Monday, January 03, 2011

TV: New TV Shows & Returning TV Shows for Winter/Spring 2011 Season

8pm - "Pretty Little Liars" (ABC Family)
Last Season: The girls were at Mona's glamp when Hannah discovered the true identity of A and got hit by a car before she could tell anyone.
This Season: After Hannah was rushed to the hospital, she gets a creepy visit from A.

9pm - "Greek" (ABC Family)
Last Season: The KTs tried to get back at the Omega Chis, and Casey and Cappie were reevaluating their relationship.
This Season: Casey tries to figure out why she was rejected from CRU's law school, Calvin and Rebecca adjust to their new duties as presidents, and Rusty and Ashleigh begin to develop feelings for each other.

9pm - "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FX)

9pm - "V" (ABC)
10pm - "Southland" (TNT)

10pm - "Merlin" (Syfy)
Last Season: Merlin saved the kingdom from The Great Dragon and Morgana ran away.
This Season: Morgana returns to Camelot and Merlin fears she'll reveal his secret. But something far more sinister is happening in the kingdom as the king becomes consumed by hallucinations and dark magic. Merlin must question whether Morgana is to blame.

8:30pm - "Bob’s Burgers" (FOX)
Plot: An animated family comedy about a family-owned burger joint.
Verdict: Because it rounds out the night—two hours of animated family comedies.

9pm - "The Cape" (NBC)
Plot: It's a one-hour drama about a cop (Lyons) who gets framed for a series of murders. He manages to escape and fake his death, leaving behind his wife and son. In order to reunite with his family and combat the criminal forces against him, he decides to become his son's favorite comic book superhero "The Cape" with the help of a circus ringleader (David) and an investigative blogger (Glau).
Cast: David Lyons ("ER"), Jennifer Ferrin ("Life on Mars"), Ryan Wynott ("FlashForward"), James Frain ("True Blood" & "The Tudors"), Keith David (Death at a Funeral remake), Summer Glau ("Dollhouse" & "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"), Dorian Missick ("Six Degrees"), Vinnie Jones (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels)
Verdict: I'll watch at least one episode because of Glau, but I feel far too mature for this.

9pm - "Californication" (SHOWTIME)
9:30pm - "Episodes" (SHOWTIME)
Plot: Husband-and-wife writing team Sean (Mangan) and Beverly (Grieg) can't wait to bring their successful British television series across the pond to make it big in America. But in true Hollywood fashion, it quickly becomes a laughable, clich├ęd sitcom—starring none other than Matt LeBlanc. Matt not only messes with their beloved show, he rocks the foundation of their relationship. So now, even if they survive the absurdity of show business, will their marriage survive Matt LeBlanc?
Cast: Matt LeBlanc ("Friends"), Stephen Mangan ("The Green Wing"), Tamsin Grieg (Tamara Drewe), John Pankow (Morning Glory), Kathleen Rose Perkins ("Til Death"), Mircea Monroe ("Drive")
Verdict: Matt is a funny guy, but I didn't realize he could do sardonic and deadpan. Sigh. If Showtime keeps this up, I might actually have to subscribe.

10pm - "Shameless" (SHOWTIME)
Plot: Frank Gallagher (Macy) is the proud single dad of six smart, spirited and independent kids, who without him would be... perhaps better off. The Gallaghers may not have much in the way of money or rules, but they know who they are — and they're absolutely, wildly, unapologetically shameless.
Cast: William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum (Mystic River and The Day After Tomorrow), Cameron Monaghan (Click and "Malcolm & the Middle"), Justin Chatwin (Dragonball: Evolution), Steve Howey ("Reba"), Shanola Hampton (You Again and "Miami Medical"), Jeremy Allen White (Twelve), Ethan Cutkosky (The Unborn), Emma Kenney (Girl, Positive).
Verdict: I like dysfunctional family dramedies, and I think there are enough characters in this one to produce at least a few storylines that'll keep me interested.  Plus, I never got around to watching the British version that had James McAvoy for a season.

10pm - "Lights Out" (FX)
Plot: An aging former heavyweight boxing champion struggles to find his identity and support his wife and three daughters after retiring from the ring. Financial problems leave him at a perilous crossroads – battling the urge to return to boxing or reluctantly accepting a job as a brutal and intimidating debt collector.
Cast: Holt McCallany (The Losers), Catherine McCormack (Braveheart and 28 Weeks Later), Pablo Schreiber ("The Wire"), Stacy Keach ("Prison Break").
Verdict: It reminds me of "The Sopranos," but I just don't think I can get into a boxing series. But if both of those things interest you, you might like it.

10pm - "Off the Map" (ABC)
Plot: In this ensemble drama, six doctors who have lost their way will go to the ends of the earth to try to remember the reasons why they wanted to become doctors in the first place.
Cast: Martin Henderson (The Ring), Caroline Dhavernas ("Wonderfall" and Hollywoodland), Mamie Gummer ("The Good Wife" and Coach), Zach Gilford ("Friday Night Lights"), Jason George ("Grey's Anatomy" and "Eastwick"), Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight), Valerie Cruz ("True Blood" and "Dexter"), and newcomer Jonathan Castellanos.
Verdict: Because it's not your run-of-the-mill medical series. Because I want to find out what they're all individually hiding. And, let's be honest, because the creator of "Grey's Anatomy," Shonda Rhimes, is producing.

9pm - "Big Love" (HBO)

9pm - "Being Human" (Syfy)
Plot: Three 20-something roommates—a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf—struggle to keep their dark secrets from the world, while navigating the complexities of living double lives.
Cast: Sam Witwer (Doomsday on "Smallville"), Meaghan Rath ("The Assistants"), Sam Huntington (Fanboys and "Cavemen").
Verdict: Even though it's a "re-imaginging" of a BBC series that's already had two seasons, it's easier to start watching this from scratch instead of going out of my way to get a hold of the British episodes. I've seen several of them already, and if the American version follows the same plot line, then you'll get to see how each of them came to be what they are, their struggles with not giving into their supernatural urges, how it effects their love lives, and the secret of who killed the girl—it's a doozy.

10pm - "Harry’s Law" (NBC)
Plot: It's about a group of misfit lawyers who decide to work for an unconventional firm run by an ex-patent lawyer who believes that fate brought them together.
Cast: Kathy Bates, British actor Aml Ameen ("The Bill"), Nate Corddry ("The United States of Tara" and "Studio 60 and the Sunset Strip"), Brittany Snow (Hairspray and "American Dreams")
Verdict: It's impressive that it's being produced by the creator of "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal," and Kathy Bates is starring, but it's just not my type of humor.

10pm - "Skins" (MTV)
Plot: It's the American remake of the British series that followed several teenagers in their adventures of debauchery, using drugs, having sex, and partying hard as they try to navigate their way towards adulthood.
Cast: James Newman, Rachel Thevenard, Daniel Flaherty, Ron Mustafaa, Sofia Black-D'Elia ("All My Children"), Camille Cresencia-Mills, Jesse Carere, Britne Oldford, Eleanor Zichy
Verdict: I really, really, really loved the first two seasons of the British version, so I find it hard to believe that this will ever live up to it, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

10pm - "White Collar" (USA)
Last Season: Mozzie gets shot during a botched con.
This Season: Hilarie Burton will reprise her role and possibly make Neal's life a little more interesting.

10pm - "Hot in Cleveland" (TVLAND)
Last Season: Elka gets arrested by Melanie's cop boyfriend for being an accessory to her late husband's grand larceny.
This Season: Mary Tyler Moore will play a friend of Elka's, Melanie Griffith will have an argument with Victoria, Melissa starts to reevaluate her relationship, Joy will have to figure out how to stay in the U.S., Victoria will have to construct a get-rich-quick scheme after going broke, and the ladies will return to L.A. to tie up some loose ends.

10:30pm - "Retired at 35" (TVLAND)
Plot: Successful young businessman David (McClain) decides to leave the rat race of NYC behind and move into his parents' (Segal and Walter) Florida retirement home to reconnect with them, re-evaluate his life and live the dream of retirement that so many are working toward.
Cast: Jonathan McClain ("Scoundrels"), Jessica Walker ("Arrested Development"), George Segal ("Just Shoot Me!").
Verdict: I'm not really into geriatric humor, but it could have a few laughs.

8:30pm - "Perfect Couples" (NBC)
Plot: The series explores three types of couples—the normal, the neurotic, and the passionately insane—and how each of them deal with their relationship issues differently.
Cast: Kyle Bornheimer ("Worst Week"), Christine Woods ("FlashForward"), David Walton ("100 Questions"), Mary Elizabeth Ellis ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), Hayes MacArthur (She's Out of My League), and Olivia Munn ("Attack of the Show")
Verdict: Because of the guys and Munn, it has major potential to be funny...eventually. The preview episode that ran in December really wasn't that great, but the promos have been stellar, so you get the idea that it could get funnier.

9pm - "Royal Pains" (USA)
Last Season: Everyone's relationships started steaming up, including Divya's developing romance with a patient, despite her pending nuptials.
This Season: Hank will have to deal with his father's latest treachery, and Divya will have to choose between her new beau and her fiance.

9:30pm - "Parks and Recreation" (NBC)
Last Season: The department was on the brink of being shut down.
This Season: They're still at risk of getting shut down, but in the mean time, Will Forte will drop by to play a character that demands for Twilight to be inserted into the time capsule, Megan Mullally will return to disrupt Ron's budding relationship with Tom's ex-wife, and Ron and Leslie will go on a road trip together.

10pm - "Fairly Legal" (USA)
Plot: Once a lawyer at her family's firm, Kate Reed's (Shahi) frustration with the legal system led her to a new career as a mediator. With the help of her assistant Leonardo (Vaughn), Kate must balance the stress from her "wicked" stepmother Lauren (Williams) and soon-to-be-ex-husband Justin (Trucco) with her unconventional life as a mediator.
Cast: Sarah Shahi ("Life"), Michael Trucco ("Castle" and "Battlestar Galactica"), comedian Baron Vaughn, Virginia Williams (Revenge of the Bridesmaids)
Verdict: I prefer my Shahi feisty, but I'm willing to see if she is just as appealing as a quirky and adorable girly-girl.

9pm - "The Chicago Code" (FOX)
Plot: A cop series set in Chicago that revolves around the corruption that plagues the city.
Cast: Jennifer Beals ("Lie to Me"), Jason Clarke ("Brotherhood"), Delroy Lindo (This Christmas), Matt Lauria ("Friday Night Lights" and "Lipstick Jungle"), Todd Williams ("In Plain Sight"), Devin Kelley ("Tease"), and Billy Lush ("Generation Kill").
Verdict: I'll probably watch one episode because 1) it's always refreshing to see a woman running things and uncovering a conspiracy, 2) I guess I'll need a replacement for "The Closer" soon, 3) Lauria is adorable and it's always fun to watch him be nervously awkward.

TBA - "Traffic Light" (FOX)
Plot: It's about three guys and how they maneuver through their varying love lives.
Cast: Kris Marshall (British version of Death at a Funeral), Nelson Franklin (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), David Denman ("Drop Dead Diva" and "The Office"), Alexandra Breckenridge ("Life Unexpected"), Liza Lapira ("Dollhouse" and "Dexter")
Verdict: Because it's always fun to watch guys try to figure out women. It's like watching monkeys do calculus.

11pm - "My Life as Liz" (MTV)
Last Season: Liz was on her way to New York after finally kissing Bryson.
This Season: She'll realize New York isn't as easy to fit into as she thought it would be, her relationship with Bryson is on the rocks, and she meets a new guy in New York who might change her life for the better.


TBA - "Mr. Sunshine" (ABC)
Plot: Ben Donovan (Perry) is a self-involved manager of a second-rate San Diego sports arena who begins to re-evaluate his life on his 40th birthday.
Cast: Matthew Perry ("Friends"), Allison Janney ("The West Wing"), Andrea Anders ("Better Off Ted" and "Joey"), James Lesure ("Las Vegas"), Nate Torrence (She's Out of My League and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip") and Portia Doubleday (Youth in Revolt).
Verdict: It's been a long time since I've laughed that long at a trailer. Bring it Matthew. Bring it hard. Break that "Friends" curse...actually Courtney Cox already did, but do it for the boys!

10pm - "Justified" (FX)
Last Season: Raylan and Boyd teamed up to take down their fathers.
This Season: Word is "the pendulum will swing in a completely different direction for Boyd, and religion may receive his ire. He may become an agnostic vigilante, [but] I won't say against who."

9pm - "The Event" (NBC)
Last Season: Leila and Sean discover that her dad's one of the aliens and the experiments are on alien children. Meanwhile, Thomas used a rocket to set up a satellite to send a message home.
This Season: Virginia Madsen ("Scoundrels") will join the series to play an attorney who must take her husband's position as Alaskan senator after he dies. Meanwhile, Thomas and the aliens await a rescue team.

10pm - "Body of Proof" (ABC)
Plot: The world of Dr. Megan Hunt (Delany), a brilliant neurosurgeon, is turned upside down when a devastating car accident puts an end to her time in the operating room. Megan resumes her career as a medical examiner determined to solve the puzzle of who or what killed the victims, and graying the lines of where her job ends and where the police department’s begins. She'll also have to rebuild her family, which once took a backseat to her ambition.
Cast: Dana Delany ("Desperate Housewives"), Jeri Ryan ("Leverage" and "Shark"), Geoffrey Arend (Devil and 500 Days of Summer), John Carroll Lynch (Shutter Island), Windell Middlebrooks ("The Suite Life on Deck"), Nicholas Bishop ("Past Life") and Sonja Sohn ("Brothers & Sisters" and "The Wire").
Verdict: I'm not really a fan of Delany. She kind of bores me. But I'm rooting for Arend.

TBA [date & time] - "The Killing" (AMC)
Plot: It's a drama based on the wildly successful Danish television series "Forbrydelsen," and it tells the story of the murder of a young girl in Seattle and the subsequent police investigation.
Cast: Mireille Enos ("Big Love"), Billy Campbell ("4400" and Enough), Michelle Forbes ("True Blood"), Joel Kinnaman (Snabba Cash), and Brent Sexton ("Life" and "Justified").
Verdict: It looks a little too slow for my taste.

TBA - "Breaking In" (FOX)
Plot: A high-tech security firm that takes extreme, and often questionable, measures to sell their protection services.
Cast: Christian Slater, Bret Harrison ("Reaper"), Odette Yustman (You Again and The Unborn), Alphonso McAuley (Fat Albert), Trevor Moore (Miss March)
Verdict: Well, you could say, third time's a charm for Slater, but to be honest Bret will be the reason I watch. He's always been funny in every comedy he's starred in and I'm confident he'll bring the funny again.

TBA - "Happy Endings" (ABC)
Plot: Forget who gets to keep the ring—when a couple splits, the real question is, who gets to keep the friends? In this modern comedy, a couple's break-up will complicate all of their friends' lives and make everyone question their choices.
Cast: Elisha Cuthbert ("24"), Eliza Coupe ("Scrubs"), Zachary Knighton ("FlashForward"), Adam Pally (Assassination of a High School President), Damon Wayans, Jr. (The Other Guys and Dance Flick), and Casey Wilson (Killers and "SNL").
Verdict: At first I was like, this looks funny enough, then Damon started cracking on Wilson, and Coupe topped it all off with the "It's like if Paul Rudd gave up" description and I was sold. Plus, I'm glad Coupe and Wilson are getting work.

TBA - "Game of Thrones" (HBO)
Plot: Kings, queens, knights and renegades use schemes and swords to battle for the throne.
Cast: Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings), Nikolaj Coster Waldau ("New Amsterdam"), Lena Headey ("Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles"), Emilia Clarke, Mark Addy ("Still Standing"), Peter Dinklage (Death at a Funeral and Penelope), Jason Momoa ("Stargate: Atlantis")
Verdict: A little too much carnage for me.


  1. Great list! Looks like I'm gonna be watching a lot more TV shows this year.

  2. Game of Thrones
    "Verdict: A little too much carnage for me."

    So you write the show off just like that? Trust me, while it does have some "carnage", it isn't over the top and if it is anything like the novels it will be one of the greatest series made this decade.

    Don't sell it short without at least watching the pilot.

  3. I make it a point of watching every new series at least once--twice if it wasn't unbearable. The only shows I won't be watching are the ones on Showtime, since I don't have that channel.