What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Liar’ and ‘The Blacklist’

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Joanne Froggatt in “Liar.”

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Joss Barratt/SundanceTV

In “Liar,” a first date between strangers goes smoothly until it unravels the next morning. And it’s a busy night for returns: “Empire,” “The Blacklist” and “Modern Family” are just some of the offerings.

What’s on TV

LIAR 10 p.m. on Sundance. A seemingly innocent date leads to a dark tale of “he said, she said” in this new British mini-series. Created and written by the brothers Harry and Jack Williams, this psychological thriller opens with a first date between a schoolteacher, Laura (Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”), and a dashing surgeon, Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd, “Fantastic Four”). The trail of lies begins when Laura wakes up the next morning convinced she’s been raped, and turns Andrew’s life upside down with the accusation. Each stands by his or her version of the night, but only one can be telling the truth. Writing in The New York Times, Mike Hale says the show’s strongest asset is Ms. Froggatt, “who is resolutely believable and committed regardless of where the increasingly looney-tunes plot takes Laura.” The Australian comedy “Rosehaven” follows with its American premiere at 11 p.m.

EMPIRE 8 p.m. on Fox. Despite Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Andre’s (Trai Byers) efforts to foil a bomb attack at the opening of the Leviticus Resort & Casino in the Season 3 finale, an explosion left Lucious (Terrence Howard) in a coma. Though he survived the blast, he woke up with amnesia. Season 4 opens with Lucious celebrating the 20th anniversary of Empire Entertainment in his first public appearance since the explosion. Only the Lyon family isn’t exactly in a celebratory mood: Lucious still has no recollection of his life before the incident. Now Cookie must rebuild their relationship from scratch while keeping Lucious’s suspicious nurse (Demi Moore) at arm’s length.

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James Spader and Megan Boone in “The Blacklist.”

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Will Hart/NBC

THE BLACKLIST 8 p.m. on NBC. The criminal mastermind Raymond Reddington (James Spader) bounces back from the dismantling of his criminal organization in the previous season. Seeing its demise as a fresh start, an opportunistic Reddington redesigns the enterprise from the ground up with Liz (Megan Boone),…

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