By Paula Hendrickson
Tired of nothing but reruns now that the holiday specials are done? This week and next are when most networks resume airing new episodes of their existing shows. Better yet, it’s also when a whole new crop of midseason shows premiere. Some are returning favorites — like Cougar Town (TBS), Justified (FX) and Being Mary Jane (BET) — while others are brand-new series.
Following are some new shows you might want to check out.
• Intelligence debuted 8 p.m. Central Tuesday, Jan. 7, on CBS. Don’t worry, you can still see the first episode at http://www.cbs.com/shows/intelligence/. The stylish new series stars Lost alum Josh Holloway as Gabriel Vaughn, a brash intelligence operative who has a super computer microchip in his brain giving him direct access to the Internet and all kinds of security databases, which also means there’s a price on his head. (Yeah, sort of like Chuck Bartowski on NBC’s former spy series Chuck, only minus the slapstick and Buy More.) Former CSI star Marg Helgenberger co-stars as the head of the secret agency responsible for deploying Vaughn, and Meghan Ory plays a Secret Service agent brought in to protect him from outside threats and his own reckless impulses.
• Chicago PD premieres Wednesday, Jan. 8, on NBC at 9 p.m. Central. You read the title right: Chicago PD. This spinoff of Chicago Fire is built around Jason Beghe’s character, Sergeant Hank Voight, who is asked to head up an Intelligence Unit. Jon Seda (Homicide: Life on the Street) also comes over from Chicago Fire, which introduced some other characters as well. Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill), Patrick John Flueger (The 4400), Archie Kao (CSI) and Elias Koteas (The Killing) round out the cast. Like Chicago Fire, Chicago PD is shot here in Illinois, so it’s worth a look for that alone, even if you’re not into police dramas.
• Enlisted is a new comedy on Fox. The show — centered on three brothers stationed at the same Army base — makes you laugh, even when you know you shouldn’t, like when the African-America commander, played by Keith David (Cloud Atlas, The Cape) reveals his white artificial foot. Geoff Stults (The Finder) plays the oldest brother, a staff sergeant banished to lead the Rear D unit following a stupid mistake. Chris Lowell (Veronica Mars, Private Practice) and Randy Hill (Suburgatory) play his brothers, both of whom are in the Rear D unit of military misfits. It’s sort of like a modern-day Stripes with a family twist. Enlisted gets away with a lot because it has heart.
• True Detective is a new HBO drama getting a lot of positive buzz. It debuts Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. Central. Like American Horror Story, True Detective will have a new story and cast each season — a move that appeals to film actors who want to be involved in television (arguably at a creative peak, especially when compared to most feature films of the past few years), but don’t want to commit to long-term TV contracts. The debut season of True Detective pairs Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as Louisiana State Police homicide detectives unexpectedly reunited by a homicide case they thought they solved in 1995.
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Follow her on Twitter at P_Hendrickson and send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Jan. 8-14, 2014, issue