Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

8 New TV Shows We're Looking Forward To This January

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Now that the holidays are over, we can finally get back to our TV addictions and hibernating on the couch. Some of our favorite shows are premiering this month, including 'The Americans' and 'Justified,' but there are also some new comedies, dramas, and crime thrillers in the mix. From a new series on a hip-hop music empire to dysfunctional marriages and the reboot of a sci-fi cult classic, here are the TV shows you can look forward to this January.

Marvel's Agent Carter, ABC, Jan. 6

We're excited about Marvel's Agent Carter because it's the first time Marvel has had a female protagonist be the center of the plot in any of their film or TV series. In this spinoff of Captain America: The First Avenger, it's 1946 and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) takes the lead, reprising her role from the film in this TV series as a woman who's a secret agent and a single woman (now that her beau, Captain America, is dead), all while battling sexism from that era. Given that Marvel found their footing with the much-improved season 2 of Agents of SHIELD, there's hope for this new series.

Support for LAist comes from

'Empire,' Fox, Jan. 7

Film director Lee Daniels (of The Butler fame) is dipping his toes into the world of TV with the hip-hop family drama Empire. He's bringing a stellar cast in tow from the likes of Terrance Howard (Iron Man, Hustle and Flow) to Taraji P. Henson (Hustle and Flow) and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious: Based on The Novel Push by Sapphire). The series follows Lucious Lyon (Howard), a self-made music mogul who got his start on the streets. He gets diagnosed with a terminal disease, and is in the midst of choosing a successor—one of his three sons—for his empire. Drama ensues between his sons, and things get even more intense when Lyon's wife Cookie Lyon (Henson) is a free bird who's just been released from serving a seven-year prison sentence. This will basically this to be like a soap opera with a soundtrack written and produced by Timbaland.

'Babylon,' Sundance Channel, Jan. 8

The U.S. is getting another U.K. import: this time it's a comedy-drama helmed by director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting), and comes from the minds of Peep Show and Fresh Meat writers. We're pretty stoked that actress Brit Marling is starring in this one as we've been in love with her ever since her film Another Earth was released in 2011. Babylon's a fast-paced and sharply-written dark satire that follows the London Metropolitan Police during a shooting spree in the city. Liz Garvey (Marling) is the American with a new job, serving as the head of the PR department for the police force. As you can imagine, she had to deal with a lot of bureaucracy, and drama ensues. James Nesbitt (The Hobbit films) also stars as the police chief commissioner.

'Togetherness,' HBO, Jan. 11

Brothers Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass just might be some of the busiest in the industry. Not only do they act (Mark in The League and The Mindy Project, and Jay in The Mindy Project and Transparent), and are the leading dudes behind the indie mumblecore film genre, they're also co-writing their HBO drama, Togetherness. Mark stars as one-half of a married L.A. couple (with his spouse portrayed by Melanie Lynskey of Happy Christmas), who end up living with another married couple (Amanda Peet and Steve Zissis) as they all explore the problems of being in long-term relationships. Expect dysfunctional marriages, heartfelt moments, and some smart dialogue.

'12 Monkeys,' Syfy, Jan. 16

Support for LAist comes from

Okay, so Syfy doesn't exactly scream amazing programming, but we're willing to put that aside for a TV version of Terry Gilliam's 1995 sci-fi flick, 12 Monkeys, mostly because we love the movie version. Aaron Stanford stars as James Cole (the role originally played by Bruce Willis in the film), the dude from the post-apocalyptic future who visits the past in order to stop a deadly epidemic from wiping out the human race. Sadly, there's nobody who can replace the good looks of Brad Pitt in this TV adaptation. Syfy just released the first nine minutes of the first episode here in case you'd like a sneak peek.

'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,' Comedy Central, Jan. 19

There's a musical chairs game going on in TV-land right now; we recently bid adieu to Comedy Central's veteran host Stephen Colbert as he's making his way over to CBS to take over David Letterman's Late Show post. Filling Colbert's big shoes is The Daily Show correspondent Larry Wilmore. While we don't expect Wilmore's show to be like Colbert, we're looking forward to seeing his funny spin on how he covers news and current issues. Even though the comedy news show is no longer dubbed The Minority Report like originally planned, Wilmore hints at what's to come in the clip below: "It's about giving a voice to the underrepresented, the underdog."

'Backstrom," Fox, Jan. 22

We've had some time between the ending of NBC's The Office and the start of Fox's Backstrom to put to rest Rainn Wilson's former character, Dwight Schrute. In a different role, he stars in this new Fox police drama (based off of novelist Leif G. W. Persson’s series of Swedish crime books) as a curmudgeonly, snarky and self-destructive detective who just so happens to be a genius at solving crimes (think House for CSI lovers). The show's creator is Hart Hanson, the mastermind behind Fox's Bones. And if you're wondering why it appears that Wilson is always wearing a rain poncho throughout the trailer below, it's because he doing his detective work in Portland, Oregon.

'Fortitude,' Pivot, Jan. 29

We may be asking ourselves if our cable service even picks up the Pivot channel, but now we want it because they're premiering upcoming British crime-drama, Fortitude, this month. Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games) plays the lead as a detective who comes to the idyllic and peaceful Arctic town of Fortitude that has never had a violent crime there until now. The town is rocked rocked by a grisly murder and its safety is at stake. The rest of the cast is stellar, too, with Michael Gambon (Harry Potter), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who) and Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing) also acting in the series.

These are the dates for returning shows:

MasterChef Junior, Fox, Jan. 6
Switched at Birth, ABC, Jan. 6
Portlandia, IFC, Jan. 8
Archer, FX, Jan. 8
Glee, Fox, Jan. 9
Comedy Bang! Bang!, IFC, Jan. 9
Girls, HBO, Jan. 11
Shameless, Showtime, Jan. 11
Looking, HBO, Jan. 11
Parks and Recreation, NBC, Jan. 13
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FXX, Jan. 14
Workaholics, Comedy Central, Jan. 14
Broad City, Comedy Central, Jan. 14
The Fall, Netflix, Jan. 16
Justified, FX, Jan. 20
The Americans, FX, Jan. 28