2013 has come to an end and we are now one week into the new year; and what a year it is assuredly going to be, especially for those of us avid TV viewers. There are plenty of dramas coming back from their holiday hiatus throughout January but there are also nearly two dozen new dramas and mini-series that are set to debut this month on both the cable and major networks.
Let’s take a look at some of the dramas and mini-series for which I am most eagerly awaiting this year, starting first with one drama that got its start last week on ABC: The Assets.
This period piece drama focuses on the most notorious traitor in US history, Aldrich Ames. Much like the FX drama The Americans, The Assets is set in the 1980s – 1985 to be specific – and focuses on the real life events of CIA counter-intelligence officer Sandy Grimes and her partner Jeanne Vertefeuille, who stopped at nothing to bring down the Cold War mole.
The lead role in The Assets is played by British actress Jodie Whittaker, whose captivating portrayal of Beth Latimer in the acclaimed BBC mini-series Broadchurch left a lasting impression with me, and anyone else, for that matter, who watched that remarkable mini-series. So, I am intrigued to see how this 8-part limited series plays out.
The Assets airs on Thursday nights at 10 PM on ABC.
Tonight’s programming on ABC and CBS will provide two very different dramas in the form of Killer Women and Intelligence. The former will star Battlestar Galactica alum Tricia Helfer as one of the first women to join the elite group of law enforcement agents: The Texas Rangers. This series counts Modern Family beauty Sofia Vergara among its executive producers and stars model-turned-actress Helfer, who has gone above and beyond in all of her numerous TV roles to prove that she is much more than just a pretty face. This new ABC series should pull in plenty of male and female viewers – after all it co-stars Marc Blucas of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Necessary Roughness fame as well as fellow BSG alum Michael Trucco – for the eight weeks that it will air.
Killer Women debuts tonight (January 7) on ABC at 10 PM.
Meanwhile over on CBS, Josh Holloway has traded in his long hair and minimal clothing from the ABC juggernaut drama Lost for a much more streamlined look (i.e., short-cropped hair and real clothes) and super-charged feel (he has a chip in his brain). Intelligence focuses on a high-tech intelligence operative (Holloway) enhanced with a super-computer microchip in his brain; in other words, you can think of him as an advanced cross between The Six Million Dollar Man and Chuck with a little bit of Mission Impossible thrown in for good measure. This is the show that includes the return of CSI alum Marg Helgenberger and a (hopefully) plum lead role for Once Upon a Time favorite Meghan Ory (she played Ruby/The Big Bad Wolf).
Intelligence also debuts tonight (January 7) on CBS at 10 PM, but then it moves on January 13 to its regular night, but it will still air at 10 PM.
This weekend will see the premiere of the second original drama from cable giant the Hallmark Channel airing. The weekly TV series When Calls the Heart, which is based on the books by famed Canadian author Janette Oke and inspired by the two-hour movie that aired on the cabler late last year, starring Lost alum Maggie Grace and Arrow alum Stephen Amell I might add, will debut.
Actor Daniel Lissing (seen in the 2012 ABC series Last Resort) and actress Erin Krakow (best known for her recurring role on the now defunct Army Wives) will take over the lead roles from the film about a wealthy young Canadian girl who heads West to be the town’s new school teacher and the town’s constable who is assigned to the town to protect her by her shipping magnate father.
When Calls the Heart debuts at 9 PM on January 11 on the Hallmark Channel.
Now let’s switch gears to something more sci-fi/supernatural-themed in the form of the new Canadian series Bitten that will debut on Syfy. The series is based on the novels by Kelley Armstrong and will focus on Elena Michaels (Laura Vandervoort of Smallville and V fame), the lone female werewolf in existence. The series also provides plenty of eye candy with actors Greg Bryk (XIII The Series), Greyston Holt (Alcatraz) and Paul Greene (The Client List) co-starring.
Bitten will debut on Syfy on January 13 at 10 PM.
As we edge closer to the end of January, there are two mini-series that have me intrigued: Klondike on the Discovery Channel and Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond on BBC America. Both mini-series are period pieces with the former being set in 1897 during the Gold Rush and the latter in World War II Europe.
Klondike is a 6-hour mini-series that will star Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden (let’s hope his character in this mini fares better than Robb Stark (see the episode “The Rains of Castamere” if you need an explanation), Tim Roth (of Lie to Me and box office fame) and Chris Copper (The Bourne Identity). It will have a two-hour debut on the Discovery Channel on January 20 at 9 PM with the remaining four hours set to air two hours each over the next consecutive nights.
Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond is a 4-part mini-series from BBC America that will star Captain America actor Dominic Cooper as the one and only Ian Fleming, the man who created the legendary character James Bond. Sherlock fans will also delight in the fact that Lara Pulver, who played Irene Adler in the episode “A Scandal in Belgravia” will co-star in this mini-series, which will debut on BBC America at 10 PM on January 29.
Needless to say, these are just some of the new dramas and mini-series that will debut during January. Please check out our January TV calendar for all the details on what to consider watching this month. And please, share your thoughts on what you can’t wait to see on both the major and cable networks this month.