There’s a good old-fashioned TV smackdown tonight, with two new hour-long network dramas starting at 9pm, the same time as an already established third (Mr Selfridge), and at least one other on cable (Hawaii Five-0).
In the BBC1 corner, it has the first of three-parter The Casual Vacancy, an adaptation of JK Rowling’s novel. And Channel Four fights back with the start of 1932-set ten-parter Indian Summers, the most expensive drama in the channel’s history. Both look custom-built to appeal to the British viewer (and the increasingly important international market): Cotswolds vs India; Rowling’s take on small town English politics vs the declining British Raj; Michael Gambon, Rory Kinnear, and Keeley Hawes vs Julie Walters and Henry Lloyd-Hughes off of The Inbetweeners. Me, I’m watching neither.
In other news, the latest Scandi-import is international Emmy-nominated 30 Degrees In February (“30 grader i februari”), about Swedish expats in Thailand. It started a couple of days ago, but I’m sure there are catch-up opportunities all over the place (Fridays, Sky Arts 1). And a reminder that Elementary, presently in fine form, is back this week for the second half of its third season (Tuesday 17 February, 9pm, Sky Living).