5 TV Shows to Make Room for in Your DVR

Written by Doug Strassler on . Posted in Arts & Film, TV.


It used to be that there was just one television season, and it ran nearly concurrent with the school year, from September through May. Now, marketing strategists have split the year up into multiple seasons. Behold, some of the best and brightest of shows to be found this spring, including 2 returns and 3 shows making their debut.

Banshee

The latest Cinemax series looks to tread the same path of action and crime as predecessors Hunted and Strike Back. Boasting the creative acumen of author Jonathan Tropper (with David Schickler) and featuring True Blood’s Alan Ball among its executive producers, Banshee features an ex-con/ martial artist impersonating a murdered town sheriff in a small Amish Pennsylvania town. Things get weird quick. (Airs on Cinemax starting Jan. 11)

Cult

Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon has crafted a creepy meta-mystery in which journalist Jeff(Matt Davis) and Skye (Jessica Lucas), a production assistant on a crime show called Cult team up to hunt down Jeff’s missing brother – who just happens to be a die-hard Cult fan. Another mystery: will viewers be able to keep up with both the show and this show-within-a-show? (Airs on The CW starting Feb. 19)

Downton Abbey

Mary and Matthew (Michelle Dockery and Dan Stephens) have rapidly assumed Ross-and-Rachel territory in Julian Fellowes’ massively-worshipped British serial set around the First World War era. This season features typically inspired dialogue, but also boasts tighter, more rewarding plotting than its initial two seasons. Bonus: the presence of Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine in a guest spot. (Airs on PBS starting Jan. 6)

The Following

Kevin Williams, Scream scribe, throws in a touch of The Silence of the Lambs in the new Kevin Bacon vehicle The Following, starring James Purefoy (Rome) as a convicted murder using cyberspace to communicate to copycat killers. Bacon, turning to TV just as his wife, Kyra Sedgwick ends her reign as a detective on The Closer, is the federal agent who must navigate this tangled web of depraved murderers. (Begins Jan. 21 on FOX)

Justified

The tube’s best marshal, Raylan Givens (an excellent Timothy Olyphant) returns in the fourth season of Graham Yost’s show, based on a character created by genre fave Elmore Leonard. This season wises up to one of its most precious resources, journeyman actor Raymond J. Barry, who plays Raylan’s shady father, Arlo. Look for Arlo to become a crucial aid to his son’s latest case. (Begins Jan. 8 on FX)

 

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