January Highlights on Thirteen

Elisa Lichtenbaum | January 6, 2017


2017 ushers in new seasons of Masterpiece: Sherlock and Mercy Street, the premieres of Masterpiece: Victoria and Landmarks Live in Concert – Great Performances, plus new productions from Frontline, American Masters and more. See them teased in our highlights reel, above and learn more, below.

Masterpiece: Victoria

Sundays, Jan 15 – Feb 1, 9 pm; Sunday, March 5, 9 pm; stream all episodes on THIRTEEN Passport, starting January 15 at 9pm


The image of Queen Victoria seared into popular culture is one of a dour older woman, swathed in black, looking as if she never cracked a smile.

So when Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who), a beautiful slip of a woman, portrays her as joyful, it’s jolting. At age 18 — still known as Alexandrina, and playing with dolls — she is awakened one morning and informed she is now queen of England.

Welcome to the world of Victoria, a new seven-part Masterpiece miniseries premiering this month on THIRTEEN. Boasting grand sets, lush countryside, and political intrigue, the lavish series is one of the highlights of our popular Sunday night drama line-up.

Following Queen Victoria from her accession to the throne in 1837, through her education in politics, courtship, marriage, and epic 63-year reign, Victoria paints a portrait of a monarch who was raised to be the pawn of her powerful elders, but who wasted no time in showing the empire who was in charge.

The stellar cast includes Rufus Sewell (The Man in the High Castle) as Lord Melbourne, the British prime minister who was Victoria’s father figure and intimate friend; Tom Hughes (Dancing on the Edge) as the handsome Prince Albert, who stole Victoria’s heart; and Alex Jennings (Churchill’s Secret) as Leopold I, King of Belgium, Victoria and Albert’s uncle, who dreamed of a dynasty for his obscure royal line.

Masterpiece: Sherlock

Sunday, January 1 at 9 and 10:30pm; January 8 at 7, 9 and 10:30pm; Sunday, January 15 at 7pm


Benedict Cumberbatch returns as super sleuth Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Season 4 on Masterpiece. In the first of three specials, “The Six Thatchers,” Holmes is back on British soil, as Watson (Martin Freeman) and his wife, Mary (Amanda Abbington, Mr. Selfridge), prepare for parenthood. The second episode “The Lying Detective” introduces Culverton Smith (Toby Jones) as the most evil villain ever in the series. Read more about the three-in-a-row line-up of Sherlock on Sunday January 8. In the finale on January 15, “The Final Problem,” long buried secrets finally catch up with the Baker Street duo of Holmes and Watson. Someone has been playing a very long game indeed and Sherlock and John Watson face their greatest ever challenge. Is the game finally over? Watch Sherlock, now online.

Great Performances – Landmarks Live in Concert


Alicia Keys – Landmarks Live in Concert kicks off a new arts strand within the Great Performances series, beginning Friday, January 20 at 9pm. This will be followed the next week by Brad Paisley – Landmarks Live in Concert on Friday, January 27 at 9pm.

Eight episodes in all are planned for the first season. Chad Smith, the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, serves as host for the series and conducts one-on-one interviews with the artists exploring their favorite locations around each Landmark. There will be additional lifestyle segments with special correspondents, MTV veteran Matt Pinfield and Instagram star Gabby Epstein.

The show is being shot in locations around the world, including London, Paris, New York, Havana, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Jamaica, West Virginia and many more with major artists performing shows for their fans in front of landmarks to which they have a connection.

Great Performances – Bel Canto

Friday, January 13 at 9pm


In 2015, Chicago Lyric Opera premiered an opera adaptation of Ann Patchett’s bestselling novel Bel Canto. Inspired by the Peruvian hostage crisis of 1996-97, the opera was composed by Jimmy López with a libretto by playwright Nilo Cruz, and curated by legendary soprano Renée Fleming, who hosts the broadcast. Enjoy a front-row seat to this celebrated world premiere featuring soprano Danielle de Niese as Roxanne Coss, the superstar American diva whose presence has a transformative effect on those around her.

Mercy Street

Sundays, January 22 -– March 5, 8 pm


Mercy Street, the acclaimed Civil War drama set in Alexandria, Virginia, returns for a second season (see the season one recap, above). Follow the growing chaos at Mansion House hospital, the precarious position of the Green family, and the changing world of newly freed African Americans.

The returning cast includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Returned), Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), Gary Cole (Veep), Peter Gerety (Prime Suspect), and Donna Murphy (Passion). Patina Miller (Pippin) and Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) are among the new actors and guest stars.

Frontline: Divided States of America

Tuesday, January 17 and Wednesday, January 18 at 9pm


Days before Donald Trump’s inauguration, Frontline looks back at events during the Obama presidency that have revealed deep divisions in our country and examines the America the next president will inherit. This two-part special explores the partisanship that gridlocked Washington and charged the 2016 presidential campaign, the rise of populist anger, and racial tensions that have erupted throughout the country. Also this month on Frontline: President Trump (Tuesday, January 3, 10 pm) and Trump’s Road to The White House (Tuesday, January 24, 10 pm).

By Sidney Lumet – American Masters

Tuesday, January 3, 8pm


Considered a quintessential New York filmmaker, Sidney Lumet frequently used New York City’s urban mettle to infuse his films with a realism and intensity that kept audiences in suspense while prodding them to consider their own morality. In By Sidney Lumet – which launches the 31st season of American Masters — Lumet tells his own story in a never-before-seen interview shot in 2008. Filmmaker Nancy Buirski weaves Lumet’s insights with scenes from his films, including Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, and Network. Lumet speaks intimately about the experiences that informed his work, from his Depression-era, Lower East Side beginnings as a child actor in Yiddish theater, his work on Broadway and directing live TV, and more. The film is followed by a new, exclusive interview with Treat Williams, who starred in Lumet’s Prince of the City. Watch By Sidney Lumet, now online.