1. Justified (FX)
2. Girls (HBO)
3. Shameless (Showtime)
4 and 5. Switched at Birth and The Fosters (ABC Family)
ABC Family has really stepped up its game with two emotionally resonant family dramas, Switched at Birth and The Fosters, both of which return with new episodes on Jan. 13. These shows manage to subtly shift the conversation not just towards inclusion or representation, but toward representational normalcy, whether it's for blended families, same-sex couples, or the deaf community. Plus, they're both just well-crafted, well-written shows that are teeming with genuine emotion.
Season 3 of Switched at Birth premieres Monday, Jan. 13 from at 8 p.m. The mid-season premiere of The Fosters' debut season follows at 9 p.m.
6. Archer (FX)
7. Suburgatory (ABC)
8. Sherlock (PBS)
9. The Americans (FX)
10. Portlandia (IFC)
Put a bird on it! IFC's quirky sketch comedy show Portlandia returns for a fourth season of bizarro fun. Guests lined up for Season 4 of the Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein-created comedy include Kirsten Dunst, k.d. lang, Maya Rudolph, and Olivia Wilde, while former guest stars Ed Begley Jr., Steve Buscemi, Jeff Goldblum, Kyle MacLachlan, and Jason Sudeikis will return.
Season 4 premieres on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m.
11. Hannibal (NBC)
Bryan Fuller's gorgeously twisted serial killer drama returns for a second season of killer twists. With Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) on the loose and Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) under a psychiatric hold, who will stop the cannibal's reign of terror? Hannibal is equal parts dreamy and terrifying, and Season 2 promises to deliver more beautiful nightmares.
Season 2 premieres on Friday, Feb. 28 at 10 p.m.
12. Bates Motel (A&E)
There is more murderous Oedipal drama ahead on Season 2 of A&E's modern-set Psycho prequel Bates Motel, as the cliffhangers established at the end of the first season — including the consequences of the blackout rage felt by Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) toward his teacher, Miss Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy) — are swiftly tied off, and new characters, such as Norma's brother (Kenny Johnson), are introduced.
Season 2 premieres on Monday, March 3 at 9 p.m.