Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of 2014: ’24’, ‘Orphan Black’, ‘Mad Men’ & More

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 21st, 2014 at 6:44 am,

True Blood (HBO, June 2014)

true blood sookie s7 details Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of 2014: 24, Orphan Black, Mad Men & More

Though True Blood fans (aka trubies) are likely still forlorn over the end of the show, they have to take solace in the fact that the show will at least get a full season to resolve loose ends, and after six seasons of vampires, witches, faeries, and werewolves, shapeshifters, and love triangles, there is a lot to resolve.

There’s also a lot of pressure on showrunner Brian Buckner, but in an interview giver before the final announcement was made, Buckner seemed eager to simplify the show while giving fans what they want. So while fan service isn’t always the right recipe for a quality end, it’ll likely be one that appeals to trubies.

Last Comic Standing (NBC, June 2014)

last comic standing last comic Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of 2014: 24, Orphan Black, Mad Men & More

Last Comic Standing  has a messy track record and – in a world of podcasts, a wider palette of cable channels, and the rise of viral web comedy – a bit of slipping relevancy. But while comics like Patton Oswalt have slagged the show’s coming return, no one (including Oswalt) has had the same venom as comedian Wanda Sykes, the show’s new producer.

It’s fair to assume that NBC knew that was part of the benefit of bringing Sykes aboard, but at the end of the day, results matter and both Sykes and NBC need to make this latest version of Last Comic Standing something that appeals to and elevates comedians and stand-up comedy, or else what’s the point of it? Let’s just hope that the producer-rigged results are finally gone for good, because the last thing this reboot needs is even more well-known comedians, as judges, walking off the show again.

Louie (FX, Spring 2014)

louie keyart coffee cup Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of 2014: 24, Orphan Black, Mad Men & More

It’s been a long time since Louis CK gifted us with a fresh episode of Louie, his occasionally absurd semi-autobiographical sitcom – which occasionally feels more like an inspired and loosely connected short film anthology series – but enthusiasm has hardly dimmed for the critically adored series in all that time away.

What does CK have in store for the upcoming fourth season? Honestly, there is no way of knowing because he isn’t saying, but with more than 18 months off the air to think on and craft this next batch of episodes (with the help of legendary deadpan comic Steven Wright, no less), it seems possible that CK might actually do the impossible and actually top himself.

Mad Men (AMC, Spring 2014)

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men In Care Of Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of 2014: 24, Orphan Black, Mad Men & More

Don Draper is a man who has excelled because he can be reckless without worrying about the consequences. A tight rope walker who knows that if he falls, he can bounce back up and run out the door, dropping everything that he is on the floor on his way to a new life. That hubris comes from being a self-made man from toe to top, a creation, and it’s part of what makes Draper fascinating.

Like a bored God, we saw Draper wreak havoc on his superficially perfect life for the sake of wreaking havoc last season. At home, he felt caged by his wife’s ambition so he philandered without cause and veered dangerously close to obsession. At work, he merged his company with a competitor on a whim.

At the end of Man Men‘s sixth season, Draper had started to lose his grasp – his daughter despised him, friends were hurt, and he had been pushed out at work. This represented a low point for the character, but for showrunner Matthew Weiner, Don Draper’s descent represents a fork in the road as the show near’s its conclusion: will Don Draper comeback or will he fall further?

Orange is the New Black (Netflix, 2014)

orange is the new black Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of 2014: 24, Orphan Black, Mad Men & More

One of the more critically adored shows from 2013, Orange is the New Black came out of nowhere to team up with House of Cards as twin pillars for Netflix, establishing its dramedy chops thanks to some clever writing and an impossibly deep ensemble.

As season two nears, creator Jenji Kohan has her work cut out for her thanks to Laura Prepon’s exit, but the anticipated fallout following the brutal fight between main character Piper and Pennsatucky the bad toothed zealot should be enough to hold people’s attention as Piper’s time in prison potentially grows.

Doctor Who (BBC/BBC America, Fall 2014)

Peter Capaldi Doctor Who Time of the Doctor Clara Twelve Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of 2014: 24, Orphan Black, Mad Men & More

The new season of Doctor Who is a long way away, but when the show returns for its eighth season following the game changing 50th Anniversary Special and Matt Smith’s exit, all eyes will be on showrunner Steven Moffat and how he re-positions the Doctor now that Peter Capaldi has the role.

Unfortunately, Capaldi’s brief cameo at the end of the Christmas Special failed to give us much insight into that new direction – which is not surprising – but with Gallifrey kept at bay thanks to the Doctor’s league of villains and fears about a re-spiked Time War, one wonders if Moffat might use Capaldi’s capacity for on-screen ferocity to give us a more aggressive and proactive Doctor.

The Killing (Netflix, 2014)

The Killing Canceled Season 4 Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of 2014: 24, Orphan Black, Mad Men & More

If it feels like Netflix is a recurring theme here, you’re right and it’s deserved after the streamer’s impactful arrival on the scene last year, but while the other entries are renewals that helped foster this golden era for Netflix, The Killing is something different.

Like Arrested Development, this represents a gamble by Netflix on something established that is also, technically, a failure following its most recent cancellation. We honestly have no way of knowing – thanks to Netflix’s church-mouse quiet policy on their internal numbers – whether this will be a success, but it does give producers a chance to fully wrap up The Killing.

This also show’s that Netflix isn’t just trying to find success with splashy debuts like House of Cards or the upcoming Sense8, but rather, that they are interested in building up a sturdy and diverse lineup for their subscribers.

2014 tv premiere return schedule Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of 2014: 24, Orphan Black, Mad Men & More

These collected shows represent the best of the returning slate of TV shows. Over this next year we expect trends to be established, hearts to be broken, and expectations to both be dashed and toppled over. More than anything, though, we expect to be surprised, because that is sort of the point and entirely the challenge.

Boldness is being rewarded at a time when television is incredibly social. It’s part of our societal fabric, one of our chief diversions, and now more than ever, it is available to us with unimaginable ease.

With that comes a set of challenges and, one assumes, a heaping load of pressure, because in as much as we love these shows together, we also share our disappointments with each other in a way that can paint a scarlet letter across the chests of under-performing series. It’s a high wire act on a razor’s edge, but if there is a group of shows that can reliably handle it, it’s these.


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  1. No Hannibal?

    • Yes, Hannibal is *definitely* missing on this list!! O_O

  2. Sherlock, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Doctor Who for sure. I’d throw Arrow up there too, great show.

  3. Games Of Thrones, Hannibal, The Following, Orphan Black and season 3 of A Touch Of Cloth with Karen Gillan joining the cast for both episodes. Such a funny and brilliant detective show. Seriously, any British and non-British people here who haven’t seen it really have to watch it wherever they can, whether it’s a streaming site, Youtube or whatever.

    I hadn’t laughed that hard at a TV show since The Harry Hill Show back in the late 90s on Channel 4.

    • Crap, I forgot I’m looking forward to 24 too.

    • Gotta add The Americans and Hannibal

    • I hate that games of thrones is only 10 episodes
      they need to make the season longer

      • It be to expensive to produce more than 10 Episodes per year. As it is, they’re worried about how close the show is to catching up with the books, more episodes would make that worse.

        • Yep although even if they didn’t have that worry, I’d still prefer to keep it to 10 episodes per season. Any more and they could risk dragging things on too long or boredom.

          I’m British, I grew up with TV shows having 10 or less episodes, I’m still not used to TV shows having upwards of 20 or more episodes per season. Until last year, I thought 24 was the only show to do it except that 24 had a reason for it since every episode was an hour in a very long day of anti-terrorism.

  4. Hannibal, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The Killing, last season of True Blood, and Hemlock Grove for myself

  5. Arrow

    • Thank You!!! Arrow is way more engaging than most of the shows listed.

  6. My top ten:

    1. ‘Hannibal’
    2. ‘Vikings’
    3. ‘The Americans’
    4. ‘Mad Men’ (tempered somewhat by the season split. It is obviously informed by the success of ‘Breaking Bad’, but this show is nowhere as near in the public consciousness)
    5. ‘Archer’
    6. ‘Game of Thrones’
    7. ‘House of Cards’
    8. ‘Orange is the New Black’
    9. ‘Orphan Black’

    Not sure if I have one for movies. Sure, a few I am looking forward to, but ten? Hm.

    • Ooooh, I forgot about Vikings. I loved the first season. I think I even enjoyed it a little more than GOT which is saying a lot. If S2 is as good then wow, it’s going to be a great 2014 TV season

  7. Isn’t Sherlock on PBS, not BBC America?

  8. No Justified!?
    Its a lot better than most of those shows on this list.

    • Agreed. This list does have the Pete Holmes Show on it though…so credibility is kind of shot.

  9. Arrow,walking dead and the Americans for me.Still have to get around to season 1 of house of cards and Hannibal,can’t wait.

    • And Game of thrones as well.

  10. Bhammer yes! Justified is one of the best shows on tv, and the relationship between Boyd Crowder and Raylan Givens might be the best hero/anti-hero/bad guy relationship on tv right now. I’m also excited for house of lies, shameless, and the finale of Californication. I’m glad the studio is deciding to end it now, and because the same guy has been there since the beginning I hope it’s better than Dexters ending which still leaves me split.

  11. In no particular order except for the first 4:

    1. Person Of Interest
    2. Justified
    3. Shameless
    4. Sons Of Anarchy
    5. Hannibal
    6. 24
    7. Graceland
    8. Game Of Thrones
    9. Doctor Who
    10. Supernatural

  12. Where’s Vikings or Always Sunny?

  13. no love for Vikings

  14. First, it’s a crime that Justified got no mention. Second, +1 for The Pete Holmes Show. Keep it crispy.

  15. With Community already back and Justified starting tonight the year is already off to a great start.
    As for what’s to come I’m going to try and rattle of a top 10 even though I could go much longer while keeping it to seasons that haven’t started yet.

    1. Hannibal
    2. Sherlock
    3. Game of Thrones
    4. Orphan Black
    5. House of Cards
    6. Orange is the New Black
    7. Bates Motel
    8. 24
    9. Mad Men
    10. Shameless

    • Has anyone heard anything about another season of “The Fall”?
      If I knew for sure that it was coming back this year it would be in my top 5 but I haven’t heard a thing and I see Gillian Anderson is starting another series.

      • Late reply, but shooting begins soon. From what I know, all of the principles are returning, Sir.

        • @ Ajeno

          Thanks for the reply…
          I suppose that because it hasn’t even started shooting yet it will be a while before we get to see it here in the states but if season 2 is anything close to season 1 in quality the wait will be worth it.

  16. Justified all day long. And of course Shameless is way up there. Game of Thrones. Homeland. Californication.

  17. Walking dead
    Game of thrones
    Orphan Black
    American Horror Story

    Man i cannot wait for orphan black need me some more Tatiana Maslany shes just so amazing

  18. Hemlock, maybe game of thrones, orphan black, the following, bates motel, and hannible are mine. Probably try game of thrones but the end is probably near for it on my list just like shameless is done for me.

    • forgot to mention under the dome and true blood

  19. SCANDALon ABC. No love

  20. Game of Thrones, Arrow, and Shameless for me. Gonna watch Orphan Black now.

    Imho though, Arrow is easy in the top 3 shows on regular channeles right now.

  21. Sherlock for sure. But those south park episodes totally summed up how I feel about Game of Thrones…… just get to the point already.

    Walking dead wore out its welcome in season 2.

    House of cards should be great again. I love how netflix releases all the episodes at the same time. I’ll finish them in like 2 days.

  22. I think I am going to check out Orphan Black this weekend. I never seen it so I will give it a whirl

  23. How in the hell is Arrow not up there?

  24. OK let me know when all these wait a yearto see thenext seaon shows have finished 100% completed, and then i will watch them, other than that i cant watch only 8 episodes and then try to remember what happen a year ago on 1 out of 25 to 35 shows i watch, especially UK programming, its horrible, waiting on Utopia to be all and OVER i will watch it and keep it frsh in the mind!!!!

  25. I think its unfair how everyone else’s release is on the top of their series and Orange Is The New Black isn’t there at least put a hint like for example Spring etc and also im hearing that its coming out in the summer which im not gonna wait for all that time I might as well go there to the behind the scenes and watch it and plus Laura Prepon is leaving and this woman named Lorraine Toussaint is coming on the show as a character named Vee and she is so damn ugly and I know Season 2 isn’t gonna be as good without Laura Prepon cause she was one of the main characters smt…….well anyway we’ll see how it goes

  26. Here is my list:
    1. Arrow.
    2. Hannibal.
    3. Castle.
    4. Orphan Black.
    5. Supernatural.
    6. Teen Wolf.
    7. Downton Abbey.
    8. Person of Interest.
    9. The Big Bang Theory.
    10. Once Upon a Time.

  27. if you guys have never watched dexter go watch it on nextflix
    top 3
    Prison Break

  28. Sorry, but as a writer, please don’t say “This also show’s that Netflix isn’t just trying…”. there’s no apostrophe in the verb ‘shows’! Usually I just see people adding it to anything plural, but this is a new one. That said, glad to hear about The Killing, just discovered and binge watched Orphan Black, and I may have to check out Arrow after all the remarks.

  29. The Walking Dead is the Brain Dead………….I absolutely loved Black Box!! I want it. The more dumbed down the shows, the less I watch TV.