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updated: 1/8/2014 9:59 AM

Midseason TV offers new crop of shows

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  • Jason Beghe and Sophia Bush star as a members of a special Windy City police unit in NBC's new "Chicago P.D."

      Jason Beghe and Sophia Bush star as a members of a special Windy City police unit in NBC's new "Chicago P.D."

  • Randy (Parker Young, left), Pete (Geoff Stults) and Derrick (Chris Lowell) watch the result of one of their pranks in new Fox sitcom "Enlisted."

      Randy (Parker Young, left), Pete (Geoff Stults) and Derrick (Chris Lowell) watch the result of one of their pranks in new Fox sitcom "Enlisted."

  • Clarke (Eliza Taylor) is one of "The 100," a group of formerly imprisoned juveniles sent to live on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The sci-fi drama debuts on The CW in March.

      Clarke (Eliza Taylor) is one of "The 100," a group of formerly imprisoned juveniles sent to live on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The sci-fi drama debuts on The CW in March.

  • Matthew McConaughey, left, and Woody Harrelson star as Louisiana detectives investigating a murder in HBO's "True Detective."

      Matthew McConaughey, left, and Woody Harrelson star as Louisiana detectives investigating a murder in HBO's "True Detective."

 
By Hank Stuever
The Washington Post

If this year's TV midseason has anything going for it, it's quantity. I'm not sure I've seen a more crowded field of new series and special presentations in January and February (and continuing on into March and April). Here's my attempt to at least make some sense of the coming flood, which abates a bit during the Sochi Olympics.

Sunday, Jan. 5


"Blood, Sweat and Heels" (Bravo at 8 p.m.): Follows a group of black women described as "movers and shakers" in the New York fashion, real estate and media scenes. The usual.

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Tuesday, Jan. 7


"Intelligence" (CBS at 8 p.m.; moves to its regular time Monday, Jan. 13, at 9 p.m.): "Lost's" Josh Holloway returns to series TV in this espionage drama as Gabriel, an intelligence agent who is the first human to have a supercomputer implanted in his brain. "CSI's" Marg Helgenberger stars as his boss at a clandestine government cybersecurity agency; Meghan Ory plays a tough Secret Service agent assigned to protect Gabriel from an array of foreign bad guys. Complicating things is Gabriel's heartsick obsession with his wife, who turned out to be a terrorist.

"Killer Women" (ABC at 9 p.m.): The show's title and advertising seemed to suggest something much saucier and violent, but this lady-cop drama (coproduced by "Modern Family's" Sofia Vergara) is a fairly straightforward and briskly perfunctory affair about a gutsy Texas Ranger named Molly (Tricia Helfer), who chases after criminals while trying to put her own life back together.

"100 Days of Summer" (Bravo at 9 p.m.): A group of self-absorbed, thirty-something Chicago strivers mate and grate during the city's much-welcomed months of sunshine.

"Being Mary Jane" (BET at 9 p.m.): New series based on the TV movie starring Gabrielle Union as a busy news anchor who juggles family and work.

"Escaping the Prophet" (TLC at 9 p.m.): This six-part docu-series follows former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints member Flora Jessop as she helps others break away from Warren Jeffs' strict religious community.

Wednesday, Jan. 8


"Mind of a Man"(GSN at 7 p.m.): It may sound like the premise for an "SNL" sketch, but in this actual game show, two female contestants try to figure out the male thought process, aided by a panel of celebrities.

"Chasing Shackleton" (PBS, check local listings): Five adventure-seekers follow the treacherous 1914 Antarctic journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew. A three-part docu-series.

"Chicago P.D." (NBC at 9 p.m.): Creator Dick Wolf ("Law and Order") spins off his "Chicago Fire" into a drama about an intelligence unit that investigates the Windy City's biggest crimes, contrasted with the work of the uniformed beat officers in the same precinct.

Thursday, Jan. 9


"The Spoils of Babylon" (IFC at 9 p.m.): Tobey Maguire stars in this comedy spoof of those sprawling, 1970s miniseries based on tawdry best-selling novels about the rich and powerful -- in this case, "The Spoils of Babylon," written by one Eric Johnrosh (Will Ferrell), who exhumes the film reels of the never-aired series (the networks deemed it "too long") that he directed himself. The cast includes a whole lot of familiar faces -- Kristen Wiig, Molly Shannon, Michael Sheen, Tim Robbins, Haley Joel Osment, Val Kilmer, David Spade and so on.

Friday, Jan. 10


"Enlisted" (Fox at 8:30 p.m.): It's a comedy about three Army brothers (Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell, Parker Young) stationed at a rear-detachment base in Florida.

"$10 Million Bigfoot Bounty" (Spike at 9 p.m.): The sasquatch pursuit never ends. Actor Dean Cain hosts this weekly competition show in which hunters must deliver proof of the elusive creature.

"Helix" (Syfy at 9 p.m.): A team of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travels to the Arctic and finds something that could wipe out all of us. Billy Campbell ("The Killing"; "Once and Again") stars in this drama/thriller.

Saturday, Jan. 11


"When Calls the Heart" (Hallmark at 8 p.m.): A new original series about a young teacher (Erin Krakow) who leaves big-city life to teach in a small frontier prairie town in the 19th century.

Sunday, Jan. 12


"True Detective" (HBO at 8 p.m.): Highly touted eight-episode crime drama stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as Louisiana detectives investigating a macabre murder that has obsessed them for nearly two decades. The narrative hopscotches around from 2012 to 1995 to 2002.

Monday, Jan. 13


"Chozen" (FX at 9:30 p.m.): An animated comedy about a gay white rapper (voiced by "SNL's" Bobby Moynihan) who goes by the name Chozen, fresh out of prison and now seeking another chance at fame.

"Don't Trust Andrew Mayne" (A&E at 9 p.m.): In this goofy reality show, a magician uses his talent to assist people seeking revenge on others.

"Bitten" (Syfy at 9 p.m.): Based on Kelley Armstrong's novels, in which a young woman leaves behind her werewolf pack (and the man who turned her into a howler) for a new life in the big city.

Tuesday, Jan. 14


"Friday Night Tykes" (Esquire at 8 p.m.): A 10-part docu-series about the super-serious world of the Texas Youth Football Association, where the players are all 8- and 9-year-old boys.

"Building Wild" (National Geographic Channel at 8 p.m.): Two homebuilding experts tackle jobs from clients who want to build cabins in challenging locations.

"Inside Job" (TNT at 8 p.m.): Job-seeking execs live together and vie for a six-figure corporate position in this reality show -- but one of them is a mole who is spying on the others' behavior.

"Save Our Business" (TNT at 9 p.m.): Yet another show where a successful entrepreneur administers advice and tough love to struggling business owners.

Wednesday, Jan. 15


"Crazy Hearts: Nashville" (A&E at 10 p.m.): Reality series follows a group of musicians trying to make it in country music. Moves to its regular slot at 10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16.

Thursday, Jan. 16


"Under the Gunn" (Lifetime at 8 p.m.): Tim Gunn calls in former "Project Runway" winners to provide guidance to young designers in a new fashion competition.

"SWV Reunited" (WEtv at 9 p.m.): The 1990s R&B trio get its act together (after a tense breakup 15 years ago) in hopes of a comeback. Or maybe just getting a reality series will suffice?

"Tabloid" (Investigation Discovery at 9 p.m.): Jerry Springer hosts this look into some of the wildest stories and claims found in supermarket tabloids.

Friday, Jan. 17


"The Diamond Collar" (OWN at 9 p.m.): Reality series about James "Head" Guiliani, a former associate of Mafia man John Gotti who now runs a dog-grooming parlor in Brooklyn.

Saturday, Jan. 18


"My Gal Sunday" (Hallmark Movie Channel at 8 p.m.): Adventures of husband-wife crime solvers (Rachel Blanchard and Cameron Mathison), based on short stories by Mary Higgins Clark.

"HitRECord on TV" (Pivot at 9 p.m.): Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings his online project to TV, in which Web users collaborate on short films and videos around an assigned theme.

"Mom's Got Game" (OWN at 9 p.m.): Reality series follows former WNBA basketball star Pamela McGee and her 25-year-old son, JaVale McGee, a center for the Denver Nuggets.

Sunday, Jan. 19


"#RichKids of Beverly Hills"(E! at 9 p.m.): This docu-series follows a clique of fancy kids who gain Internet notoriety by promoting their every action and thought on social media. You can only hope one of them is named Ja'mie, but probably not.

"Looking" (HBO at 9:30 p.m.): A new dramedy about three gay men in San Francisco who are at different stages of life and emotional issues.

Monday, Jan. 20


"Klondike" (Discovery at 8 p.m.): Richard Madden (Robb Stark from "Game of Thrones") stars as one of two adventurers who head for the Yukon in 1890 during the gold rush. It's Discovery's first original miniseries drama.

Wednesday, Jan. 22


"Broad City" (Comedy Central at 9:30 p.m.): Upright Citizens Brigade alums Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer bring their critically acclaimed online series to Comedy Central.

"The Wahlburgers" (A&E at 9:30 p.m.): Brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg head back to Boston to join forces with their brother Paul and open a hamburger restaurant.

"Treasure King" (Reelz at 9 p.m.): Accompanied by his comely "Gallery Girls," globe-trotting collector Richie Marcello seeks to buy and sell pop-culture treasures and memorabilia that were thought to be lost.

Thursday, Jan. 23

"Rake" (Fox at 8 p.m.): Greg Kinnear sinks his pearly whites into this amiably sharp drama (based on a hit Australian series) about a criminal defense attorney who finds trouble everywhere: He's up to his ears in gambling and IRS debts, drinks way too much, lives in a ratty apartment above a restaurant and is hopelessly in love with the prostitute he pays for conversation and backgammon games. His therapist is also his ex-wife.

Saturday, Jan. 25


"Black Sails" (Starz at 8 p.m.): The sprawling, big-budget pirate drama "Black Sails" follows several bands of Caribbean-based pirates in 1715, "the golden age of pirating." When the British Navy starts to crack down on these legendary criminals, the pirate Capt. Flint (Toby Stephens) allies with the daughter of New Providence Island's crime kingpin to chase after the ultimate treasure.

Tuesday, Jan. 28


"The Capones" (Reelz at 9 p.m.): Docu-series about a "larger-than-life" family (translation: yells and fights with one another a lot) who run a pizzeria and claim to be distantly related to the famous mobster.

Wednesday, Jan. 29


"Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond" (BBC America at 9 p.m.): Four-part miniseries drama about the real-life inspiration for the 007 character -- a sophisticated maverick whose life was upended by World War II.

Monday, Feb. 17


"Star Crossed" (CW at 7 p.m.): Two Baton Rouge teens experience some angsty, sci-fi themed "Romeo and Juliet"-type issues because the boy (Matt Lanter) belongs to an alien race of refugees called the Atrians and the girl (Aimee Teegarden) is the daughter of the commander tasked with keeping the aliens in line.

"The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon" (NBC at 10:35): The affable host reboots this late-night talk show, now from New York instead of Burbank, Calif. (And the Roots are sticking with him.)

Monday, Feb. 24


"Late Night With Seth Meyers" (NBC at 11:35): And after that, the "Saturday Night Live" writer and "Weekend Update" anchor takes over Fallon's old spot.

Wednesday, Feb. 26


"Mixology" (ABC at 8:30 p.m.): This new comedy is set in a bar called the Mix, where 10 single people have random encounters and conversations in their unending quest for love. If I understand the concept correctly, the entire season (however long it lasts) takes place on a single night.

Thursday, Feb. 27


"Review" (Comedy Central at 9 p.m.): Andy Daly stars as a "life critic," who reviews experiences instead of arts and culture.

Thursday, March 6


"Sirens" (USA at 9 p.m.): Denis Leary coproduces this new comedy about three EMT dudes in Chicago.

Sunday, March 9


"Resurrection" (ABC at 8 p.m.): The residents of Arcadia, Mo., react to the fact that a young boy who died 32 years ago has returned -- unchanged -- from the dead. (Not to be confused with the excellent French miniseries "The Returned," but it looks a little bit like it.)

Tuesday, March 11


"Mind Games" (ABC at 9 p.m.): Steve Zahn and Christian Slater star as Clark and Ross Edwards, two brothers who run an agency that helps clients fix their problems through psychological manipulation and influence. (Zahn plays the goofy, genius one.)

Wednesday, March 19


"The 100" (CW at 8 p.m.): A refreshingly taut futuristic sci-fi series about a group of 100 jailed juvenile delinquents who are banished from an orbiting space-station colony and sent to live on Earth -- 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse. They've barely crash-landed when things get pretty "Lord of the Flies," but a determined young woman (Eliza Taylor) tries her best to stick to the group's real mission: Locate a mountain bunker and determine whether or not the rest of the humans on the dying space station above can join them on land. What they discover -- along with mutant deer -- is that Earth is not as depopulated as they were led to believe.

Monday, March 31


"Friends With Better Lives" (CBS at 8 p.m.): A sitcom about six pals, premiering after the one-hour "How I Met Your Mother" series finale. Takes over the 7:30 p.m. slot on April 7.

Wednesday, April 1


"TripTank" (Comedy Central at 9:30 p.m.): Yet another venue for edgy, animated shorts.

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