Television choices: New Yorker CK enjoys the sweet smell of success
TV pick of the week: Louie
Tuesday 9pm Fox
FX channel – home to Dexter, American Horror Story and other cult classics - celebrates its rebranding (as Fox – in one fell swoop revealing its true News Corporation identity, da-da), with one of the most eagerly anticipated comedies of 2013 – although the New York comedian Louis CK's Seinfeld-like sitcom (autobiographical sketches are linked by his stand-up routines) has been airing in the States since 2010. "I'm 41 and I'm single... not really single but close," says CK (real name Szekely) by way of introduction. "I have two children". Thus begins a tale of accompanying a disastrous school trip to the Bronx, and an excruciatingly hilarious insight into his dating technique. Think of it perhaps as a middle-aged bloke's version of HBO's Girls.
Saturday 9pm & 10pm BBC4
The character evolution of PM Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is beautifully handled, even if her progress is not always pretty – as we witness her ruthless handling of her Green Climate Minister, Amir, as he resists her broadening the coalition. Also her assesment that troubled daughter Laura is "just being a teenager" looks increasingly like trouble in store.
Call the Midwife
Sunday 8pm BBC1
Having beaten Downton Abbey in the battle of Christmas Day period dramas, these adaptations of Jennifer Worth's memoires of delivering babies in the Fifties East End return for a full series, with Jenny (Jessica Raine) handling a case of domestic abuse and Chummy (Miranda Hart) demonstrating the benefits of nitrous oxide.
Monday 8.30pm Channel 4
"My name's Chris Myers. I'm a garden designer and I like to mooch about in the countryside" – and if nature television is the new cookery television then Myers is the new Jamie Oliver, albeit with a Yorkshire accent. Oh, and a Land Rover, so perhaps he's the new Hugh. First up he investigates why a seaside flower, Danish Scurvy Grass, is colonising motorways.
Bob Servant Independent
Wednesday 10pm & 2.30am BBC4
Whither political satire after The Thick of It? Yes, Prime Minister's resurrection suggests room in the cosier end of the market, and in this new Scottish sitcom, Brian Cox plays a fast-food entrepreneur running as an independent candidate in a by-election, quickly falling foul, as it were, of dog owners. Greg McHugh from Fresh Meat co-stars.
The Genius of Invention
Thursday 9pm BBC2
The pop-science guru Michael Mosley and the academics Mark Miodownik and Cassie Newland – interacting in that unnatural style patented by Tomorrow's World and spoofed by Look Around You – recount such inventions as steam power and electro-magnetism. Their first jape is to implode a steel drum using steam, water and gravity.
Arena: Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way
Friday 10.45pm BBC4
Produced by Clint Eastwood, this portrait of the jazz musician who filled generations of smoky student lodgings with the sound of Take Five and Blue Rondo a la Turk, was made for Dave Brubeck's 90th birthday in 2010 (he died in December, a day short of his 92nd). George Lucas and Ray Charles contribute.
Review: A panoramic account of the hacking scandalbooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
- 4 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Game of Thrones actress begs for 'other princess work' after Myrcella Baratheon part is recast
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming August 2014
Star Wars Episode 7: Simon Pegg hints at role
Palestinian artists transform smoke-filled Gaza into symbol of resistance
Guardians of the Galaxy - review: A superficial and half-hearted Marvel film
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
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