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    The Good Wife

    The Good Wife

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    CBS (Returning September 21, 2014)
    The Good Wife is a female-driven drama about a politician's wife who pursues her own career as a defense attorney after her husband is sent to jail on charges of political corruption. Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) will not only have to deal with her career but also with keeping her family together by providing a stable home for her two children. The Good Wife returns for a 5th season on September 29, 2013.moreless
  • 2
    Vikings

    Vikings

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    The History Channel
    The History Channel's scripted drama chronicling the adventures of Viking warrior (and supposed descendent of Odin), Ragnar Lothbrok. Curious as to what lies to the West, Ragnar devises a plan to rebel against the long tradition of raiding East. Originally intended as a mini-series, Vikings was renewed for a second season.moreless
  • 3
    The Americans

    The Americans

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    FX
    The Americans follows two KGB agents posing as Americans in the suburbs of Washington D.C. The series stars Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, and Noah Emmerich.
  • 4
    Suits

    Suits

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    USA
    Suits is a legal drama from USA Network starring Patrick J. Adams and Gabriel Macht. Suits follows college drop-out Mike Ross, who accidentally lands a job with one of New York's best legal closers, Harvey Specter. They soon become a winning team with Mike's raw talent and photographic memory, and Mike soon reminds Harvey of why he went into the field of law in the first place.moreless
  • 5
    The Wire

    The Wire

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    HBO (ended 2008)
    In chronicling a multi-generational family business dealing illegal drugs and the efforts of the Baltimore police to curb their trade, this series draws parallels between these organizations and the men and women on either side of the battle.

    The words of Gary W. Potter, Professor of Criminal Justice and Police Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, in writing about the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s, can also be used to illuminate some of the central premises of the show:

    "There is precious little difference between those people who society designates as respectable and law abiding and those people society castigates as hoodlums and thugs. The world of corporate finance and corporate capital is as criminogenic and probably more criminogenic than any poverty-wracked slum neighborhood. The distinctions drawn between business, politics, and organized crime are at best artificial and in reality irrelevant. Rather than being dysfunctions, corporate crime, white-collar crime, organized crime, and political corruption are mainstays of American political-economic life."

    Tim Goodman, the television critic for The San Francisco Chronicle, summed the show up perfectly when he wrote: "This show is precisely the reason you pay for HBO."

    In New York's Newsday, Diane Werts says: "Most TV crime series aspire to John Grisham's level. 'The Wire' aspires to Dostoevsky's."

    Season Themes

    Season One centers around a family of drug dealers and the innerworkings of their empire. It also follows the detectives who are trying to catch the high members of the empire. Season Two steps away from the drug trade (while still mentioning characters from the previous season) to a case of dead prostitutes which turns into a look at the corruption surrounding the Port. Season Three investigates politics and finishes the main stories that were left open in season one. Season Four focuses on four middle school students and their journeys through the public school system and continues to address the politics of an inner-city and the issues of an election. Season Five is rumored to be about the media's role in Baltimore. Season Five will be the show's final season.

    Theme Music

    In the Season One opening credits, the Blind Boys of Alabama did Tom Waits's "Way Down in the Hole". The Season Two opening credits feature Waits's version of the song. According to creator David Simon, "It was our way of saying: This is the same show (song) but this year, the tale itself (singer, tonality) will be different." The Neville Brothers's version of the song opens Season Three. The theme which plays over the end credits was composed by the show's music supervisor, Blake Leyh.

    International Airings

    Australia -- Monday at 12:00 p.m. on Ch.9. Currently airing Season 3. New Zealand -- Wednesday at 11:40 p.m. on TV2, beginning December 15, 2004.

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  • 6
    Grimm

    Grimm

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    NBC (Returning Thanks for the Memories, premiering October 24, 2014)
    A supernatural crime drama involving a police detective (played by David Giuntoli) who can see the dual nature of creatures among us hiding in human form. As the descendant of the Grimms, he can see their inner natures. He also has the responsibility of being judge, jury, and sometimes executioner for crimes among these "others" for which there are no human laws that apply.moreless
  • 7
    Glee

    Glee

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    FOX
    Glee is a musical comedy that depicts Will Schuester's (Matthew Morrison) efforts to save McKinley High's Glee Club from cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). Glee's musical numbers, underdog characters, and rousing soundtracks have all helped make Glee a runaway pop-culture hit. It is created by Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck) and is a Golden Globe-winning Fox musical comedy.moreless
  • 8
    Hannibal

    Hannibal

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    NBC
    In this new drama from Bryan Fuller, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) comes to life. The characters are based on those from Thomas Harris' novels. Gifted criminal profile Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) has a unique way of thinking and can empathize with anyone, making it easy for him to figure out how a killer thinks. Needing the help of an expert when a twisted killer becomes too complicated for Will, he joins up with Dr. Lecter, one of the top psychiatrists in the country. Will and Hannibal (only the audience knows he's a serial killer) develop a talented partnership and seem unstoppable when it comes to catching criminals. Other characters include Dr. Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), head of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. His job is to catch the most heinous serial killers and Will is his most valuable tool. Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas), a former psychology professor, is an FBI consultant and Will's co-worker. Dr. Lecter was her mentor and she disagrees with him when it comes to his unconventional treatments. Members of the Behavioral Science Unit include Beverly Katz (Hettienne Park) who specializes in fibers. She always treats Will like everyone else and not someone special, something he appreciates. Jimmy Price (Scott Thompson) is a master of forensics and technology. Brian Zeller (Aaron Abrams) works with Katz and uses his medical degree to determine cause of death. He is arrogant and competitive which makes him at odd with Will. Outside the group is tabloid blogger Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) who is out to use Will and the FBI for her next sensational expose. Bryan Fuller is a writer and executive producer along with Martha De Laurentiis, Sara Colleton, Jesse Alexander and Katie O'Connell. David Slade is the director and executive producer for the series pilot. For the first season of Hannibal , the episodes were titled after French meal courses. In season two, the episode titles refer to Japanese cuisine. According to Bryan Fuller, these have a particular significance to Hannibal's own history. In season one, NBC pulled Oeuf (at the request of Bryan Fuller) and renumbered its episodes, airing only 12 of the 13 episodes produced. The episode became available for viewing on Amazon and iTunes.moreless
  • 9
    Falling Skies

    Falling Skies

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    TNT
    Written and produced by Robert Rodat and Steven Spielberg, this show takes place after an alien race has wiped out the majority of the human population. A group of soldiers band together to try to stand up against the alien force.moreless
  • 10
    Farscape

    Farscape

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    Syfy (ended 2004)
    Five years ago, astronaut John Crichton attempted to use the Earth's atmosphere to propel his ship, Farscape 1, at great speeds across the solar system. He went much further though and was sucked down a wormhole to a distant part of the galaxy and into the middle of a battle. He was rescued by a group of escaping prisoners and taken aboard their ship, a living ship. As the years went by, Crichton has made enemies, powerful and dangerous enemies. On his journey to find a way back home, he freed other captives who became part of the crew on Moya.moreless
  • 11
    Teen Wolf

    Teen Wolf

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    MTV - Music Television
    MTV's reboot of the classic 1980s cult movie Teen Wolf. Scott is a typical high school student until one night he is bitten by a strange animal while walking in the woods. His best friend tries to help him understand the changes he's going through as he becomes a werewolf.moreless
  • 12
    True Blood

    True Blood

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    HBO (ended 2014)
    Vampires not only exist, but the entire world knows about them. Since a Japanese scientist's invention of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. And while humans have been safely removed from the menu, many people remain apprehensive about vampires living amongst them in Louisiana. In the southern town of Bon Temps, a local barmaid named Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) understands what it's like to be an outcast. Cursed with the ability to listen in on people's thoughts, she's also open-minded about the integration of vampires. She is especially intrigued by Bill Compton(Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year-old living up the road. But as Sookie is drawn into a series of mysteries surrounding Bill's arrival in Bon Temps, that tolerance will be put to the test. Other town residents include Sookie's best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley), her slow-witted older brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and her shape-shifting boss Sam (Sam Trammell). Six Feet Under's creator Alan Ball created this sexy horror show based on the novels by Charlaine Harris.moreless
  • 13
    Orphan Black

    Orphan Black

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    BBC America
    Sarah, a grifter, witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks just like her. She picks up the woman's handbag and runs. Instead of solving the mystery of how they can look the same, she is confronted with more mysteries. Taking on the woman's identity she discovers they are clones and that there are more of them out there, living in a wide range of circumstances. As Sarah tries to find out what is going on and who is responsible for it, someone starts picking them off one by one. In a race to find the reason for it all before the killer can get to her, Sarah doesn't know who to trust. The episode titles for season one are taken from Charles Darwin's evolutionary text "On The Origin of Species" (published November 24, 1859) and for season two, the episode titles are quotes from the works of Sir Francis Bacon.moreless
  • 14
    Sons of Anarchy

    Sons of Anarchy

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    FX
    From Kurt Sutter, writer/producer of The Shield, comes Sons of Anarchy, a dark drama set in Charming, a sheltered community watched over by a renegade motorcycle club intent on protecting the town from the newcomers that threaten it. Jackson "Jax" Teller is one member of the brotherhood, who finds his own loyalty to the group tested when he experiences its increasing lawlessness and notoriety, while at the same time adjusting to life as a father. But confusing matters are Jax's mother and stepfather, two ruthless individuals who happen to be the masterminds behind the club. Sons of Anarchy is broadcast on FX, and produced by FX Productions, Art Linson Productions and Fox 21. The series has been picked up for a full 13-episode first season. As of October 6th, 2008 this show was renewed for a second season, consisting of 13 episodes.moreless
  • 15
    24

    24

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    FOX
    With the finale of 8th season, 24 is still one of the most innovative, addictive and acclaimed dramas on television. In its first seven seasons, the suspenseful series was nominated for a total of 58 Emmy awards, winning for Outstanding Drama Series (2006) and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for star Kiefer Sutherland (2006). Season 6 garnered a sixth consecutive Emmy nomination for Sutherland and second consecutive nomination for supporting actor Jean Smart.moreless
  • 16
    Parenthood

    Parenthood

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    NBC (Returning September 25th, 2014)
    Based on the 1989 film of the same name, 'Parenthood' is a 45-minute long comedy-drama produced by Jason Katims, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer. The show depicts the modern challenges of raising a family in this post-technological world, addressing issues that affect both children and parents. The Braverman "clan" depicts three generations with patriarch Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and matriarch Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) adjusting to their empty nest as their four adult children form their own families. Adam (Peter Krause) is the oldest son and married to Kristina (Monica Potter) with two children (a third arrives soon after). Sarah (Lauren Graham) is the eldest daughter and has two children with an ex-husband who periodically appears. Crosby (Dax Shepard) is the youngest son and learns he has a son with Jasmine (Joy Bryant). Finally, Julia (Erika Christensen) is the youngest child and has two children with her husband Joel (Sam Jaeger). The show has captivated audience with a deeply connected and personable cast and emotionally-driven, realistic storylines touching on all aspects of family life. The series is set in Berkeley, California and is filmed in Southern California. The show has 10 wins and 18 nominations. In 2013, Monica Potter won a Best Supporting Actress in a Drama award from the Critics Choice TV Awards. The show has also been nominated for a Golden Globe and for a Primetime Emmy.moreless
  • 17
    Veronica Mars

    Veronica Mars

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    UPN (ended 2007)
    In the wealthy, seaside community of Neptune, California, the rich and powerful make the rules. Unfortunately for them, there's Veronica Mars, a smart, fearless 17-year-old apprentice private investigator dedicated to solving the town's toughest mysteries. Veronica used to be one of the popular girls, but it all came crumbling down around her after her best friend, Lilly, was murdered, and her then-sheriff father, Keith, was removed from office for naming Lilly's rich father as the lead suspect. During the day, Veronica must negotiate high school like any average teenage girl. But at night, she helps with her father's struggling, new private investigator business--and what she finds may tear the town of Neptune apart at the seams.moreless
  • 18
    Californication

    Californication

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    Showtime (ended 2014)
    David Duchovny is the lead in this comedy about a book writer always running into trouble with sex, drugs and women, while struggling to maintain a relationship with his ex-girlfriend and trying to raise his daughter in a less than normal environment for a teenager.moreless
  • 19
    Downton Abbey

    Downton Abbey

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    ITV
    Downton Abbey is an PBS drama set in 1912 about the Crawley household. It is written by Julian Fellowes and stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Elizabeth McGovern.
  • 20
    Justified

    Justified

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    FX
    U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is a modern day 19th century-style lawman, who enforces his brand of justice to put a target on his back with criminals and puts him at odds with his bosses in the Marshal service. As a result, he gets reassigned to the U.S. District covering the town where he grew up.moreless
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