By Amy Wilkinson
December 31, 2013 at 05:00 PM EST
Sarah Shatz/FOX
  • TV Show

Given the abundance of O-neg spilled during the first season of Fox’s The Following, it should come as little surprise that executive producers have pumped plenty of new blood into the series’ second season, premiering Jan. 19 (following the NFC Championships).

After cleaning up the splatter from the cliffhanger finale, The Following will fast-forward a year, where former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) is recovering nicely, thanks in part to niece Max (played by 90210 grad Jessica Stroup). And the handcuffs don’t fall far from the squad car (if you know what we mean), with Max carrying on the family business of law enforcement. “It’s an important part of the setup,” executive producer Marcos Siega explains of Ryan’s relationship with his niece, who not only lends him moral support, but tactical support as well.

And Edgar Allan Poe knows he’ll need it, what with a new group of acolytes inciting murder and mayhem in Joe Carroll’s name. Watch out for the baddest baddie of the bunch, angelic-looking Luke, played by British actor Sam Underwood — no stranger to homicide best practices, having served as a short-lived apprentice to Dexter Morgan.

“Sam Underwood is fantastic,” Siega enthuses. “He plays one of the characters that every episode [fans] can’t wait and see what he’s gonna do, and it’s been so much fun to shoot that story, and I think the audience is really gonna dig that.”

According to Siega, however, the most significant new character may just be Lily Gray, a “potential love interest” for Ryan, played by Connie Nielsen.

“We meet her in one of the big set pieces in the first episode,” Siega says “She’s a victim of an attack and Ryan — he’s asked to come in and see if he can contribute anything to it by the FBI. He’s taken by her, and she’s taken by him as well. I think that’s an important setup and planting that seed as a potential for something in episode 1.”

What does that mean, then, for Ryan’s romance with Claire (Natalie Zea), who we last saw getting back-stabbed, quite literally?

Teases Siega: “I think loss as a theme on our show has been a big motivator for characters, and let’s look at it that way.”

To read more about The Following and 67 other new and returning shows, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, which hits stands on Tuesday, Dec. 31.

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