You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Our Staff Picks: TV Shows to Watch the Week of Dec. 12, 2016

Variety logo Variety 12/12/2016 Variety Staff
© Provided by Variety

Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter, offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.

Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s TV schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch it. The Golden Globes nominations were announced this morning, but before award season 2017 kicks off — and the holidays! — there’s still more TV to catch this year.

“America’s Next Top Model” season premiere, VH1, Monday, 10 p.m.

Cycle 23 struts onto the catwalk with a new host (Rita Ora is in for Tyra Banks), new judges’ panel (model Ashley Graham, celebrity stylist Law Roach and Paper Magazine’s Drew Elliott) and a new home on VH1. The format feels similar, but slight changes give the show a modernized makeover. Speaking to Variety about the new season, VH1 and MTV exec Nina Diaz said, “We felt like the fashion and the social nature of modeling at this stage felt like a right time for a renewed marriage between the two brands.”

Rock the Troops,” Spike, Tuesday, 9 p.m.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hosts this special, which welcomes a who’s-who of celebrity guests and musical performers to entertain the people who defend the U.S. every day. Filmed on location at Pearl Harbor, the massive event welcomed 50,000 servicemen and women and their families, who were greeted by the likes of Kevin Hart, Terry Crews, Melissa McCarthy, Nick Jonas and more. “When you have a message that’s very moving about doing the right thing and taking care of people, you need to do it as loud as possible,” says Dany Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions, which is producing with Casey Patterson Entertainment. (For more with Garcia and Patterson, check back for Variety‘s full “Rock the Troops” story tomorrow.)

Empire” midseason finale, Fox, Wednesday, 8 p.m.

The fall finale of broadcast’s top TV show is here, and if you know anything about the Lyon family, you know it’s going to be juicy. Even though Taraji P. Henson was snubbed in this morning’s Golden Globes nominations, there’s no doubt Cookie will be in full force while she’s helping her man Angelo (Taye Diggs) work to win the mayoral bid. And Jamal’s (Jussie Smollett) storyline should also be dramatic — earlier this season, executive producer/director Sanaa Hamri warned Variety of his pill-popping problem, teasing, “There’s a big surprise in the midseason finale with that.”

Star” series premiere, Fox, Wednesday, 9 p.m.

It’s a back-to-back Lee Daniels night! The “Empire” co-creator’s newest addition to Fox debuts with a special sneak peek episode, before returning to its regular timeslot in January. Though the cast is headlined by Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt who are joined by a trio of triple-threat newcomers, Variety critic Maureen Ryan writes, “‘Star’ does its cast no favors,” further explaining, “There’s not much depth or discipline in this sloppy story, so less talented cast members either flounder or oversell the material they’ve been given, and some characters veer toward cartoonish stereotypes.” But, if you like the glitz, glam and music of “Empire,” it’s worth giving “Star” a chance.

Younger” season finale, TV Land, Wednesday, 10 p.m.

Will someone else finally find out Liza’s (Sutton Foster) secret? Will Liza’s love triangle between Charles (Peter Hermann) and Josh (Nico Tortorella) settle down? No spoilers, but Variety TV reporter Elizabeth Wagmeister has screened the finale and she promises an episode full of cliffhangers. Good thing the Darren Star show has been renewed for Season 4. (Check back on Wednesday, after the east coast airing, for our Season 3 post-mortem.)

The OA” premiere, Netflix, Friday

Netflix’s “secret” show won’t be so secret anymore — and if you can’t wait until Friday, check out this trailer that the streaming service released early this week. The eight-part show is about a missing blind woman, played by Brit Marling, who finally returns to her family after seven years with her sight restored.

Rectify” season finale, Sundance, Wednesday, 10 p.m. (CRITICS PICK)

If there’s any justice in this world, Aden Young and other members of the phenomenal “Rectify” cast will have their work recognized in the next round of Emmy nominations. But let’s not focus on what might happen but what is undeniable now: “Rectify” is one of the most acclaimed and worthwhile dramas of the past 20 years. If you haven’t seen it, the first three seasons are on Netflix. If you have been gripped by this show’s beautifully rendered meditation on crime, punishment, sin and redemption, then you are probably both dreading the end of this luminous drama and eager to see what these actors and creator Ray McKinnon unleash in the last installment. The story of Daniel Holden’s post-prison odyssey, and the wrenching and beautiful transformations spurred along by that journey, proves that sometimes, the most powerful stories are the quiet ones.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Variety

AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon