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In the glow of midseason TV

Gail Choice | 1/4/2012, 5 p.m.

Is television trying to get back to quality programming? It sure looks like it. From the networks to cable, better shows are coming your way beginning this month as midseason productions premiere.

Check out Showtime's "House of Lies," starring Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell and Ben Schwartz. In this dark comedy set in the corporate world, management consultants have a grand old time charging corporate clients millions for sketchy, incomprehensible advice. Nice work, if you can get it. And if you can get it, go to the Showtime website at www.sho.com/site/houseoflies/home.sho to get a sneak preview of the series premiere, and learn more about Cheadle and the rest of the cast. The series premieres Sunday.

Fox introduces "The Finder," starring Michael Clarke Duncan (Leo), along with Geoff Stults (Walter). This series is centered around Walter Sherman, a man with a remarkable talent for helping people find the unfindable. "The Finder" is from the creator of Fox's "Bones," and that same energy and comaraderie, plus good storytelling is also a part of this production. Duncan stars as Leo Knox, once an obese lawyer who, after the death of his wife and children, completely reinvented himself into a gentle giant, philosopher and Walter's legal advisor...with muscle. For a look at a trailer and to learn more about "The Finder," go to http://www.fox.com/programming/shows/?sh=the-finder "The Finder" premieres Thursday, Jan. 12, on Fox.

Another Fox entry is "Alcatraz," starring Jorge Garcia, Sam Neill and Sarah Jones.

The series begins with a San Francisco cop (Jones) who stumbles across a vast, time-traveling conspiracy involving Alcatraz prisoners. Garcia plays an Alcatraz expert she consults about the island prison's secret history. Check it out, http://www.fox.com/programming/shows/?sh=alcatraz. Series premieres Monday, Jan. 16, on Fox.

It looks like Fox is keeping with the supernatural theme with "Touch," starring Kiefer Sutherland, David Mazouz, Danny Glover, Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Widower Martin Bohm (Sutherland) is a single father who, despite serious efforts, cannot connect physically or emotionally with his mute 11-year-old son Jake (Mazouz). Danny Glover's character helps him to learn that Jake has the amazing ability to see things no one else can see, and everything changes. Go to http://www.fox.com/programming/shows/?sh=touch for a sneak peek. The series previews Monday, Jan. 25, and series premieres Monday, March 19, on Fox.

Syfy apparently intends on kicking butt this year, their newest entry "Lost Girl" is a new kind of character you don't expect, starring Anna Silk, K.C. Collins and Kris Holden-Ried. Silk plays Bo, a succubus who feeds off sexual energy. As part of a race of beings called the Fae, Bo must choose whether to follow a path of light or darkness as she searches for the truth about her origins, living among humans, but trying to resist her darker urges.

K.C. Collins stars as the siren/police detective, Hale. In the human world, Hale is a detective, in the Fae world, he's a handsome male siren, capable of swaying others with his beautiful voice. To learn more, visit http://www.syfy.com/lostgirl. The series premieres Monday, Jan. 16, on Syfy.
Popular actress Kerry Washington stars in ABC's "Scandal." The very versatile Columbus Short, Henry Ian Cusick, Guillermo Diaz, and Katie Lowes also star in the series.

The great news about this series is it's Shonda Rhimes' drama outside the operating room.
"Scandal" revolves around Olivia Pope (Washington), an extremely connected PR fixer in D.C. She's so good, she used to work for the president. Now, he begs her to come back on a weekly basis. In between White House scandals, Olivia and her team deal with other high-profile clients who find themselves in very messy situations.

Series premiere TBD on ABC. Let's hope this series makes it on the schedule.

Gail can be reached at gail@hollywoodbychoice.com