Midseason TV Preview: Standouts From 21 New Shows in 2013 (VIDEO & PHOTOS)

'1600 Penn' Preview
5 things we learned from visiting the set.
It’s a new year and that means the networks are rolling the dice on series to fill the time slots vacated by their fall fails and while their hits shoot more episodes.

There are some definite trends in the midseason offerings like suburban housewives who find their world evolving (ABC’s Red Widow, NBC’s Save Me).

And grown children returning to the nest (ABC’s How to Live With Your Parents and Family Tools, FOX’s The Goodwin Games).

How about a return to the 80s (The CW’s Carrie Diaries, FX’s The Americans)?

Or, manly men who are having their beliefs challenged (FOX’s The Following, NBC’s Do No Harm, The CW’s Cult)?


In the above gallery, I’ve compiled a list of 21 new shows premiering during the midseason. And, below I’ve listed some new offerings that pique my interest the most from the batch.


  • As a Sex and the City fan, I’m really looking forward to The CW’s Carrie Diaries, which follows the development of the future sex columnist as a 16-year-old in 1984.
  • There’s so much to love about what FX’s The Americans has to offer. Felicity fans get Keri Russell, Brothers & Sisters fans get Matthew Rhys. There’s spy intrigue set in the Cold War era. Can. Not. Wait.
  • Speaking of historical dramas, I’m definitely curious about History Channel’s first scripted series The Vikings. Not only because I love the blend of history and fantasy (Starz’s Spartacus!), but Elizabeth, The Tudors and Camelot’s Michael Hirst is behind this project.
  • Grappling for my attention are FOX’s The Following and The CW’s Cult. Both explore extreme fanaticism and star two actors I appreciate: Kevin Bacon (in his TV series premiere) and Matt Davis (formerly of The Vampire Diaries).


  • NBC has already previewed 1600 Penn for audiences in December, but I promise it doesn’t lose the pilot’s hilarity (and further builds on defining its characters really well) as the season continues. As my TV reporter colleagues have pointed out, Josh Gad is a lot. But, there’s some great stuff coming for the other actors.
  • The Goodwin Games doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but it’s definitely a competitive entry into the midseason comedy ring. Not only does Ugly Betty star Becki Newton get another chance at a series (I did enjoy Love Bites, judge me), but Scott Foley gets to flex his comic muscles again too (see his stints on Cougar Town and Scrubs).


  • Premiering New Year’s Day Tuesday at 8 PM, TLC follows 90s girl group TLC member Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins as she moves to L.A. to jumpstart her music career again. She was always the most interesting member of TLC for me, so I’m interested to see how her unique gravelly vocals work as a soloist and years later.
  • Bravo goes deeper into the professional life of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills castmember Lisa Vanderpump with her spinoff Vanderpump Rules, which previews as a backdoor pilot as part of a two-hour RHOBH on Monday at 9 PM. Again, Lisa has been one of the most colorful additions to the franchise for me, so I’m way more interested in seeing her manage the staff than the drama between them. That could change as I get to know the cast, though.
  • I’m certain Foodies will find something to love about the new reality competition from ABC, The Taste, which combines elements of Top Chef with the winners judged in blind taste tests (a la The Voice’s blind auditions). Its judging panel should be entertaining with Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain on tap.
  • Speaking of The Voice, executive producer Mark Burnett once again throws some power the contestants’ way with CBS’ The Job, in which contenders vie for their dream gig while also considering offers from other companies. That’s a good twist on The Apprentice formula.

Click through the gallery above for a quick look at 21 new shows in 2013.

Which new midseason series excite you and which ones won’t make your DVR playlist?

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