Midseason Shows Bring New Life to TV Lineup

Midseason brings some familiar and some fresh TV offerings.

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Couch potatoes, the midseason TV cavalry is here. Perfect Couples premieres Thursday night on NBC, giving viewers a weekly dose of Geek Goddess Olivia Munn, who will star in a Friends-style sitcom about three couples. Click through for more of the midseason lineup.
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American Idol returns Wednesday night on Fox. Simon's gone, and Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler join holdover Randy Jackson at the judges’ table.
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One of the more hotly anticipated new mid-season shows, The Cape, (premiered, Jan. 9 on NBC), has a cop getting framed and turning to a circus performer to learn how to fight crime.
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Live to Dance (series premiered, Jan. 4 on CBS)
nPaula Abdul’s consolation prize for losing her American Idol gig finds the former Laker Girl and choreographer getting back to her roots with her own reality competition show.
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The Biggest Loser: Couples (season premiered, Jan. 4 on NBC)
nAllison, Bob and Jillian welcome pairs for the fourth time, including one guy who tips the scales at 507, desperate to shed pounds.
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ABC
The Bachelor (season premiered, Jan. 3 on ABC)
nThat lovable scamp Brad Womack, who sent all 25 of his suitors packing in season 11, is back dispensing his cruel judgments upon a fresh batch of beautiful young women already struggling with low self-esteem.
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The Marriage Ref (season premiere, March 16 on NBC)
nJerry Seinfeld’s show returns, with host Tom Pappa officiating as a collection of celebs sits in judgment of couples struggling to hold their relationships together.
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Survivor (season premiere, Feb. 16 on CBS)
nThree teams divided by age head to an island near Nicaragua, which is where Season 21 was shot and Fabio Birza captured the $1million prize.
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Wipeout (season premiered Jan. 6 on ABC)
nIt’s the winter version of that show based on those bizarre Japanese game shows in which regular folks get physically abused by manically inventive obstacle courses. Basically a heaping helping of schadenfreude.
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Bob’s Burgers (series premierd, Jan. 9 on Fox)
nJon Benjamin, the voice behind such classic cartoons as Dr. Katz and Archer, launches another series, this one about a family-owned burger joint. Also features the voices of Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal.
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Breaking In (series premiere, April 6 on Fox)
nChristian Slater is back and he leads a sexy young team of ragtag security experts who are hired to hack into computer systems. We happily welcome the return of Odette Yustman, who got her big break in Kindergarten Cop.
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Off the Map (series premiered, Jan. 12 on ABC)
nCreated by Jenna Bans, a Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy alum, is a new show about a bunch of do-gooder doctors who start a practice in a remote South American village.
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Matthias Clamer/NBC
Harry’s Law (series premiered, Jan. 17 on NBC)
nYet another David E. Kelley legal drama, this time with Kathy Bates in the lead as Harriet Korn, a woman who runs a practice out of a rundown shoe store.
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V (season premiered, Jan. 4 on ABC)
nAliens are trying once again to take over Earth—when will they learn?
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The Chicago Code (series premiere, Feb. 7 on Fox)
nFormerly known as Ride-Along, this cop drama stars Jennifer Beals and Jarek Wysocki as a pair of crime fighters trying to bring down a dirty alderman played by Delroy Lindo.
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Parks and Recreation (season premiere, Jan. 20 on NBC)
nFans were no doubt frustrated that this show was essentially put on hiatus after it had finally hit its stride—oh well. The important thing is that it’s back. Now they’ll probably put Community on hiatus.
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Mixed Signals (series premiere, Feb. 8 on Fox)
nBased on the Israeli show “Ramzor,” which means “Traffic Light,” this comedy follows three friends at different stages of their love lives: one is still playing the field, one has just moved in with his girlfriend and the other has a wife and newborn at home.
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NBC Connecticut
Mr. Sunshine (series premiere, Feb. 9 on ABC)
nMatthew Perry returns as Ben Donovan, the manager of a sports arena in San Diego, struggling through a mid-life crisis. Hey, he was one of the best things about Studio 60, and he based the show on his own experiences going through a time when he acknowledged he was kind of a jerk, so it gets points for self-awareness. Co-stars the great Allison Janney.
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NBC Bay Area Chopper
The Event (show returns from hiatus, Feb. 28 on NBC) President Blair Underwood is determined to get to the bottom of this nonsense being perpetrated by alien leader Laura Innes, some of whose compatriots have secretly assimilated to humanity and are living among us.
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Celebrity Apprentice (season premiere, March 6 on NBC)
nThe Donald returns with a fresh slate of meat: David Cassidy, Dionne Warwick, Gary Busey, Hope Dworaczyk, John Rich, Jose Canseco, La Toya Jackson, Lil Jon, Lisa Rinna, Mark McGrath, Marlee Matlin, Meat Loaf, Nene Leakes, Niki Taylor, Richard Hatch and Star Jones. Oh, the humanity…
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America’s Next Great Restaurant (series premiere, March 16 on NBC) Chefs Bobby Flay and Curtis Stone are joined by restaurateurs Lorena Garcia and Steve Ells in the quest for…
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Body of Proof (series premiere, March 29 on ABC)
nFirst there was Quincy, then Crossing Jordan and now we’re got Dana Delany as a medical examiner who works under Jeri Ryan. We’ll go out on a limb and guess that their professional relationship is strained by either 1) Delany’s maverick-y methods or 2) forbidden love.
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Happy Endings (series premiere, April 12 on ABC) A group of friends try to rally around a depressed friend who’s just been dumped by
another good friend. Elisha Cuthbert stars as the heartbreaker. Naturally, the couple tries to remain friends, making for some awkward hijinks.
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