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By Mike Hale
There is a sea change coming to your TV screens, as shifting economics in the television and streaming video industries lead to a sudden decrease in the number of series competing for your limited attention and dollars. (Hold your applause.)
But not yet! This winter, the flood continues. The volume of notable shows is such that I didn’t find room in this preview to list new seasons of series I enjoy like “Servant” (Apple TV+, Jan. 13), “Godfather of Harlem” (MGM+, Jan. 15), “Miracle Workers” (TBS, Jan. 16), “You” (Netflix, Feb. 9), “Star Trek: Picard” (Paramount+, Feb. 16) and “The Mandalorian” (Disney+, March 1). Here are the 24 new and returning shows that caught my eye, in chronological order; as always, dates are subject to change.
The 1998 outer-space western “Trigun,” which occasionally pops up on all-time-best anime lists, is reimagined by Orange, the studio behind the popular “Beastars” series on Netflix. The frenetic, peace-loving hero Vash of the desert planet No Man’s Land returns along with his frenemy Meryl Stryfe, who’s now a cub reporter. (Crunchyroll, Saturday. Another highly anticipated anime premiere: Season 2 of “Vinland Saga,” Monday on Crunchyroll and Netflix.)
‘Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches’
Wasting no time after the October premiere of “Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire,” AMC offers a second series based on Rice’s supernatural tales. Alexandra Daddario plays a neurosurgeon unaware of her roots in New Orleans magic and debauchery. (AMC, Sunday)
Talk about a holiday gift: Five years after it ended its run, we get a bonus episode of Mackenzie Crook’s melancholy comedy about friendship, disappointment, stubborn pride and the solace of walking around large empty fields wielding metal detectors. The 75-minute one-off catches up with Andy (Crook), Lance (the great Toby Jones) and the other members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club, a small world where the stakes can get very high. (Acorn TV, Monday)
The non-canine protagonists of “Scooby-Doo” are reimagined in a highly self-referential prequel series centered on the brainy Velma Dinkley, voiced by Mindy Kaling. (HBO Max, Thursday)
‘The Last of Us’
The conversation around this series from Craig Mazin (“Chernobyl”) and the video game developer Neil Druckmann is about proving whether a really good live-action show can be made from a video game. (Apparently “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” didn’t count.) Another question, of course, is how badly we need another series set after a zombie apocalypse. Pedro Pascal of “The Mandalorian” and Bella Ramsey of “Game of Thrones” star. (HBO, Jan. 15)
What is it with British men and their painfully ill-fated attempts to fake their own deaths? Last year gave us “The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe” with Eddie Marsan as an angry prole who chose to paddle away from society. Now we have another estimable British actor, Matthew Macfadyen, as John Stonehouse, a member of Parliament who — honey-trapped by the Czech secret service and an epic failure as a businessman — assumed the identity of a dead constituent and absconded to Australia. (BritBox, Jan. 17)
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