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< Entertainment

2013 Pilot List


ABC:
-DRAMAS-

A beautiful but unhappily married female photographer begins a torrid affair with a lawyer for a powerful family. When he turns out to be defending a murder suspect who is being prosecuted by her husband, the relationship and the case begin a spiraling series of betrayals with cataclysmic results for everyone involved.

A former cop who's now a cunning, but charming low-rent lawyer uses his street smarts to work the system for his clients while battling his own demons and wooing his ex-wife.

When a brilliant, late 19th century New York doctor and his family are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relocate to a frontier mining town run by a powerful but mysterious tycoon, they quickly realize that not everything in Big Thunder is as it seems.

A sexy gothic soap set in present day that weaves together a mythology that incorporates the legends of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray among others.

Provocative workplace ensemble centered on the complicated relationship between two brothers who head a unique agency designed to attack their clients’ problems using the real science of human motivation and manipulation.

It's hard to fit in when you're the only woman in the notoriously male Texas Rangers, but that doesn't stop Molly Parker - our ballsy, beautiful badass who knows how to get to the truth and isn't afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Based on the Argentine series "Mujeres Asesinas."

A show about seven employees of a service station in Queens whose lives are changed in many unexpected ways when they win a lottery jackpot.

Hour long dramedy set in NYC centering on a mother and daughter who team up as amateur sleuths.

When his wife is unjustly imprisoned during a political uprising overseas, resourceful problem solver David desperately pursues every legal option to secure her release. But when he’s stymied by the U.S. government in the name of diplomacy, David is forced to consider less-than-legal options – entering a world of political intrigue, dangerous alliances and high emotional stakes as he crafts an elaborate scheme to do what our government cannot: topple a brutal dictator and bring his wife home. Inspired by real events.

What happens when the people you have mourned and buried suddenly appear on your doorstep as if not a day’s gone by? The lives of the people of Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones, return. Based on a novel by Jason Mott.

Based on the fictional and secret law-enforcement agency in the Marvel Universe.

A soap about the haves and the have-nots of California’s most seductive city, Venice. It will focus on two rival families and a forbidden and dangerous romance emerging between them as the two families battle for control of Venice.

-COMEDIES-

A slightly self-centered female boss at a high end luxury goods department store finds her ways challenged when the boss's son comes to town and makes youth and sex the new company focus.

A multi-camera comedy revolving around Kenny and Robin, a recently divorced couple, who were bad together but discover they’re even worse apart and can’t seem to stay out of each others’ lives. Based on the Israeli format, "Life Isn’t Everything."

A middle-aged mother is fed up with feeling invisible and begins to speak up and demand the respect she feels she’s earned.

Set in the world of a sexy Manhattan bar, the high-concept comedy from the writers of “The Hangover” chronicles the exploits of singles in search of love– all over the course of one night.

The story of three dysfunctional women in their 30s living their lives the way they want, even if society tells them they should have it all figured out by this point.

A well-intentioned father of a highly intelligent and verbal son, who also happens to be his complete opposite, inadvertently takes a job at the secret service in order to prove himself a worthy father.

Kimmie and her two best friends since high school have an awesome Friday night tradition of staying home in their pj’s and hanging out with each other, but when Kimmie gets a big promotion at her law firm and is invited to a party by the cute transfer from the London office, she realizes that she needs to step-up her game and convince her friends to take Super Fun Night on the road.

Reformed party girl Kate (Malin Akerman) finds herself with an insta-family when she falls in love with a man, Brad (Bradley Whitford) with three manipulative kids and two judgmental ex-wives.


CBS:
-DRAMAS-

A female lawyer and a male ex-con team up as “victim advocates,” going to the very edge of the law to right wrongs and fight for the underdog.

A criminal psychologist with expertise in sociopaths partners with a young female detective with whom he shares a conflicted past.

Drama based on the Swedish book series about an overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior.

Continuation of the movie franchise, centered around Axel Foley’s police officer son, who takes down the criminal elements of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills.

A family is caught in the middle of a grand political conspiracy that will change their lives forever.

The son of a Kennedy-esque family leaves the priesthood and becomes a lawyer to prevent his politician sister from being assassinated.

Medical show centered around America’s doctor: the Surgeon General of the United States.

The planted spinoff, which will air this spring as an episode of "NCIS: Los Angeles," will follow a small mobile team of agents, who are forced to live and work together, as they crisscross the country solving crimes.

Based on the UK series of the same name by Paula Milne, SECOND SIGHT is a gothic psychological thriller about a detective who is suddenly afflicted with an autoimmune virus that causes hallucinations reflective of his subconscious.

"Intelligence" is centered at US Cyber Command, and focuses on a unit that has been created around one agent with a very special gift, a microchip that has been implanted in his brain that allows him to access the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Sultry legal show set in Charleston, South Carolina, where a gorgeous Yankee litigator and a Southern City Attorney struggle to hide their intense attraction while clashing over a police sex scandal.

-COMEDIES-

Based on the film, a sexy, foul-mouthed divorcee becomes a teacher to find her next husband.

Father/daughter workplace single-camera half-hour comedy set in the world of advertising.

A young guy finds camaraderie living among the more experienced guys he meets in a short-term rental complex.

A group of 30-something friends who each think the other has it better.

Patrick Warburton stars as a beloved, recently retired baseball player finds that adjusting to retirement isn't as easy as he thought it'd be.

A newly sober single mom tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley.

Family comedy about a loud, sports-crazed Boston clan.

A meek, unassuming fast food worker decides to become a super hero. Single camera.


CW:
-DRAMAS-

Warm, quirky, humorous drama about a family whose lives are forever changed, for better and worse, when the patriarch has a car accident resulting in a coma-like syndrome where he cannot speak or move, but can see and hear all. His narration and fantasy sequences emanating from his mind provide context and a wry counterpoint to the stories and conflicts of the family and his own situation.

A scandal at a Naval base in Virginia touches the lives of both civilians and military personnel in the area, launching us into a multigenerational, multi-class, family and relationship series centered around two early 20-something women who grew up together, were once best friends, but now are on opposite sides of the Townie/Military divide.

97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, a spaceship housing the lone human survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet. Based upon the forthcoming "The Hundred" book series (initial two-book order), written by Kass Morgan and published by Little, Brown.

The upcoming "Vampire Diaries" episode airing April 25 would serve to set-up a potential new series in consideration for next season centering on the Original family, as Klaus returns to the supernatural melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans -- a town he helped build centuries ago -- and is reunited with his diabolical former protégé, Marcel. Elijah, intent on helping his self-destructive brother find redemption, must side with Marcel's enemies in order to keep Klaus in line.

Passion and politics threaten the peace and an epic romance ignites between a human girl and an alien boy when he and eight others of his kind (The Orion 9) are integrated into a suburban high school ten years after they and hundreds of others landed on Earth and were immediately consigned to an internment camp where they've been imprisoned ever since.

The previously unknown and untold story of Mary Queen of Scots' rise to power when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis, and with her three best friends as ladies-in-waiting. The secret history of survival at French Court, amidst fierce foes, dark forces, and a world of sexual intrigue.

Set 300 years in the future, an epic romance centering on a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the Royal Prince's hand to become the nationís next queen. Balancing her loyalty to family, true love, and kingdom, she must attempt to remain true to herself as she navigates the cutthroat competition and palace intrigue, all while a budding rebellion threatens to topple the crown. Based on the book by Kiera Cass.

Based on the original UK series, "The Tomorrow People" is the story of several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution, possessing special powers, including the ability to teleport and communicate with each other telepathically. Together, they work to defeat the forces of evil.


Fox:
-DRAMAS-

Focuses on the usual, everyday drama surrounding a family business – except this family is in the business of executing hits as assassins for the U.S. government.

Based on the best-selling trilogy set in a world where love is deemed illegal; where it can easily be eradicated with a special procedure. With 95 days until her scheduled treatment, Lena Holoway does the unthinkable – she falls in love.

A gang member sent in to infiltrate the San Francisco Police Department must rise through its ranks and balance his obligations to his crime family and an increasing sense of obligation to his new "family" – the SFPD's Gang Task Force.

An action-packed buddy cop show, set in the near future, when all LAPD officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids.

Centers on U.S. Marshal Dan Shaker, who leads the hunt for the person who stole “the list” – a file with the identities of every member in the Federal Witness Security Program – after those in the program begin popping up dead.

Follows the chaotic and comedic life of criminal defense lawyer Keegan Joye. Brilliant, frustratingly charming, and with zero filter, Keegan is one of life’s greatest addicts. In addition to Keegan’s cases within the justice system, the show follows his personal trials and tribulations, including his ongoing battle against the IRS, his mounting debt to his bookie, overlapping affairs and liaisons with women, a hormonal son, an exhausted ex-wife and the evolving relationship between his two married best friends, Ben and Scarlet.

Follows Ichabod Crane as he partners with Sleepy Hollow’s local female sheriff to solve the mysteries of a town ravaged by the battle between good and evil.

“ER,” “The West Wing,” and “Top Gun” collide in this young ensemble about the working men and women on board a US Aircraft Carrier. Equipped with a 500-foot landing strip, a nuclear reactor and 6000 souls on board, “WILD BLUE” is an upstairs/downstairs look at pressure-cooker lives of the US Navy.

-COMEDIES-


Two successful guys in their 30s have their world turned upside down when their dads move in with them.

After being in combat for several years, Pete is stationed at a military base in Florida to tackle the toughest job of them all -- leading his dysfunctional brothers’ squad.

Follows the long distance budding romance of a couple whose romantic relationship is constantly disrupted by their friends and family.

A neurotic family with contempt for all things normal tries their best to fit into their small Midwest town where everyone knows each other and politeness reigns.

Revolves around assistants at a big New York law firm who band together as a family to help each other cope with the obnoxious, overbearing bosses who test their sanity on a daily basis.

Two star-crossed lovers, Nick & Jenny, must content with Nick’s family strong dislike of Jenny – the woman who left Nick at the altar 7 years ago.


NBC:
-DRAMAS-

More "M*A*S*H" than "ER" in tone, the show follows the San Antonio hospital night shift from 7pm to 7am and irreverent doctors who bring humor and rock-n-roll energy to the chaotic Level One Trauma Center, a hot zone for the worst and the weirdest cases. Led by adrenaline junkie T.C., these doctors aren't your fresh-faced med school graduates. The team is composed of rogue ex-Army surgeons who have seen it all in the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.

An unlikely relationship develops between a young girl with a gift and a man sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evil elements that hunt her power.

The world's most wanted criminal mysteriously turns himself in and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with. His only condition is he will only work with a newly minted FBI agent with whom he seemingly has no connection.

"Bloodline" is a pulpy, highly stylized, thrill ride that catapults the viewer into the cheeky world of Bird Benson, a smart, irreverent and strong young girl who, due to an accident of birth, finds herself caught in the middle of an epic struggle between two warrior families set against the backdrop of modern suburbia.

A startling death re-ignites the feud between these two legendary families, now in modern-day Pittsburgh.

"I Am Victor," based on Jo Nesbo's forthcoming novel, is about Victor Port, an iconoclastic divorce attorney who helps clients embrace the hope and possibilities in their new lives. The series offers a modern look at love, marriage and relationships through the eyes of LA's most sought-after divorce attorney.

A tough, sexy but acerbic police detective relegated to a wheelchair after a shooting is hardly limited by his disability as he pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases in the city.

Secrets and lies within a tightly woven group of three couples and their families in the idyllic community of Saddle Hills, Calif.

Based on the best-selling Oni Press graphic novel, this supernatural western follows the story of 6 mythical guns, each with its own other-worldly powers.

Seven years ago Clara's life took an unexplained turn for the worse, but a mysterious stranger tells her there may be an explanation after all ... an explanation that lies in the fantastical world of Wonderland. Determined to revive her dreams and get her life back on track, Clara agrees to wage war against the reigning but malevolent Queen, the woman we once knew as Alice.

-COMEDIES-

Comedy centering on a bachelor whose primary goal in life is avoiding any kind of responsibility until he meets a geeky young boy.

Comedy following an idealistic assistant, and her daily efforts to try to find balance in her life as she strives to please her larger than life boss.

Stories from Brenda Miller's past and present are interwoven to give a unique portrait of how a chubby, awkward, but incredibly confident 13-year-old grew up to be a 31-year-old woman who still marches to the beat of her own drum.

Comedy centering on a man trying to move to next stage in life only to discover he's already there, since he's got children from early life sperm donations. Kids belong to a widow trying to get life together and her lesbian neighbors.

A raw look at the awkward, political, and intense world of elementary school drop-off, where the other parents -- love them or hate them -- are somehow forced to be your new best friends.

After almost two decades, a 34-year-old woman wakes up from a coma to find out she has a 17-year-old daughter from a pregnancy she was unaware of when her life was put on hold.

Ensemble comedy about a group of friends whose lives completely change after they survive a plane crash.

A conflict-avoidant children's book author caught in an ongoing tug of war between two needy, flawed people: his wife and his co-author/ best friend. "Mad About You" with three people; it's not about a couple, it's about a trouple.

Multi-cam young ensemble centering on a group of friends dubbed the "Undateables" whose lives are altered when a more confident guy enters their world.

Cultures collide when a white family and a Latino family are bonded together by their children who fall in love followed quickly by an unplanned pregnancy.

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Jump to MondayJump to TuesdayJump to WednesdayJump to ThursdayJump to FridayJump to SaturdayJump to SundayTV Cal TOC-bg2 2012-2013

There once was a time when TV’s midseason schedule was largely a hodgepodge of half-hearted attempts to fill empty timeslots vacated by failed fall shows and burn off series commitments that had gone awry.

Oh, how times change.

The 2013 midseason lineup offers a staggering array of compelling choices for the discriminating viewer, from returning hits amping things up to fall freshman series hitting their stride to brand new series with attention-catching concepts and/or promising pedigrees. Dive into our sampling of what your TV – and even your video streaming services – has to offer to keep you entertained well into springtime, and delve even deeper into the shows that capture your fancy by building out their Wikia landscapes and sharing info with your fellow fanatics.

MONDAY

8:00pm

  • Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
  • 90210 (CW)
  • Bones (Fox)
  • The Voice (NBC)
  • The Carrie Diaries (CW)
    Sex and the City’s central character gets the Smallville treatment: teenage Carrie Bradshaw on her maiden foray in her soon-to-be-beloved New York in the ‘80s. “I really saw this as an origin story,” says executive producer Amy B. Harris, a writer on the iconic HBO series. “I wanted to meet her before she had sex, before she fell in love, and before she met Manhattan, so for me the fun of it was, ‘Let's get to those things. Let's set her on those paths.’ Manhattan was such a huge part of it, I really wanted to explore that in the first season.”

    AnnSophia Robb assumes the Carrie role from Sarah Jessica Parker, hoping to make it her own – and vice versa: “My character is a combination of the books, the script, what I'm bringing to the role, Amy's vision for the character, and myself,” says Robb. “And as we go on, I feel like I'm becoming more like Carrie, or Carrie is becoming more like me.” Despite veering from the established canon (Carrie’s raised by her widowed father in this telling), the show has the blessing of SJP herself. “She sent me a very lovely note encouraging me and telling me how excited she was and how dear the part was to her, so that was huge!” says the relieved Robb.

    If you haven't checked it out yet, read more about what happened in the premiere to catch up!

8:30pm

9:00pm

  • Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
  • 2 Broke Girls (CBS)
  • The Mob Doctor (Fox)
  • The Voice (NBC)
  • The Following (Fox)
    Creator Kevin Williamson’s tense thriller surrounding FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) he previously incarcerated who’s assembled a cult of copycats from prison promises “an escalation” of its Silence of the Lambs-style scenario. “Here's this guy who is not only just this madman and sort of evil personified, at his core he's also a teacher – and a very good teacher who’s found a way to assimilate some students to do his bidding,” says Williamson. “The fun of the show is watching week-to-week what he's up to and how is Ryan Hardy going to get ahead of it – the FBI is constantly chasing their tail a little bit because they don't realize how insidious and how large and how wide the story is. And, of course, Ryan Hardy will get ahead of it.” With its violent and frightening sequences, Williamson admits the show’s “not for the faint of heart – you have to kind of look away. But it's not the sum of the show: There's also drama and emotion and a lot of other things running through it.”

    Bacon agrees there’s a deeper current of humanity to explore: “In a lot of ways, Kevin Williamson is kind of a softy. He's really interested in the love story and in the personal struggles that my character has had before that really has to do with the human aspect of the show.”
  • Defiance (Syfy)
    An unprecedented fusion of scripted television and video gaming, Syfy’s high-concept series – in which Earth of the future where extraterrestrial refugees the Votans attempted to take the planet by force, but left it a hostile environment for both aliens and humans – offers two ways to become immersed in its dystopian landscape. “The Trion game has its own narrative and storylines, and our show has its own dramatic storytelling needs,” says executive producer Kevin Murphy of the crossover formats, which will affect one another in various ways. “If you choose to partake of both, because we exist in a shared universe with dual entrances, you get a richer, fuller, more nuanced experience.”

    Grant Bowler plays Nolan, who takes the role of sheriff in the former St. Louis, now a refugee camp called Defiance, where he hopes to civilize his Votan-born foster daughter/deputy. “He's one of the few people in Defiance who remember the world before all of this happened, and those that remember seem to be scarred by that memory,” says Bowler. “Maybe by saving this girl, who is as scarred and seems as irretrievable as he is, he can save himself. He decides to hitch his wagon to Defiance, probably more for her sake than his own – but there's also his own potential to become a person in the world again, which he hasn't been for a very long time.”

    Interested? Learn more about the show and the video game now!

9:30pm

10:00pm

  • Castle (ABC)
  • Hawaii Five-O
  • Revolution (NBC)
    “We pick up exactly where we leave off,” says executive producer Eric Kripke of the post-apocalyptic hit’s return after a lengthy hiatus. “We don't take away that card that we gave as the cliffhanger: Monroe does have choppers, and he does have a limited form of power. Giving him power was more about making him an unstoppable force: Our heroes are totally out-manned and overwhelmed as they're trying to battle against him.” The series airs new episodes every week straight through the rest of the season, and the brief production hiatus that allowed the creative team to tweak its tempo going into the back end. “I felt like we could pick up the pace of the stunning revelations,” says Kripke. “We start to deliver officially on the promise of the title and the revolution really begins. The story becomes about can this family – some of them are related by blood, some of them are just related by loyalty – stick together in the face of overwhelming odds and overwhelming danger? And can you maintain your soul when you're a warrior?”

    Star Billy Burke admits he sometimes feels more like a playground gladiator. “We don't have the luxury of a lot of training time, “ he says. “I literally get some of those fight sequences on the day of shooting, and I kind of like doing it that way – it's gotten me back in touch with my inner 8 year old.”
  • Psycho (A&E)
    Think of it as “Psycho Begins.” The A&E series sets back the clock on director Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller to explore the formative years of Norman Bates – and, of course, his mother. “The idea of doing a contemporary prequel made it clear that what we were doing was something that was inspired by Psycho but not an homage to Psycho, and that was a big difference to us,” says executive producer Carlton Cuse (Lost). “We want the audience to fall in love with these characters, and yet we know their inevitable fates. And that tension of knowing and seeing how they get there was something that we as storytellers just thought was really compelling.”

    Star Vera Farmiga finds her character Norma Bates “riddled with contradiction: She's as strong and tall as an oak and as fragile as a butterfly – she's an absolute train wreck and a magnet.”

    As for Norman himself, “it doesn't give anything away to say that he'll go on to be psycho – but is that necessarily because of his upbringing?” wonders star Freddie Highmore. “It's that argument between nature versus nurture: Is he who he is and will he always become the person that he will become, or is it because they move to this dodgy town and there's a close, intimate relationship between Norma and Norman? And that challenges the audience to think, well, if I had had the upbringing that Norman had had, would I be slightly different?” At this point Highmore can’t resist evoking Anthony Perkins’ famous line: “We all go a little mad sometimes.”


TUESDAY

8:00pm

  • Dancing With the Stars Results Show (ABC)
  • NCIS (CBS)
  • Hart of Dixie (CW)
  • Raising Hope (Fox)
  • The Voice (NBC)
  • Pretty Little Liars (ABCFamily)
    Brace yourself for another season of shifting allegiances and surprise revelations as the mystery of Alison’s murder and the identity of the enigmatic “A” continues to unfold in a fourth season where no one can be trusted. “There are still so many mysteries and so many unknowns in Rosewood, says star Troian Bellisario. “All of these things were brought to a new level: Is Toby a part of the ‘A’ Team? Is that because he's good or because he's bad?’ This whole season really has been a lot of shocking moments for all of the actors, even for our own characters – like, ‘Oh, whoa – I'm going to do THAT?’"

    Executive producer Oliver Goldstick teases one twist: “We know that Jason's been dubious since he arrived in Rosewood. The fact that Mona has any relationship with him should be alarming, particularly to our girls because Jason has become someone who's earned particularly Spencer's trust. So they will have some alliance – we can't tell you really right now what it's about, but it will be an alliance.”

    The “A” story will always drive the series, notes executive producer I. Marlene King, but plan for plenty of satisfying revelations along the way. “We have mysteries within the big mystery, and we do give answers all the time and we give very credible clues to figuring out who “A” is. Giving little bits and pieces of the puzzle up to you along the way seems to be enough to satisfy the fans.”

8:30pm

9:00pm

  • Happy Endings (ABC)
  • New Girl (Fox)
  • Go On (NBC)
  • NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
  • Cult (CW)
    The CW’s new series intends to challenge viewers by intertwining sequences from the main premise – a journalist (Matthew Davis) investigates the mysterious disappearance of his brother, which appears tied to a TV series with an all-too-rabid fan base that isn’t entirely fictional – with segments from the show within a show. Creator Rockne S. O’Bannon drew from his own experience on Farscape, witnessing “incredible fan passion for a show and the ability of fans to find each other through social media and connect. It started me thinking what if the show were something with a little bit darker edge, and what kind of fans would that then draw?” “Multi-tiered” is a buzzword: “Episodes have a contained story themselves, and there is a season-long arc that has a conclusion,” says O’Bannon, “and then there's the series-long story that plays out.”

    “Meta” is another adjective, admits star Robert Knepper, who plays the dangerous cult leader Billy Grimm: “I get to act out now what I've gone through playing a monster on Prison Break, with people realizing, ‘Oh, he's an actor – he's playing this part.’ It was great to have art imitating life for me: I thought, ‘How easy can that be?’”

    We've got some predictions about what's coming in this new show, but share your own ideas with us!

9:30pm

10:00pm

  • Vegas (CBS)
    The second half of the freshman drama’s season will focus on a brand new force looking to cash in on the wild early days of Sin City. “It turns out there is even a more menacing force than the East Coast mobsters coming in, and that is Hollywood invading Vegas,” says executive producer Greg Walker. “From the bosses of a studio to starlets staying here to people who are keeping their mistress here for weekends to even worse – if you think the casino and the mob are bad, wait until you see the MGM police in 1960. You start to see the infusion as Hollywood comes to Vegas in the form of entertainment, girls, dancers, prostitutes and the way that not only presents problems for Vincent Savino in trying to manage that as it comes in there, but also for Sheriff Lamb as he sees his family swept up in the vortex of that corruption.”

    Agrees star Dennis Quaid: “My side of the street is getting a little dirty because of all the influx of these different cultures that are coming into Las Vegas.”
  • Parenthood (NBC)
  • Golden Boy (CBS)Startwikibutton 02
    “Our show is the story of the rocky path of a rookie homicide detective on his way to becoming the youngest police commissioner in the history of New York City,” says executive producer Nicholas Wooten, telling the tale of the “ferociously ambitious” William Walter Clark, Jr., so caught up in career ascent that he may make some regrettable compromises along the way, as well as bids for redemption: viewers see him at both ends of his journey, at age 26 and age 34. “I love a story where you know the end, because it instantly makes it about the characters and the prices paid,” says Wooten, who calls the show “a complicated story about a young, tough son of a bitch who ends up at a very lofty position, but at the same times pays a lot along the way.”

    Star Theo James says he expects the back-and-forth between Clark and his seasoned, grounded partner (Chi McBride) to humanize his character. “They’re teaching each other,” says James. “Chi’s this old guy who’s kind of given up and I’m bringing out the best in him, and he’s tempering my central morality.”
  • Justified (FX)
    Instead of another season-long “big bad” villain, Raylan Givens contends with a mystery derived from genuine criminal lore. “There's an old story I'd heard that's nicknamed ‘The Bluegrass Conspiracy,’” says executive producer Graham Yost. “It involved someone whose parachute didn't work and they landed somewhere in the South with a lot of cocaine on them. That sparked something in us: What could have happened 30 years ago that would have an impact on events today?’ We really thought that would be a fun thing to try this year.” The season’s initial offerings have spread the breadcrumbs to central conundrum. “We try to do episodes a little more standalone at the first part of the season and then get into the big story for the second half, so by the fifth episode, everything is pretty much focused on that,” says Yost. “The mystery actually gets solved in the ninth episode, but then there are problems that come from the solving of it, and that plays out for the rest of the season.”

    Timothy Olyphant is pleased that Raylan retains his mystique four seasons in. “The key is to try to figure out how to throw rocks at that guy and how to make the situation complicated enough that that character remains a mystery and remains interesting,” he says. “I can't tell you what a lovely thing it is to still find the job so terrifically entertaining and engaging.”
  • Smash (NBC)
    Much like a real Broadway musical after a try-out run, some fine-tuning has been implemented in the second season by new showrunner Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl). “The stuff from last year that you loved is still there, and the stuff from last year that maybe some people thought went off on tangents we looked at and we tried to find a way to circle back together,” says Safran. “But it still is the same Smash – just maybe bigger, with more music, a little bit younger in some regards with some of our new cast members. I hope the people who watch it still see the same show that they loved.” A host of big-name guest stars of show-stopping status will be upping the star wattage, including Liza Minelli, Bernadette Peters, Sean Hayes and Jennifer Hudson, who has a multi-episode arc. “It's fun on a show like this where you can widen the worldview and show performers from other shores or bring in Broadway actors to play characters related to our cast.”

    There are some fresh faces among the regular cast as well. “I play Kyle Bishop, a young, broke writer in Brooklyn and Jeremy's writing partner,” says new addition Andy Mientus. “We're working together on the show Hit List, the new sort of off off-Broadway fringe-y, edgy show. I don't actually play a performer, but they did find a clever sort of way for me to get to sing because I am a singer as well.”

    Check out the speculations we have about Season 2! What do you think is going to happen this season on Smash?


WEDNESDAY

8:00pm

  • The Middle (ABC)
  • Arrow (CW)
  • Survivor (CBS)
  • The X-Factor (Fox)
  • American Idol (Fox)
    Joining the judging panel of TV’s biggest phenomenon gave even the boldest pop star pause, even up to contract-signing day. “I was still not 100 percent sold because I felt like the American Idol brand is so big that you can't do it unless you commit fully,” says Nicki Minaj. “[But] I was like, ‘I'm never going to get the opportunity to be a part of something this big.’ I know it's really going to create a superstar, and I wanted to have a part in that.”

    Her fellow new judge Keith Urban says he’s come to understand the importance of difficult but honest assessment. “The fuel for the fire for an artist is often not the people who believe in us and tell us positive things,” says the country star. “It's often the people who said, ‘You'll never do this. You can't do that.’ Those people have actually been far more influential in my motivation to achieve things. So hopefully the way in which we say no is done in a way where it's not brutal or cold or callous – it's just being truthful for an artist that's gotta hear it.”

    Pop diva Mariah Carey, the third newbie, says the occasional clashes between the judging panel won’t get in the way of its mission. “It's American Idol – it’s bigger than all of that,” says Carey. “I think it's about the next huge talent, the superstar that will come from this show.”

    Veteran panelist Randy Jackson says the friction is actually a good thing. “It's that passion,” he enthuses. “That's what you want from the judges because we're all passionate about these kids.”

8:30pm

9:00pm

9:30pm

10:00pm

  • American Horror Story (FX)
  • Nashville (ABC)
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
  • Chicago Fire (NBC)
  • The Americans (FX)
    Delve inside the world of Cold War espionage at its height, viewed through the eyes of a married couple (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) secretly serving as KGB sleeper agents in 1980s Washington D.C. “The marriage is an allegory for the international relations,” says executive producer Joel Fields, “and the international relations are an allegory for marriage.”

    Creator Joe Weisberg, a former CIA operative, tailored his personal observations to suit the Reagan Era, training the actors in actual clandestine “tradecraft,” zeroing in on the human ramifications while opening a window on the enemy mindset. “If you tried to tell a story like this about al-Qaeda now, it would be completely impossible,” says Weisberg. “It would have been the same about the Soviets even 10 years after the Cold War. But I think enough time has passed now that people are willing to look into their hearts and see them as people we can understand.”

    Russell’s as focused on the intense physical demands as the psychological aspects, recalling a recent stunt: “The guy who I kicked in the head could see that I was nervous to do it, grabbed me and said, ‘Listen, do it and do it right because if you mess it up we're going to have to do it again – and then I'm going to be pissed. I had to shut the world out and just do it. The cool part of this job is experiencing that kind of masculine aggression.”
  • Magic City (Starz)
    If Ben Diamond (Danny Huston) didn’t pose enough of a threat to Ike Evans’ Miramar Plaza Hotel, just wait until his boss comes to Miami: James Caan joins the cast as Chicago organized crime capo Sy Berman. “Ben Diamond was basically the great white shark of crime: He was the top of the food chain, had no known enemies,” says series creator Mitch Glazer. “But the way the mob worked, particularly back in those days, is you always answer to somebody. And it felt like great storytelling to turn it on its head and show that he is responsible to somebody else. Also, it gave me a chance to show where ‘Ben the Butcher’ came from and how he became who he became.”

    Caan, a longtime friend of Glazer’s, says he re-entered Godfather territory because the role was “something that I thought would be a lot of fun in a creative way, and it was – I really didn’t have any specific reason other than it was good.”

    Star Jeffrey Dean Morgan says the ramifications aren’t lost on Ike: “This whole season really breaks down to Ike wanting to rid himself of Ben Diamond and then probably Sy Berman, although he kind of learns to play the two against each other in sort of an odd way. And then, because of this single-minded focus he has, he begins to sort of lose those that he loves.”


THURSDAY

8:00pm

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
  • The Vampire Diaries (CW)
  • The X-Factor Results (Fox)
  • Zero Hour (ABC)
    When his wife suddenly vanishes, a journalist who specializes in debunking myths and conspiracies suddenly gets pulled into a centuries old mystery that spans the globe… and with that a series promising as many byzantine twists and turns as Lost is born. “A serialized show is only as good as its MacGuffin, ultimately – where it ends up,” says creator Paul Scheuring (Prison Break). “So before I even put pen to paper, I was like, ‘What’s the coolest MacGuffin you can come up with? What are the last frames of this series?’ Scheuring pledges that because the show knows exactly where it’s going, the over-arcing plot will stay on track – even with out-there elements that include Nazis and religious intrigue. “One of the things I’ve learned from making a serialized show was that sooner or later you start flapping your wings because a story needs to end,” he says. “I applied that wisdom: It’s the 24 model where you reset every year. This entire Nazi conspiracy thing will be done in Episode 13 this year, but we have a group of investigators at the magazine which can then apply those skills to the next investigation next year, so we don’t have to flap our wings.”

    Says star Anthony Edwards: “I read the script, and I could not put it down. And I just said, ‘If these guys are crazy enough to tell this story, I want to do it with them.’”
  • American Idol (Fox)

8:30pm

9:00pm

  • Glee (Fox)
    Having successfully kept relationship-driven storylines between the McKinley students in Lima and the alumni who moved to New York in harmony, executive producer Dante Di Loreto promises love songs for the second half of the season. “There is romance in the air, there is a wedding in the air. Romance is going to play a part in Finn’s future too, and where that takes us has yet to be determined.”

    Star Darren Criss notes the currently rocky romance between Blaine and Kurt (Chris Colfer) won’t easily come to a pat resolution. “I would like to see, if Blaine or Kurt do meet people, that in lieu of those relationships they can still be in each other's lives to sort of help them through any rough times that they may face,” he says. “But of course I want to see them together in the end – Duh!”

    As for the show’s graduating seniors: “I wouldn't be surprised if you find another cast member – or a few other cast members – in New York,” hints Di Loreto. “Just like we all do in high school, they're going to different places, and hopefully those are stories that we can blossom.”
  • Person of Interest (CBS)
  • Beauty and the Beast (CW)
  • The Office (NBC)
    As Dundler-Mifflin’s Scranton branch prepares to close its doors – or at least call a wrap on that workplace documentary – the set-up for the big finale is already underway, including the revelation that one of the long-shooting camera crew has stepped out from behind the camera – and shown an interest on Pam just as her marriage to Jim has gotten tricky. “What we're doing is all the really cool ideas that would break the show that we had over the years,” reveals executive producer Greg Daniels. “Like, ‘That's really cool, but I don't see how you come back from that.’ We've saved all those up.” Although not entirely off the table, don’t expect a return appearance from Steve Carell’s Michael Scott: “Steve is very much of the opinion that the ‘Good Bye, Michael’ episode was his good bye to the fans and to the show, and that the stuff that we're doing this season is the good bye that the rest of the show gets to have.”

    But Ed Helms will return as Andy Bernard – but will it be in time to salvage his romance with Erin (Ellie Kemper)? “It ended in a kind of nebulous, weird space with Erin,” says Helms, “and I think that teed up a nice situation for Andy's return, for some conflict.”

9:30pm

10:00pm

  • Scandal (ABC)
  • Elementary (CBS)
    “Moriarty is coming,” executive producer Rob Doherty continues to assure fans of CBS’s contemporary take on Sherlock Holmes, promising that the Napoleon of Crime will soon be getting a 21st century introduction, right as the series’ mythology becomes more potent. “I foresee us getting a bit more serialized than we have been,” he offers. “We’ll still look to have a case that begins and ends over the course of a single hour of television, but you want to dollop Moriarty out appropriately.”

    Also on the horizon: figures from Holmes’ life in London will surface – including his drug dealer – as the sleuth’s backstory is fleshed out.

    “One thing I love about this character is that he’s quite raw, and his struggles are on the surface,” says star Jonny Lee Miller, while Lucy Liu’s loving the ever-evolving rapport between Miller’s Holmes and her Watson. “The fact that their relationship is still somewhat amorphous makes it much more interesting and enigmatic in the end,” she says. “That keeps it unpredictable.”
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)


FRIDAY

8:00pm

  • Shark Tank (ABC)Startwikibutton 02
  • CSI: New York (CBS)
  • America's Next Top Model (CW)
  • Kitchen Nightmares (Fox)
  • Touch (Fox)
  • Whitney (NBC)
  • The Job (CBS)Startwikibutton 02
    Reality competitions get a real-world spin as contestants vie for coveted positions within major companies – including Cosmopolitan magazine – and genuinely land the job when they’re victorious. “People are going to learn about interviewing, about preparing their résumés, about the things that they need to know,” says creator Michael Davies (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire), inspired by his daughter’s modern day career-launching challenges. “Nobody’s ever made a show about interviewing for a job [but] it’s something that every single one of us has done.”

    Executive producer Mark Burnett (The Voice) likes that the aspirants are built up, not torn down. “I think I’ve proved a kinder approach on television does work,” he says. “This carries on with that: It’s really good tense television, nobody’s ripped down and every episode has a surprise ending.”

    Host Lisa Ling agrees: “To actually see these employers from these major companies get to know these candidates and their backgrounds, that they’re not just basing their decisions on their resume, takes it to an entirely different level – from being this rote, impersonal kind of interview or process to something very deeply personal.”

8:30pm

9:00pm

  • Nikita (CW)
  • Fringe (Fox)
  • Grimm (NBC)
    Addressing the jaw-dropping moment of the fall finale – in which Nick (David Giuntoli) finally discovers the manipulated romance brewing between the treacherous Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) and memory-addled Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) – tops off the agenda when the season resumes March 8. “This had to come to a head,” says executive producer David Greenwalt. “We didn't want to just play it out forever between the two of them because it is Nick’s girl that Renard is messing around with – albeit under a spell.”

    The actors playing out the love triangle are thrilled to see it heat up. “I was very excited to finally have a confrontation,” says Roiz. “We waited a season and a half to see what will transpire when he finally discovers, and it's going to be a powder keg.”

    “It comes to blows,” adds Giuntoli, “and he has a bit of a height advantage on me, but I had a rage advantage on him.”

    And Tulloch suggests she’ll also be getting physical – in a different way – with one of her suitors. “In addition to the kerfuffle between these handsome men,” she says, “there was also a bedroom scene that was so intense that it required a stunt coordinator and hours of rehearsal, which is really, really fun and crazy.”

10:00pm


SATURDAY

8:00pm


SUNDAY

8:00pm

8:30pm

9:00pm

  • Revenge (ABC)
  • The Good Wife (CBS)
  • Family Guy (Fox)
  • Dexter (Showtime)
  • Homeland (Showtime)
  • Red Widow (ABC)
    Marta Walraven (Radha Mitchell) lives the American dream as an affluent stay-at-home mom – until she’s plunged neck-deep into her long-buried family ties to organized crime when her husband is murdered. Caught between FBI agents demanding her cooperation and Russian mobsters who feel she still owes her husband’s debts, “Marta is pretty much my dream character to play,” says Mitchell. “A housewife who has been avoiding her criminal upbringing by living the life of a soccer mom and is suddenly dragged into a world that she's been trying to avoid pretty much her whole life – and in the process she discovers things about herself and talents that she didn't know she had, and becomes more and more compelled by the likes of this evil – or-maybe-not-so evil – drug lord.”

    Executive producer Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter, screenwriter of the Twilight films) adapted Red Widow from the Dutch series Penoza: “We've had on cable and then on network these male characters that are very flawed and complex, and we've just begun to have that on cable for women,” she says. “This show is bringing that kind of a character to network. It's a very tricky character to sell to an audience because women are held to a higher standard. But as played by Radha, you have compassion for her. Her experience is universal. “
  • The Following (Fox)
  • Da Vinci's Demons (Starz)
    At 25, artist/inventor/visionary Leonardo da Vinci was already cutting an intellectual swath through the Medici court during the Italian Renaissance. He was so brilliantly multitalented that series creator David S. Goyer, whose screen credits include The Dark Knight and Man of Steel, saw him in similarly superheroic terms. “He obviously was an incredible artist, but also an incredible scientist and inventor and war engineer, and known historically to have been a good writer and a good swordsman,” explains Goyer. “There are ridiculous stories about him being able to bend iron bars with his bare hands – there’s so many legends that have grown up around da Vinci, so many tall tales about him. So in that regard, my approach to it was not dissimilar to adapting Batman or Superman – but obviously we did a lot more historical research.”

    Leading man Tom Riley calls da Vinci “a man who wasn’t necessarily going to be constrained by the society that he was in – someone whose mind was so expansive and consequently quite factious, and bordered on being a savant and had to be charming at the same time in order to bring people into his ideas.”

    Adds Goyer: “Eighty to eighty-five percent of what’s in the series actually really happened, and then we’ve embellished it with a little bit of what I’m calling historical fantasy. But he has a pretty incredible life – we didn’t have to embellish as much as you would think.”

9:30pm

10:00pm


Which series were you most sad to see go?
 
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The poll was created at 00:26 on February 20, 2013, and so far 9 people voted.