Welcome to 2013, everybody, and welcome to the so-called midseason. The television landscape has changed more than a little bit over the past several years, creating a situation for viewers where they can generally count on getting new series offered to them by the networks at just about any time during the course of the year. Sure, the fall’s still consider the time when the big guns come out, but the midseason isn’t just a place where the dregs of programming get dumped. As you can see from the following series, the broadcast networks have plenty of interesting and – one can only hope – entertaining new offerings to keep you glued to the tube and stuck to the sofa for hours on end.
Says the network: “When wealthy socialite and notorious party girl Vivian Bowers is found dead of an overdose, no one is really surprised. The heiress to the Bowers pharmaceutical empire has been tabloid fodder for years: wild, pretty, privileged… and now dead at the age of 32. But for FBI agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso, ‘Avatar’), things don’t add up with this suspicious dynasty. Convinced that the troubled girl’s death was a homicide, he has a clever plan to get to the truth. Her name is Detective Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good, ‘Think Like a Man’). Twenty years ago she was Vivian’s best friend and practically grew up inside the Bowers’ home. And when she appears at Vivian’s funeral, the family re-embraces her and no one is the wiser. Joanna quickly begins to uncover dark secrets and clues about why Vivian’s life was very much in danger. At the same time, she rekindles an old romantic relationship and rediscovers the allure of the luxurious lifestyle she once knew. She’s about to see once again just how the other half lives… and dies.”
Says the network: “It’s 1984, and life isn’t easy for 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw. Since their mother passed away, Carrie’s younger sister Dorritt is more rebellious than ever, and their father Tom is overwhelmed with the responsibility of suddenly having to care for two teenage girls on his own. Carrie’s friends – sweet, geeky Mouse, sarcastic and self-assured Maggie and sensitive Walt – make life bearable, but a suburban life in Connecticut isn’t doing much to take her mind off her troubles. And even though the arrival of a sexy new transfer student named Sebastian brings some excitement to Carrie’s world, she is struggling to move on from her grief. So when Tom offers Carrie the chance to intern at a law firm in Manhattan, she leaps at the chance. Carrie’s eyes are opened wide at the glamour and grit of New York City – and when she meets Larissa, the style editor for Interview magazine, she’s inspired by the club culture and unique individuals that make up Larissa’s world. Carrie’s friends and family may have a big place in her heart, but she’s fallen in love for the first time with the most important man in her life – Manhattan.”
Says the network: “The chilling new series focuses on former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Emmy Award-nominated actor Kevin Bacon, ‘X-Men: First Class,’ ‘Frost/Nixon’), who is brought in as a consultant when notorious serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy, ‘Rome’) escapes from death row and embarks on a new killing spree. Hardy discovers that, while in prison, Carroll was covertly communicating with a network of killers in the outside world and it quickly becomes obvious that he has more planned than just his escape.”
Says the network: “One blind spoonful could change everything on this all new exhilarating new one-hour cooking competition which puts 16 culinary competitors — pro chefs to home cooks — to the fire when four of the world’s most notable masters of the food world judge their creations based on a blind taste test. In this pressure-packed contest, the taste in a single spoonful can catapult a contender to the top or send him packing. ‘The Taste’ features no-holds barred chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert chef/author Ludo Lefebvre and chef/restaurateur Brian Malarkey. Each of the four culinary superstars and ‘Taste’ mentors – Bourdain, Lawson, Lefebvre and Malarkey – will coach a team of four competing pro and amateur cooks chosen from a nationwide casting call, as they vie to create the best tasting dish in a state of the art kitchen. In each episode, the groups will face team and individual challenges with a variety of culinary themes through several elimination rounds. At the end of each episode, the mentors will have to judge the competitors’ dishes blind, with no knowledge of whose creation they’re sampling, what they’re eating, how it was prepared or whom they could be sending home.”
Says the network: “Dr. Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale, ‘Rescue Me’) is a highly respected neurosurgeon who has it all – a lucrative career, confident charm, the gift of compassion. But he also has a deep, dark secret. One morning when he wakes up disoriented in a wrecked hotel room amidst several near-naked women he’s never seen before, he knows one thing: it’s happening again. Every night at the same hour, something inside Jason changes, leaving him almost unrecognizable – seductive, devious, borderline sociopathic. This new man is his dangerous alternate personality who goes by the name of ‘Ian Price.’ For years he’s battled Ian, keeping him in check with a powerful experimental sedative. But now his – their – body has developed a resistance to the serum, setting Ian free once again. And to make matters worse, after being suppressed for so long, Ian is hell-bent on taking revenge on his oppressor. With everyone Jason cares about at risk – patients, friends, coworkers and even the woman he loves – he’s got to stop Ian once and for all. Will they find some common ground, or will they bring each other down? Hell hath no fury like an alter ego scorned.”
Says the network: “From acclaimed executive producers Michael Davies and Mark Burnett, ‘The Job’ is a reality competition series which puts deserving candidates face-to-face with executives at some of America’s most prestigious companies in the most unique – and demanding – interview of their lives. Each week, a panel of high-ranking executives will put five candidates through a series of elimination challenges, with three guest companies waiting in the wings to possibly make an offer of their own.”
Says the network: “Anthony Edwards – along with a dynamic ensemble cast — returns to network series television in the dramatic adventure thriller, “Zero Hour,” which will have his character, Hank Galliston, questioning everything and everyone he ever believed in – including himself. As the publisher of Modern Skeptic Magazine, Hank Galliston has spent his career following clues, debunking myths and cracking conspiracies. But when his beautiful wife, Laila (Jacinda Barrett), is abducted from her antique clock shop, Hank gets pulled into one of the most compelling mysteries in human history, stretching around the world and back centuries. Contained in one of his wife’s clocks is a treasure map, and what it leads to could be cataclysmic. It’s up to Hank to decipher the symbols and unlock the secrets of the map, while ensuring the answers don’t fall into the wrong hands — hands that belong to a sinister, mysterious man known only as White Vincent (Michael Nyqvist). Now Hank, along with his two young associates, Rachel (Addison Timlin) and Arron (Scott Michael Foster), as well as alluring and intelligent FBI agent Rebecca ‘Beck’ Riley (Carmen Ejogo), must embark on a breathless race against the clock to not only find his wife, but save humanity. Everyone has a personal stake in this life and death mission, from Hank, the everyman whose destiny is more intertwined in this conspiracy than he ever imagined, to Laila, the warm and loving wife who refuses to simply be a pawn in this struggle, to ‘Beck,’ the FBI agent with plenty of secrets of her own. White Vincent has interests far more grand than the treasure that lies at the end of the hunt – and a mysterious past connecting him to Hank in ways that go well beyond this game of cat and mouse. And while Arron is a sucker for a good conspiracy theory, Rachel relies more on her head and her heart to guide her beliefs. But as this story unravels, knowing what to believe – and more importantly, whom to believe — becomes more and more difficult. Whom and what will you believe?”
Says the network: “Investigative journalist Jeff Sefton has learned to laugh off his brother Nate’s relentless string of obsessions, especially his latest rant that a hit TV show intends to harm him. However, when his brother mysteriously disappears, Jeff takes Nate’s paranoia seriously, and in the process uncovers the dark underworld of the TV show ‘Cult’ and its rabid fans. The only person who seems willing to help Jeff with his investigation is Skye, a young research assistant for ‘Cult,’ who has also started to grow suspicious of the increasingly dark happenings surrounding the show. The fictitious show, centered on the cat-and-mouse game between charismatic cult leader Billy Grimm and LAPD detective Kelly Collins, has become an obsession for its viewers – and now some of its devotees seem to be taking their fixation to deadly extremes in the real world. As Jeff and Skye dig deeper into the fan world, they discover that the gruesome plot twists on television are much more than fantasy for some very unfortunate people. The hardcore fans of ‘Cult’ would kill to see what happens next…”
Says the network: “A drama about the meteoric rise of an ambitious cop who becomes the youngest police commissioner in the history of New York City, and the high personal and professional cost he pays to achieve it. As he’s interviewed for a story about his career, Walter William Clark, Jr. looks back on his hard-fought journey from street kid to the most powerful man in law enforcement. After only three years as a beat cop, Clark’s heroics on the job make him bold enough to ask for and receive the unheard-of promotion to homicide detective, angering the members of his new department who are eager to see him fail. Clark is partnered with and mentored by experienced veteran Detective Don Owen, just two years shy of retirement. He would rather team with First Grade Detective Christian Arroyo, the alpha dog in the squad who’s just as ambitious as Clark, but without a moral center. Arroyo’s partner is Detective Deborah McKenzie, a tough third-generation cop and the only female detective in the unit. Also on the team is Detective Joe Diaco, well-connected with tremendous resources which Clark might find useful. Though laser-focused on moving up the ladder, Clark’s soft spot is serving as the sole caregiver and supporter of his sister, Agnes, a teenager demonstrating increasingly dangerous behavior. Keenly observant and politically savvy, the Golden Boy bases his career decisions solely on his need to succeed as quickly as possible, and he’ll find that his epic journey will be filled with consequences.”
Says the network: Marta Walraven seems to have an idyllic life. A stay-at-home mom in tony Marin County, just north of San Francisco, she is devoted to her three children and her husband. Behind this perfect façade, however, is a more complicated story: Evan, Marta’s husband, supports the family by exporting marijuana. Marta is familiar with the world of organized crime: her father, Andrei Petrov, and his loyal bodyguard, Luther, are Bratva – Russian gangsters – in San Francisco. It’s a world from which she and her sister Kat always wanted to escape, though they never quite did. But when Evan is brutally murdered in their driveway, everything changes. Marta’s first concern is to protect her children – yet when FBI Agent James Ramos promises Marta justice in exchange for her cooperation, she cannot go against the Bratva code, and refuses his help. Slowly, the truth about Evan’s murder begins to emerge: Evan’s business partners – Marta’s scheming brother, Irwin Petrov, and their best friend, the hapless Mike Tomlin – were involved in the theft of millions of dollars of cocaine from the formidable international crime boss, Nicholae Schiller. Evan paid with his life, but as far as Schiller is concerned, his debt is not clear. It falls to Marta, as Evan’s widow, to navigate the criminal underworld in order to repay this debt – in whatever way Schiller sees fit. Hounded by the FBI on one hand and by Schiller on the other, while also trying to raise three grieving kids on her own, Marta discovers a tenacity she never knew she had. As she hunts for the truth about her husband’s death and struggles to keep her children safe, she’ll rely on her resourcefulness, determination and her Bratva DNA like never before. But in order to beat her adversaries at their own deadly game, how far is Marta willing to go?
Says the network: Um, nothing, actually. It’s coming, we know that much, but they don’t even have a page set up for the series on their media site. But we know that it’s a show about celebrities diving. Frankly, isn’t that enough?
Says the network: “‘Ready for Love’ is an innovative and dramatic new relationship show about making real connections. Executive producer Eva Longoria (‘Desperate Housewives’) hand selected three successful and handsome men who are committed to finding the right women with whom to share their lives. Ben Patton, a businessman from Dallas, Tim Lopez a musician from Santa Barbara, Calif., and Ernesto Arguello, an entrepreneur with a social vision from Miami, are the three men who will vie for the chance to find true love. In order to find their ideal partners, Longoria has enlisted the help of the three best matchmakers in the world: preeminent matchmaker Amber Kelleher-Andrews, best-selling relationship author Tracy McMillan and professional dating coach Matt Hussey. Bill and Giuliana Rancic will co-host the series which begins with the matchmakers’ nation-wide search for the potential perfect mate for each man. Longoria invited eligible women from across America to participate and find out how easy it can be to find true love. Women looking for love were able to sign up to be considered for the show through a new Facebook timeline app. This app, which was available at Facebook.com/NBCReadyForLove, allowed them to apply or share the opportunity with friends and family members that might be perfect potential love interests. The app also connected people to the eligible guys via the ‘Ready for Love’ Facebook Page and the guys’ Facebook timelines. As the show progresses, fans will be able to discover and engage with new content from ‘Ready for Love,’ immersing viewers in 24-hour storytelling through the Facebook Pages for Longoria, the eligible guys, the matchmakers, and the women looking for love. The show launches into a romantic journey that will combine in-studio competition and reality show elements. Each week, the women who fail to make a connection with the men will be sent home. In an intense finale, the quest for love culminates when the three men each choose their final woman and the couples must then decide if they’ll get engaged, married, or simply live happily ever after. No matter what happens — they will all discover if they are really ‘Ready for Love.’”
Says the network: “Created by multi-award winning writer Andrew Davies, ‘Mr Selfridge’ tells the story of ‘Mile a Minute Harry’, a man with a mission to make shopping as thrilling as sex. Pioneering and reckless, with an almost manic energy, he created a theatre of retail where any topic or trend that was new, exciting, entertaining – or sometimes just eccentric – was showcased. Joining Piven in ‘Mr Selfridge’ is Katherine Kelly (‘Coronation Street’) as the confident and alluring socialite Lady Mae, whose connections prove vital for Harry as he builds his empire. Also starring is Frances O’Connor (‘Piccadilly Jim’) who will play Harry’s wife Rose, acclaimed French actor Gregory Fitoussi (‘Spiral’) as Henri Leclair, Harry’s flamboyant creative director, Aisling Loftus (‘The Borrowers,’ ‘Dive’) as shop assistant Agnes, Trystan Gravelle (‘Anonymous’) as ladies’ man Victor, the Assistant Manager at Selfridges in-store restaurant, and Zoe Tapper (‘Desperate Romantics’) playing a celebrated stage entertainer, Ellen Love, who becomes the new ‘face’ of Selfridges. The drama is set in London in 1909, at a time when women were reveling in a new sense of freedom and modernity. Harry wanted to indulge, empower and celebrate these women and so opened the doors of his lavish department store, on London’s famous Oxford Street. Through the innovations and spectacular events Harry staged within the store, the stories will shine a light on hidden moments of the history of women, be it fashion, cosmetics, technology or domestic affairs. Harry’s colorful life will play out against the rich tapestry of London at the turn of the century. In his leisure hours he was a gambler, and although happily married, he enjoyed the company of glamorous show girls and film stars. His womanizing was legendary and he very much lived life in the fast lane.”
(ABC, Apr. 3)
Says the network: “Polly (Sarah Chalke) is a single mom who has recently divorced. The transition hasn’t been easy for her, especially in this economy. So, like a lot of young people living in this new reality, she and her daughter, Natalie (Rachel Eggleston), have moved back home with her eccentric parents, Elaine (two time Golden Globe® and Emmy® nominee Elizabeth Perkins) and Max (three time Emmy® winner Brad Garrett). But Polly and her parents look at life through different generational lenses. Polly (in contrast to how she was raised) aspires to be organized and together, while Max and Elaine live a more free-flowing, improvisational life-style. Polly wants to take it slow with new relationships, while her parents encourage her to be more sexually adventurous. Polly and her parents’ views on parenting itself also conflict: Polly wants to be an involved modern parent, but Max and Elaine are laid back, hands-off parents from the 1970s. Polly believes children need to be sheltered and have structure and guidance, while Max and Elaine feel that children need the freedom to fall and pick themselves back up. After all, Polly turned out okay, so what’s the big deal? They say it takes a village to raise a child, but in Polly’s case, this village is on fire, and although her ex-husband Julian’s (Jon Dore) intentions are good, he doesn’t exactly help extinguish the flames. But through figuring out how to live with her dysfunctional family, Polly realizes she might even be able to learn a few helpful things about herself.”
Says the network: “Mixing family with business is never easy, and Jack Shea (Kyle Bornheimer) is about to learn that lesson the hard way. When Jack’s father, Tony (J.K. Simmons), has a heart attack and is forced to hand over the keys to his beloved handyman business, Jack is eager to finally step up and make his father proud. Unfortunately Jack’s past career efforts have been less than stellar, so everyone seems to be waiting for him to fail. His new job isn’t made any easier by Tony’s rebellious, troublemaking assistant, Darren (Edi Gathegi), and Darren’s flirtatious sister, Liz (Danielle Nicolet), who works at the local hardware store. But with the support of his Aunt Terry (Leah Remini) and his oddball yet endearing cousin Mason (Johnny Pemberton), Jack Shea may just find his true calling right at home.”
Says the network: “One of the most fascinating literary characters comes to life on television for the first time: psychiatrist-turned-serial-killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In this new drama from Bryan Fuller (‘Pushing Daisies,’ ‘Heroes’), based on the characters from Thomas Harris’ classic novels, we see where this incredible story began. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy, ‘The Big C’) is a gifted criminal profiler who is on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI. Graham’s unique way of thinking gives him the astonishing ability to empathize with anyone – even psychopaths. He seems to know what makes them tick. But when the mind of the twisted killer he’s pursuing is too complicated for even Will to comprehend, he enlists the help of Dr. Lecter, one of the premier psychiatric minds in the country. Armed with the uncanny expertise of the brilliant doctor, Will and Hannibal (known as a serial killer only to the audience) form a brilliant partnership and it seems there’s no villain they can’t catch. If Will only knew…”
Says the network: “Based on the hit UK television series of the same name, ‘Mistresses’ is a provocative and thrilling drama about the scandalous lives of a sexy and sassy group of four girlfriends, each on her own path to self-discovery. Savannah (“Savi”) is a successful career woman working toward the next phase in her life — both professionally and personally — bucking for partner at the law firm where she works while also trying to start a family with her husband, Harry. They’ve been trying to get pregnant for some time, but when their fertility issues begin to take center stage, Savi finds herself attracted to her flirtatious colleague, Dominic. Savi’s free-spirited and capricious baby sister, Josslyn, couldn’t be more different, living single, serial dating and partying, and regularly leaning on her big sister. A real estate agent, Josslyn has no interest in a committed, long-term relationship. Their common best friend, April, is a recent widow and mother of a ten-year-old daughter. In the effort to rebuild her life and move forward, April opens a shop for home decorating. After she receives her late husband’s lucrative life insurance check, she begins getting prank phone calls and tells her closest girlfriends that she’s convinced her husband is still alive. Karen is a therapist with her own thriving practice, reconnecting with the girls after her involvement in a complicated relationship with a wealthy, married patient goes too far; she was having an affair with a terminally ill client to whom she had prescribed morphine. After his death, the man’s distraught son, Sam, confides in a guilt-ridden Karen, unaware of her role in his father’s life. The grieving widow, Elizabeth Grey (recurring guest star Penelope Ann Miller [‘The Artist’), has no idea her late husband had a romance with another woman. These four friends find support and guidance with each other as they brave their turbulent journeys and life’s storms of excitement, secrecy and betrayal, all the while bound by the complex relationships they’ve created.”
Says the network: “Welcome to the Midwestern suburbs, where exciting things never happen. Well, almost never. After a near-death experience (choking on a hero sandwich), Beth (Emmy nominee Anne Heche, ‘Hung’) is revived only to realize she now has a direct line to God. Of course, her husband Tom (Michael Landes, ‘Final Destination 2′) is skeptical and dismissive – and his mistress (Alexandra Breckenridge, ‘American Horror Story’) is stunned to learn that her lover’s wife is now a prophet! But when inexplicable things begin to happen, everyone’s beliefs are tested. Beth starts to say and do things that shock her family and entrance her friends, but she isn’t going to be your typical “fire and brimstone” prophet. Let’s just say if God had a desperate housewife as His mouthpiece, Beth would be it! She is the absolute last person on Earth who would be chosen. Then again, they say He works in mysterious ways. And this one is a real mystery! Heather Burns (‘Bored to Death’) and Madison Davenport (‘Shameless’) also star.”