Winter TV Preview

FX, NBC, Showtime

With the final hours of 2012 ticking away, it's time to celebrate all the promise of a New (TV) Year!

Last week, we broke down the first half of our Must-See-in-2013 list. Here then, without further ado, are our final four picks for the series that should be worth salivating over in the next few months. Read on before you get your party on!

THE AMERICANS (FX, premieres January 30): Buzz is building for this cable drama that casts Keri Russell and Brothers & Sisters' Matthew Rhys as Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings, a pair of KGB spies—and arranged-marrieds—living in Reagan-era America. Posing as everyday suburbanites working as travel agents and raising two kids, the pair find that, despite their growing feelings for each other, it's hard to nurture a relationship when the Cold War is escalating and an FBI agent (Noah Emmerich) moves in next door. With its deft balance of nail-biting action and rich character development, this drama from Graham Yost (Justified) and CIA officer-turned-TV-scribe Joe Weisberg just might be the next Homeland.


HANNIBAL (NBC, TBD): The hottest TV trends this winter seem to be prequels and serial killers, and this psychological thriller features elements of both. Developed by the always-inventive Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), the drama delves into the close working relationship between FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen) before the latter was outed as a crazed cannibal. With a top-tier cast that also includes Laurence Fishburne as Graham's boss and Gillian Anderson (Scully!) as Lecter's shrink, this NBC offering bypassed the traditional pilot stage and locked up a 13-episode season-one order, a move that, according to Fuller, will allow for no-holds-barred storytelling. "What we have is Alfred Hitchcock's principle of suspense," he told EW. "Show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it's going to go boom." Sounds like our kind of explosive ride.

Hugh Dancy, Hannibal


MASTERS OF SEX and RAY DONOVAN (Showtime, TBD): Two big-screen talents make their series-regular debuts in this pair of boundary-pushing Showtime dramas. Period piece Masters of Sex stars Michael Sheen as William Masters, the real-life doc who, along with Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), revved up the sexual revolution thanks to their studies on the science behind human sexuality. The grittier Ray Donovan, created by Ann Biderman (Southland), stars Liev Schreiber as a fixer who's a whiz at cleaning up everyone's messy personal life except his own. (Hey, it worked brilliantly for Kerry Washington.) The drama really amps up when Ray's dad, played by Angelina's pop, Jon Voight, is released early from prison. Let the family dysfunction reign!

Check out the video trailers above (sorry, no footage for Hannibal yet!), then let us know which shows you'll be adding to your DVR pronto.

Best of 2012: Top 10 Dramas

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