Whether 2014 was a sparkling twelve months of wonderful memories or a seemingly endless slog of bad news, it's history now. We're all about 2015, and it helps to have more than a dozen entertainment events to look forward to. Mark up those new calendars and look ahead.
'Friends' available on Netflix streaming, Jan. 1
They'll be there for you — Ross, Rachel, and all the Central Perk crew — as long as you have a Netflix streaming account. All 10 seasons of the classic sitcom are now available to binge-watch in your own home, preferably while you're wearing a wedding dress or all of Chandler's clothes.
'Downton Abbey,' Jan. 4, PBS
Pour that tea and butter those crumpets, the delightful period drama "Downton Abbey" is coming back. TODAY's Savannah Guthrie spoke with the cast, and Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) promised no event as earth-shattering as Matthew Crawley's death, but Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) warned that her character's in for another tough season. Keep those monogrammed hankies ready.
'The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore,' Jan. 19, Comedy Central
It's a talk-show Tilt-A-Whirl in early 2015, with Larry Wilmore leaving his role as "senior black correspondent" at "The Daily Show" to start his own new series — originally called "The Minority Report" — in "The Colbert Report" timeslot. Jon Stewart created the show, so if you love his "Daily Show" humor, try "Nightly" as well.
'The Walking Dead' returns, Feb. 8, AMC
(Last-season spoilers ahead.) Rick, Daryl and the rest of our beloved, bloody bunch will start taking down walkers again in February. We know that Beth is is gone and our heroes are leaving the hospital behind, and star Andrew Lincoln (Rick) promised plenty of new characters staggering their way into the next eight episodes.
'Fifty Shades of Grey,' Feb. 13
Babysitters, we're going to predict you can charge whatever you want on Valentine's Day weekend, as couples will want to get out for a) Valentine's Day, and b) the movie version of E.L. James' erotic novel, "Fifty Shades of Grey." Blindfold and riding-crop manufacturers, heads up to you, too.
Academy Awards, Feb. 22, ABC
Neil Patrick Harris has hosted the Tonys and the Emmys, and now the witty fan favorite will move on to the biggest awards show of all, the Academy Awards. Harris said taking the Oscar stage was on his bucket list, and his wit and charm should make the show legen — wait for it — dary.
'House of Cards' returns, Feb. 27, Netflix
Plan now to call in sick on the last Friday in February, so you can spend the entire day binge-watching the third season of "House of Cards." A teeny tiny teaser was released on Dec. 1. All it shows is now-President Frank Underwood walking up the steps of Air Force One with wife Claire, but that brief sly Kevin Spacey stare reminds us why we love it so.
'Game of Thrones,' April, HBO
(Last-season spoiler warning!) In the 2014 finale, fan favorite Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) finally offed his evil father Tywin (who died on the privy, a la Elvis). Sister Cersei is running things, which can only end in disaster. It's not much better elsewhere — Jon Snow's Wall is in chaos and Daenerys is struggling to keep her dragons under control in Meereen. Winter is coming, now more than ever.
'Mad Max: Fury Road,' April 15
Mad Max is back, although Mel Gibson has been replaced in the role by Tom "Bane" Hardy. Like "Jurassic World" (see below), this fourth-in-a-popular-series film lingered for years in development hell, but fans have raved about the teasers released so far. Director George Miller told Comic-Con audiences "I wanted to make one long extended chase, and see what we could pick up about the characters on the way."
David Letterman signs off, May 20
The Top Ten list should be ultimate. David Letterman is retiring after more than 30 years as a talk-show host, and his final "Late Show" episode will air May 20. Stephen Colbert will be taking over, though at press time no date was set for his first program. Dave will likely go out with a bang — or at least a watermelon dropped from a rooftop.
'Orange is the New Black' returns, June, Netflix
We don't know much about the third season of "Orange is the New Black," except the fact that it's returning sometime in June. But a list of what's supposed to be the new episode titles was shared by star Laura Prepon (first show: “It’s the Great Blumpkin, Charlie Brown”), and reportedly the sex and violence of the women's prison show won't be toned down. (Episode titles here, adult language.)
'Jurassic World,' June 12
A dinosaur theme park worked out so well in "Jurassic Park," why not bring the idea back? It may not be a smart idea for park visitors, but it's an Earth-shakingly great idea for moviegoers. Two decades after the disaster of the first movie, the fourth film in the series takes us inside a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, with Chris Pratt starring as a staffer studying the Velociraptors. Things do not go well.
'Inside Out,' June 19
Pixar films are always much-anticipated, and "Inside Out" is no exception. The animated stars are five emotions who live inside a young girl's head. ("Herman's Head" fans are having flashbacks.) And what a great voice cast for the emotions — Amy Poehler is the upbeat Joy, Lewis Black is Anger, Bill Hader is Fear, Mindy Kaling is Disgust and Kaling's "The Office" castmate Phyllis Smith is Sadness.
'Terminator Genisys,' July 1
He'll be back. Next summer. Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger will appear again in the fifth "Terminator" film. This one features John Connor sending Kyle Reese back in time to save his mother, Sarah Connor (played not by legendary Linda Hamilton, but by Emilia Clarke, Daenerys from "Game of Thrones"). It's a side of the "Terminator" timeline we've not seen yet, and the trailer looks promising.
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens,' Dec. 18
Some little movie franchise called "Star Wars" is coming back. Maybe you've heard of it. Old-school fans and new-generation viewers are eager to see how "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams puts his own directorial twist on the iconic series. And original stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher wouldn't let us down, would they?