NEW SHOWS SWARM INTO MIDSEASON

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NEW SHOWS SWARM INTO MIDSEASON

Posted on: January 4th, 2014 by tommyj

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Sunday

“Blood, Sweat and Heels” (Bravo) Follows a group of black women described as “movers and shakers” in the New York fashion, real estate and media scenes. The usual.

Tuesday

“Intelligence” (CBS) “Lost’s” Josh Holloway returns to series TV in this espionage drama as Gabriel, an intelligence agent who is the first human to have a supercomputer implanted in his brain. He can mentally sort through heaps of data with a wink-blink of his pretty eyes. “CSI’s” Marg Helgenberger stars as his boss at a clandestine government cybersecurity agency.

On the whole, “Intelligence” traffics in the usual request to suspend your disbelief and then some, but it’s also mildly intriguing — especially in the idea that its macho lead character is also treated as a vulnerable prize who needs to be protected at all costs. Grade: C+

“Killer Women” (ABC) The show’s title and advertising seemed to suggest something much saucier and violent, but this lady-cop drama (co-produced by “Modern Family’s” Sofia Vergara) is a fairly straightforward and briskly perfunctory affair about a gutsy Texas Ranger named Molly (Tricia Helfer), who chases after criminals while trying to put her own life back together. “Killer Women” is one belt notch tighter and better than some of ABC’s already-forgotten fall dramas. Grade: B-

“100 Days of Summer” (Bravo) A group of self-absorbed, 30-something Chicago strivers mate and grate during the city’s much-welcomed months of sunshine.

“American Experience: The Poisoner’s Handbook” (PBS) A documentary about Charles Norris, who in 1918 became New York’s first official medical examiner and developed forensic techniques that sent otherwise-elusive criminals to the electric chair.

“Being Mary Jane” (BET) New series based on the TV movie starring Gabrielle Union as a busy news anchor who juggles family and work.

“Escaping the Prophet” (TLC) This six-part docu-series follows former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints member Flora Jessop as she helps others break away from Warren Jeffs’ strict religious community.

Wednesday

“The 40th Annual People’s Choice Awards” (CBS) Favorite movie, music and TV performances, as selected by those of you who voted online.

“Chasing Shackleton” (PBS) Five adventure-seekers follow the treacherous 1914 Antarctic journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew. A three-part docu-series.

“Chicago P.D.” (NBC) Creator Dick Wolf (“Law and Order”) spins off his “Chicago Fire” into a drama about an intelligence unit that investigates the Windy City’s biggest crimes, contrasted with the work of the uniformed beat officers in the same precinct.

Thursday

“The Spoils of Babylon"(IFC) Tobey Maguire stars in this comedy spoof of those sprawling, 1970s miniseries based on tawdry best-selling novels about the rich and powerful — in this case, “The Spoils of Babylon,” written by one Eric Johnrosh (Will Ferrell), who exhumes the film reels of the never-aired series (the networks deemed it “too long”) that he directed himself.

So that’s the set up. Part of the joke is that “The Spoils of Babylon” was utterly unwatchable, and that’s why the network never showed it; it seems they achieved that goal a little too well. Grade: D

Friday, Jan. 10

“Enlisted” (Fox) It’s a comedy about three Army brothers (Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell, Parker Young) stationed at a rear-detachment base in Florida. “Enlisted” was originally scheduled to premiere in November; in The Post’s fall season guide, yours truly negatively compared the show to old “Beetle Bailey” comic strips and gave it a C+. But having seen some more episodes, I think they’ve charmed their way up to at least a Grade: B-.

“$10 Million Bigfoot Bounty” (Spike) The sasquatch pursuit never ends. Actor Dean Cain hosts this weekly competition show in which hunters must deliver proof of the elusive creature.

“Helix” (Syfy) A team of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travels to the Arctic and finds something that could wipe out all of us. Billy Campbell (“The Killing”; “Once and Again”) stars in this drama/thriller.

Saturday, Jan. 11

“When Calls the Heart” (Hallmark) A new original series about a young teacher (Erin Krakow) who leaves big-city life to teach in a small frontier prairie town in the 19th century.

Sunday, Jan. 12

“The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards” (NBC) Tina Fey and Amy Poehler return to host this loosey-goosey night of film and TV honors.

“True Detective” (HBO) Highly touted, eight-episode crime drama stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as Louisiana detectives investigating a macabre murder that has obsessed them for nearly two decades.

Monday, Jan. 13

“Chozen” (FX) An animated comedy about a gay white rapper (voiced by “SNL’s” Bobby Moynihan) who goes by the name Chozen, fresh out of prison and now seeking another chance at fame.

“Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne” (A&E) In this goofy reality show, a magician uses his talent to assist people seeking revenge on others.

“Bitten” (Syfy) Based on Kelley Armstrong’s novels, in which a young woman leaves behind her werewolf pack (and the man who turned her into a howler) for a new life in the big city.

Tuesday, Jan. 14

“American Experience: 1964” (PBS) Documentary (based on Jon Margolis’ book “The Last Innocent Year)” explores a pivotal 12 months in American politics and culture.

“Friday Night Tykes” (Esquire) A 10-part docu-series about the super-serious world of the Texas Youth Football Association, where the players are all 8- and 9-year-old boys.

“Inside Job” (TNT) Job-seeking execs live together and vie for a six-figure corporate position in this reality show — but one of them is a mole who is spying on the others’ behavior.

“Save Our Business” (TNT) Yet another show where a successful entrepreneur administers advice and tough love to struggling business owners.

Wednesday, Jan. 15

“Crazy Hearts: Nashville” (A&E) Reality series follows a group of musicians trying to make it in country music.

Thursday, Jan. 16

“Under the Gunn” (Lifetime) Tim Gunn calls in former “Project Runway” winners to provide guidance to young designers in a new fashion competition.

“SWV Reunited” (WEtv) The ’90s R&B trio get its act together (after a tense breakup 15 years ago) in hopes of a comeback. Or maybe just getting a reality series will suffice?

Friday, Jan. 17

“The Square” (Netflix) From the filmmaker of “StartUp.com” and “The Control Room,” a documentary about Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the “Arab Spring” uprising.

“The Diamond Collar” (OWN) Reality series about James “Head” Guiliani, a former associate of Mafia man John Gotti who now runs a dog-grooming parlor in Brooklyn.

Saturday, Jan. 18

“June in January” (Hallmark) In this new movie, a busy bride-to-be (Brooke D’Orsay) has her ideal June wedding all planned out, but her husband is transferred and she has to move her special day to January.

“Flowers in the Attic” (Lifetime) A new movie version of V.C. Andrews’ popular mystery/horror novel, starring Heather Graham, Ellen Burstyn and Kiernan Shipka (“Mad Men’s” Sally Draper).

“My Gal Sunday” (Hallmark Movie Channel) Adventures of husband-wife crime solvers (Rachel Blanchard and Cameron Mathison), based on short stories by Mary Higgins Clark.

“Mom’s Got Game” (OWN) Reality series follows former WNBA basketball star Pamela McGee and her 25-year-old son, JaVale McGee, a center for the Denver Nuggets.

Sunday, Jan. 19

“#RichKids of Beverly Hills" (E!) This docu-series follows a clique of fancy kids who gain Internet notoriety by promoting their every action and thought on social media. You can only hope one of them is named Ja’mie, but probably not.

“Looking” (HBO) A new dramedy about three gay men in San Francisco who are at different stages of life and emotional issues.

Monday, Jan. 20

“Klondike” (Discovery) Richard Madden (Robb Stark from “Game of Thrones”) stars as one of two adventurers who head for the Yukon in 1890 during the gold rush. It’s Discovery’s first original miniseries drama.

Tuesday, Jan. 21

“American Masters: Salinger” (PBS) Television premiere of Shane Salerno’s 2013 documentary about the reclusive author, with 15 minutes of new material included.

Wednesday, Jan. 22

“Broad City” (Comedy Central) Upright Citizens Brigade alums Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer bring their critically acclaimed online series to Comedy Central.

“The Wahlburgers” (A&E) Brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg head back to Boston to join forces with their brother Paul and open a hamburger restaurant.

Thursday, Jan. 23

“Rake” (Fox) Greg Kinnear happily and believably sinks his pearly whites into this amiably sharp drama (based on a hit Australian series) about a criminal defense attorney who finds trouble everywhere: He’s up to his ears in gambling and IRS debts, drinks way too much, lives in a ratty apartment above a restaurant and is hopelessly in love with the prostitute he pays for conversation and backgammon games. His therapist is also his ex-wife.

“House” comparisons will surely abound, but “Rake” is easily one of the more confident network dramas to come our way of late. It’s a procedural, but it’s just unorthodox enough to make me eager to see more. Grade: B+

Friday, Jan. 24

“Mitt” (Netflix) Straight off the bill at the Sundance Film Festival, this documentary follows the unsuccessful Romney presidential campaign of 2012 and tries to get into the mind and personality of the man himself.

Saturday, Jan. 25

“Black Sails” (Starz) At first glance, this is a sprawling, big-budget pirate drama series that somehow manages to feel too cheap. “Black Sails” follows several bands of Caribbean-based pirates in 1715, “the golden age of pirating.” I’ll watch a few more episodes, but walking the plank seems more tempting. Grade: C-

“Lizzie Borden Took an Ax” (Lifetime) Christina Ricci stars in this made-for-TV movie as the infamous woman charged with ax-murdering her parents in 1892.

Sunday, Jan. 26

“The 56th Annual Grammy Awards” (CBS) LL Cool J returns to host the music industry’s biggest awards night.

Monday, Jan. 27

“Herblock: The Black and the White” (HBO) Documentary about the prolific Washington Post editorial cartoonist.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

“Hawking” (PBS) A new one-hour documentary about the famed physicist.

“Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” (BBC America) Four-part miniseries drama about the real-life inspiration for the 007 character — a sophisticated maverick whose life was upended by World War II.

Saturday, Feb. 1

“Oscar” (TCM) A documentary about the history of the Academy Awards.

Sunday, Feb. 2

“Super Bowl XLVIII” (Fox) Lots of Roman numerals, a Bruno Mars halftime show, the spendy Madison Avenue commercials and — oh, right — a professional football championship game (kicking off at 3:30 p.m. PT). And don’t forget “Puppy Bowl” (Animal Planet at noon) and, for some reason, “Kitten Bowl” (Hallmark at 9 a.m.).

Tuesday, Feb. 4

“American Experience: The Amish — Shunned” (PBS): Documentary explores the worlds of women and men who found themselves banished from their Amish communities.

Thursday, Feb. 6

“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC) Jay says goodbye. (For the second time.)

Feb. 6-Feb. 23

“XXII Olympic Winter Games” (NBC) From Sochi, Russia. Will it be as grim as some people expect it to be?

Sunday, Feb. 9

“The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles” (CBS) All-star concert will commemorate 50 years (exactly) since the Fab Four appeared on Ed Sullivan’s show.

Monday, Feb. 17

“Star Crossed” (CW) Two Baton Rouge teens experience some angsty, sci-fi themed “Romeo and Juliet”-type issues because the boy (Matt Lanter) belongs to an alien race of refugees called the Atrians and the girl (Aimee Teegarden) is the daughter of the commander tasked with keeping the aliens in line. Grade: C+

Monday, Feb. 24

“The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC) The affable host reboots his late-night talk show, now from New York instead of Burbank. (And the Roots are sticking with him.)

“Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC) And after that, the “Saturday Night Live” writer and “Weekend Update” anchor takes over Fallon’s old spot.

Wednesday, Feb. 26

“Mixology” (ABC) This new comedy is set in a bar called the Mix, where 10 single people have random encounters and conversations in their unending quest for love. If I understand the concept correctly, the entire season (however long it lasts) takes place on a single night.

Thursday, Feb. 27

“Review” (Comedy Central at 10 p.m.) Andy Daly stars as a “life critic,” who reviews experiences instead of arts and culture.

Saturday, March 1

“The 2014 Independent Spirit Awards” (IFC) The casual, Oscar-eve awards show for the cool movies that cool people liked. Hosted by Patton Oswalt.

Sunday, March 2

“The 86th Annual Academy Awards” (ABC) It’s Oscar night! Get ahold of yourselves!

Thursday, March 6

“Sirens” (USA) Denis Leary co-produces this new comedy about three EMT dudes in Chicago.

Sunday, March 9

“Resurrection” (ABC) The residents of Arcadia, Mo., react to the fact that a young boy who died 32 years ago has returned — unchanged — from the dead. (Not to be confused with the excellent French miniseries “The Returned,” but it looks a little bit like it.)

Tuesday, March 11

“Mind Games” (ABC) Steve Zahn and Christian Slater star as Clark and Ross Edwards, two brothers who run an agency that helps clients fix their problems through psychological manipulation and influence. (Zahn plays the goofy, genius one.)

Wednesday, March 19

“The 100” (CW) A refreshingly taut and well-executed futuristic sci-fi series about a group of 100 jailed juvenile delinquents who are banished from an orbiting space-station colony and sent to live on Earth — 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse. Maybe I’ve been too eager for an addictive sci-fi series that doesn’t feel instantly dumb, but I raced through the first several episodes of “The 100” with pleasure. Grade: A-

Tuesday, March 25

“Story of the Jews” (PBS) Author Simon Schama explores Jewish culture and history in this five-part (two-night) documentary series.

Monday, March 31

“Friends With Better Lives” (CBS) A new sitcom about six pals, premiering after the one-hour “How I Met Your Mother” series finale.

Wednesday, April 1

“TripTank” (Comedy Central) Yet another venue for edgy, animated shorts.

Sunday, April 6

“The 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards” (CBS) Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan will return as hosts.

Tuesday, April 15

“The Address” (PBS) Ken Burns’ film about a small boys school in Vermont where the students memorize, practice and recite the Gettysburg Address.

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