A new year means a new television lineup to look forward to, including new shows as well as shows returning after a hiatus following season and mid-season finales. The latter, which have already built large fan bases over the course of their runs are truly the shows to look out for. The cliffhangers at the end of each show’s last episode before its respective hiatus have left viewers waiting with bated breath to see what happens next.
*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*
1. “This Is Us” (NBC)
For over a year now, “This Is Us” has been captivating audiences all over America with its incredibly real storylines and relatable characters. Since its release back in Sept. 2016, the show has stolen the hearts of viewers everywhere, making them laugh, cry and feel every emotion in between.
The mid-season finale of “This Is Us” left each member of the Pearson clan in difficult positions in their lives; with Kate just having miscarried, Kevin being arrested for a DUI with his niece in the back seat of his car and Randall looking to foster another child. This has become one of the most anticipated shows this winter because viewers have so many questions that they need answered.
One storyline that the show has been teasing pretty much since the first episode is Jack’s death, so viewers are hoping that this is finally the time everyone will learn what really happened. Between the stories of “The Big Three” and potentially finally learning how Jack died, the return of “This Is Us” cannot come quickly enough for viewers. Have no fear, though, the Pearson family will be inviting viewers back into their home soon enough, with episodes returning on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 9/8c on NBC.
2. “Jane the Virgin” (The CW)
Over the course of the four seasons of “Jane the Virgin,” viewers have followed the journey of Jane Villanueva through the highest and lowest points of her life. With each new episode, audiences across America become more and more interested in Jane’s life and career, becoming a part of the Villanueva family each week.
For longtime fans of the show, one of the biggest storylines has been Jane’s love life and whether or not she’ll end up with Rafael Solano, the father of her child. The mid-season finale back in early December brought Team Rafael fans an early Christmas present, with the two finally sharing a kiss many years after their relationship ended. Over the course of the finale episode, Jane ventured out on her book tour and slowly began to realize that Rafael was the one that had always been there for her, pushing her to her fullest potential.
“Jane the Virgin” has been one of the shows to look out for since its release in 2014, and the return of the fourth season is no exception. There are still so many questions left to be answered for Jane and Rafael about their relationship, including whether or not this will grow into something more. Luckily, fans won’t have to wait too long, because new episodes of “Jane the Virgin” premiere Friday, Jan. 26 at 9/8c on the CW.
3. “The Fosters” (Freeform)
One of the aspects of Freeform’s show “The Fosters” that has kept audiences watching since its release way back in 2013 has been its relevance. The show is not afraid of tackling important issues, such as coming out, the foster system and dealing with family tragedy, among others.
It looks like the upcoming episodes will pick up just where the mid-season finale left off, with Callie’s friend Ximena dealing with the prospect of being deported. At the end of the mid-season finale in September, Callie and AJ helped save Ximena by bringing her to a church for sanctuary when ICE showed up at Anchor Beach’s prom. While fans are curious about the love lives of each of the members of the Adams-Foster house, one of the larger questions for the upcoming premiere deals with Ximena’s fate.
One of the trademark qualities of the show is bringing current issues to life, so Ximena’s struggle with ICE and potential deportation seem to be going along with that trend. As one of the biggest shows to look out for this winter, and with one of the longest waits, “The Fosters” is sure to bring forward relevant stories, just as it has been doing for almost five years. Be sure to tune into Freeform on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 8/7c to pick up where the drama left off in September.
4. “One Day at a Time” (Netflix)
For many, “One Day at a Time” is a show that may have flown under the radar, though it is most definitely one of the shows to look out for this year. Based off of a Norman Lear show from the 1970s, this new spin on a classic finds single mother and veteran Penelope raising her two children, Alex and Elena, with the help of her eccentric Cuban mother Lydia.
In its first season, which began streaming on Netflix a year ago, “One Day at a Time” dealt with the effect being in the army had on Penelope, her divorce from her husband being finalized and Elena coming out to her family. There is so much to look forward to for the second season of the show, including comedy brought by the hilarious cast of the show as well as more difficult issues — such as Xenophobia — as shown in the trailer released by Netflix. If you haven’t seen the first season of “One Day at a Time,” there’s still time to catch up before the second season begins streaming Friday, Jan. 26 on Netflix.
5. “Riverdale” (The CW)
Another show that has caught, and held, the attention of viewers everywhere since its release last January is “Riverdale.” Based off the classic “Archie Comics,” the show follows the teenagers of the town, putting a darker spin on the idyllic town of Riverdale depicted in the comics.
In the mid-season finale of the show, the Black Hood, the killer terrorizing the town of Riverdale and its surrounding areas, has been found. After calling Betty, and forcing her to bury Archie alive, the Black Hood was killed, revealing him to be the janitor Mr. Svenson, whom the two believed was being held captive by the killer. The entire first half of the second season focused on Betty carrying out tasks given to her by the Black Hood, who had been prompted by her speech about the downfalls of the town.
However, this reveal seemed a bit anticlimactic, with some fans doubting whether or not Mr. Svenson was truly the Black Hood. This question, along with questions surrounding the relationships of Betty and Jughead as well as Archie and Veronica are on many viewers minds going into the second half of the season. This is definitely one of the shows to look out for this season, just as it has been since its release in 2017. Be sure to tune into “Riverdale” Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 8/7c on the CW.