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Grab your tinfoil hat and settle in for Project Blue Book

Aidan Gillen, alien
Photo: Eduardo Araquel (HISTORY)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, January 8. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Project Blue Book (History, 10 p.m., series premiere): Few things are more suited to dark, chilly nights than low-level paranoia, delivered with love by cherished character actors. Luckily, History’s Project Blue Book has all of that on offer. Executive producer Robert Zemeckis’ new drama series, which is “based on the true, Top Secret investigations into Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and related phenomena conducted by the United States Air Force from 1952-1969,” stitches together historical events and theories about UFOs into a quilt of “Yes, but what if it did happen,” “If they’ve got nothing to hide, then what are they hiding?” and “Surely that can’t be just a coincidence.” It’s based on the lives of Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Aidan Gillen of Game Of Thrones and The Wire), a college professor who’s drawn into the world of the Flatwoods Monster incident, the Lubbock Lights, the Gorman Dogfight, and other documented (and bewitchingly named) events.

Doesn’t that look like fun? As a bonus, the cast also includes Neal McDonough. After his incredibly game turn on DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow last season, we’re cool with watching him in pretty much anything.


Regular coverage

Wild card

Finding Your Roots (PBS, 8 p.m.): If you’ve never spent any time with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and this quietly compelling series, tonight’s the night to stop denying yourself the pleasure. Gates, a historian and literary critic (among other things), sits down with celebrities and walks them through their family histories, finding unexpected stories and truths. In the premiere, Gates’ guests are Andy Samberg and George R.R. Martin, and both segments, Samberg’s in particular, are thoroughly engaging.

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