After September, January is the most promising month of the television season, as the networks roll out not only their mid-season replacements, but the cable channels roll out old favorites and new series, alike. In fact, as we say goodbye to winter series, and get rid of some season passes on our DVR that we just can’t abide by anymore, there’s a lot to choose from and keep us busy until Game of Thrones arrives. In addition to the 10 most anticipated new and returning shows, there’s also the return of Downton Abbey (last night); White Collar (January 22nd); the premiere of the Sex and the City prequel series, Carrie Diaries; the return of Workaholics (January 16th) and Bunheads (January 7th), news shows like NIck Kroll’s Kroll Show (January 16th) and Deception (January 7th), plus Showtime’s House of Lies and Californiacation January 13th).
Here, however, are the most anticipated new and returning shows of the month.
10. Continuum (January 14th) — I don’t know much about the new SyFy series except that it was a big hit in Canada, it stars Rachel Nichols (droooooool), and it’s got a cool timey-wimey premise: “A detective from the year 2077 finds herself trapped in present day Vancouver and searching for ruthless criminals from the future.” I’ve heard very mixed things about the series from people I know who have given it a shot, but I’m always game for a decent sci-fi series.
9. Banshee (January 11th) — I have seen the first two episodes of the new Alan Ball produced drama for Cinemax. Despite low production values and the requisitely gratuitous Skinemax sex scenes, the pilot — about an ex-convict who takes on the identity of a dead sheriff and runs a town basically controlled by the Amish mafia — is pretty good. The second episode, however, wasn’t great. The Wire’s Frankie Faison, however, is fantastic in it. I’d nevertheless wait and see how the rest of the series shapes up before I invested myself into it.
8. The Following (January 21st) — The mid-season has a few serial killer dramas on tap, but this one — starring Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Natalie Zea, and Maggie Grace — looks to be the best among them based only on the fact that it has the best cast (and most eye candy). Serial killer dramas and network television don’t exactly mix, however, so we’ll have to wait and see if it’s as dark and gritty as the network wants us to believe it is.