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Midseason TV Preview: 16 Shows to Watch This Winter

Winter is coming... Well, not that winter, not just yet. While we continue the long slog until April when HBO launches its adaptation of Game of Thrones , there's quite a lot of new and returning television series to keep us entertained in the meantime. Over at The Daily Beast, I offer "16 Shows to Watch This Winter," a round-up that includes such series as Episodes, Shameless, Big Love, Downton Abbey, Parks and Recreation, Portlandia, Off the Map, The Chicago Code, Lights Out, Archer, Justified, The Killing, Body of Proof , and others. In other words: quite a fair bit coming up. Which of these new and returning shows are you most excited about? Head to the comments section to discuss.

Channel Surfing: Katee Sackhoff Turned Down True Blood, Guests for Post-Lost Special, Stephen King in Sons of Anarchy, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello has the scoop on why Katee Sackhoff ( Battlestar Galactica, 24 ) turned down the role of Debbie Pelt on Season Three of HBO's vampire drama True Blood , a role that was later filled by The Middleman 's Brit Morgan when Sackhoff decided instead to join the cast of ABC drama pilot Boston's Finest . "I am a huge fan of True Blood ,” Sackhoff told Ausiello. "It’s a phenomenal show and [executive producer] Alan Ball is a f—ing genius. But I wanted more security than one season of something, so I rolled the dice with [ Boston's Finest ]. This entire business is about rolling the dice and hoping you made the right decision. I almost didn’t take 24 to do my own series on USA Network, and that worked out. I’m sure [Brit] is going to be fantastic [as Debbie]." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) The Wrap's Josef Adalian takes a look at just which cast

Channel Surfing: J.J. Abrams Back in Spy Game, Aylesworth Briefed for "Damages," FX Orders "Terriers," "Lights Out" to Series, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. The Wrap's Josef Adalian is reporting that J.J. Abrams is returning to the spy business with a new potential series project with writer/executive producer Josh Reims ( Felicity, Dirty Sexy Money ) and executive producer Bryan Burk that is the subject of a heated bidding war with several broadcast networks including ABC, NBC, and CBS. The untitled project, from Warner Bros. Television and Bad Robot, follows a husband and wife who work as spies. According to Adalian, the script is described as a "fun romp" in the style of classic television spy adventures. ( The Wrap ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Reiko Aylesworth ( 24, Lost ) has been cast in Season Three of FX's legal drama Damages in a recurring role. Details about who Aylesworth--who starred in the original pilot for ABC drama series The Forgotten--will be playing are being kept firmly under wraps. ( Entertainment Weekly 's