Winter TV Preview: Fox's Midseason Lineup

Dave Nemetz
Yahoo! TV

This post is part of a series of reports from this month's Television Critics Association winter press tour, where the networks introduce their midseason offerings. Check back over the next week for more info on what's coming soon to primetime TV.

Fox had its best fall in years with freshman hits like "New Girl" and "The X Factor," but the network isn't resting on its laurels: It's unveiling a host of new series with big names attached to pair with its reality juggernaut "American Idol." Here's a look at Fox's midseason shows, along with a key quote from the show's panel and our quick take on whether we'll watch or not.

"Touch" (January 25)

After saving the world countless times on "24," Kiefer Sutherland returns to TV with this New Age-y drama from "Heroes" creator Tim Kring. Sutherland plays the single father of an autistic child (David Mazouz) who can see patterns that connect people all around the world -- and may be able to predict the future.  

Choice Quote: "I’d made [nearly] 200 episodes of '24,' and it was impossible to figure out how to navigate what I was going to do next without thinking about that. This character was so vastly different, and the tone of the piece was so vastly different, that that was part of its appeal." Sutherland 

Will We Watch? Meh. We might give the pilot a shot, but it doesn't seem like our cup of tea. Plus, we've been burned by Kring before.


"Alcatraz" (January 16)

From the fertile mind of J.J. Abrams comes this new supernatural drama: Three hundred criminals who were housed in the notorious Alcatraz prison back in the '60s reappear in present-day San Francisco and get right back to work committing crimes. Sarah Jones ("Sons of Anarchy") plays the detective investigating the strange phenomenon; "Lost's" Jorge Garcia co-stars as an eccentric Alcatraz expert.

Choice Quote: "When you read about historic criminals, there’s a certain romanticism that you put on them, but then when they’re in front of you, these are scary, scary, scary human beings. And it’s kind of a wake up call for [my character] when he volunteers with enthusiasm and then finds out this is a lot harder than he thought it was going to be." —Garcia

Will We Watch? We sure will. The premise is very intriguing, and J.J. Abrams' name is usually enough for us to give anything a try. 


"Napoleon Dynamite" (January 15)

Sweet! The original cast of the 2004 cult hit reunites to reprise their characters in this animated version: Super-nerd Napoleon (Jon Heder) continues to amble through life with the help of best bud Pedro, brother Kip, uncle Rico, and side-ponytailed gal pal Deb. 

Choice Quote: "For me, the movie was kind of a live-action cartoon anyway, and the transition into animation just kind of made a lot of sense to us. It just kind of opened up what we were able to do with the character and the stories. You know, Napoleon in the movie talks about ligers. We wouldn’t be able to really work with those creatures in real life, but in animated form, we can have a lot of fun with the story like that." —Creator Jared Hess, who directed the film

Will We Watch? Shyeah right. We watched the movie eight years ago; that was enough Napoleon for us.

[Check Out Red Carpet Photos From Fox's Winter Premiere Party]

"The Finder" (January 12)

This "Bones" spinoff centers on Walter Sherman (George Stults), a cocky Army veteran who has the uncanny ability to find just about anything… or anyone. Walter's crime-solving team includes muscle-bound legal eagle Leo (Michael Clarke Duncan), U.S. Marshal Isabel (Mercedes Masohn), and delinquent teen Willa (Maddie Hasson).

Choice Quote: "Once I saw the potential in a show about a guy who finds things, I thought, 'Oh, it’s different enough from 'Bones' that I would be very, very interested in doing it, I hope, for seven seasons." Creator Hart Hanson, who also created "Bones"

Will We Watch? Nah, we'll pass. "Bones" has its fans, but we're not one of them.   


"Breaking In" (March 6)

It's not dead yet: After premature cancellation reports, this slick Christian Slater heist comedy finally returns for its sophomore season this spring. In case you forgot, Slater plays Oz, the head of a high-tech security firm that's stocked with mad-scientist hackers. Plus, Megan Mullally joins the cast this season as the firm's new corporate boss.  

Choice Quote: "Last year, we only shot six new ones, and it was a lot of action, and it was just really ambitious. So we just want to focus on the office a little bit more. We’re still going to do 'A-Team' style missions, have fun, but just more characters interacting and office shenanigans." —Co-creator Adam F. Goldberg

Will We Watch? We'll give it a chance. We missed it the first time around, but we've heard good things, and Mullally is always a bonus.


"American Idol" (January 18)

The mammoth reality hit returns for Season 11 with a lot less turnover than last year: Judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson are all back to make more music-career dreams come true (and shatter others into a million pieces). But now it'll have some fresh competition with the return of NBC's upstart hit, "The Voice."

Choice Quote: "When 'Idol' started, there was only one of its kind, and the truth is now there’s a lot of these shows. It means you have to raise your game. You have to be better. And that’s what we try and do. Every season we come back and we try to be better than the season before." —Executive producer Cecile Frout-Coutaz

Will We Watch? Does it matter? Everyone else on the planet will. But no, after the awful auditions wrap up, we'll be making our annual hop off of the "Idol" train.

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