"Our stages are four blocks from my house. I ride my bike to work," says Keri Russell, whose new FX series "The Americans" is shot in New York (subbing for Washington D.C.). Eco-friendly transportation aside, not having to relocate or commute was essential for Russell, who has a 5-year-old and 5-year-old. Beyond that, the show's premise and her character intrigued her: she plays a KGB spy posing with her husband as a suburban American couple in 1981.
As the first episode, premiering Jan. 30, makes clear, she might fight, kidnap, kill or use sex for information one minute and be making sandwiches for her two kids (who are unaware of their parents' double lives) the next. A loyal Soviet trained young, "She thinks she's doing the right thing," says Russell, but her character may have to compromise when her partner in arranged marriage (Matthew Rhys) puts their mission and their relationship to the test. "They're spies, which raises the stakes, but they fight like any other married couple," she notes. "To me, the relationship is the most relatable thing."
Russell will next be seen in two very different roles: her supernatural thriller "Dark Skies" opens Feb. 22, and "Austenland," set in a theme park dedicated to author Jane Austen, recently won raves at Sundance.
Tune in: Tillman, the skateboarding bulldog (who surfs and snowboards too), stars in the new Hallmark Channel series "Who Let the Dogs Out," traveling the country with his human and canine entourage to seek out other dogs with talent and merit. In the Feb. 1 premiere, airing at 1 p.m. ET/PT, Tillman goes to Marine boot camp, becomes an honorary member of the Corps. Also: a hero bomb-sniffing dog who lost her leg in Afghanistan.
In celebration of Groundhog Day, and in a nod to the Bill Murray movie named for the holiday, Nat Geo Wild will air "Honey Badgers" over and over on Feb. 2. The following day, as an alternative to the Super Bowl, the network will present an all-day "Predator Bowl" of fierce creatures, starting at noon and ending at 10 p.m. with "Attack of the Big Cats."