Now that the holidays are almost over, your family is headed back home, and you’ll most likely need some downtime sprawled out on the couch as a result of too much ringing in the New Year, now is the perfect time to get back to what’s truly important in life: watching TV.
The New Year starts off with a bang, bringing not only a new Sherlock special, but also the return of The X-Files. MTV will go big into fantasy (actual fantasy this time, not The Real World) with its adaptation of Terry Brooks’ The Shannara Chronicles, while FX reminds everyone of just how easily a sensationalized murder trial can stop the nation in its tracks with American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.
There’s something for everyone, so take a look at the Midseason 2016 Premiere Dates for New and Returning TV Shows. Remember to set your DVRs accordingly:
Friday, Jan. 1
- Top Pick: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride – PBS, 9 p.m.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson for a single 90-minute special episode, which sees the two in the late 19th Century London. The episode marks the first time Steven Moffat’s version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary characters have been seen in anything other than the present day. That means the two intrepid investigators will have an opportunity to run around Victorian England in a story that teeters on the verge of gothic horror in search of the titular ‘Bride.’
While it’s not a new full season of Sherlock, this special should tide fans of the series over until a proper season 4 can be arranged – a planning nightmare no doubt, given both Cumberbatch and Freeman’s increasingly jam-packed work schedule.
Sunday, Jan. 3
- Galavant ABC 8 p.m.
- Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life – FOX, 8:30 p.m.
- Bordertown – FOX, 9:30 p.m.
- Downton Abbey – PBS, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 5
- New Girl – FOX, 8 p.m.
- Grandfathered – FOX, 8:30 p.m.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine – FOX, 9 p.m.
- Teen Wolf – MTV, 9 p.m.
- The Grinder – FOX, 9:30 p.m.
- Top Pick: The Shannara Chronicles – MTV, 10 p.m.
Adapted from the novels by author Terry Brooks, The Shannara Chronicles is a high-fantasy series that marks a potential new level of ambitious storytelling for MTV. The series comes from Smallville co-creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, and stars a plethora of up-and-coming young actors, as well as Manu Bennett (Arrow, Spartacus) and John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings) to appeal to both the network’s key demographic and fans of genre material alike.
With its attractive combination of dystopian futurescapes (this time Seattle), fantasy/sci-fi elements, and extensive special effects, The Shannara Chronicles could well be the biggest spectacle to hit MTV since the last Music Video Awards.
Wednesday, Jan. 6
- 2 Broke Girls – CBS, 8 p.m.
- American Idol – FOX, 8 p.m.
- The Middle – ABC, 8 p.m.
- The Goldbergs – ABC 8:30 p.m.
- Mike & Molly – CBS 8:30 p.m.
- 2016 People’s Choice Awards – CBS 9 p.m.
- Modern Family – ABC 9 p.m.
- Black-ish – ABC, 9:30 p.m.
- American Crime – ABC, 10 p.m.
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – FXX, 10 p.m.
- Top Pick: Man Seeking Woman – FXX, 10:30 p.m.
Man Seeking Woman takes an unconventional approach to the standard rom-com by infusing its story of Josh (Jay Baruchel), a perpetually underachieving, and lovelorn twentysomething with a series of surreal, offbeat storytelling elements that range anywhere from destination weddings from hell that take place in Hell, to robot dating, and a whole new approach to co-dependent relationships.
With a supporting cast that includes the unpredictable Eric André, Britt Lower, and a revolving door of guest stars, like Carrie Brownstein, Matt Lucas, Fred Armisen, and Brett Gelman, season 1 made for a delightfully eccentric addition to the FXX comedy lineup. Season 2 will hopefully aim for more of the same, while upping the weird quotient.
Thursday, Jan. 7
- The Big Bang Theory – CBS, 8 p.m.
- Life in Pieces – CBS, 8:30 p.m.
- The Blacklist — NBC, 9 p.m.
- Mom – CBS, 9 p.m.
- Angel From Hell – CBS, 9:30 p.m.
- Elementary – CBS, 10 p.m.
- The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret – IFC, 10 p.m.
- Shades of Blue – NBC, 10 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 8
- Reign – The CW, 8 p.m.
- Hawaii Five-O – CBS, 9 p.m.
- Blue Bloods – CBS, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 10
- 2016 Golden Globes – NBC, 8 p.m.
- Shameless – Showtime, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 12
- Pretty Little Liars – Freeform/ABC Family, 8 p.m.
- iZombie – The CW, 9 p.m.
- Shadowhunters – Freeform/ABC Family, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 13
- Criminal Minds – CBS, 9 p.m.
- Second Chance – FOX, 9 p.m.
- Code Black – CBS, 10 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 14
- Colony – USA, 10 p.m.
- Workaholics – Comedy Central, 10 p.m.
- Idiotsitter – Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 15
- Degrassi: Next Class – Netflix
Saturday, Jan. 16
- Sesame Street – HBO, 9 a.m.
Sunday, Jan. 17
- Angie Tribeca – TBS, 9 p.m.
- Top Pick: Billions – Showtime, 10 p.m.
Damian Lewis returns to Showtime in Billions. This time, however, Lewis isn’t a potential terrorist caught between his CIA love interest and his deadly mission, he’s Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, a hedge fund king who is the number one target of U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti).
With its relevant storyline and recognizable stars that, in addition to Lewis and Giamatti, includes Maggie Siff (Sons of Anarchy) and Malin Akerman (Watchmen), Billions could very well be the next big thing to hit Showtime. At any rate, it’ll be worth it to see if the series can figure out how to sneak Claire Danes in there to remind viewers yet again how good Homeland season 1 was.
Tuesday, Jan. 19
- The Flash – The CW, 8 p.m.
- Agent Carter – ABC, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 20
- Arrow – The CW, 8 p.m.
- Supernatural – The CW, 9 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 21
- Top Pick: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – The CW, 8 p.m.
A group of ragtag superheroes on a mission through time to take down an immortal villain – what’s not to like there? Sure the series could still turn out to be a stinker, but The CW has put so much effort into setting up Legends of Tomorrow – as fans of Arrow and The Flash can attest – that it would be almost impossible to pass up the opportunity to see how this TV-sized test run of the Justice League comes together.
The series has delivered a handful of engaging trailers, photos, and poster that depict Rip Hunter’s time-traveling crew jumping through eons and getting involved in one VFX-heavy dust-up after another. Although the lineup lacks any of DC’s heavy-hitters, the prospect of Ray Palmer, White Canary, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Firestorm, and The Flash villains Captain Cold and Heat Wave doing… well, anything together is probably going to worth at least one look.
- The 100 – The CW, 9 p.m.
- Baskets – FX, 10 p.m.
- London Spy – BBC America, 10 p.m.
- Portlandia – IFC 10 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 20
- Mad Dogs – Netflix
Saturday, Jan. 23
- Black Sails – Starz, 9 p.m
Sunday, Jan. 24
- The X-Files – FOX, 10 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 25
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – The CW, 8 p.m.
- The Fosters – Freeform/ABC Family, 8 p.m.
- Top Pick: The X-Files (regular time) – FOX, 8 p.m.
The seemingly impossible return of The X-Files technically happens on Sunday, January 24, but this is where the show settles into its timeslot for its six-week run. With such a short run and the promise from creator Chris Carter and stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny that the show would essentially be two mythology episodes bookending a series of monster-of-the-week entries, it feels like FOX gets to play it relatively safe and still have the fun, nostalgia-infused TV event it was looking for.
At any rate, with stories from acclaimed X-Files writers Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, James Wong, and Carter himself, the series’ return – brief as it may be – should at least give the series fuel to make these revivals a possible semi-regular occurrence.
- Jane the Virgin – The CW, 9 p.m.
- Lucifer – FOX, 9 p.m.
- The Magicians – Syfy, 9 p.m.
- Recovery Road – Freeform/ABC Family, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26
- Outsiders – WGN America, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 27
- Suits – USA, 10 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 29
- The Vampire Diaries – The CW, 8 p.m.
- The Originals – The CW, 9 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 31
- Grease Live – FOX, 7 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 1
Castle – ABC, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 2
- The Muppets – ABC, 8 p.m.
- Fresh Off the Boat – ABC, 8:30 p.m.
- Top Pick: American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson – FX, 10 p.m.
An improbable blending of franchises – co-creators Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski People vs. [enter name here] and Ryan Murphy’s American [whatever] Story – American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson aims to somehow be a retelling of one of the most sensationalized murder trials in American history, without being too sensationalistic about it. That’s a tall order given Murphy’s involvement, but such concerns can at least be tempered by Alexander and Karaszewski’s previous credits of Ed Wood, Man on the Moon, and of course, The People vs. Larry Flynt.
Add in an all-star cast that includes John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson, Connie Britton, David Schwimmer, and Nathan Lane and you’re right back where you started: a potentially riveting drama that is constantly teetering on the brink of sensationalism. Who’s going to miss that?
Wednesday, Feb. 3
- Madoff (Miniseries) – ABC, 8 p.m.
- Young & Hungry – Freeform/ABC Family, 8 p.m.
- Baby Daddy – Freeform/ABC Family, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 5
- Sleepy Hollow – FOX, 8 p.m.
- Animals – HBO, 11:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 11
- Grey’s Anatomy – ABC, 8 p.m.
- Scandal – ABC, 9 p.m.
- How to Get Away With Murder – ABC, 10 p.m.
- Those Who Can’t — TruTV, 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 14
- Top Pick: Vinyl – HBO, 9 p.m.
HBO’s big new series in 2016 is Terence Winter’s ’70s rock drama Vinyl. The series re-teams Winter with his Boardwalk Empire and Wolf of Wall Street collaborator Martin Scorsese, who directed the pilot episode and will serve as an executive producer alongside rock legend Mick Jagger. While the show is brimming with talent behind the scenes, it has plenty in front of the camera as well. Vinyl is headed up by Bobby Cannavale as record producer Richie Finestra. He’ll be joined by the likes of Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano, and Juno Temple, as they navigate the powdery excesses of the New York music scene in the late ’70s.
With its impressive cast and creators, and what is sure to be an impressive soundtrack, Vinyl is shaping up to be one of our most anticipated new series.
- The Walking Dead – AMC, 9 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 15
- Better Call Saul – AMC, 10 p.m.
- 11/22/63 – Hulu
Wednesday, Feb. 17
- Broad City – Comedy Central, 10 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 18
- Vikings – History, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 21
- Girls – HBO, 10 p.m.
- Togetherness – HBO, 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 28
- The 2016 Academy Awards
Monday, Feb. 29
- Gotham – FOX, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, March 2
- Rosewood – FOX, 8 p.m.
- The Real O’Neals – ABC, 8:30 p.m.
- Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders – CBS, 10 p.m.
Thursday, March 3
- The Family – ABC, 9 p.m.
Sunday, March 6
- Once Upon a Time – ABC, 8 p.m.
- The Family – ABC, 9 p.m. (regular time)
- Quantico – ABC, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, March 8
- Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – ABC, 9 p.m.
- Of Kings & Prophets – ABC, 10 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9
- Nashville – ABC, 10 p.m.
Wednesday, March 30
- Empire – FOX, 9 p.m.
- The Path – Hulu