Midseason Preview: New shows and returning favourites


Well it’s that time fellow TV junkies, the halfway point of the television season, and by this time we’ve all made some judgements about which new shows we’re loving and which shows we’ve taken off our viewing schedules. But midseason also brings with it a whole new set of shows and a bunch of returning favourites, to fill up our TV watching time.

It can become a bit overwhelming as you take a look at the midseason calendars and premiere dates, but have no fear, The TV Junkies are here for you. We’ve gathered together our group of writers and had them weigh in on what returning show they are most excited about seeing again, and what new show they are most looking forward to checking out. Find out what they had to say in our midseason preview below.

Rob Salem

Returning Favourite: No contest. Send in the clones. Orphan Black is back April 18 on Space/BBC America. Things are about to get even more complicated with a cadre of male dupes played by Ari Millen, and of course there are still the many wonders of Tatiana Maslany. A show substantially more than the sum of its parts.

New one to watch: Again, no contest: Schitt’s Creek, January 13 on CBC. Best sitcom title ever, and Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, the supreme team of SCTV and the Christopher Guest movies. What’s not to love? I am also cautiously optimistic about Better Call Saul, debuting just a few days earlier, on Sunday the 8th (same night The Walking Dead returns; I may need a sedative).

Hermione Wilson

Returning Favourite: I can’t wait for Showtime’s Shameless to come back Jan. 11! I’ve missed watching the Gallagher’s getting in and out of sticky situations and generating chaos wherever they go. Besides that, it’s a summer season and summer with the Gallagher’s means everyone lets loose a little bit more than usual. I’m looking forward to seeing Jimmy Steve return from the dead, Fiona get back on her feet, and my OTP Ian and Mickey finally get to enjoy being out and proud!

New one to watch: There are a lot of interesting comedies coming out that have caught my eye, like ABC’s Galavant and Fresh Off The Boat, and CBC’s Schitt’s Creek, but I’m a drama girl at heart. So I’d have to say I’m most excited for CBC’s The Book of Negroes. It’s based on a groundbreaking Canadian bestseller, and it’s lead by a strong woman of colour which is something I’d love to see more of. This is shaping up to be a good year for Canadian TV!

Bridget Liszewski

Returning Favourite: I am really looking forward to the return of The Americans on FX. This was easily one of the best shows on TV last year and Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are both fantastic in their turns as Soviet spies hiding out in America. Having them square off over whether or not they should bring their daughter Paige into their spy schemes should be great fun to watch for viewers. Bring on the wigs!

New one to watch: I too can’t wait to see Schitt’s Creek, as I’m a huge fan of Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara acting together.  However, on the other end of the spectrum, I’m excited to see Vince Gilligan’s post Breaking Bad CBS drama Battle Creek. It’s actually House creator David Shore that will be running the show, and I like the cast which includes Dean Winters, Kal Penn, Josh Duhamel and Janet McTeer. I can’t wait to check this one out.

Samantha Sobolewski

Returning Favourite:  My ten gallon hat and terrible Kentucky accent are so excited to head back to Harlan County for the final season of FX’s Justified. The strong ensemble cast, with particular emphasis on the work of Walton Goggins, will make it so hard to say goodbye to the well written characters based loosely on Elmore Leonard’s work. But until that dreaded series finale, I’m eager to see how things blow up between the double-crossing Ava and Boyd–all with Raylan at the centre–and whether Art will ever be able to actually retire in peace.

New one to watch: American Crime. Intrigued immediately after hearing the premise, I got to check out the pilot and was thoroughly invested in the grittier vibe and the racial tension that surrounds the series. Hot off his Oscar win for adapting 12 Years a Slave, John Ridley’s American Crime seems to be ABC’s stab at emulating a cable-esque series, and it’s definitely worth at least a few episode look before committing or not. Side note: this now means there will be an American Crime, American Horror Story, American Crime Story and American Ninja Warrior on the air. Let’s try not to get them mixed up.

Eleni Armenakis

Returning Favourite:  I’m torn between Black Sails, Orphan Black and Vikings, but I think I’ll have to give my vote to the seafaring warriors (the Norse ones, that is). Having gotten mighty tired of the other period war drama, Game of Thrones, and its never-ending quest to scandalize, Vikings delivers on a quest for power I can get behind. To say I’m excited about seeing Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) take on Canadian Lothaire Bluteau (The Tudors) while sacking Paris is a massive understatement.

New one to watch: It’s only a miniseries, which means we only get it for a short time, but I can’t wait to see Book of Negroes unfold. The adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s gripping novel promises to be just as emotionally devastating and Aunjanue Ellis as Aminata is a stunning and mesmerizing force. Rookie Blue fans will probably also want to watch out for Lyriq Bent as her troubled love interest.

Christy Spratlin

Returning Favourite: The returning show I’m most looking forward to seeing is Helix. This show never fails to keep me on the edge of my seat or seriously creep me out. I’m interested to see how the introduction of a new virus/fungus will affect the show and how they will draw the two seasons together. I’m also really looking forward to Orphan Black and Outlander returning but they, unfortunately, don’t start up again till April.

New one to watch: The new show that has me most intrigued is Galavant. I’m a huge fan of musical theater but this genre has never really transferred over well to TV. I suspect it will either be a huge success or a laughable failure. It’s unlikely it will land somewhere in between. ABC has been promoting it out their ying yang so they are obviously expecting big things from this show. We shall see…

Megan Haas

Returning Favourite: Without question: Orphan Black. With that packed Season 2 cliffhanger, I can say that not a week goes by that I don’t think of this series. What is happening to Helena? There are male clones? How long is Delphine going to be away from Cosima and Cosima isn’t dying, right? Right?! With all these questions and that clone dance party, Season 3 promises not only to surpass Season 2’s intensity, but it holds the potential to bring this whole one-actor-multiple-clone thing to new levels.

New one to watch: Agent Carter. Anything that Hayley Atwell does is worth watching on repeat. I don’t know much about the Marvel world beyond the occasional trip to the blockbuster movie session they hold once a year, but I do know that Agent Carter’s life was one of the more interesting aspects of the entire Captain America existence. This series looks like it will comment on so many things by paralleling it to today’s world, but also will continue the character’s life after Steve was thrown into a different time.

What returning shows have you most excited this midseason? What new ones do you plan on checking out? Let us know in the comments below!

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