10 new TV shows you need to watch this winter

SHARE 10 new TV shows you need to watch this winter

Bernard (Nathan Lee Graham, from left), Captain Dave (Dylan McDermott) and Ronnie (Kim Matula) make up the lovable flight crew of Fox’s new ensemble comedy ‘LA to Vegas.’ | FOX

How many of you have ever felt personally victimized by Peak TV?

We know the feeling: lying to your friends that you’ve been “meaning” to watch “The Leftovers” when you’re not even caught up on “Game of Thrones,” or wondering how Ray Donovan just scored an eighth Golden Globe nomination when no one but your dad still watches it. There are simply too many series to keep up with — and even more on the way.

But before you start stress-eating those leftover Christmas cookies, take a deep breath and clear some space on your DVR. After sifting through dozens of cable and network offerings, we picked the 10 new shows worth watching this winter.

‘LA to Vegas’ (Fox) Jan. 2 ( 8 p.m. Tuesdays)

Low ratings be damned, Fox has a knack for sniffing out whip-smart, offbeat workplace sitcoms, especially “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Grinder” and “The Mindy Project.” The network has another potential gem with the similarly joke-dense LA to Vegas, an ensemble comedy set on that 45-minute flight between Los Angeles and Sin City. Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”) soars as a cocky pilot, but it’s the colorful cast of sardonic flight attendants and kooky passengers that helps stick the landing.

‘The Chi’ (Showtime) Jan. 7 (9 p.m. Sundays)

The new series, set in Chicago, is masterminded by Lena Waithe, who in September became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing for her work on “Master of None.” The series is also produced by Common, and presents a portrait of a group of loosely interconnected residents of the city. Alex Hibbert (“Moonlight”) and Jason Mitchell star.

Terrence Howard (far left) in ‘Phillip K. Dick’s “Electric Dreams.” | Amazon

Terrence Howard (far left) in ‘Phillip K. Dick’s “Electric Dreams.” | Amazon

‘Phillip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams’ (Amazon), Jan. 12

Following in the footsteps of Netflix’s “Black Mirror”, “Electric Dreams” is a sci-fi anthology with a new story in every episode. Its 10 tales are based on writings of Phillip K. Dick, who penned “The Man in the High Castle” and whose “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” inspired “Blade Runner.” The episodes span the near (and far) future and veer from familiar locales to exotic new worlds, and feature Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston, Steve Buscemi and Anna Paquin.

‘Black Lightning’ (CW) Jan. 16 (8 p.m. Tuesdays)

The latest superhero saga feels different than CW’s previous DC Comics series. Created by husband-and-wife team Salim and Mara Brock Akil (“The Game,” “Girlfriends”), “Black Lightning,” unlike many other series, doesn’t tell an origin story of a young, naive hero learning his powers. Instead, it’s the story of a mature hero who is also a parent, educator and community leader who put his heroics aside but dons the costume and mask againin a time of need. As played by Cress Williams, Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning is an electric new addition.

Cress Williams stars as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning on “Black Lightning.” | Bob Mahoney/The CW

Cress Williams stars as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning on “Black Lightning.” | Bob Mahoney/The CW

‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ (FX), Jan. 17 (9 p.m. Wednesdays)

In its follow-up to 2016’s lauded The People vs. O.J. Simpson, the anthology series from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk turns its attention to another high-profile murder of the 1990s: The death of renowned fashion designer Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramírez), and the story of serial killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss). The cast includes Penélope Cruz as Versace’s sister Donatella. — KL

‘The Alienist’ (TNT) Jan. 22 (8 p.m. Mondays)

Based on the best-selling novel by Caleb Carr, the limited series from Cary Fukunaga (“True Detective,” “Beasts of No Nation”) and Jakob Verbruggen (“Black Mirror”) follows the investigation by a criminal psychologist (Daniel Brühlof) of brutal murders of young male New York prostitutes in 1896. The drama is a dark, violent and stylized affair, with co-stars Luke Evans as a newspaper illustrator and Dakota Fanning as a secretary who hopes to become a detective.

‘Here and Now’ (HBO) Feb. 11 (8 p.m. Sundays)

Trust us: We still have PTSD from the excessively preachy, werepanther-populated last few seasons of “True Blood.” But we’re willing to try a bite of creator Alan Ball’s next HBO outing, which is described as a “darkly comic meditation on the disparate forces polarizing present-day American culture.” Centered on a multi-ethnic family of adopted children, the promise of a button-pushing, racially diverse cable show is enough to pique our interest. Throw in Oscar winners Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter as their parents, and we’ve already renewed our HBO subscription.

‘Good Girls’ (NBC) Feb. 26 (9 p.m. Mondays)

Don’t be fooled by the quippy, bubblegum-pink marketing: This estrogen-fueled thrill ride isn’t playing around. Created by “Scandal’s” Jenna Bans, “Good Girls” is a dark, suburban melodrama about three moms (Christina Hendricks, Retta and Mae Whitman) who are pushed to the edge by cheating husbands and insurmountable bills, and decide to rob a grocery store. But no cleanup on Aisle 5 can get them out of this mess, as a vengeful gang and pervy boss threaten to blow their cover.

‘Hard Sun’ (Hulu), March 7

We still have another four months to go until we learn where Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is being carted off in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” So praise be to Hulu for tiding us over with two new dramas: “The Looming Tower,” starring Jeff Daniels (Feb. 28), and broody detective series “Hard Sun,” the latest from Luther creator Neil Cross. Jim Sturgess and Agyness Deyn are magnetic as reluctant crime-fighting partners, while the show’s pre-apocalyptic twist — set five years before an irreversible, world-ending disaster — gives it a unique urgency.

‘Rise’ (NBC), March 13 ( 9 p.m. Tuesdays, then 8 p.m. beginning March 20)

The show’s premise is all too familiar: A starry-eyed teacher (“How I Met Your Mother’s” Josh Radnor) helps a ragtag bunch of high-schoolers come together and find their collective voice on stage. But if you’re expecting another Auto-Tuned knockoff of “Glee,” then you’ll be happy to know that co-creator Jason Katims (“Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights”) injects the played-out genre with refreshingly authentic characters, who go up against stick-in-the-mud townsfolk to perform provocative play Spring Awakening. As musical mentors, Radnor and Rosie Perez impress. But it’s the talented young cast — led by Moana’s Auli’i Cravalho — that steals the spotlight.

Tracey (Rosie Perez) and Lou (Josh Radnor) are forced to settle their differences as heads of a Pennsylvania high school’s theater program in NBC’s upcoming musical drama “Rise.” | Peter Kramer/NBC

Tracey (Rosie Perez) and Lou (Josh Radnor) are forced to settle their differences as heads of a Pennsylvania high school’s theater program in NBC’s upcoming musical drama “Rise.” | Peter Kramer/NBC

Kelly Lawler and Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY

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