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The 10 Network TV Shows We’re Most Excited to Watch This January

Who says streaming platforms have all the fun?

(Left to right) Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J in "NCIS: Los Angeles"; Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Quinta Brunson, Lisa Ann Walter and Chris Perfetti in "Abbott Elementary."
(Left to right) Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J in "NCIS: Los Angeles"; Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Quinta Brunson, Lisa Ann Walter and Chris Perfetti in "Abbott Elementary."
Sara Mally/CBS; Pamela Littky/ABC

Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video get all the attention (and many of the Emmys!), but networks continue to produce fresh and exciting content that often gets overlooked. Make a resolution this January to show some love to network television and check out critically acclaimed returning series (like Ghosts and Abbott Elementary), brand new shows (like Will Trent and Alert) or some combination of the two, including a rebooted Night Court that picks up two decades after the original series. And if you’re a proud cord-cutter, don’t fret: Many of these shows stream on sites like Hulu the following day!

NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)

The premise: The L.A.-based military crime spinoff, starring Chris O’Donnell (52) and LL Cool J (54), is still going strong in its 14th season, and its creators keep giving us big reasons to tune in. This month, the NCIS universe will air its first-ever three-way crossover event on Jan. 9, which will see the teams from the original NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: Hawaii meeting up in D.C. to celebrate the retirement of a former professor. This being a crime procedural, things don’t go exactly according to plan: The instructor ends up dead in an apparent suicide, and the agents become targets of a hitman.

Why you should tune in: The series continues tackling important big-picture topics like domestic violence.

Watch it: Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS

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America’s Got Talent: All-Stars (NBC)

The premise: This best-of-the-best spinoff edition of the reality competition series brings together 60 acts from across America’s 17 seasons, plus international editions from Germany, Romania, the Philippines and beyond. Among the slate of a cappella groups, aerialists, poets, singers and dancers are some household names from previous AGT seasons, including Season 2 ventriloquist Terry Fator, 57, and season 16 magician Dustin Tavella.

Why you should tune in: Despite the slightly updated formula, audiences can still expect returning host Terry Crews (54) and judges Simon Cowell (63), Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel (67). 

Watch it: Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC

Alert (Fox)

The premise: Fans of the recently ended Hawaii Five-O reboot can catch actor Scott Caan (James Caan’s son) once again fighting crime, this time as part of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit. Each week brings a new missing persons case, but there’s an overarching story to bring added emotional heft: Caan plays Officer Jason Grant who reunites professionally and personally with his ex-wife, MPU head Nikki Batista (Dania Ramirez), to track down their son Keith, who’s been gone and assumed dead for six years.

Why you should tune in: Showrunner John Eisendrath has a knack for adrenaline-pumping shows; he’s been the executive producer of AliasThe Blacklist and many more.

Watch it: Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox, following a special premiere on Sunday, Jan. 8, after the NFL game

Night Court (NBC)

The premise: Following in the footsteps of recently rebooted comedies like And Just Like ThatThe Conners and Will & Grace is this sequel of sorts to the seven-time Emmy-winning sitcom, which ran from 1984 to 1992. John Larroquette, 75, returns as prosecutor Dan Fielding, opposite Big Bang Theory star Melissa Rauch, whose character Abby Stone is taking over the judge’s bench at the Manhattan municipal court from her father Harry, played in the original series by the late Harry Anderson.

Why you should tune in: The series is written by Dan Rubin, who’s best known for his joke-a-minute work on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Watch it: Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC, premiering on Jan. 17 with back-to-back episodes. 

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Accused (Fox)

The premise: Based on an award-winning BBC drama, this anthology series brings a high-concept spin to the procedural format: Each episode, audiences are dropped into a new trial, unaware of the crime the defendant committed, before witnessing the decisions the defendant made that ultimately led them down the wrong path to committing a crime. The incredibly stacked cast includes Michael Chiklis (59), Abigail Breslin, Rachel Bilson, Margo Martindale (71), Rhea Perlman (74) and Wendell Pierce (59).

Why you should tune in: The celebrities behind the camera are nearly as impressive as the ones on screen, with episodes directed by the likes of Billy Porter (53) and Marlee Matlin (57), in her directorial debut. 

Watch it: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox, following a special premiere on Sunday, January 22 after the NFL game

Will Trent (ABC)

The premise: Based on the best-selling crime novel series by Karin Slaughter (51), this Atlanta-set procedural follows the titular Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) special agent (Ramón Rodríguez), who was abandoned at birth and grew up in the foster care system. A bit of an eccentric, Trent is always dressed in a three-piece suit, and he uses the skills he acquired to deal with his dyslexia to become a whiz at crime scenes. Among the ensemble cast are The Wire’s Sonja Sohn (58) as Will’s GBI boss and Traffic’s Erika Christensen as an Atlanta PD cop who grew up with Will in foster care.

Why you should tune in: Will’s rescue chihuahua, Betty, has serious pooch star power.

Watch it: Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC

Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test (Fox)

The premise: This grueling endurance competition sends 16 celebrities out to the Jordanian desert to train with a Special Forces team. Along the way, they’ll have to overcome terrifyingly high ropes courses, escape from a car that’s submerged underwater, jump from a helicopter, be set on fire and more. It’s a brutal test of strength and will power, and early previews suggest the stars are in for some life-changing personal growth as well.

Why you should tune in: The casting director earns bonus points for a crew that draws from every part of the fame spectrum, including pop music (Spice Girl Mel B.), politics (Anthony Scaramucci, 58), the Olympics (Gus Kenworthy), Real Housewives (Kenya Moore, 51) and Bachelor Nation (Hannah Brown).

Watch it: Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox

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Abbott Elementary (ABC)

The premise: One of the biggest network success stories in years, writer-actor Quinta Brunson’s ode to the Philadelphia public school system returns from its second-season winter hiatus with more Golden Globe nominations than any other TV series. Among those vying for a win on Jan. 10 are the mockumentary’s two biggest breakouts: Janelle James, who steals scenes as the self-serving principal Ava Coleman, and recent Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph, 66, who plays the veteran kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard.

Why you should tune in: If you liked Pam and Jim on The Office, you’ll dig the will-they-won’t-they energy between teachers Janine Teagues (Brunson) and Gregory Eddie (Tyler James Williams), which reached new tense highs with an almost-kiss in December’s midseason finale.

Watch it: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC

Lingo (CBS)

The premise: If you like Wordle, you’ll love this word-guessing game show, which originated in a syndicated daytime version in 1987 and has spawned more than a dozen international franchises. Audiences are in good hands with emcee RuPaul Charles, 62, who has racked up 12 Emmys for hosting and producing RuPaul’s Drag Race and who brings his trademark flair and wit to the game show format.

Why you should tune in: Don’t underestimate the power of Wordle fever — when a new U.K. edition premiered on ITV in 2021, it was the highest-rated game show in its time slot in almost two decades. 

Watch it: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS

Ghosts (CBS)

The premise: Adapted from a popular British comedy of the same name, this warm-hearted CBS series — currently in its sophomore season — brings a supernatural spin to the hang-around ensemble comedy. When New Yorkers Samantha (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) inherit a beautiful mansion upstate, they get more than they bargained for: After a near-death experience, Sam can now commune with the centuries of ghosts who have died on the property, including a gay American Revolutionary officer, a Viking, a hippie and a Prohibition-era jazz singer.

Why you should tune in: Guest stars in upcoming episodes include ’90s starlet Tara Reid, playing a fictionalized version of herself, and SNL’s Laraine Newman, 70, as the mother of Trevor (Asher Grodman), a Wall Street bro who died of a drug overdose and spends eternity pantsless.

Watch it: Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS

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