This Sunday, HBO airs its new dramatic series, "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" at 8 p.m.
It's notable because its the final project of the late, great director Anthony Minghella. Based on a series of popular novels by Alexandra McCall Smith, Minghella and Richard Curtis ("Love Actually") scripted the pilot, about a woman (Jill Scott) who starts the first female detective agency in her native Botswana, soon solving cases for her neighbors and her entire village. Anika Noni Rose plays her Watson-like assistant.
The series has been described as charming, much in the vein of mystery shows like "Hetty Wainthropp."
It's also an interesting risk for HBO, which has struggled for a while since "The Sopranos" left the air and has been since passed by Showtime in terms of quality. HBO is trying to get back into the game, having just finished its latest season "Big Love" and with an upcoming of season of the Emmy-nominated "In Treatment." "Ladies" represents something of a risk for the network, because it doesn't seemingly appeal to the young demographics the networks usually seek, but it's nice to see HBO taking a creative risk.
WEEKEND'S BEST BET: Man, I just don't know how I'm going to survive Friday nights without my "Battlestar Galactica" fix. Sci Fi is presenting a TV movie based on its other big series, "Stargate: The Ark of Truth" at 9 p.m.
Good news for "Friday Night Lights" (NBC, 9 p.m.). Michael Ausiello is reporting that the series will be picked up for two more seasons, thanks to NBC's deal with DirecTV. Current cast members among the students are expected to move on as those characters graduate, but the show will continue.
CBS continues to be occupied with the NCAA basketball tournament all weekend.
"Dollhouse" (Fox, 9 p.m.) continues to show improvement every week, especially after last week's episode full of shockers. It's followed by "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles."
The CW airs new episodes of "Everybody Hates Chris" and "The Game."
On Saturday, "Ashes To Ashes" (BBC America, 9 p.m.) is new.
On Sunday, Stewie kidnaps the cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" on a new episode of "Family Guy" (Fox, 9 p.m.), part of a new night of animation. The "TNG" cast provide their own voices.
CBS airs a new "Amazing Race," followed by new episodes of "Cold Case" and "The Unit," while ABC has new installments of "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters."
NBC delivers a new "Kings" at 8 p.m., followed by "Celebrity Apprentice."
"Masterpiece" (PBS, 9 p.m.) airs a new version of the Charles Dickens classic, "Little Dorrit."
On cable, a new reality show hosted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and John Barrowman ("Torchwood") shows actors trying out for the lead in a new production of "Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." It's called "Any Dream Will Do" (BBC America, 8 p.m.). Think "American Idol" meets Broadway.
Finally, Tara checks into an institution for her worsening condition on "United States of Tara" (Showtime, 10 p.m.)