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Winter TV preview: 10 shows we're looking forward to in 2014

The start of the winter TV season doesn't get nearly as much hype as fall's pilot bonanza. But there are lots of new and returning shows this and next month that lead the way for what should be an interesting year in television. Here are 10 shows we're looking forward to in the first few months of 2014. (Note: I'm also including where to watch each one, for those, like me, who don't have access to traditional cable.)

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, first episode online now; one out each week

Jerry Seinfeld's most recent foray into pop culture is his most entertaining since that little show about nothing ended in the '90s. The third season of this web series that Seinfeld started in 2012 has a simple premise: Seinfeld gets his comedian pals to drive around with him in an array of his expensive cars while they talk about, well, whatever they want. But it's a treat to see the conversations between Jerry and his guests — famous people who we rarely get to see speak this candidly. Season three may have the show's best lineup yet: Patton Oswalt, Howard Stern, Jay Leno (who's leaving the Tonight Show in February), Tina Fey, Todd Barry and Louis C.K. Where to watch:

Enlisted, 9:30 p.m. Jan. 10, Fox

This new show originally slated for the 2013 fall season follows three brothers enlisted in the Army who find themselves stationed at the same Florida military base. The appeal rests on the three brothers, and the casting here is great, especially Suburgatory's Parker Young, left, as the youngest brother. Where to watch: Fox, Hulu Plus

True Detective, 9 p.m. Jan. 12, HBO

It makes perfect sense that Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson would do a show together. They both started their careers playing goofy guys that got by on their looks. Lately, they've taken to meatier, more challenging roles (especially McConaughey) and continue to crush them. This show should be no exception. They headline this new murder mystery, which goes back and forth between 1995 and 2012. Like American Horror Story, it's an anthology show, meaning that Harrelson and McConaughey will be around for these first eight episodes, and the show's second season will likely feature a new story and cast. Where to watch: HBO, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes

Girls, 10 p.m. Jan. 12, HBO

Season 2 of Lena Dunham's millennial meditation was more daring, more compelling and, overall, an improvement on the controversy-generating season one. Here's to hoping season three takes that artistic momentum and runs with it. Where to watch: HBO, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes

Intelligence, 9 p.m. Jan. 7 on CBS; airs 10 p.m. Mondays starting Jan. 13

We've been waiting for Josh Holloway to get a starring TV role ever since Lost ended in 2010. Now we'll get to see if he brings that Sawyer swagger to this new CBS drama as an intelligence operative with a microchip in his brain that allows him instant access to a global information grid. Where to watch: CBS,

Suburgatory, 8:30 p.m. Jan. 15, ABC

There's nothing on TV quite like this comedy about single dad George Altman (the great Jeremy Sisto) and his daughter Tessa (the equally great Jane Levy), who move to the suburbs and encounter a slew of crazies. The casting is a treat, from SNL alums Ana Gasteyer and Chris Parnell as the neurotic couple next door to Cheryl Hines as a kooky sexpot and her daughter Dalia, played by the woefully underappreciated Carly Chaikin. Plus, Suburgatory somehow manages to be that rare combination of absurdly satirical and emotionally engaging at the same time. After almost a year off the air, we're thrilled to have it back. Where to watch: ABC, Hulu Plus

Hitrecord on TV, 10 p.m. Jan. 18, Pivot

As more proof that there's nothing Joseph Gordon-Levitt can't do, his production company hitRECord, an online community of artists, is debuting this TV show. As creator and host, Gordon-Levitt brings an endearing giddiness to the variety program that features short films, live performances, music, animation — basically anything that comes from the collaboration he's cultivated with artists around the globe. Where to watch: Pivot; check to see if you get the channel in your area.

Looking, 10:30 p.m. Jan. 19, HBO

It seems silly that in 2014, the prospect of a show about a group of gay men seems so novel, but it does. HBO's new half-hour dramedy follows gay men living in San Francisco led by theater vet Jonathan Groff (Glee, Spring Awakening), which is basically everything we've ever wanted in a television show, so thanks, HBO. Where to watch: HBO, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes

Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, 11:35 p.m. Feb. 17, NBC

Late-night TV's freshest, most vibrant personality Jimmy Fallon is set to take over the Tonight Show from Jay Leno in mid-February. We couldn't be any more excited. We've been a Fal Pal since the very first episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, a show that has since turned into one of the best in late night and catapulted its host to a rarified hosting stratosphere. Way to go, Jimmy. Where to watch: NBC, Hulu Plus

The Americans, FX, 10 p.m. Feb. 26

This spy thriller set in the 1980s was hands-down one of our favorite shows of 2013, thanks to its twisty Cold War dynamics, two fantastic leads (Matthew Rhys and Kerri Russell, shedding any Felicity skin) and, oh, those glorious wigs. Keep those acid-washed jeans and Russian double agents coming, FX. Where to watch: FX,

Winter TV preview: 10 shows we're looking forward to in 2014 01/03/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 3, 2014 5:18pm]
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