Happiness is a Warm TV

What to Watch on Thursday: Joan Allen leads strong ‘Family’

From left: Rupert Graves, Liam James and Joan Allen in ABC’s “The Family.”
From left: Rupert Graves, Liam James and Joan Allen in ABC’s “The Family.” ABC

The Family (9 p.m., ABC) – This strong new ABC series is part mystery, part crime drama and part family drama. It stars Joan Allen as the matriarch of a damaged family; an ambitious politician whose young son disappeared from a park ten years prior and eventually presumed to be murdered. Andrew McCarthy is the decidedly odd neighbor (and registered sex offender) who went to prison for the boy’s murder. The once-close family unit falls apart (the husband, played by Rupert Graves, has affairs; the oldest son, played by Zach Gilford, becomes a drunk womanizer; and the daughter, played by Alison Pill, is more tightly wound than ever and runs her mother’s political campaign). Then one day, young Adam (Liam James) mysteriously returns home. He’s both physically and emotionally messed up, having been held captive and abused for the past ten years. His older brother is the lone skeptic in the family, not at all convinced the young man who has moved back into their home is really his brother. And then there’s McCarthy. Based on a viewing of the first two episodes, he obviously did something, but what? I can’t wait to watch this mystery unfold. (Note: “The Family” moves to its regular 9 p.m. Sunday time slot this weekend.)

Mom (9 P.M., CBS) – In an episode called “Death, Death, Death and a Bucket of Chicken,” Bonnie has a health scare that sends her into a tailspin. And with a sitcom that kills off as many characters as this one, never assume anything.

The 100 (9 p.m., CW) – Lexa tries to maintain peace within the clans, and Clarke discovers an unusual and game-changing truth.

Baskets (10 p.m., FX) – Eddie heads out on a road trip for some old fashioned cowboy justice, dragging Chip and Martha along.

Mary Mary (9 p.m., WeTV) – In the Season 5 premiere, Warryn feels pressure from Sony Records to deliver the album.