Five most exciting new shows premiering this spring

Including long-awaited returns from Tracy Morgan ... and American Idol?

Stars of upcoming TV shows.
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Photo illustration by Josh Granovsky

As we reach the final stretch of the school year, some of us may feel the need for a break more than ever. How are we students supposed to unwind when studying for two midterms next week, which we're only studying for now to put off writing those two essays due this week?

Lucky for us, our most trustworthy adversary — television — is providing relief in the form of new shows for us to watch during our non-existent spare time. Here are five shows premiering this spring to keep an eye on:

The Last O.G., Apr. 3

Tracy Morgan is truly a one-of-a-kind comedian. No matter if you’re watching him live on SNL or annoying Tina Fey on 30 Rock, no one can ever seem to keep his eccentric comedic presence contained. No one could’ve imagined he’d spend two weeks in a coma after a Walmart truck collided with his limo. Now, four years after the accident that made him relearn to walk, Morgan returns to TV with The Last O.G. Backed by an all-star team including producer Jordan Peele and co-star Tiffany Haddish, Morgan's smart take on an ex-con re-entering the world after incarceration is sure to charm audiences and make us doubly thankful for his return.

Barry, Mar. 25

Bill Hader, another Saturday Night Live alumni returning to the small screen this month, is always at his best when he fuses character traits that seemingly have no business going together. Whether he’s promoting New York City by listing the city’s worst spots as Stefon or reporting the news through numerous heart attacks as Herb Welch, his most memorable SNL characters always combined the un-combinable. Therefore, I wasn't surprised when I heard his lead role in the upcoming Barry was that of a Marine-turned-hitman who dreams to seriously pursue an acting career. Between Hader's talent and his offbeat character description, I don’t see what could go wrong here.

The Detail, Mar. 25

Strong female superheroes in films like Wonder Woman and Black Panther are making a statement in Hollywood that women can kick butt as well — or better — than their male counterparts. The Detail, coming to screens on Mar. 25 could be considered the exclamation mark to that statement. The Canadian drama series airing on CTV, follows three female detectives as they navigate complicated professional and personal lives. The cast is stacked with Canadian drama royalty, including Degrassi’s Shenae Grimes, Rookie Blue’s Ben Bass and even Queen’s alumni Wendy Crewson. The police show takes place in Toronto, but it still might be the closest we get to hearing a “Cha Gheill” on national television.

American Idol, Mar. 11

Yes, you did just read ‘American Idol’ on a list of new TV shows. After a massively promoted final season in 2016, America’s once-favourite competition returns to our screens after just one year off the air. Judges this time around include pop icon Katy Perry, country icon Luke Bryan and all-around icon Lionel Richie. All eyes will be looking for who the ‘Simon Cowell’ of the new judging panel is — my money is on Perry — and if the show plans to take action on the recent sexual harassment allegations against host Ryan Seacrest.

Roseanne, Mar. 27

Yes, you also just read ‘Roseanne’ — a show that wrapped up its ‘final’ season as many of us were being born — on a list of new TV shows. Twenty-one years after taking its final bow, the entire original cast of this 90s sitcom will return for more Connors family adventures. Though this particular revival may not seem of interest to anyone born in the last two decades, the show may have more to offer than pure nostalgia. Roseanne was notorious for dealing with realistic middle-class issues in a comical manner not often portrayed in media. With the show’s partially conservative family already scheduled to tackle Trump, Hillary and gender fluidity in upcoming episodes, it may serve our nation well to see a beloved family grapple with their different political views in a format classier than typical Twitter spats.

If none of these shows interest you in the way your old favourites do, don’t worry! If the now-developing revivals of The OfficeCharmed and Kim Possible are any indication, your favourite show will probably be back with new episodes within the year.

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