Heading into Valentine’s Day, here is a look at what’s on the datebooks of MCN editors this week and next.
Valentine’s Day will see the return of Hulu’s long-running comedy The Mindy Project, as well as You Me Her, the sophomore series from DirecTV’s The Audience Network. Oxygen returns veteran series Bad Girls Club that night and launches new competition series The Battle of the Ex-Besties. The latter two shows might not find a fit after the NBCUniversal outlet revamps into a true-crime channel this summer.
Animal and nature lovers take note: on Feb. 18 BBC America unveils the high-profile documentary miniseries Planet Earth II, and Animal Planet debuts new unscripted series The Zoo. Nat Geo Wild, meanwhile, had slated a Feb. 20 kick-off for its seventh annual “Big Cat Week.”
Several scripted series will launch new seasons over the next two weeks, including A&E’s Bates Motel, which premieres its fifth and final season on Feb. 20. Sophomore season premieres include Showtime’s Billions (Feb. 19), AMC ’s sci-fi series Humans (Feb. 13), Crackle’s animated series SuperMansion (Feb. 16) and TBS’s comedy The Detour (Feb. 21).
New shows making their debuts include HBO’s miniseries Big Little Lies(with Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley, pictured, and Laura Dern) and comedy series Crashing (Feb. 19); VH1’s The Breaks (Feb. 20); CMT ’s Sun Records (Feb. 23); and Amazon’s Patriot (Feb. 24).
Meanwhile, HBO’s The Young Pope will wrap up its freshman campaign on Feb. 13.
Finally, on Feb. 26 the movie industry will salute itself during the 89th Annual Academy Awards, televised live on broadcast network ABC.
At press time no witnesses had been announced, but the newly renamed House Energy & Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection has scheduled a Feb. 15 hearing on self-driving cars, the future of which is linked to high-speed broadband and high-band spectrum.
The Federal Communications Commission is holding a public meeting on Feb. 23 that will include votes on broadband subsidy program reforms; authorizing broadcasters to roll out the new ATSC 3.0 transmission standard, including asking how that will and should affect retransmission-consent compensation; and a vote to reinstate and extend smaller Internet service providers’ waiver from the Open Internet order’s enhanced transparency requirements for five years and boost the trigger from 100,000 to 250,000 or fewer customers.
New FCC chairman Ajit Pai on Feb. 16 will address the North American Broadcasters Association, a collection of broadcasting organizations in Canada, the United States and Mexico. The speech will be at the National Association of Broadcasters headquarters in Washington; NAB is a member.