Saturday, 3 January 2015

2015: Television Preview

Saturday, 3 January 2015

2014? Pah! That's so last year! What goodies has the small-screen got in store for us in 2015? Below is a chronological list of the most notable TV shows premiering/returning to our screens, according to yours truly...


4 Jan: GALAVANT – Season 1 (ABC)
Premiere of the musical-comedy fairy tale, about a dashing hero's attempts to reclaim his lost reputation at the hand of an evil monarch who stole his beloved's heart. Original music composed by Alan Menken. Starring Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, Mallory Jansen, Karen David & Luke Youngblood. Created by Dan Fogelman (The Neighbors)
Excitement level: ★☆☆☆

5 Jan: BROADCHURCH – Series 2 (ITV)
Long-awaited and unexpected return of the hit crime drama, with David Tennant and Olivia Colman reprising their roles as detectives. Co-starring Marianne Jean-Baptiste, James D'Arcy, Eve Myles, Charlotte Rampling, Meera Syal & Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

6 Jan: AGENT CARTER – Season 1 (ABC)
Another Marvel-made comic-book adaptation, filling the winter hiatus of Agents of SHIELD, focusing on the 1940s adventures of intrepid Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) from Captain America. Co-starring James D'Arcy, Chad Michael Murray, Enver Gjokaj (Dollhouse) & Shea Whigham.
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

7 Jan: EMPIRE – Season 1 (Fox)
Premiere of the music drama about a hip hop legend, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), who discovers he has ALS and must decide which of his three sons will inherit his mantle before he's crippled. Co-starring Taraji P. Henson & Gabourey Sidibe.
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

11 Jan: EPISODES – Season 4 (Showtime)
Return of the showbiz satire about a British screenwriting couple struggling in Hollywood. Starring Matt Le Blanc, Stephen Mangan & Tamsin Greig.
Excitement level: ★☆☆☆

16 Jan: 12 MONKEYS – Season 1 (Syfy)
Adaptation of the 1995 apocalyptic sci-fi drama, about a man from 2045 A.D, sent back to prevent a global super-virus being unleashed by 'The Army of the Twelve Monkeys' cult. Starring Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Kirk Acevedo, Noah Bean & Tom Noonan.
Excitement level: ★☆☆☆

16 Jan: ASCENSION (Sky1)
UK premiere of the Syfy miniseries about a top secret mission to colonise a nearby world, launched in the 1960s and halfway through its 100-year journey.
Excitement level: ★☆☆☆

16 Jan: HELIX (Syfy)
Season 2 premiere of the sci-fi viral outbreak drama, with the action now switching to a mysterious wooded island.
Excitement level: ★☆☆☆

20 Jan: JUSTIFIED – Season 6 (FX)
Final season of the U.S crime drama about a sharp-shooting Federal Marshall working in Kentucky. Starring Timothy Olyphant & Walton Goggins. Guest stars include Sam Elliott, Garret Dillahunt & Jeff Fahey.
Excitement level: ★★★★

21 Jan: ARROW – Season 3, Part 2 (The CW)
Return of the superhero drama for the last half of its season.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

22 Jan: BACKSTROM – Season 1 (Fox)
Premiere of the comedy-drama about a bad-mannered but brilliant detective. Starring Rainn Wilson, Genevieve Angelson, Page Kennedy, Kristoffer Polaha, Dennis Haysbert, Beatrice Rosen & Thomas Dekker.
Excitement level: ★☆☆☆

27 Jan: COMMUNITY – Season 6 (Yahoo)
Unexpected reprise of the geek-favourite comedy about a group of misfits in community college, now transferred from NBC to Yahoo online. Starring Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Jim Rash, Keith David & Paget Brewster.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

28 Jan: THE AMERICANS – Season 3 (FX)
Return of the 1980s espionage drama about two Russian spies, living undercover as a married American couple with kids. Starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Maximiliano Hernández, Holly Taylor, Keidrich Sellati & Noah Emmerich.
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

29 Jan: FORTITUDE – Series 1 (Sky Atlantic)
New crime drama set in an isolated Arctic outpost where a murder's been committed. Starring Christopher Eccleston (The Leftovers), Stanley Tucci, Sienna Guillory, Michael Gambon, Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing), Richard Dormer, Nicholas Pinnock, Luke Treadaway, Veronica Echegui & Johnny Harris.
Excitement level: ★★★☆


8 Feb: BETTER CALL SAUL – Season 1 (AMC/Netflix)
Highly anticipated follow-up to Breaking Bad, following the origins of memorable criminal lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). Co-starring Jonathan Banks, Michael McKean, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian & Michael Mando. The non-US premiere for most territories is expected to be 9 Feb on Netflix.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

8 Feb: THE WALKING DEAD – Season 5, Part 2 (AMC)
The ratings-smash returns to conclude its fifth season.
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

19 Feb: VIKINGS – Season 3 (NBC)
Return of the drama about a marauding gang of Norsemen. Starring Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgård, George Blagden & Alexander Ludwig.

27 Feb: HOUSE OF CARDS – Season 3 (Netflix)
A third all-episodes release of the political drama. Starring Kevin Spacey & Robin Wright.


1 Mar: THE LAST MAN ON EARTH – Season 1 (Fox)
Will Forte starts as the eponymous survivor of an unspecified event that eradicated the human population in 2022. Co-starring January Jones (Mad Men) & Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords). Directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie)
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

2 Mar: THE FOLLOWING – Season 3 (Fox)
Return of the crime drama about a genius serial killer and his cat-and-mouse games with a dedicated FBI agent. Starring Kevin Bacon & James Purefoy.
Excitement level: ★☆☆☆

3 Mar: MARVEL'S AGENTS OF SHIELD – Season 2, Part 2 (ABC)The second season of the comic-book adventure begins its last half.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

Premiere of the Tina Fey-created sitcom about a woman (Ellie Kemper) who was once part of a doomsday cult. Co-starring Tituss Burgess, Sara Chase, Lauren Adams, Jane Krakowski & Carol Kane.
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

TBC Mar: HANNIBAL – Season 3 (NBC)
The dark serial killer drama returns, with Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) now a fugitive in Europe with his therapist. Co-starring Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne & Gillian Anderson.
Excitement level: ★★★★


4 Apr: OUTLANDER – Season 1, Part 2 (Starz)
The 18th-century romantic drama returns to conclude its inaugural season. Starring Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Gary Lewis & Graham McTavish.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

10 Apr: DAREDEVIL – Season 1 (Netflix)
First of the four Marvel-made superhero dramas premiering this year, concerning a lawyer who goes blind but also gains heightened senses and athleticism. Starring Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood), Elden Henson, Vincent D'Onofrio & Rosario Dawson (Sin City). Steven S. DeKnight (Angel, Spartacus) is the showrunner.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

12 Apr: GAME OF THRONES – Season 5 (HBO)
Return of the hugely popular fantasy drama, with much of the action now switching location to Dorne. UK premiere the next day on Sky Atlantic.
Excitement level: ★★★★

18 Apr: ORPHAN BLACK – Season 3 (BBC America)
The sci-fi drama about a woman discovering she's one of many clones returns.


14 May: WAYWARD PINES – Season 1 (Fox)
Premiere of the mystery drama from M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) about a U.S Secret Service agent investigating the disappearance of two Federal agents in a strange Idaho town. Starring Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Melissa Leo, Terence Howard, Toby Jones, Reed Diamond & Shannyn Sossamon.


New sci-fi drama inspired by Ray Bradbury's 1951 short story Zero Hour, about an alien race who use children to invade the planet. Starring Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Barry Sloane, Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) & Autumn Reeser (No Ordinary Family).
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

WESTWORLD – Season 1 (HBO)
Adaptation of Michael Crichton's celebrated novel about a futuristic theme park, where a Wild West experience becomes a death trap after the robots malfunction. Starring Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, Miranda Otto, Rodrigo Santoro, Ed Harris & Shannon Woodward. Written and directed by Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar).
Excitement level: ★★★★

11/22/63 (Hulu)
Miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's 2011 novel, about an English teacher who travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

SENSE8 – Season 1 (Netflix)
Premiere of the sci-fi drama about eight strangers around the world who suddenly becomes emotionally and mentally linked. Created by The Wachowskis (The Matrix) & J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5). Starring Alfonso Herrera, Naveen Andrews, Daryl Hannah, Brian J. Smith, Tuppence Middleton & Freema Agyeman.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

HALO: NIGHTFALL – Season 1 (Showtime)
Steven Spielberg-produced adaptation of the popular XBOX video game franchise.

Television sequel to the cult Evil Dead/Army of Darkness horror movies, written by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man). Bruce Campbell reprises his role as quick-witted demon-slayer Ash, joined by two female protagonists.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

HUMANS – Season 1 (Channel 4/AMC)
Premiere of the sci-fi drama about a world where artificial humans (known as 'Synths') are common domestic purchases. Starring William Hurt (AI), Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd), Neil Maskell (Utopia), Gemma Chan, Emily Berrington (24: Live Another Day), Rebecca Front & Colin Morgan (Merlin).
Excitement level: ★★★☆

13-part miniseries revival of the once-popular superhero drama from 2006-10. Written by Tim Kring. Starring Jack Coleman.
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

PENNY DREADFUL (Showtime/Sky Atlantic)
Season 2 of the supernatural drama, where various figures from Victorian horror literature are brought together to battle an Egyptian doomsday prophecy. Starring Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Harry Treadaway & Helen McCrory.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

Season 2 of the crime anthology drama. Starring Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, Kelly Reilly & Afemo Omilami.
Excitement level: ★★★☆


DOCTOR WHO – Series 9 (BBC1)
Return of the family sci-fi adventure. Starring Peter Capaldi & Jenna Coleman.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

Return of the period drama.
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

FARGO (FX/Channel 4)
Season 2 of the crime drama, inspired by the Coen Brothers film, now taking place in 1979. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Jeffrey Donovan & Rachel Keller.
Excitement level: ★★★☆


SHERLOCK – Christmas Special (BBC1)
Mark Gatiss-written special for Christmas. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman.
Excitement level: ★★★☆


'COBALT' (working title) – Season 1 (AMC)
Spin-off to The Walking Dead, focusing on a divorced father coping with the same zombie uprising while trying to protect his family. Starring Cliff Curtis & Kim Dickens (Gone Girl).
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

THE AFTER - Season 1 (Amazon)
New sci-fi mystery drama, following a successful pilot last year, about a group of strangers brought together when a strange event occurs. Update: Amazon CANCELLED production.
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

A.K.A JESSICA JONES - Season 1 (Netflix)
Second of the year's new Marvel-made superhero dramas exclusive to Netflix, this one concerning a former-superhero turned private eye (Krysten Ritter).
Excitement level: ★★★☆

MADDADDAM – Season 1 (HBO)
Adaptation of the novel trilogy by Margaret Atwood, set in a post-apocalyptic future where a group of people survive after a global pandemic. Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Noah).
Excitement level: ★★☆☆

UTOPIA – Season 1 (HBO)
U.S remake of the UK thriller about a group of internet friends who come under attack from a shadowy agency when they discover a graphic novel that can predict the future. Directed by David Fincher.
Excitement level: ★★★☆

PREACHER – Season 1 (AMC)
Adaptation of the 1990s horror-fantasy comic-book, about a Texan preacher possessed by a divine spirit that enables him to vocally control people, who goes on a road trip with his bad-ass girlfriend and an Irish vampire to find God.
Excitement level: ★★★★

AMERICAN GODS – Season 1 (Starz)
Adaptation of Neil Gaiman's hit novel about the growing rivalry between the old Gods of myth and legend, and modern society's new Gods.
Excitement level: ★★★☆