Network: Fox
Stars: Sarah Jones, Sam Neill, Jorge Garcia, Parminder Nagra, Robert Forster, Jeffrey Pierce, Jason Butler Harner
Premiere Date: January 16
Why we’re excited: J.J. Abrams must really love his production company Bad Robot’s ever-struggling Fox series Fringe. Many sci-fi heads and TV bloggers (present company included) alike love the brainy genre show, but it’s always been a ratings non-starter, flirting monthly with possible cancellation. And what’s to blame? Possibly Fringe’s helpless Friday night time slot, or perhaps it’s the seemingly impenetrable plot and mythology (which, as those who watch it will attest, is actually quite digestible if given the chance).

So give Abrams a good deal of credit for sticking to his guns and boosting another Fox show that’s steeped in heady ideas, though at least this one has a nice, primo Monday night time/8 p.m. ET slot. Alcatraz revolves around a motley crew of investigators, including a detective (Sarah Jones), a comic book writer (Lost’s Jorge Garcia), and a shady government agent (Sam Neill), tracking down supernatural criminals who’ve somehow transported into the present day from the Alcatraz prison in the 1960s. Got all of that? Fox and the Bad Robot crew sure as hell better hope so.