New Show Preview: What to Watch in 2012

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Happy new television year, TV Fanatics!

With the calendar flipped to 2012, viewers can look forward to the return of such favorites as 30 Rock (January 12), American Idol (January 17) and Justified (January 17). But you already know why you ought to save room on your DVR for these established hits.

What about new shows that will premiere over the next few weeks? We've listed a few we're excited for below, along with their trailers and the reasons why they deserve your attention...

SMASH (NBC, 10 p.m., premieres on February 6)
Why You Should Watch: We've already seen the pilot and, trust us, this is not an adult version of Glee. It stars Debra Messing and Katharine McPhee, among others, and takes viewers behind the scenes of a Broadway musical. Is there singing? Yes. But there's also snappy dialogue, layered characters  and an interesting, dramatic setting unlike any other on television.

ALCATRAZ (Fox, 9 p.m., premieres on January 16)
Why You Should Watch: Have J.J. Abrams and Jorge Garcia let you down before? Okay, maybe at the end of their previous series, but this producer/actor tandem are following Lost with another mysterious drama steeped in time travel. This one features Garcia as an expert on the iconic San Francisco prison, one brought in when inmates from 1963 somehow start appearing in modern times.

TOUCH (Fox, special premiere on January 25; regular premiere on March 19)
Why You Should Watch: Kiefer Sutherland + Fox = pure awesomeness. Need we say more about this drama, which features the former 24 star as the father of an unusually gifted child? It's created by Tim Kring, who is responsible for season one of Heroes. (We're choosing to ignore seasons two, three and four of Heroes).

GCB (ABC, premieres on March 4)
Why You Should Watch: Kristin Chenoweth is enough of an answer for us. The Pushing Daisies actress anchors this Desperate Housewives-like series, which might draw controversy for the way it depicts religion in Texas. Based on a hit book by Kim Gatlin, the title stands for Good Christian... you can figure out the rest.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Sorry to say this show is another disappointment. It has good actors and decent characters, but the writing is mediocre, the "mystery," is boring and the police procedural aspect is terrible. There are some decent moments, but it's just not interesting or dramatic to see some guy we know nothing about shoot tons of people while mumbling "47 latches" (or whatever it was) over and over and over. If I was going to rate it I'd give it a 4 out of 10. It's better than Terra Nova and Falling Skies, but those bars are so low a toddler could step over them. On the plus side, at least this show doesn't have an annoying and petulant teen son with daddy issues.

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I don't know why JJ is given so much credit for so many mediocre shows/movies. People talk about the Star Trek "reboot" and Super * as if they were masterpieces, when they were mediocre at best. His TV shows lately aren't much better. In Alcatraz, Abrams doesn't embrace sci fi, he simply uses it as a selling point, or an excuse. Instead of building on what he says he learned from Fringe, Abrams panders to all sides without ever taking a side himself. It's insular, lazy and meta - a sci fi/crime procedural with plots and characters plucked from other TV shows. I love good sci fi, good mystery and good characters. Unfortunately Alcatraz utilizes all the tropes of sci fi and cop procedurals without adding any any life to the genre, any depth to the characters, or anything compelling for fans to look forward to. In the hands of a chef who knows what he is making, mixing ingredients can create awesome gumbo; in the hands of a chef who isn't sure, the result is slop.

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i am definitely watchING SMASH. i have miss debra messing presence on my tv every since WILL&GRACE.

Aquariuz

What about House of Lies? So looking for that one.
And I'm gonna be watching Smash, since I'm such a musical fan.
And Alcatraz's plot sounds totally cool. Have to check out that one too.

Jcrv

GCB seens funny, Touch and Alcatraz seen a little to confusing and if Smash can cover songs half as good as Glee the I'm in

Fortyseven

I'm looking forward to Awake. I'll give Smash and Touch a chance.

Cidalni

How about Awake? I've seen the promo and it looks promising.
Smash has me really excited.

Aries93

Out of them all, Smash and Alcatraz sounds good. However, after the whole plot with Lost, J.J. Abrams has put me off any future TV shows he partakes in.

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