2020 already feels overwhelming. We understand. But in case you’re looking for a fresh start to the new calendar year, there are plenty of shows across broadcast, cable, and streaming that will soon be vying for your attention.
Behold all the franchise expansions, nature docs, and roughly autobiographical tales below.
“Deputy” (Jan. 2, Fox)
After the acting Los Angeles sheriff dies, Bill Hollister (Stephen Dorff) becomes an unexpected choice to succeed him. You see, much like the 2017 James Mangold movie “Logan,” this show is kind of a western. (Only this pilot is directed by “Suicide Squad” and “End of Watch” auteur David Ayer.)
“FBI: Most Wanted” (Jan. 7, CBS)
Following April’s backdoor pilot, this “FBI” spinoff continues to track the members of the Bureau’s Criminal Task Force, charged with apprehending high-level targets. It’s a growing part of the ever-expanding Dick Wolf empire, one that joins an already initial-filled night after “NCIS” and “FBI.” Julian McMahon leads an ensemble that includes Keisha Castle-Hughes, Kellan Lutz, and Nathaniel Arcand.
“Party of Five” (Jan. 8, Freeform)
This 10-episode season takes the premise of the ‘90s drama — a sibling quintet of children and young adults taking care of each other after the loss of their parents — and updates it to follow one Mexican-American family dealing with the deportation of their parents. “Albert Nobbs” and “Last Days in the Desert” filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia directed the pilot.
“Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector” (Jan. 10, NBC)
Based on the 1997 novel, this acrobatically titled detective series features Russell Hornsby as NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme himself. Michael Imperioli takes a break from being the spokesperson for New York tourism to play Lincoln’s partner Rick Sellitto. Arielle Kebbel and Ramses Jimenez round out the show’s core team of detectives, going after the city’s toughest bone-related cases.
“The Outsider” (Jan. 12, HBO)
Helping to fill society’s mandated quota of Stephen King adaptations, this series brings one of the author’s most recent novels to the screen. Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, and Jason Bateman star in this story about a man charged with a brutal child killing, only for detectives to discover more conflicting evidence than they thought possible. As with “Ozark,” Bateman also directs here, from scripts written by author and screenwriter Richard Price.
“Sanditon” (Jan. 12, PBS)
This Masterpiece presentation breaches one of the final frontiers of the Austenverse, dramatizing the unfinished novel that Jane was working on prior to her death in 1817. The series stars Rose Williams as Charlotte Haywood, an unexpected visitor to a cozy seaside town. Writer Andrew Davies adds this to his list of previous Austen adaptations “Northanger Abbey,” “Pride and Prejudice,” and “Sense and Sensibility.”
“68 Whiskey” (Jan. 15, Paramount Network)
In some ways a modern-day answer to “MASH,” this series follows a group of medics stationed at a base in Afghanistan. Based on an Israeli show, this new version stars Sam Keeley, Gage Golightly, Cristina Rodlo, with a pilot directed by Ron Howard.
“Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” (Jan. 16, Freeform)
“Please Like Me” creator/star Josh Thomas is back with another series for which he’s juggling many hats. Here, Thomas plays Nicholas, who finds his life changed when the sudden loss of his father leaves him in charge of taking care of his teenage half-sisters.
“Diary of a Future President” (Jan. 17, Disney+)
Taking a slightly different tack than “Jack and Bobby,” this show also features the childhood of an eventual aspiring head of state. Tess Romero plays Elena, the young Commander-in-Chief to be, while Gina Rodriguez directs the pilot and plays older Elena, as she’s running for office.
“Little America” (Jan. 17, Apple TV+)
Co-created by “The Big Sick” writers Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, along with Lee Eisenberg, this anthology series captures different stories told from the perspective of immigrants in America and their families. Eight episodes will feature main characters with backgrounds that span continents and generations.
“Seven Worlds, One Planet” (Jan. 18, BBC America)
Against the crowded field of ambitious nature documentary series, this one looks to separate itself by tackling an entire continent in each of its episodes. The culmination of work from over a thousand different crew members, it’s all narrated by a plucky upstart nature expert named Sir David Attenborough. Sounds like a guy with a bright future.
“9-1-1: Lone Star” (Jan. 19, Fox)
“9-1-1” is certainly a show that can’t be accused of thinking too small. So this spinoff will venture to Texas, where a recently moved-in firefighter (Rob Lowe) has to solve the classic problem of figuring out his own issues before being able to save those in the community around him. Liv Tyler is also a part of this show.
“Avenue 5” (Jan. 19, HBO)
It’s the future, where interplanetary travel is as feasible and bureaucratically deadlocked as your average cruise trip. In this latest series from “Veep” and “The Thick of It” creator Armando Iannucci, Hugh Laurie stars as a ship commander who has to figure out a way to make sure that all his passengers survive an unexpected shift in course. Zach Woods, Josh Gad, Nikki Amuka-Bird, and Himesh Patel are also part of the motley band of voyagers swiftly tumbling through space.
“Awkwafina is Nora from Queens” (Jan. 22, Comedy Central)
Drawing partly on her own experiences of growing up in Flushing, this show delivers on the promise of the title, showing the comedian in her younger years. Trying to keep a steady job, trying to stay motivated, and trying to manage the expectations from her family, Nora looks for answers from the ever-changing groups of people around her. Rounding out Nora’s family are her dad (B.D. Wong), her cousin (Bowen Yang), and grandmother (Lori Tan Chinn).
“The Dead Lands” (Jan. 23, Shudder)
The latest original Shudder offering, this is a series adaptation of the 2014 action film of the same name. Returning cast member Te Kohe Tuhaka plays a resurrected Maori warrior who must maintain balance between the worlds of Life and Afterlife, all while finding personal redemption for the transgressions of his past existence.
“Star Trek: Picard” (Jan. 23, CBS All Access)
Rousted from his picturesque retirement life on his winery, Captain Jean-Luc Picard is summoned back into action to face a new slate of foes alongside some of his old cohorts. Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes are among those who will also reprise their “TNG” roles over the course of the first 10 episodes and those already on their way as part of the show’s early Season 2 renewal.
“Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer” (Jan. 31, Amazon Prime Video)
A year after a pair of documentary and dramatized projects about the legendary serial killer hit, this docuseries looks further at how Ted Bundy’s crimes and trial reflected a greater cultural undercurrent of hatred and violence toward women. In addition to focusing on Bundy through the lens of his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall, this series incorporates the first on-the-record video interviews with Kendall in decades.
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