Sunday, January 9th
Bob’s Burgers, series premiere at 8:30pm on FOX
– FOX premieres a new animated series not from Scott MacFarlane? This sitcom about a man, his family, and a burger joint is the brainchild of Loren Bouchard (Home Movies and Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist). Written and executive produced by Bouchard and Jim Dauterive (King of the Hill), Bob’s Burgers fills the void left by King of the Hill’s cancellation. A third-generation restaurateur, Bob Belcher (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, Family Guy and Archer) runs Bob’s Burgers with the help of his wife Linda and their three kids Tina, Gene, and Louise. Bob has big ideas about burgers, condiments and sides, but only a few thoughts on customer service and business management. Despite his greasy counters, lousy location and occasionally spotty service, Bob is convinced his burgers speak for themselves.
The Cape, series premiere at 9pm on NBC
– Never underestimate a man in a sexy cape lurking in the darkness…because he just might be there to save your life…or something like that. David Lyons stars in a superhero drama series as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a rash of murders and presumed dead. He is forced into hiding, leaving behind his wife Dana (Jennifer Ferrin, Life on Mars) and son, Trip (Ryan Wynott, Flash Forward). Fueled by a desire to reunite with his family and to battle the criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City, Vince Faraday becomes “The Cape” – his son’s favorite comic book superhero – and takes the law into his own hands. In order to understand his powers and how to use The Cape, Max Milani—the ringleader of a circus gang of robbers—takes him under his wing and trains him to be a superhero. But what’s a superhero without a few good villains? The Tudors’ James Frain plays billionaire Peter Fleming, who moonlights as the twisted killer Chess aka The Cape’s arch-nemesis.
Californication, season premiere at 9pm on Showtime
– Famed novelist and New York City transplant Hank Moody relocated to LA after his acclaimed book was optioned, only to see it turned into a crappy romantic comedy. Since then he’s struggled to get his career and relationship with on-again/off-again girlfriend Karen back on track, while trying to raise his rebellious teenage daughter Becca. But he never stops owning his vices – drink, drugs and women – with a refreshing sense of honesty and unapologetic candor. He’s holding it together while falling apart, and he doesn’t mind it one bit. Season three ended with Hank being hauled off to jail for assaulting the boyfriend of his troublemaking, underage, former fling Mia. His home life with Karen and Becca is in ruins, but the scandal surrounding the publication of his latest book has turned him into a hot Hollywood commodity – in more ways than one. Can Hank navigate the mess he’s made of his life and come out on top?
Alaska State Troopers, season premieres at 9pm on National Geographic
– They are the first line of defense on the last frontier, the roughly 400 state troopers who patrol the rugged and unforgiving terrain of America’s largest state — Alaska. One of the toughest law enforcement agencies in the nation, they patrol the rugged terrain of America’s largest state, where anyone they encounter could be and most probably is armed. These officers often travel hundreds of miles in piercing subzero temperatures to uphold the law. Responding by land, air and sea — with backup sometimes days away — they face danger to protect the people and wildlife of Alaska.
Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, season premiere at 9pm on Style
– The reality series follows the life of former model, author, designer and the former CEO (up until 2010) of the Baby Phat Jean Company Kimora Lee Simmons. Savvy businesswoman, author, philanthropist, producer, Tony Award winner and–according to Forbes–one of the “hardest-working mothers in Hollywood,” Kimora Lee Simmons is a model turned designer and the ex-wife of entrepreneur and hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. Season four of the reality series follows Kimora, her man model-turned-actor Dimon Hounsou, her 2 girls (Ming & Aoki), and young son Kenzo along with the employees of Baby Phat.
The Cleveland Show, moved to new time-slot at 9:30pm on FOX
Shameless, series premiere at 10pm on Showtime
– Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) is the proud single dad of six smart, spirited and independent kids, who without him would be… perhaps better off. When Frank Gallagher’s not at the bar spending what little money the family has, he’s stirring up trouble. But he’s not the only one who keeps things interesting. Lip uses his smarts to get what he can, Ian’s exploring alternative sexuality, Debbie’s got her hand in the donation jar, Carl’s breaking every rule he can find, and toddler Liam’s just along for the ride. Good thing the family has Fiona (Emmy Rossum), the eldest daughter who dutifully keeps them all together, even as she tries to figure out where and how she fits in to her own life. The Gallaghers may not have much in the way of money or rules, but they know who they are — and they’re absolutely, wildly, unapologetically Shameless.
Episodes, series premiere at 10:30pm on Showtime
– After much anticipation, finally the second comedy series starring a former Friends star—Matt LeBlanc—makes it big debut (Matthew Perry’s Mr. Sunshine premieres in February on ABC). Happily married television writers Sean and Beverly Lincoln are successful, confident and a bit smug, and for good reason – they’re at the top of their game in their native England. They can’t wait to bring their successful British television series across the pond to make it big in America. But this very proper British couple discovers that they are fish out of water in the American show business shark tank. Matt LeBlanc plays a satirical send-up of himself as the egotistical star that TV executives cater to. Matt not only messes with their beloved show, he rocks the foundation of their relationship. Beverly learns that Matt LeBlanc is a dangerous enemy to have – he wields remarkable power, and he always wins. The stress of dealing with seemingly clueless network executives and a narcissistic, divisive star while trying to protect their beloved show puts some serious strain on their careers, their marriage, and their sanity. So now, even if they survive the absurdity of show business, will their marriage survive Matt LeBlanc?
Monday, January 10th
The X Life, series premiere at 10pm on VH1
– When you think of extreme sports you think of highly competitive, tatted-up, bad-boys with little regard for their own safety whose sole mission is to push the limits of physics beyond the edge of what is thought possible. But there’s a whole other layer that fuels their cutting-edge quest — the gorgeous, fearless, women who love them. This new reality series follows some of the biggest names in action sports: Pierre Luc Gagnon (Vert Skater) and his girlfriend Denise Russo; Cory “Nasty” Nastazio (BMX Dirt Jumper) and his girlfriend Nicole Panattoni; and Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg (FMX) and his wife Susie Stenberg. The ladies have their own careers: from helping to manage and market their husband’s careers to being a top model to being a mom. These wives are fiercely protective, defensive and ready to throw down at a moment’s notice. And if your husband isn’t on the tour, good luck breaking into their clique. These women are a tight-knit sorority bound by one common thread–their adrenaline junkie husbands.
I, Predator, series premiere at 8pm on Animal Planet
– This new computer animated six-part series takes you inside the mind of a predator on the hunt, deeper than ever before into the life-or-death moments when predator meets prey. I, Predator puts you in the driver’s seat of nature’s most perfect predators as they attack and take down their prey. The premiere episode is a battle between the Great White Shark, the planet’s fiercest predator, and the Cape Fur Seal, the ultimate but very elusive prey for great whites.
The Haney Project, season premiere at 9pm on Golf
– It’s a new year and a new project for Hank Haney, one of golf’s top swing instructors. Tiger Woods’ former coach Hank tries to stop Rush Limbaugh from swinging to the extreme right — and helps him out with his golf game. Limbaugh, radio talk show host and conservative opinion leader, is more of a sharpshooter than commentator, and he has his sights—and opinions—set on Haney. That’s right—Hank’s biggest challenge while fixing Rush’s game may not be swing rhythm or mechanics, but simply getting a word in edgewise.
Teen Mom 2, season premiere at 10pm on MTV
– Not to be confused with season 2 of Teen Mom 1, Teen Mom 2 follows the second batch of girls who have graduated from 16 and Pregnant to mommy status, though unfortunately most did not graduate high school…oops. The docu-series interweaves stories of four teenage girls who are navigating the bumpy terrain of adolescence, growing pains, and coming of age – all while facing the responsibility of being a young mother. Each story offers a unique look into the wide variety of challenges young mothers can face: marriage, relationships, family support, or lack thereof, adoption, finances, rumors among the community, graduating high school, starting college, getting (or losing) a job and the daunting and exciting step of moving out of the nest to create their own families.
Lights Out, series premiere at 10pm on FX
– Guys don’t only like watching wrestling on TV, they also like to watch shows about former wrestlers and the wrestling business…or at least FX is counting on that for the success of this new show, which is in the style of the Oscar-nominated 2008 film The Wrestler. Holt McCallany (CSI: Miami) stars as an aging former heavyweight boxing champion who struggles to find his identity and support his wife and three daughters after retiring from the ring. Financial problems leave him at a perilous crossroads – battling the urge to return to boxing or reluctantly accepting a job as a brutal and intimidating debt collector. Catherine McCormack (Braveheart) co-stars as his wife Theresa, who is finishing her medical residency; Pablo Schreiber (Law & Order) as Johnny, his brother and business manager whom Lights put through college; and Stacy Keach (Fat City) as Pops, Lights’ father and former trainer who runs the boxing gym owned by Lights.
The Game, season premiere at 10pm on BET
– The cancelled CW sitcom that was saved by BET returns for its fourth season. Tia Mowry stars as Melanie Barnett, a medical student who is thrust into the world of professional football when her boyfriend becomes a wide receiver for the San Diego Sabers. The series follows Melanie as she struggles with the ups and downs of having a “famous” other half and a new group of friends – the other players’ wives. After facing many obstacles throughout their on-again, off-again relationship, Melanie and Derwin finally marry in the season three finale. But is their love strong enough to keep them together for good or will betrayal and infidelity rear its ugly head again?
Tosh.0, season premiere at 10pm on Comedy Central
– Comedian Daniel Tosh has garnered a dedicated following and acquired watercooler fodder status with his unique brand of stand-up comedy. Tosh.0 is a weekly topical series that delves into all aspects of the Internet featuring razor sharp humor and biting commentary from Tosh. From the absolutely absurd to the incredibly ingenious, the series features viral clips, sketches, and “Web Redemptions” which give subjects of infamous viral videos a second chance to redeem themselves from the embarrassment with which they’ve become synonymous.
– The iconic comedy-news website The Onion teamed up with Comedy Central to bring us this new SportsCenter-skewering series, which also happens to be the most intense televised sports news program in recorded human history. Onion SportsDome is a 30-minute rundown of the finest in sports news, analysis, scores, highlights, rumor-mongering and petty personal attacks. The show features a good mix of right-on topical humor (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh rewriting the rules of basketball to make it cooler), media satire (a baseball-team-solves-crimes police procedural), and outright absurdity (Alex Rodriguez writes and stars in a Staying Alive-esque musical)!
Wednesday, January 12th
American Masters, season premiere at 8:30pm* on PBS
*check your local listings
– What is this very vague-sounding show you might ask? American Masters is an ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. The series opens its 25th season with Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides giving viewers an unexpected window into the life of the actor whose easy going style has endeared him to audiences for almost 40 years. After Jeff Bridges’ amazing comeback since his Oscar-winning performance in 2009’s Crazy Heart, is there a more deserving American Master?
Off The Map, series premiere at 10pm on ABC
– From Shonda Rhimes and the rest of the creative team behind Grey’s Anatomy comes a new ensemble medical drama about six doctors who have lost their way and go to the ends of the earth to try to remember the reasons why they wanted to become doctors in the first place. Welcome to “la ciudad de las estrellas” (the city of stars), a tiny town in the South American jungle which has one understaffed, under-stocked medical clinic. That’s where idealistic young Dr. Lily Brenner just landed, along with fellow doctors Mina Minard and Tommy Fuller. All of these young doctors are running away from personal demons, but they aren’t the only ones with emotional baggage. Take the legendary and enigmatic Ben Keeton, who was the youngest Chief of Surgery at UCLA. He walked away from it all to found the clinic. Together with his right-hand doctor, Otis Cole, the mysterious Dr. Ryan Clark and local doctor Zita Alvarez, he’ll teach the newcomers how to save lives in the most challenging environment they’ve ever worked in—while taking them on adventures of a lifetime.
Thursday, January 13th
Beyond Scared Straight, series premiere at 10pm on A&E
– Based on the award-winning documentary film Scared Straight! by Arnold Shapiro, this new documentary series continues the effective work of the film and the prison program it portrays, turning countless kids away from drugs, violence and crime, and keeping them out of prison. The film and series document an effective juvenile prevention/intervention program at a NJ prison. The program is meant to frighten law-breaking young people into getting their lives together by exposing them to the harshness of prison life. The power of the original Scared Straight! program has inspired dozens of inmate-run intervention programs in men’s and women’s prisons across the country. These youthful offender programs put boys and girls of all ethnicities and backgrounds, ranging in age from 11-18, into intensive one-day in-prison sessions that show them the realities of life behind bars. These programs are drastic because today’s youth need a different approach – a combination of confrontation, information and communication to try to reach these at-risk kids. Beyond Scared Straight is about transforming the lives of young people through intervention and second chances.
Friday, January 14th
The Ricky Gervais Show, season premiere at 9pm on HBO
– From the creators of The Office and Extras comes this new animated series based on comedian/actor/director/producer/writer Ricky Gervais’ podcasts, which won a place in The Guinness Book of World Records for most downloads. Just like the real podcast, the series is voiced by Gervais, Stephen Merchant and colleague and friend Karl Pilkington, whose offbeat musings inspire many of the storylines such as: the merits of 20th century inventions, Karl’s suggestion for population control, his round head, and his thoughts about charity.
Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, special awards show from 9 to 11pm on VH1
– The Broadcast Film Critics Association annually presents the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards to honor the finest in cinematic achievement. Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller Black Swan starring Natalie Portman leads the pack with a record-breaking 12 nominations. The King’s Speech and True Grit are close behind with 11 nominations each, while Inception received 10 nods and The Social Network garnered 9. Last year’s ceremony was memorable for the smooch between Best Actress co-winners Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep. This year’s Best Actress front-runners: Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right). In case of another split, we may get another on-screen smooch!
Flying Wild Alaska, series premiere at 9pm on Discovery Channel
– Meet the unconventional family that rules Alaska’s most dangerous skies in this new 10-part docu-series. Across the frigid Alaskan wilderness, Jim Tweto and their family-run airline Era Alaska. They battle the arctic elements to transport supplies and passengers to some of the most inaccessible areas on the planet. With no freeway system for hundreds of miles, Era Alaska is the lifeline for the isolated rural inhabitants of the Bering Sea coastline, but where the roads end, life for the quirky Twetos begins. Wildly determined Jim runs his company with passion and looks to his tiny but fierce wife, Ferno, for support. She’s cargo runner, dispatcher and mom to their two daughters, Ayla and Ariel, who also play a vital role in the operation. Year round, Jim and his family are motivated by the fact that the livelihood’s of thousands of people depend on their business and employees every day.
Conviction Kitchen, season premiere at 10pm on Planet Green
– What do you get when you take one of the country’s top chefs, throw in a kitchen crew of ex-cons with no culinary experience, and give them just weeks to open a high-end restaurant from scratch? In season two of Conviction Kitchen, world-renowned executive chef, Marc Thuet, and his wife and business partner, Biana Zorich, put their reputations on the line again – this time in Vancouver – with another high-stakes challenge that will push them and their charges to the limit. With the clock ticking, Marc and Biana must train a staff of former offenders, create a tantalizing gourmet menu from scratch, and overhaul owner Daniel Frankel’s martini bar in the heart of the city’s gay village. As for the ex-cons, dealing with culinary boot camp will be only their first challenge since the real test will be making it past opening night. They’ve got mere weeks to help build a profitable business or owner Daniel will pull the plug, and they’ll lose out on this once-in-a-lifetime chance to turn their lives around.
Funny or Die Presents, season premiere at midnight on HBO
– Executive producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have merged TV with the Internet in this half-hour sketch comedy series based on their popular web site FunnyOrDie.com. The show provides an anything-goes forum for talented young actors, comedians, and writers to create outrageous sketches, animations, music videos, and more. Featuring unexpected guest stars in even less expected roles, Funny Or Die Presents pushes the envelope in an entirely new way.
Saturday, January 15th
2011 Miss America Pageant, special from 9 to 11pm on ABC
– Season 7 Dancing With the Stars champion and current co-host of the hit show will join Chris Harrison, from ABC’s The Bachelor, as hosts of the 90th anniversary of the Miss America Pageant. The 2011 Miss America Pageant will air live from the Planet Hollywood Casino Resort Las Vegas. Miss America must be talented, intelligent and well-spoken, a leader, have a commitment to her community, be contemporary in her style and fashion – a relatable and individual ‘it girl’ who can connect with today’s modern woman, as well as being physically fit. This year’s panel of seven esteemed judges includes accomplished talk show host and comedienne Joy Behar; Miss America 1991 turned veterinarian, broadcaster, and philanthropist Debbye Turner Bell; executive producer of Desperate Housewives Marc Cherry; Dancing With the Stars pro Tony Dovolani; beloved actress, Golden Globe Nominee, and health advocate Marilu Henner; orthopedic surgeon turned shoe designer Taryn Rose; and multi-platinum selling country music artist Mark Wills.