The Watchman: ‘Billions’ Best Bang for Buck and ‘Bosch’ Bash

We got a kick out of chatting with famed funnyman Eugene Levy about Schitt’s Creek, and what he’s watching on TV. Levy says much of his screen time, like many viewers, is occupied by GOP election madness. “It’s just about the most entertaining thing you can find on the tube,” Levy says.

Levy says he’s a “sucker for a good drama,” such as Shotime’s Billions and Homeland. “The quality work is on cable right now,” says Levy, forever “Jim’s Dad” in our hearts. “There’s more bang for your buck there than in the movie theaters.”

But back to Donald Trump. The TV industry—or at least the Thursdays-on-ABC industry—was well represented in the #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain meme sparked by John Oliver’s blistering takedown of The Donald. Tweeted Kerry Washington: “We're all busy. But if u havent seen this, FIND 20 min & watch this clip.” Retweeted Shonda Rimes: “EVERYONE should see this!”

Talk about your cinematic dramas—season two of Bosch rolls on Amazon March 11. Speaking at TCA earlier this year, Michael Connelly, whose L.A. noir novels spawned the series, said he went straight to television to find a screen partner for his lit. “When the books started coming out in the '90s, I did the Hollywood thing and they were optioned by Paramount and they basically sat on the shelf for over a decade,” he said. “And during that decade, I think television changed and it became a place where you could really do serialized character‑driven stories.”

Titus Welliver, who plays Bosch, described the character thusly: “He's very flawed.  He's human. He’s afraid. He's damaged.”

It’s doom and gloom all over television! But fear not, a blue moose and pink raccoon, with help from some television star do-gooders, are here to save the day. Mack & Moxy—not to be confused with Mike and Molly, which departs this spring—starts its rollout in select markets this week. M&M is a mix of live action and animated, with messages related to the environment, autism and literacy.

Since Hank Azaria doesn’t get enough voice work, he voices Shelfish Sheldon—a spiritual relative of Dora’s Swiper the fox. Mack & Moxy gets cameos from human “Admirables” such as Rachael Ray and Josh Duhamel, the latter currently playing a murder-minded butcher in Hulu’s 11/22/63.

Sticking with the animated theme, currently ruling the airwaves in The Watchman’s hideout, at least when the offspring commandeer the remote, is Cartoon Network’s funky We Bare Bears. It’s kids’ stuff, but with enough esoteric bits for the grown-ups—spot-on spoofs of hipster culture, viral Vines, and a winking homage to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road—to make TV fun for the whole family again.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.