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Winter 2020 TV Preview

As we enter the first full week of the new year, television is entering the midseason. Though it may not hold the same glamour as the fall, there is plenty to be excited for. Whether it’s welcoming back a beloved show, anticipating a brand new one or saying goodbye to another, we highlight what’s coming this winter and what we can’t wait for.

Doctor Who arrived back on New Year’s Day for series 12, the second with Jodie Whittaker in the titular role. However, the new episodes air on Sunday nights. Two other programs with passionate fanbases that are set to return are The Magicians (Jan 15) and Outlander (Feb 16). Most of the comics-based CW shows will come back in a few weeks with Batwoman and Supergirl (Jan 19), Black Lightning (Jan 20), Riverdale (Jan 22) and the season premiere of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Jan 21). Other Archie property, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, will debut its third season on Netflix (Jan 24). For those searching for something heavier with critical acclaim, Better Call Saul’s fifth season will air on AMC as well (Feb 23).

There are some pretty interesting programs that will make their series premiere. Those who like comedies with pedigrees might enjoy Medical Police (Jan 10) and Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (Feb 7). The former is a Children’s Hospital spinoff on Netflix while the latter is an Apple TV+ project created and starring It’s Always Sunny’s, Rob McElhenney.

Maybe books that were made into movies that are now TV shows are more your bag. Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector (Jan 10), is a crime drama on NBC where a paraplegic forensic criminologist teams with a rookie NYPD detective to solve cases. Next, there’s the romantic comedy on Hulu, High Fidelity (February 14), about a pop culture obsessed, record store owner but in this version, the lead is gender-flipped and played by Zoë Kravitz.

Also, Trekkies can look forward to Stark Trek: Picard (Jan 23) on CBS All Access where we find Jean-Luc twenty years after Star Trek: Nemesis. Archie fans might not want to miss the CW Riverdale spinoff, Katy Keene (Feb 6) that follows four aspiring artists trying to make it on Broadway.

As new shows begin, others must come to an end. Watch and see what happens to the Rose Family on Schitt’s Creek (Jan 7). A couple of CW stalwarts are winding down so don’t miss the final episodes of both Supernatural (Jan 6) and Arrow (Jan 21). Although some would say it has declined in recent seasons, Homeland (Feb 9) will come a close. Then, back from the grave, is Star Wars: Clone Wars (Feb 17). The animated series returns, now on Disney+, to provide a satisfying conclusion after its season six cancellation.

This is only a sample of the winter programming and though we can’t cover every single show, we do share some of our specific selections below.

Nathaniel’s Picks:

January 19 is going to be a great night of television on HBO. That Sunday, we will be treated to what should be a pair of hilarious shows. Curb Your Enthusiasm and Avenue 5 both debut that night.

The longer shows run, the harder it is for them to maintain what once made them so great. The Office and The Simpsons are just two examples of once great shows that simply ran out of steam. Larry David’s Curb has managed to be the exception its previous nine seasons and there is no reason to think the tenth will be any different. The show is just as funny as Seinfeld while somehow taking the show about nothing formula to the next level. It will be great to see what L.D. has in store for the next season. 

That same night Avenue 5 from Armando Iannucci premieres. This show is more about vast potential. The science fiction comedy takes place on a spaceship that has been blown off course. They are years away from work and only have supplies for a few months.

It is an interesting premise from the person who gave audiences political comedies Veep and In the Loop. My interest is based simply on Iannucci’s past works. I thought The Death of Stalin was a top movie of the year and have been looking forward to Avenue 5 since first hearing about it. We already know the biting wit will be there. The question is, how will it work in this futuristic atmosphere?

Gary’s Picks:

There haven’t been many shows about the Asian American family experience on broadcast TV and so there are more than a few to who are sad to see Fresh Off the Boat leave the air. Not only did it tackle the immigrant parents’ struggle to assimilate in a new land without losing cultural identity and customs in the next generation but it was a love letter to all things 90’s from the fashion to music to fads. The Huang Family finale will air February 21 on ABC.

In other comedies, follow the shenanigans of the New York’s finest precinct when Brooklyn Nine-Nine begins its seventh season February 6 on NBC. The change of networks really helped as viewership increased at its new home and it has already been renewed for next season. Last year the crew took down a corrupt police commissioner and it would be interesting who the new threat to the city is. Plus, you can expect favs like The Vulture and Doug Judy to show up along with tons of Die Hard references and “Title of your sex tape” jokes.

Finally, you can’t neglect the offerings from streaming services. Over at Netflix, the comic based supernatural horror series, Locke & Key, will debut February 7. The story follows a trio of siblings as they move to their ancestral home after tragedy strikes. While there, they discover magical keys that grants their owner special powers. Little do they know, an evil force is also seeking the keys and it may be closer than they think. It’s been a long road with several false starts but fans can soon watch Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s story come to life on their televisions.

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