Keep an eye on these midseason TV changes

We've now reached the midseason point of the TV season and it's time to hit the restart button.
By Chuck Barney Modified: January 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm •  Published: January 4, 2013
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4. A fond farewell to J.R. Ewing. When Season 2 of the “Dallas” reboot launches, fans will have the chance to see Larry Hagman's final performances as conniving oil tycoon J.R. Ewing. Hagman shot several episodes before he died in November. The show plans to pay tribute to him — and to one of TV's most iconic characters — when it lays J.R. to rest during an onscreen funeral in March. (“Dallas” returns at 8 p.m. Jan. 28, TNT).

5. Carrie that weight. The producers of “The Carrie Diaries” face a daunting challenge: How do you make a compelling contemporary teen drama without messing with our memories of a beloved character from TV's past? The show is a “Sex and the City” prequel that focuses on a 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb), who after her mother dies, ditches suburban life in Connecticut for the glamor of Manhattan. (Premieres at 7 p.m. Jan. 14, The CW).

6. The last laugh for “30 Rock.” Three shows are bowing out this month, including “Fringe,” “Private Practice,” and, most notably, “30 Rock.” Even though it won three straight Emmys (2007-09) as TV's best comedy, it's been easy to take Tina Fey's madcap sitcom for granted. But in its highly enjoyable seventh and final season, the show has been at the top of its game. (“30 Rock” series finale is at 7 p.m. Jan. 31, NBC).

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