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Winter television preview: 24 must-see new shows

"Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas" is a stop animation special. Photo Credit: Gary Krueger/Warner Bros.

Winter is a quieter season for new television shows, but there's actually quite a lot to watch in between holiday specials and reruns of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

Here are 24 new shows to set to keep you glued to the couch.

'How Murray Saved Christmas'

This animated musical, based on a children's book by "The Simpsons" producer Mike Reiss, is set in a town where all the holiday figures, from Santa Claus to the Easter Bunny, live. When Santa is incapacitated, it's up to diner owner Murray Weiner (voiced by "Seinfeld's" Jerry Stiller) to save Christmas. Also featuring the voices of Jason Alexander, Sean Hayes, Dennis Haysbert, John Ratzenberger and Kevin Michael Richardson. (NBC, Dec. 5)

'The Librarians'

The trilogy of campy action-adventure films starring Noah Wyle spins off into a new series with Rebecca Romijn in the lead. (TNT, Dec. 7)

'The Red Tent'

Anita Diamant's novel is adapted for this star-studded miniseries featuring Minnie Driver, Morena Baccarin and Debra Winger set during the era of the Old Testament. It's a sweeping love story, centered on the four wives of Jacob (Iain Glen). (Lifetime, Dec. 7)

'Marco Polo'

This new streaming historical drama follows the famed explorer while at the court of Kublai Khan. (Netflix, Dec. 12)


Aboard a space ship launched in 1963, hundreds of people are on a mission to find a new world to populate. However, about halfway through the voyage, a woman is found murdered and the mission's purpose is suddenly not so clear. Starring Tricia Helfer ("Battlestar Galactica"). (Syfy, Dec. 15)

'Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas'

Buddy the Elf is back in a stop-animation special that claims to be a combination of the film and the Broadway musical. "Big Bang Theory" star Jim Parsons steps in as the voice of Buddy. (NBC, Dec. 16)


Famed composer Alan Menken ("Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast") and lyricist Glenn Slater ("Tangled") join writer/producer Dan Fogelman for this four-week musical comedy set in medieval times. The lead song was great. (ABC, Jan. 4)

'Marvel's Agent Carter'

Head back to 1946 in the Marvel Universe with this new show that focuses on Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), who you might remember from the "Captain America" movies. Here she's working with the Strategic Scientific Reserve and also taking some extra work from none other than Howard Stark. (ABC, Jan. 6)


Brothers Mark and Jay Duplass created this new comic drama series about a married couple, Brett (Mark Duplass) and Michelle (Melanie Lynskey), who live with Michelle's sister (Amanda Peet) and Brett's pal (Steve Zissis). (HBO, Jan. 11)

'Eye Candy'

Director Catherine Hardwicke brings the R.L. Stine novel to MTV with Victoria Justice in the lead role. She plays hacker Lindy who thinks that a guy she met while online dating might be a killer. She and her hacker friends look to bring him to, wait for it, justice. (MTV, Jan. 12)

'Wrestling With Death'

This unscripted series follows the Latham family, who are morticians by day and pro wrestlers by night. (WGN America, Jan. 13)

'12 Monkeys'

The 1995 film from visionary director Terry Gillam is adapted for television. Aaron Stanford stars as Cole, who goes back in time from his post-apocalyptic world to try and save the world from his terrible future. (Syfy, Jan. 16)


This new "Masterpiece" series is a six-episode show starring James Norton and Robson Green as a clergyman and a cop, respectively, who work together to take on crime in Grantchester during the 1950s. (PBS, Jan. 18)

'Sons of Liberty'

This three-night miniseries follows the old-school radicals -- Sam Adams, John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and Dr. Joseph Warren -- as they start a revolution. Starring Ben Barnes, Ryan Eggold, Michael Raymond James, Rafe Spall, Henry Thomas and Dean Norris as Benjamin Franklin. (History, Jan. 25)

'Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations'

Andrew Zimmern, the affable eater with a taste for the unusual, takes viewers on a look for some of the best iconic foods, like the finest fish and chips in London. I can only wonder what he'll eat in New York City (Travel, Jan. 26)


Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") executive produces and directs this British workplace satire starring Brit Marling, James Nesbitt and Paterson Joseph. (SundanceTV, Jan. 8)'Fortitude'

Crime comes to the arctic town of Fortitude and it's up to Sheriff Dan Anderssen (Richard Dormer) and Det. Morton (Stanley Tucci) to solve the murder. (Pivot, January, 2015)

'Best New Restaurant'

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio hosts this new food competition series that pits restaurant against restaurant in a battle that covers everything from food to service to décor. New York eateries that are competing include Lapicio in the East Village and Morgan's Brooklyn Barbecue and The Pines in Brooklyn. (Bravo, Jan. 21)


Gavin Stenhouse stars as a CIA analyst who discovers that his parents (played by Hope Davis and Scott Cohen) are decommissioned Russian spies, and they're about to be called back in action with the mission of turning their son into a spy for Russia. (NBC, Feb. 5)

'Saturday Night Live: 40th Anniversary Special'

The nighttime staple looks back at 40 (mostly) funny years. There's no telling at this point which former cast members will show up, but it's safe to assume this will be a star-studded, hilarious special. (NBC, Feb. 15)

'Better Call Saul'

Come back to the world of "Breaking Bad" with this prequel centered on Walter White's sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), who, at this point, is known as Jimmy McGill. Joining Odenkirk is Jonathan Banks, reprising his role as Mike Erhmantraut. (AMC, Feb. 8)

'Secrets and Lies'

After finding the dead body of his neighbor's son in the woods, Ben Garner (Ryan Phillippe) becomes suspected of the murder. It's up to him to find out who actually killed the boy. Also starring Juliette Lewis, Dan Fogler and KaDee Strickland. (ABC, March 1)


Jason Isaacs and Anne Heche headline this thriller about an FBI agent, Peter Connelly (Isaacs), stationed in Israel working for his boss (and more), Lynn Monahan (Heche). When an American is killed, Connelly is off to solve the crime, which spirals into a huge conspiracy. (USA, March 5)


A forty-something single mother (Sutton Foster) gets a makeover to look younger so that she can start a new career. Also starring Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar and Miriam Shor. (TV Land, March 31)


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