Winter TV Preview
11 New Shows and 6 Returning Favorites
The winter season is my favorite time of year for television. Not only are some of my favorites returning with new episodes around this time, but there are also new shows that sound interesting that are vying for my attention as well. Set a date with your DVR and watch at least one of these twelve new offerings. Also, I’ve got the dish on six of your returning faves.
This Canadian-made series, which first debuted north of the border in October, will release all 12 episodes on Netflix for U.S. audiences. Eric McCormack, well-known for Will & Grace, stars as an FBI special agent who follows “spirits from the future” who inhabit people who are just about to die, saving them from doing so.
When to Watch: December 23, Netflix
Kaitlin Olson from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia stars in this new sitcom about a hot mess of a woman who struggles to get her life together after she is named guardian of her sister’s children, after said sister books it out of the country to avoid federal fraud charges.
When to Watch: January 1, FOX
A 12-year-old boy falls into a coma, and when he wakes, he finds that he has gained supernatural powers. These powers are dangerous, however, as he quickly learns; he is now in the middle of a worldwide conspiracy! All episodes will be available for viewing on Hulu immediately and will air weekly on Freeform.
When to Watch: January 2, Freeform and Hulu
The Celebrity Apprentice
“This is already a show,” I’m sure you’re saying. Yes, but it might as well be completely new now that there is a new host (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and new advisors (Warren Buffett, Steve Ballmer, Jessica Alba, and more!). Watch out for buzzworthy contestants like Carnie Wilson, Porsha Williams, Carson Kressley and Boy George.
When to Watch: January 2, NBC
Oz book lovers, rejoice! This edgy retelling of the books in the Land of Oz series, written by L. Frank Baum, is finally coming to NBC after nearly three years in production! Adria Arjona stars as Dorothy Gale, the farm girl who finds herself in a completely different world. Vincent D’Onofrio stars as the Wizard.
When to Watch: January 6, NBC
One Day at a Time
Bonnie Franklin is smiling down from heaven at the cast of this show, which is a remake of the popular classic CBS sitcom. In this incarnation, which, like the original, is produced by Norman Lear, a Cuban-American woman raises her teenage daughter and tween son with the help of her no-nonsense traditional mother.
When to Watch: January 6, Netflix
Tom Hardy stars in this dramatic miniseries, a co-production between FX and the BBC. An adventurer, who returns from Britain after working with the East India Company in Africa, is out for revenge after his father dies. He has also brought back a sizable bounty: fourteen stolen diamonds. This series is produced by Tom Hardy and his father Chips.
When to Watch: January 10, FX
In the vein of Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge and Call the Midwife, the UK’s ITV has brought U.S. audiences another historical drama, this time focusing on Queen Victoria, the long-reigning 19th century British monarch, with an emphasis on the first few years of her reign, which began in 1837. Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) stars.
When to Watch: January 15, PBS
The hilarious weekly podcast is finally coming to TV in TV Land’s first concerted effort to produce late-night programming since Alf’s Hit Talk Show (anyone remember that?). Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi will bring their no-holds-barred comedy to this new series as they dissect issues “affecting ladies and gays.”
When to Watch: January 17, TV Land
Santa Clarita Diet
If you’re a big fan of Drew Barrymore like I am, go ahead and rejoice, because she’s coming to TV! In this new series, Drew plays Sheila, a middle-aged real estate agent who spends a lot of time with her husband/realty partner Joel (Timothy Olyphant). This dark comedy covers a lot of ground after something troubling happens to the couple.
When to Watch: February 3, Netflix
The popular 24 franchise is revived with a new lead character and lots of time-sensitive drama and action. Former Army ranger Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins) has been fighting terrorists in the Middle East, and now he will have to deal with them in his own country after they follow him home, intent on making him pay for killing their spiritual leader.
When to Watch: February 5, FOX
Project Runway Junior
Teenage fashion designers are put to the test under the watchful eye of Tim Gunn. “Make it work” they do, as they are given advanced design challenges, with the winner walking away with a cash prize, a shopping spree, and a full scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California.
When to Watch: December 22, Lifetime
The twelfth season of this drama will be its last. Emily Deschanel will direct the premiere episode, which will start a 12-week quest to tie up the show’s loose ends. Dr. Addy, first seen last season for the first time since season three, will be back on the show this season. Guest stars include Betty White and Stephen Fry.
When to Watch: January 3, FOX
Get ready to match the stars! Alec Baldwin returns as host of the venerable game show, complete with the classic 1970s theme and all of its humor and charm. Last summer’s primetime craze returns this winter with lots of special guest panelists. (“How special ARE they?”)
When to Watch: January 4, ABC
A fan movement saved Nashville from ending completely, moving from ABC this past season to CMT this season. Last we left them, the big cliffhanger involved tortured country star Juliette (Hayden Panettiere), who skips the Oscars to fly home, but her plane has suddenly gone missing.
When to Watch: January 5, CMT
One of the funniest shows of 2016 is coming back for 20 more episodes. Comedy troupe The Katydids star as teachers in a Midwestern elementary school who take unconventional approaches to their jobs as well as living their lives. Two “snaps” up for the brutally honest fashion-plate lush Ms. Snap (Katy Collotton), who should be my IRL BFF.
When to Watch: January 17, TV Land
Whenever I can recommend this show, I do so. This show has grown over the last four years to become one of the more compelling teen-driven dramas on television. Last we left Callie (Maia Mitchell), she had finally figured out who really had her foster brother framed for murder…and now she’s been figured out too. Is her safety in jeopardy?
When to Watch: January 31, Freeform
Tell us what other shows you’ll be watching this winter by writing to us on Facebook at facebook.com/hotspotsmag.