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Tube Talk's 10 most exciting shows for 2012

By and Catriona Wightman
Awake (NBC)

© NBC Universal

So, are you feeling the post-holiday blues? Now that the presents have been opened and the fireworks are over, it's understandable if you're feeling a little down.

But never fear - Tube Talk's here to cheer you up! A new year is here, and with it are loads of brand new TV shows that we just can't wait to see. Whether you fancy a fresh comedy, an epic drama or a bit of sci-fi, there's going to be something out there for you.

If you're still not convinced, let us try to prove to you why you should be excited about next year! Read on to see what we've picked as our top ten most exciting shows of 2012...

Alcatraz - January 16 on Fox (US) and TBA on Watch (UK)
The latest offering from the legendary JJ Abrams - and co-created by Lost scribe Elizabeth Sarnoff - Alcatraz follows Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones), a homicide detective who teams with Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia) to explore the eponymous island prison. Criminals who disappeared from Alcatraz decades ago are mysteriously reappearing in the present day and it's not long before enigmatic government agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) shows an interest in Madsen and Soto's investigation...

With Abrams and a top cast on board, Alcatraz is shaping up to be something very special indeed. Tube Talk got a sneak preview of the pilot episode way back in mid-2011 and can confirm that this show is slick, silly fun, with plenty of potential to grow and develop. Plus, Sam Neill gets to head-butt someone - who doesn't want to see that?



Nemesis - TBA on BBC One (UK)
This espionage thriller - created by Strike Back's Frank Spotnitz - has an incredibly strong pedigree. Kudos Film and Television - the team behind Spooks - are at the helm, while glamorous Golden Globe-nominated actress Melissa George has been cast in the lead role. The superb supporting cast on Nemesis also includes Game of Thrones stars Patrick Malahide and Stephen Dillane, plus Lost actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

George will play Samantha, an operative for a private intelligence agency. When a member of her own squad turns on her, the daring spy must delve deeper than ever into the world of espionage - but who can she trust and who wants her dead? Filming is currently ongoing in Scotland, London and Morocco.

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 - early 2012 on ABC (US) and E4 (UK)
One of the most promising new comedies emerging from the US in 2012, Apartment 23 stars Dreama Walker as June, a small-town girl who moves in with manipulative New York party girl Chloe, played by Breaking Bad's Krysten Ritter. And next door lives James Van Der Beek - yes, that's former Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek, exploiting his teen idol status to impress the ladies.

The central premise might sound a little cornball, but what we've seen of Apartment 23 suggests that the show has its tongue firmly in its cheek. Casting the clean-cut Van Der Beek as a seedy womaniser is a stroke of genius, while each new guest casting has us jumping for joy. Former Superman Dean Cain as Van Der Beek's nemesis? Ex-Hercules Kevin Sorbo - also playing himself - as Chloe's latest love interest? We are so up for this...



The Fuse - early 2012 on BBC One (UK)
It's always a treat to have Christopher Eccleston back on our screens, and the Salford-born star plays disillusioned councilman Daniel in this new thriller from Conviction writer Bill Gallagher. Dervla Kirwan, Ewen Bremner, MyAnna Buring and Sherlock's Andrew Scott also star in what Eccleston has called "a very stylish, psychological thriller".

"I'm playing a corrupted politician with a very bad conscience who goes on a road of addiction, and hopefully redemption," the actor told Tube Talk. "I'm very excited about it." You're not the only one, Christopher!

Christopher Eccleston filming The Fuse

© BBC



The River - February 7 on ABC (US)
Did you enjoy - or rather were you scared witless by - horror flick Paranormal Activity? Well this new ABC drama - from the mind of that film's director Oren Peli - is basically the televisual equivalent. When famed explorer Dr. Emmet Cole (Star Trek actor Bruce Greenwood) goes missing in the Amazon jungle, a search party - including his son Lincoln (Joe Anderson) and wife Tess (Leslie Hope) - is sent to track him down. But will they find Cole... or something altogether more horrifying?

Also starring the likes of Paul Blackthorne and Shaun Parkes, The River makes use of the 'found footage' style popularised by scary films of the last decade-or-so. With The Walking Dead revitalising the horror genre for television, we think the time is just right for another creepy show and it looks like The River could fit the bill admirably!



Newsroom - TBA on HBO (US) and Sky Atlantic (UK)
We could not be more excited about Newsroom - previously known as More As This Story Develops. It's a new show from Aaron Sorkin - he of The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and The Social Network - and focuses on a group of people working in a broadcast newsroom.

Yes, so it's basically The West Wing in a different setting, but you know what? That sounds just dandy to us. If there aren't plenty of walk-and-talks and quick-witted gags we'll feel very disappointed, but we don't think we'll have any worries in that department. And with a cast including Emily Mortimer, Olivia Munn, Alison Pill, Jeff Daniels (playing the brilliantly Sorkinesque-named Will McCallister), Dev Patel and Jane Fonda, we think this could end up being our new favourite show. Can we have it now please?

Aaron Sorkin

© WENN



Dallas - summer 2012 on TNT (US) and Channel 5 (UK)
Do we even need to say anything more than the word Dallas? Of course we're excited that we're getting a brand new series of the always-entertaining, brilliantly over-the-top Texan soap in 2012 - and the fact that original cast members like Larry Hagman and Linda Gray are taking part makes it even better.

It remains to be seen whether Dallas can capture the audience's imagination in the same way that the original show did - Who shot JR? Bobby was only in the shower! - but we're expecting lots of wonderful slaps, illicit affairs and gripping rivalries. Plus we get exciting new cast members like Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe and Brenda Strong. We can't wait to luxuriate in the opulence and outrageousness of Dallas once more.



Veep - April 2012 on HBO (US) and Sky Atlantic (UK)
We miss The Thick of It, but we can forgive the break considering that writer Armando Iannucci has been busy at work on this new US show Veep! The comedy stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a former senator who is appointed as Vice-President. Armando's called it a "cousin" of The Thick of It, but we think it's going to be brilliant in its own right.

Chris Morris has been pictured on set as one of the show's directors (amazing), and the supporting cast includes Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky. And while the teaser trailer which you can watch below doesn't give anything away, we're fully prepared for this to be an excellent new series.



Awake - TBA on NBC (US)
It might have been plagued with production problems already - filming was temporarily shut down and it still doesn't have an air date - but we refuse to give up on Awake. We're convinced it could be a really special series, so we're keeping our fingers crossed.

But what's it about? Well, the wonderful Jason Isaacs stars as a man who realises that he is living two parallel lives - in one, his wife was killed in a car crash, and in the other his son was the one to die. The early buzz is brilliant and the trailer is absolutely fantastic - we're just praying that it makes it to the screen.



Titanic - April 2012 on ABC (US) and ITV1 (UK)
It's the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic in April, so prepare for lots of big productions to mark the event. One of the most-anticipated is a new drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes - and yes, we'll admit it, we're a little bit excited too.

The show promises to be absolutely epic - we've been told to expect around 100 characters from all parts of the ship - first class, steerage and staff (the cast includes Linus Roache and Geraldine Somerville). There's no doubt that it will be a challenge to capture the audience's imagination as much as that 1997 film, but if anyone can do it, it's got to be Fellowes, right? With such a captivating story - plus, no doubt, romance and tragedy - we're very interested to see how this turns out.



We're also excited about...
Musical drama and Katharine McPhee-and-Anjelica-Huston vehicle Smash (NBC/Sky Atlantic); Dallas-set bitchy soap GCB (ABC); British police drama Line of Duty (BBC); another British police drama Savage (BBC); Chloe Sevigny-led transgender hitman series Hit & Miss (Sky Atlantic/DirecTV); Elisabeth Moss and Holly Hunter in Top of the Lake from Piano director Jane Campion (BBC); angelic lawyers in Eternal Law (ITV1); Kiefer Sutherland's TV comeback in Touch (Fox), romantic comedy Love Life (ITV1) and romantic drama Love Life (BBC); NBC's update of The Firm; multi-decade ensemble drama White Heat (BBC); Benedict Cumberbatch in Parade's End (HBO/BBC); a new Kevin Spacey-starring remake of House of Cards (Netflix).

What are your top TV picks for 2012? Let us know below!

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