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Midseason TV Preview: 10 New and Returning Buzz Shows

midseason television preview

With the holidays in the rear-view, it's time for TV to heat up again as both new and returning shows begin to roll out in the midseason. There are literally dozens of premieres to watch. Here, though, we give you a quick-hit guide to 10 of the most buzzed-about ones to watch this winter.

By Katy Kroll

the following

Michael Lavine/FOX

New Show: ‘The Following’

Starring: Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy
Premieres: January 21st (Fox)

When a notorious serial killer (Purefoy) escapes from prison, the FBI agent (Bacon) who originally caught him comes out of retirement to try to track him down once again. But this psychological thriller, from creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries, Dawson's Creek), goes even deeper than that: the killer on the loose becomes a sort of cult hero among a network of murderers, creating a psychopathic following that eagerly enacts copycat killings.

southland

Doug Hyun

Returning Show: ‘Southland’

Starring: Ben McKenzie, Michael Cudlitz, Regina King
Premieres: February 13th (TNT)

After close to a year-long hiatus, the 10-episode fifth season of the gritty cop drama returns with new addition Chad Michael Murray of One Tree Hill fame. Murray's character will play a loose cannon who may be a bad influence on the already conflicted lead character Ben (McKenzie). Additionally, expect to find out how Lydia (King) handles motherhood and where Cooper (Cudlitz) ends up now that he's lost yet another partner.

1600 Penn

Chris Haston/NBC

New Show: ‘1600 Penn’

Starring: Bill Pullman, Jenna Elfman, Josh Gad
Premieres: January 10th (NBC)

The quirky Gilchrist family fumbles and bumbles its way through the halls of the White House after father Dale (Pullman) becomes president. When the Commander-in-Chief's dim-witted manchild of a son (Gad) moves back home to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, comedic chaos ensues as the First Family deals with being in the spotlight. Looking to tap into a similar vein as Modern Family, the sitcom was co-created by Gad, who rose to fame on Broadway in The Book of Mormon.

community

Vivian Zink/NBC

Returning Show: ‘Community’

Starring: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover, Chevy Chase
Premieres: February 7th (NBC)

The little NBC comedy engine that could seemingly has been in constant turmoil since going on hiatus last May, with series creator and executive producer Dan Harmon and co-star Chase both leaving the show after a public feud. (However, Chase will still appear in most of the Season 4 episodes.) It was then shuffled around the schedule, leaving fans wondering if it was actually coming back. For now, the Greendale crew will indeed be back for at least 13 more episodes.

zero hour

ABC/BOB D'AMICO

New Show: ‘Zero Hour’

Starring: Anthony Edwards, Scott Michael Foster, Jacinda Barrett, Ken Leung
Premieres: February 14th (ABC)

From the executive producers of Prison Break, this topsy-turvy sci-fi adventure revolves around a conspiracy theorist (Edwards) who gets sucked into a real-life, all-consuming mystery. Inadvertently handed a life-or-death mission, he must follow clues, crack codes and travel through time in order to navigate a tangled web of cat and mouse to find the answers he seeks and hopefully save the human race. Think 24 meets The Event.

the voice

Mark Seliger/NBC

Returning Show: ‘The Voice’

Starring: Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Shakira, Usher, Carson Daly
Premieres: March 25th (NBC) 

The singing competition gets a bit of a reboot in Season 4 as Usher and Shakira temporarily replace judges Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera in the spinning chairs. Supposedly, the absent judges are just taking a break to go on tour and promote their new albums. In the meantime, the newbies will face off with Levine and Shelton and go through the motions to crown a new winner.

hugh dancy hannibal

Steve Mack/Getty Images

New Show: ‘Hannibal’

Starring: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Lawrence Fishburne, Gillian Anderson
Premieres: TBA (NBC)

This psychological thriller delves into the pre-Silence of the Lambs years of Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mikkelsen) and his unorthodox relationship with a criminal profiler for the FBI (Dancy). Based on characters created by author Thomas Harris, the pair is destined to become enemies – but not before they form an unlikely union working together to capture killers. Although there isn't yet a premiere date for the pilot, NBC has already greenlit the show for 13 episodes.

american idol

George Holz / FOX

Returning Show: ‘American Idol’

Starring: Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest
Premieres: January 16th (Fox)

Season 12 of American Idol tries yet again to shake things up by replacing two-term judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler with a whole new cast of characters (Carey, Urban, Minaj). Since losing original judge Simon Cowell two years ago, the seminal singing competition has been in constant reboot mode. This season, expect bickering between divas Carey and Minaj, who supposedly got into some on-screen spats during the pre-taped auditions. Otherwise, it's probably business as usual.

the carrie diaries

Nino Munoz/The CW

New Show: ‘The Carrie Diaries’

Starring: AnnaSophia Robb
Premieres: January 14th (CW)

What was Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw like before she was, well, the Carrie Bradshaw? Set in the Eighties, this show follows a 16-year-old Carrie (Robb) through the streets of New York City long before her freewheeling, Cosmo-sipping days as a high-profile sex columnist with a gabby group of girlfriends. Considering it's on the CW, don't expect it to be anywhere near as raunchy – or mature – as the original HBO series starring Sarah Jessica Parker.

the walking dead

Frank Ockenfels/AMC

Returning Show: ‘The Walking Dead’

Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus
Premieres: February 10th (AMC)

The first half of Season 3 had so many twists, turns and mind-blowing shockers, it's impossible to rehash them all. And the cliffhanger on the mid-season finale has left avid fans impatiently waiting more than two months to find out how things pan out. We won't give away any spoilers about what you can expect next, but it seems like viewers are in for one hell of a wild ride.

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