Spoiler Alert: Sherlock Holmes is alive.
OK, obviously BBC’s original series Sherlock (10 p.m. Sundays, PBS) would not have continued onto a third season if its namesake character was really dead. But after falling from the roof of St. Bart’s Hospital in last season’s finale, Sherlock Holmes’ colleagues and friends (if you can call them that) are forced to move on with their lives under the presumption that he is gone — they attended his funeral, after all.
Two years after the incident, Sherlock resurfaces, clear from all fraud charges. London isn’t in the state he left it, however. The city is under terrorist threat. On a more personal level, John Watson has moved out of Baker Street and now has a girlfriend. Upon Sherlock’s return, his old partner isn’t too keen on sweeping the past two years under the rug. Watson is angry and, like most fans, seeks an explanation behind Sherlock’s faked suicide. But while we’re wondering, “How did he do it?” Watson asks, “Why?”
Season Three (“Series Three” if you’re British) brings with it new crimes, characters and twists on the classic detective tales, all packed into three 120-minute segments.
WEDNESDAY JAN. 15
Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – The kids’ open house puts the adults in high school mode: Gloria faces off with a certified mean-girl mom (Jane Krakowski), Jay teaches Phil the art of playing hookie and Claire cracks under pressure. Off school grounds, Alex sees a therapist and Mitchell encounters a greener-than-thou neighbor (Jesse Eisenberg).
American Horror Story: Coven (10 p.m., FX) – The body count continues to rise as Maria and Fiona confront The Corporation. Been wondering about Delphine? We catch up with her and get a flashback of her first taste of torture in 1830. Cordelia makes a sacrifice in hopes of saving the coven.
Parks and Recreation (8:30 p.m., NBC) -– Pranks, proposals and presentations abound as Ben and Leslie begin their new jobs.
Under the Gunn (Series Premiere, 9 p.m., Lifetime) – You know Lifetime can’t let a week pass without some sort of Project Runway–related fare. PR mentor Tim Gunn teams up successful alumni of the franchise with up-and-coming designers for a fashion competition with a big twist.
Parenthood (10 p.m., NBC) – Camille returns from Italy (with a new ’do!); Julia and Joel’s issues become apparent to the kids; Amber copes with her breakup by spiraling down to hot mess mode again, only to reunite with her father.
SATURDAY JAN. 18
Flowers in the Attic (8 p.m., Lifetime) – Ellen Burstyn, Heather Graham and Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper) star in the remake of this controversial book-turned-movie about four children locked away in their grandmother’s attic. While the 1987 version glossed over the book’s heavy themes of incest, this film won’t shy away from the brother-sister action. So, good news for us?
Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m. Jan. 18, NBC) – Drake hosts and performs, and if he doesn’t do a Degrassi skit, all hope is lost.
SUNDAY JAN. 19
True Detective (9 p.m., HBO) – Hart and Cohle’s boss turns the heat up on the duo, threatening to replace them on the case if they don’t find a suspect. The partners investigate a church that has been burned and a brother right out of Justified.
Girls (10 p.m., HBO) – Hannah’s parents return (yay!) to throw their girl an epic 25th birthday party with Marnie’s help. Adam’s sister crashes the bash in complete distress; Ray and Hannah’s book editor bump heads.
Looking (Series Premiere, 10:30 p.m., HBO) – In what could have been titled Gays a la the preceding Girls, three thirtysomething men try to make it work in San Francisco, balancing friendship, work and love.
MONDAY JAN. 20
Powerpuff Girls (7:30 p.m., Cartoon Network) – The ’90s Girl Power superheroes get a makeover and a new friend — Ringo Starr — in this one-night special.
Klondike (9 p.m., Discovery) – Richard Madden (Game of Thrones’ Robb Stark) is the main draw of this miniseries centered on the 1890s Gold Rush in Dawson City, Yukon. Parts Two and Three air Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
TUESDAY JAN. 21
The Mindy Project (9:30 p.m., Fox) – In the fallout of her breakup with Cliff, Mindy is tricked into joining Danny on a trip to visit his estranged father (Dan Hedaya) instead of heading home.
Justified (10 p.m., FX) – Raylan seizes a notorious mobster’s estate. Boyd tries to get back on top of the Harlan heroin game.
Kroll Show (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – On Wheels Ontario, Mikey considers losing his virginity and Tunes had a baby. Elsewhere, Bobby Bottleservice moves into Gigolo House.
CONTACT JAC KERN: email@example.com or @jackern