What to Watch in January

Lisa Tipton
Ibrahim Koma as Passepartout, David Tennant as Phileas Fogg, and Leonie Benesch as Fix in 'Around the World in 80 Days.' Photo: Slim 80 Days / Federation Entertainment / Peu Communications / ZDF / Be-FILMS / RTBF (Télévision belge)
A new 'Masterpiece' adaptation of 'Around the World in 80 Days' is coming. Photo: Slim 80 Days / Federation Entertainment / Peu Communications / ZDF / Be-FILMS / RTBF (Télévision belge)

There's a huge amount of worthwhile TV out there nowadays, so it can be hard to choose what to watch. But who better to recommend shows than the person who programs them? Lisa Tipton, WTTW’s Head of Programming and Pledge, constructs the WTTW schedule by searching through offerings from many different sources which include the national PBS network, the BBC, and independent filmmakers to put together a varied and engaging broadcast schedule. Each month, she’ll recommend a few shows that she thinks you should watch.

You can also watch all of WTTW's programming via live stream 24/7 at wttw.com/live.

Around the World in 80 Days 

Sundays beginning January 2 at 7:00 pm


David Tennant seems like the perfect actor to take on the hare-brained, unprepared adventurer Phileas Fogg in this new Masterpiece adaptation of Jules Verne's unforgettable adventure story. Fogg's companions Passepartout and Fix, played by Ibrahim Koma and Leonie Benesch respectively, are reimagined in this version, so we can't wait to see what they're like too!

A New Season of Finding Your Roots 

Tuesdays beginning January 4 at 8:00 pm


Of all the great returning shows this January, Finding Your Roots is one of the longest-lived, and for good reason. In this eighth season, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. excavates the family histories of Tony Danza, Lena Waithe, David Chang, Anita Hill, Leslie Odom, Jr., and many more. Surprising, moving, and fascinating stories are sure to be unearthed.

Second Seasons of Favorite Dramas and Mysteries


New year, new seasons—and lots of them! First up is the second season of The Indian Doctor, premiering on WTTW Friday, January 7 at 8:00 pm. Then there's another season of Mallorca Files Saturdays at 9:00 pm, beginning January 8. Sunday, January 9 has the premieres of two returning seasons: the endearing All Creatures Great and Small at 8:00 pm and dusky mystery Vienna Blood at 9:00 pm. There's plenty to keep you engrossed at home during this darkest, wintry time of year!

A New Season of America's Test Kitchen

Saturdays beginning January 8 at 2:30 pm

America's Test Kitchen is entering its 22nd season, and still churning out ingenious recipes as well as product tests. Plus you get to enjoy taking in all that delicious-looking food with the delightful personalities of the hosts and test cooks. If you want a double dose, older episodes air right before new ones, on Saturdays at 2:00 pm.

Find plenty of America's Test Kitchen recipes to sample, and be sure to keep checking back for more as the season airs!

POV: Not Going Quietly

Monday, January 24 at 9:00 pm 


Ady Barkan's life as an activist began after a confrontation with then-U.S. Senator Jeff Flake on an airplane, and he has since become a force in progressive politics. Diagonsed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) at age 32, Barkan, who is also a father, has become an advocate for universal health care. This POV documentary tells his story.