A ‘Breaking Bad’ Return, ‘Supernatural’ Star’s New Role & More to Look Out For on TV

Dean Norris Better Call Saul Jared Padalecki Walker Reboot
Carin Baer/AMC; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

For nearly two weeks in January, stars and show creators introduced a robust slate of series coming to your favorite screen in the first half of 2020, at the annual Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California.

The biggest takeaway for fans? Clear space in your schedule (and on your DVR) for exciting debuts and returns like these:

Breaking Bad‘s Hank Is Back

Expect a familiar face in Season 5 of AMC’s Better Call Saul, the saga of shifty lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). It’s Breaking Bad‘s determined DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), who shows up in the March 2 and 9 episodes. (The drama returns with a two-parter February 23 and 24.)

With Saul renewed for a sixth and final season, and the prequel storyline inching closer to the hit that spawned it, will executive producer Vince Gilligan cook up an appearance from Bad‘s Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul)? “I would love to see [that] before Better Call Saul ends,” he said.

Supernatural Season 15 Jared Padalecki Sam

(Diyah Pera/The CW)

A ‘boot for Supernatural‘s Sam

Among reboots being discussed, one cast member’s name stood tallest: Jared Padalecki. The Supernatural star returns to The CW in Walker, a spin on Walker, Texas Ranger.

And is an update of the Scott Bakula–Dean Stockwell favorite Quantum Leap possible? Execs at Peacock, NBCUniversal’s coming streaming service, are considering it.

Thirtysomething Grows Up

For four seasons (1987–91), fans were captivated by the dramatic twists of thirtysomething‘s angsty, feather-haired ensemble of young professionals. Those yuppies have reached middle age, and ABC’s sequel — from original series creators Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz — returns regulars Ken Olin, Mel Harris, Timothy Busfield, and Patricia Wettig, with the planned fall debut focusing on their now-grown offspring.

“They’re the first generation raised with the internet,” said ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke of the millennials. Expect plenty more angst!

Counting on More 24

There was one familiar question hanging in the air at TCA: Any chance of a possible revival for Fox’s action-packed drama 24? In the wake of 24: Live Another Day (2014) and spinoff series 24: Legacy (2017), the timing looks right for Jack Bauer to save the world again. Howard Gordon, executive producer of the original 2001–10 series, told Deadline that Fox “wants to do it, and we’re talking.”

Rock Takes Fargo Seriously

Stand-up star Chris Rock was more than a little surprised to get the call to star in the FX anthology drama’s fourth season, premiering April 19.

“I thought [Fargo executive producer Noah Hawley] wanted me to host something for his charity,” cracked Rock, who said yes before even seeing a script. Rock plays a 1950s crime boss who goes head-to-head with the Italian mob; Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal), Jason Schwartzman, Jessie Buckley, and Jack Huston are also along for the ride.

Monster of a Musical

ABC’s next live musical event will resurrect Young Frankenstein, the 2007–09 Broadway show based on the 1974 film from comedy legend Mel Brooks.

“We’re huge fans of Mel’s and expect that big stars will line up to work with him,” said ABC’s Burke. The hilarious tale of the infamous scientist’s grandson and a monster with an “Abby Normal” brain will be “Puttin’ on the Ritz” sometime around Halloween.

Two Amigos, One Crime Comedy

For his first series-regular role ever, Steve Martin has paired with his Three Amigos costar Martin Short for a comic mystery coming from Hulu. The longtime pals, currently touring together in their two-man comedy show, will costar in the as-yet-untitled series about a trio of true-crime addicts (the third star hasn’t been chosen yet) suddenly caught up in an adventure of their own. The project is being executive produced by Dan Fogelman (This Is Us); Martin and Grace and Frankie exec producer John Hoffman will cowrite.

Said a thrilled Craig Erwich, Hulu’s senior VP of scripted originals, “Martin and Short are two personal heroes of mine.”

Kate Hahn, Jim Halterman, Damian Holbrook

More to See

Yearly Beloved

Nothing says “vote of confidence” quite like renewing a show for multiple seasons. At TCA, American Horror Story (FX) and New Amsterdam (NBC) each received three-year extensions, while Comedy Central gave four more years to Tosh.O.

Super Spinoffs

Looking for fresh takes on familiar names? CBS’s Clarice follows the FBI agent’s career after The Silence of the Lambs. On ABC’s The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart, 20 singles look to find love through music. And Magic Motor Inn (ABC), about an Indian family, has grown out of Fresh Off the Boat.

Superman Lois Spinoff Tyler Hoechlin Elizabeth Tulloch

(Katie Yu/The CW)

Straight-to-Series Orders

These look to be sure things…for now: Chucky (Syfy), Jack Reacher (Prime Video), thriller Last Summer (Freeform), Superman & Lois (The CW), Untitled Richard Linklater Project (CBS All Access), and Dwayne Johnson’s Young Rock (NBC).

Not So Fast

You have some waiting to do for FX’s Atlanta (Season 3 arrives in 2021), Starz’s John Wick spinoff The Continental (debuts mid-2021), the HBO Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon (2022) and NBC’s Kenan Thompson sitcom The Kenan Show (2020 or 2021).

End Runs

At TCA, Facebook Watch noted the cancellations of Limetown and Sorry for Your Loss. Speaking of which, Cinemax announced it will no longer air original series.

Emily Aslanian