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10 TV Events To Watch For In January

Mike Vulpo |
January 1, 2011 | 3:15 p.m. PST


OWN (Oprah.com)
OWN (Oprah.com)
After a holiday break full of repeats, it’s time for networks and cable channels to bring back new and returning programs. As a new year begins, here’s a preview of ten television events to look out for this month.

1. Debut of the Oprah Winfrey Network (January 1)

Just when you thought a daytime talk show, a magazine, and several radio shows weren’t enough, the time has finally come for Oprah’s next project, her own network. With the end of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” quickly approaching, the next chapter for the queen of daytime TV is OWN. Programs to look out for in the first month include “Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star,” “Miracle Detectives,” “The Gayle King Show,” and “Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes.”

2. “Live to Dance” (January 4)

After a break from television, Paula Abdul returns for the new CBS dance competition show “Live to Dance.” Any act, any age, and any style of dance are welcome to be a part of this new reality competition show. Judged by Abdul, choreographer Travis Payne, and singer and dancer Kimberly Wyatt, a former member of the Pussycat Dolls, the winning performer or group will take home half-million-dollar prizes.

3. “People’s Choice Awards” (January 5)

The awards show where winners are picked solely by the people returns to CBS. Hosted by Queen Latifah, the show honors America’s favorites in music, movies, and TV. Diddy-Dirty Money and Kid Rock are expected to perform.

4. “Jersey Shore” (January 6)

Season three is back without Angelina but with the addition of Snooki’s BFF, Deena. MTV’s trailer shows the possibility of Sammi leaving the shore early after many fights with several roommates. In addition, Snooki is arrested for disorderly conduct and the grenade whistle is introduced.

5. “Wipeout” (January 6)

Usually a summer guilty pleasure, ABC’s “Wipeout” is now being transformed into a winter wonderland filled with “slippery ice, frosty snow, and numerous avalanches.” The signature red balls are still part of the course and the painful wipeouts continue; and that water and mud sure look a lot colder.

6. “Teen Mom 2” (January 11)

The drama may be continuing for the original Teen Moms, (did you hear Amber got arrested for domestic violence?) but MTV is introducing four new young moms. Parents Leah, Kailyn, Jenelle, and Chelsea will continue to share their struggles of raising a child with fathers who may not be completely supportive and parents who may be too demanding. Some argue this show glamorizes teenage pregnancy but others believe it’s one of the most realistic portrayals on television today.

7. “Golden Globes” (January 16)

NBC has allowed Ricky Gervais to return once again to host the “Golden Globes,” the awards show where celebrities actually have a great time. The awards show will help predict who will be the big motion picture winners for the upcoming awards season as well as recognize the best in television. Tune in to see if "Black Swan," "The Social Network," or your favorite movie takes home the top prize.

8. “Piers Morgan Tonight” (January 17)

Weeks after Larry King ended his self-titled nightly program “Larry King Live” because of poor ratings and wanting to pursue other interests including family, its time for Piers Morgan to step in. In London, he’s considered one of the top tabloid journalists and in America, viewers know him from the “Celebrity Apprentice” and “America’s Got Talent.” Morgan is nervous for the big debut but it’s time for a change at 9 p.m. on CNN.

9. “American Idol” (January 19 and 20)

After a steady decline in ratings, “American Idol” is making some big changes. The new three-judge panel now consists of Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler. The random themes such as Barry Manilow week are behind us. Instead, some weeks will focus on songs from a certain decade. In addition, a stable mentor will be given to the contestants. Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine will advise the top contestants week after week.

10. “Parks and Recreation” (January 20)

After a critically acclaimed season two, Amy Poehler and the entire Parks Department are back for another season. Fan favorite Rob Lowe is returning for additional episodes and “Entertainment Weekly” has already given the third season a huge thumbs up after watching the first few episodes. The magazine warns viewers Megan Mullally will return as Ron’s Ex Wife and does someone have a crush on Leslie? Who wouldn’t?

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