Stay Tuned column: ‘Fargo’s’ new season tackles organized crime and the American dream
The official beginning of the 2020-21 TV season looks different this year with many network shows starting production late due to the pandemic but there’s plenty to check out across streaming and cable outlets.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
Ellen DeGeneres used her opening monologue of the season to address reports of a toxic work environment at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” She apologized to those affected and said she takes responsibility for what happens at her show, promising a “new chapter.”
“Schitt’s Creek” made history at this year’s “Emmys” as the first show to win every major comedy series award.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
Five-part documentary series, “A Wilderness of Error,” investigates the case of Army surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald (Sept. 25, FX, 8 p.m. ET). MacDonald was sent to prison for killing his family but competing versions of events cast doubt on his guilt. The project is based on the best-selling book by Errol Morris.
In “Secret Society of Second Born Royals,” those born second in line to the throne are more than spares to the heirs, they’re also supernaturally gifted (Sept. 25, Disney+). The film follows Sam, a rebellious teen royal bored with her duties, who discovers that she’s not the only princess with powers.
A Mossad agent goes deep undercover in spy thriller, “Tehran” (Sept. 25, Apple TV+).
“The Great British Baking Show” returns for a new season on Netflix (Sept. 25).
In “Utopia” (Sept. 25, Amazon), fans of an underground comic join forces to save humanity after they discover that its end of the world predictions are real.
Jeff Daniels plays former FBI Director James Comey in “The Comey Rule” (Sept. 27 and Sept. 28, Showtime, 9 p.m. ET). The two-part, four-hour limited series is a behind-the-scenes account of the events surrounding the 2016 presidential election. Brendan Gleeson plays President Donald J. Trump.
The fourth season of “Fargo” premieres (Sept. 27, FX, 10 p.m. ET). In this installment, it’s 1950 in Kansas City and the fragile peace between two crime families is threatened. Chris Rock stars as Loy Cannon, the head of the African American crime syndicate, who has made an unusual truce with Donatello Fadda (Tommaso Ragno), the leader of the Italian mafia. Each man has agreed to give the other his youngest son to raise. When Donatello dies following a routine surgery, Loy sees an opportunity.
Peacock is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with new content including documentary series, “True Colors” (Sept. 29), which tells the stories of Hispanic trailblazers and leaders in various fields. Presented in English, the series features Alex Rodríguez, John Leguizamo and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others.
“South Park” takes on COVID-19 in a one-hour special (Sept. 30, Comedy Central, 8 p.m. ET). As the citizens of South Park deal with the challenges of the pandemic, the kids return to school but nothing, including Eric Cartman, is normal.
Report Card: Ratings winners and losers
Winners: Zendaya’s “Emmy” win for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for “Euphoria” made her the youngest winner ever in the category.
Losers: Despite host Jimmy Kimmel’s best efforts, the “Emmys” hit its lowest ever viewership numbers.
Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.