Pat Clark

DVR on ‘pause’ as TV takes a vacation

Tom Mison, right, as Ichabod and Nicole Beharie, left, as Abbie, attempt to resurrect a Frankenstein-like monster in "Sleepy Hollow."
Tom Mison, right, as Ichabod and Nicole Beharie, left, as Abbie, attempt to resurrect a Frankenstein-like monster in "Sleepy Hollow." AP

November sweeps have been swept and now a lot of shows are going into holiday hibernation.

Just for the record, dear networks, viewers are still awake and wanting to see their favorite shows while they nestle in for winter cocooning.

Even though the new fall season barely has begun, several favorite shows are taking a hiatus after what’s now being dubbed the “fall season finales.” Of course, there are cliffhangers to go along with most of them.

Why you gotta treat us this way, networks?

“Grey’s Anatomy” bowed out Nov. 20, leaving us wondering if the marriage is over for doctor duo Meredith Grey and Derek Shepperd (I’m guessing not, but who knows?). “The Good Wife” left us earlier this week with the fates of Cary and Kalinda in precarious places. “Sleepy Hollow” ratcheted up things in the apocalypse battle on Monday night, leading up to this Monday's finale. And “Gotham” also departed with more grim work for future commissioner Jim Gordon.

And those are just some of the shows I watch. A lot of shows that miss my DVR but are popular with plenty of folks have taken a break, too. “Parenthood,” “Blacklist,” “Scandal,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” “The Walking Dead” and more are all sleeping away the holiday season.

Most are scheduled to return in January, but some won’t return until February.

Good grief.

January also marks the return for several shows that haven’t been seen all fall, including, sadly, the series finale for Modesto-bred actor Timothy Olyphant’s “Justified.” The final piece of the final season premieres Jan. 20.

“Downton Abbey” returns Jan. 4, as does “Celebrity Apprentice.” OK, those two shows will never – nor should they – appear in the same sentence again. But it certainly represents my … um … eclectic television taste levels.

And “The Americans” finally – finally! – will be back Jan. 28.

There are plenty of other January return dates, as well, including some guilty pleasures (see “Celebrity Apprentice,” above), such as “Worst Cooks in America” (Jan. 4) and “King of the Nerds” (Jan. 23).

And down the line a little more, “American Crime,” the new ABC series set in Modesto, will air beginning March 5.

One other Modesto-related series topic of note: Word has it that “Mixology,” an ABC comedy that debuted last February and starred ex-Modestan Ginger Gonzaga, will not return for a second season.

Me, I liked the show, but the singles-bar-set sitcom faced its share of backlash – and even more viewer apathy. Too bad, but chances are Gonzaga will show up in another series before too long. And, according to, she has roles in a couple of upcoming films, “The Night Is Young” and “Dean.”

The “Breaking Bad” spinoff, “Better Call Saul,” never sounded like a great idea, but buzz suggests a lot of fans of the superb original drama are looking forward to the AMC attempt to spark a second fire off its embers.

And AMC seems to think it’s got game: The series already has been renewed for a 13-episode second season, three months before the 10-episode first season is even scheduled to air.

AMC recently announced that the spinoff starring Bob Odenkirk’s morally questionable attorney will premiere its first two episodes over two nights, the Los Angeles Times reports. The show’s first episode will air Feb. 8, with its second to follow Feb. 9. The series will air regularly on Mondays.

Set six years before Goodman meets “Bad” meth maker Walter White, the new series, created by “Breaking Bad’s” Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, will follow the transformation of Jimmy McGill (Odenkirk), a small-time lawyer, into “Saul Goodman,” the ace attorney of the crime world, according to the Times.

The character arc of McGill/Goodman seems to mirror that of hapless high school chemistry teacher Walter White into crime boss Heisenberg, although the tone of “Better Call Saul” appears to be lighter. The Times reports that Jonathan Banks, known to “Breaking Bad” fans as the crime world fixer Mike, will reprise his role.

I was just never that enamored with Saul in “Breaking Bad,” but the news that Mike will be part of the series does give it more merit. And if you were a fan of the original, you pretty much have to give the show a try.

Reach Scene editor Pat Clark at