Winter TV shows 2020: ‘The Witcher,’ ‘Party of Five,’ ‘The New Pope’ and more

Emily Tosta in "Party of Five," Henry Cavill in "The Witcher" and Jude Law in "The New Pope."Freeform/Jonathan Wenk; Katalin Vermes/Netflix and Gianni Fiorito/HBO

It used to be that TV hibernated during the winter months, waiting until March, at the earliest, to unveil its new offerings.

But those days are long gone — the competition is too intense and everybody is scrambling to hook viewers. With that in mind, here are some exciting new shows to keep an eye out for as you pull on your sweaters and crank up the heat as the weather turns colder.

“A Christmas Carol”

Created by Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”) and executive produced by his frequent star Tom Hardy, this rendition of the Dickens classic is a three-part miniseries starring Guy Pearce as an improbably chiseled Ebenezer Scrooge and Andy Serkis (best known as Golumn in “The Lord of the Rings”) as the Ghost of Christmas Past. This isn’t your mother’s “Christmas Carol.”

Premiere date: Dec. 19, FX at 7:30 pm

“The Witcher”

This Netflix attempt to grab a piece of the “Game of Thrones” pie is an epic fantasy series based on a video game and book franchise of the same name. Expect the usual fantasy fare –a world of roadside inns and ale-drinking, princesses and beasts. In the title role of silver-coiffed monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, Henry Cavill (who first rose to prominence on Showtime’s pulpy historical show “The Tudors”) makes his TV comeback since leaving the small screen to don the Superman cape.

Premiere date: Dec. 20, Netflix


A new western procedural helmed by David Ayer and Will Beal (“Aquaman”), “Deputy” follows Deputy Bill Hollister (Stephen Dorff, “True Detective”), who assumes the mantle of LA County Sheriff after his predecessor dies — despite being far more at ease with capturing baddies than navigating the political aspects of the gig.

Premiere date: Jan. 2, Fox, 9 p.m.

“Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time”

The three top winners in “Jeopardy!” history — Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer — will compete against each other for a $1 million prize. Hosted by Alex Trebek.

Premiere date: Jan. 7 on ABC, 8 p.m.

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”

In this new one hour musical drama, San Francisco based computer coder Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy, “Suburgatory”) starts to mysteriously hear the innermost wants and desires of people around her through songs. Co-starring Skylar Astin (“Pitch Perfect) and Peter Gallagher “The O.C.”)

Premiere date: Jan. 7 on NBC, 9 p.m.

“FBI: Most Wanted”

A spinoff to Dick Wolf’s drama FBI, “Most Wanted” focuses on the FBI division tasked with capturing the most notorious criminals on the titular “Most Wanted” list. The drama stars Julian McMahon (“Nip/Tuck”), Kellan Lutz (“Twilight”) and Keisha Castle-Hughes (“Game of Thrones”).

Premiere date: Jan. 7 CBS, 10 p.m.

“Party of Five”

The reboot of the classic ’90s series has the same premise: a family of five kids must navigate the world as a family unit after their parents are gone. But there’s one big change: in the original, the parents died; here, the kids are a Mexican-American family whose parents are deported. Brandon Larracuente (“Thirteen Reasons Why”) steps into the role played by Matthew Fox in the original, the carefree oldest son who’s out of his depth as he’s forced to become the de facto parent figure.

Premiere date: Jan. 8 on Freeform, 9 p.m.

“The Outsider”

Based on a Stephen King novel of the same name, this miniseries follows Detective Ralf Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”) as he investigates the murder of an 11-year-old boy, along with co-investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo). Co-starring Jason Bateman (“Ozark”). Surprisingly for a King story, it’s not set in Maine: this one’s in Oklahoma.

Premiere date: Jan. 12 on HBO, 9 p.m.

“The New Pope”

In the hotly anticipated follow-up to the bizarre and highly memed “The Young Pope” (which came out way back in 2016), Jude Law reprises his role as unorthodox American Pope Pius XIII, aka Lenny. This time he’s joined by John Malkovich as the titular new Pope, John Paul III. Guest stars this season include Sharon Stone and Marilyn Manson — so it’s safe to say this show isn’t going to tone down its outrageousness.

Premiere date: Jan. 13 HBO, 9 p.m.

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Author: Lauren Sarner

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