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BBC America sets 'Doctor Who' return date; Plex launches streaming service

The Program Guide highlights recent programming announcements from various networks and online video platforms in the U.S.

Traditional TV

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"The Crystal Maze"
Source: Nickelodeon

* Comedian/writer Adam Conover will host Nickelodeon (US)'s upcoming family game show "The Crystal Maze." Based on a version of the U.K. hit series, the show will feature Conover as the Maze Master, charged with guiding one family team through physical and intellectual challenges. "The Crystal Maze" will premiere Jan. 24, 2020.

* "Dispatches from Elsewhere," an AMC (US) original anthology series created by and starring Jason Segel, will debut with a two-night premiere event March 1 and March 2, 2020. The 10-hour series is about four ordinary people who stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life.

* HBO (US) gave a series order to "The Untitled Lakers Project," a drama series based on Jeff Pearlman's book "Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s." The program will chronicle the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers team.

* Animal Planet (US) will air a three-hour special of "The AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin" on Jan. 1, 2020. The program will feature dogs from around the world competing for various titles across multiple events as well as more than $150,000 in prize money. AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo and sportscaster Carolyn Manno will host the dog show.

* Bet Networks' green-lighted a new original scripted miniseries titled "Uptown," which tells the story of Andre Harrell's iconic New York City record label, Uptown Records. The three-part show will take viewers from the label's inception to current day and feature music and powerhouse hit-makers. "Uptown" is scheduled to premiere on BET in 2020.

* Discovery Channel (US)'s survival series "Naked and Afraid" will return for a new season Jan. 5, 2020. The show features naked survivalists who are tasked to survive in solitude for three weeks. The new season includes top survivalists Luke McLaughlin, Gary Golding, Lacey Jones, and Max Djenohan.

* The second season of "Collector's Call" will premiere on MeTV on Jan. 12, Broadcasting and Cable reported. Lisa Whelchel will host the 26-episode season. The show will follow Whelchel as she meets with collectors of pop culture memorabilia. Professional appraisers will then put an estimated value on the collectibles and try to tempt the collectors to sell, according to the report.

* Starz (US) ordered a new historical drama titled "Becoming Elizabeth," which will look at the early life of Queen Elizabeth I, Variety reported. The series is created by playwright and TV screenwriter Anya Reiss, who will executive produce with "The Forge's" George Ormond and George Faber.

* TBS (US) ordered a second season of comedy game show "The Misery Index," The Hollywood Reporter reported. Hosted by Jameela Jamil, the show asks contestants to rate real-life events based on a "misery index."

* BBC America (US)'s "Doctor Who" will return with a new season on Jan. 1, 2020. The two-part premiere is titled "Spyfall." Subsequent episodes will air Sundays starting Jan. 5 on BBC America.


* Shudder, AMC Networks Inc.'s premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, green lighted a new original series titled "The Dead Lands." The series, a co-production with New Zealand's TVNZ, will debut with two episodes on Jan. 23, 2020 across all of Shudder's territories as well as on TVNZ OnDemand in New Zealand immediately after its international debut. "The Dead Lands" features a supernatural adventure set in a mythic Māori past.

* Quibi, a mobile video service created by The Walt Disney Studios' former Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, will stream the seventh season of mockumentary comedy "Reno 911!," Broadcasting and Cable reported. The show ran for six seasons on Comedy Central (US). "Reno 911!" is about incompetent officers within the Reno Sheriff's Department. Quibi is slated to launch in April 2020.

* Plex Inc. launched its free ad-supported streaming service on Dec. 4. The service is available on various devices, including Google LLC's Android devices and Roku Inc. streamers, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and more. Plex video-on-demand offers movies, TV shows, extreme sports films, music documentaries, Bollywood musicals, and more.

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"Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge"
Source: Walt Disney

* The Walt Disney Co. ordered a new "Star Wars" show for its Disney+ streaming service titled "Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge." Set in a galaxy far, far away, the program will test young contestants' abilities in the Jedi principles of strength, knowledge, and bravery. Jar Jar Binks actor, Ahmed Best, will play a Jedi Master and host the show, which will stream on Disney+ in 2020.

* AT&T Inc.'s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, ordered four new stand-up comedy specials. Tapping into its existing talent across the Warner Media LLC portfolio, the streamer will team up with Tracy Morgan, star of "The Last O.G.", John Early, from "Search Party" as well as Rose Matafeo and Ahir Shah for the specials. HBO Max recently also announced a partnership with Conan O'Brien and Team Coco Digital to bring stand-up specials to the streamer.

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