Masters of Sex, one of my favourite new shows of 2013, returns to British screens tomorrow night for the start of season 2. Like The Americans, one of my other cable favourites of last year, the advance word is that the show has used the opportunity of a second season to become even better. Meantime, the first season has hoovered up deserved Emmy nominations for the refulgent Lizzy Caplan as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama, and for Allison Janney and Beau Bridges in the Guest categories. And we’re only around four weeks behind American transmission, which isn’t at all bad (tomorrow, More4, 10pm).
We’re still waiting for the autumn deluge of new and returning shows, but there are a few other things starting around now. After three years the not-as-good American remake of The Killing (Forbrydelsen) was itself killed by AMC, but resurrected by Netflix for a fourth and final six-episode season, released on August 1. Sky Atlantic has Gomorrah, the Italian adaptation of a book about the Camorra, which was also turned into a film a few years ago (tonight, 9pm).
And new channel TruTV – no, me neither – starts today, and will be showing Conan O’Brien’s talk show nightly at 11pm. I’m very much not an expert, so the next few sentences can be discounted, but it seems to me as an outsider that the late night talk shows have simultaneously become more visible – if anyone does a bit that’s worth seeing, it’s all over social media within 24 hours – and less essential to their parent broadcasters, because fewer people are watching live. Which gives Coco’s show, with a small but select audience on parent cable channel TBS, a fighting chance of greater cultural relevance than might otherwise be the case. Meantime, here in the UK it isn’t easy to see any of the American late night shows as they were intended – we get The Daily Show on cable/satellite, some Fallon if you hunt around, and that’s about it, I think. I wonder if Stephen Colbert’s impending move to Letterman’s chair might prompt an enterprising British broadcaster to take a chance on it? Probably not.