Winter 2014 TV Preview

New year, new shows! After holiday hiatus, primetime programs continue, new series begin and established shows return with new seasons. Here’s a look at what’s to come, plus additional premieres in this week’s listings.

Dec 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm

New year, new shows! After holiday hiatus, primetime programs continue, new series begin and established shows return with new seasons. Here’s a look at what’s to come, plus additional premieres in this week’s listings.

The Spoils of Babylon (10 p.m. Jan. 9, IFC) – Tobey Maguire, Kristen Wiig, Haley Joel Osment (yup) and a bevy of other big names star in this parody of ’70s soap-operatic miniseries, produced by Funny or Die. Expect over-the-top cheese and drama in this hilarious six-part epic.

Shameless (9 p.m. Jan. 12, Showtime) – After an ambiguous end for Jimmy last season, it appears Fiona’s longtime on-and-off beau is gone for good (but we’ll see). This season finds Lip in college, Fiona in handcuffs and Frank back to his typical shameless ways.

True Detective (9 p.m. Jan. 12, HBO) – Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey portray Louisiana detectives in this new anthology drama. Seventeen years following a bizarre murder that the duo had supposedly solved, another similar crime unfolds, pulling the men back into the investigation. The timeline jumps between 1995 and 2012, revealing how the original case has affected the men over the years.

Girls (10 p.m. Jan. 12, HBO) – Marnie and Charlie are over (actor Christopher Abbott has left the series) while Hannah and Adam are officially cohabitants. Jessa hides out away from the city, Hannah pursues a book deal, Adam’s sister visits and Elijah is back!

Chozen (10:30 p.m. Jan. 13, FX) – Bobby Moynihan brings to life the eponymous white, gay, ex-con rapper in this new animated series from the folks behind Eastbound and Down.

Kroll Show (10:30 p.m. Jan. 14, Comedy Central) – Nick Kroll (Ruxin from The League) returns for a new season of his underappreciated laugh-out-loud sketch comedy show. Expect more Wheels Ontario, PubLIZity and awesome guest stars.

Sherlock (10 p.m. Jan. 19, PBS) – Two years have passed since Sherlock reportedly died at St. Barts, but the peculiar detective reemerges when London falls victim to a terrorist attack. Watson is relieved to see his partner alive and well, but is also concerned as to how Sherlock will fit in his new life with a new lady — Mary Morstan.

Looking (10:30 p.m. Jan. 19, HBO) – In what’s sure to be dubbed the Gays to Lena Dunham’s Girls, this new dramedy follows three men searching for personal and professional happiness in San Francisco.


Community (Season Premiere, 8 p.m., NBC) – Sometimes fans’ voices really are heard. Creator Dan Harmon regains control of the comedy this season after being replaced as showrunner in 2012. Expect a few changes at Greendale — Jeff’s graduated but not gone; Pierce has been absent since the end of Season Four and won’t be returning; and, as explained via Donald Glover’s Instagram in a series of emo posts, Troy will leave the series after a few episodes this season.

Project Runway All Stars (9 p.m., Lifetime) – The final four create ready-to-wear looks to be auctioned for charity. On the runway, the designers face an epic All Star twist.

Couples Therapy (Season Premiere, 9 p.m., VH1) – OK, trash TV alert! This is the fourth season of the show where Z-list celebrity couples go to die, and I will probably watch this mess because The Real L Word’s Whitney Mixter and Sada Bettencourt are among the cast. Ever since Showtime’s lesbian reality series mysteriously never returned to airwaves, I’ve been jonesing for my Whitney/Sada drama fix.

Parenthood (10 p.m., NBC) -– Joel and Ed finally face off; Zeke seeks companionship in Camille’s absence; Amy’s dropping in causes Drew and Natalie’s complicated relationship to become even more so. Maybe these guys should apply for Couples Therapy.


Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – SNL presents a “best of this season” special, presumably just looping Miley Cyrus’ “We Did Stop” government shutdown spoof and a couple Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake skits for 90 minutes.


Downton Abbey (Season Premiere, 9 p.m., PBS) – This fourth season begins in 1922, six months after Matthew’s death. Mary and Isobel mourn their great loss, O’Brien causes a stir and Violet tries to help Molesley find a job.


The Mindy Project (9:30 p.m., Fox) – Mindy talks Danny into being her “personal trainer” to get in shape for her upcoming vacation with Cliff. 

Justified (Season Premiere, 10 p.m., FX) – Raylan returns to familiar turf as Season Five opens in Florida with the dangerous Crowe clan.

CONTACT JAC KERN: [email protected] or @jackern