Not only do television networks use the midseason period to debut new programming, they also take the opportunity to relaunch established series that didn't quite fit into the fall schedule. While Part One and Part Two of your TV Rage Midseason Guide covered shows about to premiere, the third installment will take a look at some returning favorites on the big four broadcast networks, as well as SyFy and TBS, over the next couple of months. There are the usual reality shows back on the schedule – including NBC's The Biggest Loser (Monday, January 7, 8 PM), ABC's The Bachelor (Monday, January 7, 8 PM) and Dancing with the Stars (Monday, March 18, 8 PM), CBS's Survivor: Caramoan (Wednesday, February 13, 8 PM), and FOX's American Idol (Wednesday, January 16, 8 PM) – but for the purposes of this guide, scripted series will be the focus. Once again, we'll begin with NBC as the Peacock network prepares for the return of one of its most anticipated comedies and the biggest freshman hit of the autumn season.
- Community – Thursday, February 7, 8:00 PM. Anybody who pays attention to television news has a rough idea of what has transpired behind the scenes of beleaguered ensemble comedy Community. After NBC renewed the cult comedy for a 13-episode fourth season in May, series creator Dan Harmon was removed from his position as showrunner following a public feud with star Chevy Chase, who left the show himself in late November when most of the episodes had already been filmed. Community was assigned to the Friday night death slot and scheduled to return in October, but its season premiere was postponed to give the network additional time to promote the show. Although the promised promotional push never materialized, the delay paid off when the show was returned to its original timeslot on Thursday nights at 8:00 PM, beginning February 7. With a new creative team in place and the late loss of Chevy Chase, it will be worth tuning in just to see what the show looks like. Community has also lined up a bevy of guest stars for Season Four - including James Brolin, Malcolm McDowell, Jason Alexander, Matt Lucas, and Tricia Helfer - and will still air seasonal Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas episodes despite the odd timing. I wonder if the writers will be able to resist a meta-reference to this temporal conundrum. If that's not enough, the season premiere is slated to feature a parody of The Hunger Games. This holiday message, however, is devoid of laughs and does not bode well.
- Grimm – Friday, March 8, 9:00 PM. One of NBC's biggest surprise hits, this fun supernatural drama began its second season earlier than most series and went on a noticeably long midseason break following its last original episode in mid-November. It's been a long wait for fans, but their patience should pay off as Nick (David Giuntoli) must deal with Juliette's (Bitsie Tulloch) confession that she has feelings for Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) while also battling fantastical creatures and foes with Hank (Russell Hornsby) and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) by his side.
- Revolution – Monday, March 25, 10:00 PM. Despite its status as the most-watched new show of the fall season and NBC's first legitimate scripted hit in a while, Revolution settled down for a long winter's nap after its midseason finale on November 26 and will return alongside the popular singing competition The Voice, which serves as its lead-in from 8-10 PM. Now reunited with her mother Rachel and brother Danny, Charlie and her uncle Miles will continue to work together to try to take down Sebastian Monroe following the reveal of a working military helicopter at the end of episode ten. Series creator Eric Kripke promises that the second half of Revolution's debut season will open a new chapter in the mythology of the show and explore the meaning behind the show's title. That sounds like an ideal jumping-on point for new and lapsed viewers like myself.
- Rules of Engagement – Monday, February 4, 8:30 PM. Rejoining the Monday night comedy lineup amidst How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls, and Mike & Molly, the veteran ensemble comedy will be entering its seventh season after being summoned off the bench to replace the canceled Partners. The renewal process last May was long and arduous, but once again Rules of Engagement serves as a valuable utility player and will hopefully benefit from additional promotion during the network's broadcast of the Super Bowl the previous night. Admittedly, I've never watched a full episode of this show, but with a cast of old favorites such as Patrick Warburton, David Spade, and Megyn Price, it seems like a perfectly serviceable sitcom and attracts a fairly large audience.
- Body of Proof – Tuesday, February 5, 10:00 PM. When the series finale of Private Practice airs on January 22, another medical drama will be waiting in the wings to take its place, as Body of Proof returns two weeks later to inherit the timeslot it had previously held on Tuesday nights at 10. Following the departures of series regulars Nicholas Bishop, John Carroll Lynch, and Sonja Sohn, the show was revamped with the addition of two new characters that will debut this season: Mark Valley (Human Target, Fringe) will play Detective Tommy Sullivan, a former flame who transfers to Philadelphia to win back the fair hand of Megan (Dana Delany), while Elyes Gabel (Game of Thrones) joins the cast as a bright and arrogant detective named Adam Schaeffer. That's quite a different gig for Gabel from his days as a Dothraki bloodrider on the HBO fantasy series, and it's also nice to see Mark Valley back in a regular role on television.
- Touch – Friday, February 8, 9:00 PM. Much like Community on NBC, Touch has been passed around as its Season Two premiere was scheduled for a Friday berth at 8 PM in the fall season, then postponed until January, and then announced for February 1 before being given an extra week off, ostensibly to provide more time to promote the show. Sound familiar? Starring Kiefer Sutherland in his first regular television role after his unforgettable turn as Jack Bauer on FOX's 24, Touch started off strong but the ratings fizzled, causing producers to retool the show with a change of scenery and some new cast members. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who played a social worker sent to evaluate Martin and his son, left the series. Introduced at the end of last season, Maria Bello has been added as a series regular in the role of Lucy, the mother of a girl whose daughter shares supernatural gifts similar to those of the young son of Sutherland's character Martin. Also joining the cast will be Said Taghmaoui (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) and another 24 alum, Lukas Haas, as well as a guest starring appearance from veteran character actor Keith David. The setting of the show itself will be moved from New York City to Los Angeles as Martin attempts to help Lucy find her missing daughter.
- Cougar Town – Tuesday, January 8, 10:00 PM. The show with the most misleading title in all of television, Cougar Town moved from ABC to TBS due to the possibility of receiving more episodes and publicity than it would have had the show remained on the Alphabet network. The third season of this single-camera comedy was the most critically acclaimed yet and ended with the marriage of Jules (Courtney Cox) and Grayson (Josh Hopkins), who must now adjust to married life as Season Four begins. Meanwhile, Jules's son Travis (Dan Byrd) tries his hand at being a ladies man, Ellie (Christa Miller) heads back to work, Bobby (Brian Van Holt) dives back into the dating pool, and nosy neighbor Tom (Bob Clendenin) tries to worm his way into the cul-de-sac crew. The new time slot may mean more risqué content and permissible raunch, although hopefully not just for the sake of being raunchy. This show really grew on me when it was part of ABC's Wednesday night comedy block, but I lost track of it when it was moved to another night, so this would be as good a time as any to get back on board.
- Merlin – Friday, January 4, 10:00 PM. Although it has already aired in the United Kingdom, the fifth and final season of Merlin will premiere in the US on January 4 and promises an epic conclusion to the medieval fantasy drama. Anthony Stewart Head returns to guest star in one episode, while the arrival of the druid boy Mordred (Alexander Vlahos) provides a bad omen for King Arthur (Bradley James) and the battle for Camelot rears its ugly head. Merlin (Colin Morgan) and Arthur both feel their destinies approaching, and nothing will ever be the same again.
- Warehouse 13 – Monday, April 22, 9:00 PM. This original science-fiction dramatic comedy has proven to be a big hit for SyFy, earning a whopping 20-episode order for its fourth season and allowing the show to air in the spring for the first time. According to series stars Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering, the second half of the season will be just as intriguing and shocking as the first, featuring a satisfying resolution of the midseason cliffhanger that aired on October 1 and a continuing artifact hunt. Warehouse 13 will also be used as a lead-in for Defiance, a new original sci-fi series that will be paired with a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game set in the same world as the show. Defiance will premiere on Monday, April 15 at 9:00 PM with its two-hour pilot and will move to its regular time slot the following week at 10 PM, after Warehouse 13.
Are you looking forward to the continuation of any of these shows?
Be sure to check back later this weekend for part four of your TV Rage Midseason Guide, which will document the return of massively popular cable series such as HBO's Game of Thrones, AMC's The Walking Dead, and FX's Justified.
Revolution is the only one I'm watching. Not at all my type of show even, but still quite nice to watch. Good to know that the creators say they're going to reveal the meaning of the title. Because it always bugged me that it had no relation to the story. I thought it was just marketing stupidity, but apparently someone did put some thoughts in it.
The show was very clearly written to end the way it did after episode 10, if it hadn't been extended. It was a nice closure.
Level 1 (36%) Since: 17/Apr/12
Message Posted On Jan 6th, 2013, 9:09 am
"Are you looking forward to the continuation of any of these shows?"
Actually, I'm looking forward to the return of *all* of those shows...good thing I don't have a "life" :-)
Level 3 (9%) Points: 1.5 Since: 02/Aug/12
Message Posted On Jan 4th, 2013, 5:30 am
Those shows are coming up in part four! Read the fine print.
Level 1 (78%) Since: 29/Feb/12
Message Posted On Jan 4th, 2013, 3:08 am
Community, Cougar Town, Revolution.
You also forgot Justified, and The Walking Dead. :)