Television choices: New Yorker CK enjoys the sweet smell of success


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The Independent Culture

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.

Wild Things

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.