Midseason TV: A Guide to New & Returning Shows

  • Publish Date: January 4, 2013
  • Comments: ↓ 2 user comments

Cable and streaming

Just because a network is listed below doesn't mean that every one of their shows is included; only the most noteworthy new and returning programs are listed. For a complete list of all upcoming TV premiere dates (including those for shows omitted from this preview), visit our Midseason TV Premiere Calendar.

A&E

NEW Bates Motel Watch trailer
Mondays at 10p starting March 18

Expected to debut in March, Bates Motel works as a prequel to the Hitchcock thriller Psycho that centers on the formative years of Norman Bates, played here by Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) stars as Norman's mother Norma, while Nestor Carbonell (Lost), Jere Burns (Justified), and Max Thieriot (An American Girl) also star. Lost's Carlton Cuse and Friday Night Lights' Kerry Ehrin serve as producers.

ABC Family

Sutton Foster's Michelle leaves Paradise for a return to Vegas—at least temporarily—when quirky drama Bunheads (Monday 1/7 at 9p) returns for the second half of its debut season; Sutton's real-life brother Hunter will join the cast as her on-screen sibling.

Adult Swim

NEW Newsreaders Watch trailer
Thursdays at midnight starting January 17

Another spin-off from Childrens' Hospital? Sure, why not. First depicted in an episode of that other Adult Swim live-action staple, the fictitious newsmagazine Newsreaders—and host Louis La Fonda (played by Mather Zickel)—takes center stage here with reports and interviews that are about as crazy as you would expect from Rob Corddry, David Wain, and their co-conspirators. Kumail Nanjiani, Andrea Savage, and Ray Wise (!) are among the other regular stars, while the guest lineup features everyone you could possibly expect (Tom Lennon, Lizzy Caplan, Katie Aselton, Dave Foley, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Ed Begley Jr.) and others you wouldn't (Dennis Haysbert, Dan Rather).

Still unscheduled:
A second season of the bizarre white trash soap The Heart, She Holler is expected to air in the first half of 2013.

AMC

Mad Men
date/time tbd

If you're looking for details about season 6 of AMC's second-most-acclaimed drama, well, then you obviously don't know how showrunner Matthew Weiner operates; details just don't get out in advance (even, in some cases, to members of the cast). We do know that the upcoming season (which will likely debut in March) will kick off with Jon Hamm's Don Draper on vacation in Hawaii with wife Megan (Jessica Paré), that Betty (January Jones) will have a bigger role than she did last year, and that Hamm and co-star John Slattery will each step behind the camera to direct episodes. Later in 2013, Weiner himself will make his feature film directorial debut with the road trip comedy You Are Here.

Also:
A little show called Breaking Bad will return with its final eight episodes beginning July 14; Vince Gilligan expects viewers to find the finale "polarizing." ... The Walking Dead (Sunday 2/10 at 9p) returns next month with the second half of its third season, representing the last episodes under the control of now-departed showrunner Glen Mazzara.

Still unscheduled:
Railroad drama Hell on Wheels has just been greenlit for a 10-episode third season, which will debut in late summer under the guidance of new showrunner John Wirth (V, Sarah Connor Chronicles). ... A third season of canceled-but-maybe-not crime drama The Killing could air as soon as May, though Billy Campbell and Michelle Forbes would no longer be part of the cast.

BBC America

The sci-fi thriller NEW Orphan Black (Saturday 3/30 at 9p) is set in a clone-filled future. ... Not to be confused with the network's other 19th century cop drama (Copper), the eight-episode NEW Ripper Street (Saturday 1/19 at 9p) takes place in East London shortly after the Jack the Ripper murders; Matthew Macfadyen (Pride & Prejudice) stars. ... Based on a spy novel set during the 1930s, four-part miniseries NEW The Spies of Warsaw (Wednesday 2/6 at 9p) stars David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Janet Montgomery (Made in Jersey) ... Unscripted series NEW Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan (Tuesday 1/22 at 10p) finds the former Lost and Lord of the Rings actor traveling the world in search of unusual creatures.

Still unscheduled:
The British version of Being Human returns with six new episodes this spring. ... A third season of Luther will air sometime this year, though it is unclear if it will debut prior to the fall; when it does return, Sienna Guillory will play the new love interest for Idris Elba's titular cop ... Chris Hardwick's comedy/pop culture fest The Nerdist makes the leap from occasional special (and, before that, podcast) to regular weekly series this spring.

Cinemax

NEW Banshee Watch trailer
Fridays at 10p starting January 11

Six Feet Under and True Blood creator Alan Ball and former House producer/director Greg Yaitanes are among the producers of this new action series set in Pennsylvania's Amish country, where the town of Banshee comes under the sway of an ex-con (Antony Starr) who assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff. With its pulpy organized crime storylines and small-town setting, Banshee suggests a blend of Justified and Sons of Anarchy, though Cinemax has yet to prove it can produce an original series matching the acclaim of either one of those shows.

Comedy Central

NEW Kroll Show Watch trailer
Wednesdays at 10:30p starting January 16

You have probably seen or heard Nick Kroll even if you didn't realize it; the comedian (who also stars as Ruxin on The League) has adopted a variety of comedic personas in his stand-up routines and web shorts and on programs like Comedy Bang Bang. His new eponymous sketch show features returning Kroll favorites like Fabrice Fabrice and a host of new characters, aided by guests including Jenny Slate, Ed Helms, Fred Armisen, Chelsea Peretti, and more.

Also:
Nick Kroll isn't the only stand-up getting his own Comedy Central series in early 2013. Ben Hoffman's NEW The Ben Show (Thursday 2/28 at 10p) and NEW Inside Amy Schumer (Tuesday 4/30 at 10:30p) each blend sketches with person-on-the-street segments, while NEW The Jeselnik Offensive (Tuesday 2/19 at 10:30p) finds comedian Anthony Jeselnik commenting on the week's most sordid events. ... A new 10-episode season of Workaholics (Wednesday 1/16 at 10p) will precede Kroll Show on Wednesdays.

Discovery

NEW Africa Watch trailer
Tuesdays at 10p starting January 8

The latest beautifully photographed documentary miniseries from the BBC/Discovery team behind Life, the seven-part Africa explores that continent's scenic wonders and most intriguing wildlife. To make the program, over 2,000 hours of footage were shot on 79 separate expeditions across Africa, and the result is a rare peek at a giant rhinoceros gathering, dueling giraffes, and lizards that hunt for flies on the backs of lions. David Attenborough returns to host the series finale.

FX

NEW The Americans Watch trailer
Wednesdays at 10p starting January 30

There's nothing like a "period" drama set in the 1980s to make us feel old. But given the talent involved here, we're willing to re-live the decade. Keri Russell (Felicity) and Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters) star as KGB spies living undercover as married parents in a Washington D.C. suburb during the Reagan years in this new drama produced by Justified's Graham Yost and created by former CIA officer Joe Weisberg (who has written for Damages and Falling Skies). The couple must keep their Soviet identities secret from the FBI agent (Noah Emmerich) living next door—and even from their own children—while avoiding the temptations that American life has to offer. Emmy-winner Margo Martindale (Justified) will have a recurring role as the spies' America-based handler.

Archer Watch trailer
Thursdays at 10p starting January 17

If you've dismissed Archer in the past just because it's animated, you are missing out on one of television's funniest shows. The coming weeks bring 13 new episodes, including one that will feature a crossover with Fox's Bob's Burgers that will see star H. Jon Benjamin playing both of his lead roles: super-spy Sterling Archer and fast food proprietor Bob Belcher. Benjamin and other cast members (Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, Amber Nash, and Lucky Yates) are currently in the middle of a brief live tour to help promote the new season.

Justified Watch trailer
Tuesdays at 10p starting January 8

Picking up three months after the events of last season, season 4 of the FX drama introduces a new lawman (and former high school classmate of Timothy Olyphant's Raylan Givens) played by comedian Patton Oswalt, who will appear in several episodes. Though last year's major cast addition of Neal McDonough is gone, Walton Goggins's Boyd Crowder and Jere Burns (as Wynn Duffy) will return, as may Jeremy Davies (though his involvement has not yet been acknowledged officially). Also guesting this season is Sam Anderson (Bernard on Lost), who plays a shady funeral director, and Ron Eldard, who will be one of Boyd's new colleagues, while the main ongoing storyline will involve a decades-old mystery. On the Raylan relationship front, expect to see more of season 3's bartender Lindsey (Jenn Lyon) and less of his ex-wife Winona (Natalie Zea, who will be a regular on Fox's The Following instead).

Also:
Charlie Sheen sitcom Anger Management (Thursday 1/17 at 9:30p) returns with the first of its 90 additional episodes (seriously), which hopefully will be spread out over the next 90 years. ... NEW Legit (Thursday 1/17 at 10:30p) is a new comedy centering on Australian stand-up Jim Jefferies, who plays a 30-something comedian trying to make it in L.A.; Dan Bakkedahl and D.J. Qualls also star.

HBO

Enlightened Watch trailer
Sundays at 9:30p starting January 13

You'd be forgiven for thinking that HBO had given up on Enlightened; not only was it one of the network's lowest-rated programs in recent memory, but it last aired over a year ago, in the fall of 2011. But the critically acclaimed dramedy is indeed back for a short (eight-episode) second season this month, when the network hopes to give it a boost by pairing it with Girls. Created by and starring Laura Dern and Mike White, the series follows the spiritual and workplace adventures of a woman suffering through a mid-life crisis. Newcomers Molly Shannon and Dermot Mulroney join returnees Diane Ladd (Dern's real-life mother), Timm Sharp, Bayne Gibby, Luke Wilson, and Jason Mantzoukas (The League). Nicole Holofcener directs the season premiere, with future episodes directed by Todd Haynes, James Bobin, David Michod, and White.

Game of Thrones Watch trailer
Sundays at 9p starting March 31

If there was a fault in season 2 of HBO's hit fantasy drama, it was that the increasing number of plotlines and characters made for some choppy storytelling at times. But if you found it hard to keep track of faces and story developments last year, the difficulty level looks to rise even further in the upcoming season 3, when at least one new location (filmed in Morocco) is added and over a dozen new characters join the roster. Notable additions include Dame Diana Rigg (Emma Peel in the UK television series The Avengers), playing The Queen of Thorns, Ciarán Hinds (Rome) as Mance Rayder, and Mackenzie Crook (Gareth on the UK version of The Office), who plays Orell. (Even Coldplay drummer Will Champion will find his way on screen this season.) The good news is that the writers will have a bit more time in which to adapt George R.R. Martin's story this year: the season will cover only the first half of his 973-page third book (A Storm of Swords), and each episode will run a few minutes longer than in the past.

Girls Watch trailer
Sundays at 9p starting January 13

In its first season on HBO, Lena Dunham's comedy about 20-somethings struggling through relationships and life in New York collected five Emmy nominations and entered the public conversation far more than would be expected for a show averaging under a million viewers per week. Expect even more hype for this 10-episode second season, which finds Patrick Wilson (A Gifted Man) and Shiri Appleby (Roswell) joining the cast part time, with Donald Glover, Colin Quinn, Rita Wilson, Bob Balaban, Rosanna Arquette, and Carol Kane also expected to make appearances.

Also:
The network will air a documentary about NEW Beyoncé, directed by the singer herself, on February 16th, a few weeks after she performs at the Super Bowl. ... The Tom Stoppard-penned WWI miniseries NEW Parade's End (February 26-28) stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall.

Still unscheduled:
Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic NEW Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas as the Vegas entertainer and Matt Damon as his companion, looks likely to screen at Cannes this spring before debuting on HBO in the summer. ... Debuting this spring, Christopher Guest's new mockumentary series NEW Family Tree stars Chris O'Dowd, Michael McKean, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Jim Piddock, Fred Willard, and Guest himself. ... The Phillip Noyce-directed movie NEW Mary & Martha stars Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn as mothers who lose children to malaria. ... Aaron Sorkin's alternately maligned and praised TV news drama The Newsroom returns for a second season this summer with a revamped writing staff and new cast members in the form of Rosemarie DeWitt and Patton Oswalt. ... Rutger Hauer will be among the new faces on True Blood when it returns for a sixth season (and first without Alan Ball as showrunner) in June . ... Political satire Veep returns this spring (likely at the same time as Game of Thrones) with Kevin Dunn (Luck) and Gary Cole joining the cast.

History

Scenes from NEW The Bible (Sunday 3/3 at 8p) will be reenacted with state-of-the-art special effects (much as god intended) in this 10-hour miniseries produced by Mark Burnett ... Kicking off the same night is NEW Vikings (Sunday 3/3 at 10p), a new scripted series starring Gabriel Byrne.

IFC

Portlandia Watch trailer
Fridays at 10p starting January 4

After previewing their third season with a holiday special last month, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein return with back-to-back episodes tonight, and eight additional episodes to follow in the weeks ahead. Joining them this season is an impressive roster of guests that includes Chloë Sevigny (in multiple episodes), Patton Oswalt, Rose Byrne, Bill Hader, Juliette Lewis, Jeff Goldblum, George Wendt, Jim Gaffigan, Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis, indie band Dirty Projectors, tennis star Martina Navratilova, and, as always, Kyle MacLachlan as the mayor of Portland—though he'll have some competition for the job in the form of Roseanne Barr.

Also:
Animated series NEW Out There (Friday 2/22 at 10:30p) follows the small-town lives of three boys and comes from former producers of South Park and King of the Hill; the voice cast includes Kate Micucci, Fred Armisen, Pamela Adlon, Linda Cardellini, Megan Mullally, and John DiMaggio (Futurama).

Still unscheduled:
Comedian Marc Maron brings his popular WTF podcast to the small screen in NEW Maron, which will likely debut this summer.

Lifetime

A new season of Project Runway (Thursday 1/24 at 9p) begins immediately after the end of the current "all-stars" run, but there's been a shake-up in the usual formula; designers will compete as teams throughout the season, while Zac Posen will replace Michael Kors on the judging panel. ... The Lifetime movie NEW Prosecuting Casey Anthony (Saturday 1/19 at 8p) stars Rob Lowe and Elizabeth Mitchell; sadly, Lindsay Lohan does not star as the accused murderer.

MTV

Debuting earlier this week, NEW Buckwild (Thursday 1/3 at 10p) is sort of a redneck version of Jersey Shore, set in West Virginia ... NEW Washington Heights (Wednesday 1/9 at 10p), meanwhile, is sort of a Manhattan version of Jersey Shore, set in the New York neighborhood of the same name.

Netflix

Arrested Development
Begins streaming this spring

It still doesn't seem like it could really be happening, but we are apparently just four months away from being able to say "annyong" to a new season of one of TV's all-time great comedies. Though a "leaked" May 4 launch date was denied by Netflix this week, the fourth season—over seven years after the Emmy-winning series was originally canceled by Fox—is still expected to arrive in April or early May, with all 14 episodes (up from the originally planned 10) available for streaming at once in a strategy seemingly aimed at driving TV recappers insane. While each episode will focus mainly on a single character, the entire cast will return, including occasional contributors like Henry Winkler and Scott Baio (together again at last!), Judy Greer, Liza Minnelli, Carl Weathers, and Mae Whitman (her?), while Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter will play themselves. New additions include Mad Men's John Slattery, comedian Maria Bamford, Isla Fisher, Terry Crews, and Ben Schwartz (aka Parks and Recreation's Jean-Ralphio).

NEW House of Cards Watch trailer
All season 1 episodes begin streaming February 1

While Netflix produced its first original series—the Steven Van Zandt-starring Lilyhammer—last year, this second effort is far more high-profile. Reportedly budgeted for $100 million and already picked up for two seasons, political thriller House of Cards is a loose remake of the acclaimed British miniseries of the same name, from director/producer David Fincher (The Social Network) and writer Beau Willimon (The Ides of March). The third major name attached is that of Kevin Spacey, who not only produces but also stars as a ruthless U.S. congressman with White House aspirations. Robin Wright and Kate Mara also star, and the entire 13-episode first season (including episodes directed by Carl Franklin, James Foley, and Joel Schumacher in addition to Fincher) will be available to stream on February 1st.

Still unscheduled:
Though Netflix has announced several additional original series that will air on its streaming service, the company hasn't been very forthcoming about release dates. So the following three programs could surface at any time in 2013. UK import NEW Derek is the latest uncomfortable comedy series from Ricky Gervais in which he stars (alongside Karl Pilkington) as a dim-witted employee of a nursing home. ... The 13-episode NEW Hemlock Grove is horror director Eli Roth's adaptation of the novel by Brian McGreevy. ... Weeds creator Jenji Kohan returns with NEW Orange is the New Black, an hour-long drama set in a women's correctional facility starring Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Taryn Manning, Natasha Lyonne, Kate Mulgrew, and Jason Biggs.

Science

Karl Pilkington and Warwick Davis must re-trace the journey of Marco Polo in the third season of An Idiot Abroad (Saturday 1/19 at 9p). ... Based on the podcast of the same name, NEW Stuff You Should Know (Saturday 1/19 at 10p) blends the entertaining explainers found in their audio program with mockumentary-style comedy about their workplace at HowStuffWorks; guests include John Hodgman, Sarah Silverman, Rufus Wainwright, and scientists Neil deGrasse Tyson and Michio Kaku.

Showtime

NEW Masters of Sex Watch trailer
date/time tbd

Showtime hit the critic/Emmy jackpot over a year ago with its drama Homeland, and will attempt to repeat that feat with at least one of its two new hour-long programs premiering this year. At the very least, the strong casts of both programs demonstrate the network's growing prestige. Masters of Sex, which looks to be the more crowd-pleasing and humorous of the two newcomers, stars Michael Sheen (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and Lizzy Caplan (Party Down) as famed sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. The 1960s-era drama is based on Thomas Maier's book of the same name, with John Madden (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) directing the pilot. Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale are also set to appear in the 12-episode first season.

NEW Ray Donovan Watch trailer
date/time tbd

Showtime's second new entry is Ray Donovan, a Los Angeles-set drama starring Liev Schreiber as a professional fixer to the rich and famous who can solve any problem but his own. Jon Voight, Elliot Gould, Steven Bauer, Peter Jacobson, and Paula Malcomson also star. The series was created by Southland producer Ann Biderman, and will likely premiere on the network much sooner than Masters of Sex (the latter is only just now going into production).

Also:
Californication (Sunday 1/13 at 10:30p) adds Lost's Maggie Grace and Jorge Garcia, plus Marilyn Manson and Maggie Wheeler for its sixth season, which will find Hank (David Duchovny) hanging out with the Bowie-esque rock star (played by Tim Minchin) who is writing the music for a Broadway show based on one of Hank's books; the network hopes to create a spinoff for Grace's groupie character. ... In its sophomore season, House of Lies (Sunday 1/13 at 10p) will feature guest appearances by Lisa Edelstein (House) and Adam Brody (The OC). ... David Steinberg chats with comedians Steve Martin, Louis CK, Carol Burnett, Bob Newhart, Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Tina Fey, Albert Brooks, Martin Mull, and Jim Carrey in the second season of Inside Comedy (Monday 2/11 at 11p). ... Lori Petty and Bradley Whitford will guest on season 3 of Shameless (Sunday 1/13 at 9p).

Still unscheduled:
The Big C
will conclude its run on Showtime with four final hour-long episodes featuring guests Kathy Najimy and Isaac Mizrahi. ... The Borgias will return with a 10-episode third season ... Matt LeBlanc is back for nine new episodes of, well, Episodes ... Former Dexter showrunner Clyde Phillips takes over the reins of Nurse Jackie when it returns for a fifth season (its first without original creators Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem) this spring.

Spike

The third season of The Joe Schmo Show (Tuesday 1/8 at 10p) once again finds one poor real-life contestant thinking he is on an actual reality show (to find America's next top bounty hunter, no less) when he is in fact on a reality show spoof populated by actors (including Lorenzo Lamas, playing himself).

Starz

NEW Da Vinci's Demons Watch trailer
Fridays at 9p starting April 12 (special 10p premiere)

David S. Goyer, the screenwriter for such films as Batman Begins, Dark City, and the upcoming Man of Steel, is the creator of this new eight-episode historical fantasy series, a co-production between Starz and the BBC. English actor Tom Riley stars as the brilliant but troubled Leonardo Da Vinci, who, at the age of 25, begins to "invent the future" amidst the shifting politics of Florence. Expect storylines involving religion, cults, and swordfighting. The premiere follows the Spartacus finale at 10p on April 12th before shifting into the earlier 9p timeslot on the 19th.

Also:
Spartacus: War of the Damned (Friday 1/25 at 9p) serves as a 10-episode conclusion to the series.

Still unscheduled:
New cast members James Caan, Esai Morales, and Sherilyn Fenn are headed to Miami for the second season of period drama Magic City. ... Ten-part series NEW The White Queen is based on Philippa Gregory's historical novels set during England's Wars of the Roses.

Sundance

The Staircase Watch trailer
Miniseries airs Mondays at 10p starting January 7

Miniseries don't get much better than this real-life murder-investigation tale from director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (best known for his Oscar-winning Murder on a Sunday Morning), and even those viewers who watched The Staircase when it originally premiered in 2005 will have reason to tune in again when it repeats this winter. The riveting, Peabody-winning, 10-part docuseries focuses on the constantly shifting murder trial of author Michael Peterson, who was accused of brutally killing his wife in their home (while he, in turn, claims that she accidentally fell down the stairs; to the filmmaker's credit, neither story seems more credible than the other). You'll notice we said 10 parts, rather than the original eight; the last two hours (airing on March 4 and March 11) are brand new, filmed recently after the latest developments in the case.

NEW Top of the Lake
Miniseries airs Mondays at 9p and/or 10p starting March 18 at 9p

A five-week, seven-hour miniseries from Oscar-nominated director Jane Campion (The Piano), Top of the Lake is set in a remote New Zealand mountain community, where a pregnant 12-year-old goes missing after last being spotted standing in a frozen lake. Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss stars as the inexperienced cop who investigates the disappearance, while Holly Hunter (Campion's star in The Piano) and Peter Mullan (War Horse) are among the residents of the town. (Lucy Lawless also has a brief cameo.) Unusually, for a miniseries, Lake will make its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month before airing on the Sundance Channel in March.

Also:
A wrongly convicted prisoner is set free after two decades on death row in NEW Rectify (Monday 4/22 at 10p), a six-episode series produced by Breaking Bad's Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein.

Syfy

NEW Defiance Watch trailer
date/time tbd

Well, give Syfy credit for at least trying something new. Debuting in April, this new sci-fi series from Rockne S. O'Bannon (Alien Nation, Farscape) is set in a post-apocalyptic future after a lengthy war on Earth between humans and a consortium of invading alien races known collectively as the Votans has completely transformed the surface of the planet. Dexter's Julie Benz will star alongside Grant Bowler (Ugly Betty), Mia Kirshner, and Fionnula Flanagan. The "new" part is that Defiance is not just a television show; launching concurrently will be a MMO videogame that takes place in the same world (albeit in the ruins of San Francisco, rather than the TV show's former St. Louis), with storylines eventually crossing over from one to the other. There are plenty of BSG/Caprica alumni behind the scenes, including producers Michael Taylor and Kevin Murphy and producer/director Michael Nankin.

NEW Robot Combat League Watch trailer
Tuesdays at 10p starting February 26

Ever wonder when the real world would catch up to the movie Real Steel? Wonder no more: the new reality competition Robot Combat League will feature robot-vs-robot fighting, much as the film depicted. Eight-foot-tall robots will be controlled by human "robo-jockeys" (wearing high-tech suits that will allow their robots to mirror their movements), each of whom is paired with an engineer in teams of two. Wrestler Chris Jericho serves as host.

Also:
Originally planned to be a regular series, set in between the events of Caprica and Battlestar Galactica, NEW Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (Sunday 2/10 at 9p) will air as a stand-alone two-hour movie, which you can already watch online ... A cop from the year 2077 is accidentally transported back in time to our present day—along with a group of terrorists—in NEW Continuum (Monday 1/14 at 8p). ... Merlin (Friday 1/4 at 10p) begins its fifth and final season tonight.

TBS

NEW King of the Nerds Watch trailer
Thursdays at 10p January 17

Who better to host TBS's new pop culture reality competition than Revenge of the Nerds stars Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong? The two actors will be joined by an eclectic group of guest judges including George Takei, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, comedy-music act Garfunkel & Oates, and former Top Chef champion Richard Blais as 11 geek-culture know-it-alls compete for a $100,000 prize in an eight-week tournament that includes a cosplay contest and a superhero debate.

Also:
Much like sister network TNT did with Southland, TBS has rescued an acclaimed broadcast network series from cancellation—in this case, ABC's Cougar Town (Tuesday 1/8 at 10p), which will feature guest stars Shirley Jones and Tippi Hedren in its 15-episode fourth season. Note that although Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel will no longer serve as showrunners, they will still write for the series, but last year's co-star Sarah Chalke will depart the show (she has a new ABC series starting this spring).

TNT

NEW Boston's Finest (Wednesday 2/27 at 9p) is a new reality series that follow's that city's police force. ... The late Larry Hagman will appear in the first five or six episodes of the second comeback season of surprise hit Dallas (Monday 1/28 at 9p), followed by an on-screen funeral for his character (J.R. Ewing) that will involve the return of several familiar faces from the show's 1980s heyday. ... The hospital drama NEW Monday Mornings (Monday 2/4 at 10p) comes from producer David E. Kelley and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta; Ving Rhames, Alfred Molina, and Jamie Bamber star. ... Season 5 of Southland (Wednesday 2/13 at 10p) will feature a guest appearance from Chad Michael Murray, while C. Thomas Howell has been elevated to series regular.

Still unscheduled:
Falling Skies
returns this summer with Robert Sean Leonard (House) and Gloria Reuben (ER) joining the cast ... Frank Darabont's highly anticipated 1940s-set drama NEW LA Noir is still awaiting a premiere date for its six-episode run; the series will star Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Neal McDonough (Justified), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), and, for at least the pilot episode, Simon Pegg.

USA

Season 7 of Psych (Wednesday 2/27 at 10p) will include a two-hour musical episode, a take-off on Blair Witch, and the show's 100th episode, the latter featuring cast members (Christopher Lloyd, Lesley Ann Warren, and Martin Mull) from the movie Clue; Jeffrey Tambor and Cybill Shepherd will also guest along the way.

Still unscheduled:
White Collar creator Jeff Eastin is behind this summer's newcomer NEW Graceland, a drama set in a Southern California beach house which serves as home base for a group of undercover federal agents.

VH1

Last seen on the air in 2009, pop culture recap show Best Week Ever (Friday 1/18 at 10p) returns with new episodes hosted by newcomers Pat Dixon, Pete Lee, and Amanda Seales.

What do you think?

Which shows are you planning on watching over the coming months? Let us know in the comments section below. Note that some midseason premieres won't be announced until later in the month, so we'll return with a full spring television preview in early March, and a summer preview in May.

Comments (2)

  • riddler645  

    Wow, it's a big year for Patton Oswalt. Of the three shows, I'm most excited for Justified. That's the kind of psychological tormented drama Oswalt excels at. Obviously he will be a great fool in Portlandia, but I worry the same will be the case for The Newsroom.

    Also, why is the Joe Schmo Show coming back? I remember seeing that almost a decade ago. Then again, reality TV has only gotten stronger so maybe it could be good. It just feels like a bizarre show to revive.

  • LamontRaymond  

    Thanks for this incredibly helpful preview, Jason! Love it.... But holy hell, there's a TON of TV starting mid-year.... Seems like just a few years ago that the "mid-season replacement" was an anomaly, a rarity - when a fall show performed badly. It's great to see the cable networks (USA, AMC, FX) and the movie channels (SHO, HBO, Cinemax) putting on such quality entertainment. Why go to the movies any more??

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    2. Comasi : I personally loved La La Land but I hope Moonlight wins Best Picture/Director. Read »
  3. /feature/predict-2017-oscar-winners Image
    Make Your 2017 Oscar Predictions!
    February 1, 2017 - 10 comments
    1. ConJoJohn : @JasonDietz Oh true hey thanks! Read »
    2. JasonDietz : @ConJoJohn: We actually had an AM/PM mixup with the closing time, but your picks have been recorded. Read »
    3. ConJoJohn : Hey... Wait a second. Pacific IS four hours behind Atlantic! Why did the polls close early? That's not cool. I... Read »
    4. ConJoJohn : Also my name's Connor Johnson if you want to add me to the poll results lol. Read »
  4. /feature/tv-premiere-dates Image
    2017 Winter/Spring TV Premiere Calendar
    December 15, 2016 - 140 comments
    1. JasonDietz : @blarpisblarp: Actually, Chicago Justice is premiering on both nights (one is a "sneak preview" while the other is... Read »