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Is there any life left in "American Idol"? Are Hannah and her "Girls" friends finally ready to grow up? Can Larry Wilmore fill Stephen Colbert's late-night shoes?

These are among the key questions as television's winter season brings a blizzard of fresh programming. In addition to returning favorites, such as "MasterChef Junior" featuring local contestant Micah Sanders, viewers can expect a huge batch of brand-new offerings, including the highly anticipated "Breaking Bad" prequel, "Better Call Saul," the hip-hop melodrama, "Empire," and even a modern take on "The Odd Couple" with Matthew Perry.

But while much of the focus will be on incoming series, this midseason will be also full of bittersweet farewells as "Glee," "Parks and Recreation," "Two and a Half Men," "Parenthood," "Justified," "The Mentalist" and "Cougar Town" all get set to air their final episodes.

Of course, we'll also need to carve out some time for several marquee events, including the Golden Globes (Jan. 11, NBC), Super Bowl (Feb. 1, NBC), Grammys (Feb. 8, CBS) and the Academy Awards (Feb. 22, ABC).

Here are the notable highlights of TV's winter season, starting with new dramas, comedies and reality shows, and continuing with debut dates for returning series.

New dramas

"Marvel's Agent Carter": A Marvel Comics spinoff that focuses on "Captain America" character Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), who in 1946, is on a mission to track down weapons of mass destruction. (8 p.m. tonight, ABC).

"Empire": A musical soap about a hip-hop mogul (Terrence Howard) with ALS who must pick one of his three sons to inherit his business — all while battling his ex-wife (Taraji P. Henson) who is just out of prison and wants half the company. (9 p.m. Wednesday, Fox).

"Hindsight": On the eve of her second wedding, a woman time-travels to 1995 New York and gets the chance for a do-over. (10 p.m. Wednesday, VH1).

"Sons of Liberty": A three-night miniseries about the rebels who helped to form a new nation. (9 p.m. Jan. 25, History).

"Backstrom": A crime procedural that follows the cases of an unhealthy, irascible detective (Rainn Wilson). (9 p.m. Jan. 22, Fox).

"Allegiance": Deactivated Russian spies (Scott Cohen and Hope Davis) — and parents of a CIA analyst — are pressed back into service. (10 p.m. Feb. 5, NBC).

"Better Call Saul": The "Breaking Bad" prequel focusing on criminal lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) in the years before taking on Walter White as a client. (10 p.m. Feb. 8, AMC).

"The Slap": An examination of the fallout after a man slaps another couple's child. The cast includes Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton and Zachary Quinto. (8 p.m. Feb. 12, NBC).

"Good Witch": Catherine Bell reprises her role as the magical Cassie Nightingale in a series inspired by the TV movie franchise. (8 p.m. Feb. 28, Hallmark).

"Secrets and Lies": A good Samaritan (Ryan Phillippe) becomes a murder suspect after discovering the corpse of his neighbor's son. (9 p.m. March 1, ABC).

"Battle Creek": Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters play mismatched law enforcement officers in the Michigan city. (10 p.m. March 1, CBS).

"CSI: Cyber": The latest offshoot of the franchise stars Patricia Arquette as the head of the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI. (10 p.m. March 4, CBS).

"American Crime": A saga set in Modesto, California, that chronicles the widespread impact of a brutal home-invasion attack. Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton star. (10 p.m. March 5, ABC).

New comedies

"Babylon": A workplace satire about an earnest PR executive who attempts to modernize London's law-enforcement culture. (10 p.m. Thursday, Sundance TV).

"Togetherness": A married couple (Mark Duplass and Melanie Lynskey) struggle to re-energize their relationship — a goal complicated when his friend and her sister (Steve Zissis and Amanda Peet) move in. (9:30 p.m. Sunday, HBO).

"Man Seeking Woman": A naive young man (Jay Baruchel) seeking love soldiers on through one-night stands, bad blind dates and painful breakups. (10:30 p.m. Jan. 14, FXX).

"Bella and the Bulldogs": A cheerleader's life takes a big twist when she becomes the quarterback for her middle school's football team. (8 p.m. Jan. 17, Nickelodeon).

"The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore": The former "senior black correspondent" for "The Daily Show" takes over Stephen Colbert's slot with panel discussions focusing on underrepresented points of view. (11:30 p.m. Jan. 19, Comedy Central).

"Fresh Off the Boat": In 1995, an Asian-American family relocates from Washington, D.C., to suburban Orlando and struggles to adjust. (8:30 p.m. Feb. 4, ABC).

"The Odd Couple": A remake of the classic Jack Klugman-Tony Randall sitcom with Matthew Perry as Oscar and Thomas Lennon as Felix. (8:30 p.m. Feb. 19, CBS).

"Last Man on Earth": The adventures of an average guy (Will Forte) — and humanity's last hope — as the world comes to an end. (9 p.m. March 1, Fox).

"One Big Happy": A gay woman (Elisha Cuthbert) and straight man (Nick Zano) decide to have a baby together — just before he falls in love with another woman. (9:30 p.m. March 17, NBC).

"The Late, Late Show With James Corden": Meet Craig Ferguson's replacement, a multitalented British import. (12:37 a.m. March 23, CBS).

"Weird Loners": An "unromantic" comedy about four single mid-30-somethings who form an unlikely bond. (9:30 p.m. March 31, Fox).

"Younger": A 40-year-old, suddenly single mother (Troy native Sutton Foster) tries to get back into the working world with the help of a youthful makeover. Hilary Duff also stars. (10 p.m. March 31, TV Land).

New reality shows

"Expedition Unknown": Explorer Josh Gates searches for the truth behind some of the world's most puzzling stories. (9 p.m. Thursday, Travel Channel).

"Friends to Lovers?": Best friends try to date for the first time. Will it lead to lasting love ... or disaster? (10 p.m. Jan. 12, Bravo).

"World's Funniest Fails": Hilarious YouTube videos are analyzed by a panel of comedians. (8 p.m. Jan. 16, Fox).

"Best New Restaurant": Chef Tom Colicchio travels the country in search of sumptuous new eateries. (10 p.m. Jan. 21, Bravo).

Return engagements

Here's a rundown of premiere dates and times for returning shows:

Tuesday

"MasterChef Junior" (8 p.m., Fox)

"Cougar Town" (10:30 p.m., TBS)

Wednesday

"American Idol" (8 p.m., Fox)

Thursday

"Portlandia" (10 p.m., IFC)

"Archer" (10 p.m., FX)

Friday

"Glee" (8 p.m., Fox)

"Masters of Illusion" (8 p.m., The CW)

Sunday

"Girls" (9 p.m., HBO)

"Shameless" (9 p.m., Showtime)

"Looking" (10 p.m., HBO)

"House of Lies" (10 p.m., Showtime)

"Episodes" (10:30 p.m., Showtime)

Jan. 13

"Parks and Recreation" (8 p.m., NBC)

Jan. 14

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (10 p.m., FX)

"Workaholics" (10 p.m., Comedy Central)

"Broad City" (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central)

Jan. 16

"Helix" (10 p.m., Syfy)

Jan. 20

"Face Off" (9 p.m., Syfy)

"Friday Night Tykes" (9 p.m., Esquire)

"Justified" (10 p.m., FX)

Jan. 24

"Black Sails" (9 p.m., Starz)

Jan. 27

"Sirens" (10 p.m., USA)

Jan. 28

"The Americans" (10 p.m., FX)

"Suits" (10 p.m., USA)

Feb. 8

"The Walking Dead" (9 p.m., AMC)

"Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" (11 p.m., HBO)

Feb. 19

"Vikings" (10 p.m., History)

Feb. 23

"Night Shift" (10 p.m., NBC)

Feb. 27

"House of Cards" (12:01 a.m., Netflix)

March 2

"The Following" (8 p.m., Fox)

March 3

"Hell's Kitchen" (8 p.m., Fox)

March 4

"Broadchurch" (10 p.m., BBC America)

March 17

"Undateable" (9 p.m., NBC)

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