We’re fast approaching the time of the year where all of our favorite winter TV shows are returning. Having been months since they’ve been on the air, anticipation has built to a swell, with anxious fans wanting to know what’s next in a slew of premieres. Now that we’re well into the new year, it’s that special month where all those questions get answered. From fledgling shows coming off a successful first couple seasons to TV veterans that are chugging along, there’s no shortage of things to watch come February.
It’s important to mark down the most important premieres, lest you miss out and are forced to play catch-up once half the season passes without you knowing. We’re here to give a run-down of what to look out for this next month, so take notes!
1. The Blacklist (NBC, February 1)
Entering into its midseason premiere, NBC’s The Blacklist has quickly become the network’s flagship drama, thanks in large part to the work of James Spader as the lead. We’ll be getting the final three episodes of Season 2 in these coming weeks, promising more intrigue and excitement than ever before. For anyone not convinced, all you have to do is marathon through Season 1 on Netflix to understand just what all the hype is about.
2. American Dad! (TBS, February 2)
Seth McFarlane’s American Dad! quickly outstripped its predecessor Family Guy in terms of its cleverness and humor. Almost 11 seasons later, it’s become a mainstay of both FOX and TBS’s animation lineup. The first half of Season 11 closed out this last December, and is set to kick off the day after the Super Bowl in February. The show generally doesn’t follow much of anything that resembles a plot arc, so there’s not much we can surmise the new season will have outside of the trademark Seth McFarlane humor it embodies. That said, it’s still a can’t-miss for comedy fans this next month.
3. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO, February 8)
In its inaugural season, John Oliver’s wildly popular news-centric talk show on HBO quickly outstripped predecessors like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report in its focus on long-form investigative reporting. It still contains the general laughs you’d expect from a show that’s supposed to be a comedy, but the real crux of Oliver’s style is educating while enacting hard-hitting social change. It’s truly defined by its 15- to 20-minute segments that go through issues like drone strikes, our prison system, and foreign affairs with a fine-toothed comb.
4. The Walking Dead (AMC, February 8)
Back in 2010, The Walking Dead became the poster child for excellence in the zombie genre. Since then, it became one of the most-watched shows on all of television, spawning a spinoff and a talk-show. Now, it’s set to finish out its fifth season with a decidedly beardier Rick Grimes and company having just escaped the nightmare prison that was Terminus. Also starting back up directly afterwards is Chris Hardwick’s Talking Dead, running down each new episode with cast members and celebrities.
5. Rizzoli & Isles (TNT, February 17)
Rizzoli & Isles may have started way back in 2010, but during its run, it’s turned into TNT’s hottest commodity. Largely a procedural crime drama, its focus on the complex relationship of the two female leads also plays in a big part. One is the hard-nosed, no-frills cop, while the other is the bookish and intelligent medical examiner, together forming a duo that’s seen a successful almost six-year run. Renewed for a sixth season, its fifth wraps up with the final three episodes kicking off on February 8.
6. Perception (TNT, February 17)
Entering into its final five episodes, Perception kicks off its final season on February 17. It’s another one of TNT’s crime dramas, featuring a schizophrenic neuropsychiatrist that helps the FBI with their most difficult cases. Our main character Dr. Daniel Pierce uses his helpful hallucinations and know-how to solve crimes while being lovably difficult to get along with. Its five-season run was a good one, and now it’s time to say goodbye.
7. Survivor: Worlds Apart (NBC, February 25)
Going strong at 30 seasons, Survivor returns with its newest iteration as Worlds Apart, this time composed of three tribes divided up by social class. It’s sure to be an interesting social experiment chock full of the regular amount of reality drama that composes the show. We’ll get a good look at what it looks like when blue, white, and no collar workers clash for superiority in the newest season that’s by far NBC’s most valuable property right now.
8. House of Cards (Netflix, February 27)
Frank Underwood is back and bigger than ever, having maneuvered himself into the presidency at the conclusion of the last season. Now he’ll be dealing with the fallout of his plotting, as he finds out just how heavy a king’s crown will be. All 13 episodes will go live on Netflix come February 27, making it so fans can watch everything all at once, or space them out accordingly. Whatever you choose to do, House of Cards is one political drama you absolutely can’t miss.