2012 winter TV preview: 11 returning favorites | EW.com

TV | Mad Men

2012 winter TV preview: 11 returning favorites

Scoops on ''Glee,'' ''Mad Men,'' ''30 Rock,'' ''The Walking Dead,'' and more

Tuesdays, 8 p.m., Fox
On the heels of Finn’s surprising proposal to Rachel (Lea Michele), star Cory Monteith says we’ll follow the New Directions couple as ”the scope of their relationship” evolves through the spring. Gleeks can expect a Michael Jackson tribute episode on Jan. 31 as well as guest stars Ricky Martin playing McKinley’s new Spanish teacher and Gloria Estefan as Santana’s (Naya Rivera) mother. ”These next six [episodes] are designed to be fun, fun, fun,” says co-creator Ryan Murphy. ”They’re big, glossy, star-studded. Then the last six will be very heartbreaking.” There is, after all, that little thing called graduation on the horizon — and while Michele is set to return for season 4, the future isn’t as clear for Monteith and Chris Colfer’s Kurt. —Tim Stack

30 Rock
Thursdays, 8 p.m., NBC
Love turns loony in an hour-long Valentine’s Day episode, as Jack (Alec Baldwin) gets all chummy with his mother-in-law (Mary Steenburgen) when she checks on his efforts to rescue Avery (Elizabeth Banks) from North Korea. ”His mother-in-law is actually a much more age-appropriate woman for him,” hints creator Tina Fey. Meanwhile, Liz (Fey) and beau Criss (James Marsden) make a tactical relationship error when they visit IKEA: ”There’s a lot of people saying, ‘Are you crazy? A cabal of divorce lawyers run IKEA!”’ Also ahead: Denise Richards makes another cameo; Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) trains his replacement (Kristen Schaal), who becomes obsessed with Liz; and Jenna (Jane Krakowski) seeks out famous friends because they ”understand her better.” Adds Fey: ”Her celebrity friends are Charlie from ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ — but not really him; Mick Foley; and a made-up Kardashian named Knob Kardashian.” —Dan Snierson

The Game
Tuesdays, 10 p.m., BET
The revelation that Melanie (Tia Mowry) had an abortion long ago while dating another man but never told current hubby Derwin (Pooch Hall) will color this year. ”We have this thing where we say ‘truth moment,”’ explains Mowry. ”It gives each party the chance to be totally truthful. We’ve gone through all of that.” Outside of rebuilding the show’s core relationship, Tasha (Wendy Raquel Robinson) and Melanie’s feud will get worse before it gets better; Malik (Hosea Chanchez) will learn a few lessons from new business manager Doug (SATC’s David Eigenberg); and Brandy joins the cast as Chardonnay, the new wife to Jason (Coby Bell). Plus: The pigskin is back! ”A lot of the fans were like, ‘Where’s our football?”’ says creator Mara Brock Akil. ”We’re shooting in the Georgia Dome. You’re gonna see the guys back in play.” —Tanner Stransky