With only a few breakout hits having premiered this past fall, it's time for the networks to throw their midseason shows against the walls of our brains and see what sticks. In the past, "midseason" was a dirty word. If a show debuted in January, it meant a network wasn't confident enough to add it to their fall line-up, and it was only being touted out halfway through the year on the off chance it might be a hit like Grey's Anatomy.

However, the 2012 midseason looks different than others. Could these programs actually be overwhelmingly good? For the most part it looks like the answer is yes. Check out the slate of programs below. You just might find that they don't completely suck... with a few exceptions (i.e. Chelsea).

The Firm - January 8th

A spin-off of the 1993 Tom Cruise legal thriller about a lawyer running his ass off to escape Wilford Brimley, John Grisham's The Firm premieres on NBC Sunday, January 8th. Set ten years after the events of the first film, it seems that not much has changed. The promos feature so much running!

Though it's getting great reviews due to the performances of Josh Lucas, Molly Parker, and Callum Keith Rennie, there is a decided lack of Brimley. Sure, he's probably not up for much running these days, but they could get him a Jazzy scooter or something. ANYTHING.

House of Lies - January 8th

Showtime's House of Lies has the odds stacked against it right out of the gate. Yes, it stars Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, and Parks and Recreation's Ben Schwartz. All are very likable, but these roles call for them to play despicable. It's their job to help banks that foreclose on homes look good in the press. Reactions to an early preview are that the characters are too difficult to love. Perhaps there'll be some kind of redemption in later episodes. There's also gratuitous nudity. That's always worth a gander. Premieres January 8th.

Are You There, Chelsea? - January 11th

In an attempt to capitalize on the wave of female-driven comedy that Bridesmaids kicked off, NBC is pairing this Chelsea Handler autobiographical sitcom alongside Whitney. Based off Handler's memoir, Are You There, Vodka. It's Me, Chelsea, Laura Prepon plays Chelsea while Handler herself steps in to play her older sister. Early reviews have been as unkind as Handler's material tends to be. But given the fact that people will watch anything, it just might have a shot. Premieres January 11th.

The Finder - January 12th

Premiering January 12th on Fox, The Finder is the fun younger brother show to Bones. More playful in tone, its style seems cribbed from the original USA crime shows. Geoff Stults stars as an eccentric investigator with a talent for finding lost things. A hot chick is along for the ride and Michael Clarke Duncan is there to punch things as needed. Terrible title, but it seems like there could be a fun show in there. I really like punching.

Alcatraz - January 16h

The concept of Alcatraz is alluring. Fifty years ago, all of the prisoners and guards on Alcatraz vanished, only to return in the modern day to begin wreaking havoc on San Francisco. It's kind of like The 4400 without superpowers and miracle children. It's from J.J. Abrams, so you know it's going to be a frustrating slow-burn that might fizzle in the end rather than explode. There are also reports that the pilot episode was heavily reworked based off tough initial feedback. I'm hoping it doesn't suck. We'll need to wait to January 16th to find out.

Touch - Preview January 25th

Keifer Sutherland returns to Fox with Tim Kring's Touch. The science fiction series combines fantasy and mystery, a combination that Kring pulled off really well for the first season of Heroes. Then there were the other seasons....

Sutherland plays the father of a boy believed to be autistic. However, his son actually possesses the ability to work out what the future holds by analyzing the exchange of electrical and biological energies. Essentially, it's Kiefer Sutherland trying to prevent the end of the world again, but this time, the enemy isn't political. It's Mother Nature. I'm not too worried about a drop off in quality on the part of Kring. Sutherland is pretty hands on in his television work and he wouldn't settle for that. He'd likely put an axe in Kring's chest if the writing went downhill, which would make Charlie Sheen and Chuck Lorre look like total pussies. Previews January 25th before officially premiering in March.

Luck - January 29th

Don't look for a fast pace from David Milch's new horse-racing drama. Set at Santa Anita, Dustin Hoffman stars as a just out of prison gangster taking his shot at payback, which coincides with a down on his luck horse owner's (Nick Nolte) shot at redemption. It has the makings of an excellent television show, but it's going to require patience on the part of the viewer... and the network. Begins airing regularly January 29th.

The River - February 7th

Though the trailer I saw makes The River look cheap, boring, and uninteresting, the word is that this is actually the best television pilot in a long while. Created by Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli, the series also relies on the found footage format successfully taking the thrills of a Paranormal Activity and making them work for television. It's spooky and dark and just as addictive as American Horror Story. However, it doesn't tease the viewer. Rather it answers the big mysteries that it sets up within the same episode. I'll have to see it to believe it on February 7th.

Don't Trust the B---- In Apartment 23 - TBA

This actually looks awesome. The action centers around a girl who moves to New York City from the country and moves in with a sketchy roommate whose methods come off a bit sociopathic. Say what you will about that premise. I forgot to mention that James Van Der Beek also stars as James Van Der Beek. 'Nuff said.

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