Hold onto your hats, folks – this month is a bit of a doozy (particularly for returning series).
Let’s bitch it out…
The heavy hitters come out for March (and April – stay tuned for that madness).
As usual, let’s begin with the Top Picks for the month: New, Returning and Wild Card (the show that could fall into either category, but could flame out just as easily). As a reminder, the list only contains scripted series. I’ll be watching shows marked with an asterix (*).
Top Pick: New
The fourth and final Marvel Defender makes his debut as Danny Rand (Game of Thrones‘ Finn Jones) tries to cast aside claims of white washing and confirm he belongs alongside fellow Marvel/Netflix success stories Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. The trailer looks a little too ninja-reminiscent of Daredevil, so it remains to be seen whether Iron Fist can live up to the higher standards established by Jessica Jones.
- Runners Up: Feud (March 5) kicks off a new wave of Ryan Murphy anthologies (Di vs Charles has already been greenlit) and should feature awards bait performances from both Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon. Limited series Shots Fired (March 22) and Rebels (March 28) will provide some food for thought as they tackle race and crime.
Top Pick: Returning
Without a doubt, our most anticipated returning series is FX’s The Americans (it came in at #1 on our returning series in 2016’s Bitch Awards). With only two seasons remaining, S5 promises to crank up the tension even further – something series creators Joel Fields and Joseph Weisberg have proven they’re masterfully capable at over the last few seasons. After the stunning events of S4, where does TV’s best drama go next? The show returns March 7.
- Runners Up: Will the second season be the charm for WGN America’s Underground (March 8), the criminally under the radar propulsive slavery drama that is equal parts emotionally nuanced and surprisingly action-packed? Will John Ridley’s anthology series American Crime (March 12) continue the creative renaissance that began in S2? Plus final season of Review (March 16), the cult series that “reviews” life experiences.
Top Pick: Wild Card
Time After Time looks like by far the silliest TV show debuting this month – with its repurposed premised from the 1979 film of the same name, recast with hot male ingenues who can’t find a lick of acting talent between them. It’ll be eye candy for days, though hopefully Kevin Williamson can infuse the beefcake with some of his trademark patented ridiculousness.
- Runners Up: Can E!’s The Arrangement (March 5) use its thinly veiled Scientology connection to soar in the ratings? Can the month’s other time travel series, Making History (FOX) – also debuting March 5 – succeed in a year already oversaturated with series featuring the same premise? Can The Catch survive a premise revamp and overcome its low S1 ratings?
Full List of New and Returning Series – March 2017
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
- Natational Treasure S1 (Hulu – 3am EST): US debut of hit UK series from Jack Thorne (This Is England, Skins). Paul Finchley (Robbie Coltrane) is a bona fide “national treasure”, one half of a popular, long-running comedy double act. However, the famous comedian’s world is thrown into chaos when he is accused of historic sexual abuse. Julie Walters and Andrea Riseborough also star.
- Chicago Justice S1 (NBC – 10pm EST): NBC’s new show Chicago Justice follows Chicago State’s Attorney’s team of prosecutors and investigators as they navigate heated city politics and controversy head-on while fearlessly pursuing justice. Philip Winchester (Strike Back) stars alongside Carl Weathers, Joelle Carter (Justified), and Jon Seda. Sneaks tonight; moves to regular Sunday night slot March 5.
Sunday, March 5
- Making History S1 (FOX – 8:30pm EST): Three friends from two different centuries try to balance the thrill of time travel with the mundane concerns of their everyday lives. Adam Pally, Leighton Meester, and writer-comedian Yassir Lester star as the three friends—Fox is pitching the series as two shows in one, with one being a modern-day relationship comedy and the other a historical adventure.
- Time After Time S1* (ABC – 9pm EST): Kevin Williamson (The Following) adapts Karl Alexander’s sci-fi novel (previously adapted in a 1979 film by Nicholas Meyer) that examines what would happen if 19th century author H. G. Wells (UnREAL‘s Freddie Stroma) really did build a working time machine—and use it to track down Jack the Ripper (Revenge‘s Josh Bowman) across multiple time periods. 2 hour debut.
- Shades of Blue S2 (NBC – 10pm EST): Harlee and Woz wrestle with uncertain terrain when Shades of Blue returns.
- The Arrangement S1* (E! – 10pm EST): A young actress, Megan Morrison (Christine Evangelista), auditions to play the female lead in a high profile film opposite action star Kyle West (Josh Henderson). But her Cinderella story takes an unexpected turn when she meets Terrence Anderson (Michael Vartan), the leader of the self-help organization the Institute of The Higher Mind, and is then presented with a contract that will change her life.
- Feud: Bette and Joan S1* (FX – 10pm EST): The first installment of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series, centers on the legendary rivalry between Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) during the filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and after filming ended. It explores how the two endured ageism, sexism, and misogyny while struggling to hang on to their careers. Also starring are Stanley Tucci, Judy Davis, Alfred Molina, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, and Kiernan Shipka.
Tuesday, March 7
- Trial & Error S1 (NBC – 9:30pm EST): Described as “quirky” and “outrageous” by the network, this fish-out-of-water tale finds a big-city lawyer (Nicholas D’Agosto) heading to a small town to defend an eccentric poetry professor (John Lithgow) against charges that he murdered his wife. Airs two episodes weekly from 9-10pm EST following its premiere.
- The Americans S5 (FX – 10pm EST): In the new season of FX’s drama The Americans, the arranged marriage of Philip and Elizabeth Jennings grows more passionate and genuine in the midst of the escalating Cold War. Paige’s budding romance with Matthew, the son of their neighbor, FBI Agent Stan Beeman, further complicates matters since Stan – Philip’s best friend – remains the greatest threat to the Jennings’ safety.
Wednesday, March 8
- Underground S2* (WGN America – 10pm EST): The acclaimed drama’s 10-episode sophomore run is set in the aftermath of the Macon 7’s daring escape attempt, following their harrowing journey to freedom with legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman (Under the Dome’s Aisha Hinds) leading the way.
Thursday, March 9
- The Catch S2 (ABC – 10pm EST): At the beginning of season two, con man Benjamin Jones (Peter Krause) has gone from committing the ultimate betrayal to performing the ultimate sacrifice, when he turned himself in to the FBI to save Alice (Mireille Enos) from wrongful imprisonment. Now in jail, Ben is forced to reckon with his criminal past, while the team at Anderson Vaughan Investigations must come to terms with getting in bed with the bad guys. How will Alice and Ben game the system — and each other — to stay together and overcome their less-than-legal pasts?
Friday, March 10
- Love S2 (Netflix – 3am EST): The second season of a “down-to-earth look at dating,” exploring male and female perspectives on romantic relationships through the characters Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Rust). All 12 episodes are available today.
Sunday, March 12
- American Crime S3* (ABC – 10pm EST): The third season of John Ridley’s acclaimed drama anthology examines class and workers’ rights issues in a North Carolina farming community. Returning cast members (playing new characters) include Regina King, Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Lili Taylor, Richard Cabral, Benito Martinez, and Connor Jessup, while Cherry Jones and Sandra Oh are among the new faces.
Monday, March 13
- Young & Hungry S5 (Freeform – 8pm EST): Gabi and Josh try to prove to everyone that they won’t let feelings get in the way of their new arrangement as “friends with benefits.” Yolanda’s attempt to cut corners while doing her job leads to disastrous complications for Elliot and even more so for Josh. Meanwhile, Sofia’s elaborate plan to get her coworker to ask her out is disrupted by Gabi and Josh’s situation.
- Baby Daddy S6 (Freeform – 8:30pm EST): Three months have passed since the finale, and Ben is still enthusiastically searching for the mysterious Elle. Danny and Riley are hunting for a good doctor to help with the pregnancy and Bonnie desperately wants to be involved. Tucker is back from Los Angeles, but he refuses to tell anyone what happened when he was there.
Wednesday, March 15
- Greenleaf S2 (OWN – 10pm EST): Season 2 picks up with the Greenleaf family tree splitting at the root as Jacob (Lamman Rucker) ventures off to begin his new career with long-time rival church Triumph Ministries, breaking faith with his father, Bishop James Greenleaf (Keith David), while his mother, Lady Mae Greenleaf (Lynn Whitfield), struggles with Jacob’s decision to abandon the family. Meanwhile, after exposing her Uncle Mac’s (GregAlan Williams) crimes, but failing to bring him to justice, Grace “Gigi” Greenleaf (Merle Dandridge) finds herself intrigued with someone new, Darius Nash (guest star Rick Fox), a local journalist who’s been closely following the ongoing threats plaguing the Greenleaf empire.
- Hap and Leonard S2 (Sundance – 10pm EST): Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael Kenneth Williams) find themselves in mucho trouble as they unravel a murder mystery with more twists and turns than an East Texas highway. The story begins with a skeleton, Trudy’s missing ashes, a pissing match with a neighborhood drug dealer and a piece of MeMaw’s fresh baked pie. When Leonard is arrested for a murder he didn’t commit, Hap and attorney Florida Grange must work to clear his name. The only things standing in their way are Hap’s unquenchable thirst for Florida, a serial killer, bad mojo and themselves.
Thursday, March 16
- Review S3* (Comedy Central – 10pm EST): The final season of Andy Daly’s acclaimed “life review” series finally debuts.
- Shrink S1 (Seeso): Tim Baltz stars as a recent medical school graduate who loses his residency and finds himself unemployed with a half million dollars of student loan debt. With his dream of becoming a “real doctor” dashed, he discovers a loophole to becoming a therapist by recording 1,920 supervised clinical hours, which he begins by soliciting unorthodox patients from Craigslist and conducts the free sessions in his parent’s garage.
- Snatch S1 (Crackle): The cult classic film Snatch is now a high-stakes, high-octane Crackle Original Series. Get in on the action, gangster mentality, heists and rapid-fire dialogue that earned the original movie a shite-load of fans. Stars Rupert Grint, Dougray Scott and Ed Westwick.
Friday, March 17
- Marvel’s Iron Fist S1* (Netflix – 3am EST): Fifteen years after being presumed dead in a plane crash, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) mysteriously returns to New York City determined to reclaim his birthright and family company. However, when a long-destined enemy rises in New York, this living weapon is forced to choose between his family’s legacy and his duties as the Iron Fist.
- The Originals S4 (The CW – 8pm EST): Picking up a half-decade after the events of Klaus’ trial, Hayley is still working tirelessly to free everyone, much to the dismay of Marcel and (Pastor?) Vincent.
- Striking Out S1 (Acorn TV): The four-part drama centers on the tumultuous professional and personal life of Dublin-based solicitor Tara (Moone Boy‘s Amy Huberman) and her fledgling law firm. Also starring Rory Keenan (Peaky Blinders), Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Utopia) and Neil Morrissey (The Walking Dead).
Sunday, March 19
- Into The Badlands S2 (AMC – 10pm EST): Season 2 finds Sunny (Daniel Wu) and M.K. (Aramis Knight) separated and scattered to the wind, each imprisoned in unlikely places. While M.K. struggles to control his powers, Sunny is determined to fight his way back into the Badlands to find his family or die trying. On their journey, Clipper and Colt are assisted by mysterious, new allies whose motivations may be anything but pure.Meanwhile, The Widow (Emily Beecham) continues to consolidate power against the other Barons, while a dark and mysterious threat prepares to exact revenge on them all.Alliances are struck, friendships betrayed, and by season’s end, Sunny and M.K.’s lives will be forever altered with devastating consequences.
Wednesday, March 22
- Shots Fired S1 (FOX – 8pm EST): When an African-American police officer kills an unarmed white college student, a small town in North Carolina is turned upside-down. Before the town has a chance to grapple with this tragedy, the neglected murder of an African-American teen is brought to light, re-opening wounds that threaten to tear the town apart. Leading the Department of Justice’s inquiry into these shootings is seasoned investigator Ashe Akino (Sanaa Lathan) and a young Special Prosecutor, Preston Terry (Stephan James), both of whom are African-American. As they start to pull back the layers of both cases, they suspect a cover-up that may involve some of the state’s most powerful people, including fiercely political North Carolina Governor Patricia Eamons (Helen Hunt).
- Rogue S4 (DirecTV – 9pm EST): Ethan Kelly (Cole Hauser) moves back to San Francisco to slay his ghosts and seek redemption. But helping out Ray’s ex-addict younger brother soon puts him in the sights of a vicious, corrupt cop. When Ethan fights back, he’s dragged into a hellish labyrinth of criminality and betrayal involving the police, a Fortune 500 company and the Federal government itself. This will prove his toughest challenge yet. And maybe his last.
Thursday, March 23
- Idiotsitter S2 (Comedy Central – 10pm EST): Presumably continues the adventures of Billie, an Ivy League graduate strapped for cash, who acts as a guardian of Gene, a spoiled heiress.
Friday, March 24
- Grace and Frankie S3 (Netflix – 3am EST): From the co-creator of Friends, Netflix Original Series Grace and Frankie stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two women who form an unlikely bond after their husbands reveal they are gay and leave them for each other. All 13 episodes stream today.
- Ingobernable S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): Mexican series centering on the country’s fictitious first lady. All 15 episodes stream today.
Sunday, March 26
- To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters (PBS – 9pm EST): Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë face a life of hardship. Trapped at home with very few opportunities, they share the burden of supporting their father Patrick and their troubled brother Branwell, who has lost his way in life. For years, the sisters have escaped into an imaginative fantasy world of stories and poems, without any hope of publication. But as their family situation worsens, Charlotte sees that writing novels could offer a way out. This is the story of the sisters’ great novels and their extraordinary battle for recognition. Miniseries by Sally Wainwright of Happy Valley fame.
Monday, March 27
- Asylum S1 (Acorn TV): UK import. Dan (Ben Miller) and Ludo (Dustin Demri-Burns) are forced to take asylum in an embassy.
Tuesday, March 28
- Rebel S1* (BET – 9pm EST): Oakland cop Rebecca “Rebel” Knight (Danielle Moné Truitt) has excelled by playing by the rules but always has known that she must be better and smarter on the job because she is both black and female. After her brother is killed by police, Rebel soon becomes disillusioned with the system and is forced to take matters into her own hands and become a private investigator and a champion for her community. Caught between family loyalty and the fraternity in blue, Rebel’s actions set in motion a cause-and-effect crisis that can’t be undone.
Wednesday, March 29
- Harlots S1^ (Hulu – 12am EST): Brothel owner, Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton), struggles to raise her daughters in London during the 18th century as the Madam of a brothel. This powerful family drama offers a new take on 18th Century London’s most valuable commercial activity: sex.
- Imaginary Mary S1 (ABC – 8:30pm EST): Jenna Elfman stars as an independent career woman who finally meets the love of her life (Stephen Schneider), a divorced father of three. The catch? Her “slightly unhinged” childhood imaginary friend (voiced by Rachel Dratch) suddenly re-enters her life to give her advice.
- Nobodies S1 (TVLand – 10pm EST): A comedy from Groundlings vets Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras, who play versions of themselves as they try to persuade their more famous friends to star in a movie they have written. Expect plenty of recognizable guests (including Jason Bateman, Maya Rudolph, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon in the opener).
Friday, March 31
- 13 Reasons Why S1* (Netflix – 3am EST): An adaptation of the book by Jay Asher about the suicide of a teenage girl, this 13-episode young adult drama series is directed (in part) by Spotlight’s Tom McCarthy, written by Pulitzer-winning playwright Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), and produced by Selena Gomez.
And there you have it. April continues to deliver with the debut of Bella Thorne’s Famous in Love, Pierce Brosnan’s intergenerational drama The Son, Geoffrey Rush’s turn as Einstein in Genius, the Netflix adaptation of Sundance fav Dear White People and one of our most anticipated series of the year: The Handmaid’s Tale. Plus we’ve got heavy hitting returns like iZombie, Catastrophe, Prison Break, Better Call Saul, both Doctor Who and its spinoff Class and the final season of 2015‘s best series: S3 of The Leftovers.
Descriptions provided by Metacritic.com & YouTube