With Season 3 of "Portlandia" premiering Friday, I asked Fred Armisen to help me with my midseason TV preview by giving him the names of five new series. He then told me what he thought they are about. You can watch him answer in the video above, then read what they are really about below.
The Carrie Diaries
7 p.m. Jan. 14, CW
What Fred said: That's Carrie Brownstein. It's her diaries. I know about this. It was a pilot; they just got her diaries and they turned it into a show.
What it's really about: The "Sex and the City" prequel follows 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) during high schoole in 1984.
7 p.m. Jan. 14, Syfy
What Fred said: It's like it's just a lot of stops and brick walls. Just it's a very closed, cut-and-dry procedural drama.
What it's really about: A police officer from the future gets stuck in the present day after following escaped criminals.
8 p.m. Jan. 19, BBC America
What Fred said: That is a street where there are lots of museums and Ripley's Believe It or Not is there; and that's the major player in all the museums. So there are wax museums and stuff, but Ripley's is like--they just call it, "This is Ripper Street."
What it's really about: Police officers in Victorian-era London deal with criminals and a scared public in the wake of the Jack the Ripper slayings.
8 p.m. Jan. 21, Fox
What Fred said: It's about super fans.
What it's really about: Kevin Bacon stars as a boozing ex-FBI agent playing a deadly game of chess with an old nemesis, a serial killer (James Purefoy) who is rallying disciples to do his bidding.
9 p.m. Jan. 30, FX
What Fred said: That is about Dutch people. ... No one knows why they call it "The Americans," but it's actually about people in Holland and The Netherlands and just what it's like living there.
What it's really about: In this Cold War-era thriller, two KGB spies (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) pose as an American couple in suburban Washington, D.C., during the early 1980s.
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