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The Top Thirteen TV Shows To Watch In 2013

Christine Bancroft |
February 5, 2013 | 12:50 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

With a new year, new television shows and returning favorites may seem to overwhelm viewers. Not to worry; here's a quick list for longtime fans and curious investigators alike. Be warned: Here there be spoilers.

The Newcomers:

I just love to look at him. Aaron Tveit, man after my own heart, everyone.
I just love to look at him. Aaron Tveit, man after my own heart, everyone.
13. "Graceland": This USA show, premiering at an unspecified date this summer, is presented by the Jeff Eastin, the man behind "White Collar". It tracks the lives of governmental agents living and working together in a Southern California mansion. Featuring Aaron Tveit ("Les Misérables," "Next to Normal", also, I'm a little bit in love with him. A little bit.) and Daniel Sunjata ("Rescue Me", "The Dark Knight Rises").  This definitely has promise—and USA knows how to produce a damn good drama. USA, airing summer 2013

12. "The Americans":
Called "Homeland" with a Cold War twist, this FX show features a group of KGB officers impersonating American citizens in order to become sleeper agents. Starring Matthew Rhys ("Brothers and Sisters") and Keri Russell ("August Rush") as husband and wife, this show premiered Jan. 30 but can be viewed here. FX, Wednesday at 10 p.m.

11. "Cult":
This CW series features journalist Jeff (Matt Davis), who, while searching for his missing brother, discovers a cult…who are fans…of another cult. Personally, there was a journalist in my mom's family who once investigated a cult and got trapped in it, so I'd advise Jeff to stay away while he still can. CW, premieres Feb. 19 at 9 p.m.

10. "Zero Hour":
A conspiracist's wonderland, "Zero Hour" tells the story of the fictional Hank Galliston (Anthony Edwards, "ER"), a journalist and publisher of the "Modern Skeptic Magazine". After Galliston's wife is kidnapped, he must work with FBI agents in order to solve conspiracies in order to get his wife back. ABC, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.

9. "Mr. Selfridge":
Produced by PBS in conjunction with ITV, this is another British period drama set in 1909, featuring women's rights, uncouth business measures and the Selfridge department store. Based off the book "Shopping, Seduction and Mr. Selfridge" by Lindy Woodhead, the show describes real and fictional characters and may be a challenger to the wildly-popular and well-reviewed "Downton Abbey", also airing on PBS. PBS, premiering March 31, 9 p.m.

8. "The Following": A FOX drama featuring FBI profiler Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon, in his first regular television role) who plays in a battle of wits with a serial killer obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe (James Purefoy). Purefoy's character has recently escaped death row with the help of a vast network of copycats and "admirers", and Hardy, who caught him the first time, must find him once more. The show has already aired two episodes (viewer discretion is advised), but you can catch up here. FOX, Mondays at 9 p.m. 

Returning Vets:

7. "Justified":
While Timothy Olyphant's U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens may have stopped the creation of a criminal network, his pregnant wife Winona left him and he made a disturbing revelation regarding his father. Joe Mazzello's Billy St. Cyr, a revival preacher, and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) are at odds with each other, as Crowder's drug network may fail due to St. Cyr's attempts to convert all his dealers. The show began airing on Jan. 8 but can be watched here. FX, Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

6. "Game of Thrones": With a cast of characters this large, the television adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series has a bit of something for everyone. The past season culminated with the outbreak of full-out war, but a slew of new castmembers will also be introduced. On a separate note, watch the recently released trailer to see what the "GOT" fandom is in a tizzy about. Sadly, they have to wait a bit until season three, which covers around half of "A Storm of Swords", actually premieres. HBO, airs Sunday, March 31

The gentlemen of "Psych", James Roday and Dulé Hill, two other men I love to look at.
The gentlemen of "Psych", James Roday and Dulé Hill, two other men I love to look at.
5. "The Walking Dead": Returning for the second-half of its third season, AMC's zombie-drama (drambie? zombma?) has the group in a bit of a pickle, especially with the megalomaniacal scientist "The Governor" (played by British actor David Morrissey), whose once-idyllic community seemed a safe haven but proved to be a prison. With the loss of several characters (and the addition of a baby, which seems inopportune, considering the whole "zombie apocalypse" and all), the past half-season was a tragic one. But then again, most zombie-related subjects aren't known for their general positivity. AMC, premiering Sunday, Feb. 10

4. "Psych": With last season featuring Henry Spencer (Corbin Bernsen) putting on his detective hat once more, only to be shot by a friend (well, maybe former friend, at this point), fans were left in limbo for nearly a year. On a happier note, we're going to get a musical number, an episode inspired by "Clue" and a guest appearance from "The Dead Zone's" Anthony Michael Hall. Plus, the bromance may hit a stumble when mild-mannered Gus (Dulé Hill) gets a love interest, played by Parminder Nagra ("Bend It Like Beckham). USA, returns Feb. 27 at 10 p.m.

3. "Parks and Recreation": The underrated NBC comedy, featuring Amy Poehler as the laughable but darling Leslie Knope, a newly made city councilmember, continues detailing the lives of the Pawnee, Ind. Parks and Recreation Department (and their ambitions). Leslie prepares to get married, Ben is far off in Washington, D.C., and Ron Swanson and his fabulous mustache are as manly and cold-hearted as ever. After a brief break, the show will return to fulfill its 22-episode season, which will hopefully bring ratings to keep it on air for further seasons. FOX, returning Wednesday, Feb. 7

2. "Doctor Who": The first half of series seven ended with Amy and Rory Pond-Williams (Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill) departing the show (well, by departed, we mean "violently ripped out of time and forced to remain in 1930s New York until they die"), leaving the Doctor (Matt Smith's Eleven) alone. The Christmas special, however, "The Snowmen", featured the re-introduction of mysteriously recurring Clara Oswin Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman), who had first appeared as Oswin in "Asylum of the Daleks", where she sacrificed her life to save the Doctor's. Now, she's Clara, a barmaid/governor who now has gained an advantage in the deaths/episode ratio, which is currently 100%. A new companion always brings new questions and adventures, but a Neil Gaiman-written episode (author of "Neverwhere", also penned "The Doctor's Wife", in series six), the upcoming 50th Anniversary special and general shenanigans will make this a memorable series. BBC America, returning March 30, time TBA

1. "Community":
Last season's twists and turns culminated with a disassembled Dreamatorium, a full-on war (not unlike the upcoming war in "Game of Thrones", I imagine) between Greendale Community College and the more successful City College, the re-appearance of Evil Abed from the Worst Timeline, a faked death by Star-burns and a new sandwich shop owned by Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Pierce (Chevy Chase). Jason Alexander ("Seinfeld") and Malcolm McDowell ("A Clockwork Orange," "Heroes") will guest star in the fourth season, but Chase will be leaving. Hoping for #sixseasonsandamovie? Keep the ratings up and be sure to watch! NBC, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m.


Supposedly, BBC's series three of "Sherlock" is possibly going to air at the end of 2013, after what would then be a two-year hiatus (note that there was an 18-month hiatus between series one and series two). Maybe. At least it's in pre-production, right? Right...?

Contact Christine Bancroft here or follow her on Twitter here.



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