Our pick of the best shows on Aussie screens this week.
Final. In the last episode for 2010 veteran comedian Carol Burnett guest stars as Sue Sylvester's (Jane Lynch) mum -- inspired casting! It should tell us more about why Sue is the tyrant she is. Both will also duet on "Ohio" from the 1950's Broadway musical Wonderful Town. Meanwhile Kurt (Chris Colfer) makes an important decision after getting pushed to breaking point and Rachel (Lea Michele) and Finn (Cory Monteith) take a big step.
Airs: 7:30pm Monday on TEN
Premiere. Raw, unforgiving drama starring Benjamin McKenzie (The OC) as a rookie LA cop who is part of a police gang unit in Los Angeles. Capturing a real sense of street crime, this makes considerable use of hand-held cameras in the same way as Hill Street Blues and The Wire. Combining cops, criminals, victims of white, African-American and Latino backgrounds, this has a gritty, fly-on-the-wall feel to its storytelling. Preceded by Boston crime drama Rizzoli and Isles at 9:30pm.
Airs: 10:30pm Monday on GEM
Oprah's Aussie Countdown
Ahead of her highly anticipated visit to Australia, Oprah Winfrey gets in the mood with this episode featuring Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and a cross to Carrie Bickmore with dedicated Aussie fans. Apparently Bickmore was personally invited by the Big O to film two segments. Oprah fans will have another chance to win tickets to the Sydney Opera -->House--> shows by tuning in to 7pm Project on Tuesday.
Airs: 7:30pm Tuesday on TEN
New series. This show has always looked so affluent that a Euro-trip was on the cards at some point. Serena (Blake Lively) and Blair (Leighton Meester) are shopping 'til they drop in Paris. Still getting over -->Chuck--> (Ed Westwick), Blair discovers her very own handsome Prince -- or does she? Back in New York, there are shocks all round as word of new dad Dan (Penn Badgley) becomes impossible to keep hush-hush.
Airs: 8:30pm Tuesday on FOX8
Dating in the Dark Australia
Premiere. Former Miss Australia Laura Dundovic hosts the Aussie version of this show that takes the term "blind date" to new levels. Three guys and three girls meet in a pitch-black room and become familiar with one another before they can judge a book by its cover. One guy keeps saying he's not a "player", another carries a Bible, and one girl has a pet python. This is silly fun -- nothing more, nothing less -- and one that may hit the spot if you're missing Big Brother.
Airs: 7:30pm Wednesday on FOX8
Out of summer's slim pickings, this is one of the brighter new additions. This week Jimmy (Lucas Neff) teaches Hope to crawl but that inevitably leads to a headache for the family when she gets into a pickle. Rescuing baby (one of many we're likely to see) becomes a job for the most unlikely of heroes.
Airs: 8pm Wednesday on TEN
Better With You
Premiere. A traditional sitcom featuring Joanna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan as two sisters, one of whom has been dating her guy for nine years and another who is marrying a guy she has known for seven weeks. Then there are the parents who have been married for 35 years and insult each other relentlessly. With its laugh track this feels a little forced, but it gets better towards the end of the episode and it does have skilled director James Burrows (Cheers, Frasier, Will and Grace) on board.
Airs: 8pm Wednesday on Nine
The Amazing Race
Things are getting close now. Of the four remaining teams there are two female couples -- could this be the first all-female win in the show's history? Hopefully! We begin in Bangladesh with Jill and Thomas in the lead and the teams are headed to Hong Kong. With the finish line almost in sight, and especially after teams were U-Turned, expect the bitch factor to be heating up.
Airs: 7:30pm Thursday on Seven
-->Dexter--> (Michael C. Hall) begins to refocus on that which he knows best -- slicin' and dicin'. His fascination with a pool of blood spattered in a van will lead him to his next target. Meanwhile the kids aren't coping and blame Dex for their new circumstances. And Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) and Quinn (Desmond Harrington) are trying to pretend they didn't do it last week. Well one of them is, anyway.
Airs: 8:30pm Thursday on Showcase
Bed of Roses
New series. Season three of ABC's rural series sees Louisa (Kerry Armstrong) desperate for a front page story for the local newspaper, the Rainbow Echo, while daughter Holly (Hanna Mangan-Lawrence) is about to find out if she has been accepted into university. The drama is slight, the comedy even lighter and there aren't really enough characters to convince us this is a functional country town. Hope this one improves.
Airs: 7:30pm Saturday on ABC1
Premiere. Australia's own Matt Passmore makes a passing Chicago detective who relocates to Florida in this new cable series. Unlike the thoughtful Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) in The Mentalist, he's a talkative, wisecracking sleuth who has to solve the mystery of a headless body found floating in a swamp. The background provides a colourful setting for this procedural crime which has netted good reviews for Passmore, and we can see why.
Airs: 8:30pm Sunday on W
Kelli Giddish leads a team of US Marshals in Texas who are heavily influenced by the team from Criminal Minds. There are familiar faces with Desperate Housewives' Jesse Metcalfe and Prison Break's Amaury Nolasco. This week a tattooed thug (Nip/Tuck's Robert LaSardo) is killing men in order to repossess their cars. But why? Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
Airs: 9:30pm Sunday on Nine