Even though we’ve grown used to the idea of A-list actors making regular forays into television — something that would have been unthinkable a few years ago — it still came as a mild shock to find Harrison Ford, arguably the last of the old-style movie stars and still a box-office force, turning up in the Paramount+ Yellowstone prequel 1923.
Well, here he is again in Shrinking (Apple TV+), a new comedy from Ted Lasso writers Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein. He plays Phil, the ineffectual boss of cognitive behavioural therapist Jimmy (Jason Segel), who’s grieving after the death of his wife and worried his relationship with his daughter is falling apart.
After his triumphant return to the BBC with This Time With Alan Partridge, Steve Coogan took his most famous creation on tour last year in Alan Partridge Live: Stratagem (Amazon Prime Video). Norwich’s finest reinvents himself as a life coach.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar swaps staking bloodsuckers for playing a fire inspector who tangles with werewolves in Wolf Pack (Paramount+). When a wildfire in California scatters wild animals, two teenagers get bitten. You can guess what happens next.
Lockwood & Co (Netflix) sees three psychic teenagers turn ghostbusters in a London apparently teeming with supernatural entities. It’s written and directed by Attack The Block’s Joe Cornish, suggesting it might be worth a punt.
To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, the two-part documentary Getting Away With Murder(s) (More4, 9pm) tells the shocking story of how tens of thousands of Nazi war criminals were allowed to escape justice, in many cases not even being questioned, let alone prosecuted. If you’d rather not wait until Saturday for part two, both episodes are on All 4 now.
Equally appropriate for this most solemn of days is No Asylum: The Untold Chapter Of Anne Frank’s Story (Sky History, 9pm).
It draws on letters by Anne’s father, Otto, that were found in New York in 2005 and which details how agonisingly close he came to securing his family exit visas from Germany in 1940.
Last autumn, Elis James and Matt Lucas proved to be able substitutes for original hosts Frank Skinner and David Baddiel in the revived Fantasy Football League (Sky Max, 10pm).
They’re back after a break for the World Cup and the festive season, and their football-mad guests are Jennifer Saunders, making her second appearance, and comedian Guz Khan.
Even though it’s only January, Fight the Power: How Hip-Hop Changed the World (BBC2, 9pm & 10pm) will surely go down as one of the best series of 2023.
The second episode ended with NWA raging against the police’s violet treatment of Black citizens in the 1980s. Episodes three and four look at the music made against the backdrop of the LA riots, and at the appalling misogyny that began to creep into some artists’ records. An outstanding slice of musical and social history.
The Welsh Valley That Won The Lottery (Channel 4, 6.40pm) recalls one of 2022’s feelgood stories: the £3.7 million postcode lottery win by the people of economically depressed Rhymney. Four hundred shared in the bonanza, some winning thousands, others pocketing truly life-changing sums.
The 1990s saw the rise on British television of Black comedy in the shape of BBC2 sketch show The Real McCoy (Gold, from 11.40pm), which introduced viewers to performers such as Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Syal and Felix Dexter, who is sadly no longer with us. Three episodes back to back.
Jeff Beck: Live At The Hollywood Bowl (Sky Arts, 9pm) is shown as a tribute to one of rock’s greatest guitarists, who died earlier this month. It dates from 2016 and features guest appearances by, among others, Steven Tyler, Jan Hammer and one of Beck’s idols, Buddy Guy.
It’s almost the end of the road for two major BBC attractions, which reach their penultimate episodes. As war rages on in His Dark Materials (BBC1, 7pm) Lyra and Will frantically search for their respective daemons, while Asriel and Mrs Coulter prepare to risk everything to save them.
Also on a mission to save her family after psychopath Tommy Lee Royce’s courtroom escape last week is Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley (BBC1, 9pm).
Beyond that, the BBC has forbidden the mention of any details.
In Room To Improve (RTÉ1, 9.35pm), a couple want to extend their three-bedroom semi-D in leafy Castleknock, but aren’t quite sure exactly what it is they want to do, thus giving Dermot Bannon the chance to take them on a journey of discovery.
Are they mad? Give that man an inch and you’ll end up living in a two-storey glasshouse.
There’s a clash of vintage anthology series tonight. The usual double bill of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Sky Arts, 8pm & 8.30pm) — which, coincidentally, features two stories involving uncles — goes up against The Twilight Zone (Legend, 8.30pm). The episode, Perchance To Dream, is said to have inspired Wes Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street.
If you missed Tuesday’s Three Minutes: A Lengthening (BBC4, 1.45am), a stunning documentary about the tragic fate of the Jewish inhabitants of a small Polish village in 1938, who featured in a three-minute fragment of film, hit the record button.