• 41
    Lie to Me

    Lie to Me

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    FOX (ended 2011)
    Inspired by a real-life behavioral scientist, this FOX drama tells the tale of a deception expert who helps uncover the truth for the FBI, local police, law firms, corporations, and individuals. Dr. Cal Lightman and his team are effectively human polygraph machines, and no truth can be concealed from them. The Lightman Group is headed by Dr. Cal Lightman and his partner Dr. Gillian Foster who is a gifted psychologist. She brings balance to the partnership by thinking about the overall picture while Lightman focuses on the details. Together they make an invincible team with insight into human behavior. Eli Loker is the lead researcher, who believes in radical honesty. He often gets in trouble for saying what he thinks. Ria Torres is one of the few "naturals" in the field of deception detection. She has an untapped ability to read people that makes her a force to be reckoned with the right training. Created by Sam Baum, Lie to Me is executive-produced by Baum, Brian Grazer, David Nevins and Steve Maeda. The series is produced by Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox Television.moreless
  • 42
    Angel

    Angel

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    The WB (ended 2004)
    "If you need help, then look no further. Angel Investigations is the best. Our rats are low..." "Rates!" "It says 'rats.' Our rates are low, but our standards are high. When the chips are down, and you're at the end of your rope you need someone that you can count on. And that's what you'll find here -- someone who will go all the way, no matter what. So don't lose hope. Come on over to our offices and you'll see that there's still heroes in this world." For over two centuries, Angelus was one of the most vicious vampires ever to walk the earth. Then he killed the wrong girl, and her grieving Gypsy family cursed him with the return of his soul, causing him to suffer remorse for all the hundreds of innocents that he had killed through the years. Now he goes by the name Angel, and he fights to protect the helpless from those who would prey upon them as he once did himself. After three years of living in Sunnydale, fighting alongside his girlfriend Buffy, Angel has moved to Los Angeles to continue the good fight. Aided by a few old friends and some new ones, Angel must take on vampires, demons, lawyers, and all of the other dark forces that Los Angeles has to offer.moreless
  • 43
    Justified

    Justified

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    FX (ended 2015)
    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
  • 44
    The Newsroom

    The Newsroom

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    HBO (ended 2014)
    The Newsroom is the tale of a fictional cable news program with a lofty goal: bring back integrity and journalism to the news. The team takes on a Don Quixote-like belief in the ideals of a bygone era where journalism was facts, not opinion. As their quest plays out against the reality of ratings and public opinion, their successes and failures are magnified. Behind this aspiration is the reality of a work place where romances, betrayals, competitions, and corporate expectations add to already stressful jobs.

    Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) is a complacent news anchor who is shocked back to life by a public breakdown and the arrival of his ex-love MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), one of the best executive producers in the business. She is hired by Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston), president of the news division at ACN, who cheers on the transformation he orchestrated. Will is supported by his former EP Don Keefer (Thomas Sadoski) who jumped ship for the 10 pm show; Jim Harper (John Gallagher, Jr.), the new senior producer who came with MacKenzie from a war zone; Maggie Jordan (Alison Pill), a newbie associate producer whose personal life affects her work; Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn), a beautiful and brilliant economics expert who works to become an anchor; and Neal Sampat (Dev Patel), whose coverage of the London subway bombings landed him a job maintaining Will's social media presence but who longs to break a big story.

    Created by Oscar- and Emmy-winning writer Aaron Sorkin. Aaron Poul, Scott Rudin and Aaron Sorkin serve as executive producers for this HBO Entertainment production.


    Program Notes:
    Season one's opening titles used a somewhat majestic theme by Thomas Newman, black-and-white pictures of journalism greats including Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, and clips from season one's first few episodes to identify the regular cast. Each episode focused on an 18-month-old real major news story. Ten episodes were ordered.

    Season two's titles were overhauled during the break. A modified theme by Newman began with a syncopated piano that merged into part of the old theme with orchestral backup that continued the jazz-influenced remix. The pictures of journalists and cast clips were replaced with shots of New York, work at the studio and clips of disasters. The episodes continued with past news stories, but they were in the background. The overarching storyline was a broadcast where the story turned out to be false, and the ramifications thereof. Nine episodes were ordered.

    Season three's titles used season two's title sequence. The episodes continued the 18-month delay of real news stories against two overarching storylines; a whistle blower story that attracts the attention of the feds, and how – after Genoa – can ACN win back the trust of its viewers. Six episodes were ordered.

    On January 13, 2014, HBO announced the truncated season three order and that it was the final season. This was a relatively long delay, as HBO announced the second season during season one. Sorkin's scheduling conflicts were blamed for the delay as his film career interfered with his television responsibilities. In this case, the script for the feature Jobs had to be completed before Sorkin could return to the show.

    Broadcast History (All times E/P):
    Season 3 – Sunday, 9:00 pm
    Seasons 1-2 – Sunday, 10:00 pm

    Awards:
    2015 Emmy Awards (67th)
    Nominated – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Jeff Daniels)

    2014 Emmy Awards (66th)
    Nominated – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Jeff Daniels)
    Nominated – Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Jane Fonda)

    2013 Emmy Awards (65th)
    Won – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Jeff Daniels)
    Nominated – Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Jane Fonda)
    Nominated – Outstanding Main Title Design

    2013 Golden Globes
    Nominated – Best Television Series – Drama
    Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama (Jeff Daniels)moreless
  • 45
    Falling Skies

    Falling Skies

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    TNT (ended 2015)
    Beginning 6 months after a devastating alien invasion has reduced humanity to tatters FALLING SKIES follows former history professor Tom Mason and Captain (later Colonel) Dan Weaver as they lead a band of survivors called The 2nd Mass across Massachusetts and parts of the Eastern United States as they face daily struggles and battles with the alien invaders and human foes alike.

    Waging a continuous war of insurrection and maintaining a vigilant search for a permanent safe haven The 2nd Mass experience victory and loss, joy and sadness, hope and desperation but the bonds of family and friendship they share as well as their compassion and dedication may be just what they need to gain ultimate victory against an alien civilization with vastly superior technology, staggering numbers and deplorable methods.

    Exec produced by Steven Spielberg FALLING SKIES returns to TNT in the SUMMER of 2015 for the 5th and final season.

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  • 46
    Melrose Place

    Melrose Place

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    FOX (ended 1999)
    Created by Darren Star and executive produced by Aaron Spelling, this highly successful spin-off of Beverly Hills, 90210 followed the exploits of a group of young adults from various backgrounds residing in a Los Angeles apartment complex. The show ran for 7 seasons, and it's popularity lead to the creation of various other primetime soaps, including it's own spin-off Models Inc. and similar shows including Savannah, Pacific Palisades, etc.moreless
  • 47
    The Killing

    The Killing

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    Netflix (ended 2014)
    AMC's crime drama is based on the popular Danish series called Forbrydelsen. Season one and two follows three different subplots all linked to the single murder of Rosie Larsen. Season 3 picks up a year after the close of the Rosie Larsen case. Sarah Linden is no longer a detective, she has a boyfriend, and lives and works on Vashon Island at the ferries for minimum wage. She is happy and has stopped smoking but her son lives in Chicago with his father and she won't visit him. Ex-partner Stephen Holder has moved on and has a new partner. He's calmer and wears suits now. His diet has improved, he's dating an assistant district attorney and he's studying for the sergeant’s exam. He starts out looking for a runaway girl but discovers a grisly string of murders. His case leads to one of Linden's previous murder investigations - the one that drove her into the hospital - and, in turn, draws Linden back into the detective game. The first three seasons of The Killing aired on AMC on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. Soon after the end of season three, it was announced that Nextflix ordered a six episode fourth season to air starting August 1, 2014.moreless
  • 48
    Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

    Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

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    CBS (ended 1998)
    Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman was a show that focused on Dr. Mike, a woman doctor in a time when that was unheard of. It started with her journey to Colorado Springs to be the town's physician after her father's death in 1868. The show focused around the town that she loved, treated and it also focused on the three children, Matthew (Chad Allen), Colleen (Erika Flores, later Jessica Bowman) and Brian Cooper (Shawn Toovey), whom she had to raise after their mother died from a rattle snake bite. In the later years, the show focused on Dr. Mike and Sully (Joe Lando) who got married and had a daughter towards the end of the shows successful run. There have been two movies made for television, and fans are gathering together in an effort that a third Dr. Quinn movie be produced.moreless
  • 49
    Twin Peaks

    Twin Peaks

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    ABC (ended 1991)
    "She's dead. Wrapped in plastic." Date: Friday, February 24, 1989: Homecoming Queen Laura Palmer is found dead, washed up on a riverbank, wrapped in plastic sheeting. FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is called in to investigate the murder of this young woman in the small, Northwestern town of Twin Peaks. What he doesn't know is that in Twin Peaks, no one is innocent.

    Twin Peaks was created by TV veteran Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues) and edgy filmmaker David Lynch, Academy Award nominated director of The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Dr. It aired on ABC from 1990 - 1991. The series, with a few exceptions, followed the interesting convention that one episode equaled one day in the town of Twin Peaks. This means that after 30 episodes, the series covers just slightly more than one month.

    After Twin Peaks was canceled by ABC, David Lynch went on to make the prequel film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, the story of the last seven days of Laura Palmer.moreless
  • 50
    Degrassi: The Next Generation

    Degrassi: The Next Generation

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 2015)
    The Emmy nominated Degrassi: The Next Generation (shortened to 'Degrassi' from Season 10-14) is a spin-off of the long running Degrassi franchise from Linda Schuyler, creator of Kids on Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, and School's Out. Similar to its predecessor the teens of Degrassi Community School face a variety of issues, from sexual abuse, to drug addiction, to heartaches. It's never a dull moment in the halls of Degrassi. Seasons 15+ air as 'Degrassi: New Class' and has its own forum. *Note, episode airdates are Canadian, and the episode order is in production, not in the order originally aired.moreless
  • 51
    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
  • 52
    The Glades

    The Glades

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    A&E (ended 2013)
    This show follows Matt Passmore as Jim Longworth, a Chicago homicide detective who gets 'kicked' off the force after being shot and wrongfully accused by his ex-captain of having an affair with his wife. After receiving his payout, Jim decides to moves to the sleepy, middle-of-nowhere town of Palm Glade, outside of the Florida Everglades, where sunshine and golf are plentiful and crime is seemingly at a minimum. He joins the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) but finds that the town is far from idyllic when murders keep piling up.moreless
  • 53
    Deadwood

    Deadwood

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    HBO (ended 2006)
    In an age of plunder and greed, the richest gold strike in American History draws a throng of restless misfits to an outlaw settlement where everything - and everyone - has a price. Welcome to Deadwood...a hell of a place to make your fortune. From Executive Producer David Milch ("NYPD Blue") comes DEADWOOD, a new drama series that focuses on the birth of an American frontier town and the ruthless power struggle that exists in its lawless boundaries. The story begins two weeks after Custer's defeat at Little Bighorn, combining fictional and real-life characters and events in an epic morality tale. Located in the Black Hills Indian Cession, the "town" of Deadwood is an illegal settlement, a violent and uncivilized outpost that attracts a colorful array of characters looking to get rich - from outlaws and entrepreneurs to ex-soldiers and racketeers, Chinese laborers, prostitutes, city dudes and gunfighters.moreless
  • 54
    Lewis

    Lewis

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    ITV (ended 2015)
    A spin-off of the popular series Inspector Morse, a special two-hour drama picked up five years after the series ended.Kevin Whately returned as Lewis after working overseas in the Virgin Islands. Partnered with Hathaway, a young Cambridge graduate fast-tracked through the police, Lewis is once more investigating in Morse's old stomping ground of Oxford. Echoes of Morse follow his investigations as Lewis lends his own to proceedings. A full series followed. While both Lewis and Hathaway left the police force at the end of season 7, ITV confirmed in 2014 that an eighth series had been commissioned. Lewis retired for good at the end of the ninth and final series.moreless
  • 55
    Strike Back

    Strike Back

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    Cinemax
    An American works with the British military to stop terrorists dead in their tracks.
  • 56
    Bosch

    Bosch

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    Amazon Instant Video
    Bosch is a new Amazon original series that based on the books by Michael Connelly. Harry Bosch is a detective on the trail of a killer that killed a young boy. Bosch himself is on trial for murdering a serial killer suspect.moreless
  • 57
    Six Feet Under

    Six Feet Under

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    HBO (ended 2005)
    When death is your business, what is your life? For the Fisher family, the world outside of their family-owned funeral home continues to be at least as challenging as--and far less predictable than--the one inside.Oscar(R)-winning screenwriter Alan Ball's breakout series that takes a darkly comic look at members of a dysfunctional L.A. family that run a funeral business.moreless
  • 58
    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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  • 59
    Dynasty

    Dynasty

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    ABC (ended 1989)
    Dynasty was a larger than life soaps opera that purported to portray the lives of the wealthy rich while embracing the greed, glamour and excesses of the Reagan-era 1980s. The story set in Denver, Colorado, centered around the wealthy but troubled Carrington family, headed by the powerful oil tycoon Blake Carrington (John Forsythe). In the premiere episode, Blake married his beautiful and sweet secretary Krystle (Linda Evans), much to the chagrin of Blake's spoiled daughter, Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin), and Krystle's ex-lover, Matthew Blaisdel (Bo Hopkins). Blake also had trouble dealing with the fact that his son Steven (Al Corley) was a homosexual and, at the end of the first season, Blake accidentally killed Steven's ex-lover when he found him and Steven in an embrace. In the second season premiere, Blake's world turned upside down. Not only was he on trial for murder, but his scheming ex-wife, Alexis (Joan Collins), re-entered his life to testify against him. After the trial, she ended up staying in Devener only to wreak more havoc against him and his new wife, Krystle. Initially, the show was dismissed as a clone of another primetime soap opera, Dallas, which also centered around a rich powerful family who made their fortune in oil. However, Dynasty distinguished itself from Dallas and the other primetime soap operas of its era by by embracing campy over-the-top storylines over realistic ones and larger-than-life fashions. By the end of the 1984-1985 season, Dynasty became the #1 TV show in the United States, beating out its rival, Dallas, and spinning off a second series, The Colbys (originally titled, Dynasty II: The Colbys). However, in subsequent seasons, ratings began to decline as viewers grew tired of the over-the-top storylines, such as Moldavia, Krystle's look-a-like. After 9 seasons and 218 episodes on ABC, the show was cancelled. Two years later, ABC aired a 4 hour mini-series, Dynasty: The Reunion, to wrap up the loose ends of the series, which ended with an unresolved cliffhanger. After its cancellation, the show was syndicated and eventually aired on SOAPnet, the ABC-owned 24-hour soap opera channel. The show received more interest in the new millenium with the airing of a satirical 2005 TV-movie, Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure; a 2006 cast reunion special, Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar, and of course, the release of the first few seasons on DVD. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) #19 in the 1981-1982 Season #5 in the 1982-1983 Season #3 in the 1983-1984 Season #1 in the 1984-1985 Season #7 in the 1985-1986 Season #24 in the 1986-1987 Season ABC Broadcast History: January 1981 - April 1981 -- Mondays 10:00 PM November 1981 - April 1983 -- Wednesdays 10:00 PM September 1983 - May 1987 -- Wednesdays 9:00 PM September 1987 - March 1988 -- Wednesdays 10:00 PM November 1988 - May 1989 -- Thursdays 9:00 PMmoreless
  • 60
    The Tudors

    The Tudors

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    Showtime (ended 2010)
    The Tudors focuses on the life and romances of the young King Henry VIII. The first series takes a look at the often overlooked, early political relationships as well as Henry's trysts with such notable women as Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.
    The second series looks at King Henry's struggle with the Pope over his divorce, and his marriage to Anne Boleyn as well as the creation of the Church of England.
    The third series focuses on the people's response to the creation of a new national Church and on the king's third and fourth marriage. The series is shot on location in Ireland. Michael Hirst, writer of the Oscar-winning movie Elizabeth, is the series creator, writer and executive producer.moreless
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