This Week in TV: 'Watchmen,' 'Looking for Alaska,' 'Arrow's' Final Season

Watchmen - HBO Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of HBO

A big swing at a revered comic-book property, a short-run show based on a beloved YA book and a star-studded anthology based on a popular newspaper feature all debut in the week of Oct. 14. It's a big seven days for literary source material.

Here is The Hollywood Reporter's rundown of some of the coming week's highlights. It would be next to impossible to watch everything, but let THR point the way to worthy options each week. All times are ET/PT unless noted.

The Big Show

The (mostly) faithful adaptation of seminal comic book Watchmen has been done, via Zack Snyder's 2009 feature film. HBO's take on the material, from Lost and The Leftovers mastermind Damon Lindelof, is not that story.

The series instead imagines what the world looks like after the events of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' story. Regina King heads the cast as a police officer who also has a secret identity as masked hero Sister Night. Jean Smart, Jeremy Irons, Louis Gossett Jr., Tim Blake Nelson and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II also star. It premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20 on HBO.

Also on cable …

New: The Bourne-adjacent spy thriller Treadstone, about the black-ops program that produces sleeper agents and disperses the across the globe, premieres at 10 p.m. Tuesday on USA. Steven Soderbergh-produced docuseries Leavenworth premieres at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20.

Special: Explorer Bob Ballard, who discovered the wreckage of the Titanic, sets off to find the plane Amelia Earhart was flying when she disappeared in National Geographic's Expedition Amelia (8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20). Allison Janney narrates the special.

Returning: New seasons of The Purge (9 p.m. Tuesday, USA) and Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents (11 p.m. Friday), plus the next Democratic primary debate (8 p.m. Tuesday, CNN).

On streaming …

New: The O.C. and Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz adapted John Green's novel Looking for Alaska as a Hulu limited series (debuting Friday). The show series works in part because of the "absurdly compatible pairing of text and adapters," writes THR chief critic Daniel Fienberg, and in part thanks to a strong performance from Kristine Froseth as the title character.

Also new: Amazon's anthology Modern Love (Friday), based on the New York Times column, features the likes of Tina Fey, John Slattery, Dev Patel and Anne Hathaway. Paul Rudd stars in Netflix's Living With Yourself (Friday) as a man who undergoes treatment promising to make him a better person, who then discovers there's another version of himself in the world. Limetown (Wednesday, Facebook Watch), based on the podcast of the same name, follows a reporter (Jessica Biel) investigating the disappearance of hundreds of people from a neuroscience facility.

On broadcast …

Final season: The CW's first DC Comics series, Arrow, begins an abbreviated, 10-episode final run at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

In case you missed it …

The first season of Insatiable was accompanied by a good-sized promo campaign — and a rush of negative reviews and commentary about its alleged fat-shaming. Season two? Very little of that, as Netflix rather quietly put the show on its schedule and did almost no promotion of it in the U.S. It's streaming now.