Returning TV Shows I Am Looking Forward To Seeing

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Image from CBS's Rules of Engagement
Megyn Price & David Spade from Rules of Engagement
In a previous post I noted some of the new shows I plan on checking out during the 2011-2012 TV season. This post I will be pointing out the returning shows that I recommend. Your mileage may very – feel free to add a comment.

My ‘A’ List

Here are the shows I make an effort to watch live or put on my DVR each week:

‘Rules of Engagement’ (CBS)
Premieres: Saturday, Oct. 8, 8 p.m. ET

This is one of the highlights of the week for me. Megyn Price, David Spade, and Patrick Warburton bring the funny each episode. Bringing on Adhir Kalyan as “Timmy”, Russell’s suffering assistant has really been a great one. Oliver Hudson and Bianca Kajlich as the engaged couple Adam & Jennifer have turned out to be the third wheel on the show. Adam has becoming increasingly more stupid each episode and Jennifer more exasperated at him, It makes me wonder why they are still together. I think it happened that their characters just fizzled out and the writers are trying hard to keep them in the show by trying to write them as ridiculous as possible.

‘Raising Hope’ (FOX)
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 p.m.

This was a surprising hit in my book. I didn’t care for creator Greg Garcia previous show “My Name is Earl” but I did like “Yes, Dear” and “Raising Hope” seems like a mash-up of those two previous shows. The stand outs are Lucas Neff as Hope’s dad Jimmy and Martha Plimpton as Virginia, Jimmy’s mom.

Image of the cast of ABC's Modern Family
Modern Family returns to ABC on Wednesday nights
‘Modern Family’ (ABC)
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. (one hour)

‘The Middle’ (ABC)
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. (one hour)

‘The Big Bang Theory’ (CBS)
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.

‘Community’ (NBC)
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.

ABC’s Wednesday comedy block and Big Bang Theory on CBS with Community on NBC keeps me in stitches. I think these comedies are the strongest on TV right now and are good fun to watch just about every episode. They also give me plenty of fodder for my e-mail tag lines. The different characters are well drawn too.

Image of Stana Katic coming out of the pool on an episode of Castle
Det Kate Beckett working undercover with too much hair
‘Castle’ (ABC)
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m.

On the drama side I have to watch the adventures of writer Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic). I think the show is funny and the drama parts are well done. I’m not a shipper – I don’t care if Castle and Beckett get together and luckily the writers haven’t over done the “will they or won’t they” angle. My only superficial comment is I hope Beckett gets a haircut for this coming season. As you can see in the frame grab above that she had great hair for a model but too much hair for a police detective.

‘Parenthood’ (NBC)
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 10 p.m.

This show did surprise me. I didn’t think I would like it and I didn’t think it would last on the air especially against “The Good Wife” on CBS – but it did. This version seemed to match the film it was based on better than the 1990-1991 version that had Leonardo DiCaprio in the cast. It tells the stories of a multi-generational family trying to make sense of the world in which they live. This was one show I had to time shift and watch it on my DVR each week and I did.

Kalinda and Alicia from The Good Wife
Kalinda and Alicia from The Good Wife
‘The Good Wife’ (CBS)
Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m.

Another excellent drama is “The Good Wife”. Everything about this show is something I want to watch each week. The court stories are interesting, the character dramas aren’t tedious, the overall story arcs are interesting and don’t take away from the individual episodes, and the guest stars have been good. This show reminds me of the quality TV can produce if it wants to.

‘The Amazing Race’ (CBS)
Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m.

This is the only reality show I pay attention to. It gives me the combination of relationship drama and seeing the different countries in the world with the culture and history involved.

Honorable Mentions: These are shows I will catch off and on during the season but I won’t work my schedule around them.

Image of Sarah and Chuck
Sarah and Chuck from NBC’s ‘Chuck’
‘Chuck’ (NBC)
Premieres: Friday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m.

I loved the first two seasons of “Chuck” – hated most of season 3 – lost interest in season 4 – but will be back to watch season 5 just because I had so much wrapped up in the plot and characters. I was glad it made it to a season 3 and 4 and giddy it made it to season 5. They have an order for 13 episodes and I hope NBC lets all 13 be shown so we fans can have a proper series conclusion.

Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 8 p.m. ET
‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ (CBS)
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 9 p.m. ET
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m.

‘Law & Order: SVU’ (NBC)
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m.

These franchises have decent story telling and good characters. I have become burned out on NCIS because of the constant marathons on the USA network and NCIS: LA is still trying to find its footing, although I am getting tired of Chris O’Donnel and LL Cool J being the only people being focused on in the LA version.

I am interested in seeing the new look on L&O: SVU and CSI. SVU pretty much had the same cast for more than 10 years so new cast members will breathe life into the story lines. Ted Danson joining CSI looks interesting.

Image of Thomas Gibson on Criminal Minds
Thomas Gibson as ‘Hotch’ on Criminal Minds
‘Criminal Minds’ (CBS)
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m.

Although too serious Hoch bothers me after Thomas Gibson played Greg on the sitcom Dharma & Greg back in the 90’s – I catch this show when the plots interest me. They do tend to get creepy most of the time but they are interesting.

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