TV Returns in a Big Way With Its Early 2015 Premieres

Must-see TV starts right away in 2015.

Matt Branhamby Matt Branham

With shows like “Portlandia,” “Archer” and “Duck Dynasty” already back on the air, there are still plenty more TV series returning in early 2015 — some bright new faces and some old classics on the way out. So if you’ve thrown out your back taking down holiday lights or are still too fat from mama’s cookies to get off the couch, you’re in the perfect position to can catch these big premieres over the next few weeks. (Caution: Spoilers from previous seasons ahead.)

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Sunday, Jan. 11, 9pm EST on Showtime
Sorry if you already missed this one last night, but they’ll show it again. After beating the odds and the Grim Reaper, Frank and his band of misfits are back for a fifth season. If you’re wondering if the Gallaghers can take the insanity to a new level, remember how William H. Macy never fails to deliver, and remember when he got drunk by running booze up his ass while coping with liver failure. Expect more alcoholism, Emmy Rossum’s butt, run-ins with Chicago’s finest and pubescent pre-teens trying to lose their virginity.

Parks and Recreation
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Tuesday, Jan. 13, 8pm EST on NBC
Back for its seventh and final season, Leslie Knope and her Pawnee Parks Department will dish out their laughs on Tuesdays this spring, showing a shortened season of only 13 episodes before ending its run. Will Leslie become President of the United States? Doubtful. But hopefully we’ll get a role reprisal from Rob Lowe. The two-part premiere has episodes titled “2017” and “Ron & Jammy.” As much as we’d like to think it’s about Ron calling his ex-wife a bitch, it’ll likely include a look into the future and the return of snot-nosed Jamm, which is way better.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
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Wednesday Jan. 14, 10pm EST on FXX
Back with a new contract under the new FXX, the gang is getting weird again and Frank, well, he’s getting even weirder somehow in the show’s tenth season. Will Charlie bang the waitress? Will Mac’s mom ever die from chronic smoking? Is Frank going to eat something grosser than trash? All these things and more will be revealed in the new network style “Sunny” premiere. Get ready for some wild cards.

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Wednesday, Jan. 14, 10pm EST on Comedy Central
Running head-to-head with its competition, the office pranksters and all-around depraved, good-for-nothing lunatics of “Workaholics” are back at it. Expect more drinking than the average liver can consume, drug experimentation permeating before going horridly awry and some more likely cougar fetishes coming to fruition, all meshed into ten all-bets-are-off episodes, including a guest appearance from Ben Stiller. The premiere is titled “Speedo Racer,” so gratuitous crotch shots right off the bat are a certainty.

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Tuesday, Jan. 20, 10pm EST on FX
The sixth and final season of the southern drama will air this year, introducing two new key players — legendary actor Sam Elliott and Garret Dillahunt of “Raising Hope.” Elliott is set to play the renowned Kentucky gangster villain set opposite of Raylan Givens. The series finale will hopefully go off without a hitch, but there will be a bit of deep-fried drama in the works before they go out with a bang.

The Flash
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Tuesday, Jan. 20, 8pm EST on The CW
Faster than lightning, The Flash has made his way to The CW across from Stephan ‘s “Arrow.” With intertwining plot points and characters, The CW has cleverly made watching both shows essential at times. For fans of the superhero comic, the show offers a gritty (albeit still CW) look at a modern day Flash, starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, an orphaned boy turned detective turned freak accident super speedy superhero. “Arrow” returns at the same time the following night.

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Thursday Jan. 22, 9pm EST on Fox
The crime dramedy pilot based on the Swedish book series by Leif G. W. Persson and starring Rainn Wilson will finally drop on Fox in late January. The smug, alcoholic detective Everett Backstrom will work across straight arrow partner Det. Nicole Gravely (Genevieve Angelson). Also starring is Dennis Haysbert in this clever cop meets drunken degenerate, loose-lipped investigation show run by the wise-cracking former Dwight Schrute.

The Americans
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Wednesday Jan. 28, 10pm EST on FX
After an impressive Season 2 run, “The Americans” pulled out a stunning season finale. Now the third season spells trouble and tension for the Jennings’ unconventional family as they start the year with a big decision involving their daughter, Paige, dealing with more of the normal American family struggles while still having to conceal their identities as spies. The show, starring Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys, is back for 13 more episodes on FX.

The Blacklist
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Sunday Feb. 1, After the Super Bowl on NBC
After nearly a three-month hiatus, Golden Globe nominee James Spader and “The Blacklist” are back for the second half of season two, just as soon as you finish stuffing your faces with pizza and nachos. In the season’s fall finale “The Decembrist,” Raymond (Spader) gives up the whereabouts of his rival’s missing daughter while Elizabeth Keen tried to decide what to do about her captive ex-husband, ending in two major deaths. The second half of the season continues with “The Fulcrum” storyline and the fallout of the mid-season finale.

Better Call Saul
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Sunday Feb. 8, 10pm EST on AMC
The most anticipated pilot since “Breaking Bad” went off the air is Vince Gilligan’s spin-off, which basically has him admitting he has a hard time letting go. Bob Odenkirk is back with some truth, a minuscule amount of honor and a jumbled code of ethics as his story is traced back before his early attorney days with the infamous Walter White. The show will welcome back Mike Ehrmantraut (played by Jonathan Banks), and possibly Aaron Paul in the future. If you’re in deep shit and need a sleazy attorney, better call Saul. The show will start with a two-night premiere Sunday Feb. 8 and Monday night, as well.

The Walking Dead
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Sunday Feb. 8, 9pm EST on AMC
The zombie supportive network of AMC has been nice enough to give fans extra episodes — 16 instead of the usual 12 — for the past two seasons, but it comes with a long break. Part two of the fifth season will hopefully keep up an energetic pace, although we can’t imagine what is left for Rick and his surviving crew of dead killers. Maybe the start of an endgame now that they’re all back together (sans Beth)? There is no more heading to Washington, but the pastor from the church will likely lead to something borderline interesting.

House of Cards
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Friday Feb. 27, 12:01am on Netflix
He’s President of the United States. After covering up his shocking season two Zoe Barnes murder and going head-to-head with Raymond Tusk, Frank Underwood is in the clear … or so he thinks. The third season is set to stream completely at midnight on Feb. 27 and is likely filled with secrets, lies and hopefully some more inter-marital ménage à trois. There’s nowhere to go but down, Kevin Spacey.