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HBO's Gentleman Jack Turns the 19th Century on Its Head

ALSO: The Neighborhood, American Idol, Under the Wire, Vanderpump Rules, and more
  • Suranne Jones stars in Gentleman Jack on HBO
    Suranne Jones stars in Gentleman Jack on HBO

    While we’re busy getting caught up in the Game of Thrones mania, we should probably spare a thought for what HBO is going to do once it’s gone. It’s one thing to have the biggest TV show in the world, but it’s quite another to deal with what comes next. It’s not like HBO hasn’t been through this before. Losing its early-2000s stalwarts The Sopranos and Sex and the City brought up the very same questions. At the time, it seemed dubious that the network could find shows that would captivate the public the same way again.

    Cut to a decade later and the show that came along and did captivate the public is now ending (as is Veep on the comedy side). Which means that every show that debuts into the foreseeable future will be poked, pricked and prodded to see whether it can fill Game of Thrones’ shoes. Which is, of course, none of them will. Game of Thrones never filled The Sopranos’s shoes. It just stomped new footprints.

    All of which is to say that when HBO premieres Gentleman Jack tonight, take it easy on the fretting over whether or not it can hold up as HBO’s next big thing. 

    SERIES PREMIERE: The HBO/BBC co-production Gentleman Jack stars Suranne Jones as Anne Lister, whose attempts to buck the patriarchal systems of 1830s England cause a stir. Lister’s androgyny of dress and aggressiveness in business and romance establish her as an ahead-of-her-time gender pioneer. Or so the story goes. It co-stars Gemma Whelan, most recently seen as Yara Greyjoy on Game of Thrones. 10:00 PM ET on HBO

    SEASON FINALE: CBS’s The Neighborhood boasts a strong cast (Max Greenfield, Cedric the Entertainer, Beth Behrs, Tichina Arnold), which has gone a long way in making their first season a successful one. In the season finale, titled “Welcome to the Conversation,” Calvin invites Dave to golf with him, while Gemma and Tina team up, always a reliable source for hilarity. 8:00 PM ET on CBS

    PREMIERE: Starz’s feature documentary Under the Wire tells the story of war journalist Mari Colvin and photographer Paul Conroy, who were caught in a firefight in Syria in 2012. Starz continues to steadily produce high-quality television, and this film should only bolster their stature. 9:00 PM ET on Starz

    SPECIAL: If you haven't been following American Idol this season, here's your two-hour recap special to get caught up before the final eight take to the stage to battle it out the rest of the season. 8:00 PM ET on ABC


    • Vanderpump Rules follows up last week’s “The Exorcism of Stassi Schroeder” with “Brittany and the Beast.” The beast is Jax. Uh, spoiler. 9:00 PM ET on Bravo
    • And while we’re giving episodes movie-pun titles, 9-1-1 presents their new episode, “Ocean’s 9-1-1.” Would you believe a bank heist is involved? 9:00 PM ET on FOX
    • On The Fix, Jessica Meyer’s sister meets with Maya and says she wants Sevvy behind bars, but Sevvy disappears before his court date. 10:00 PM ET on ABC

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: Gentleman Jack, HBO, American Idol, The Neighborhood