Our complete midseason preview of 31 hot sci-fi/fantasy shows

If you don't live in one of the warm states (and are there any warm states left?), it's too blasted cold to do much of anything outside. Luckily, it's time for midseason TV, which can run anywhere from January to April and keep us warm and toasty through the nasty months. New shows are airing, old shows are returning, shows that have no reason to are airing on Sunday, Battlestar's back with a movie, and Fringe is airing on Monday, just once, to annoy NBC as it goes up against Heroes.

Don't have time to watch the 31 new/returning/movie/etc. shows coming up? Are you saying you actually have a life? Well, then warm up the DVRs, TV fans. Here's the midseason line-up of sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal and spy shows.

Archer (FX), series premiere on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 10 p.m.


Looks like Chuck will have some company in the spy biz. This animated half-hour comedy focuses on master spy Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) and the spy gang at the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS). Even though there's enough espionage and global crises to keep the team busy, they still manage time for a bit of backbiting and betrayal among themselves. Also providing voices are Jessica Walter, Aisha Tyler, George Coe, Chris Parnell and Judy Greer. Brought to us from the creators of Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo, Adam Reed and Matt Thompson.

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (Syfy), two-hour movie on Sunday, Jan. 10, at 9 p.m.


It's back to BSG for a little Cylon action as two Number Ones and a Number Six take on all those humans without numbers. It involves the Cylons' plan and what happened behind the Cylon scenes that we never saw. Actor Edward James Olmos starred and directed. The Plan is already out there as a DVD and Blu-ray, but here's your chance to see it for free. After this, that's it for BSG, forever. We mean it. You'll never see anything involving Cylons again. Well, at least until Jan. 22, when we can watch ...

Caprica (Syfy), two-hour series premiere on Friday, Jan. 22, at 9 p.m.


While The Plan is sort of a Battlestar Galactica side-quel, Caprica is a prequel. In case you haven't seen the DVD or Blu-ray or watched this online, you can catch it on Syfy as a launch for the series. Caprica is about the birth of the Cylons and why they got so pissed off at humanity they wanted to wipe it out forever. Talk about having parental issues. At the center of the series is computer genius Daniel Graystone and criminal defense attorney Joseph Adama (William's daddy). When tragedy strikes, the two men are drawn together in their grief. The actions they take will change the human race forever. Caprica stars Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Alessandra Toressani, Paula Malcomson, Polly Walker and Sina Najafi. Created by Remi Aubuchon and Ronald D. Moore.

Chuck (NBC), two-hour season three premiere on Sunday, Jan. 10, at 9 p.m.


Chuck me! Chuck is finally back, and he knows kung fu. While Chuck (Zachary Levi) doesn't get to give up his day job at the Buy More, he'll at least finally be getting lessons on being a spy now that he's the Intersect 2.0. But don't think that's going to make things easy on him. Apparently Chuck still has "emotions." Luckily for him, the gang's all back, including Adam Baldwin as Casey, Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah and Joshua Gomez as Morgan. Rumor has it that one of the minor characters will be killed off and that Chuck will have a major falling-out in the romantic department with Sarah. After the big two-episode Sunday premiere, Chuck moves into its regular timeslot on Mondays at 8 p.m. the very next day.

Day One (NBC), not yet scheduled

Sadly, this show never made it to being a series. NBC decided that they'd change it into a miniseries instead. Talk about not having any faith, and it's too bad. The script is original, exciting and fun, with loads of potential. According to the NBC website, "In the aftermath of a global event that devastates the world's infrastructures, a small band of survivors strives to rebuild society and unravel the mysteries of why the event took place and what the future has in store." That sounds so generic and boring! That could be Jericho or V. Day One is something different. The "global event" is an alien invasion that's way more devastating than V. There's nothing subtle about this invasion, as meteors or rocks or something fall from the sky and then instantly shoot up to become huge structures. The invasion destroys cities, terminates communication and leaves humanity in the dark about what's happened. Can one small group of people save the human race? Day One stars David Lyons, Julie Gonzalo, Adam Campbell, Carly Pope, Thekla Reuten and Derek Mio. It's from Jesse Alexander (Heroes, Lost, Alias), and the pilot was directed by Alex Graves (Fringe). Hopefully we'll see this sometime in March or April.

Demons (BBC America), airs on Saturdays at 9 p.m.


Imagine a teen who is the chosen one and must battle demons, vampires, werewolves, etc. Sound like Buffy Revisited? Well, this chosen one is Luke, the last in the line of the Van Helsing dynasty. Apparently, Luke has to battle the beasties with the help of a pretty, psychic blind pianist, a demon hunter named Galvin and Luke's best girl bud, Ruby. Demons has been commissioned for six episodes and stars Christian Cooke, Philip Glenister, Holliday Grainger and Zoe Tapper.

Dollhouse (Fox), season two resumes on Friday, Jan. 8, at 9 p.m.

Thumbnail image for Dollhouse010410.jpg

With just three original episodes left to air, it looks like the Dollhouse is headed for a rumble with Rossum, and it's probably not going to be pretty. The show's series finale airs Friday, Jan. 22. Joss, we are going to miss you!

FlashForward (ABC), season one resumes on Thursday, March 18, at 8 p.m.

Well, only two more months until you can get back to obsessing over FlashForward's many mysteries. What we do know, based on a little flash-forward on ABC's website about the upcoming episodes, is that Mark has issues about what he may be destined to do to Demetri, Olivia kisses someone who's not Mark, and Mark says the words "There's going to be another blackout."

Fringe (Fox), a special season-one episode airs on Monday, Jan. 11, at 9 p.m.


The winner for the Screwiest Schedule Award goes to Fringe. Fox found an unaired season-one episode called "Unearthed," which goes up against Heroes in a special Monday outing. Then the series hops back into its Thursday 9 p.m. slot to get back to season two. THEN Past Life takes over for Fringe for a few weeks beginning Feb. 11. And FINALLY Fringe reclaims its timeslot on April 1. We hope we still remember what questions are left hanging after all of that.

Ghost Hunters (Syfy), premieres season six on March 3


Believe it or not, Ghost Hunters will return for season six with its 100th episode. Yep, they've done 100 episodes and nearly 200 investigations. Now if only ghost-hunting plumbers Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson got as much attention for dealing with 100 toilet plumbing problems! This season they'll be headed to Alcatraz to check out reports of full-bodied apparitions, shadows, voices and the sounds of a working prison.

Ghost Hunters International (SyFy), season two premiered on Wednesday, Jan. 6


The globe-hopping ghost hunters are back. After taking on Hitler's Ghost in Miramar, Argentina, they're off to investigate the spirits of the Eden Hotel in La Falda, Argentina. And then they head to Australia to take on the country's most haunted area, Quarantine Station, and later they explore the ghostly occurrences at a place once called "hell on earth," or Port Arthur, which was once an infamous prison settlement in the 1800s.

Ghost Whisperer (CBS), season five resumes on Friday, Jan. 8, at 8 p.m.


The most popular show on Friday nights has big things headed its way. Comedian/actress Margaret Cho will join the cast as a recurring character in February. She'll play Ned's Occult Sciences professor. And then Ghost Whisperer will air its 100th episode with episode 15, which will be written by creator John Gray and directed by "Love," or star Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Heroes (NBC), moves to a new timeslot on Monday, Jan. 11, at 9 p.m.


After returning with new episodes on Monday, Heroes moves to its new (and original) timeslot on Mondays at 9 p.m. after Chuck. Next week, Heroes goes head to head with a special Fringe episode on Fox. Which one will you watch live?

As for what's ahead, our heroes are pulling together in fearing Samuel's dangerous plan. With only a handful of episodes left to air in its fourth season, Heroes is still on the bubble as to whether or not it will be renewed. Heroes has just won the dubious title as the show that has the most illegal downloads on the web (with over 6 million). In fact, the series has more illegal downloads than real live viewers. People, if you like this show, watch it live!

Human Target (Fox), series premiere on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 8 p.m.

From what we've seen so far (and we've seen the pilot), there's not a lick of sci-fi in this new action series from Fox. But that doesn't stop us from claiming the series, since it's based on a popular comic-book character. The series follows the adventures of Christopher Chance (Fringe's Mark Valley) as the human target in question. He specializes in protecting his clients by making himself the target of those who want to harm them. However, Chance has a past, and no doubt there are lots of secrets hidden away in it. Watchmen's Jackie Earle Haley and Pushing Daisies' Chi McBride co-star. It's a high-octane ride, and Fox must be feeling good about it. They've paired Human Target with American Idol when it moves to its regular timeslot on Wednesdays.

Legend of the Seeker (syndicated), season two resumes on Saturday, Jan. 9


In the upcoming episodes of Seeker, Richard (Craig Horner) is going to be have issues with the ladies. The Mord'Sith Denna (Jessica Marais) returns, and Star Trek's Jolene Blalock stops by for an arc as Sister Nicci, a Sister of the Dark. Events will force Zedd (Bruce Spence) to name a new seeker.

Lost (ABC), sixth and final season premiere on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 9 p.m.

It's the most anticipated television event this side of American Idol, and not one frame of Lost's sixth season has been aired in promotions. Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse promise Lost will feature a new kind of storytelling device that won't be a flashback or a flash-forward. What's left? A flash present? The show's final season will also focus on the battle between Jack and Locke (although are they talking dead Locke or Smoke Monster Locke or the Loophole Guy Locke?). And Lindelof and Cuse say we can look forward to seeing former cast members, including Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) and Ian Somerhalder (Boone) again, even though their characters are deceased (or at least they were, but then that bomb went off).

Medium (CBS), season six resumes on Friday, Jan. 8, at 9 p.m.


When Medium returns we can expect the upcoming episodes to dig deep into the characters' backgrounds. We'll learn more about Devalos' daughter's suicide, Scanlon's brother will get in trouble, and Allison will be mugged.

XXI Olympic Winter Games (NBC), airs events Feb. 12-28

So what's sci-fi about the Olympics? Only that NBC's scheduling will be affected, along with other networks trying to avoid going up against the Olympics. So don't expect a lot of original programming during this timeframe.

Paranormal Cops (A&E), series premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 10:30 p.m.


You knew it had to happen. Can't you just hear the "Bad Boys" tune from Cops as these ghost-busting cops break through the door of some haunted joint? This half-hour reality series follows a team of Chicago-area police officers who are cops by day and ghost hunters by night. The team utilize their forensic and investigative abilities to help people who claim they're being victimized by paranormal activity. Paranormal Cops has a six-episode order, but the series will kick off with a special one-hour episode. "Bad ghosts, bad ghosts, what you gonna do when they come for you? Bad ghosts, bad ghosts ... "

Past Life (Fox), series premiere on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 9 p.m.


Past Life starts off premiering with a double episode and then takes over Fringe's timeslot for another five episodes. Consider this series a kind of X-Files/Ghost Whisperer mashup that explores what happens when past lives interfere with the present lives of the guest characters. On the case is Dr. Kate McGinn (Kelli Giddish) and her skeptical partner, Price Whatley (Nicholas Bishop), who work for the Talmadge Center for Behavioral Health in New York City. Each week they take on cases no one else will, involving everything from near-death experience to out-of-body experience. Producers promise Past Life is an "emotional thrill ride." The series also stars West Wing's Richard Schiff as Dr. Malachi Talmadge and Ravi Patel as Dr. Rishi Karna.

Riverworld (Syfy), miniseries. not yet scheduled

Syfy has decided to give Philip Jose Farmer's classic one more go. While the story, about people who've died and wake up very much alive along a seemingly endless river, along with everyone else who's ever lived and died on Earth, was also the subject matter of Syfy's first Riverworld attempt in 2003, expect a major re-imagining on this new version.

In the mini, Dollhouse's Tahmoh Penikett and Smallville's Laura Vandervoort star as Matt and his fiancée, Jessie, who are victims of a suicide bomber. The duo end up separated along the river and struggle to find each other again. The protagonist in the novel, Richard Burton, is now the villain. He'll be played by Highlander's Peter Wingfield. This new version was written by Robert Hewitt Wolfe and directed by Stuart Gillard.

Sanctuary (Syfy), season two resumes on Friday, Jan. 8, at 10 p.m.


Even though there are only three original episodes left in the season, take heart. Syfy has already renewed Sanctuary for a third season. In the two-hour finale, "Kali, Parts 1 & 2," a global threat will surface that will affect the abnormals of the world. The team head to India to stop the threat and find themselves facing the Cult of Kali. Also, rumor has it Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne) will do an amazing Bollywood dance number. Now that's something we can't wait to see.

Smallville (The CW), season nine resumes on Friday, Jan. 22, at 8 p.m.

Here's some good news for Smallville viewers. On Friday, Feb. 5, there will be a two-hour Smallville movie event called "Absolute Justice." The movie brings the Justice League and the Justice Society face to face. The Justice Society heroes of the past include Hawkman (Stargate's Michael Shanks), Dr. Fate (Andromeda's Brent Stait) and Stargirl (V's Britt Irvin). When a threat from the past returns, it's up to the heroes of the past and the present to save the day.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand (Starz), two-hour series premiere on Friday, Jan. 22, at 10 p.m.

Mix 300 with Gladiator and you've got Spartacus. And Starz must like what they've seen. In an unusual move, the pay channel actually renewed the series for a second season before its premiere. Look for the sexy Spartacus to have plenty of nudity, both male and female, and even more graphic violence. In the series, Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) finds himself betrayed by the Romans and forced into slavery as a gladiator. Xena's Lucy Lawless also stars, and she says she's going topless for the role.

Stargate Universe (Syfy), season one resumes on Friday, April 2, at 9 p.m.

The good news is that Syfy has already renewed the freshman series for a second season. We were left with Col. Young (Justin Louis) stranding Dr. Rush on a deserted planet (well, one with a crashed spaceship). When we return we'll have to see how Rush (Robert Carlyle) manages to get back on the Destiny, and what that scene between him and Young is going to look like when they're first standing in the same room. It should be fun. The other good news, we have 10 episodes left, and producers are promising more action in the second half of the season.

Supernatural (The CW), season five resumes on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 9 p.m.

Congrats to Supernatural, the People's Choice Award winner for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show. So, what's coming up on Supernatural? How about Cupid, the brothers in a mental institution (why did that take so long?) and the hot angel chick, Anna (Julie McNiven), returns. We also read a rumor that Sam and Dean end up in heaven ... after their murders. Somehow that makes perfect sense.

Survivors (BBC America), U.S. series premiere on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m.


It's a happy show ... not. What if a virulent disease scoured the planet (kinda like Stephen King's The Stand) and wiped out 99 percent of the world's population? What if everyone you knew was dead and there was "no law, no shops, no communications, no transport, no electricity, no clean water." And apparently no TV ... A small disparate group of survivors battle to survive, led by Abby Grant (Julie Graham), a mom looking for her son. Each day brings new challenges to find food and water, and the worst threat of all ... other survivors. Survivors stars Paterson Joseph, Zoë Tapper, Philip Rhys, Chahak Patel and Max Beesley. After the show's Feb. 13 premiere the series will move from 8 p.m. to the 9 p.m. timeslot on subsequent Saturdays.

Syfy's Saturday Night Action Movies (Syfy), Saturdays at 9 p.m.


Who hasn't been waiting for Ghost Hunters to be done as a Syfy movie? Well, here it is as one of two Syfy original movies in January. House of Bones (Jan. 16) stars Corin Nemec and Charisma Carpenter as a couple of TV-show ghost hunters who find that they and their team are in over their heads. The reality stars take on the mysterious Wicker House in New Orleans ... which is only their first mistake. Second, when people start disappearing into the walls, it's time to get the frak out of there.


The second January movie is Meteor Storm (Jan. 30), which they promise is different from all the other meteor-storm-type movies. Michael Trucco, Kari Matchett and Eric Johnson star in this film about what happens when a passing deadly meteor shower decides to pick on San Francisco. A hot scientist (Matchett) discovers the remnants of an ancient meteor strike, and we're guessing that if she doesn't, it's goodbye, San Francisco ... and maybe the world.

V (ABC), season one resumes on Tuesday, March 30, at 9 p.m.

Thumbnail image for V_Series_Baccarin.jpg

With ABC following their FlashForward model, V will be a long time coming by the time we finally get back to the story at the end of March. When the series returns we'll learn more about the Vs, the resistance will dig in, and everyone on the show will remain incredibly beautiful.

The Vampire Diaries (The CW), season one resumes on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 8 p.m.


The Vampire Diaries has its own congrats coming. The series was named the People's Choice Award winner for Favorite New TV Drama. The huge CW hit is planning lots of epic ... romance, action, stories, secrets. The long dead (well, kinda, sorta) Katherine will continue to come between Elena and Stefan. Damon will, as usual, cause lots of trouble. And look for Bonnie to come into her own as a witch.

So which shows are you looking forward to the most?

For the latest sci-fi news, follow us on Twitter at @scifiwire

More from around the web