Network: Showtime
Stars: Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morena Baccarin, David Harewood, Diego Klattenhoff, Morgan Saylor, Jackson Pace
Premiere Date: To be determined
Why we’re excited: In its critically adored first season, Showtime’s all-star rookie Homeland did the impossible: It was a perfect 12-for-12 in terms of strong episodes. Without a single lame hour to its name, 2011’s best new series consistently juggled its grenade-pack of a narrative, ending each new installment with an oh-shit moment or two and never loosening up its vice-grip-hold on viewers.

The finale, a 90-minute exercise in nail-biting tension, maintained the excellence by ending with a pair of cliffhanger developments: Marine turned possible terrorist Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) is now dangerously close to infiltrating the U.S. government for Al-Qaeda boss Abu Nazir, and bipolar CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) may have just completely erased all of her suspicions about Brody and Abu Nazir trivia via shock treatment. Where does Homeland go from there? We can’t call it, and, most importantly, we’re dying to know.