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    How I Met Your Mother

    How I Met Your Mother

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    CBS (ended 2014)
    How I Met Your Mother is a comedy about Ted (Josh Radnor) and how he fell in love. It all starts when Ted's best friend, Marshall (Jason Segel), drops the bombshell that he's going to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Lily (Alyson Hannigan), a kindergarten teacher. At that moment, Ted realizes that he had better get a move on if he too hopes to find true love. Helping him in his quest is Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), a friend with endless, sometimes outrageous opinions, a penchant for suits and a foolproof way to meet women. When Ted meets Robin (Cobie Smulders), he's sure it's love at first sight, but destiny may have something else in store. The series is narrated through flashbacks from the future, voiced by Bob Saget. The theme song is "Hey Beautiful" by The Solids.moreless
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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
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    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
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    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.
  • 5
    Parks and Recreation

    Parks and Recreation

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    NBC
    The comedic minds that brought you The Office and Saturday Night Live have now conspired to create Parks and Recreation. Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope, a mid-level government employee who is trying to convert an abandoned construction pit into a usable community park while a documentary camera crew follows her every step and misstep.moreless
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    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
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    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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    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
  • 9
    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
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    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
  • 11
    Sesame Street

    Sesame Street

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    PBS
    Sesame Street is a widely recognized and perpetually daring experiment in educational children's programming. This show has taken popular-culture and turned it upside-down. The fast-paced advertisements that had parents of the new era worrying for their children were the basis for the original format of this show. The show has often satirized pop culture, and made itself easier for parents to watch along too. And thus, the positive impact this show has had on modern society is beyond another. No show is more recognized the world over by as many generations and walks of life. Shown in its original format or with changes to reflect a regional education focus, Sesame Street is now seen in over 140 countries. The show that Entertainment Weekly named the "20th Best Ever Show" has changed the education scene to focus on "entertainment." This has turned out to be a valuable theory that not only helps the medicinal learning go down easier, but it also increases the effectiveness of the information being taught. In an almost backwards sense, the show stays fresh by recycling programming ideas every three years, by which time a new group of kids is watching. Unlike most PBS Kids shows, which have an original run, then go into continuous repeats until getting dropped by PBS or sold to another network, Sesame Street has created many new episodes every season since its debut Nov. 10, 1969. American teachers now expect children to arrive on the first day of school knowing the basics about letters, numbers, and language. "Kindergarten now does what first grade used to do," creator Joan Ganz Cooney has said, "and I think that's directly due to Sesame Street." International versions have changed Sesame Street to be more relevant to their culture and environments. They adjust the unique American inner city, with a cast made up mainly of Muppets, African-Americans, Spaniards and Chinese to reflect their own lifestyles. For example, Canada's Sesame Park features a small suburban town inhabited by folks like an otter and a bear, a bush pilot, a disabled child in a wheel-chair and her cat and Russia's Ulitsa Sesame set in a Russian dvor (courtyard) has a 9-foot tall tree spirit who has his joyous and problem-solving Muppet friends. No show can help in tumultuous or troubled times like Sesame Street. For example: • The Israelis and the Palestinians have now merged their independent spin-offs, to help teach the fighting cultures to accept each other for who they are, not what they have done in the past. • The original American Sesame Street helped children deal with the incidents of 9-11 • On the week of October 4-8, 2004, Sesame Workshop actually dug up reruns of Sesame Street episodes from its 32nd season, in which a hurricane plundered the neighborhood. This move was to come to grips with those disabused by the four hurricanes that struck Florida in a six-week span the previous August and September. It also sent a message about the news' propensity for covering violent acts. • The current South African government has not taken much action on the matters of HIV and AIDS, so in 2003, the South African version of Sesame Street added in a 5-year-old girl monster who manages to go about daily life with ease, even though she intercepted HIV through a blood transfusion shortly after birth. This led to an American backlash, even though her exposure in the States has always been restricted to sesameworkshop.org. Undoubtedly, she is the hardest-edged Muppet since Jim Henson's ill-fated "Creatures from the Planet Gorch" on Saturday Night Live's first season. • No other puppet than a Muppet, namely Elmo, could be taken seriously when asking America's congressional Education Appropriations Subcommittee for more funding to school music programs, so that "when Elmo goes to school, there will be the instruments to play." (Unfortunately, Newt Gingrich's Congress chose instead to divert to Sesame Street production funds from other PBS series. Among the casualties was one of Sesame Street's godchildren, Ghostwriter.) •In the mid-70s, they introduced Linda Bove, a deaf actress playing a deaf librarian that lives a life equal to all the rest of the area's inhabitants. Please note that Sesame Street's air time varies between various PBS stations in America. In recent years, a few PBS stations have dropped the show (including WNYE in New York, whose last airing was in June 2003). sesame street even had a touring show, SESAME STREET LIVE,which has just recently celebrated 25 years of performing. Characters Cookie Monster Cookie Monster has always had a passion for cookies, gobbling them up whenever he can. However, in order to promote healthy eating habits, Cookie Monster recently learned that cookies are a "sometime" food. So now, Cookie Monster also eats fruits and vegetables in addition to his trademark snack. Elmo Elmo is a cute little red monster, who wants to know more about the world he is growing up in. Oscar the Grouch Oscar lives in a dustbin, sure its not the most hygienic of places, but Oscar isn't the most hygienic of creatures. He likes to cause mischief but also enjoys learning. Ernie and Bert Best friends and room-mates, both showing us how people get along with each other and how sometimes you may even fall-out with your best friend. The Count The Count, would teaches us to count, whether it be really difficult numbers or easy numbers, the Counts thing is maths and counting, and he sure is good at it. Big Bird A huge yellow bird, who's everyone's friend. No matter what species, color or race you are.moreless
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    Survivor

    Survivor

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    CBS
    The rules of Survivor are simple: Americans are abandoned in the middle of some of the most unforgiving places on earth. Divided into teams, they participate in challenges given by host Jeff Probst, and every three days, the losing tribe must trek to Tribal Council to vote out one of their own. Halfway through the game, the challenges shift to individual competitions when the tribes merge and become one. Now the game is every contestant for themselves.

    However, the players must be careful about who they send packing - because after the merge, a jury of previously voted out contestants begins to form, and each week they return to watch the Tribal Council ceremony. At the end of the game, they vote for one of the members in the finals to win one million dollars and become the sole Survivor!

    Survivor is a game of adaptation, and the final two or three of each season are the players most able to adapt to their surroundings and to the people they are playing with. Survivor focuses on the people, the social commentary that surrounds them and how these players can Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast.moreless
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    American Horror Story

    American Horror Story

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    FX (Returning October 2014)
    In this seasonal anthology series, American Horror Story in the first season follows the Harmon family, a family of three who have moved from Boston to LA for a fresh start but end up living in a sinister haunted house instead. From producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk comes the intriguing, erotic and scary story of life within the haunted house. In the second season, the series deals with the legend of Bloody Face, who haunts a Catholic-run sanitarium in 1964. In a house of healing that is anything but, a serial killer is the least of the threats that menace residents and staff alike. In the third season, a group of witches deal with enemies from within and without as they try to survive in the modern day.moreless
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    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
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