‘Bates Motel’


All is not well in the Bates household. Norman (Freddie Highmore) is not coping very well with the outside world, and mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) is…well…dead. The final season of this “contemporary prequel” to the classic 1960 suspense film has definitely improved with age. Later this season, a familiar character named Marion Crane (Rihanna) will check in. And as you probably already know, things don’t end well. Season premiere, 10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29, on A&E.

‘The Walking Dead’

(Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Ross Marquand and Alana Masterson (photo by Gene Page/AMC).

(Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Ross Marquand and Alana Masterson (photo by Gene Page/AMC).

I’m so conflicted about this show’s seventh season. Yes, the season opener – with Negan and his baseball bat – was one of the most brutal things I have ever seen on television, but I keep coming back for the characters and their humanity. The gruesome zombies and zombie attacks are almost beside the point. I want to see Rick Grimes, Michonne & Co. survive (and prevail) in this crazy, mixed-up world. The second half of season seven premieres Sunday, Feb. 12, at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Also: The Grammy Awards air live at 5 p.m. on CBS (hosted by James Corden), “The Missing” is back for season two on Starz, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Girls” return to HBO, and for those who can’t wait for the Oscar ceremony (Feb. 26 on ABC), check out The British Academy of Film Awards at 8 p.m. on BBC America.


Shonda Rhimes’ twisty political drama started season six with the one-two punch of the results of a Presidential election followed by the death of one character, possibly at the hands of another major one (trying to avoid names, so I won’t be accused of spoilers). I think it’s time Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and her Gladiators to get on the case. 9:01 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, on ABC.



Also: It’s season finale time for “Alone” at 9 p.m. on the History channel (followed by a reunion special); a junior edtion of “MasterChef” premieres at 8 p.m. on Fox; and frankly, my dear, “Gone with the Wind” is on TCM at 9 p.m.


1tvbaskets_tzrI’m not sure what exactly won me over about this deadpan comedy in its first season; Maybe it was Chip Basket’s (Zach Galifianakis) desire to be a French clown (it ended badly), maybe it was Martha (Martha Kelly), an insurance claims adjuster who wants to be Chip’s friend, but more than likely it’s Louie Anderson’s Emmy-winning turn as Chip’s mother, Christine. It’s not for everyone, but fans can rejoice for tonight’s season- two premiere, 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, on FX.



This quirky comedy from Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel is back for a seventh season. Tonight we visit a storytelling expert and an unconventional hotel. Armisen and Brownstein continue to amaze playing multiple characters in that city to the south. 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, on IFC.