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The winter season is my favorite time of year for television. Not only are some of my favorites returning with new episodes around this time, but there are also new shows that sound interesting that are vying for my attention as well. Set a date with your DVR and watch at least one of these twelve new offerings. Also, I’ve got the dish on eight of your returning faves.

NEW SHOWS

Ascension

This alternate reality sci-fi series tells the stories of the 600 passengers of the USS Ascension, who left Earth in 1963 to colonize Proxima Centauri. Close to reaching the point of no return, 50 years later, these travelers are shaken to the core by a murder — the first in their community.

When to Watch: December 15, Syfy

winter-tv_mozartJungleMozart in the Jungle

Malcolm McDowell, Saffron Burrows, Bernadette Peters and Gael García Bernal star in a new original series from Amazon Studios. This series, a comedy, is based on the real-life story of Blair Tindall, who wrote about her time performing in the New York Philharmonic.

When to Watch: December 23, Amazon Prime

Galavant

If you’re a fan of Once Upon a Time, you’ll like this show. Filling in for that series for eight weeks, Galavant is a fantasy comedy revolving around the eponymous hero, who will stop at nothing to win back his love, Madalena, from King Richard, who stole her from him.

When to Watch: January 4, ABC

winter-tv_Agent_CarterMarvel’s Agent Carter

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was one of our fall TV picks last year, and it has become so successful that it has spawned a spinoff. 1940s everywoman Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell) balances her mundane work life with her work for Howard Stark, a founder of S.H.I.E.L.D.

When to Watch: January 6, ABC

winter-tv_empireEmpire

Lee Daniels and Danny Strong present a drama series about a hip-hop empire at the brink of collapse. Terrence Howard stars as the mogul of that empire, forced to decide who will inherit his business after he receives a grim diagnosis. His ex-wife (Taraji P. Henson), fresh from prison, will only complicate matters.

When to Watch: January 7, FOX

winer-tv_hindsightHindsight

Becca is ready for her wedding day. She goes to sleep in 2015 and wakes up in 1995, and has the opportunity to redo her life from that point forward. Will she be able to fix her past mistakes and will she meet a new love of her life?

When to Watch: January 7, VH1

Younger

Darren Star (Beverly Hills 90210, Sex and the City) brings you this new sitcom. 40-year-old Liza is having trouble finding a job, so her friend Maggie gives her a makeover that makes her look 25. She then navigates the working world as an assistant to a book publisher. Sutton Foster, Debi Mazar and Hilary Duff star.

When to Watch: January 13, TV Land

winter-tv_grantchesterGrantchester

This period drama, originally broadcast on the UK’s ITV, will be airing on the same night as Downton Abbey. A vicar in 1950s Cambridgeshire has a knack for solving crimes, and has to convince the detective inspector that he should be taken serious and that he knows what he’s doing!

When to Watch: January 18, PBS

Backstrom

A series developed by the producer of Bones, Backstrom is about a detective who is insufferable and constantly at odds with his colleagues, which consist of a partner and criminologists in the “Special Crimes Unit.” Rainn Wilson (The Office) stars.

When to Watch: January 22, FOX

winter-tv_BETTER-CALL-SAULBetter Call Saul

The long-awaited spinoff to Breaking Bad finally hits the airwaves this winter. This show revolves around lawyer Saul Goodman, who we first saw on Breaking Bad; his life in the years before the events that transpired in that series make up the bulk of the story in this one.

When to Watch: February 8, AMC

winter-tv_last_man_on_earthThe Last Man on Earth

Comedian Will Forte produces and stars in this series, which revolves around the literal “last man on Earth,” a bank teller, who searches for any other human life out there after everyone mysteriously dies in a large-scale supernatural event.

When to Watch: March 1, FOX

Secrets and Lies

Shades of The Fugitive: A man struggles with the media backlash after he finds a small boy dead near his home, and the public assumes he is the murderer. He vows to find the real murderer to bring the boy’s family justice and to clear his name. Ryan Philippe and Juliette Lewis star.

When to Watch: March 1, ABC

RETURNING FAVORITES

winter-tv_HartOfDixie-CastPosterHart of Dixie

This ten-episode shortened season premiered late to accommodate star Rachel Bilson’s real-life pregnancy. This season starts with Dr. Zoe Hart convincing Wade (Wilson Bethel) that they do indeed have a future together, even after she threw him over for Joel (Josh Cooke).

When to Watch: December 15, The CW

Downton Abbey

This show will clog Facebook news feeds once it premieres this winter. This season will be set in the year 1924, with the election of Ramsay MacDonald featuring prominently. Robert and Cora (Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern) celebrate their wedding anniversary in the premiere.

When to Watch: January 4, PBS

Glee

All good things must come to an end as one of FOX’s hottest series wraps up with a 13-episode final season. Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), having already made it in New York City, returns to her hometown of Lima, Ohio, to relaunch New Directions.

When to Watch: January 9, FOX

Girls

Last we left the girls, Hannah (Lena Dunham) was accepted into a prestigious writing seminar at the University of Iowa and wants to go, even if it means causing trouble for her and Adam (Adam Driver). Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) loses it when she learns she can’t graduate.

When to Watch: January 11, HBO

winter-tv_looking1_buttonLooking

Patrick, Agustin and Dom all grew last season, and this year will bring more challenges for the three best friends. Last we left them, Patrick was left dealing with his own baggage, Dom finally opened his own restaurant, and Agustin learned what people really thought of his art.

When to Watch: January 11, HBO

The Fosters

The second half of season two debuts with many unanswered questions. What will Lena (Sherri Saum) do now that she’s quit her job? Are Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Brandon (David Lambert) going to rekindle their romance? Is Ana (Alexandra Barreto) completely dead to Mariana (Cierra Ramirez)?

When to Watch: January 19, ABC Family

Justified

This season will be the last for this acclaimed drama, revolving around an unorthodox deputy U.S. Marshal (Timothy Olyphant) keeping peace in the hills of eastern Kentucky. Sam Elliott, who previously worked with Olyphant in Deadwood, joins the cast for the final 13 episodes.

When to Watch: January 20, FX

winter-tv_americansThe Americans

This Cold War-era thriller is back for another thirteen episodes. Soviet KGB agents (Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell) are hard at working spy on the United States government, unbeknownst to their own children and their friends and neighbors in suburbia.

When to Watch: January 28, FX

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.