mad dogs series

Welcome to TV bits, a round-up of all the television news that is important to viewers like you. In today’s edition:

  • Amazon announce a premiere date for Shawn Ryan‘s Mad Dogs.
  • Showtime renews Homeland and The Affair.
  • Syfy will air the first episode of The Magicians a month early.
  • The Lion Guard is moving forward as a full Disney series.
  • Fox renews Wayward Pines for season 2.
  • Orange Is the New Black season 4 has finished filming.

Netflix may grab all of the headlines, but Amazon has been steadily growing a library of must-see streaming shows from must-see creators. Mad Dogs looks like it will continue this tradition. Based on the British series of the same name, the first season of the show will drop on Friday, January 22, 2016 for Amazon Prime subscribers. Here’s how Roy Price, the vice president of Amazon Studios, describes the series:

Mad Dogs explores what happens when four college friends go on an exotic vacation that shockingly descends into a harrowing roller coaster that tests their mettle, their friendships and their very sense of identity. The show has a fantastic cast and is led by Shawn Ryan. We look forward to customers’ reactions.

Although the cast includes recognizable names like Steve ZahnMichael ImperioliBilly Zane, Romany Malco and Ben Chaplin, the real draw for TV fans will be executive producer and showrunner Shawn Ryan, the mastermind behind The Shield, The Unit, and the beloved, short-lived Terriers.

homeland

Showtime has officially renewed both Homeland and The Affair for their sixth and third seasons, respectively. Any other details are currently under wraps, but considering Homeland‘s willingness to reboot its location and the The Affair‘s constantly splintering perspective, just about anything can happen. Homeland still has two episodes left in its current season, so there’s still plenty of time for Claire Danes to cry her way out of Berlin and into an exciting new location.

the magiciains

The first episode of The Magicians, Syfy’s new fantasy series based on the trilogy of novels by author Lev Grossman, will air as part of a special sneak preview on December 16. The series proper won’t actually premiere until January 25, 2016. The news was revealed by Grossman himself, who teased the not-so-secret secret screening on Twitter:

The series stars Jason Ralph, Jade Taylor, Hale Appleman, and Olivia Taylor DudleyHere’s the official description for the first novel, which makes it sound like a grungier, American-ized Harry Potter for a slightly older audience:

Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn’t real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college — friendship, love, sex, and booze — and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn’t bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin’s yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they’d imagined.

And here’s the trailer, just in case you want to see if this is worth the precious space on your DVR:

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