Brandon Routh (Chuck); Chronos: Dominic Purcell (Prison Break); Captain Cold (who sacrificed himself at the end of season 1): Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) ; Firestorm: Victor Garber (Alias) and Franz Drameh (Attack the Block); White Canary: Caity Lotz (Arrow); Hawkman: Falk Hentschel (White House Down); Hawkgirl: Ciara Renée (Big Fish)
Show Created By: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim, Phil Klemmer
Where to See It: Thursdays, 8 p.m., on The CW returning October 13.
Who Are They? To prevent Vandal Savage from destroying the world, a time traveler named Rip Hunter (Darvill) assembles a group of superheroes and supervillains to save the Earth.
Fun Fact: Legends of Tomorrow isn’t the first time Routh has played a comic book character. Not only was he the Man of Steel in Superman Returns, but he also starred in the comic book adaptations Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.

Supergirl: Season 2 (2016) 92%

Supergirl (The CW)

Played By: Melissa Benoist (Glee)
Show Created By: Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg
Where to See It: Mondays, 8 p.m., debuting on The CW (season one aired on CBS and is available on Netflix) starting October 10
Who Is She? Years after Superman started fighting crime, his teenage cousin Kara Zor-El arrives on Earth and decides to follow in his footsteps.
Fun Fact: In the first season, Kara’s adoptive human parents were played by Helen Slater, who played Supergirl in the 1984 movie of the same name, while her dad was Dean Cain from the show Lois & Clark. In season 2, Lynda Carter of Wonder Woman fame plays the president.


MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

Just as all their comic books are connected, so too are all of Marvel Comics’ movies and TV shows. But while Daredevil hasn’t had lunch with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Agent Coulson yet, Netflix are prepping a miniseries called The Defenders that will have Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil’s frenemy The Punisher, and Iron Fist (the latter two of which have their own Netflix shows in the pipeline) teaming up Avengers-style. Daredevil‘s second season aired earlier this year, and Jessica Jones isn’t debuting a new season this fall, but we have a lot to look forward to from those two Marvel superheroes.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 4 (2016) 96%

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)

Played By: Agent Coulson: Clark Gregg (The New Adventures of Old Christine); Melina May: Ming-Na Wen (The Joy Luck Club); Quake: Chloe Bennet (Nashville); Leo Fitz: Iain De Caestecker (Not Another Happy Ending); Jemma Simmons: Elizabeth Henstridge (Reach Me); Mack: Henry Simmons (NYPD Blue)
Show Created By: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Where to See It: Tuesdays, 10 p.m., on ABC. Seasons one through three are available on Netflix.
Who Are They? Remember those guys in The Avengers with the big, flying aircraft carrier who helped out Iron Man and his superfriends? Yeah, Coulson and crew used to work for them, then they didn’t, and now they do again.
Fun Fact: While some of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s characters were created just for this show or the movies, they’re all comic characters now, as you can see in the books S.H.I.E.L.D: Volume 1: Perfect Bullets and S.H.I.E.L.D: Volume 2: The Man Called D.E.A.T.H. from former Fantastic Four writer Marc Waid.

Marvel's Luke Cage: Season 1 (2016) 90%

Luke Cage (Netflix)

Played By: Mike Colter (The Good Wife)
Show Created By: Cheo Hodari Coker
Where To See It: Season 1 debuted on Netflix Sept. 28.
Who Is He? While he has unbreakable skin and superhuman strength, Luke, in this show, has not become a Daredevil-esque superhero…yet.
Fun Fact: In the comics, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are not only married, but they have a kid together. Best part: their babysitter is Squirrel Girl — y’know, the fuzzy superhero with a tail who talks to squirrels and once beat up Galactus.


GOTHAM-VERSE

Though this show is — like The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow — based on stories from DC Comics, it’s actually not connected to those shows. Or, for that matter, the DC Comics movies. It’s all alone at the center of its own universe.

Gotham: Season 3 (2016) 74%

Gotham (Fox)

Played By: James Gordon: Ben McKenzie (The O.C.); Harvey Bullock: Donal Logue (Grounded for Life); Bruce Wayne: David Mazouz (Touch); Alfred Pennyworth: Sean Pertwee (Elementary); Penguin: Robin Lord Taylor (Accepted); Leslie Thompkins: Morena Baccarin (Firefly)
Show Created By: Bruno Heller
Where to See It: Mondays, 8 p.m., on Fox. Seasons one and two are available on Netflix.
Who Are They? In this Batman prequel show, the future Commissioner Gordon starts out as a beat cop, Penguin slowly builds his criminal empire, and The Dark Knight is just a kid who hasn’t learned the joys of cosplay.
Fun Fact: Gotham City’s mental hospital Arkham Asylum takes its name from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, who died two years before Batman first took flight in 1939’s Detective Comics #27.

There are a lot of choices this week for the discerning consumer, from fantasy adventures to historical miniseries to horror TV shows, crime comedies, quirky indies, and foreign classics. Read the full list for details.


Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 1 (2015) 98%

Based on Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies, this Starz horror-comedy follows Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell, reprising his role) as he attempts to stomp out the demonic forces threatening humanity once again. The season one set comes with episode commentaries for every episode, an inside look at the series, and more.

Get it Here, Stream it Here


Roots: A New Vision: Miniseries (2016) 96%

This History Channel retelling of Alex Haley’s epic saga stars Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte, a West African warrior who is brought to colonial Virginia during the 1770s and rebels against his new life as a plantation slave. The only extra included is an extended making-of featurette.

Get it Here


The Nice Guys (2016) 91%

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling star in Shane Black’s comedy about a private eye who teams up with an enforcer to find a missing woman. Special features include a profile of Black and a making-of featurette.

Get it Here, Stream it Here


Maggie's Plan (2015) 86%

Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, and Julianne Moore star in Rebecca Miller’s comedy about a young woman who falls in love with a married man after deciding to become a single mother. Bonus features include a commentary track with Miller, a making-of doc, outtakes, and a Sundance Q&A.

Get it Here, Stream it Here


The Strain: Season 2 (2015) 78%

This FX series from the mind of Guillermo Del Toro begins with four survivors of a mysterious plane crash in New York who develop an appetite for blood, setting off a vampiric epidemic whose roots stretch back to Nazi Germany. The season two set comes with one episode commentary, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and more.

Get it Here, Stream it Here


Narcos: Season 1 (2015) 78%

Wagner Moura stars in this Emmy-nominated Netflix original series about the rise of Pablo Escobar as a billionaire drug kingpin during the late 1970s. The season one set comes with three episode commentary tracks, a look at the origins of the series, an examination of the show’s authenticity, and more.

Get it Here


The Walking Dead: Season 6 (2015) 76%

AMC’s wildly popular horror drama follows a group of weary survivors attempting to thrive amid a zombie apocalypse and discovering that the undead aren’t the only ones they need to worry about. The season six set comes with an extended episode, episode commentaries, deleted scenes, a look at the “walkers,” and more.

Get it Here, Stream it Here


Wiener-Dog (2016) 74%

Greta Gerwig leads an ensemble cast in Todd Solondz’s comedy, which tells a series of stories about ordinary people whose lives are connected by the presence of the same dachshund. No information on special features is currently available.

Get it Here


DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 (2016) 65%

This CW action drama, which exists in the same universe as Arrow and The Flash, centers on a time traveler who gathers a team of superpowered individuals to help bring down a ruthless dictator destined to destroy the world in the future. The season one set comes with the show’s 2015 Comic-Con panel, a look at the production design, gag reel, and more.

Get it Here, Stream it Here


Lucifer: Season 1 (2016) 49%

Based on the comic book of the same name, this cheeky Fox series stars Tom Ellis as the Devil himself, who abandons his kingdom in Hell, takes human form, and helps the LAPD catch bad guys… all because he’s bored. The season one set includes the show’s 2015 Comic-Con panel, a handful of character profiles, a look at Lucifer himself, deleted scenes, and more.

Get it Here, Stream it Here


Clown (2014) 46%

This Eli Roth-produced horror film follows an ordinary man who slowly transforms into a murderous clown after he dons a cursed clown costume for his son’s birthday and discovers it can’t be removed. Only a making-of featurette is included.

Get it Here, Stream it Here


The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016) 20%

Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth reprise their roles from Snow White and the Huntsman for this sequel, which spins another revisionist twist into the story of the Ice Queen and Snow White’s evil stepmother. Extras include several making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a commentary track, and it’s also available in a 4K version.

Get it Here, Stream it Here


Ratchet & Clank (2016) 21%

Based on the video game franchise of the same name, this animated feature centers on a cat-like alien and his sentient robot pal, who team up to save the galaxy. Special features include interviews with the cast and crew and a comparison between the movie and its source material.

Get it Here, Stream it Here


Woman in the Dunes (1964) 100%

And lastly, from Criterion, we have two selections, beginning with this Oscar-nominated Hiroshi Teshigahara classic about an entomologist stuck in the desert who is forced to seek shelter with a mysterious woman who lives there. The new Blu-ray comes with four short films from early in Teshigahara’s career, a documentary about Teshigahara’s collaboration with novelist Kobo Abe, and more.

Get it Here


A Taste of Honey (1961) 89%

The second Criterion Collection release this week is this film from the British New Wave of the 1960s about a love affair between two working-class teenagers that results in an unplanned pregnancy. Extras include new interviews with the film’s stars, a 1962 audio interview with director Tony Richardson, a 1998 interview with cinematographer Walter Lassally, and more.

Get it Here

From the highly acclaimed to the aw-that’s-a-shame, these are the best and worst reviewed television series by network. Unsurprisingly, networks with just a few shows, like BBC America and TBS, fared much better overall than those with more. Even with 10 shows on the docket, though, HBO still managed to stay entirely Fresh; its lowest-rated series is Animals at 60 percent. See below for the full breakdown.

Networks

Series included are currently on the air and have not aired their final episode as of May 18th, 2016.

As Deadpool makes its way into theaters and our hearts later this week, here are 10 of our favorite couples from comic books adapted for movies and TV.


It’s time for our weekly countdown of the Winter TV premieres! Here are the best new shows for the week of Friday, January 22nd. See how this week’s shows, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, War and PeaceBaskets, Mad Dogs, London Spy, The X-Files, and Agent Carter stack up against each other on the Tomatometer!

This week at the movies, we’ve got an alien attack (The 5th Wave, starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber), a sinful senior (Dirty Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron), and a devilish doll (The Boy, starring Lauren Cohan and Rupert Evans). What do the critics have to say?


The 5th Wave (2016) 16%

If Hollywood is to be believed, humanity’s salvation in the wake of a global catastrophe will likely rest in the hands of plucky, resourceful teenagers. The 5th Wave, which follows a young heroine fighting to survive an alien invasion, certainly does nothing to dispel such fantasies, but critics say it doesn’t add much to the conversation either. After a series of devastating alien attacks on the Earth, 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) is separated from her younger brother, who’s been kidnapped to join a human army of child soldiers. With help from unlikely friends, Cassie struggles to locate her brother and rescue him. The pundits say Moretz does what she can with mediocre material, but The 5th Wave is ultimately a jumbled, tonally inconsistent mish-mash of genre influences.


Dirty Grandpa (2016) 11%

Robert De Niro has proven time and again that he’s quite comfortable doing comedy, be it understated (Jackie Brown) or broad (Meet the Parents). Unfortunately, while Dirty Grandpa sits decidedly on the latter end of that spectrum, it’s difficult to say right now whether this will go down as a winning De Niro performance or merely another cashed check, because the film wasn’t screened for critics. Zac Efron stars as Jason, a groom-to-be whose recently widowed and presumably grieving grandfather Dick (De Niro) convinces him to take a memorial drive to Daytona Beach. As it turns out, Dick just wants to partake in spring break festivities, and he doesn’t approve of Jason’s fiancee at all. Guess the Tomatometer!


The Boy (2016) 29%

What if the child you were hired to babysit wasn’t a child at all, but an eerily lifelike doll? And what if that doll inexplicably moved around the house on its own when you weren’t looking? That’s the premise behind The Boy, a horror flick whose effectiveness we’ll have to assess later, since it also wasn’t screened for critics. Lauren Cohan stars as Greta, an American nanny who is hired by an English couple to care for a creepy replica of their deceased 8-year-old son at their country estate. His daily regimen includes a list of required duties, and when Greta cherry picks which ones to fulfill, things begin to go bump in the night. Time to guess that Tomatometer again!


What’s Hot on TV

Marvel's Agent Carter: Season 2 (2016) 76%

A move from New York to Hollywood gives Agent Carter new territory to explore, as the series continues to search for a storyline as dynamic as its heroine.


Baskets: Season 1 (2016) 71%

Though its themes may be unpleasant for some and LOL moments are few and far between, Baskets succeeds on the strength of its deadpan delivery and terrific cast.


DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 (2016) 65%

Fancy effects, comic-book nostalgia, and an alluring cast help keep it afloat, but DC’s Legends of Tomorrow suffers from an overloaded cast of characters that contribute to a distractingly crowded canvas.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Aferim! (2015) , a Romanian period drama following a local policeman and his son as they pursue a fugitive gypsy slave across the landscape of 1830s Wallachia, is at 100 percent.
  • Ip Man 3 (2015) , starring Donnie Yen as the legendary Wing Chun master, who must defend his city once again from a ruthless gangster, is at 82 percent.
  • Naz & Maalik (2015) , a drama about a day in the life of a pair of closeted Muslim teens in Brooklyn, is at 80 percent.
  • JeruZalem (2015) , an Israeli found footage horror film about a pair of American teens trapped in Jerusalem during an apocalyptic event, is at 60 percent.
  • Monster Hunt (2015) , a fantasy adventure about a human woman pregnant with the child of the monster queen who flees in order to protect the unborn king, is at 60 percent.
  • Prescription Thugs (2015) , a documentary about the widespread of abuse of prescription drugs, is at 57 percent.
  • Bleak Street (2015) , a drama about two aging prostitutes who accidentally kill a pair of wrestlers during an attempt to rob them, is at 56 percent.
  • Synchronicity (2015) , a sci-fi mystery about a man who invents a time-traveling machine and travels to his past to stop a conspiracy, is at 36 percent.
  • Mojave (2015) , starring Garrett Hedlund and Oscar Isaac in a thriller about an artist who must protect his family from a violent drifter, is at 23 percent.
  • Martyrs (2015) , about a kidnapping and torture victim who seeks revenge a decade later, is at zero percent.
LegendsOfTomorrow1

If the popularity of The CW’s crossover between Arrow and The Flash was any indication, it’s safe to assume that DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, premiering 8pm Thursday, January 21, has hero worshippers anticipating great things. Excited by the idea of two DC comic greats teaming up? Brace yourself: Legends brings together eight of them.

In the two-part series opener, Time Master Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) recruits a band of supers to battle the immortal Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), who stands on the cusp of world domination in the year 2166. Times do not get more desperate than this.

Perhaps that’s why, in addition to the better known heroes on this crew – Atom (Brandon Routh); Professor Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson “Jax” Jackson (Franz Drameh), who join to form Firestorm; resurrected assassin Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), the White Canary; and two new heroes introduced in the Flash/Arrow crossover, Kendra Saunders aka Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée) and Carter Hall aka Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) – Hunter also recruited calculating thief Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and his violent pyromaniac partner Mick Rory, or Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell). Together, Rip and the team set off on a journey through time and space aboard his ship, the Waverider, partly piloted by a talking computer named Gideon.

A tale like that can pack a lot of punch… in theory. Effectively merging and balancing eight specific storylines into a single mission is a challenge not many producers can pull off. And that’s before taking into account Legends’ various action-stuffed sequences. For the most part, Legends showrunner Phil Klemmer (part of an executive producer superteam that includes Arrow EPs Marc Guggenheim, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg) nimbly manages all that might. The first pair of episodes dazzlingly hint at the possibilities in store for this mighty ensemble, throwing in a couple of spiky twists to throw their mission into high gear.

Since Legends isn’t based on a specific comic book series, not even the most fervent DC Universe zealots will be able to tell you where or when the story is going. Fortunately Klemmer and stars Routh, Purcell and Drameh were happy to share a few enticing details with us following a recent press event in Pasadena, CA.

Read on for the eight things you’ll want to know before jumping aboard the Waverider with Rip and his friends…or foes.


LEGENDS IS PART FUTURISTIC SAGA, PART ACTION-PACKED PERIOD PIECE

LegendsOfTomorrow3

Thanks to the plot’s time travel conceit, the Legends will be able to visit some politically and stylistically specific eras, which helps to break this season into manageable chapters.

Season one’s 16 episodes include trippy voyages to the ‘70s, starting in 1975.  After that, the team will be visiting the ‘80s and what Klemmer dubs a “Pleasantville, Amblin, Spielberg version” of the 1950s, eventually jumping 50 years into the future as well as fast forwarding by about a century.

Those hoping for jaunts into the distant past will be disappointed. “We wanted to deal with familiar events of the 20th century,” Klemmer says, explaining that “the further you go back, the chances of doing something unforeseen and deleterious to the timeline are much, much greater.

“So if you want to do a surgical strike,” he adds, “it’s better to go back relatively recent to the event that you want to change, which is Vandal Savage’s rise to power.”


LEGENDS IS DESIGNED FOR CHARACTERS TO COME AND GO

JewelStaite

Jewel Staite in Stargate: Atlantis

This is not to say that the current crew won’t continue on in some fashion and for a significant chunk of time. But like any team up, the Legends are open to new recruits and possible retirements. “It is like a repertory company,” Klemmer explains.

Scheduled to get in on the act this season is Jewel Staite, who emerges in episode four as part of Rip and company’s voyage to the Soviet Union. Staite plays a nuclear scientist who might be (unwittingly?) working in a diabolical partnership with Vandal Savage.

Also appearing in that episode is Stephanie Corneliussen (Mr. Robot) as Valentina Vostok. What remains to be seen is whether Staite’s appearance is a one-shot or if she’ll be back for more adventures.

At the time of this interview, Klemmer said Staite was only slated to appear in one episode. Then again, Corneliusssen “popped in on Four, and we kept her in Five. For a moment we had her in Seven and put that on hold for now.” While the showrunner wouldn’t confirm that Staite would recur, “I’m sure she’s going to nail her part.”


NONE OF THESE LEGENDS IS SAFE

LegendsOfTomorrow6

Eight really does sounds like enough to take down a Big Bad who has been amassing power for centuries. Having said that, does the mission to vanquish Vandal Savage really require every one of the Legends — including a thief and his firefly muscle? When Rip recruited these people, did he get his math right? It delights Klemmer to tease viewers with those questions.

“I really like the idea that all of the Legends will be integral to their purpose before the end of season one, but there are a lot of times that it’s fairly murky,” Klemmer says. “Are they there for a positive reason? Is there somebody who is destined to be a Judas? To me, those questions of people soul searching, that’s incredibly interesting.”


THE INDIVIDUALS ON THE LEGENDS TEAM AREN’T NECESSARILY MOTIVATED BY THE CHANCE TO BE HEROES — NOT EVEN THE GOOD GUYS

LegendsOfTomorrow8

True, Ray Palmer’s participation is motivated by the chance to take on a world-class villain, but “it’s really about the betterment of society and the world,” explains Routh. “Ray’s already making an impact with all of his inventions and his brain. But it didn’t save the world. It didn’t stop Vandal Savage, as he was.”

Plus, for once, it gives The Atom a chance to take charge as opposed to acting as a support player. In Arrow’s sphere, “He’s not at the top of the mountain, you know?”

On the other end of the moral spectrum is Mick Rory. “He doesn’t want to save the world. He just wants to steal s—, and being around all these people all the time drives him nuts.”


OUR HEROES WILL GET A CHANCE TO SETTLE SOME PERSONAL SCORES LURKING IN CHARACTER BACKSTORIES

LegendsOfTomorrow4

“Usually once we go someplace, we don’t want to leave because it’s so much fun, or we have so much story that we can’t resolve it,” Klemmer explains.

Selfish reasons lead the Legends to stay put in 1975 for the first three episodes. “We have a chance for one of our characters to do a side mission of like, ‘Yeah, we’re trying to save the world, but while I have a little extra time I’d like to get into my past because there are some things I’d like to change.’ Because who wouldn’t?”

In Mick Rory’s case, a bit of timeline tinkering might be welcome. “I mean, his father was an abusive alcoholic who split, and he was sent off to an orphanage and lived his life on the streets. I mean, yeah,” says Purcell, “that’s a pretty f—-d up background.”

While Rory’s past has been mentioned, we’ve never seen it. Will that change in an upcoming episode? “Absolutely,” answers Purcell.


LOOK FOR TRANSFORMATIVE, UNEXPECTED ALLIANCES WITHIN THE TEAM

LegendsOfTomorrow5

“Taking oil and water and mixing it is always the recipe for good drama,” says Klemmer, and a show like Legends gives us the chance to see that play out in the realm of comic book fantasy.

This is already taking place with Jax and Stein, whose delicate-albeit-steady partnership is tested from the start. “Jax doesn’t even go on this mission of his own volition,” explains Drameh. “But as the stakes get higher and the team gets into stickier situations, he kind of owns that he and Firestorm are becoming a hero.”

Nevertheless, over the course of the season “there’s definitely a big moral shift. He starts to understand that the world isn’t black and white, that there are morally grey areas. Is it right? Is it good? Maybe not, but certain things are necessary for the overall greater good, I suppose.”

The other main contender for the team spirit trophy, Ray, also is fundamentally changed by adventuring with unfamiliar companions. He has a few negative issues to work out with Stein, for instance. And The Atom may end up forging and even more unexpected friendship.

“Snart and Ray come to understand each other a little bit more, and certainly Ray starts to really respect Mick in a new way around four, five or six episodes in, in a surprising way that I don’t think that Ray would have expected,” Routh teases.

The boy scout and the delinquent? Yes, confirms Purcell.

“Ray and Mick are polar opposites,” Purcell explains. “Mick doesn’t see Atom as a threat. But there’s one episode devoted to Ray and Mick Rory, and it was just a joy to work with him.”

Purcell then hinted at another slightly less surprising partnership. “I think there’s something going on with Mick and Sara, maybe. Mick loves the fact that a woman is taking change. He respects that, and I think he finds that fascinating.”

This doesn’t necessarily translate into romance. “It’s more of respect that she’s a strong, strong woman. Mick likes that.”


POWER BALANCES WILL SHIFT, FOR GOOD OR ILL

LegendsOfTomorrow7

From the outset, Rip Hunter finds it impossible to hold the center as the team’s leader. “Everyone goes into different little groups at times, and it gets switched up, so the dynamics always change,” Drameh says. “It’s a team that doesn’t really know each other from Adam, for the most part. So they’re at loggerheads for most of the time.”

Teamwork may have a more destructive effect on another heretofore solid partnership. “Watching the sort of evolution or devolution, however we choose to end it, of [Mick Rory’s] relationship with Snart, is really interesting,” says Klemmer. “Snart has a little bit more accessible goodness, or team spirit, in him. As for Rory, the only person he’s ever allowed in his heart is Snart.”

Routh agrees. “Their relationship is challenged in more ways than anybody else’s. It will become a focal point.”

Could it also become a problem? Klemmer would only say, “It’s a dangerous thing to have an upset arsonist aboard your spaceship.”

So why would a Time Master bring murderous villains on an altruistic quest to save the world?


THERE’S A SPECIFIC REASON WHY TWO CRIMINALS WERE ADDED TO THIS TEAM

CaptainCold-HeatWave

“Clearly Rip needs one or both of them,” Klemmer says. “But it’s obvious that they’re as much a liability as they are an asset. They’re pirates, and letting pirates aboard your spaceship is the last thing you do unless you absolutely have to.”

That may be the top decision, among many, that Rip Hunter will live to regret. For all we know, it could be justice. Time travel is a tricky business that makes it tough to trust in the veracity of what we’re seeing.

“Rip has seen the future,” Klemmer says.“What if, God forbid, Rip is being played? There are endless sort of head [games] available when you’re dealing with time. The big question is, what is written in stone? What is written in pen or in pencil? We’re told we can change the world, but we constantly see that time wants to happen.”

We’re happy that Legends is inviting us to tag along for the ride.


Melanie McFarland is a Seattle-based TV critic and an executive member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @McTelevision

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow premieres on Thursday, January 21 at 8pm on The CW; read reviews here.

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Here it is: the ever-growing list of mid-season premieres for winter and spring, 2016. Included here are series and season premieres, as well as returns of shows that will have been on hiatus for a couple of months or more. So mark your calendars now. Will “peak TV” continue peaking in 2016? You be the judge.


January | February | March | April | TBA 


 January

Friday, Jan. 1
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride special event, 9 p.m., PBS

Sunday, Jan. 3
Galavant season two premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
Downton Abbey season six premiere, 8 pm, PBS
Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life series premiere, FOX
Bordertown series premiere, 9:30 p.m., FOX

 

galavant Galavant

 

Monday, Jan. 4
The Bachelor, season 20 premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
The Biggest Loser season 17 premiere, 9 p.m., NBC

Tuesday, Jan. 5
The New Girl season five premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
Teen Wolf season five return, 9 p.m., MTV
The Shannara Chronicles series premiere, 10 p.m., MTV

Wednesday, Jan. 6
American Idol season 15 premiere, 8 p.m., FOX
Mike & Molly season six premiere, 8 p.m., CBS
American Crime season two premiere, 10 p.m., ABC
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 11 premiere, 10 p.m., FXX
Man Seeking Woman season two premiere, 10:30 p.m., FXX

Thursday, Jan. 7
Angel from Hell series premiere, 9:30 p.m., CBS
Beyond the Tank season two premiere, 10 p.m., ABC
Shades of Blue series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC
Todd Margaret season three premiere, 10 p.m., IFC

Sunday, Jan. 10
Shameless season six premiere, 9 p.m., SHO

Tuesday, Jan. 12
Pretty Little Liars season six return, 8 p.m., Freeform
Shadowhunters series premiere, 9 p.m., Freeform

 

shadow Shadowhunters

 

Wednesday, Jan. 13
Second Chance series premiere, 9 p.m., FOX
Younger season two premiere, 10 p.m., TV Land
Teachers series premiere, 11 p.m., TV Land

Thursday, Jan. 14
Colony series premiere, 10 p.m., USA
Workaholics season six premiere, 10 p.m., Comedy Central
Idiotsitter series premiere, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central

 

colony Colony

 

Friday, Jan. 15
Hell’s Kitchen season 15 premiere, 9 p.m., FOX

Sunday, Jan. 17
Angie Tribeca series premiere, 9 p.m., TBS
Billions series premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime
Mercy Street series premiere, 10 p.m., PBS

 

angie Angie Tribeca

 

Monday, Jan. 18
War & Peace series premiere, 9 p.m., A&E, Lifetime, History
Almost Royal season two premiere, 10 p.m., BBC America
Hit the Floor season three premiere, 10 p.m., VH1

Tuesday, Jan. 19
Marvel’s Agent Carter season two premiere, 9 p.m., ABC

Thursday, Jan. 21
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow series premiere, 8 p.m., CW
The 100 season three premiere, 9 p.m., CW
Baskets series premiere, 10 p.m., FX
London Spy series US premiere, 10 p.m., BBC America
Portlandia season six premiere, 10 p.m., IFC
Dark Net series premiere, 11 p.m., Showtime

Friday, Jan. 22
Chelsea Does series premiere, Netflix
Mad Dogs series premiere, Amazon Studios
Children’s Hospital season seven premiere, 11 p.m., Comedy Central, Adult Swim

Saturday, Jan. 23
Black Sails season three, 9 p.m., Starz
Beowulf series premiere, 10 p.m., Esquire

Sunday, Jan. 24
The X-Files season 10 premiere, 10 p.m., FOX

 

x The X-Files

 

Monday, Jan. 25
The Fosters season three return, 8 p.m., Freeform
American Dad! season 12 premiere, 8:30 p.m., TBS
Lucifer series premiere, 9 p.m., FOX
The Magicians series premiere, 9 p.m., SyFy
Recovery Road series premiere, 9 p.m., Freeform

Tuesday, Jan. 26
Outsiders series premiere, 9 p.m., WGN

Wednesday, Jan. 27
Lucha Underground season two premiere, 9 p.m., El Rey
Suits season five return, 10 p.m., USA

Thursday, Jan. 28
You, Me and the Apocalypse series premiere, 8 p.m., NBC

Friday, Jan. 29
The Vampire Diaries season seven return, 8 p.m., CW
The Originals season three return, 9 p.m., CW

Sunday, Jan. 31
The Venture Bros season six premiere, midnight, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim

Back to Top


 February


Tuesday, Feb. 2
The Muppets season one return, 8 p.m., ABC
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson series premiere, 10 p.m., FX

 

oj American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson

 

Wednesday, Feb. 3
Madoff series premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
Young & Hungry season three premiere, 8 p.m., Freeform
Baby Daddy season five premiere, 8:30 p.m., Freeform

Friday, Feb. 5
Sleepy Hollow season three return, 8 p.m., FOX
Animals series premiere, 11:30 p.m., HBO

Monday, Feb. 8
Castle season eight return, 10 p.m., ABC

Tuesday, Feb. 9
Tosh.0 season eight return, 10 p.m., Comedy Central
Not Safe with Nikki Glaser series premiere, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central

Thursday, Feb. 11
Grey’s Anatomy season 12 return, 8 p.m., ABC
Scandal season five return, 9 p.m., ABC
How to Get Away with Murder season two return, 10 p.m., ABC
Those Who Can’t series premiere, 10:30 p.m., TruTV

Friday, Feb. 12
The Amazing Race season 28 return, 8 p.m., CBS

Sunday, Feb. 14
The Walking Dead season six return, 9 p.m., AMC
Vinyl series premiere, 9 p.m., HBO

Monday, Feb. 15
11.22.63 series premiere, Hulu
Major Crimes season four return, 9 p.m., TNT
Better Call Saul season two premiere, 10 p.m., AMC
Bitten season three premiere 11 p.m., Syfy

 

major crimes Major Crimes

 

Tuesday, Feb. 16
The New Yorker Presents series premiere, Amazon Studios
Rizzoli & Isles season seven premiere, 9 p.m., TNT

Wednesday, Feb. 17
Survivor season 32 premiere, 8 p.m., CBS
Broad City season three premiere, 10 p.m., Comedy Central

Thursday, Feb. 18
Vikings season four premiere, 8 p.m., History

Friday, Feb. 19
Love series premiere, Netflix

Sunday, Feb. 21
Girls season five premiere, 10 p.m., HBO
Togetherness season two premiere, 10:30 p.m., HBO

Thursday, Feb. 25
Prey miniseries premiere, 10 p.m., BBC America

Friday, Feb. 26
Fuller House series premiere, Netflix

Monday, Feb. 29
Gotham season two return, 8 p.m., FOX
The Voice season 10 premiere, 8 p.m., NBC
Blindspot season one return, 10 p.m., NBC
Back to Top


 March


Wednesday, Mar. 2
Rosewood season one return, 8 p.m., Fox
The Real O’Neals series premiere, 8:30 p.m., ABC
CSI: Cyber season two return, 10 p.m., CBS
Hap and Leonard series premiere 10 p.m., Sundance

Thursday, Mar. 3
The Family series premiere, 9 p.m., ABC

Friday, Mar. 4
House of Cards season four, Netflix

Sunday, Mar. 6
Once Upon a Time season five return, 8 p.m., ABC
I Am Cait season two premiere, 9 p.m., E!
Quantico season one return, 10 p.m., ABC

Monday, Mar. 7
Bates Motel season four premiere, 9 p.m., A&E
Damien series premiere, 10 p.m., A&E

 

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Tuesday, Mar. 8
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season three return, 9 p.m., ABC
Of Kings and Prophets series premiere, 10 p.m., ABC

Wednesday, Mar. 9
The Carmichael Show season two preview, 10 p.m., NBC
Underground series premiere, 10 p.m., WGN

Thursday, Mar. 10
60 Days In series premiere, 9 p.m., A&E

Friday, Mar. 11
Bosch season two premiere, Amazon
The Characters series premiere, Netflix
Flaked series premiere, Netflix
Party Over Here series premiere, 11 p.m., FOX

Sunday, Mar. 13
And Then There Were None miniseries US premiere, 8 p.m., Lifetime
The Carmichael Show season two premiere, 9 p.m., NBC

Tuesday, Mar. 15
Crowded series preview episodes, 10:00 p.m., NBC
Faking It season three premiere, 10:30 p.m., MTV

Wednesday, Mar. 16
Happy Valley season two premiere, Netflix
Schitt’s Creek season two premiere, 8 p.m., POP
Nashville season four return, 9 p.m., ABC
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders series premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
The Americans season four premiere, 10 p.m., FX

 

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Friday, Mar. 18
Marvel’s Daredevil season two premiere, Netflix

Sunday, Mar. 20
Crowded series premiere, 9:30 pm, NBC

Monday, Mar. 21
Dancing with the Stars season 22 premiere, 8 p.m., ABC

Tuesday, Mar. 22
Heartbeat series preview, 9 p.m., NBC
Stitchers season two premiere, 10 p.m., Freeform

Wednesday, Mar. 23
Heartbeat series premiere, 8 p.m., NBC
Rogue season four premiere, 9 p.m., DirecTV
The Carbonaro Effect season two premiere , 10 p.m., TruTV

Sunday, Mar. 27
Grantchester season two premiere, 9 p.m., PBS
Mr. Selfridge season four premiere, 10 p.m., PBS

Thursday, Mar. 24
The Catch series premiere, 10 p.m., ABC

Wednesday, Mar. 30
The Path series premiere, Hulu
Empire season two return, 9 p.m., FOX
Lopez series premiere, 10 p.m., TVLand
The Soul Man season five, 10:30 p.m., TV Land

 

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Thursday, Mar. 31
Archer season seven premiere, FX
Rush Hour series premiere, 10 p.m., CBS

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 April


Friday, Apr. 1
The Ranch season premiere, Netflix
Banshee season four premiere, Cinemax
Motive season three premiere (US), 10 p.m., USA
Wynonna Earp series premiere, 10 p.m., SyFy

Sunday, Apr. 3
Call the Midwife season five premiere, 8 p.m., PBS

Thursday, Apr. 7
The Odd Couple season two premiere, 8:30 p.m., CBS

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Friday, Apr. 8
Catastrophe season two premiere, Amazon

Saturday, Apr. 9
Outlander season two premiere, 9 p.m., Starz

Sunday, Apr. 10
The Girlfriend Experience series premiere, 8 p.m., Starz
House of Lies season five premiere, 9 p.m., Showtime
Dice series premiere, 9:30 p.m., Showtime
Fear the Walking Dead season two premiere, 10 p.m., AMC

Monday, Apr. 11
The Detour series premiere, 9 p.m., TBS
Hunters series premiere, 10 p.m., SyFy

Tuesday, Apr. 12
Ajin: Demi-Human series premiere, Netflix
The Mindy Project season four return, Hulu
Game of Silence series premiere, 10:00 p.m., NBC

Wednesday, Apr. 13
The Last Panthers series premiere, 10 p.m., SundanceTV

Thursday, Apr. 14
Bones season 11 return, 8 p.m., FOX
Orphan Black season four premiere, 10 p.m., BBC America

Friday, Apr. 15
Cuckoo season three US premiere, Netflix
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season two premiere, Netflix

Monday, Apr. 18
12 Monkeys season two premiere, 9 p.m., SyFy

Tuesday, Apr. 19
Containment series premiere, 9 p.m., CW
The Night Manager miniseries premiere, AMC

Wednesday, Apr. 20
Deadbeat series 3 premiere, Hulu

Sunday, Apr. 24
Game of Thrones season six premiere, 9 p.m., HBO
Rebellion miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., Sundance
Silicon Valley season three premiere, 10 p.m., HBO
Veep season five premiere, 10:30 p.m., HBO

Monday, Apr. 25
Turn season three premiere, 10 p.m., AMC

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TBA


The Last Man on Earth season two return, FOX

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This week in TV news, Obama takes a ride with Jerry Seinfeld on a new episode of Crackle’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Plus, SyFy renews The Expanse, The CW teases Suicide Squad, and “Warm Kitty” descendants sue The Big Bang Theory!


SYFY RENEWS THE EXPANSE FOR SEASON TWO

Syfy announced Thursday its 2017 plans for a second season of The Expanse (Fresh at 74 percent), which is currently in the middle of its first 10-episode run. Set 200 years in the future, The Expanse follows the story of a hard-boiled detective (Thomas Jane) and a rogue ship captain (Steven Strait) who join forces to track down a missing woman, uncovering what could be the biggest conspiracy in human history. “The Expanse is firing on all cylinders creatively, building a passionate fan base among viewers and critics alike, and delivering on Syfy’s promise of smart, provocative science fiction entertainment,” said SyFy and Chiller president Dave Howe. “We can’t wait to see where the story takes us in season two.” To catch up before episode five, “Back to the Butcher,” airs Tuesday Jan. 5 at 10 p.m., watch the first four episodes of season one on SyFy.com.


PRESIDENT OBAMA TAKES JERRY SEINFELD FOR A RIDE

No matter which side of the political aisle you’re on, you have to admit that President Obama has fired off some pretty good jokes during his time in office. For Jerry Seinfeld, that was enough to invite POTUS onto Wednesday night’s seventh-season premiere of Comedians in Cars Getting CoffeeThe 20-minute episode, which is currently available for free on Crackle, featured a few improvised bits with Obama and the funnyman — mostly trying to drive a 1963 Corvette Stingray off the presidential premises (no such luck, by the way), and some fun banter over a cup of coffee in the White House commissary. Highlights of their Q&A included Obama’s anecdote about golfing with Seinfeld creator Larry David, and also the president’s admission that a “pretty sizable percentage” of world leaders are crazy. “Part of what happens is these guys, I think the longer they stay in office, the more likely that is to happen,” Obama said. “At a certain point, your feet hurt and you’re having trouble peeing, and you have absolute power.” This week’s installment is the first of six episodes in season seven, which will include interviews with Will Ferrell, Steve Martin, Garry Shandling, Kathleen Madigan, and Sebastian Maniscalco, streaming every Wednesday night at 11:30 p.m.

THE CW WILL DROP THE FIRST SUICIDE SQUAD TRAILER DURING DC SPECIAL

The synergy between DC Comics and The CW continues on Tuesday, Jan. 19, when the network will present the first full trailer for Suicide Squad, director David Ayer’s feature film about DC’s “misfit crew of antiheroes forced into saving the world,” coming to theaters Aug. 2016. The all-new trailer will debut during DC Films Presents: Dawn Of The Justice League, a half-hour special hosted by Kevin Smith, previewing new movies coming from the DC Films universe. The special will be paired with DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow: Their Time Is Now, an in-depth look at the origin stories behind the new CW series. Both half-hour specials will air following a shiny new episode of The Flash at 8 p.m. on the 19th. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will premiere on The CW on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m.

THE BIG BANG THEORY FACING LEGAL BATTLE OVER ‘SOFT KITTY’

According to Deadline, a legal battle erupted this week over a lullaby sung several times on the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory. Known as “Soft Kitty,” the song has been sung in numerous episodes in which Jim Parsons‘ character, Sheldon, needs some comforting. Due to the song’s popularity, CBS has even sold “Soft Kitty” merchandise, such as hoodies, key chains, and plush toys. The late poet Edith Newlin wrote “Warm Kitty” in 1937, and now her daughters, Margaret Perry and Ellen Chase, want CBS to pay up for their mother’s now-famous lyrics. The lullaby bit has appeared in eight different episodes of TBBT since 2008. Warner Bros., which produces the show, has not commented on the suit, but the music publisher who has held the rights to the poem for the past 80 years, says that “Warm Kitty” has been properly licensed. See the full story here.

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