Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter, offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.
Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s TV schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch it. This week, “Underground” returns with its second season and a slew of new characters, plus Amy Schumer’s Netflix stand-up special starts streaming.
“The Americans,” FX, Tuesday, 10 p.m.
When last we left our intrepid KGB sleeper agents Philip and Elizabeth (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell), they had just narrowly avoided being either killed by a weaponized virus or compromised by the FBI. Season 5 of the suddenly-more-relevant-than-anyone-ever-thought spy drama picks up with Phil and Liz starting a new fake family and teaching their real daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) the secrets of spycraft.
“Amy Schumer: The Leather Special,” Netflix, Tuesday
The buzziest queen of comedy heads to Netflix for her latest stand-up special, which was filmed last year at Denver’s Bellco Theater and will include her uncensored commentary on sex, dating, and the absurdities of fame. The streaming giant has lately become home to an A-list roster of comedians ranging from Schumer to Chris Rock to Dave Chappelle — Variety co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein writes that Netflix could be cornering the stand-up market because “these specials may attract bigger audiences in the long-tail world of an on-demand streaming service than they do for linear networks, which tend to repeat these kind of specials as well.”
“Underground,” WGN America, Wednesday, 10 p.m. (CRITICS PICK)
This satisfying WGN drama about slaves in the South engineering their own escapes brings in several new characters this season, all of whom are dealing with a nation on the brink of civil war. The additions to the roster of characters include Harriet Tubman (Aisha Hinds) and Frederick Douglass, played by one of the show’s executive producers, John Legend. Jasika Nicole from “Fringe” plays a woman on the Underground Railroad helping escaped slaves, and if you enjoyed Bokeem Woodbine in Fargo, the actor turns up in “Underground” as a stonemason with designs on freedom.
“The Catch,” ABC, Thursday, 10 p.m.
Mireille Enos and Peter Krause’s romantic crime thriller fills the timeslot emptied by “How To Get Away With Murder,” which recently wrapped up its third season. Season 2 of “The Catch” will be a bit re-tooled — the series will have less procedural case-of-the-week elements and will embrace more of a comedic tone. Plus, “Suits” star Gina Torres and “Grey’s Anatomy” alum T. R. Knight join the show. (“One of my favorite family members is home!” exclaimed Shonda Rhimes, regarding Knight’s return to Shondaland.)
“American Crime,” ABC, Sunday, 10 p.m.
The third installment of John Ridley’s anthology series is set in North Carolina and explores timely social issues including immigration, workers’ rights, reproductive rights and human trafficking. Last week at a premiere screening where Variety was present, star Felicity Huffman said, “This season has to do with xenophobia. We’re asking the question ‘Does someone have to lose in order for the other to win?’ and ‘How we can stop that divisiveness and come together?’”