January TV: The New Year Brings New Shows

January 8, 2015

[Written by Shavonne Jeffries, Bermuda CableVision]

Happy New Year, readers! We hope you enjoyed the free preview over the holidays. There’s always more new TV coming, and this month is no exception, with a huge selection of shows and specials to start the year off right. Here are a few picks.

Expedition Unknown

Series Premiere – Thursday, January 8, at 10.00pm on Travel

If you were a fan of “Destination Truth” on SyFy network, you probably came to love avid explorer and paranormal investigator Josh Gates, who has just been given a new show of his own on Travel.

In this reality series, Gates, who is known for his infectious sense of humour, sets out on a global journey to find answers to some of the most puzzling stories in the world. He starts by checking out the latest developments in each unsolved mystery, then launches his own in-depth investigation.

The series will find him trekking through Fiji in trying to find Amelia Earhart’s remains and diving the deep in Panama in search of Captain Morgan’s legendary pirate ship. It’s a pretty safe bet this die-hard explorer will take us all closer to the truth.

The show will include 11 one-hour episodes, but the premiere features a two-hour special investigation filmed in Cambodia.

Expedition Unknown – Top 3 Travel Destinations

CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party

Special Live event – Friday, January 9, at 10.00pm on CMT

This is the first year for the U.S. College Football Playoff, and before the big January 12 game, CMT will get the party started with this 90-minute country music event, broadcast live from Dallas. Hosted by Rob Riggle, the show features top artists who all share a special love for football.

Toby Keith headlines the show, and it’s widely known he is a University of Oklahoma fan. Plus, the video for his quintessential kiss-off song, “How Do You Like Me Now?” was filmed on the gridiron. Also performing will be Lady Antebellum, along with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood – all three are University of Georgia grads and Bulldog fans. Big & Rich will be there.

Their hit, “Comin’ to Your City” kicks off ESPN’s “College Game Day.” Brett Eldredge, a star who always stays abreast of his beloved Chicago teams, will also perform. Expect a lot of heart to be in this.

Friends to Lovers?

Series Premiere – Monday January 12, at 11.00pm on Bravo

This new docu-series explores the question of whether or not dating your best friend is a good idea. Could it potentially be the key to lasting love or is it just a recipe for disaster? Bravo calls it a “social experiment of the heart.”

The show follows five sets of singles who decide to step out in faith and try to become more than “just friends.” Watch as things go from comfortable to complicated as the couples deal with the unique challenges of dating a best friend – awkward first kisses, new feelings of jealousy and the difficulties of telling friends and family.

Is the friendship a basis for the new romance, or do they have to start all over from zero?

Wrestling With Death

Series premieres Tuesday, January 13 at 11pm on WGN

Every time you think you’ve seen the strangest possible premise for a reality TV show, something even stranger comes out. In this new series, we meet the Latham family of Osceola, Arkansas – morticians by day who run The Wilson Funeral Home, and professional wrestlers by night who run The Mid-Southern Championship Wrestling League. Weird, no?

The show is executive produced by Leftfield Pictures, who brought us “Pawn Stars,” “American Restoration” and “Counting Cars,” so it ought to have something going for it.

Official “Wrestling With Death” trailer:

12 Monkeys

Series premieres on Friday January 16 at 10.00pm on Syfy

This adventure thriller series from Syfy is inspired by the classic 1995 blockbuster film directed by Terry Gilliam that starred Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis and Madeleine Stowe. The riveting story is about a time-traveler from a devastated future who goes back in time using a dangerous and untested method and then races against the clock to save the human race from a deadly plague.

Interestingly, the series is produced in association with Atlas Entertainment, producer of the original film. “12 Monkeys” stars Aaron Stanford [as time-traveller Cole], Amanda Schull [Dr. Cassandra Railly], Kirk Acevedo [Ramse], Barbara Sukowa [Jones] and Noah Bean [Aaron Marker].

Official “12 Monkeys” trailer:

Whitney

Original telefilm – World Premiere – Sunday, January 17 at 9pm on Lifetime

This film about the life of Whitney Houston marks the directing debut of Golden Globe Award winner and Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett. The film stars Yaya DaCosta [Lee Daniels' "The Butler"] in the lead role, with Arlen Escarpeta ["Final Destination 5"] in the role of Bobby Brown.

The movie chronicles Houston’s relationship with Brown from the moment the superstar couple first met, through their courtship and rocky marriage. While the rewards of their careers were great, the consequences of fame and fortune brought on challenges and difficulties that would ultimately overshadow their lives.

Finally, on a comedic note, ShowTime’s funniest series are returning this Sunday night, January 11, starting at 9.00pm, including “Shameless”; “House of Lies”; “Enemies with Benefits” and “Hollywood Blows.”

Happy viewing, and we’ll see you back here next month with some February picks.

- Shavonne Jeffries

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