Here are Five Returning TV Favorites That You Should Not Miss

January is a time of premieres. Even the casual TV fan can’t help but be intrigued by some of the interesting new shows that will debut this month. However, it’s important not to get too caught up and forget about some of our old favorites that are returning within the next few months. That’s where I come in. Below are 5 shows whose return dates you should have circled on your calendar. Let’s start with the best drama on television (according to the Emmy voters):

Mad Men
 

MAD MEN Tomorrowland

If you don’t have March 25th circled on your calendars yet, then you need to reassess your TV watching life (that’s right, Sandrine, I’m looking at you). In any event, I couldn’t be more excited for the return of Hamm and the rest of the gang on Madison Avenue. Last season left everyone saying some form of “WTF, Draper!” It’s going to be interesting to see how Draper’s new marriage affects his promiscuity. I’m going to go ahead and guess not much.

30 Rock
 

If the lighter side of TV is more your fare, then you’re probably excited to see the return on LL, Tracy, and Jack on 30 Rock. Admittedly, I am kind of concerned about the affect that fatherhood will have on Jack Donaghy. The man who once warned us about the dangers of paper cuts while making love on a pile of money hopefully isn’t pacified by his new role as father to our 53rd president, Liddy Donaghy. The first episode provided a mixed bag, but some hope. We’ll see how it goes.

Justified
 

Timothy Olyphant

Coming off an outstanding nomination that yielded Emmy award nominations for all of the big names, Justified returns with considerably more hype than when it left us last Spring. After gunning down nearly everyone in sight in season 1, Raylan Givens didn’t take many shots in season 2. I’m hoping to see a little bit more of the old Raylan here in season 3.

In addition to Raylan, I’m fired up to see what criminal enterprises Boyd Crowder will be engaged in this season. He is the perfect foible/ally for Raylan Givens. Both Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins play wonderfully off each other throughout the show. Every scene where they share the screen puts me on the edge of my seat.

Archer
 

Fans of FX’s stable of irreverent comedies no doubt have a soft spot for Archer. Archer is always laugh out loud television. The timing of the characters is excellent, and the show is really well written. After this fall’s three episode tease, Archer has given us plenty to be excited about for the coming season. If you can’t get excited for Archer to share the screen with his hero, Burt Reynolds, then you may be dead… or you just don’t watch. Still, you should be excited.

Game of Thrones
 

game of thrones hbo dragons

Dany has dragons, the Starks have Jamie Lannister, and Tyrion Lannister is now the Hand of the King. If you missed out on the first season, there’s still plenty of time to catch up before television’s real best drama returns in April. The impressive rendering of the world of George RRRRRRRR Martin is true to the story while not being a slave to it. (Or so I have been told. I don’t look at those bound pieces of paper with words on them. copyright: My brother, 2011) It will be really interesting to see how the writers are able to integrate the 16 new characters being added to the cast for the coming season. After the spectacular first season, there is absolutely no reason to think that they will be anything short of brilliant.

There’s my list. What returning shows are you excited to see in the second half of the TV season? Let’s talk it out here in the comments or in the Twitterverse.

The TV Czar