Finding New Shows in Unexpected Places

Channel Surfing

While channels like AMC and HBO aren’t infallible, they’ve got a decent enough track record to warrant at the very least casual interest in any new series announced. After all, you never know what’ll become the next Breaking Bad or The Wire. But that doesn’t mean you should limit your viewing to networks that can lay claim to having an Emmy award winning series.

There’s a hell of a lot of channels out there, on TV and otherwise, so don’t be afraid to explore. Everyone is trying to get into the original programming game, meaning you never know where you’ll discover your next favorite new show.

Here’s three surprise finds I’ve had over the last year from channels that I would have otherwise passed by:

WGN America

Manhattan – WGN America

Before Manhattan I was only sort of aware of WGN America’s existence, but I didn’t even know where it was in my local TV Guide or if it was available with my cable package. Imagine my surprise when I found out I’d had the channel all along.

While the network mostly airs syndicated series like Blue Bloods and Elementary during the day, they too have started to wade into the original content pool. Manhattan is a fictional retelling of the small community of people living around and working on The Manhattan Project circa World War II. WGN America is also home to other historically-inspired dramas like Salem and Underground.

TVLand Logo

Younger – TV Land

Up until recently, at least for me, TV Land was where you went to find The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reruns on at night. But then they went ahead and announced a new series from Darren Star, featuring Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff. I loved Lizzie Mcguire and I’m still mourning the loss of Bunheads, so it was a no-brainer that I’d be tuning into their new original series Younger.

Based on the cast alone I knew I was going to give the series a real chance, whether it was actually good or not. Thankfully the series is solid. It’s funny and makes some really apt observations about what it’s like for women to pursue their careers, at any age.

Lifetime network

UnREAL – Lifetime

I’d be lying if I said I never watch anything on Lifetime. When I’m channel surfing I can’t help but read the TV Guide description for any movie currently airing on the network as it’s usually good for a laugh, even if I don’t actually watch any of it. Those preconceived notions are why I generally don’t pay much attention to their development slate. That was until their new series UnREAL debuted this summer.

Like a typical Lifetime movie, UnREAL brings the crazy, but it’s also dark. There’s some serious emotional manipulation and despicable decision making going on from the series’ cast of characters. And that may be off-putting for some viewers, but this is the age of anti-heroes right?

What TV shows have you found in the least likely of places? Share in the comments below.

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Written by Jamie Paton

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