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5 January TV Debuts We Can’t Wait to Watch

It may be the start of a new year, but it’s also the start of a new month and that means as ever a look at what’s lying ahead in terms of new seasons and new shows on television. The days of mid-winter being a quiet time for television schedules is over, with January seeing the return of a couple of comedy favorites, the return of what may be Syfy’s best series and a couple of newcomers waiting to win your attention.

Portlandia
The series that has turned my adopted hometown into a laughing stock – and, yet, not entirely unfairly, as everyone who’s tried to get to the Screen Door for weekend brunch knows – returns for a third season, complete with a promised story arc for the season, some unexpected guest-stars (Roseanne Barr? Martina Navatrilova?) and thankfully more of Kyle MacLachlan as the city’s mayor. If only that part could come true… (Jan 4 at 10pm Eastern on IFC)

1600 Penn
Okay, technically this show has already debuted – The pilot had an early screening last month – but next week sees the timeslot debut of Josh Gad’s new comedy, which appears to be the result of pairing Modern Family and The West Wing. The pilot was funnier – and more sentimental – than I’d expected, and I’m curious to see where the show goes as it settles into its run. It might not be the new Community, but it’s certainly funnier than Whitney. (Jan 10 at 9:30pm Eastern on NBC)

Continuum
The American debut for a Canadian time travel drama that has already aired around the world, Continuum centers around a cop from the future who ends up stuck in the present day and has to hunt for the terrorists from her time that are trying to destroy the world she comes from. Sounds both high concept and procedural, right? Just the kind of thing that Syfy seems to love these days. (Jan 14 at 8pm Eastern on Syfy)

Being Human
Continuum is the lead-in for the third season of Syfy’s version of the BBC supernatural drama about the ghost, werewolf and vampire housemates that has quietly become a contender for the most compelling series on the network. With the storylines now separate from the British original, it’s entirely open to see what happens to Sally in the afterlife, and how (if?) Aiden and Josh survive their apparent own deaths from the end of last season. (Jan 14 at 9pm Eastern on Syfy)

Archer
This will tease the new season so much better than I ever could:

(Jan 17 at 10pm Eastern on FX)

(Not debuts, but it’s worth pointing out that both Fringe and 30Rock finish their series this month; 30 Rock closes permanently on January 31, while Fringe ends with its 100th episode on January 18.)

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/ZiggyFakeMcCoy Ziggy Blumenthal

    Graeme has been wrong about many things in his day. But never has he been more wrong than saying that 1600 Penn wasn’t utterly atrocious.

    WOW was that pilot not funny or in any way enjoyable.

  • Skapunkboi19

    only one I even remotely agree with is Continuum. Since Josh is now not a werewolf, it looking like Sally is being brought back to life and therefore no longer a ghost  it’s basically going to be Two human and a Vampire, also does anyone who’s not a hipster watch Portlandia?

  • http://twitter.com/Starleafgirl Starleafgirl

    Heck yeah, Archer! I’ll give Continuum a try, too — and continue watching the inferior version of Being Human on Syfy, too.

  • http://twitter.com/treyniceski Trey Niceski

    Justified!!!!!!

  • ATK

    Looking forward to Archer. Continuum is awesome, hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy it. Looking forward to season 2. Also looking forward to;
    1/5 Young Justice & Green Lantern TAS return – or will it, who knows with them
    1/21 Ultimate Spiderman – Season 2 premiere – I like it despite all its haters
    1/25 Spartacus – War of the Damned – Final Season – bloody fun

    And it’s not TV but I looking forward to disc releases of The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 on 1/29 and Dredd 1/8 which was really good, looking forward to watching it again. 1/29 Seven Psychopaths and Samsara 1/8.
     

  • realist

    Continuum is not procedural. It has a very strong arc with not a lot of extraneous filler.

  • demoncat_4

    looking forward to continuum even though the trapped in time not his or her own to catch the bad guys is a long time sci fi staple. and being human looking forward to finding out how not only does josh adjust to being a former werewolf. but also how do they get sally out of limbo. plus will aiden once dug up keep his sanity /

  • batGRRRl4ever

    Sad to see Fringe go, but it’s definitely time.  Been loving season two of American Horror Story (hated season one).  Could a sci-fi themed anthology series ever work like AHS?  A sci-fi show that has a beginning, middle, and end in 14 episodes each season?

  • Bedlam66

    You can call it inferior all you want but whatever we get will be head and shoulders above that Shit the BBC gave us for the final season of their version. God what a utter piece of Cluster fucked shit that was.

  • Wrprintz

    Archer. The rest…meh.

  • http://thecomicbookcouple.blogspot.com/ Christian Hardy

    The non-hipsters are all anxiously awaiting the return of Justified.