Sunday, January 8th
The Firm, 2-hour series premiere at 9pm on NBC
– Based on the blockbuster feature film and best-selling novel by world-renowned author John Grisham, NBC’s new drama series continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere (Josh Lucas) and his family 10 years after the events of the film and novel. As a young associate, McDeere brought down the prestigious Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which operated as a front for the Chicago mob – and his life was never the same. After a difficult decade, which included a stay in the Federal Witness Protection program, Mitch and his family now emerge from isolation to reclaim their lives and their future – only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere.
Shameless, season premiere at 9pm on Showtime
– When Frank Gallagher’s (William H. Macy) 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. It’s summertime and the Gallaghers of Chicago are cooking up fresh ways to bring home the bacon. Their ventures may not be moral — or even legal — but they certainly are outrageous. Between beating the heat and keeping their cool, the Gallaghers are in for one crazy summer.
Downton Abbey, 2-hour season premiere at 9pm on PBS
– Downton Abbey’s Granthams and their family of servants have already weathered scoundrels, scandals, and a momentous succession crisis. But by November, 1916, the Great War has rendered everything — and everyone — changed. Even Downton Abbey itself, like its residents, has risen to the call of duty and transformed. Some newcomers arrive, met with varying degrees of welcome; some young men are absent, desperately clinging to survival in the trenches of France; and some men remain at Downton, their discontent festering. Robert, ever the honorable patriarch, struggles with the uneasiness of a diminished house and the suspicion that the uniform he wears is empty. The Crawley women, too, attempt to find their place in the new climate, as Isobel helps chart a new course for one sister and Branson exerts his influence over yet another. Among the servants, love is in the air — O’Brien being, as always, the exception — until Bates makes a decision that crushes the hearts of the two people who love him most. News about Matthew stuns the house, and Mary has a revelation of her own. Downton Abbey itself is to be made useful, transformed into a convalescent home for wounded officers. In wartime, not even the seemingly immutable Dowager Countess, Violet, remains entirely unchanged! As other great houses crumble, a diminished Downton Abbey struggles to prevail into a new era with its residents and its honor intact.
House of Lies, series premiere at 10pm on Showtime
– Charming, fast-talking Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle) and his crack team of MBA-toting management consultants are playing America’s 1 percent for everything they’ve got. They put the con in consulting as they charm smug, unsuspecting corporate fat cats into closing huge deals, and spending a fortune for their services. Twisting the facts, spinning the numbers, and spouting just enough business school jargon to dazzle the clients, there’s no end to what this crew won’t do to and for each other, while laughing all the way to the bank. Nothing is sacred in House of Lies, a hilarious, irreverent send-up of corporate America today.
Californication, season premiere at 10:30pm on Showtime
– It’s three years later and famed novelist Hank Moody, having barely escaped jail time at the end of Season 4, is enjoying his freedom in New York City, away from the madness of L.A. But a bad break-up and a call from his old pal Charlie about a job send him back to the left coast. If staying out of trouble was the plan, the town he loves to hate has other ideas, as the movie Hank is hired to write stars a bad boy hip hop mogul extraordinaire who wants Hank for his wingman. Meanwhile Karen’s remarried and Becca’s dating an insufferable 20-year-old version of Hank. Can Hank go home again and keep his sanity in tact?
Monday, January 9th
Caged, series premiere at 10pm on MTV
– MTV’s newest reality series takes viewers into the world of young people growing up in small town Louisiana, following a group of friends who are finding their way in the world after high school graduation as they struggle to make something of their lives and break out of the metaphorical cage they’ve found themselves in. This weekly documentary series will take an honest look into the world of young amateur MMA fighters, both inside and outside of the cage. One is dealing with his lost love, another tries to balance his young family and fighting, and another just yearns to make his family proud. It’s impossible for them to leave these issues outside of the ring, and each week, viewers will see how their personal lives and choices affect their chances inside the cage. For these modern day gladiators, every day is a fight to break free from the past, and to find their future. It’s their chance to turn their lives around, and an opportunity to stand up and fight to make something of themselves.
America’s Money Class With Suze Orman, series premiere at 9pm on OWN
– America’s most trusted personal finance advisor and best-selling author Suze Orman holds a six-episode money class, tackling the toughest financial questions and revealing the rules for surviving in this volatile economy. Suze will provide real information and essential tools to help viewers get on their feet and take the steps to get their money in control. In each episode Suze provides an Action Plan with easy to understand, step-by-step advice for viewers, ranging from debt and retirement, to student loans and unemployment. Suze will also give viewers a chance to win up to $50,000 when they take her final exam at the end of the finale episode.
Tuesday, January 10th
Shipping Wars, series premiere at 9pm on A&E
– A&E presents the new original real-life series, which follows six independent shippers who have discovered that fortunes could be made transporting items that traditional carriers won’t touch. Each episode dives into the cutthroat world of these heavy-duty movers as they battle for the chance to transport the unshippable. The competition begins with uShip, the world’s largest online auction house for independent truckers. Every day, thousands of shipments are put up for auction. The battle is fierce as the movers have only minutes to bid, and the lowest bidder gets the load. From oversized loads and bulky packages to the truly bizarre, these shippers will haul anything if the price is right. The high-stakes race is on as they set out to deliver the loads in time, and any setback can cost big bucks.
Wednesday, January 11th
Are You There, Chelsea?, series premiere at 8:30pm on NBC
– Inspired by the best-selling books from actress/comedian Chelsea Handler, “Are You There, Chelsea?” follows the exploits of the twentysomething Chelsea (Laura Prepon, “That ’70s Show”), an opinionated and unapologetic young woman who lives life to the fullest as a cocktail waitress, friend, daughter, sister and sexually dynamic “advanced drinker.” Chelsea’s life revolves around her work at Jerry’s Ultimate Sports Bar in New Jersey, where she is surrounded by an eclectic group of friends and co-workers, including Rick (Jake McDorman, Greek), the handsome bartender; Olivia (Ali Wong, Breaking In), a fellow cocktail waitress and Chelsea’s best friend since childhood; and Todd (Mark Povinelli, Water for Elephants), the bar back who is always ready with a quick comeback. Chelsea and Olivia have recently moved in with Dee Dee (Lauren Lapkus, The Middle), a sweet and somewhat sheltered young woman who could be considered the polar opposite of Chelsea. And then there’s Chelsea’s dad, Melvin (Lenny Clarke, Rescue Me), a man with a big personality and a big heart… and all too often – a big mouth. Chelsea Handler (Chelsea Lately) has a recurring role as Chelsea’s born-again Christian sister, Sloane, a married, conservative new mom who has little in common with her carefree sister.
FaceOff, season premiere at 10pm on Syfy
– Syfy’s competition/elimination series exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists and the unlimited imagination that allows them to create amazing works of living art. The contestants are tasked with elaborate feature challenges including executing full body paint make up on models and creating their own horror villain. Not only will the show incorporate effects make-up, it will include a wide range of skill sets including prosthetics, 3-D design, sculpting, eye enhancers, casting and molding. Each episode involves incredible reveals of the competitors’ finished work, and the drama of one contestant being sent home by the panel of expert and celebrity judges. It all culminates in one winner and one grand prize that will launch a career. To determine who emerges victorious, Syfy has signed three-time Academy Award winner Ve Neill (Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissorhands) and Hollywood veterans Glenn Hetrick (Heroes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files) and Patrick Tatopoulos (Underworld, Independence Day, Resident Evil: Extinction) as Face Off‘s judges.
Thursday, January 12th
Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, awards show at 8pm on VH1
– Actor/comedians Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer will host the 17th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards picked by the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA). Fitz and The Tantrums will also participate in the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, taking the stage as the evening’s house band, performing between awards and commercials. Hugo, Martin Scorsese‘s fantastical 3D trip back to Paris in the Roaring Twenties, and The Artist, the French silent film, lead this year’s nominees with 11 nods apiece. It will be a particularly big night for Scorsese, who is the only nominee who is guaranteed to be walking home at the end of the night with a trophy; the 69 year-old auteur is also being honored with this year’s Music + Film award. Trailing these two frontrunners are Drive and The Help, each of which racked up eight nominations; Drive landed noms for Best Picture, Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), and Best Supporting Actor (Albert Brooks), and The Help is up for Best Picture, Best Actress (Viola Davis), Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer) and Best Acting Ensemble. Following closely behind is The Descendants, which scored seven nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for George Clooney, Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director for Alexander Payne, and Best Supporting Actress and Best Young Actor/Actress for Shailene Woodley.
30 Rock, season premiere at 8pm on NBC
– NBC’s biggest Emmy award-winning comedy is back after an imposed fall hiatus to make way for new and tragically horrible series Whitney (seriously NBC???? Worst scheduling ever!!!!). 30 Rock is told through the comedic voice of Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner Tina Fey as variety show producer Liz Lemon and features Emmy and three-time Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin as top network executive Jack Donaghy and Emmy nominee Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan, the unpredictable star of Lemon’s hit variety show, TGS with Tracy Jordan. Lemon constantly has her hands full, juggling corporate interference from Donaghy and off-the-handle star antics from Jordan, all while attempting to salvage her own personal life. Also rounding out the cast are two-time Emmy nominee Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney, the co-star of TGS, Scott Adsit as the variety show’s producer Pete Hornberger, Emmy nominee Jack McBrayer as Kenneth, the over-eager and effortlessly endearing NBC page, Judah Friedlander as Frank, the sardonic slacker on the writing staff, and Keith Powell as Toofer, the sophisticated yet sarcastic, Harvard-alum writer.
Rob!, series premiere at 8:30pm on CBS
– CBS had a creativity lapse when naming its new comedy starring Rob Schneider as a lifelong bachelor who just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Rob is a successful landscape architect who, after a whirlwind romance, marries Maggie, a beautiful, smart book translator, who is way out of his league. After eloping in Las Vegas, Maggie and Rob must break the news to her overprotective, judgmental parents, Rosa and Fernando, that they are married. Shocked by news that they’ve eloped, the family remains skeptical of Maggie’s choice for a husband, with the exception of her uncle Hector, the black sheep of the family, who immediately declares himself Rob’s best friend. Rob hopes he will one day win over his new in-laws, aunts, uncles and Maggie’s Abuelita, and live happily ever after with his one true love, Maggie.
The Finder, series premiere at 9pm on FOX
– From the creator of the hit series Bones comes a quirky, one-hour procedural centering on a different kind of detective: a remarkable man with the extraordinary ability to help people find the unfindable. Iraq war veteran Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) gained a reputation in his army days as being the go-to guy for tracking down insurgents and deserters and finding improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Unfortunately one IED found Walter before he could find it, resulting in severe brain damage with a lasting and unexpected effect. Walter transformed from someone skilled at the standard recovery of people and things to someone much more extraordinary: a Finder. With this newly discovered “Finder Power,” Walter locates almost anything for just about anyone. Once he’s on a case, there’s no turning back until he’s found exactly what he’s looking for – whether that’s a dead body, a missing father, a guitar pick, a murder weapon or a pair of lucky socks.
Friday, January 13th
Blade, series premiere at 11pm on G4
– A new Marvel original anime series sinks its teeth into the G4 network with the premiere of Blade. Harold Perrineau voices Eric Brooks, the supernatural Daywalker known as Blade, making his animated series debut with more action, terrifying villains and bloodthirsty monsters than you’ve ever seen before. Blade’s mother was bitten by a vampire while pregnant, imbuing her unborn son with vampire strength and a thirst for blood, but without the vulnerability to sunlight. A master of weaponry with a desire to avenge the death of his mother, Blade finds himself in Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia in an effort to take down the evil villain, Deacon Frost. With vampire hunter Makoto at his side, they will stop at nothing to destroy Existence, a vampire organization with roots deeply embedded in Asia.
Saturday, January 14th
The 2012 Miss America Pageant, special from 9 to 11pm on ABC
– Returning hosts Chris Harrison (The Bachelor, The Bachelorette) and Brooke Burke-Charvet (Dancing with the Stars) will host the live telecast of the nation’s biggest beauty pageant from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Judges include dancer Mark Ballas (Dancing with the Stars), Emmy award-winning TV personality Raúl de Molina (El Gordo y la Flaca), TV and film producer Mike Fleiss (The Bachelor), producer and TV star Kris Jenner (Keeping Up With the Kardashians), actress Teri Polo (Meet the Parents), fitness guru Chris Powell (Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition) and TV news anchor Lara Spencer (Good Morning America) as head judge.