Sunday, January 13th
70th Annual Golden Globe Awards, live awards show from 8 to 11pm on NBC
– For the first time in four years, Ricky Gervais will not be hosting this glitzy, liquored-up ceremony. Much to everyone’s pleasure, he has been replaced for the NBC comedy power duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. This is not to mean that 2 ladies are needed to replace 1 men, but merely that these 2 women together are not to be beaten and are certain to provide the nonstop quips and entertainment we come to expect of the Golden Globes host. As for the actual films competing, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln leads all movies with seven Golden Globe nominations, including nods for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and Tommy Lee Jones, while Quentin Tarantino’s bloody revisionist western Django Unchained scored five nods, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz competing for best supporting actor. As for TV shows, Claire Danes is a shoe-in for her second straight consecutive win as the lead in Homeland. Homeland is also a front-runner for its second Globe for best drama against Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, and The Newsroom (Mad Men was surprisingly not nominated for the first time in forever).
Girls, season premiere at 9pm on HBO
– As bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as it was in its first season, Girls may now be even spunkier, funnier, and riskier. Creator Lena Dunham is making some moves. Her Hannah is dating Community‘s Donald Glover, and she has a new roommate, The New Normal‘s Andrew Rannells. Allison Williams’ Marnie is making a career change, and it turns out her mom is Rita Wilson. But guest stars aren’t the soul of this series; that belongs to Dunham’s depiction of young women at work and at play, and the ”dementos and slugs and weirdos” to whom they give their hearts.
Shameless, season premiere at 9pm on Showtime
– Oscar-nominated William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum star in this fiercely engaging and fearlessly twisted new series. Chicagoan Frank Gallagher (Macy) is the proud single dad of six smart, industrious, independent kids, who without him would be… perhaps better off. When Frank’s not at the bar spending what little money they have, he’s passed out on the floor. But the kids have found ways to grow up in spite of him. They may not be like any family you know, but they make no apologies for being exactly who they are. Last season, Frank and Monica rekindled their self-destructive relationship; Fiona (Rossum) was shocked when Steve arrived home with a Brazilian wife; Lip moved out of the house; Karen and Sheila tussled over Karen’s new husband Jody.
Enlightened, season premiere at 9:30pm on HBO
– Created by Mike White and Laura Dern, this half-hour comedy series centers on Amy Jellicoe (Dern), a well-intentioned employee of a Southern California corporation who, after flipping out and going to anger-management rehab, emerges with a singular, if at times misguided, mission to make her company more responsible. After presenting her research outlining Abaddonn Industries’ toxic sins – and being laughed out of the room – she strengthened her resolve to expose the company as a polluter and a bastion of corporate greed and corruption. Having convinced co-worker Tyler (White) to let her use his IT password to retrieve incriminating emails, Season 2 picks up with Amy immersed in gathering evidence against Abaddonn.
House of Lies, season premiere at 10pm on Showtime
– Charming, fast talking Marty Kaan (Oscar nominee Don Cheadle) and his crack team of management consultants know how to play the corporate game better than anyone, by using every dirty trick in the book to woo powerful CEOs and close huge deals. In the board rooms, barrooms, and bedrooms of the power elite, corruption is business as usual and everyone’s out for themselves first. Nothing is sacred in this scathing, irreverent satire of corporate America today. Last season, Marty and his co-workers schemed to halt an unpopular merger between their firm and a former client; Jeannie (Kristen Bell) struggled to balance her demanding job and her personal life; and Marty and Monica sparred over who will raise Roscoe while also engaging in some very inappropriate sexual moments.
Monday, January 14th
The Carrie Diaries, series premiere at 8pm on The CW
– This Sex and the City prequel for teens rewinds the clock to 1984 when life wasn’t easy for 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb, “Soul Surfer”). Since their mother passed away, Carrie’s younger sister Dorrit (Stefania Owen, “The Lovely Bones”) is more rebellious than ever, and their father Tom is overwhelmed with the responsibility of suddenly having to care for two teenage girls on his own. Carrie’s friends – sweet, geeky Mouse, snarky Maggie and sensitive Walt – make life bearable, but a suburban life in Connecticut isn’t doing much to take her mind off her troubles. Even the arrival of a sexy new transfer student named Sebastian only reminds Carrie that she spent the whole summer grieving rather than moving on with life. So when Tom offers Carrie the chance to intern at a law firm in Manhattan, she leaps at the chance. Carrie’s eyes are opened wide at the glamour and grit of New York City – and when she meets Larissa, the style editor for Interview magazine, she’s inspired by the club culture and unique individuals that make up Larissa’s world. Carrie’s friends and family may have a big place in her heart, but she’s fallen in love for the first time with the most important man in her life – Manhattan.
Tuesday, January 15th
Pioneers of Television, season premiere at 8pm on PBS
– Pioneers of Television returns to PBS for a third season featuring all new stories of the visionaries who shaped a fledgling medium with their creativity, foresight and wisdom. They were the stars of the small screen in the early years of television, and much of the nation came to a halt whenever their shows aired. They strolled, sprinted, fought, laughed, cried and loved through worlds that took viewers to places past, present and future. As the originators of these innovative television formats, they provided an essential escape for millions of viewers who eagerly waited to watch them each week. The premiere episode “Funny Ladies” features the first standup comediennes to appear on television, including Joan Rivers and the late Phyllis Diller (whose final interview was for this episode). Funny Ladies also looks at Lucille Ball’s breakthrough on I Love Lucy and the sitcom stars who followed, including Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White and Marla Gibbs. Also, television’s most beloved variety star, Carol Burnett, reveals the behind-the-scenes story of her long running show. Narrated by Ryan Seacrest, the episode features interviews with contemporary actresses Tina Fey and Margaret Cho.
REDRUM, series premiere at 10pm on Investigation Discovery
– When it comes to murder, no detective starts their search at the beginning of the crime. Rather, a murder investigation always begins with the body, after the deed is done. It is up to the police to piece together the story, moving backwards in time until they arrive at the root of the crime. In ID’s new series REDRUM, viewers follow the backwards tale of murder from false motives and mistaken witnesses to conversations taken completely out of context, until the truth finally comes out at the very end.
Second Generation Wayans, series premiere a 10:30pm on BET
– Second Generation Wayans is a hilarious new scripted comedy based on the lives of the members of the next generation of the Wayans family. Being a Wayans isn’t all fun and games. Viewers see the good, the funny and the ugly as the young trio emerges from the long shadows of their uncles to carve out their own paths to stardom in Hollywood.
Wednesday, January 16th
American Idol, season premiere at 8pm on FOX
– When American Idol’s 12th season debuts, superstar judge Mariah Carey – the best-selling female recording artist of all time – and returning judge Randy Jackson (he’s STILL here?!?!?!), a Grammy Award-winning producer whose expertise and beloved persona have been instrumental in discovering Idol talent from the beginning, will be joined by two new judges: quadruple-platinum singer, songwriter, rapper and fashion icon Nicki Minaj; and Keith Urban, a four-time Grammy Award winner who has sold more than 15 million albums.
Kroll Show, series premiere at 10:30pm on Comedy Central
– From the unique mind of Nick Kroll comes a new sketch series, Kroll Show, satirizing our television obsessed culture and the rabid fan base it breeds. Kroll has built a loyal following through his stand-up and roles on shows such as Community, Childrens Hospital and Parks and Rec. His scene-stealing turn on the FX comedy The League playing sardonic dry-witted lawyer, Rodney Ruxin proved to be his most popular role to date. On Kroll Show, fans will get the opportunity to watch Nick transform himself into characters as varied as stand-up favorites Bobby Bottleservice and Fabrice Fabrice to half of the power team of “The PubLIZity Girls,” with Jenny Slate. More than just a collection of sketches, Kroll Show, is about giving Nick’s fans a chance to see his of-the-moment take on pop culture, sports news, nightclub culture and what defines celebrity with characters and storylines that recur throughout the season.
Thursday, January 17th
King of the Nerds, series premiere at 10pm on TBS
– Hosted by Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong, King of the Nerds is the ultimate nerd-off (as in why didn’t I get the casting call for this show?!?!). The series will follow eleven fierce competitors from across the nerd spectrum as they set out to win $100,000 and be crowned the greatest nerd of them all. King of the Nerds will take the glory of geekdom to a whole new level as the eleven competitors live together in “Nerdvana.” Each week, they must face challenges that will test their intellect, ingenuity, skills and pop culture prowess. In each episode, the nerds will first compete as teams and then as individuals, facing challenges that range from live gaming to a dance-off to life-sized chess. One competitor will be eliminated each week until one nerd stands alone as the ultimate champion off all things nerdy.
Archer, season premiere at 10pm on FX
– Archer is an animated, half-hour comedy that revolves around the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) and the lives of its employees. Although their work of espionage, reconnaissance missions, wiretapping and undercover surveillance is daunting and dangerous, every covert operation and global crisis is actually just another excuse for the ISIS staff to undermine, sabotage and betray each other for personal gain. The series features the voices of H. Jon Benjamin as the highly skilled and incredibly vain master spy Sterling Archer; Aisha Tyler as Archer’s fellow agent and ex-girlfriend “Lana Kane;” Jessica Walter as Archer’s domineering mother and the director of ISIS, “Malory Archer;” Chris Parnell as the easily intimidated comptroller-turned ISIS agent “Cyril Figgis;” Judy Greer as Malory’s loquacious secretary, “Cheryl;” Amber Nash as the discordant director of human resources for ISIS, “Pam Poovey;” Adam Reed as the gay voice of reason at ISIS, “Ray Gillette;” Lucky Yates as ISIS’s possibly mad scientist, “Krieger;” and George Coe as Archer’s elderly and always exploited butler, “Woodhouse.”
Newsreaders, series premiere at midnight on Adult Swim
– This Childrens Hospital spin-off is a satire of the network television newsmagazine genre and explores the vital issues that actually don’t affect us every day, from hard-hitting investigations to harder-hitting heartwarming profiles.
Friday. January 18th
Best Week Ever, series premiere at 10pm on VH1
– Best Week Ever is a free-wheeling and funny review of the most entertaining news and pop culture stories of the previous seven days hosted by the hilarious Paul F. Tompkins and friends. Since its debut, the show’s signature blend of comedy and commentary has become can’t-miss TV viewing for pop culture junkies and casual viewers alike.
Real Time With Bill Maher, season premiere at 10pm on HBO
– Comedian and political satirist Bill Maher returns for the 11th season of his weekly HBO talk show. Real Time features a panel of guests who discuss current events in politics and the media.
Saturday, January 19th
Prosecuting Casey Anthony, TV-movie premiere from 8 to 10pm on Lifetime
– Following his terrifically creepy turn as crooked cop/murderer Drew Peterson in last year’s Lifetime movie, Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation) is back with another ripped-from-the-headlines docudrama. Lowe portrays Jeff Ashton, the Florida prosecutor in the controversial Caylee Anthony murder trial and author of the best-selling book “Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony”, upon which the movie is based. Prosecuting Casey Anthony reveals Ashton’s inside story of the true crime drama that captivated and then shocked the nation when Caylee Anthony’s mother, Casey, was acquitted of killing her daughter, despite what many thought to be overwhelming evidence of guilt. The movie is seen from Ashton’s (Lowe) perspective and it takes viewers behind-the-scenes of both the investigation into Caylee’s tragic death and the ensuing trial, shedding new light on the many questions of what happened to the two year-old girl, how Ashton and his fellow prosecutors built their case and why a woman so shrouded in suspicion was proclaimed innocent. With in-depth information about the case and the accused, Prosecuting Casey Anthony examines what the prosecution got right, what they got wrong and why Ashton remains convinced of Casey Anthony’s guilt. Even though you come away with no new insight into the case, the fine performances by Lowe, Revolution’s Elizabeth Mitchell (as another prosecutor) and The Office’s Oscar Nunez (as Anthony’s lawyer) make this TV movie far more compelling than you’d expect.