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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