Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, February 19. All times are Eastern.
The Good Fight (CBS, 8 p.m.): When we last saw The Good Wife’s Diane Lockhart, she delivered a slap to the face of her one-time protégé Alicia Florrick in the wake of being stabbed in the back. (A slap many fans likely wished they could deliver, given the unsatisfactory nature of the finale.) Now Diane returns to action in CBS Access spin-off series The Good Fight, as a Ponzi scheme robs her of her savings and pushes her to join a new law firm, accompanied by other Good Wife veterans like Cush Jumbo’s Lucca Quinn and Sarah Steele’s Marissa Gold. New additions to this world include Game Of Thrones’ Rose Leslie as Diane’s goddaughter and a Chicago society belle caught up in the same scheme, and Delroy Lindo channeling his manipulative Chicago Code past as a high-powered attorney complicating Diane’s efforts to stay afloat. Gwen Ihnat praised the show for getting off to “a bright and brainy beginning,” and said creators Robert and Michelle King maintain their previous show’s traditions of fun guest stars and lively courtroom scenes. Continuing that trend of not messing up a good thing, Good Wife reviewer Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya will once again provide our weekly coverage.
Billions (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Season two of this financial drama scores a major win for television inclusivity, becoming the first cable drama to introduce a gender non-binary character. Taylor Mason, played by gender non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon, is a brilliant financial analyst at Axe Capital who quickly becomes indispensable to Damien Lewis’s Axe as his war with Paul Giamatti’s Chuck goes to the next level. No jokes here as we’re thrilled to see another step for casting and character diversity. (We’re also thrilled to have Joshua Alston back for reviews.)
Crashing (HBO, 10:30 p.m.): Pete Holmes of You Made It Weird and Faces And Sounds becomes the latest comedian to join the autobiographical-sitcom ranks with Crashing. Holmes plays a version of himself whose marriage breaks up after his wife (Lauren Lapkus) cheats on him, and in the wake of that disaster he bounces across New York City and the couches of comedians like Sarah Silverman, Artie Lange, and T.J. Miller. Judd Apatow serves as executive producer—adding the show to his list of recent one-word-title comedy series credits alongside Love and Girls—and directs tonight’s series premiere, his first television directing credit since the days of Undeclared over a decade ago. Erik Adams spent a little time on Crashing’s couch with the pre-air review, and Andrea Reiher will be Holmes’ weekly companion on his odyssey.
Premieres and finales
The Paley Center Salutes NBC’s 90th Anniversary (NBC, 8 p.m.): And now, three hours of fireworks!
Son Of Zorn (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): It’s been an up-and-down first season for Son Of Zorn, going from “strange in a very hollow, very carefree, very incomplete kind of way” to a candidate for Most Improved Television Show, often oscillating between the two on a week-to-week basis. Hopefully we’ll get the latter in tonight’s season finale, which looks like a perfect mesh of the human and Zephyrian realms: “Zorn tries to get Linda her job back by increasing Sanitation Solutions’ business and tapping into the Zephyrian market. Elsewhere, Alan tries to win Layla back by becoming prom king.” Kevin Johnson once tried to win a girl back by becoming prom king, but all he got was a cheap crown and this TV reviewing gig.
Big Little Lies (HBO, 9 p.m.): After scoring his first hit in years with Amazon’s Goliath, prolific showrunner David E. Kelley now sets his sights on the world of pay cable with this adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s 2014 novel. A truly impressive cast—Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgård, and Adam Scott to name a few—populates Kelley’s glossy interpretation of Monterey, California, engaging in all manner of back-stabbing, assault, spying, and sexy times. Erik Adams greatly enjoyed the performances in his pre-air review but was less enamored with the overall product, calling it “too laden with page-turner conventions to be truly unhinged.” Gwen Ihnat, no stranger to well-cast affluent domestic dramas thanks to reviewing The Affair, will provide weekly coverage and judge its unhinged levels for herself.
The Royals (E!, 10 p.m.): One downside of the current What’s On Tonight format is that there’s no longer a weekly opportunity to marvel at the verbose episode titles of The Royals, which raid the text of Hamlet and add a layer of pretension to its delightfully tawdry material. Tonight’s season-three finale restores that fun with “To Show My Duty In Your Coronation.” Yet now, this correspondent must confess, that duty done, his thoughts and wishes bend again toward France.
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.)
Victoria (PBS, 9 p.m.)
Homeland (Showtime, 9 p.m.)
Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 9:30 p.m.)
Girls (HBO, 10 p.m.)
The Good Wife, “Je Ne Sais What?” (Hulu): Some people may question if a spin-off of The Good Wife focused on Diane is necessary this soon after the original series sputtered to the finish line. Those people sadly underestimate the talents of consecutive six-time Emmy nominee Christine Baranski. How many other lawyers can save their partners and friends by just happening to be fluent in French when an international doping case comes up?