March is looking like a good month for FX: The Americans will start tying a bloody ribbon on its six-year run and Atlanta obliterates any doubts regarding a sophomore slump in its second season. Meanwhile, HBO’s got a cult favorite in the making with Bill Hader playing gun-for-fire, Roseanne reboots for the Trump era and NBC’s betting the house that a high-school-musical drama can tug the same heartstrings that made This Is Us a hit. All this, plus another retelling of the Superman myth and a brand new show from the Britcom cringe-comedy godheads who brought us Peep Show. Here’s what you’ll be watching this month. (Our rundown of March’s best streaming options can be found here.)
The Americans, Season 6 (FX, Mar. 28th)
All good things must come to an end, though in this particular instance, it would have been nice if a couple more Emmys had snuck in there. The critically-adored espionage series has indeed reached its final season, and with it, the ultimate fate of undercover KGB agents Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell). They had resolved to return to the safe bosom of Mother Russia in last season’s finale, but the opportunity to infiltrate the CIA even deeper proved too tempting. Will that choice and the hubris implied therein prove their undoing? Or will the show take a more morally cloudy tack and let them get away with their deception? Fans are just praying the series doesn’t end with “Don’t Stop Believing” and an abrupt cut to black.
Atlanta, Season 2 (FX, Mar. 1st)
Around the ATL metro area, the period directly leading up to the end-of-year holidays sees an annual spike in stickups – it’s accordingly known to locals as “robbin’ season.” Creator-writer-star-director Donald Glover subtitled the sophomore run of his award-festooned comedy after this perennial phenomenon, referring to a new phase of struggle and desperation for broke hustler Earn, rapper-on-the-rise Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), space case Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) and perpetually put-upon Van (Zazie Beetz). Though the exhilarating thing about Atlanta has always been that anything can happen; last season took a hard left into a brilliant B.E.T. parody for one episode, and another made a trickster-demon icon out of a kid in whiteface. Perhaps Glover will attempt a silent-movie episode this time around? An episode in reverse?
Back (Sundance, March 7th)
After a quiet online run on Sundance NOW back in November, this new comedy from the David Mitchell/Robert Webb brain trust – the daft creator-stars behind Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look – comes to American airwaves for the first time. Stephen (Mitchell) enters a pivotal juncture in his life: His father has just passed away and he’s about to take over the family pub. But the surprise reappearance of Andrew (Webb), the family’s former foster child who hasn’t been seen in decades, complicates things. As the visitor promptly goes about reconfiguring the family, the not-prodigal son must make a choice: befriend or succumb to caustically hilarious madness. Three guesses which option is chosen.
Barry (HBO, March 25th)
Like so many men entering middle age, Barry Berkman (creator/co-showrunner Bill Hader) has begun to question what he’s really doing in his job. It just so happens he’s one of the most lethal contract killers in the game. And during an assignment in Los Angeles, he finds an answer: become an actor. This distant nephew to Grosse Pointe Blank places another hit man in a humorously banal fish-out-of-water scenario, as Barry balances taking headshots with getting his headshots taken. Everyone says the hardest part of acting is the rejection, but news flash: It’s actually finding a doctor who will surgically remove a bullet without alerting the cops.
Champions (NBC, March 8th)
It’s only been a few short months since The Mindy Project wrapped up – and already Mindy Kaling is back, tackling the “unusual circumstances drag man-boy into adulthood” tradition. Workaholics‘ Anders Holm is an arrested-development bro named Vince, who’s peaceful life of gym ownership and stringless hookups gets disrupted in a big way. It seems his high school fling (that’s Kaling) reveals that they’ve got a 15-year-old son, and it’s time to dad up. Even in the single-camera sitcom era, kids can still be relied upon to say the darnedest things.
Krypton (Syfy, March 21st)
Long before Superman purged the Metropolis streets of crime and Kal-El sent his darling infant son on a crystal rocket away from their dying home planet, there was Seg-El. Superman’s granddaddy (Cameron Cuffe) takes the spotlight in this unlikely spin-off series that chronicles his journey to return honor to the disgraced House of El. He’ll face opposition not just from his fellow Kryptonians, but also the farther-off menace of stalwart villain Brainiac as he continues on his mad quest to absorb all of the universe’s knowledge. Watch out for red suns.
Rise (NBC, Mar. 13th)
For over 40 years, director Lou Volpe tirelessly worked to make the drama program at Harry S. Truman High School in small-town Pennsylvania into one of the nation’s best. This drama casts Josh Radnor as the semi-fictionalized Lou Mazzuchelli in an account of the school’s mounting of Spring Awakening – the first production of the musical approved for student performance. Everything has to be ready by the time the curtain rises on opening night; meanwhile, his teenaged cast members wrestle with their own issues, from coming out of the closeted kid to having dreams of Broadway stardom. Both the Friday Night Lights and Hamilton sets should be thrilled.
Roseanne (ABC, Mar. 27th)
You may not be happy to hear it, but look deep down within yourself, and you’ll realize it’s always been true: Roseanne and Dan voted for Trump. The proudly blue-collar couple return to TV after a couple decades off in this rebooted 10th season of the seminal sitcom, touching on the big topics of the day starting with the recent political upheavals. Roseanne Barr has posited that a working-class household such as the Conners’ would have most likely gone to the Republicans, and the new episodes will reckon with that fact. But every cast member available to return has been slated to make an appearance (sadly, Glenn Quinn passed away in 2002), and Scrubs’ Sarah Chalke will join the cast in a new role. Consider the Barr raised.
The Terror (AMC, Mar. 26th)
Manifest destiny was sold to explorers as an American dream, but for the crews of the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, it was a nightmare. The true story of these ships’ fraught 19th-century expedition through the Northwest Passage forms the basis of this new series, with an added supernatural twist: In addition to mutiny and cannibalism, Captain John Franklin (Ciarán Hinds) has a mythical Arctic demon-beast to worry about. And to survive, he must surrender his attachment to scientific knowledge and learn to place faith in the spiritual realm. Lewis and Clark’s path to the coast will look like a stroll through the park once this is all finished.
Trust (FX, Mar. 25th)
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: a retelling of oil heir John Paul Getty III’s 1973 kidnapping in Italy, pairing a wicked family drama with a taut race-against-time thriller. The story was most recently dramatized back in December courtesy of Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World, but FX’s series-length competitor has a few things that film didn’t — noticeably Donald Sutherland unleashing some primo piss-and-vinegar, a resurgent Brendan Fraser and Danny Boyle injecting high-octane fuel into the whole shebang. Sutherland is the miserly magnate; Beach Rats’ Harris Dickinson is his gold-digging hippie grandson; Hilary Swank is the boy’s mother; and Fraser goes full-comeback-mode with his arch portrayal of an American trying to track down the missing kid. Watch your back, Christopher Plummer.