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Winter TV preview: 18 shows worth staying indoors for this season (and when they premiere)

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So good-news, bad-news situation ...

Bad news: Most of the must-watch TV shows aren’t back until later in the year. “Game of Thrones” and “Killing Eve” will return in April, “Stranger Things” in July. The sophomore seasons of HBO’s “Barry,” “Succession” and “Big Little Lies” are coming even later. (Though for you fans of “Billions,” rest assured; the douche finance show will be back in March.)

Good news: TV is throwing so many potentially promising new series our way, it doesn’t matter. In terms of quality TV, this is the winter of our new content.

Whether a show like “Sex Education” or “Black Monday” takes hold of the zeitgeist, who knows. Some of the shows in the following list will be duds. Some of the shows I overlook will end up being sleeper hits.

There’s bound to be something new that grabs people.

What follows are the 18 shows most worth checking out through March, followed by a more comprehensive calendar of premiere dates. Most of the top shows are new and appear promising due to various considerations: a good trailer, solid early reviews, an interesting premise, talented people involved or some other combination of ineffables that I can’t explain and won’t explain because I don’t have to explain myself to you people.

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“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”/ “The Good Place” (NBC)

Both return Thursday

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” moves to NBC for its sixth season, after being canceled by Fox. This will pair it with “The Good Place,” one of TV’s best shows, making this one of the strongest comedy blocks since “Community” paired with “Parks and Recreation.” It'll be interesting to see if the network shift changes “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” in any way; it will be even more interesting to see what the hell happens on “The Good Place,” following its crazy midseason finale.


“Sex Education” (Netflix)

First season streams Friday

British dramedy about a virgin (Asa Butterfield) and son of a sex therapist (Gillian Anderson) who sets up a secret sex health clinic at his high school. Early reviews are very good.

“True Detective” (HBO)

Season premiere Sunday

Given that this is an anthology series, the second season of which aired more than three years ago, the “True Detective” reboot might as well be considered a new series. This time out, series creator Nic Pizzolatto chronicles the investigation of a crime in the Ozarks, with detectives Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff on the case. Behind-the-camera talent includes “Green Room” director Jeremy Saulnier and “Deadwood” showrunner David Milch. The early reviews say it’s good, much better than the calamity of Season 2, but that it probably won’t prompt the pop-cultural obsession of Season 1.

“Corporate” (Comedy Central)

Jan. 15

The sometimes savage satire (co-created by former Omahan Pat Bishop) returns. The debut season was an uneven but occasionally brilliant comedy about the miseries of modernity and working for a corporate entity. Season 2 is when good shows become great shows, if they’re going to become great shows at all. So, in defiance of the spirit of “Corporate,” I’m optimistic. All I know is the upcoming season has an episode called “Thanks!”

“Schitt’s Creek” (Pop)

Jan. 16

Returning for its fifth season, this Canadian sitcom stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara as the head of a wealthy family who lose everything and are forced to rebuild their lives in their one remaining asset: a rundown town in the middle of nowhere. It’s a not a comedic masterpiece by any stretch, but it’s consistently funny. The first four seasons are now streaming on Netflix.

“Dynasties” (BBC America)

Jan. 19

David Attenborough (and that sweet, sweet voice of his) narrates a new nature doc miniseries, this one following five endangered species all over the planet.

“Black Monday” (Showtime)

Jan. 20

Wall Street comedy set during the 1987 crash. Early reviews are mixed, but it’s got a hell of a cast: Don Cheadle, Omaha native Andrew Rannells, Regina Hall and Paul Scheer.

“Black Earth Rising” (Netflix)

Jan. 25

Acclaimed eight-episode miniseries (that’s already aired in the U.K.) about Kate (Michaela Coel), a Rwanda-born investigator in London who gets caught up in the prosecution of an African militia leader. John Goodman and Harriet Walter co-star.

“I Am the Night” (TNT)

Jan. 28

“Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins made this mystery miniseries set in 1949, starring Chris Pine as an investigative reporter. Early reviews are decent, if not extraordinary.

“Russian Doll” (Netflix)

Feb. 1

Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland (“Sleeping With Other People”) co-created this “Groundhog Day”-esque comedy, which follows Natasha Lyonne as a woman caught in a time loop, reliving the same New York City party over and over, dying at the end every time.

“PEN15” (Hulu)

Feb. 8

Lonely Island-produced comedy with a hilarious premise: Two grown women (show creators Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine) play 13-year-old versions of themselves in the year 2000, all their other classmates played by actual 13-year-olds.

“Miracle Workers” (TBS)

Feb. 12

Steve Buscemi plays God. Daniel Radcliffe plays a low-level employee in heaven who reads humanity’s prayers. That should be enough to intrigue you.

“Lorena” (Amazon Prime)

Feb. 15

A documentary miniseries about Lorena Bobbitt, the woman who in 1993 cut off her husband’s penis. The series was produced by Jordan Peele.

“Documentary Now!” (IFC)

Feb. 20

The third season of the hilariously niche series lampoons various documentary genres (and in many cases specific documentaries). This season will do a “Wild Wild Country”-inspired episode (featuring Owen Wilson as a cult leader) and a spoof of “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present,” starring Cate Blanchett as an acclaimed performance artist. “Documentary Now!” will be too esoteric for most viewers, but its incisive, affectionate dissection of the form will prove delightful to anyone who’s seen a lot of docs.

“Better Things” (FX)

Feb. 28

Pamela Adlon returns with the third season of her acclaimed series — this time without Louis C.K.

“Now Apocalypse” (Starz)

March 10

New comedy from Gregg Araki (“Mysterious Skin”) about four friends living a life of hedonism in L.A. while a larger conspiracy plays out in the margins. Or maybe they’re just being paranoid.

“Turn Up Charlie” (Netflix)

March 15

Idris Elba plays a struggling DJ in this new Netflix comedy he co-created. Yeah, I’ll give it a shot.

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Full-ish premiere calendar

 JAN. 10

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC)

“The Good Place” (NBC)

“Fam” (CBS): New multi-camera family sitcom. 

JAN. 11

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (The CW)

“Future Man” (Hulu): Second season of Josh Hutcherson’s scatological sci-fi comedy.

“Informer” (Amazon Prime): British terrorism miniseries.

“Sex Education” (Netflix)


JAN. 13

“True Detective” (HBO)

“Valley of the Boom” (National Geographic): 1990s-set Silicon Valley miniseries starring Bradley Whitford and Steve Zahn.


JAN. 14

 “The Good Doctor” (ABC)

“The Passage” (Fox): Mark-Paul Gosselaar stars in this vampire virus epic based on the big ol’ book by Justin Cronin.


JAN. 15

“Corporate” (Comedy Central)

“The Flash” (The CW): Still the fastest man alive.

“Roswell, New Mexico” (The CW): A kinda reboot of the beloved(?) alien series.

“This Is Us” (NBC)


JAN. 16

“All American” (The CW): The last few episodes of the first season of The CW’s very good sports drama, inspired by the life of pro football player Spencer Paysinger.

“Deadly Class” (Syfy): Comic book-based action series about a teen recruited into a private school for assassins.

“Riverdale” (The CW)

“Schitt’s Creek” (Pop)


JAN. 17

“A Discovery of Witches” (Shudder/Sundance Now): Supernatural romance series based on the book by Deborah Harkness and starring Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer.

“How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC)

“Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS All Access)


JAN. 18

“Butterfly” (Hulu): A new drama about parents raising a transgender child.

“Carmen Sandiego” (Netflix): Animated origin story of the world’s greatest thief, with Gina Rodriguez providing the voice of Carmen.

“Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” (Netflix): The notorious music fest that never was gets a documentary produced by Vice.

“Grace and Frankie” (Netflix)

“Trigger Warning With Killer Mike” (Netflix): The Run the Jewels rapper has a new six-part “subversive comedy documentary” that deals with social issues and cultural taboos.


JAN. 19

“Brexit” (HBO): Movie about the 2016 Brexit vote starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

“Dynasties” (BBC America)


JAN. 20

“Black Monday” (Showtime)

“High Maintenance” (HBO): Third season of the excellent comedy series, with stories of various New Yorkers, all revolving around their friendly pot dealer, known only as “The Guy.”

“SMILF” (Showtime): Frankie Shaw’s single-mom comedy returns for Season 2.

“Supergirl” (The CW): Superheroes.


JAN. 21

“Arrow” (The CW): Superheroes.

“Black Lightning” (The CW): Superheroes.


JAN. 22

“Conan” (TBS): Conan O’Brien tinkers with his formula in a new half-hour format.


JAN. 23

“The Magicians” (Syfy): It's about magicians.


JAN. 24

“Broad City” (Comedy Central): Final season.

“Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” (Netflix): Netflix takes you inside the mind of a serial killer.

“The Other Two” (Comedy Central): The older siblings of a famous 13-year-old struggle with modern life.


JAN. 25

“Black Earth Rising” (Netflix)

“Kingdom” (Netflix): Korean zombie drama set in medieval times.

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix): The final episodes.


JAN. 27

“Rent” (Fox): A live production, three hours long.


JAN. 28

“I Am the Night” (TNT)


JAN. 31

“Will & Grace” (NBC)


FEB. 1

“The ABC Murders” (Amazon Prime): Miniseries based on an Agatha Christie novel, starring John Malkovich as detective Hercule Poirot.

“Russian Doll” (Netflix)


FEB. 3

Super Bowl LIII: The LIIIrd Super Bowl.


FEB. 8

“One Day at a Time” (Netflix): Third season of the acclaimed sitcom starring Justina Machado.

“PEN15” (Hulu)


FEB. 10

“The Walking Dead” (AMC)


Feb. 12

“Miracle Workers” (TBS)


FEB. 15

“Doom Patrol” (DC Universe): Superheroes.

“Proven Innocent” (Fox): New legal procedural.

“The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix): Superheroes.


FEB. 19

“At Home With Amy Sedaris” (truTV)


FEB. 20

“Documentary Now!” (IFC)


FEB. 21

“Desus & Mero” (Showtime): The hilarious duo move from Viceland to Showtime.

“Flack” (Pop): Six-ep drama starring Anna Paquin as a publicist.


FEB. 24

Academy Awards (ABC): They’re going to get everything wrong again.


FEB. 25

“The Enemy Within” (NBC): A former CIA agent helps track down a criminal.

“The Voice” (NBC)


FEB. 27

“Whiskey Cavalier” (ABC): Action comedy about an FBI/CIA joint task force.


FEB. 28

“Better Things” (FX)



“American Idol” (ABC)

“Cosmos: Possible Worlds” (Fox): Neil deGrasse Tyson is back with more “Cosmos.”

“Good Girls” (NBC): Season 2 for this sitcom.



“A.P. Bio” (NBC): Season 2 for this sitcom.



“American Gods” (Starz): Following a tumultuous exodus of writers and cast members, the fantastical series returns for a second season.

“Now Apocalypse” (Starz)



“The Village” (NBC): Ensemble drama centered around the residents of a Brooklyn apartment building.



 “Shrill” (Hulu): Comedy series based on Lindy West’s memoir of the same name, featuring Aidy Bryant as West.

“Turn Up Charlie” (Netflix)



“Billions” (Showtime): I’ve continually tried to like this show.



“The Fix” (ABC): Legal drama co-created by Marcia Clark, former lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial.



“The Act” (Hulu): New true crime anthology series.


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