"The Walking Dead"
The first season of "The Walking Dead" only had six episodes, so we should be grateful to get eight episodes of Season 5 from October-November 2014 and eight more again when TWD returns from February-March. Plus, there's a "companion series" coming at some point in 2015 as well. And we are grateful - when we're not whining about the wait. How will Maggie Greene, Daryl Dixon and company react to the death of Beth Greene from the Season 5 midseason finale? And where are we going next, to Richmond, Virginia to help Noah find his family? To Washington, D.C., to see if anything is there at all, even if the cure mission was a bust? We have to wait to find out, but at least we won't have to wait too long, since Season 5, Episode 9 will get us started on Sunday, February 8.
"The Good Wife"
"The Good Wife" is still hitting it out of the park after the shocking death of Will Gardner. Now Alicia Florrick is dealing with the many complications of running for state's attorney, while her poor can't-catch-a-break law partner Cary Agos faces prison time. Knowing that Archie Panjabi is leaving the show after this season makes us extra curious what's coming next for Kalinda. We'll see what happens when Season 6 returns on Sunday, January 4.
"Game of Thrones"
Winter is no longer coming, it's already here, but the wait for "Game of Thrones" Season 5 will take a bit longer. Curse this show for only airing 10 episodes a year! But bless this show for giving us 10 of the best hours on television a year. Season 4 left two of our faves -- Tyrion and Arya -- on ships away from Westeros, and we'll have to see how Jon Snow deals with both Stannis and Melisandre. Oh, and there's now a leadership vacuum in King's Landing, since the king is 8 years old and the real power behind the throne just got killed by his own son while dropping a deuce. How's that gonna turn out? We'll find out in when Season 5 premieres, most likely in April.
"Parks and Recreation"
The final (sob!) 13 episodes of "Parks and Rec" start on Tuesday, January 13. Yes, Tuesday, not Thursday. The Season 6 finale ended with a three-year time jump - showing Leslie with triplets, running a regional office of the National Parks Service from Pawnee. For the last season, you know Amy Poehler and company will send some heartwarming stories our way, along with the usual belly laughs, so we have our tissues on standby.
Speaking of final seasons, we will soon live in a world without Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Joan Holloway Harris, Peggy Olson, Pete Campbell, etc. It's going to be tough to move on (not so much from Pete), but we're anxious to see how this turns out. Seven more episodes are coming in 2015, starting whenever they show up - possibly April, like the last two seasons. There's usually a small time jump between seasons, but since this is "Mad Men" Season 7 Part II, they may pick it up right after Part I. Or they could do a serious jump way into the future. We're very curious to see how the super-secretive Matthew Weiner plans to end Don's story.
"House of Cards"
President Frank Underwood? Yikes. There's no way that's going to turn out well, but there's also no way it won't be fascinating to see play out. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are going to slay this power trip of a season, but could a giant karma comeuppance also be coming? It's one thing to climb your way to the top, it's another thing to stay in power with people just like yourself trying to bring you down. Just ask everyone on "Game of Thrones." Netflix will drop all 13 episodes of "House of Cards" Season 3 on February 27 - but pace yourself! If you watch too many at once, you might start breaking your own fourth wall and talking to an imaginary audience. Don't be That Guy.
FX's fantastic Cold War drama ended Season 2 with the Jennings disagreeing on whether daughter Paige should follow in their footsteps as a secret agent. Elizabeth was for it, Philip strongly against. Which side will win, and will they reveal the truth to Paige in Season 3? Find out when the new season starts on Wednesday, January 28 - but get some hints now in this chilling trailer:
Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson wowed critics in Season 1, but they're passing the baton in Season 2 to an equally exciting cast. Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch are leading the second season, which will feature eight more episodes written by Nic Pizzolatto. What's this season about? According to HBO, "Three police officers and a career criminal must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder." There's no set premiere date yet, but it's expected to arrive in summer 2015. Once it airs, pencil it in for every available Emmy and Golden Globe.
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are returning with a vengeance on Thursday, January 8. Have you seen the super-intense "epic trailer" for Season 5? Watch it below so you can be fully prepared for all the guest stars, wigs, cows, karaoke, heart attacks and "weirdos." The only thing left to do? Put a bird on it!
It can be tough for a freshman series to find its feet, but not a superhero (and villain) freshman. "Gotham" had us hooked from the start and we're ready for Episode 11 on Monday, January 5. Based on the promo below, it looks like the inmates might be taking over Arkham Asylum, and Oswald Cobblepot is ready to embrace his status as THE Penguin. As Detective Gordon notes, "There's gonna be some drama around here." And since Fox extended Season 1's run to 22 episodes, so there's going to be a lot of drama in 2015.
"Better Call Saul"
AMC has a power vacuum where "Breaking Bad" once ruled, and its about to lose "Mad Men." So hopes are particularly high for the BB spinoff "Better Call Saul," a prequel focusing on Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) six years before he shows up on "Breaking Bad." We know Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) will be featured since he's seen taking Saul down in AMC's first sneak peek. There may be a nostalgia factor for "Breaking Bad" fans, but hopefully "Saul" can pick up new unique viewers too. We'll find out once he shows up on Sunday, February 8, the same night that "The Walking Dead" returns. So at the very least the show will have a strong opening night lead-in. The second episode airs the next night on Monday, which will be its usual night.
Big Apple besties Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson created a cult hit in their first season on Comedy Central. "Broad City" started as a sketch idea from the comedy stars at Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, then it was an online hit that caught the attention of Amy Poehler, who executive produces the TV show. The first 10 episodes of "Broad City" ended back in March but they'll be back for 10 more starting Wednesday, January 14. Expect more comedy guest stars and R-rated odd couple shenanigans -- and "titty chips"!
"Pretty Little Liars"
Put on your best lei to say farewell to Mona in what looks like a Hawaiian luau themed funeral. TVLine shared photos from the AMC Family show's Tuesday, January 6 winter premiere, noting that a "pretty significant" time jump is coming from the Christmas episode; also, fans can expect an "epic confrontation" between Alison and Mona's mom.
"This Is Not Happening"
This is the first series that Comedy Central has picked up from its own source of online comedy, CC: Studios, and brought to TV. "This Is Not Happening" is hosted by Ari Shaffir and features crazy, funny, often embarrassing-but-true stories from stand-up comedians. Watch the big TV premiere on Thursday, January 22.
Forget the Ben Affleck movie - or try, anyway. Marvel is heading to Netflix with "Daredevil," which stars Charlie Cox ("Boardwalk Empire") as Matt Murdock, the blind lawyer who fights crime at night. The strong "Daredevil" cast also includes Deborah Ann Woll ("True Blood"), Rosario Dawson, and Vincent D'Onofrio. It's set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, meaning it's part of the same fictional world as movies like "Iron Man," "The Avengers," "Captain America" and "Thor." "Daredevil" is meant to be the first of a series of TV shows leading up to a crossover miniseries following The Defenders. "Daredevil" Season 1 will premiere in May 2015; no specific date has been announced yet, but like all Netflix series to date, the episodes will be released in one binge-watchable batch.
What TV shows are you most looking forward to in 2015?