Ben McKenzie
Photo: Giovanni Rufino (FOX)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, January 3. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Gotham (Fox, 8 p.m., season premiere): Fox’s caped crusader prequel has had its share of ups and downs, with plenty of both in each of its four seasons. We’re inclined to feel optimistic about the fifth (and final) season, however. As our own Kyle Fowle said in his discussion post for last May’s finale:

The last few episodes have been insanely overstuffed, and it really looked like Gotham was on its way to a messy finale, but I have to say that “A Dark Knight: No Man’s Land” clears the deck nicely while also resolving the stories it needs to resolve. It’s a fun, exciting hour, and the final stretch bodes well for season five.


Now that “Year Zero,” the premiere of said season, is upon us, our optimism abides.

In this episode, Jim Gordon (glowering expert Ben McKenzie) and Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) confront a chaotic Gotham (is Gotham ever not chaotic?), while Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) “grapples with how to deal with her uncertain future.” All the chaos and confronting and grappling and uncertainty demand recapping, and Fowle will drop in on this premiere like a rich vigilante drops from the sky.


Regular coverage

The Orville (Fox, 9 p.m.) 
A Series Of Unfortunate Events (Netflix, episodes five and six)


Wild card

Surviving R. Kelly (Lifetime, 9 and 10 p.m.): This is a situation in which the trailer speaks for itself.

The first two parts of this docuseries—the premiere of which was evacuated after an anonymous caller threatened gun violence at the venue—air tonight; subsequent episodes will air tomorrow and Saturday. It includes interviews with John Legend, Wendy Williams, Sparkle, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, R. Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly, his ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones, and two of his brothers.