Summer Glau; Thomas Dekker and Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles by Jill Greenberg/Fox Summer Glau; Thomas Dekker and Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles by Jill Greenberg/Fox
The when: The series premieres Sunday, Jan. 13, at 8 pm/ET, followed on Monday at 8 by a second episode (in the show's regular time slot).

Why watch?: The relative scarcity of the action/sci-fi genre on broadcast television at the moment makes this a series a must-see, if even from a curiosity standpoint. Sure, the series will offer enough crazy action, stunts and special effects (with guaranteed explosions and the occasional cyborg going to town on anything and everything in its path) to satisfy most viewers, but what about the storyline? Will a highly successful motion-picture franchise be able to make the jump to the small screen with all the bits (get it?) relatively intact (minus Arnie)? Thankfully, the answer is a resounding yes. The series reveals what happens to fugitive Sarah Connor (now brunette) and her son, John, after the events chronicled in

Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Terminator purists will probably scoff at the very idea of this series (then again, Miles Dyson scoffed at the idea of destroying his research), but fans of action and of 24, whose Monday time slot will now be occupied by Sarah, should have plenty to be excited about. Having the gorgeous Lena Headey (300) in the title role can only be a good thing! My fellow Whedon-versers will greatly appreciate Summer Glau ( Firefly, Serenity) kicking major butt... again. David Nutter ( X-Files, Millennium, Space: Above and Beyond) directs the pilot. Who's who: Sarah Connor (Lena Headey) is committed to protecting her son while also doing everything possible to prevent the artificial machine intelligence, which will be responsible for the deaths of billions, from going online. Her son, John Connor (Thomas Dekker), is destined to become the future savior of the human race; however, years of living with his knowledge of the future and dealing with an extremely overprotective mother has weighed heavy on him. James Ellison (Richard T. Jones) is the FBI agent assigned to track Sarah and hopefully bring her to "justice." Unlike any Terminator they've encountered before, the highly unique Cameron Phillips (Summer Glau) now has the task of protecting John. What's next: As Sarah and John attempt to live a "normal" life (normal, that is, if one were a single parent who happens to be a fugitive from the law and is attempting to raise her son, who is supposed to become the "savior of mankind"), a cyborg attempts to kill John and thus guarantee the machine race's eventual rise to power and the slaughter of the human race. Of course, the ever-vigilant Sarah, with the help of a new cyborg "protector," will try everything in her power to ensure that the machines' version of the future does not come to pass. Gun battles, explosions and special effects aplenty lead up to a neat twist at the end of the pilot episode that sets into motion the real start of the series. Say what?!: Based on the pilot episode as well as what's been floating around on Skynet (although, is this really a trustworthy source?), apparently the "future" seen in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines has been tossed out the window (or possibly changed as a result of events in the pilot). The series seems to also have a sense of humor. Near the beginning, Sarah tells John, "We can't stay here. It's not safe.... Half an hour, plus the guns. I'll make pancakes." Later, we get the standard Terminator/Arnie-ism: "Come with me if you want to live" (hopefully for the first and last time in the series). Finally, Gilmore Girls (as well as Pushing Daisies) fans may recognize a certain set from the backlot of Warner Bros Studios in future episodes. What do you say? Terminator fans, are you excited or disgusted at the idea of this series, and why? Are there any possible storylines, unanswered questions (from any of the films) or other things you'd like to see covered in this new series? Do you think the series will succeed, or will Fox have to resort to its old habit of canceling shows ( Wonderfalls, Firefly, Drive to name a few) before their prime even with a writers' strike in progress? Will we finally get to see a phased plasma rifle with a 40W range? On your feet, soldiers, and comment! - Robert Ivins Use our Online Video Guide to find preview clips, interviews and other peeks at Sarah Connor's future! More Strike Survival guidance: " What Adam in Video Production Is Watching " USA Network's Psych: We See It in Your Future " Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew: Should You Check In? " Knight Rider, Grammys and More Specials to Watch For " Law & Order: Can 17 Years' Worth of Fans Be Wrong? " Movies on TV: Ken Fox's Picks for This Week! " What to Watch: Your Guide to January Premieres