[Editor’s note: This article has been updated as of Apr. 4, 2016. Updates are in italics and square brackets, much like this note!]
There’s no better time to watch a little tele than the throes of winter. The thermostat will be slowly climbing in the weeks to come, but there’s another reason to remove your long underwear as a few new programs are set to heat up your living room.
Just like we’ve done before, it’s time to have a look-see at some of the new seasonal network shows and set the odds on whether they’ll survive for another season or end up stabbed and left to die in a puddle of blood like our dear Jon Snow. (Did you know that 65-percent of new TV programs get axed? Now you know, and knowing is only half the battle.)
The favorites to survive the chopping block this season are relaunches, like a certain alien conspiracy show on FOX, and a debauched ’70s period piece on HBO. There are some television programs that you shouldn’t get too attached to as the studio Grim Reaper could be coming!
Odds on being renewed for a second season:
The X-Files (Fox)
Odds: 1/10 [No announcement by FOX. Rumors say there will be a second, er 11th season.]
Airing: Sundays 10 PM E.T.
Synopsis: People rejoiced at the return of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Together they investigate paranormal cases that lead to alien conspiracies within the U.S. government, and hopefully uncover the truth on why the X-Files movies were so awful. The show has always received average reviews, so it’s no surprise that critics haven’t really warmed up to the relaunch. Nostalgia and FOX money will probably keep the show afloat for another season, but eventually the writing needs to be smarter and get away from the played out 90s formula. Will this show survive? The truth is out there. Starring: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.
The Shannara Chronicles (MTV)
Odds: 1/10 [No announcement but most likely a season two will be in store for MTV/Viacom.]
Airing: Tuesdays 10 PM E.T.
Synopsis: The Shannara Chronicles is for teenagers whose parents don’t allow them to watch Game of Thrones. With fantasy/science fiction all the rage now, MTV brings us a live adaptation of the popular Shannara fantasy novels by Terry Brooks. The story follows brothers Shea and Flick Ohmsford as they journey to find the Sword of Shannara and defeat an evil villain who threatens their home.
The TV series started with the second book (The Elfstones of Shannara) and MTV is putting their own spin on things. Let’s hope they don’t randomly kill off beloved main characters. Whether critics like this show or not, MTV is all in on this one and a second season is almost a guarantee. Starring: Austin Butler, Poppy Drayton, Ivana Baquero, and Manu Bennett.
The Real O’Neals (ABC)
Odds: 1/5 [No formal announcement yet, but renewal is plausible given early ratings.]
Airing: Premiers Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Synopsis: Remember Martha Plimpton? She was in so many great films in the 80s. Now she’s back in a new ABC sitcom. There has been some buzz about this new comedy but we’ll see how it holds up in its time slot. The series chronicles the lives of a close-knit Catholic family, whose personal secrets will reveal their true selves and provide a reality check when they finally come clean to each other. This looks very quirky and will remind you of Modern Family. Will it have staying power? We shall see. Also starring: Jay R. Ferguson, Noah Galvin, Matt Shively.
Second Chance (Fox)
2/3 [5/1. No formal announcement yet, but expect the network executioner. Odds have been updated to reflect the latest speculation]
Airing: Wednesdays at 9 PM E.T.
Synopsis: Second Chance is another show about a corrupt cop – sort of. Jimmy Pritchard, a morally wayward police officer, is murdered in a home invasion, but brought back to life and given a new and younger body by a couple billionaire tech-genius twins. (The premise sounds a lot like a Ryan Reynold’s 2014 film Self/Less.) Pritchard is given a second chance at life but the temptations that led to his career being tarnished continue to haunt him. The show is getting ripped by critics and probably won’t get a second chance. Starring: Robert Kazinsky, Adhir Kalyan, and Dilshad Vadsaria.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (CW)
1/10 RENEWED [CW has confirmed a season two in the works.]
Airing: Thursdays 8 PM E.T.
Synopsis: This new comic book adaptation is a spin-off from Arrow and The Flash, existing in the same DC universe. The show focuses on time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter, who recruits a rag-tag team of heroes and villains in order to help prevent the end of our planet and time as we know it. Expect this show to stick around; superheroes are hot right now. Starring: Victor Garber, Caity Lotz, Franz Drameh, Ciara Renée, Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, and Wentworth Miller.
Shades of Blue (NBC)
1/10 RENEWED [NBC has announced they are picking up the cop drama for a second season.]
Airing: Thursdays 10 PM E.T.
Synopsis: Apparently we needed another cop drama. This new series involves a bunch of dirty New York cops and a detective named Harlee Santos (Jennifer Lopez). Santos is a single mom who joins the FBI’s anti-corruption task force but has to deal with her own financial hardship, corrupt officers, and the stress that comes with raising a daughter by herself. With a pretty great cast and solid ratings, it will likely get a second season. They just need to fix the very formulaic writing. Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Warren Kole, Dayo Okeniyi, Ray Liotta, and Drea de Matteo.
1/10 RENEWED [HBO has confirmed that there will be a season two.]
Airing: Sundays at 9:00 PM E.T.
Synopsis: Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll is exactly what HBO needed with their new 70s period drama created by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger. Vinyl is about a New York label executive who hustles to make a career out of the city’s diverse music scene. The show has been getting rave reviews and is pretty much a lock to get a second season. Starring: Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, and Ray Romano.
Shadowhunters (Freeform in USA, Netflix in Canada)
2/3 RENEWED [Freeform has announced that they have renewed Shadowhunters.]
Airing: Tuesdays 10 PM E.T.
Synopsis: Remember that movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones? It’s okay neither do I. That film was based on a series of six young-adult fantasy novels called The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Because the film bombed, the popular books were adapted into a television series and renamed Shadowhunters. It’s a supernatural drama where a young woman enters the fulfilling world of demon hunting. There are enough fans of the books to keep this show going, or there could be an exorcism. Starring: Katherine McNamara, Dominic Sherwood, Alberto Rosende, Matthew Daddario, and Emeraude Toubia.
1/1 RENEWED [NBC has renewed this sitcom for a 2nd season.]
Airing: Mondays at 8 PM E.T.
Synopsis: This new sitcom follows a group of employees who work at a big-box store called “Cloud 9” in St. Louis, Missouri. Of course there are all kinds of hijinks, crazy characters, and intra-store romances, all the things you get when working in retail. The show was created by The Office (USA) writer Justin Spitzer who’s clearly trying to use the same work-place comedic formula for this one. Early reviews have been mixed so a second season is no guarantee. Starring: “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nichole Bloom, and Mark McKinney.
3/2 RENEWED [FX has renewed this quirky comedy for a second run.]
Airing: Thursdays 10 PM E.T.
Synopsis: After being kicked out of a prestigious clown school in France, a California man pursues his dream of becoming a professional harlequin, but is stuck being a rodeo clown. The show, which is getting positive reviews, was created by comedians Louis C.K. and Zach Gal..a..frak..er..nakus? (You know who I mean.) It’s odd and quirky enough to at least last for a couple seasons, but that will be highly dependent on Zach and Louie. Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Sabina Sciubba, and Malia Pyles.
(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flikr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/9344552231)]. Photo has been cropped.)