The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week


There’s gold in this here miniseries. Discovery’s first scripted series follows a young fortune seeker who rushes to the Yukon Territory in the 1890s to join the century’s last great gold rush. The acting is a bit uneven, but old-timers Sam Shepard and Tim Roth add heft, playing a priest and an evil land baron who clash over the fate of boomtown Dawson City. Richard Madden stars. Monday, Jan. 20, at 9 p.m., Discovery

Nova: Killer Typhoon

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Two months have passed since Typhoon Haiyan leveled the Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people and displacing millions. Sustained winds during the storm pushed the 200 mph mark, and a two-story-tall storm surge tore through the city of Tacloban. Nova camera crews weren’t there then, but they were on the ground with days to document the devastation, and to chronicle the deteriorating situation that followed. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

The Fighters

Boxing is on the ropes, even in South Boston. In a bid to rebuild a sport that still runs in the bloodstream of the tough blue-collar neighborhood, local gym owner Peter Welch and his rivals throughout the city have invited documentary teams to watch as their top fighters train for the weekly bouts that provide the highlights of this new eight-part reality series. Thursday, Jan. 23, at 9 p.m., Discovery


Sometimes, it’s the flawed man who you can’t keep down. Greg Kinnear oozes charm in this promising new series about a smart-aleck criminal defense lawyer whose gambling debts, IRS troubles, and general penchant for overcommitting keep him perpetually on the verge of ruin. Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) directed the pilot. Thursday, Jan. 23, at 9 p.m., Fox

Black Sails

Violence, sex, and greed rule the pirates’ life in this sweeping new drama series, conceived as a prequel to the 1883 novel Treasure Island. Hollywood director Michael Bay is one of the executive producers of the show, which draws adrenaline from Captain Flint’s battles with the British navy and pursuit of a gold-weighted Spanish galleon. But there’s potential for more than spectacle here, especially in a subplot involving scheming upstart John Silver, played by the Australian actor Luke Arnold. Saturday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m., Starz

Other highlights

Big Sur: Wild California

This gorgeous documentary surveys California’s awe-inspiring Big Sur region and explores the area’s recent wildlife resurgence. Monday, Jan. 20, at 6 p.m., National Geographic

Josh Groban: Sing Your Song

Singer Josh Groban mentors gifted high school performers as they write and record their own songs. Think The Voice with less bombast, more substance. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 p.m., HBO

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax

Christina Ricci gets the camp role she was born to play in this historical melodrama about perhaps the most famous of alleged ax-wielding maniacs in the history of parricide. Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m., Lifetime

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