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Winter TV 2013: ‘Carrie Diaries,’ ‘The Bachelor’ & More Shows To Watch

Fri, December 14, 2012 10:00am EDT by Andy Swift 2 Comments
Winter TV Shows 2013
Courtesy of The CW, ABC, ABC Family, PBS

Warning: Your DVR is not ready for the new year.

Assuming the Mayans were wrong about the world ending later this month, we’ve got a lot of incredible TV coming our way. In just a few short weeks, an onslaught of new and returning shows will serve up can’t-miss premieres; and because we know how stressful that can make your life, has a list of the 11 shows worth keeping an eye on this winter.

The Best Winter TV Shows of 2013

Here are our top 11 winter shows, in no particular alphabetical order:

American Idol (Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. on FOX)
Why we’re excited: Remember when this show used to be about discovering talent? Neither do we! Between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, the judges are going to be seated at the most dramatic table since the infamous dinner on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Prepare to see some flipping.

The Bachelor (Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. on ABC)
Why we’re excited: Who cares that the winning couple will indefinitely break up shortly after the season ends? We’re going to be glued to ABC’s addictive dating hit for the long haul, even if just for the gratuitous shirtless shots of new Bachelor Sean Lowe. If the season premiere is any indication, we’re in for a skin-tastic spring.

The Carrie Diaries (Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. on The CW)
Why we’re excited: The CW’s Gossip Girl replacement will take you on a sweet, colorful ride through Carrie Bradshaw’s pre-fabulous days — in and out of Manhattan. AnnaSophia Robb is adorable, and we’re total suckers for the ’80s nostalgia, so bring it!

Deception (Jan. 7 at 10 p.m. on NBC)
Why we’re excited: This twisty, turny drama is basically Revenge (rich people!) meets Veronica Mars (rich dead girl!), so prepare yourself for a season — fingers crossed — of backstabbing, betrayals and big reveals.

Downton Abbey (Jan. 6 at 9 p.m. on PBS)
Why we’re excited: I’ve had the great pleasure of pre-screening the British import’s entire third season, and I’m happy to confirm it’s the most dramatic one yet. Prepare yourselves for love (you will cry!), loss (you will cry again!) and more sass from the Maggie Smith‘s Dowager Countess.

The Following (Jan. 21 at 9 p.m. on Fox)
Why we’re excited: There may not be any dreamy Salvatores on this one, but we’ve never met a Kevin Williamson show we didn’t immediately love. The Vampire Diaries creator weaves a gripping, ingenious mystery about a serial killer that we can’t wait to unravel. Oh, did we forgot to mention Kevin Bacon? Because, you know, Kevin Bacon.

Girls (Jan. 13 at 9 p.m. on HBO)
Why we’re excited: Even if it wasn’t brilliant and hilarious, Lena Dunham‘s quirky HBO comedy is amazing because it makes me feel better about being 25 and still not having my life together. The second season will also bring about numerous other joys, including Hannah’s pair of bitchin’ cheetah pants. Get excited!

The Lying Game (Jan. 8 at 9 p.m. on ABC Family)
Why we’re excited: You might want to re-watch last season’s finale before jumping into season two, which is almost dizzying in its complexity. Rebecca (Charisma Carpenter) is more focused on her goal than ever, and with Sutton (Alexandra Chando) as her secret sidekick, there’s no telling how twisted things in Scottsdale will get.

Pretty Little Liars (Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family)
Why we’re excited: With Mona on the loose and their list of allies shrinking by the day, the girls are becoming more suspicious of everyone in Rosewood — including each other! Yes, look for lots of inner-circle drama as PLL wraps up its third season with a bang. And I might just mean that literally.

Smash (Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. on NBC)
Why we’re excited: Dropping some dead weight from season one, Smash is returning brighter and better than ever with a second season full of scheming, dreaming, and of course, a soundtrack ready to dominate iTunes.

Vanderpump Rules (Premieres Jan. 7 at 9 p.m. on Bravo)
Why we’re excited: What’s the only thing better than eating at Lisa Vanderpump‘s Beverly Hills restaurant Sur? Um… watching her rip her sexy-slash-incompetent employees to shreds, of course! Sass is on the menu, and we can’t wait to see Lisa serve it up every week.