One of the competitors on The Chair is Anna Martemucci, a graduate of New York University film school who has written and acted before, but never directed. Helena Lukas Martemucci/2014 Chair One Productions hide caption

itoggle caption Helena Lukas Martemucci/2014 Chair One Productions

David Suchet plays Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's Poirot. The last season premiers Aug. 25 on Acorn TV. /Courtesy of Acorn TV/ITV hide caption

itoggle caption /Courtesy of Acorn TV/ITV

On The Knick, the graphic scenes are riveting, says David Bianculli, though at times you may want to look away. Here, Clive Owen's character administers a shot. Mary Cybulski/Courtesy of HBO/Cinemax hide caption

itoggle caption Mary Cybulski/Courtesy of HBO/Cinemax

Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as Nessa Stein in the SundanceTV original series The Honorable Woman. Des Willie/Courtesy of Sundance hide caption

itoggle caption Des Willie/Courtesy of Sundance

The threat is both viral and vampire in The Strain, a show about the sudden outbreak of a disease that kills most of its victims — then begins to mutate them into another species entirely. Michael Gibson/FX hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Gibson/FX

The Maya Rudolph Show premiered Monday night with guest appearances from Sean Hayes, Fred Armisen and Andy Samberg. Paul Drinkwater/NBC hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Among Hill Street Blues' many innovations, says David Bianculli, was focusing on a large ensemble cast instead of one or two central stars. Pictured here: Veronica Hamel as Joyce Davenport, Daniel J. Travanti as Capt. Frank Furillo and Robert Prosky as Sgt. Stan Jablonski. David Sutton/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David Sutton/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images