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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.)