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Must See HDTV (January 4th - 8th)

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
January 4, 2012

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While we're disappointed about some of the instant-classic bowl games we missed including in the listings during our extended New Year's break, we figure also skipping over the premieres of Work It and The Biggest Loser evens things out. Check below for the highlights remaining this week, followed after the break by our weekly listings of what to look out for in TV, Blu-ray and videogames.

If you're looking for a comedy that's a bit different, check out IFC's satirical take on hipster culture, although you'll probably need a subscription to the New Yorker as well as bookmarks for Pitchfork and Hype Machine to get the jokes. It stars and is written by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, whose characters travel through a slightly more absurd caricature of Portland, Oregon than the one that really exists, although it does star the real city mayor as the assistant to the mayor. It's a niche show, but if you get it, you'll get it. Check out a clip of what happens when the characters decide to watch just one episode of Battlestar Galactica embedded after the break.
(January 6th, IFC, 10PM)

Saturday Night Live
While SNL can be hit or miss, we're always intrigued when the host isn't just another actor, and this week the show features Charles Barkley. This could either be fantastic or turrible (c) Barkley, but we've just got to see it either way. Kelly Clarkson will also be in attendance, this information may or may not be relevant to your interests.
(January 7th, NBC, 11:30PM)

The Firm
With a plot that begins ten years after the events of the movie that starred Tom Cruise as lawyer Mitch McDeere, The Firm revisits John Grisham's most popular character as he and his family leave the witness protection program to start a new life. Of course, things just can't be so simple, and it appears he has stumbled on yet another law firm with a secret to hide. The new show premieres on NBC Sunday night, check out a preview trailer after the break.
(January 8th, NBC, 9PM)

Blu-ray & Games
  • Justified (S2)
  • Contagion
  • Serendipity
  • Mildred Pierce
  • She's All That
  • NFL Blitz (Xbox 360, PS3)


  • Michigan/Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, ESPN, 8:30PM
  • Work It (pilot), ABC, 8:30PM
  • Switched At Birth (winter premiere), ABC Family, 8PM
  • NCIS (winter premiere), CBS, 8PM
  • Jane By Design (series premiere), ABC Family, 9PM
  • NCIS: LA (winter premiere), CBS, 9PM
  • Body of Proof (winter premiere), ABC, 10PM
  • Parenthood (winter premiere), NBC, 10PM
  • Unforgettable (winter premiere), CBS, 10PM
  • Dirty Jobs, Discovery, 9PM


  • West Virginia/Clemson in the Orange Bowl, ESPN, 8:30PM
  • The Middle (winter premiere), ABC, 8PM
  • Suburgatory (winter premiere), ABC, 8:30PM
  • Mobbed (special presentation), Fox, 9PM
  • Modern Family (winter premiere), ABC, 9PM
  • Nova (season premiere), PBS, 9PM
  • Happy Endings (season premiere), ABC, 9:30PM
  • Revenge (winter premiere), ABC, 10PM
  • Steven Segal: Lawman (season premiere), A&E, 10 & 10:30PM
  • Inside The NFL, Showtime, 9PM
  • Sons of Guns, Discovery, 9PM
  • State of Play, BBC America, 10PM
  • Moonshiners (season finale), Discovery, 10PM


  • The Vampire Diaries (winter premiere), CW, 8PM
  • Wipeout (season premiere), ABC, 8PM
  • Grey's Anatomy (winter premiere), ABC, 9PM
  • The Secret Circle (winter premiere), CW, 9PM
  • 24/7: Flyers/Rangers (season finale)
  • Big Shrimpin' (season finale), History, 10PM
  • Private Practice (winter premiere), ABC, 10PM
  • NY Ink, TLC, 9PM
  • Less Than Kind, DirecTV 101, 9PM
  • Call Me Fitz, DirecTV 101, 9:30PM


  • Kansas State/Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, Fox, 8PM
  • A Gifted Man (winter premiere), CBS, 8PM
  • Nikita (winter premiere), CW, 8PM
  • CSI: NY (winter premiere), CBS, 9PM
  • Supernatural (winter premiere), CW, 9PM
  • Blue Bloods (winter premiere), CBS, 10PM
  • Merlin (winter premiere), Syfy, 10PM
  • Portlandia (season premiere), IFC, 10PM
  • The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (season premiere), IFC, 10:30 PM
  • Chuck, NBC, 8PM
  • WWE SmackDown, Syfy, 8PM
  • The Life & Times of Tim, HBO, 9PM
  • X-Men Anime (season finale), G4, 11PM


  • Pittsburgh vs. SMU in the BBVA Compass Bowl, ESPN, 1PM
  • North Dakota State/Sam Houston State FCS Championship Game, ESPN2, 1PM
  • Bengals/Texans NFL Playoffs, NBC, 4:30PM
  • Lions/Saints NFL Playoffs, NBC, 8PM
  • Republican Presidential candidates Debate in New Hampshire, ABC, 9PM
  • Cops, Fox, 8PM
  • Strikeforce: Rockhold/Jardine MMA fighting, Showtime, 10PM
  • Saturday Night Live: Charles Barkley & Kelly Clarkson, NBC, 11:30PM


  • Falcons/Giants NFL Playoffs, Fox, 1PM
  • Steelers/Broncos NFL Playoffs, CBS, 4:30PM
  • The Firm (series premiere), NBC, 9PM
  • House of Lies (series premiere), Showtime, 10PM
  • Californication (season premiere), Showtime, 10PM
  • The Simpsons (winter premiere), Fox, 8PM
  • Once Upon A Time (winter premiere), ABC, 8PM
  • Secret Service Secrets (special presentation), Discovery, 8 & 9PM
  • Desperate Housewives (special presentation), ABC, 9PM
  • The Good Wife (winter premiere). CBS, 9PM
  • Family Guy (winter premiere), Fox, 9PM
  • Shameless (winter premiere), Showtime, 9PM
  • American Dad (winter premiere), Fox, 9:30PM
  • All-American Muslim (season finale), TLC, 10PM
  • Pan-Am (winter premiere), ABC, 10PM
  • Leverage, TNT, 9PM
  • Hell on Wheels, AMC, 10PM
  • Angry Boys, HBO, 10 & 10:30PM

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