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5 January TV Debuts We Can’t Wait to Watch

As soon as January arrives and the holidays are out the way, television can finally begin to settle back into the business of offering enjoyable entertainment on a regular basis. Not only will we get new episodes of favorite shows like Fringe and Parks and Recreation, but there are also midseason premieres of favorites old and, just maybe, new. Here are five you should pay attention to.

Maybe it’s because I live in Portland, OR, that I was left more than a little perplexed by the first season of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s sketch show – For everything that I recognized and laughed at, there was as much “But that’s just the way people actually act.” I seemed to be in the minority, though, judging by the amount of people still gleefully reminding each other to put a bird on it online, so here’s hoping that this second outing is less uneven and more downright funny. (Jan 6, 10pm on IFC)

Pity poor 30Rock – No longer wowing critics like it did when it first launched, and taking Community‘s timeslot, there’s plenty of ill will facing the show when it returns mid-January. But, thankfully, it still has one thing going for it: It’s still a remarkably funny show, and I’m hoping that the enforced downtime it faced as a result of Tina Fey’s pregnancy will mean that it’ll come back renewed and stronger than it’s been in a long time, ready to demonstrate why it deserves to keep Jeff, Brita and everyone else at Greendale off our screens for awhile, at least. (Jan 12, 8pm on NBC)

If you’ve been feeling a lack of Jorge Garcia on your screens since Lost finished, your wait is over; he plays one of the leads in this new JJ Abrams series about the mysterious disappearance of all inmates from America’s most high-security prison, and just why they’re making a comeback today having not aged at all in the past few decades. Mysterious events and characters who aren’t saying everything that they know? Of course! It’s a new JJ Abrams show! (Jan 16, 8pm on Fox)

Being Human
A return for one of the happiest surprises of 2011’s television, as the Syfy remake of the BBC original supernatural soap opera turned out to be just as good (if not quite the same) as the original. The producers are promising more of the same with this second season, including more separation from the BBC storylines, so I’m eagerly awaiting surprises amongst the blood, guts and angst. (Jan 16, 10pm on Syfy)

What started as watchable enough and became must-see television with its second season last year returns for a third year, as Timothy Olyphant is back as television’s greatest lawman, facing off against Carla Gugino, who joins the cast this year as an assistant director of the US Marshalls Service who may or may not have a history with Raylan Givens. (Jan 17, 10pm on FX)


  • Josh

    Community > 30 Rock

  • Jacob

    Right? How anyone could think that 30 Rock deserves to keep Community off-air is beyond me.

  • Jacob

    You put 30 Rock but not Once Upon a Time or Fringe? Weird.

  • Lord Prong

    They’re both great shows, although Community is a must see for me.  Graeme’s just being Graeme for some reason.

  • knivesinwest11

    JUSTIFIED!!!!!!! i’ve loved this show since the pilot episode, and it just keeps getting better. i’ve tried to convince everyone i know to watch this show, but they all refuse. those morons don’t know what they’re missing.

  • Anonymous

    Did you guys really not notice that this is about new season/series debuts?  I don’t like Graeme as much as the next guy but give him a break!  And read the article properly!

  • Jacob

    It said midseason premieres. It said nothing about season or series premieres. Every show that returns in January is having it’s midseason premiere (which, sadly, does not include Community).

  • Anonymous

    And by midseason premieres that does not include shows that are coming back from winter hiatus.  And 30 Rock has nothing to do with Community not coming back.  You can blame that on the abysmal show Whitney more likely.  30 Rock received it’s renewal much earlier this year and just had to deal with Tina Fey’s pregnancy, so it was going to be on the schedule either way.

  • Jacob

    A midseason premiere is anything that premieres in the midseason OR the episode of a show following it’s midseason finale. Also, I didn’t blame a damn thing on 30 Rock, McMillan did. I was going off of that.

  • Anonymous

    Once Upon A Time is bloody awful. How it is still on the air mystifies me.

  • Jim

    Clearly, Graeme’s list is about shows having their season premiere in the middle of the overall television season, i.e. shows starting in January that haven’t aired a new episode yet this season, and not shows returning after their respective midseason finales.

  • Savonti

    I have to agree, nothing will make me forget the loss of Community. Point of fact I’m done with NBC entirely in protest.

  • Anonymous

    I’m hoping 30 Rock bombs miserably upon its premiere

  • knivesinwest11

    it really is. yet “Grimm” which is far better, will probably get axed. though that’s also because the network gave it a friday night death slot.

  • Anonymous

    I have liked Grimm but I am afraid is getting formulaic already. That doesn’t bode well.

  • Sw00shman

    Think Im the only one who thinks community is an annoying show. Cant wait for Justified!

  • Grimral

    Spartacus and Shameless should be on this list.