TV in 2015: Meet the real Stephen Colbert at last, top shows to look out for

Speaking of streaming services, Netflix expects to have 17 original series during the year, including Season 3 of “House of Cards,” set for release Feb. 27. The new series “The Adventures of Puss in Boots” premieres Jan. 16, but Netflix hasn’t set dates on most of the rest, including the return of “Orange Is the New Black.”

Among Netflix’s new series are a comedy with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin called “Grace and Frankie” and a science fiction show called “Sense8”from the Wachowski siblings.

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Lily, we salute you!

All of us who love Lily Tomlin are smiling. On Dec. 7, Tomlin, 75, was awarded a Kennedy Center honor. The star-studded award ceremony, where Tomlin, along with Tom Hanks, Sting, Al Green and Patricia McBride, was honored for her contributions to art and culture, will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 30. Tomlin, who stars with Jane Fonda in the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” due out next year, is the first out lesbian to receive a Kennedy Center honor.

Sam Waterston talks Grace & Frankie

The television business is also changing. You’ve gone from a long-running network show in Law & Order to a cable drama and, next, you’re doing Grace and Frankie on Netflix. Have you enjoyed navigating that change?
Waterston: One of the things that actors dread about doing a television series is becoming pigeonholed or getting locked into a character and having your whole identity as an actor be tied up with that character. So, what has happened in my career since Law & Order ended has been wonderful. These three characters, Jack McCoy, Charlie, and Sol on Grace and Frankie, they really couldn’t be more different from each other. I’m getting to play radically different people. It’s a trip, and it’s a great thing. There’s lots to lament from the actor’s point of view about the fragmentation of the audience that is going on these days, but that’s a definite plus.

On Gace and Frankie, you play a man who falls in love with his wife’s best friend’s husband. Between that logline and the cast — Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Martin Sheen — it sounds like a lot of fun. What can you tell us about it?
Sam Waterston: You’ve got it right. It was just a huge amount of fun to do, as you can imagine, with those people. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the audience will take it the same way. It’s got a lot of substance to it too. It’s dealing with being old and alone and ignored and overlooked, and real identity crises coming late in life and all the disruption that brings. So, it’s got a real serious underbelly, but, man, I hope it’s as funny to watch as it was fun to do.

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