In previous installments of the TV Rage Midseason Guide, a spotlight was shone on new shows as well as returning series on the big four broadcast networks. What you have in front of you right now is Part Four, which will cover a number of favorites resuming their runs on cable networks in the coming weeks, including some of the most anticipated shows in all of television. This is the best of the best.
- Justified – Tuesday, January 8, 10:00 PM. The third season of this critically acclaimed drama saw Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) square off against dirty politics, hidden fortunes, a mysterious criminal ringleader named Ellstin Limehouse, and Robert Quarles, an ambitious gangster from the underbelly of Detroit. This season, Givens will start to pick at the thread of a cold case over 30 years in the making, unraveling a riddle that echoes all the way back to his boyhood and his criminal father's bad dealings. Meanwhile, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) fights to maintain his position in Harlan County against a Pentecostal preacher with a penchant for theatrics and a knack for manipulation to rival his own. Season Four will feature some intriguing guest stars and new recurring players, including Joe Mazzello (The Pacific) as Preacher Billy, Patton Oswalt (King of Queens) as Raylan's old high school friend, and Ron Eldard (ER) as Colt, a violent, dark-humored military police sergeant and old acquaintance of Boyd.
- Archer – Thursday, January 17, 10:00 PM. With back-to-back episodes of Charlie Sheen's Anger Management as its lead-in at 9 and 9:30 PM, the fourth season of Archer will continue the show's unique animated blend of James Bond meets Arrested Development. In addition to a guest appearance by the aforementioned Timothy Olyphant of Justified, the highlight of the new season could be the crossover with Bob's Burgers, an animated sitcom on FOX that also stars the dulcet tones of veteran voice actor and comedian H. Jon Benjamin. Described as a riff on the Bourne Identity, Archer will be seen working at a fast food restaurant, believing himself to be burger-flipping Bob Belcher, before he realizes that he is extremely efficient at killing people. Benjamin lends his voice to both characters, but this episode will mark the first time that he has done both in one show, and it will also be the first chance to see Bob and his wife Linda animated in the more realistic style of the FX series.
- Californication – Sunday, January 13, 10:30 PM. As the protagonist of this Showtime original dramedy, David Duchovny's Hank Moody has left a trail of debauchery in his wake since trading the literary confines of New York City for the pleasure-seeking splendors of Los Angeles. Returning for a sixth season, the alcohol-soaked scribe will eat his own tail as Hank is commissioned to pen a rock opera for a Broadway musical based on a film that was adapted from a book he wrote. While working alongside eccentric rock star Atticus Fetch (portrayed by Australian comedian/musician Tim Minchin) at his house, Hank has an unforgettable run-in with shock rocker Marilyn Manson – guest starring as himself in the seventh episode of the season – and comes across a "professional groupie" named Faith, a new character that Showtime hopes to spin off into her own series, played by Maggie Grace of Lost. Another mainstay on the enigmatic ABC series, Jorge Garcia, is also scheduled to appear in an episode this season as one of Faith's old contacts. Californication is the anchor of Showtime's "Sinful Sundays" lineup and will be preceded by season premieres of Shameless and House of Lies at 9 PM and 10 PM respectively.
- Spartacus: War of the Damned – Friday, January 25, 9:00 PM. Embarking upon its final season, the historically-based action-adventure drama picks up several months after Gaius Claudius Glaber was killed and defeated in battle, as Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) and his generals Crixus (Manu Bennett), Gannicus (Dustin Clare), and Agron (Dan Feuerriegel) continue to lead the rebel army in a series of victories over Rome. With the rebel numbers swelling into the thousands, the horde becomes a force that threatens even the mightiest armies of the Roman Republic. Spartacus will face off against Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells) and his young ally, Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance), as the series draws closer to its epic conclusion with all-out war on the horizon. Although this is the last hurrah for Spartacus, there has been some talk of a future spinoff chronicling the ascent of Caesar. Oh, sorry, I forgot the spoiler alert.
- The Walking Dead – Sunday, February 10, 9:00 PM. Now a bona fide ratings blockbuster, this may be the most anticipated return of the midseason. When last we left AMC's wildly popular post-apocalyptic drama, Dixon brothers Merle (Michael Rooker) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) were about to go head-to-head in the gladiator arena after The Governor (David Morrissey) declared them both terrorists. Having just lost his right eye in a brawl with Michonne (Danai Gurira) as well as his zombie daughter Penny, the Governor has completely snapped and the events that transpired in the midseason finale should influence his unpredictable behavior in the second half of the season. The last episode on December 2 also introduced a major new character, comic book fan favorite Tyreese, portrayed by Chad Coleman of HBO's The Wire. AMC recently announced that showrunner Glenn Mazzara will be leaving the series due to creative differences with the network, but he will be finishing up the third season before regrettably vacating his position. Despite being familiar with the source material, I'm not sure exactly what to expect in the next eight episodes or how Daryl and Merle will get out of their predicament. A full-scale siege of the prison by the Governor and his loyal followers from Woodbury seems logical, but beyond that it's unclear and that's what makes The Walking Dead one of the most improved shows on television.
- Psych – Wednesday, February 27, 10:00 PM. Returning for sixteen new episodes, this comedic drama detective show is entering its seventh season as the USA Network's longest-running series and has already been renewed for Season Eight. James Roday, Dule Hill, Maggie Lawson, and Timothy Omundson will all be back in their roles as the series celebrates its 100th episode during the upcoming season, which will feature a two-hour musical and a wedding for one of its main characters. Along the way, Gus's love life will cause tension between he and Shawn. Last season ended with Henry (Corbin Bernsen) being shot, so the big question is will he survive and will his son bring his assailant to justice?
- Girls – Sunday, January 13, 9:00 PM. Executive produced by Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham's polarizing brand of female-centric comedy is back for a second season consisting of ten episodes, as Hannah (Dunham) must deal with the fallout of her breakup with Adam (Adam Sackler) and the possibility of new relationships. The sophomore season will feature a multitude of guest stars, including Donald Glover, Patrick Wilson, Colin Quinn, Shiri Appleby, Rosanna Arquette, Carol Kane, and John Cameron Mitchell, as well as Rita Wilson as Marnie's (Allison Williams) mother. Alex Karpovsky has been promoted to a series regular in the role of Hannah's boss Ray, while Hannah's gay ex-boyfriend/new roommate Elijah (Andrew Rannells) will return as a recurring character. After his character married Jessa (Jemima Kirke) in a surprise ceremony at the end of the first season, Chris O'Dowd of Bridesmaids will be back in a recurring role as Thomas-John, an affluent venture capitalist.
- Game of Thrones – Sunday, March 31, 9:00 PM. The third season of the grandiose HBO fantasy series promises to be even more epic with slightly longer episodes and the addition of approximately 314 new characters. Drawing from the first half of the 973-page novel A Storm of Swords, Season Three will find Westeros still gripped in civil war and political intrigue, and the always slappable King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) in command of the largest army in the realm. Best known for his portrayal of Julius Caesar on HBO's Rome, Ciarán Hinds will enter the fray as Mance Rayder, the "King-Beyond-The-Wall" who unites all the wildlings under his command to lead them in an attack on the Wall. His chief lieutenant is Tormund Giantsbane, played by Kristofer Hivju. Other newcomers to the series include Diana Rigg as the "Queen of Thorns" Olenna Tyrell, Clive Russell as Bryndon "The Blackfish" Tully, Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ellie Kendrick as brother and sister Jojen and Meera Reed, Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr, Richard Dormer as Brotherhood Without Banners leader Beric Dondarrion, Mackenzie Crook as wildling raider Orell, Iwan Rheon as "Boy", Tara Fitzgerald and Kerry Ingram as mother and daughter Selyse and Shireen Baratheon, Nathalie Emannuel as child slave Missandei, Philip McGinley as Brotherhood archer Anguy, Anton Lesser as former Citadel maester Qyburn, Jacob Anderson as eunuch soldier Gray Worm, Dan Hildebrand as wealthy slaver Kraznys mo Naklaz, Ed Skrein as Tyroshi mercenary captain Daario Naharis, Ramon Tikaram as Stormcrow captain Prendahl ze Ghezn, and even more cameos and other characters. Get your scorecards ready!
- Arrested Development – Spring 2013. Although Fox had initially indicated that the long-awaited fourth season of the cult favorite comedy would be available on Netflix beginning Saturday, May 4, that date has since been denied by the streaming service. After a seven-year wait, fans will be treated to a total of at least 14 new episodes, each of them focusing on a separate character to bring viewers up to speed on what the different members of the Bluth family have been doing with their lives. According to a list of episode titles discovered recently, George Senior (Jeffrey Tambor), Gob (Will Arnett), Lindsay (Portia de Rossi), Michael (Jason Bateman), and his son George Michael (Michael Cera) will each be featured in two-episode arcs while Tobias (David Cross), Maeby (Alia Shawkat), Lucille (Jessica Walter), and Buster (Tony Hale) will have one episode apiece. Several recurring characters will also return – including Liza Minnelli as Lucille 2, Henry Winkler as Barry Zuckerkorn, Scott Baio as Bob Loblaw, Mae Whitman as Ann Veal, Judy Greer as Kitty Sanchez, Carl Weathers as himself, and Andy Richter as himself and his quintuplet siblings – as well as new characters played by guest stars such as John Slattery, Terry Crews, Isla Fisher, Conan O'Brien, Chris Diamantopoulos, Maria Bamford, and Workaholics co-stars Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, and Anders Holm. Whether you're a fan of the show or not, Arrested Development is a perfect example of the power of new media such as streaming and digital on-demand services. Most fans had given up hope that the series would return to television, and if not for Netflix, it's doubtful that the show would have been resurrected. Finally, the day will arrive this spring.
Are any of these shows already programmed into your DVR?
Tomorrow, we will finish up the TV Rage Midseason Guide with Part Five, a comprehensive listing of the times, dates, and channels of every new and returning television show this midseason. So if you haven't seen your favorite show pop up in the Guide yet, check back tomorrow!
Oh and by the way, if I could pick anything to get the next such revival, it would be bringing back Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni for Veronica Mars! Failing that, Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James for Terriers.
Level 2 (54%) Points: 1.4 Since: 26/Apr/11
Message Posted On Jan 11th, 2013, 7:13 am
Looking forward to Arrested Development very much. I used to love that show. And a little bit, I also hope it's going to set a precedent for other commercially less lucrative shows with devoted cult followings. Of course the most difficult thing will always be to get the original actors back (it helps if they had fun), but I'd like to see this "saving" of shows by other networks or services more often. So many shows don't get the chances they deserve the first time around.
Message Posted On Jan 7th, 2013, 8:17 am
Well done! Comprehensive, expansive, and right on the mark. A guide(s) which I will be consulted repeatedly in the coming months.
Level 25 (71%) Points: 13561.4 Since: 16/Nov/12
Message Posted On Jan 7th, 2013, 3:19 am
I second that! You can tell a lot of effort has gone into these and it is fantastic!
msd85 (Global Editor)
Level 39 (91%) Points: 17879.2 Since: 07/Jul/10
Message Posted On Jan 7th, 2013, 3:13 am
I just want to say that you have done an absolutely excellent job on the mid-season guide series. And I'm not just saying that because we work together. This is some quality writing right here.