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Quick Hits

8 New and Returning Series We Can't Wait to Watch in January 2023

Giancarlo Esposito returns, The Last of Us premieres, and Natasha Lyonne shows us her Poker Face.
  • Kaleidoscope, Poker Face, Miracle Workers: End Times, Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World (Photos: Netflix/Peacock/TBS/PBS; Primetimer graphic)
    Kaleidoscope, Poker Face, Miracle Workers: End Times, Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World (Photos: Netflix/Peacock/TBS/PBS; Primetimer graphic)

    If you resolved to watch even more TV in 2023, January will get you off to a running start — the first month of the year is replete with season and series premieres, which are spread across platforms and networks. Early on, Giancarlo Esposito follows up the end of Better Call Saul with a twisty new Netflix series, while a beloved PBS series returns with more dramatic heft. By mid-month, things get apocalyptic on HBO and TBS, with the premieres of The Last of Us and Miracle Workers: End Times. Finally, two exciting new takes on detective stories and an expansive hip hop docuseries will bring January to a close. Who says there's nothing good on in the dead of winter?

    Kaleidoscope (Netflix)

    Premieres January 1

    After experimenting with interactive storytelling, Netflix ventures into the non-linear space with Kaleidoscope. Loosely inspired by the real-life theft of $70 billion in bonds during Hurricane Sandy, the drama follows a crew of expert thieves as they attempt to crack a seemingly unbreakable vault for a massive payday. In a fun twist, Kaleidoscope’s eight episodes will play in a different order for each viewer (with the exception of the heist itself, which serves as the finale for everyone), making for a unique viewing experience that will affect users’s viewpoint on the narrative and the characters. The ensemble cast includes Giancarlo Esposito, Paz Vega, and Jai Courtney as members of the heist crew, Rufus Sewell and Tati Gabrielle as keepers of the vault, and Niousha Noor as the driven FBI agent on the case. — Claire Spellberg Lustig

    All Creatures Great and Small Season 3 (PBS)

    Premieres January 8

    All Creatures Great and Small remains one of television’s most delightful shows, but in Season 3, it moves with a greater sense of urgency as the residents of Skeldale House brace for World War II. Britain’s mobilization of the army prompts something of an existential crisis for James (Nicholas Ralph), who begins to question whether healing animals in the Yorkshire Dales is a great enough contribution to the war effort. Meanwhile, Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) and Siegfried (Samuel West) reach a crossroads in their relationship, Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley) explores new opportunities, and Helen (Rachel Shenton) adjusts to life as a newlywed. But even with new anxieties bubbling up, the characters of All Creatures continue to make space for one another as they navigate the world. The resulting seven-episode season is a tearjerker, filled with moments of kindness and sorrow and (finally!) a bit of sexiness. — Claire Spellberg Lustig

    The Last of Us (HBO)

    Premieres January 15

    Even if you don't play video games, it's likely you've heard of The Last of Us. The 2013 action-adventure game was met with near-universal acclaim and was heralded as one of the greatest video games of its era, and perhaps even all time. So the HBO adaptation, from the game's creator Neil Druckman and Chernobyl producer Craig Mazin, has a great deal of anticipation behind it. Pedro Pascal stars as a smuggler who must escort a young girl (Bella Ramsey) across the blasted wasteland of a United States apocalyptically ravaged by a fungus-borne infection to which Ramsey's character appears to be immune.

    The cast in place for the series is formidable. In addition to Pascal and Ramsey — both Game of Thrones veterans, though he's gone to even bigger acclaim in The Mandalorian, while she was winning in Lena Dunham's film Catherine Called Birdy — the series will star Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Merle Dandridge, Nick Offerman, Melanie Lynskey, and Graham Greene. The video game's original stars Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson will also appear in smaller roles. If there's going to be a big HBO show that gets everybody talking in the first quarter of the year, it'll probably be this one. — Joe Reid

    Miracle Workers: End Times (TBS)

    Premieres January 16

    Simon Rich has long since parted ways with this anthology series, which started as an adaptation of his 2013 book What in God's Name, but his DNA is all over Season 4. Titled End Times, the fourth installment of this absurd and warm-hearted show follows a young couple (series regulars Daniel Radcliffe and Geraldine Viswanathan) for whom the first year of marriage is downright apocalyptic. You couldn't ask for a more Rich-like high-concept premise. Steve Buscemi and Jon Bass are also back and as game as ever, while Karan Soni is another killer "man in black" (who will almost certainly turn out to be a soft touch). Expect the same sight gags and introspection of the first three outings, along with the return of Lolly Adefope (who last appeared in Dark Ages). As if that weren't enough, this season's guest stars include Quinta Brunson, Garcelle Beauvais, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Paul F. Tompkins, and Lisa Loeb. — Danette Chavez

    Accused (Fox)

    Premieres January 22

    Every episode of this anthology series will focus on a new crime, told from the point of view of a defendant who never expected to wind up in court. That premise alone hits a lot of sweet spots — Crime! Stories that resolve in a single episode! — and the cast seals the deal. Stars include Margo Martindale, Abigail Breslin, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Michael Chiklis, Rhea Perlman, and even RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Willam Belli. If the writing is compelling enough, then this could become a weekly must-watch. — Mark Blankenship

    Poker Face (Peacock)

    Premieres January 26

    Natasha Lyonne has been priming fans for her full pivot to Columbo-land since at least the first season of Russian Doll — her unabashed affection for the series and its lead actor even manifested in a trip to the Peter Falk statue in Budapest in Season 2. Now the multihyphenate is making good on all the hints with some help from Rian Johnson, who brought the fun back to the whodunit with his Knives Out films. Lyonne leads Poker Face as Charlie Cale, an "accidental detective" with a knack for knowing when people are lying. But, as Charlie notes in the teaser, sniffing out a lie is the easy part: In true Columbo fashion, Poker Face will follow the howcatchem format, working its way back from "how" of a crime to the "why." Lyonne's established herself as an exceptionally compelling lead, so we'd watch her rewatching Columbo while making running commenttary. But Poker Face, with its great cast and willingness to stick to a case-of-the-week format, has plenty of charms of its own. — Danette Chavez

    Shrinking (Apple TV+)

    Premieres January 27

    Before 2022, Harrison Ford had gone his entire career without starring on a television show in a regular capacity. Now he's on his second series in the span of two months. Hot on the heels of 1923, Ford stars opposite Jason Segel in the Apple TV+ comedy Shrinking. The series comes from Scrubs's and Ted Lasso's Bill Lawrence, who co-created the series with Segel and Brett Goldstein. The series centers on Jimmy Johns (Segel), a therapist who is dealing with grief in his own life. As a result, he starts telling his patients exactly what he thinks, an ethical breach that ends up having profound effects on his patients's lives as well as his own.

    Ford plays Dr. Phil Rhodes, who shares a successful psychotherapy practice with two younger partners, one of whom is Segel's character. Jessica Williams (Love Life Season 2) plays the other partner, while Christa Miller (Scrubs, Cougar Town), Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Luke Tenney (CSI: Vegas), and Lukita Maxwell (Generation) round out the cast. Lawrence hasn't hit it out of the park every time, but he's got a strong enough track record — and this cast is certainly intriguing enough to have us incredibly curious to poke around this series's headspace a bit. — Joe Reid

    Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World (PBS)

    Premieres January 31

    Produced by rap legend Chuck D, this four-part docuseries examines the history of hip hop through the lens of the history that it both reflected and shaped. While most hip hop docs touch on the genre’s cultural impact, this one promises to go especially deep on how these artists engaged with the world around them. Chuck D himself famously helped Public Enemy become one of the most socially conscious acts of its era, and interviewee Ice-T used his music to have a conversation about racism and policing that’s still relevant today. Their participation alone suggests the series is talking to all the right people. – Mark Blankenship

    Other Notable Premieres

    Will Trent (ABC, 1/3)
    The Lying Life of Adults (Netflix, 1/4)
    Copenhagen Cowboy (Netflix, 1/5)
    Boys in Blue docuseries (Showtime, 1/6)
    The Rig (Prime Video, 1/6)
    Mayfair Witches (AMC, 1/8)
    Alert (Fox, 1/8)
    Koala Man (Hulu, 1/9)
    Velma (HBO Max, 1/12)
    Vikings Valhalla Season 2 (Netflix, 1/12)
    Hunters second and final season (Prime Video, 1/13)
    Night Court (NBC, 1/17)
    That '90s Show (Netflix, 1/19)
    Teen Wolf: The Movie (Paramount+, 1/26)
    The 1619 Project (HBO, 1/26)

    TOPICS: The Last of Us, Apple TV+, Netflix, PBS, Peacock, TBS, Accused, All Creatures Great and Small, Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World, Kaleidoscope, Miracle Workers, Miracle Workers: End Times, Poker Face, Shrinking, Chuck D, Daniel Radcliffe, Geraldine Viswanathan, Giancarlo Esposito, Harrison Ford, Jason Segel, Jessica Williams, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Natasha Lyonne, Pedro Pascal