January has become a very warm time of year in the TV world. Tons of shows either are debuting or returning. Apparently the networks finally have figured out that it tends to be really cold in January, so people stay inside and, potentially, hopefully, watch TV.
Here's a brief look at five new shows and five returnees coming up in the next month:
FOUR ROOMS (Jan. 5, CBC)
It's Antiques Road Show meets Let's Make a Deal, as Canadians bring in their supposed treasures in the hopes of turning a decent profit. Should they accept the first offer or move on and take their chances?
CHICAGO P.D. (Jan. 8, NBC/Global)
This is a spinoff of the surprisingly successful Chicago Fire, which only is in its second season. Granted, these are newfangled procedurals, but they are still procedurals. The genre ain't dead.
BITTEN (Jan. 11, Space)
Laura Vandervoort stars in this werewolf tale about a woman who tries to break away from the pack but keeps getting pulled back into it. So it's kind of like if Al Pacino had been a werewolf in The Godfather Part III.
TRUE DETECTIVE (Jan. 12, HBO Canada)
Starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, this series utilizes multiple timelines to trace a serial killer in Louisiana over the course of 17 years. The casting alone makes me curious.
MASTERCHEF CANADA (Jan. 20, CTV)
A Canadian version of the international format that sees amateur and home chefs trying to impress three big-time professional judges, in this case Michael Bonacini, Claudio Aprile and Alvin Leung.
COMMUNITY (Jan. 2, NBC/City)
Continuing to defy the odds, and the ratings, this innovative but also puzzling sitcom is back for its fifth season. Creator Dan Harmon returns as showrunner and the first new episode is titled Repilot.
DOWNTON ABBEY (Jan. 5, PBS)
We know big changes are in store for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) after what happened at the end of Season 3. But this already has aired in Britain, so be aware that spoilers are everywhere.
GIRLS (Jan. 12, HBO Canada)
OK, Season 1 was brilliant. Season 2 sort of sucked, as series creator and lead actor Lena Dunham seemingly became too self-aware. Just like in sports, Game 3 is crucial in deciding who wins.
AMERICAN IDOL (Jan. 15, Fox/ CTV Two)
Another year, another new combination of judges. This time it's Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. As these shows start to die, though, the question is whether judges even matter any more.
THE FOLLOWING (Jan. 19, Fox/CTV)
I hope this doesn't turn out to be a "Bobby Ewing in the shower" kind of deal. It looked as if James Purefoy's character died at the end of Season 1. Or did he? The devil is in the details, as they say.