Just because the weather is (hopefully) warming up doesn't mean you have to leave all your beautiful TV friends behind. Ignore those blue skies and get ready to say hello to your springtime pals. Plus, for all the shows you’ve had to say farewell to, there’s a whole new batch of shows to fall in love with. Get ready to make your TV to-do list.
The Big Weekends
For mysterious reasons, the TV powers-that-be have jammed a ton of blockbuster premieres into two weekends in April. So clear your schedules for these weekends:
No, we’re not talking about the Backstreet Boys documentary on VH1 (though, of course, you can watch that, too, on Friday at 9 p.m.). The final season of “Mad Men” premieres on Sunday! Dust off your whiskey glasses and dress like you want to succeed. It returns Sunday at 10 p.m. on AMC. But before you get to Don Draper and company, you’ll also have the return of your favorite sext time-traveling Scottish lovers on “Outlander” on Saturday (9 p.m., Starz) and later on, the PBS adaptation of the historical novel, “Wolf Hall,” starring former “Homeland” troublemaker Damian Lewis (Sunday, 11 p.m., PBS)
Start your weekend with six pack abs and crime fighting with Netflix’s new “Daredevil” series, starring Charlie Cox, which premieres on Friday. On Sunday, it’s HBO’s unstoppable fantasy epic, “Game of Thrones,” premiering at 9 p.m. Which limbs and lives will be lost this year? You’ll have to find out. Sunday also features the beginning of the final season of “Nurse Jackie” (9 p.m., Showtime. Maybe Jackie will straighten her life out!) and the return of your favorite D.C. deal makers on “Veep” (10:30 p.m., HBO).
If you’re looking for something new to fill up your DVR (assuming HBO hasn’t totally wiped it out with their Sunday programming), try “The Messengers,” which is about a group of people who die after an object strikes the earth, then return to life with mysterious powers. And it’s on the CW, so everyone is very, very good looking. Try it out Friday, April 17, at 9 p.m.
If you’re not the CW type, you can also try “Happyish,” on Showtime, which was initially supposed to star Philip Seymour Hoffman. Steve Coogan replaced him on the show, which explores the life of an advertising executive trying to cope with suddenly having a new 25 year old boss. The criminally underrated Kathryn Hahn also appears, as does Bradley Whitford, and the show comes from “This American Life” contributor Shalom Auslander. It premieres Sunday, April 26, at 9:30 p.m.
Are you ready to trust M. Night Shyamalan again? The “Sixth Sense” director heads to TV with “Wayward Pines,” a “Twilight Zone”-type show about a man (played by Matt Dillon) who finds himself trapped in the eerie titular town. “Empire” leading man Terrence Howard also appears. It premieres Thursday, May 14, at 9 p.m.
Lest you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, not everything you want to watch will come back on the same weekend. Catch the third season premiere of clone drama “Orphan Black” on Saturday, April 18, at 9 .m. on BBC America. You can start having more sadly comic “Louie” adventures Thursday, April 9, at 10:30 p.m. on FX, and “Inside Amy Schumer” will be back with more sketches and standup April 21 on Comedy Central (time TBD). And “Hannibal” fans, we didn’t forget you: The show returns to impress (and gross out) on Thursday, June 4, at 10 p.m. on NBC.
Follow Lisa Weidenfeld on Twitter @lisaweidenfeld