What to Watch: July 26 - August 1

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TV.com's pick of the best TV shows on Aussie screens this week.

Hot in Cleveland
Premiere. Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Valerie Bertinelli make a fun trio playing three LA women whose flight makes an unexpected landing in Cleveland where they find the men are men and it gets their attention. When they decide to stay they rent a home with a caretaker played by Betty White who has plenty of dry advice for them. Some good laughs here from a traditional sitcom.

Airs: 8pm Monday on Nine

Criminal Minds
If you remember Gabrielle Carteris as Andrea in Beverly Hills 90210, take a look at her now. She plays a mother who is abducted by a crazed truck driver, who has been killing women he finds at truck stops. Watch for the scene where the team work out an awful lot of facts just by presuming a lot of facts and finishing each others' sentences. Very cluey bunch.

Airs: 8:30pm Monday on Seven

New series. Season four will be the final year for the current cast before they are replaced by producers. Thomas (Merveille Lukeba) experiences a life-changing event, causing him to question everything -- his faith, his family and even his choice of friends. Expect more partying, life lessons, passion and a whole lot of energy.

Airs: 10pm Monday on SBS ONE

Top Gear
New series. Not only is this a brand new episode, but it is the full, extended version and available in HD. James May drives a Toyota Hilux up an active volcano in Iceland, The Stig takes to the test track in the new Bentley Continental Supersports and Jeremy Clarkson drives a three-wheeled Reliant Robin.

Airs: 7:30pm Tuesday on Nine

Packed to the Rafters
Kristian Schmid returns as Jake's (James Stewart) brother who suffers from cerebral palsy, and isn't happy to discover changes looming for his brother and mother. Schmid gives a strong performance as Alex, and manages to upstage the usual antics of the family Rafter. Rachel (Jessica Marais) will find herself torn between her own dreams and Jake's dedication to his brother. And listen up for the quick True Blood reference.

Airs: 8:30pm Tuesday on Seven

Farmer Wants a Wife (Australia)
New series. Five blokes and one woman, meet six singles in yet another new season of Nine's romantic reality series. Once again this is so handsomely shot (look for the wheat field shot that mimics Gladiator) that it is easily distracting. One poor farmer can't seem to string a sentence together with his dates. The twist this year is that three singles will immediately be whisked off to a stay on the farms, but no idea where they are located. Will they toss aside their hesitations in the pursuit of happiness? You bet.

Airs: 7:30pm Wednesday on Nine

The Simpsons
Returning series. It's been far too long since we've had new episodes so we're about to be spoiled by two. The first sees Homer win the lottery (hasn't he tried that before?) and includes an appearance by Coldplay. The second sees Homer and Marge competing in a Curling event for the Winter Olympics -- yes, that's how old this is.

Airs: 7:30pm Wednesday on TEN

Gruen Nation
Premiere. The Gruen Transfer pauses until August 25 while the team take a closer look at the marketing and campaigns used in the Federal Election. Wil Anderson, Todd Sampson and Russel Howcroft will be joined by guest panellists, political insiders and commentators. Let's begin with "Moving Forward" please?

Airs: 9pm Wednesday on ABC1

Yes We Canberra!
Premiere. Be afraid, Chas, Craig, Julian, Andrew and Chris are back to wreak havoc on the Federal Election and purporting to be a "warm up team" for the Lateline "audience" (but do we really believe them?). If they are as cheeky as we have come to expect them to be, this team will be hijacking the headlines from Julia and Tony. Bring it on.

Airs: 9:45pm Wednesday on ABC1

New series. -->Chuck--> Bartowski returns as a regular guy with Intersect 2.0 embedded in his brain. This time around, he not only knows government secrets, but he also is well equipped with deadly fight skills. But his emotions could easily get the better of him. And why is Sarah so cold to him?

Airs: 7:30pm Thursday on FOX8

This episode starts off a bit clumsily but improves once the Tactical Response Team is forced to apprehend a lone sniper who is taking out people at random on the streets. But the taste of adrenalin will only remind Stella (Nicole da Silva) of what she is missing. TEN's drama excites us more than Rescue: Special Ops and City Homicide right now. It's a buoyant time for Aussie dramas.

Airs: 8:30pm Thursday on TEN

Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation
Returning series. Shaun Micallef returns to unleash more mayhem on our Sunday nights, and it looks like the production has kicked things up a notch (have you seen that endgame rat race in the promos?). Guests include William McInnes, Jimeoin and Ricki-Lee. Although the nation preferred it on a Tuesday rather than Sunday, it's just good to have Amanda, Charlie and Josh back together.

Airs: 7:30pm Sunday on TEN

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