20 for '14
December—and 2013, really—is D-U-N done. Here's a handful of what The Only TV Column That Matters™ recommends you look forward to in January 2014:
Community (NBC; Thursday, Jan. 2) Season 5 Premiere: The Greendale gang returns to save NBC Thursdays. And while we're being overly optimistic: Six seasons and a movie!
Killer Women (ABC; Tuesday, Jan 7) Series Debut: Tricia Helfer stars as a tall 'n' troubled Texas Ranger who has a "sixth sense" about why the ladies sometimes murder. It usually involves a man. Or Zappos.
Intelligence (CBS; Tuesday, Jan. 7) Series Debut: Lost's Josh Holloway is a hunky/stubbly U.S. intelligence operative with a wi-fi chip in his brain that allows him to hack any online data. Insert virus joke here.
Justified (FX; Tuesday, Jan. 7) Season 5 Premiere: Marshal Raylan goes up against a new crime family from the Florida swamps, while Boyd gets in deeper with the Detroit mob. Whatever happened to Local First?
Cougar Town (TBS; Tuesday, Jan. 7) Season 5 Premiere: They're back. They're drunk. They're still pretty damned funny.
American Horror Story: Coven (FX; Wednesday, Jan. 8) Winter Premiere: An unexpected visit from Stevie Nicks flusters obsessed witch fan Misty. Aren't all visits from Stevie Nicks unexpected?
Parks & Recreation (NBC; Thursday, Jan. 9) Winter Premiere/100th Episode: That dozen-viewer bump from Community should get P&R right back on track.
The Spoils of Babylon (IFC; Thursday, Jan. 9) Miniseries Debut: Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Tobey Maguire, Haley Joel Osment, Tim Robbins, Michael Sheen and more star in this epic, sweeping comedy of sweeping epic-ness.
Helix (Syfy; Friday, Jan. 10) Series Debut: Ronald D. Moore's (Battlestar Galactica) new sci-fi drama about a disease outbreak that could wipe out mankind and the deeper conspiracy behind it, because the mankind-wiping-out disease wasn't enough.
Banshee (Cinemax; Friday, Jan. 10) Season 2 Premiere: The weirdest series on premium cable (sorry, True Blood) returns with more violence, sex, Amish politics and Ukrainian mob intrigue than ever. See? Weird.
Shameless, House of Lies, Episodes (Showtime; Sunday, Jan. 12) Season Premieres: The Gallagher clan, the Kaan consultants and Matt LeBlanc are back for Seasons 4, 3 and 3, respectively. Pity the Home Box Office that has to go up against this killer lineup.
True Detective (HBO; Sunday, Jan. 12) Series Debut: OK, well-played, HBO: Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star as Louisiana detectives who run up against one another over the course of a 17-year murder investigation. Followed by the one-hour Season 3 premiere of Girls—game on, Showtime.
Bitten (Syfy; Monday, Jan. 13) Series Debut: A ridiculously hot werewolf (ridiculously hot Laura Vandervoort) struggles to choose between her new big-city earth life and her dumb ol' ancestral world, following the season premieres of the equally-conflicted Lost Girl and Being Human.
Archer (FX; Monday, Jan. 13) Season 5 Premiere: New night, same ... Danger Zone!
Chozen (FX; Monday, Jan. 13) Series Debut: Animated comedy about an ex-con gay white rapper, produced by the Eastbound & Down team. Need I even go on?
Sex Sent Me to the E.R. (TLC; Saturday, Jan. 18) Series Debut: Fine. You win, TLC.
The Following (Fox; Sunday, Jan. 19) Season 2 Premiere: Bereaved Hardy (Kevin Bacon) is on the mend—but will he continue his hunt for presumed-dead serial killer Carroll (James Purefoy)? Well, it's either that or 15 episodes of AA meetings.
Wahlburgers (A&E; Wednesday, Jan. 22) Series Debut: Mark and Donnie Wahlberg help out with their brother Paul's hamburger joint back home in Boston. This already sounds better than an Entourage movie.