April Premieres: Our Most (and Least) Anticipated New Shows

This year, April brings more than rain and taxes: lots of series premieres! We've compiled a guide to several of the month's new shows—from HBO's buzzed-about Game of Thrones to Discovery's Human Planet to E!'s latest Karadashian whatever-it-is—and ranked each one on our super high-tech TV.com Excite-o-Meter. Here's the heads up on what looks good, what looks bad, and what looks terribly, horribly ugly.


{ FRIDAY, APRIL 1 }


Chaos (8PM, CBS)
Starring: Freddy Rodriguez, Eric Close, Tim Blake Nelson, James Murray, Carmen Ejogo, and Kurtwood Smith
The Premise: "A comedic drama about a group of rogue CIA spies in Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services (CHAOS), who combat threats to national security amidst bureaucratic gridlock, rampant incompetence, and political infighting. The team tackles high-risk foreign intelligence missions using manipulation, deception, and wit to succeed, and that's just for starters."
Excite-o-Meter Says: (On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest) 6. There's always reason to be wary of a show that a broadcast network decides to launch on a Friday night in April—contrary to popular belief, networks do actually know when they have a show that isn't that good. Combining CIA operations with healthy doses of humor is tricky, and that's the issue that seems to be at the heart of the mostly negative early reviews. Still, the trailer looks like a fun romp, so let's give this one a chance, shall we?


Camelot (10PM, STARZ)
Starring: Jamie Campbell Green (The Prisoner) as King Arthur, Eva Green (Casino Royale) as Morgan, Joseph Fiennes (FlashForward) as Merlin
The Premise: "In the wake of King Uther’s sudden death, chaos threatens to engulf Britain. When the sorcerer Merlin has visions of a dark future, he installs the young and impetuous Arthur, Uther’s unknown son and heir, who has been raised from birth as a commoner. But Arthur’s cold and ambitious half-sister Morgan will fight him to the bitter end, summoning unnatural forces to claim the crown in this epic battle for control."
Excite-o-Meter Says: 5. You have to feel for Camelot, a sword-and-sorcery cable venture debuting just before the fantasy behemoth that is HBO's Game of Thrones. Starz made the first episode available on-demand, and while it was entertaining enough, it didn't leave us clamoring for more.



{ SUNDAY, APRIL 3 }


The Borgias (9PM, SHOWTIME)
Starring: Jeremy Irons, David Oakes, Francois Arnaud, Holliday Granger
The Premise: "Set in 15th-century Italy at the height of the Renaissance, The Borgias chronicles the corrupt rise of patriarch Rodrigo Borgia (Irons) to the papacy, where he proceeds to commit every sin in the book to amass and retain power, influence, and enormous wealth for himself and his family. The unbounded audacity of this original crime family went on to inspire Machiavelli's The Prince and Mario Puzo's The Godfather."
Excite-o-Meter Says: 8. With The Tudors over, Showtime has filled its gaping period-piece hole with The Borgias. The writing is on the wall for this one: Do you like solid historical dramas? Then you will like The Borgias. We'll be watching.



The Killing (9PM, AMC)
Starring: Mireille Enos, Billy Campbell, Joel Kinnaman, Michelle Forbes
The Premise: "The Killing ties together three distinct stories around a single murder including the detectives assigned to the case, the victim's grieving family, and the suspects. Set in Seattle, the story also explores local politics as it follows politicians connected to the case. As the series unfolds, it becomes clear that there are no accidents; everyone has a secret, and while the characters think they've moved on, their past isn't done with them."
Excite-o-Meter Says: 7. AMC is the TV world's current trendsetter, but The Killing doesn't have the pizazz of a drug-dealing chemistry teacher or a zombie apocalypse. Reputation is hard-earned though, so we're expecting a quietly sound crime thriller that may not draw record audiences, but will reward those who tune in.



{ MONDAY, APRIL 4 }


Relapse (9PM, A&E;)
Starring: Four sobriety coaches and their clients
The Premise: "Relapse follows Gwen Casella, Doug Caine, Patty Powers, and Seth Jaffe, four of the country's leading sober coaches as they work to save the lives of addicts who have hit rock bottom."
Excite-o-Meter Says: 3. What's with the fascination with watching druggies and alcoholics struggle with addiction? Isn't this the same stuff we tried to avoid watching during boring awareness presentations in high school?


{ TUESDAY, APRIL 5 }


Pregnant in Heels (10PM, BRAVO)
Starring: Pregnancy fashion guru Rosie Pope
The Premise: "Pregnant in Heels is a docu-drama that follows maternity concierge, fashion designer, and pregnancy guru Rosie Pope as she guides expecting mothers through the joys and perils of preparing to have a baby. Rosie owns a high-fashion maternity clothing boutique on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and runs MomPrep, the premier training academy for mothers-to-be. With the help of her assistants, Hannah and LT, Rosie runs the store, designs the clothing, and takes on clients on a case-by-case basis to help them with all their bizarre baby needs."
Excite-o-Meter Says: Zero. Despite our bulging belly, we're not pregnant. But even if we were pregnant, would we hire someone to dress us? No way. And would we ever watch a show about someone who dresses pregnant people? No way x 1000.


{ WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6 }


Breaking In (9:30PM, FOX)
Starring: Bret Harrison, Christian Slater, Alphonso McAuley, Trevor Moore, and Michael Rosenbaum
The Premise: "Breaking In is an offbeat half-hour workplace comedy about a high-tech security firm that takes extreme—and often questionable—measures to sell their protection services."
Excite-o-Meter Says: 8. Capers, computers, and comedy! A solid cast and the potential for wacky hijinks has us looking forward to this one. Then again, it's in the same time slot as another well-cast comedy than didn't cut it: Running Wilde. We're hoping that one was an anomaly.



Workaholics (10:30PM, COMEDY CENTRAL)
Starring: Blake Anderson, Anders Holm, and Adam Devine
The Premise: "Workaholics is a scripted series that follows three friends fresh out of college who live and work together as telemarketers. Dress codes, deadlines, and waking up before noon aren't things these guys are used to. The crew spends their days scheming together to avoid doing any real work and their nights looking for good times."
Excite-o-Meter Says: 3. We've seen the opener, and it's half an hour of frat-boy put-downs, beer-chugging, and pot-smoking. Fun to do, boring to watch.


{ THURSDAY, APRIL 7 }


Gigolos (11PM, SHOWTIME)
Starring: Male escorts in Las Vegas
The Premise: This docudrama follows male escorts in Sin City as they service (we presume) Janes and Johns.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 8. Now this is how you do a docudrama! We've seen the ladies do it in Atlantic City Hookers and other programs, but what about the fellas? Our morbid and perverse curiosity has us looking forward to this.


{ SUNDAY, APRIL 10 }


Human Planet (8PM, DISCOVERY)
Starring: Us
The Premise: "From oceans to jungles to deserts, the new six part series Human Planet is a majestic portrait of people's incredible ability to survive and thrive in our planet's most extreme environments."
Excite-o-Meter Says: 9. Planet Earth is still the benchmark for gorgeous and entertaining nature programs, thanks to its incredible production values and its crew's dedication to getting the shot. This will be no different.



Khloe and Lamar (10PM, E!)
Starring: Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom
The Premise: Cameras follow celebrity couple Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom as they act like Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom.
Excite-o-Meter Says: Can we go negative? No? Fine, Zero.



{ MONDAY, APRIL 11 }


Law & Order: Los Angeles (9PM, NBC)
Starring: Alfred Molina, Terrence Howard, and Corey Stoll
The Premise: "The newest addition to the Law & Order brand, Law & Order: Los Angeles fuses classic ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling with the distinctive backdrop of LA, delving into the unique attitudes, cultures, and crimes of the West Coast."
Excite-o-Meter Says: 4. Technically this is a re-launch; the show, which debuted in the fall, has undergone a creative overhaul in an attempt to fix early mistakes. We're moderately curious as to what's changed, but suspect it might be too little, too late.



{ WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13 }


Happy Endings (9:30PM, ABC)
Starring: Zachary Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert, Eliza Coupe, Damon Wayans Jr.
The Premise: "In this modern comedy, a couple's break-up will complicate all of their friends' lives and make everyone question their choices. For years, perfect couple Dave and Alex drew their friends in and held them together. Now that they've split, does this group have the stuff to stay together? Or do Max, Brad, Jane, and Penny have to choose sides?"
Excite-o-Meter Says: 4. Another rom-com relationship show that exists to plug in some scheduling holes? Sigh.



{ THURSDAY, APRIL 14 }


The Paul Reiser Show (8:30PM, NBC)
Starring: Paul Reiser!
The Premise: Loosely based on Reiser's life, this sitcom follows an out-of-work TV actor as he searches for his next step in life with the help of new friends.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 2. What, we're supposed to get excited for Paul Reiser?


{ SUNDAY, APRIL 17 }


Game of Thrones (9PM, HBO)
Starring: Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Lena Headey
The Premise: Based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy novel series, The Song of Fire and Ice, this drama tells the story of a power struggle between the Seven Kingdoms of a land called Westeros from various points of view.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 10. The books are incredible, and HBO appears to be giving the show the respect it deserves.


{ TUESDAY, APRIL 26 }


The Voice (9PM, NBC)
Starring: Carson Daly, Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton
The Premise: "The Voice is a vocal competition series hosted by Carson Daly and featuring four musician coaches who will coach only the most talented vocalists. The show's innovative format features three stages of competition: The first begins with the blind audition, then the competition enters into a battle phase, and finally, the live performance. During the blind auditions, the decisions from the coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks. The coaches hear the contestants perform, but they don't get to see them—thanks to rotating chairs."
Excite-o-Meter Says: 4. The premise of this show is still a bit baffling: So the judges don't watch the contestants sing, but later they do? Does that one gimmick make The Voice that much different from American Idol? Will we ever want another American Idol, ever?


{ NOTABLE RETURNING SHOWS }


Secret Diary of a Call Girl (APRIL 7, 10:30PM, SHOWTIME)
Starring: Billie Piper, Iddo Goldberg
The Premise: Based on the blog and books of a working call girl in London, this dramedy follows Belle de Jour, an escort who keeps her occupation a secret from her friends and family. This will be the show's fourth and final season


Friday Night Lights (APRIL 15, 8PM, NBC)
Starring: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden, Michael B. Jordan, Matt Lauria
The Premise: Now that it's finished airing on DirecTV, the fifth and final season of this critically acclaimed drama set in a high-school-football-obsessed Texas town is finally making its network debut.



Treme (APRIL 24, 10PM, HBO)
Starring: Wendell Pierce, Khandi Alexander, Clarke Peters, Steve Zahn, and Melissa Leo
The Premise: From the creator of The Wire, this drama details about musicians in post-Katrina New Orleans returns for Season 2.


Did anything here catch your eye? Which new shows will you be watching this month?



Follow/heckle TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (135)
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Apr 24, 2011
I wish I had heard about Chaos 3 weeks ago. i just watched all 3 episodes online. Its a fun show. Unfortunately, I think it has already been canceled. I may get Starz in order to watch Camelot, as we planned to get it this summer anyway for Torchwood - still trying to decide. we already like Game of Thrones after one episode. We are also watching Breaking In, but it is not that high on the list. Its in the "okay" category. I might give "The Voice" a go - out of pure curiosity.
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Apr 22, 2011
I really enjoy Camelot.
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Apr 21, 2011
Pff, Breaking In was boring as hell...i didn't laugh once ! Still like Camelot..Love Eva Green. Game of Thones is a must see. I'm a big fan of medieval series/films.
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Apr 21, 2011
So far, Breaking In was underwhelming, Chaos was fun - but may already be cancelled, Camelot and Borgias have been major disappointments (Camelot is just too... teen and Borgias too clean), while the Game of Thrones was an absolute fantastic behemoth. I hear good things about The Killing.
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Apr 18, 2011
Human Planet all the way! So amazing!
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Apr 14, 2011
the Killing doing it for me now. for some reason Can't take Christian Slater as a man, loved him as a teen an younger.
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Apr 12, 2011
I really loved the premiere episodes of the Killing and I liked Camelot ok, I am looking forward to Game of Thrones all the others I will not waste my time. Check out the Killing if any of you havent already done so it is great and well cast too.
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Apr 12, 2011
I have watched the first two episodes of Chaos and I am a fan. I am sure it will get cancelled though. :( I also checked out Breaking In, which I like as well. --

Other shows I plan on giving a shot...

Game of Thrones

Borgias



and the VOICE -only to see if I like it -- and to see dreamy maroon 5 lead ;)
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Apr 11, 2011
Oh and Breaking In wasn't bad!
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Apr 11, 2011
The fact that the Doctor is not on this list and it debuts same day in the UK and USA almost makes this list null and void. That said can't wait for Treme
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Apr 11, 2011
The Killing is amazing, but only in small doses. By the end of the two-hour premiere, I was seriously contemplating ways in which to rid the world of the evil which is humanity. Chaos is okay, but the "hero" is just annoying. Camelot is even worse than Spartacus, which is saying something. The acting is terrible, the plot yawn-worthy, and the acting is TERRIBLE. I think the target audience is junior high school boys lacking parental supervision and I had to turn it off halfway through the first episode in fear of suffering permanent brain damage.
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Apr 11, 2011
I will definitely check out Game of Thrones, and possibly Breaking In, and Camelot. I will watch Human Planet when it comes out on DVD.
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qrb
Apr 10, 2011
trust me on this one look the voice over its great ,i know this because im from holland and here its te biggest succes , its much better then idols in my book.and because the coaches are singers they know what they are talking about not that cowell , who is just plain mean , if you want a real tallent show you dont f@ck with the contestants you judge them on there skills not on there looks, and the voice does this , plus only people with real talent will get to the show , no loosers allowed
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Apr 09, 2011
Honestly I will be watching Game of Thrones, The Killing and The Borgias. None of the new comedies excited me that much which is a shame. NBC looks lackluster as well.
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Apr 08, 2011
The Killing!
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Apr 08, 2011
Breaking In gets a 8 and Camelot a 5 ? Seriously?
Camelot looked like a solid entertaining tv show, while Breaking In seems like an awkward show. It is not bad, but nowhere near Camelot's entertaining value...
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Apr 08, 2011
I'm looking forward to a show that is not on your list yet, but will be shown on BBC america. Doctor Who series 6, april 23rd. It's all a bit timey-wimey ;-)
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Apr 08, 2011
only The Borgias is worth watching
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Apr 07, 2011
"South Park Season 15 Premieres Wed, April 27th at 10! c'mon"

This thread is about NEW shows and how they are rated, with a few old shows starting up again as a footnote. South Park will be mentioned in due time, closer to the date it is to be aired, I would think. Just watched a couple of these new shows... not overly impressed, but they weren't terrible, either.
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Apr 06, 2011
Game of Thrones ,,, and Treme. I loved the first season.
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Apr 05, 2011
i'd like to see christian slater catch a break and get a show that isn't cancelled so early.. maybe breaking in can accomplish this.. happy endings caught my eye, big fan of elisha cuthbert and damon wayans jr was funny on the other guys so that could be a good comedy and of course the bigger ones at the top of the list.
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Apr 04, 2011
The Killing = garbage.

A cool, smart female detective, and jerk male as her replacement. A script so bad, you can just see a 15 year old girl wrote it. Surprised AMC did this garbage. Must be the exact same people who did Rubicon - that would explain it.
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Apr 04, 2011
I liked CHAOS, but in this age of terrorists and fear-mongering, I think it's going to have to walk a very fine line between funny and tasteless. I hate pretty much all reality TV, but most of the scripted shows look pretty promising, especially if you like an element of fantasy. Camelot and Game of Thrones both look promising. Especially GoT, since HBO will be willing to pay the costs needed to make this show really fly. I'm looking forward to Breaking In, but I hope the network gives this show more support than Christian Slater's last two shows received. On the other hand Workaholics looks just awful. I like all of AMC's shows, so I expect nothing less with The Killing. And while I don't usually follow that many sit-coms, I'll watch anything with Elisha Cuthbert in it. She can do both drama and comedy, and she always looks really hot doing it. Definitely one of Canada's sexiest exports! I already love Law & Order LA. But then, my favourite part of that show is Skeet Ulrich, who evidently DIES in the first episode back. After this and Jericho, he must be getting pretty frustrated that the networks don't give him any credit. Still, I'll watch any show in that franchise. If Ulrich is gone, does that mean Teri Polo will be gone too? Of course one of the most exciting shows on the list is Friday Night Lights. I've recommended this show to a dozen people, including my brother, my boss, my girlfriend and my mother, and everybody I know that watches it just LOVES it. It is much more smart and sophisticated than most High School set, or sports oriented shows. It could be a pretty good spring into summer. Especially when you also count Falling Skies and Torchwood: Miracle Day! If only somebody in Hollywood would bring Terriers back from the dead, my DVR would be complete!
More+
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Apr 03, 2011
nothing terribly excting
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Apr 03, 2011
KLOE AND LAMAR!
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Apr 03, 2011
I'm gonna watch The Borgias, but other than that I'm out. I loved Mad About You, but that's not enough to wanna check out Paul's new show.
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Apr 03, 2011
Game of Thrones, Treme, and Human Planet. Everything else ranges from horrible to "meh".
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Apr 03, 2011
The Borgias sounds interesting. If it is made like The Tudors, then it will be worth seeing.
The Killing? With such shows you never know, but at least it sounds interesting.
Cancelling Rubicon was a terrible news
The other shows (not ducumentaries) just sound boring. But again, you never know.
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Apr 03, 2011
i wonder how much license the show will take with daughter lucrezia borgia...many authors favorite fem fatal. with marriges right and left arranged by her father the pope and one child likely by her brother;this should prove to be a wicked ride. not to mention the popes sexual behavior and machevellian politcs.. much fun awaits if told well...
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Apr 03, 2011
if the kiiing is suppose to be smart and attract fewer people i hope it won't get cancelled like ribicon did after one short season with cliffhangers still hanging. i'm still angry at amc for that decision. if they are going to make intellegent dramas they need to prepare for less audience. zombies might attract more people; fine, make the $ there not give us decent stories and then pull the series because it is not making enough $. should know better. so if the killing is going to be a series for smart folk expect less people. most audience members are just above zombie and proud of it. amc has the talent for great stuff,but you have to have a few dull $ makers to bear the burden...
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Apr 03, 2011
If I wanted to watch The Killing, I'll just turn on my DVD player and watch Twin Peaks. Same premise, probably a little less of a supernatural twist and no David Duchovney in drag... I'll will tune into Breaking In though. Assuming American Idol's time slot hogging as* doesn't cut into or preempt it.
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Apr 03, 2011
A bunch of us watched CHAOS last night - and LOVED it! It was exactly what CBS promised - a comedy drama or "dramedy". Too funny and fast paced! Watch the full show online at cbs.com. Can't wait for the next episode! Great cast. Great chemistry. Great writing = great show, kiddies!
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Apr 03, 2011
1) My DVR is already set for The Killing series. I have great hopes for it. 2) Game of Thrones. Really looking forward to it. Thank God I have HBO. 3) FNL I'm currently netflixing FNL. I got hooked onto it late, but what a great show. 4) Treme. Loved Season 1. Have been looking forward to Season 2 quite a while now! 5) The Borgias. I don't have Showtime, and I deeply regret that I won't be able to see this great sounding show until it comes out on DVD. Already have it saved on netflix. I'll be moving it to the top of my massive queue asap. 6)Camelot. Don't have Starz either, but this show looks like the kind right up my alley. I hadn't heard of it until this article, so I netflixed it immediately to alert me when it comes out on DVD. Lots of good TV dramas lately.
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Apr 02, 2011
FNL but i'll have probably watched the dvd before it premiersa on NBC.
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Apr 02, 2011
Only the killing sees good
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Apr 02, 2011
"Breaking In" seems to be the best looking show on the list. Personally I don't share the excitement over the Game Of Thrones cause it just seems like more politics than entertainment...
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Apr 02, 2011
Breaking In looks great and I love the cast, so I hope that I will be able to watch it!
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Apr 02, 2011
the borgais and game of thrones look absolutely brilliant. breaking in and camelot look very good, but im not as excited for them. everything else looks like crap.
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Apr 02, 2011
The only one that sounds interesting is "Game of Thrones"...
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Apr 02, 2011
Doctor Who is the best, but game of thrones will rock
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Apr 02, 2011
The paul reiser show is gonna be horrible it's a complete ripoff of curb your enthusiasm and being on nbc i see no reason to believe it will be any good. I agree with the writer why should i get excited about paul reiser? Since mad about you ended 12 years ago what has he done besides a few cameos.
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Apr 02, 2011
Game of Thrones, The Borgias and Treme.
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Apr 01, 2011
Looks like I better get my books out and get back to reading.... (*yawn*)
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Apr 01, 2011
Camelot and Game of Thrones.
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Apr 01, 2011
I think you have been overly sceptical about Camelot. It has great actors like Eva Green, Claire Forlani, Joseph Fiennes, Tamsin Egerton and so on. While it is OK if the show is not your cup of tea, I still don't think giving it a 5 is fair on this list of shows. The first episode on-line was a just a set-up for the story and will surely crank up the pace in the future. But you're right about the fact that it will have to compete with Game of Thrones which apparently is going to be very popular. I'll compromise and watch them both.
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Apr 01, 2011
wow law and order la is coming back? just goes to show how dumb some channels are
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Apr 01, 2011
might c Breaking
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Apr 01, 2011
Game of Thrones, The Borgias, The Killing, and Breaking In. I'm hoping Chaos is one of those "under-rated" shows :) (looked good from the trailers but the reviews don't seem to be good...)
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Apr 01, 2011
Game of Thrones, Breaking In, The Borgias and maybe Camelot , The Killing.
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Apr 01, 2011
Game of Thrones and Camelot are the only 2 I can see worth watching.. AND OMG! Another cop/law/investigation show.. What a surprise! And more reality TV! Oh.. YAY! Notice the sarcasm.. Hopefully those 2 shows won't dissapoint. Just remember to keep it real! Have the actors actually ACT towards the situation of which they are placed! And don't let it's impact be lost by the next episode! I mean.. For example say the main character witnesses something horric or is forced to take questionable action.. Let its effect be shown upon him! Whether it is sadness, rage, actually act! I mean if your in the middle of a fight your not gunna crack jokes about it.. Thus keep it real! Lets have us some good old action alongside a great story! We shall see! And w/e you do.. Don't cancel on a cliffhanger out of the blue like fox and syfy! *rage*
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