"American Crime" (ABC)

Caitlin Gerard and Elvis Nolasco in "American Crime."
Bob D'Amico/ABC "American Crime"

Why should I care? ABC asked John Ridley, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "12 Years a Slave," to create a TV show. If you're not already intrigued, then let's try this: "American Crime" focuses on the investigation into the death of a young man, spiraling out to become an intriguing ensemble drama with a great cast, including the always-stellar Felicity Huffman and Oscar winner Timothy Hutton. It's far from easy viewing, but definitely escalates the game for network drama. 
I'll like it if I like... "True Detective," with less existentialism and a far more diverse cast. 

Premieres: Thursday, March 5 at 10pm 

"Angie Tribeca" (TBS)

Rashida Jones in "Angie Tribeca"
TBS Rashida Jones in "Angie Tribeca"

Why should I care? TBS hasn't had the hottest hand when it comes to selecting its own original comedies, but we've got high hopes for the series that drew Rashida Jones away from "Parks and Recreation" (this and an offer from Pixar to write "Toy Story 4"). She stars in this half-hour comedy as quite possibly the only capable LAPD officer in the precinct; co-starring Hayes MacArthur ("Go On," "Perfect Couples") as her stylish partner and co-created by Nancy and Steve Carell, the series also sports an impressive couple of guest stars in its first trailer alone. "Angie Tribeca" seems like the best bet yet for Turner's young originals department, especially with the talent involved.

I'll like it if I like... The idea of a slightly goofier "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" with a female lead.


"Aquarius" (NBC)

David Duchovny in 'Californication'
Jordin Althaus/Showtime David Duchovny in 'Californication'

Why should I care? If you could have seen the trailer debuted for critics at the TCAs last week, "Aquarius" would be your most anticipated show of all time. Since it's not online yet, here's what you need to remember from the two-minute spot: 
1) Open on David Duchovny faux-boxing with a punching box, shirtless.
2) Gethin Anthony as a super-creepy, guitar-playing Charles Manson
3) Drugs. Sex. Violence. Literally, these words are pasted across the screen between visual examples of each.
4) Duchovny mocking police procedures.
5) Duchovny missing a mustache.
6) Duchovny getting serious.

I'll like it if I like... A '60s-set "True Detective" starring David Duchovny, but minus the nudity, language and philosophical banter (probably).

PremieresSummer 2015

"Ballers" (HBO)

Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in Michael Bay's 'Pain & Gain'
Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in Michael Bay's 'Pain & Gain'

Why should I care? Stephen Levinson, the creator of "Entourage," created this upcoming HBO comedy about former and current pro football players. Set in Miami and starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, "Ballers" reads like a sports version of "Entourage" on paper, having veterans Mark Wahlberg and Rob Weiss on as an executive producers (as well as Peter Berg, who also EP'd "The Leftovers"). But there's one more big name to throw out, too: Denzel Washington: No, he's not in this, but his son, John David Washington, is in it. Can you piece together the Kevin Bacon-esque connectivity between all these big names? (Hint: it involves "Pain & Gain" and "2 Guns.")

I'll like it if I like... "Entourage" and The Rock (the man, not the movie). So basically if you're a male between the ages of zero and 63. 


"Better Call Saul" (AMC)

Better Call Saul

Why should I care? Because "Breaking Bad," son. But not quite "Breaking Bad" — instead, this prequel series set in the early 2000s covers the initial transformation of struggling lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) into scheming Saul Goodman, future legal kingpin of Albuquerque. Technically, we know how this story ends, thanks to the final season of "Breaking Bad," but "Saul" promises to be both simultaneously slightly more sad and slightly more funny than its predecessor. 
I'll like it if I like... Well, "Breaking Bad," obviously. But there's a little bit of "Louie's" edge, too.

Premieres:  Sunday, February 8 at 10pm (then Mondays at 10pm)

"The Brink" (HBO)

Jack Black in "The Brink."
Merie W. Wallace/HBO Jack Black in "The Brink."

Why should I care? "'Dr. Strangelove, but today" is essentially the pitch for this upcoming comedy about the farce that is American foreign policy. A satire about an international incident fueled by the incompetence of Jack Black, Tim Robbins and Pornstache from "Orange is the New Black," "The Brink" has star caliber and something important to say -- which, in comparison to other HBO half-hour series (yeah, that's a not-so-veiled dig at "Girls"), makes it an exciting change of pace. 
I'll like it if I like... "The Naked Gun" movies, but more political. "The Daily Show," but with a story to it.  

Premieres: Summer 2015