Your TV GPS, Globe critic Matthew Gilbert’s guide to what’s on television, appears at the beginning of each week at BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers April 6-12.
FILE UNDER: PEAK TV GETS PEAK-IER
Yet another new streaming service launches on Monday, called Quibi, a word that is a portmanteau term for “quick bites.” That’s because every episode of every single show on Quibi — and there will be many shows on Quibi — will be 10 minutes long, or less.
Quibi is, in a way, the fast-food restaurant of TV platforms. An entire season of 12-14 episodes of a show will total 2½ hours. There will be original Quibi movies, too — 35 of the first year’s 175 releases will be movies — and they’ll be broken up into short daily chapters.
Here’s the other major component of Quibi, which was developed by former Disney and DreamWorks executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman with over a billion dollars in investments: It’s constructed as a streaming service for mobile devices. All the shows are designed to be viewed on phones or tablets, in both landscape and portrait modes. Quibi will not be easily or officially available for large-screen viewing. Here’s more about the visuals of Quibi.
The programming list will include comedies, dramas, unscripted reality shows, movies in chapters, and news and lifestyle content that the company is calling “Daily Essentials.” I can’t possibly include all of the content that will be loaded up on Quibi when it arrives, because there is so very much. Here are a few:
• “Flipped” Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson are TV house-flippers hired by a Mexican drug cartel to renovate their mansions.
• “Most Dangerous Game” Liam Hemsworth stars as a sick man who accepts an offer to participate in a deadly game from a mysterious benefactor played by Christoph Waltz.
• “Survive” Sophie Turner from “Game of Thrones” stars with Corey Hawkins as people trying to stay alive in the wild after a plane crash.
• “Chrissy’s Court” Chrissy Teigen is a kind of Judge Judy, presiding over real-life disputes.
• “Murder House Flip” A renovation series focusing on homes where people were killed. No, I’m not joking.
• “NightGowns” An opportunity to watch Sasha Velour (2017 winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”) adapt her drag revue into a stage production.
• “Run This City” The fascinatingly strange story of Fall River mayor Jasiel Correia II.
• A slew of “Daily Essentials” including “60 in 6” (a bite-sized take on “60 Minutes”), “Around the World” (international news from the BBC), “Fashion’s a Drag” (drag queens judging celebrity styles), “The Replay” (ESPN sports update), and “Last Night’s Late Night” (a recap of the previous night’s talk shows).
Quibi is launching to a captive audience hungering for more and more things to watch. The service, available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, will cost $4.99 a month, or $7.99 a month without ads — and there’s a free 90-day trial offer, if you sign up before April 30.
WHAT I’M WATCHING THIS WEEK
1. I sure am going to miss “Schitt’s Creek,” which ends its six-season run on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Pop, Comedy Central, and Logo. (The final season will show up on Netflix in a few months, for those of you streaming it.) It’s the comedy that has been recommended most of all for binge-watching during social distancing, for its comfort-food value. Turns out watching vain wealthy people evolve into decent folk — without losing their senses of humor — makes viewers feel good. I’ve loved all of the Roses, but most of all Moira, she of the wackadoodle lexicon and the dramatic wigs. Her audition for the Jazzagals is written into my soul. The final episode will be followed by an hour-long special, only on Pop, called “Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell,” featuring cast interviews, audition tapes, and celebrity fans including Carol Burnett, Cameron Crowe, Tony Hale, and Amy Sedaris.
2. “Modern Family” is leaving this week, too. What can I say that you don’t already know? It was good, and then it was bad — really bad, if you saw last week’s super-awful half-hour featuring python eggs. Sadly, it went the way of too many network sitcoms, squeezed for money to within an inch of its creative life. The two part-finale airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. on ABC, preceded by an hour-long special at 8 p.m. called “A Modern Farewell.”
3. Epix, home of “Godfather of Harlem” and “Pennyworth,” is still trying to happen. In a coproduction with ITV, it is running the new period drama from Julian Fellowes of “Downton Abbey.” Called “Belgravia,” it’s based on Fellowes’s novel of the same name. A pair of engaging performances, by Tamsin Greig (from “Episodes”) and Harriet Walter (so great as Kendall, Shiv, and Roman’s mother on “Succession”), lifts up a somewhat bland story line. The series begins Sunday at 9 p.m.
4. Season 1: A lot of fun. Season 2: Much too cuckoo. Season 3? We shall see. “Killing Eve” returns to BBC America, after a season that got increasingly stupid with each episode. The one thing that hasn’t paled since Phoebe Waller-Bridge stopped writing the show after season 1: Jodie Comer, who makes Villanelle ever-fascinating. It starts at 9 p.m. on Sunday.
5. If you saw “The Missing,” which has had two powerful and grim anthology seasons about missing people, then you’ll probably remember French detective Julien Baptiste. Played by Tcheky Karyo, Baptiste now has his own six-episode spin-off crime thriller series. Called “Baptiste,” it premieres on PBS “Masterpiece” with a cast including Tom Hollander and Jessica Raine. The premiere is Sunday at 10 p.m. on WGBH-2, after the second episode of the sweeping World War II drama “World on Fire.”
6. I adore Merritt Wever, who stars in a new HBO black comedy called “Run” with the always good Domhnall Gleeson. And I adore Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who guest stars in and produces “Run.” So I’m optimistic about the new series, despite the unpromising plot description from HBO: “’Run’ follows a woman whose humdrum life is thrown upside down when she receives a text from her college sweetheart inviting her to drop everything and meet him in New York to fulfill the pact they made 17 years previously.” It premieres on Sunday at 10:30 p.m., after the fourth-season return of Issa Rae’s wonderful “Insecure.”
7. According to Netflix’s description of its latest romantic comedy flick, “Love Wedding Repeat” has a little bit of “Groundhog Day” running through it. Alternate versions of the same wedding unfold, with lots of nutty romantic situations ensuing. The cast includes Eleanor Tomlinson (paging all “Poldark” lovers), Olivia Munn, Sam Claflin, Freida Pinto, and Aisling Bea, and it’s available beginning Friday.
“The Good Fight” The fourth season is here, with eight episodes instead of the originally planned 10 because the pandemic shut down production. CBS All Access, Thursday
“Grey’s Anatomy” The 16th-season finale has arrived. ABC, Thursday, 9 p.m.
“Brews Brothers” A reality show about estranged brothers who brew beer. Netflix, Friday
“The Main Event” An 11-year-old boy finds a magical wrestling mask and tries to become a WWE star, with Seth Carr, Tichina Arnold, Adam Pally, and Ken Marino. Netflix, Friday
Here are some of the lists I’ve composed in recent years, in case you’re looking for suggestions:
• “17 shows to binge-watch while hiding out from coronavirus”
• "11 great television escapes (plus a few extras), because reality is a bit much right now“
• Best new shows of 2020, so far”
• “The most underappreciated TV shows of the decade”
• “I know what you should binge during this storm”
• “Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s top 10 shows of 2019”
“Masterpiece: World on Fire” A sweeping ensemble drama set against the early years of World War II. WGBH-2
“Feel Good” Comic Mae Martin’s six-episode charmer about her relationship with a British woman who, until their romance, considered herself straight. Netflix
“My Brilliant Friend: The Story of a New Name” The gorgeously filmed Italian adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels returns with a compelling second season. HBO
“The Plot Against America” A powerful miniseries adaptation of Philip Roth’s alternate history in which the 1940 election of Charles Lindbergh as president ushers in fascism and anti-Semitism. HBO
“The Stranger” A bingeable mystery series based on the Harlan Coben novel about a man whose life is upended when a stranger tells him secrets about his wife. Netflix
“Year of the Rabbit” A kooky comedy about cops in Victorian England — think “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” with Charles Dickens as the showrunner. IFC
“Breeders” An intimate, honest, darkly comic look at the strains of parenting, with Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard. FX