Now that the holidays are over, the kids are headed back to school and many people have less down-time to watch TV, the winter season kicks off. Some highlights from this week:
The networks kick off the week with the return of many favorites. Among them: Fox’s animated comedy block is all new, starting at 8 p.m. with “The Simpsons,” followed by new episodes of “Bob’s Burgers” (8:30 p.m.), “Family Guy” (9 p.m.) and “American Dad” (9:30 p.m.).
Season 14 of “The Biggest Loser” (9 p.m., NBC) begins with the return of Jillian Michaels and a special two-night premiere.
“The Good Wife” (9 p.m., CBS) returns with guest-star Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox, who may be getting his own NBC series later this year.) A new episode of “The Mentalist” follows.
Also returning: “Downton Abbey” (9 p.m., PBS).
As if there’s not already enough competition on Sundays, special episodes of ABC comedies “Happy Endings” (10 p.m.) and “Don’t Trust the B— in Apt. 23” (10:30 p.m.) air tonight. The shows also will air new episodes in their regular timeslots Tuesday beginning at 9 p.m.
New drama “Deception” (10 p.m., NBC) stars Meagan Good as a detective trying to solve her friend’s murder.
Spurned businessman Sean Lowe is the new “Bachelor” (8 p.m., ABC)
ABC Family brings back dramas “Switched at Birth” (8 p.m.) and “Bunheads” (9 p.m.)
The TV event I’ve been waiting for is tonight: “Justified” (10 p.m., FX) returns as Raylen Givens (an excellent Timothy Olyphant) works a 30-year-old cold case, and Boyd Crowder (an equally excellent Walton Goggins) struggles to regain control of Harlan’s criminal underbelly.
Crazy Mona heads back to high school on “Pretty Little Liars” (8 p.m., ABC Family). A new “The Lying Game” follows.
“Cougar Town” (10 p.m.) moves from ABC to TBS. No doubt there will be lots of wine consumed.
Fox’s comedies are all new: “Raising Hope” (8 p.m.), “Ben and Kate” (8:30 p.m.), “New Girl” (9 p.m.) and “The Mindy Project” (9:30 p.m.)
Kaley Cuoco hosts “The People’s Choice Awards” (9 p.m., CBS), where fans pick their favorite songs, shows and movies.
The ABC comedies return with new episodes of “The Middle” (8 p.m.), “The Neighbors” (8:30 p.m.), “Modern Family” (9 p.m.) and “Suburgatory” (9:30 p.m.)
Also tonight: “Stars in Danger: The High Dive” (8 p.m., Fox), the first of two shows about “celebrity” diving. Start preparing the clichés now… the show will either do swimmingly in the ratings, or be all wet and sink to the bottom of the pool.
There was already a sneak peek, and countless commercials promoting it, so even though it seems like it’s been on forever, White House comedy “1600 Penn” (9:30 p.m., NBC) officially debuts tonight.
A boss plans a flash mob for a hardworking employee on “Mobbed” (8 p.m., Fox). Because that’s so much better than, say, a nice big bonus check.
Sam starts to doubt his loyalty to Chaplin as “Last Resort” (8 p.m., ABC) begins airing its final episodes.
“Merlin” (10 p.m., Syfy) is back for its fifth and final season.
– Heather Chavez