It’s time for our weekly countdown of the Winter TV premieres! Here are the best new shows for the week of Friday, January 27, 2017. See how this week’s shows, The New Edition Story, Riverdale, The Magicians, and Z: The Beginning of Everything stack up against each other on the Tomatometer!

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Critics Consensus: Z: The Beginning of Everything presents an entertaining look at the life of Zelda Fitzgerald that's full of grandeur, splash, and old-timey wit, though the series suffers at times from a formless trajectory and over-the-top characterizations.

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Critics Consensus: A clearer sense of purpose and extra helpings of cynicism and danger lead The Magicians to a higher level of engagement.

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Critics Consensus: The New Edition Story colorfully showcases its subjects with honesty and clarity while offering an entertainingly paced overview that leaves room for plenty of the group's greatest hits.

Riverdale: Season 1 (2017)

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Critics Consensus: Riverdale offers an amusingly self-aware reimagining of its classic source material that proves eerie, odd, daring, and above all addictive.


The New Edition Story captured the hearts of fans of the ’80s R&B vocal group starting from the very first strains of “Candy Girl.” The three-day miniseries kicked off Tuesday night on BET, stirring up more than a little nostalgia in viewers through the band’s beloved music and the series’ writing and acting — and earning the event programming a 100% Tomatometer score at the time of this writing.




In addition to the gifted child actors who play the group members — we see you, Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things) — and the adults who played Ralph, Bobby, Ronnie, Ricky, and Mike, fans also applauded the actresses who played their mothers. The list includes Lisa Nicole Parker (Ally McBeal) on the comeback trail as Ricky’s mom Mae.


THE NEW EDITION STORY mini series, Los Angeles, California, May 12, 2016. (Bennett Raglin/BET)

But who are we kidding? This is a biopic, and fans wanted the tea, the dirt, and all the gossip on what was really going on behind the scenes, including how the boys kept getting ripped off by the adults managing their careers and the growing rivalry between Ralph Tresvant and Bobby Brown, both of whom had the talent and leadership ability even as kids.

Making matters more complicated, more than one producer saw Tresvant as the next Michael Jackson.

You could argue that shady managers and spotlight scuffles are tropes found in all musical group biopics—  these kinds of conflicts happen all the time within the industry — so the real fun of The New Edition Story is seeing who did what to whom and why. Fans couldn’t stop tweeting, for instance, about Brooke Payne (Wood Harris), the real-life manager and choreographer who helped groom New Edition for the big leagues.

After the boys’ moms intervene, Brooke is fired and replaced by the fictional Gary Evans (Michael Rapaport), who promises New Edition the world and helps them land a deal at MCA. The guys, of course, are rough around the edges and have to be groomed yet again — and Ralph is the golden boy yet again.

And that’s where night one ends: with #NewEditionBET as Twitter’s No. 1 trending topic. Parts two and three promise more wild parties, hot girls, rivalries, and conflicts.

The New Edition Story continues Wednesday and Thursday on BET 

Winter TV Scorecard 2017

Of all the new and returning shows gracing our TV screens between December 2016 and February ’17, nearly 70 got enough critics eyes on them to get a Tomatometer. After ranking them week after week, the Carrie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds HBO tribute doc Bright Lights came out on top, while Netflix animation show Pacific Heat started low and stayed there.  Read on for the full Winter TV Scorecard Tomatometer rankings!

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Critics Consensus:

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Critics Consensus: Training Day falls short of recapturing the excellence of the film in its television incarnation -- and fails to distinguish itself from the current squad of tired police procedurals.

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Critics Consensus: Despite Queen Latifah's strong performance, Lee Daniels' Star is weighed down by sloppy melodrama and overly cartoonish stereotypes.

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Critics Consensus: The Collection's impeccable visual style masks a muddled drama whose attempts at fashion-driven intrigue all too often stumble.

APB: Season 1 (2017)

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Critics Consensus: APB's reliance on high-tech gadgets at the expense of high-stakes drama makes it a cutting-edge police procedural not worth pursuing.

Frontier: Season 1 (2016)

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Critics Consensus: Jason Momoa's powerhouse performance as Declan Harp is ultimately weighed down by Frontier's often sluggish storytelling.

Shut Eye: Season 1 (2016)

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Critics Consensus: Shut Eye's solid cast isn't enough to overcome an overdone, overstuffed, and undercooked story.

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Critics Consensus: Dark and brooding, but also confusing and contrived, Emerald City is the Game of Thrones/Wizard of Oz mashup nobody asked for.

Ransom: Season 1 (2017)

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Critics Consensus: Ransom is a typical network procedural that lacks any originality or excitement.

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Beaches (2017)

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Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two youngsters meet on the Venice Boardwalk and embark on a lifelong friendship.... [More]
Directed By: Allison Anders

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Critics Consensus: Sun Records accurately captures the era and excitement of the birth of rock n' roll, but its disparate storylines struggle to maintain a narrative rhythm.

Beyond: Season 1 (2017)

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Critics Consensus: Beyond stays mired in contrived cliché, despite heartwarming performances from a capable cast.

Doubt: Season 1 (2017)

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Critics Consensus: Doubt struggles with tone in its premiere episode, but ultimately develops into a decent courtroom/workplace drama that is buoyed by a talented cast.

SIX: Season 1 (2017)

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Critics Consensus: Six's well-crafted action and engaging characters are intriguing in spite of the show's trite premise and familiar narrative.

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