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October 4, 2015

2011 Midseason TV Preview

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 21st 2010 4:00PM
American Idol
For the first time since the show premiered in 2001, we face a January without a '24' season premiere. Sigh.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other tube offerings to help brighten our Jack Bauer-less TV nights at midseason, including the return of a new hero -- Timothy Olyphant's U.S. marshal Raylan Given on 'Justified' -- a new crop of 'Teen Moms' on MTV, two new series from two old 'Friends' and a whole new network, courtesy of Oprah.

Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network – As The Big O prepares to end her long-running, syndicated talk show, she debuts her own OWN, a network that will feature new series hosted by Rosie O'Donnell, Lisa Ling, Oprah's BFF Gayle King, Shania Twain, Duchess of York Fergie and Oprah herself (Noon, OWN) network launch

'Primeval' – Abby and Connor finally return to the present, after being stuck in the Cretaceous period for a whole year (9PM, BBCA) season 4 premiere

'My Fair Wedding With David Tutera' – David performs more wedding makeovers, including helping a bride who doesn't want a "bling bling" wedding, but a "bling blou" wedding. Whatever that means (9PM, WE) season 4 premiere

'Worst Cooks in America' – Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine divvy up 16 new home cook competitors and pit them against each other (9PM, Food Network) season 2 premiere

Pretty Little Liars'Pretty Little Liars' – Yeah, we don't know what's up with that odd start time either, but this show was sooooo good in its first season that we're more than happy to tune in early for the second season's beginning (7:58PM, ABC Family) season 2 premiere

'The Bachelor' – Yes, Brad Womack should look familiar, because he's the same guy who tried this method of finding true love in season 11, and, well, didn't. Here's to second chances (8PM, ABC) season 15 premiere

'The Craigslist Killer' – 'Greek' star Jake McDorman plays creepy Philip Markoff, the handsome Boston med student who allegedly kicked off a major crime spree when he murdered a masseuse he met via Craigslist (9PM, Lifetime)

'Greek' – Prepare to bid adieu to the Cyprus-Rhodes University gang, as the show debuts its final season, and, according to rumors, uses the old flash-forward trick to show us what Casey and Cappie and pals will be up to in the future (9PM, ABC Family) season 4 premiere

Greek'The Larry Sanders Show' – The complete series just hit DVD, but you can also watch the Emmy-winning Garry Shandling classic unfold every night on IFC (11PM, IFC)

'The Biggest Loser: Couples' – Two new trainers join the show and add a twist to the competition: Contestants can choose to work out with the newbies, instead of Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, and if they do, they get four weeks of immunity (8PM, NBC) season 11 premiere

'Paula Abdul: Live to Dance' – The winner of the Abdul-created dance competition, in which Paula returns to the judges table, will win $500,000 (8PM, CBS) series premiere

Paula Abdul'V' – Jane Badler and Bret Harrison join the cast in recurring roles, as Erica tries to find out the truth about Anna's Red Sky and exactly what the Visitors are planning (9PM, ABC) season 2 premiere

'Chopped' – One of the most addictive shows on one of the most addictive networks returns for another season of stressed out chefs and the weird ingredients they're forced to use to whip up tasty vittles (10PM, Food Network) season 6 premiere

'Southland' – Officer John's back problems may turn into a drug problem when his meds don't seem to be doing the trick any longer (10PM, TNT) season 3 premiere

'The Ben Stiller Show' – If you've never seen the cult classic sketch comedy show, now's your chance, as IFC will unspool all 13 episodes this winter (10:30PM, IFC)

'Wipeout' – Walking in a winter wonderland of big red balls! (8PM, ABC) season 4 premiere

'Ace of Cakes' – It's the final season for the Charm City Cakes crew, though we suspect the network won't be silly and let Duff go totally MIA from Food Network (10PM, Food Network) season 10 premiere

Jersey Shore'Jersey Shore' – Miami's out, and, thankfully, so is Angelina, as the crew returns to the Jersey Shore and gets a new roommate, in the shape -- and fake orangey color -- of Snooki's BFF Deena (10PM, MTV) season 3 premiere

'Bob's Burgers' – The 'toon follows the adventures of a family who operates a burger joint (and who landed the post-'Simpsons' timeslot) (8:30PM, Fox) series premiere

'Californication' – When last we saw Hank, he'd been arrested, so ... now, we assume, we'll see how he might have gotten out of jail? (9PM, Showtime) series premiere

'The Cape' – A cop who's framed for murder and left for dead afterwards is rescued by a circus ringleader (Keith David) who gives him a cape and some special skills with which to defend himself and try to clear his name. Summer Glau and Vinnie Jones also star (9PM, NBC) series premiere

'Episodes' – 'Friends' star Matt LeBlanc plays ... Matt LeBlanc, or, at least, an over-the-top version of himself, in this comedy where British TV producers are forced to hire LeBlanc as a star when they want to adapt their hit series for American TV (9:30PM, Showtime) series premiere

Matt LeBlanc'Shameless' – An adaptation of the British series features Bill Macy as the alcoholic head of a dysfunctional, and rowdy, Chicago family (10PM, Showtime) series premiere

'Bad Girls Club' – The action returns to Los Angeles for another season, which kicks off with seven new roomies partying and getting into a major brawl -- with each other -- on their first night in their swanky new Hollywood bachelorette pad (9PM, Oxygen) season 6 premiere

'You're Cut Off' – Eight more spoiled (adult) brats are brought together and shown their wicked, selfish ways by life coach Laura Baron (9PM, VH1) season 2 premiere

'Lights Out' – Yep, it's another fine drama from FX, this one about a retired boxer who has to find new ways to support his family now that he's no longer in the ring (10PM, FX) series premiere

'Teen Mom 2' – Will we be as engrossed in (read: obsessed with) this new crop of teen moms -- Jenelle, Chelsea, Leah, and Kailyn-- as we were in the stories of Catelynn, Maci, Farrah and Amber? (10PM, MTV) series premiere

Lights Out'Tosh.0' – He's retired cardigans, casual jackets and V-neck tees, so what will Tosh be wearing when he kicks off the new season, on a new set? (10PM, Comedy Central) season 3 premiere

'Onion SportsDome' – SportsCenter, meet SportsDome, courtesy of The Onion, where viewers get "sportsed" (10:30PM, Comedy Central) series premiere

'Off the Map' – Filmed in Hawaii and set in a South American village, the latest Shonda Rimes medical drama stars Zach Gilford, Jason George, Mamie Gummer and Caroline Dhavernas as doctors working together in an understaffed village medical clinic (10PM, ABC) series premiere

'Beyond Scared Straight' – Producer Arnold Shapiro returns with this sequel to his Oscar and Emmy-winning original series 'Scared Straight' (10PM, A&E) series premiere

Ricky Gervais'The Ricky Gervais Show' – Ricky, Stephen and Karl -- Karl! -- are back, or rather their voices are, in this series that matches cartoon versions of them up with their podcast audio (9PM, HBO) season 2 premiere

'Real Time with Bill Maher' – He's back, and ready to get his snark on (10PM, HBO) season 9 premiere

68th Annual Golden Globes – Ricky Gervais is back as host! (8PM, NBC)

'Big Love' – It's tough to see how it can end well for the Henricksons in this, the final season of the show, now that they've outed themselves as polygamists (9PM, HBO) season 5 premiere

'Hogs Wild' – Two wild hogs can create more than 40,000 -- whoa! -- offspring in a five-year period, which is why, as we learn in this new series, controlling their population is a growing concern (9PM, Discovery) series premiere

'Denis Leary and Friends Present Douchebags and Donuts' – Leary's pals and frequent co-stars Adam Ferrara and Lenny Clarke join him in the premiere of this rantfest/stand-up special, filmed in New York City (10PM, Comedy Central)

Harry's Law'Being Human' – A ghost, a vampire and a werewolf walk into a bar ... nope, it's not a joke, but the American remake of the British series in which the aforementioned characters live together and try to forge normal existences. Sam Huntington and 'Lost' alum Mark Pellegrino star (9PM, Syfy) series premiere

'Harry's Law' – David E. Kelley's latest legal drama stars Kathy Bates as a fired patent attorney who starts her own firm in an old shoe store (10PM, NBC) series premiere

'Heavy' – The reality series follows the stories of more than 20 people who face dire health consequences if they don't take immediate action to lose weight (10PM, A&E) series premiere

'Skins' – Think of this remake of the outrageously good British series as MTV teens having sex and sincerely trying not to get pregnant (10PM, MTV) series premiere

White Collar'White Collar' – Mozzie better be OK. That's all we're saying! (10PM, USA)

'American Idol' – No Simon, J.Lo and S.Ty at the judges table and a several seasons-long streak of lackluster winners ... it's time to step it up 'AI,' lest fans decide the show is no longer worth devoting 789 hours of viewing time a week to the series (8PM, Fox) season 10 premiere

'Hot in Cleveland' – Betty White, and the others, are back. Hey, it's Betty's world ... the rest of them, and us, just live in it (10PM, TV Land) season 2 premiere

'James Ellroy's L.A.: City of Demons' – The author himself hosts this look at some of Hollywood's most notorious crimes (10PM, ID) series premiere

'Restaurant: Impossible' – Chef Robert Irvine pulls a Gordo Ramsey as he goes into failing restaurants and tries to help them boost their business (10PM, Food Network) series premiere

'Retired at 35' – Jessica Walter and George Segal are Florida retirees whose son decides to leave his high-stress, New York City life behind and retire to the Sunshine State with them ... even though he's only 35 (10:30PM, TV Land) series premiere

'Perfect Couples' – 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' star Mary Elizabeth Ellis stars in this relationship sitcom about three couples who are friends (8:30PM, NBC) series premiere

Royal Pains'Royal Pains' – Season two continues with a possible wedding for Divya and a possible disaster between Eddie and Boris (9PM, USA)

'Parks & Recreation' – Ron Swanson, we have missed you! (9:30PM, NBC) season 3 premiere

'Fairly Legal' – USA's latest character: Kate Reed (Sarah Shahi), a lawyer who, after the death of her father, the leader of her law firm, decides to quit practicing law and become a mediator instead (10PM, USA) series premiere

'Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies' – The iconic movie critic, who lost his voice after surgery during his cancer battles, will contribute to the new show via a computer-generated voice, while dueling critics continue to give the scoop on which movies to see and which to skip, a la the famous Ebert/Gene Siskel method (Check local listings for time and channel) series premiere

Gordon Ramsay'Kitchen Nightmares' – You'd think, given his own recent financial woes, Gordon might not be so quick to critique his fellow restaurateurs to the point of potentially driving some of them out of business. You'd be wrong (8PM, Fox) season 3 premiere

'Meet the In-Laws' – 'Son in Law' star Pauly Shore hosts this reality series in which an engaged man or woman moves into the home of his or her in-laws-to-be and has to live by their rules (9PM, CMT) series premiere

'My Big Redneck Wedding' – Erect the beer can arches and put on your best hunting outfit, 'cuz there are a load of new redneck weddings on the way (9:30PM, CMT) season 4 premiere

'Onion News Network' – The fake news newspaper becomes a fake news TV show (10PM, IFC) series premiere

'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' – A prequel to 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand,' the new series follows aspiring Champion of the House of Batiatus, Gannicus (Dustin Clare), and also includes returning stars Lucy Lawless and John Hannah (10PM, Starz) series premiere

Fred Armisen'Portlandia' – 'Saturday Night Live' star Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kenney singer Carrie Brownstein each play a series of characters in this comedy, which also features guest spots by Gus Van Sant, Kyle MacLachlan and Aimee Mann (10:30PM, IFC) series premiere

'Kourtney and Kim Take New York' – New city, same Kardashians (10PM, E!) series premiere

'RuPaul's Drag Race' – The competition is on to find the next Ru (9PM, Logo) season 3 premiere

'Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?' – Funny lady Joan Rivers moves in with daughter Melissa and hilarity, and some very stressful days for Melissa, ensues (9PM, WE) series premiere

'A Stand Up Mother' – 'Last Comic Standing' alum Tammy Pescatelli juggles being a wife, mom and travelling comedienne (not to mention a buttinsky Mother-in-law) as she tries to maneuver her Hollywood career from Meadville, Pennsylvania in this reality series (10PM, WE) series premiere

Clean House'Clean House' – Niecy Nash is out, Vanessa Huxtable, aka Tempestt Bledsoe, is in as the show's new host (10PM, Style) season 10 premiere

'Face Off' – The competition series pits special effects make up artists against each other in a quest to win a career-making grand prize. The competition is hosted by 'Passions' star Mackenzie Westmore, whose father Michael is the Oscar-winning make up artist behind 'Mask' and several 'Star Trek' TV series (10PM, Syfy) series premiere

'Being Erica' – Look for a wiser, more confident Erica in the new season (11PM, SoapNet) season 3 premiere

'Archer' – 13 new episodes, coming at ya (10PM, FX) season 2 premiere

'Boomtown' – The reality show follows the reversal of fortunes of the small town of Parshall, North Dakota -- population 1,073 -- a declining town that was turned around when surveyors found oil in Parshall and several of its citizens became millionaires (10PM, Planet Green) series premiere

'Brick City' – The Peabody Award-winning series returns to catch up with how Mayor Cory Booker is continuing to try and boost the fortunes of Newark, New Jersey (10PM, Sundance) season 2 premiere

'Million Dollar Listing' – New agent Josh Altman joins other Josh and Madison to try to sell some high-price properties in this still sluggish economy (10PM, Bravo) season 4 premiere

Gwyneth Paltrow'Who Do You Think You Are?' – Celebs who trace their family roots in season two: Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O'Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley Judd (8PM, NBC) season 2 premiere

Super Bowl XLV – The teams remain a mystery, but we do know there'll be great commercials and tunes from the Black Eyed Peas (6PM, Fox)

'Glee' – Katie Couric guest stars, and the music of Michael Jackson, Katy Perry and Destiny's Child will be featured (10:30PM, Fox)

'The Electric Company' – Hey, you guuuuuys! The new season of fun learnin' includes a focus on math vocabulary, new characters and guest appearances by Alan Cumming, Swizz Beats and the Good Charlotte brothers (Check local listings for time and channel, PBS) season 3 premiere

'The Chicago Code' – 'The Shield' creator Shawn Ryan is behind this new police drama that stars Jennifer Beals and 'Brotherhood' star Jason Clark (9PM, Fox) series premiere

'Traffic Light' – 'The Office' alum David Denman -- Roy! -- stars in this new relationship comedy (9:30PM, Fox) series premiere

Justified'Friday Night Lights' – All the Dillon faves -- Matt, Tyra, Jason, Landry and, yes, Tim Riggins! -- return before the show rides off into the TV sunset (9PM, DirecTV) series finale

'Mr. Sunshine' – Matthew Perry is back -- and temporarily taking over the timeslot of 'Friends' co-star Courteney Cox's 'Cougar Town' -- in this new comedy about a San Diego sports arena manager who's going through a mid-life crisis (9:30PM, ABC) series premiere

'Justified' – What will Boyd be up to now that his daddy's dead? And does their collaboration in the season one finale mean Boyd and Raylan will be pals now? We're guessing not, as the new season will unfold the history of the rivalry between the fellas' families (10PM, FX) season 2 premiere

53rd Annual Grammy Awards – Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and The Biebs will be in the star-packed audience at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, as Eminem goes for 10 awards, while Bruno Mars tries to nab all eight Grammys he's been nominated for, and Gaga, Jay-Z and Lady Antebellum hope to snag the six Grammys each of them are up for (8PM, CBS)

'Survivor: Redemption Island' – The show returns to Nicaragua for another season, in which those voted off are sent to "Redemption Island." There, they must continue to sustain themselves as if they were still in the game ... because they may get a chance to return to the action! (8PM, CBS) season 22 premiere

'The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business' – Teams who failed to nab the million-dollar prize in past seasons return for another shot (8PM, CBS) season 18 premiere

Tyra Banks'America's Next Top Model' – Answering the question of who will be the next 'Next Top Model' (8PM, The CW) season 16 premiere

'Shedding for the Wedding' – Sara Rue hosts the competition series, in which 10 couples try to shed pounds and win a dream wedding (9PM, The CW) series premiere

83rd Annual Academy Awards – James Franco hosts, along with Anne Hathaway, which means it's automatically more interesting than the last 10 Oscar shows, hands down (8:30PM, ABC)

'The Marriage Ref' – For what was consistently one of the most unfunny shows on TV, we'll give it up to Jerry Seinfeld for landing great guest stars (8PM, NBC) season 2 premiere

'Ruby' – Can't wait to check in with the charming, endearing Ruby and see how much further her weight loss journey has taken her (8PM, Style) season 4 premiere

'Secret Millionaire' – The first season aired on Fox, but now the U.S. remake of the British series -- in which millionaires go undercover in needy communities and then reveal their true wealth and use their funds to help local citizens (8PM, ABC) season 2 premiere

'Celebrity Apprentice' – Star Jones, Gary Busey, Jose Canseco, LaToya Jackson, Lil Jon, Meat Loaf and NeNe Leakes are among this season's contenders (9PM, NBC) season 11 premiere

Bobby Flay'America's Next Great Restaurant' – Bobby Flay is among the judges and investors who will give one person the chance to open and operate their own restaurant chain in this reality competition series (9PM, NBC) series premiere

'Dancing With the Stars' – Are those Lindsay Lohan rumors true? Her "people" deny it, but, let's be honest, it's probably one of her more appealing career options at this point (8PM, ABC) season 12 premiere

'Body of Proof' – Dana Delany stars in this new drama about a neurosurgeon who can no longer practice her profession after she's injured in a serious car crash (10PM, ABC) series premiere

'The Killing' – AMC's latest original drama -- based on the Danish series 'Forbrydelsen' -- follows the families, cops and politicians involved in the case of a teenage girl who's kidnapped (March, AMC) series premiere

Peter Dinklage'Game of Thrones' – This much-anticipated adaptation of George R. R. Martin's best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire novels stars Mark Addy, Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and 'The Wire' alum Aidan Gillen (April, HBO) series premiere

'The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump' – The special tapes in March, to air this spring, and we look forward to seeing how the roasters handle the challenge of coming up with fresh ways to poke fun at that hair (Comedy Central)

'Outcasts' – 'Ugly Betty' star Eric Mabius stars in this drama about a group of pioneers who look for a new home planet after Earth becomes inhabitable (BBCA) series premiere

'Doctor Who' – The season opens with a two-parter set in the U.S. in the '60s, and partly filmed in Utah (BBCA) season 6 premiere

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rainer feyrer

With shows like these, I'm glad we don't have cable T.V.

January 06 2011 at 6:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

back in the seventies we had Bob Newhart show . Mary tyler Moore . All in The Family on the same night .
Someone also said Carol Burnett was on the same night . what a lineup . Now 300 channels and nothing worth watching . I mean nothing

January 05 2011 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What crap piled on more crap, makes me want to cancel my sattilie and shoot my tv, another round of nothing to watch. It just gets worse just like congress.

January 05 2011 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John F.C. Taylor

So, Primevil is still a show? After the Syfy channel gave us the show, all we've seen is reruns. It's to be expected considering how much non-science fiction programming they've been loading up the channel with. Reality shows, wrestling and mediocre to terrible movies.

January 05 2011 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jersey Shore? A piss poor East Coast version of OC. Couldn't you have picked a a better cast with class instead of trash to reflect the real life of the East Coast area?

January 05 2011 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Women are on a major up swing for a major downfall with shows like Pretty Little Liars, Desperate House Wives, Cougar Town, Bad Girls Club, etc. Keep watching! But it won't be on your TV. Every girl can't be Oprah, Bette White, or Barbara Walters! Come back Mrs. Cleaver?

January 04 2011 at 8:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What happened to "Chuck"? that is one of the funniest shows on TV. When does that come back on? Your list is greatly lacking.

January 03 2011 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Warren Taylor

I see BIG BROTHER was not mentioned. Sure hope they keep that running.

January 02 2011 at 10:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tyler looks like a 55 year old washed up female prostitute. Does he think he looks sexy for gods sake? This is one ugly SOB if I ever saw one!!!

January 02 2011 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave Z

I'm paying $135 a month for the Time Warner bundle for this? Somebody please set me straight.

January 02 2011 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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