WHEN IT’S ON: Starting March 9
WHO’S IN IT: Omar Epps, Matt Craven, Kurtwood Smith, Devin Kelly, Frances Fisher, Nicholas Gonzalez, Samaire Armstrong
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: The small town of Arcadia, Missouri, is overrun with the walking dead! But unlike the flesh-munching monsters from that other series, these fresh-from-the-grave folks are just as surprised to be back as their families are to see them.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Mean zombies are so 2012. Friendly zombies are so 2014. Resurrection looks like it’s about as close to art as broadcast television can get, with gorgeous imagery placed alongside deeply existential questions.
WHEN IT’S ON: The series debuts January 7
WHO’S IN IT: Josh Holloway, Meghan Ory, Marg Helgenberger, Michael Rady, John Billingsley, P.J. Byrne
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Gabriel Vaughan is a Cyber Command agent with a nifty upgrade: a microchip in his brain that allows him to connect to “the global information grid”—including the internet, satellite feeds, radio signals, and more—with his mind. Naturally, his cowboy attitude doesn’t fly with his stuffy boss, and his independence irks his attractive handler.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: The return to TV of Lost’s Sawyer has been long overdue, and Holloway’s role as a Ralph Lauren model who kicks bad guys’ asses while hacking computer networks with his brain is a good fit for CBS. But Intelligence isn’t all seriousness: The pilot features a nice mix of shooting, punching, and goofy jokes.
WHEN IT’S ON: TBD
WHO’S IN IT: Johnny Sequoyah, Jake McLaughlin, Delroy Lindo, Kyle MacLachlan, Sienna Guillory, Jamie Chung
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: A young girl with emerging powers that she can’t control is being hunted by evil forces, so those who seeking to protect her bust an ex-con out of prison to look after her.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: I’m a sucker for mystery, and of all the new network series coming down the pike this midseason, Believe is the one we know the least about—it’s playing coy, and I’ve taken the bait.
WHEN IT’S ON: Starting January 10
WHO’S IN IT: Billy Campbell, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kyra Zagorsky, Mark Ghanime, Jordan Hayes, Meegwun Fairbrother, Neil Napier.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Scientists from the Center for Disease Control travel to a high-tech research facility in the Arctic to investigate a possible viral outbreak, and once they get there, a lot of scary things happen!
WHY WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: I just love syfy, hope it doesn’t disappoint.
5. The 100
WHEN IT’S ON: Starting March 19
WHO’S IN IT: Eliza Taylor, Henry Ian Cusick, Paige Turco, Isaiah Washington, Kelly Hu, Thomas McDonell, Marie Avgeropoulos, Devin Bostick
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Set in the future after mankind has destroyed the planet with nuclear war, a group of 100 juvenile delinquents who don’t comply with an orbiting space station’s Draconian rules are sent back to Earth to determine whether it’s inhabitable. Meanwhile, the adults remain in orbit and engage in their own power struggles while periodically checking in on the kids to find out whether they’ve been eaten by mutants.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: One great thing to come out of all the recent Hunger Games madness—in addition to Jennifer Lawrence interviews—is society’s relaxed ‘tude toward teenagers getting slaughtered, and that’s a big part of The 100. The show is also way more “hard sci-fi” than most typical CW dramas, and a more extreme example of The CW’s current efforts to re-brand itself as a genre network. Think Lord of the Flies in Spaaaaaace! Also, there are mutant deers!
6. True Detective
WHEN IT’S ON: Starting January 12
WHO’S IN IT: Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Dunn, Michelle Monaghan, Alexandra Daddario, Tory Kittles
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Two detectives re-open a murder case in Louisiana.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: True Detective has a neat structure going for it: The series will jump back and forth between the present day and 17 years ago, filling in the blanks of the central story, and each episode will focus on a different character’s point of view. The show is also an anthology, so any future seasons will deal with a new case and a new cast of characters.
7. Mind Games
WHEN IT’S ON: Starting March 11
WHO’S IN IT: Steve Zahn, Christian Slater, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Gregory Marcel, Jaime Ray Newman, Vinnie Jones, Luis Guzman
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Two brothers—one who’s an ex-con and one who’s a brilliant but bipolar professor—start an agency that uses the science behind manipulation, motivation, and influence to help its clients solve problems.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: This is the latest series from Kyle Killen, the man behind Lone Star and Awake, so we’re expecting it to be more than just a lighthearted procedural, or at least to push the genre as far as it can go. And with Slater (we’re crossing our fingers his TV curse is broken) and Zahn (everyone’s buddy) at the front, there’s no shortage of talent.