by Deborah Harter Williams
We’ve moved from “Tis the season” to “What is a TV season any more?” With networks introducing shows year round, the January rollouts of new offerings are identified as “Winter Premieres.” This is easily confused with what are called the “Winter Premieres” of returning shows, (ones that may have been off the air for a while – frequently heralded by daylong marathons of last season’s episodes.)
Even shows that were on in December have taken up the “Winter Premiere” banner. It’s a general catch-all to acknowledge that they’ve been showing reruns for a couple of weeks, and now they’re back with the new stuff.
But here’s a list of the truly new January premieres.
Monday, January 7: Deception (NBC) 10 p.m. EST
Meagan Good (Californication, Think Like a Man) is Detective Joanna Locasto, who returns home after the mysterious death of her best friend. She goes undercover in a world of socialites to find out what really happened. Flashbacks reveal Joanna’s own haunting past.
Billed as soap opera/mystery drama, the show was created by Liz Heldens a veteran of Friday Night Lights. Some fine actors also make this tempting to check out, with Victor Garber and Tate Donovan in the main cast and S. Epatha Merkerson and John Larroquette in recurring roles.
Friday, January 11: Banshee (Cinemax) 10 p.m. EST
A new action drama series set in the small Amish town of Banshee, Pennsylvania, featuring an ex-con/thief/martial arts expert posing as the murdered sheriff, while hiding from former gangster associates. He dishes out justice while also cooking up plans to further his own ends.
His former partner (Ivana Milicevic) is also living in Banshee under an assumed name, but now is married to the district attorney and has two children. Talk about a small town.
Australian actor Antony Starr is hero Lucas Hood, Ben Cross (Chariots of Fire) is one of his pursuers. Brought to you by True Blood creator Alan Ball.
Monday, January 14: The Carrie Diaries (CW) 8 p.m. EST
Anna Sophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia, Race to Witch Mountain) is Carrie, the oldest of three sisters living with their widowed father. The story launches with Carrie being rejected from an advanced writing seminar. Later she heads to New York for the summer, where she loses her money and has no way of getting around the city, prompting her to contact a friend’s cousin, who ends up being Samantha Jones.
Plenty of high school “mean girl” conflicts, fatherly angst and some fun predicting where and how Carrie Jr. will meet up with her future.
Saturday, January 19: Ripper Street (BBCA) 9 p.m. EST
A new period crime thriller from BBC America set in London (but shot in Dublin) that follows the H Division coppers set on cleaning up the streets after their failure to catch Jack the Ripper. The cast includes Matthew Macfradyen (Anna Karenina, MI-5), Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones), Adam Rothenberg (House, Elementary), and MyAnna Buring (Twilight). Looks to be gritty in the style of Coppers.
Monday, January 21:The Following (Fox) 9 p.m. EST
Created by Kevin Williamson (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Dawson’s Creek, and The Vampire Diaries), this new series about a team of serial killers is bound to have horror movie moments.
Kevin Bacon stars as Ryan Hardy, former FBI agent, damaged and haunted by his last case. Then Joe Carroll, literature professor turned serial killer, who was put behind bars by Hardy, escapes. Hardy is called to consult and finds himself in the middle of a network of serial killers, created using special technology. Carroll has developed a following of would-be killers willing to act out his murder scenarios and has chosen Ryan Hardy as the “hero” they will challenge.
Thursday, January 31:Do No Harm (NBC) 10 p.m. EST
Dr. Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale- Rescue Me) is a successful neurosurgeon with a secret. At the same time every night, he becomes an alternate personality named Ian Price. Yes, it’s a 21st Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Phylicia Rashad also stars. Probably not my cup of tea but I love the tag line “He’s twice the man you think he is.”
Enjoy the new season’s offerings, but if there’s nothing to your liking, fear not. There will be more premieres in February.
Check out more mystery interviews/reviews by subscribing to the All Mystery e-Newsletter: