Fall TV preview, winter TV preview, summer TV preview — oh, heck, we could just run a preview every month, right?
TV is all the time and everywhere. We’ve got “peak TV,” so named by FX Networks chief John Landgraf, who last month counted 409 original scripted series in 2015, nearly double the number of 211 shows just six years earlier. (That isn’t even counting “reality” programs, kids shows, sports or daytime.)
Original series are running not just on broadcast networks and premium cable, but right down to basic cable channels you’ve barely heard of (Esquire TV?). Not to mention myriad streaming services, from Netflix to Yahoo TV (to NBC’s new Seeso comedy source launching Jan. 7).
Embarrassment of riches? Unsustainable glut? Momentary bubble, about to pop?
Yeah, we dunno, either. We just try to track what’s happening. We need to figure out what to watch, too.
Here’s a quick guide to 22 upcoming winter series, in debut order (all times p.m.):
'Outsiders' (Jan. 26, 9 p.m.)
"Outsiders," premiering Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. on WGN America, tells the story of a tight-knit, combative (and very hairy) Kentucky mountain family in a standoff against a coal company that wants to uproot them. Here, Ryan Hurst as Lil Foster in a scene from the series.
'The Shannara Chronicles' (Jan. 5, 10 p.m.)
"The Shannara Chronicles" (Jan. 5 at 10 p.m., MTV): "Game of Thrones" lite? Epic post-apocalyptic fantasy based on the Terry Brooks books.
'Zoe Ever After' (Jan. 5, 10 p.m.)
"Zoe Ever After" (Jan. 5 at 10 p.m., BET): "Moesha" star Brandy Norwood is all grown up and a single mom in multicamera comedy. (Streaming now on BET app.)
'Teachers' (Jan. 13, 11 p.m., Tuesdays 10:30 p.m.)
"Teachers" (Jan. 13 at 11 p.m., then Tuesdays 10:30 p.m., TV Land): Chicago improv troupe The Katydids teach grade-schoolers while juggling their own weird lives, as seen in same-named Web series.
'Colony' (Jan. 14, 10 p.m.)
"Colony" (Jan. 14 at 10 p.m., USA): Josh Holloway's family man fights for liberty in near-future occupied Los Angeles, with Sarah Wayne Callies.
'You, Me and the Apocalypse' (Jan. 28, 8 p.m.)
"You, Me and the Apocalypse" (Jan. 28 at 8 p.m., NBC): Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer, Megan Mullally in end-of-the-world dramedy.
'Angel From Hell' (Jan. 7, 9:30 p.m.)
"Angel From Hell" (Jan. 7 at 9:30 p.m., CBS/2): Jane Lynch presents herself as a cheerily churlish guardian to Maggie Lawson's uptight doctor.
'Shades of Blue' (Jan. 7, 10 p.m.)
"Shades of Blue" (Jan. 7 at 10 p.m., NBC/4): Jennifer Lopez's Brooklyn police detective gets turned informant against her break-the-rules squad leader (Ray Liotta).
'Shadowhunters' (Jan. 12, 9 p.m.)
"Shadowhunters" (Jan. 12 at 9 p.m., ABC Family/Freeform): Youth channel changes its name to reflect maturing focus, reflected in this fantasy of human-angel hybrids hunting demons (from "The Mortal Instruments" books).
'Second Chance' (Jan. 13, 9 p.m.)
"Second Chance" (Jan. 13 at 9 p.m., FOX): Hunky young Rob Kazinsky ("True Blood") is a science-based reincarnation of an aging sheriff. (Watch now via Fox app/on-demand, Hulu, YouTube.)
'Recovery Road' (Jan. 25, 9 p.m.)
"Recovery Road" (Jan. 25 at 9 p.m., Freeform): Young adult novel of teen addiction comes to TV. (Pilot already available free at iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Video.)
'Angie Tribeca' (Jan. 17, 9 p.m., Mondays, 9:30 p.m.)
"Angie Tribeca" (Jan. 17 at 9 p.m., then Mondays at 9:30 p.m., TBS): Rashida Jones stars in peculiar detective drama-com from Steve Carrell, premiering with 25-hour marathon repeating all first-season episodes.
'Mercy Street' (Jan. 17, 10 p.m.)
"Mercy Street" (Jan. 17 at 10 p.m., PBS/13): American-made drama returns to public TV, in Virginia-shot series following Civil War nurses, with Josh Radnor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Donna Murphy.
'Billions' (Jan. 17, 10 p.m.)
"Billions" (Jan. 17 at 10 p.m., Showtime): Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis clash over personal stakes in New York politics/finance saga.
'DC’s Legends of Tomorrow' (Jan. 21, 8 p.m.)
"DC's Legends of Tomorrow" (Jan. 21 at 8 p.m., CW/11) Time traveler asks heroes/villains to join forces to save the planet/universe, with Victor Garber, Brandon Routh, plus "Prison Break" bros Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller.
'Baskets' (Jan. 21, 10 p.m.)
"Baskets" (Jan. 21 at 10 p.m., FX): Zach Galifianakis wants to be a French clown, as produced by Louis C.K.
'Lucifer' (Jan. 25, 9 p.m.)
"Lucifer" (Jan. 25 at 9 p.m., FOX): Hunky devil (Tom Ellis, "Rush") rises from hell to run a Hollywood nightclub.
'The Magicians' (Jan. 25, 9 p.m.)
"The Magicians" (Jan. 25 at 9 p.m., Syfy): Harry Potter for adults, from Lev Grossman novels of secret upstate college for magic, with Jason Ralph, Arjun Gupta, Stella Maeve.
'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (Feb. 2, 10 p.m.)
"American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson" (Feb. 2 at 10 p.m., FX): From the eccentricity-centered writers of "Big Eyes," "Man on the Moon," "People vs. Larry Flynt." And what a cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., John Travolta, Sarah Paulson, David Schwimmer.
'Vinyl' (Feb. 14, 9 p.m.)
"Vinyl" (Feb. 14 at 9 p.m., HBO): New York's 1970s music scene explored by producers Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, Terence Winter, with stars Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano.
'Fuller House' (Feb. 26)
"Fuller House" (Feb. 26, Netflix): Update of '90s TGIF fave.
'Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life' (Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m.)
"Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life" (Jan. 3 at 8:30 p.m., Fox/5): Weekly dose of what-you-need-to-know, from overnights in jail to losing your phone, with hot young ensemble cast.
'Bordertown' (Jan. 3, 9:30 p.m.)
"Bordertown" (Jan. 3 at 9:30 p.m., FOX): Animated comedy set in the Southwest, voiced by Hank Azaria, Alex Borstein, Judah Friedlander.