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TV shows might be in big trouble

The 10 Shows That Deserve to Return Next Fall (But Might Not)  NBC/Andrew EcclesWith plenty of our favorite shows in danger of falling through the network programming cracks, it’s time to bring more attention to the series that deserve another season, but may not get one. We know, we know, wishin’ and hopin’ didn’t do “Pushing Daisies” any good, but we’re sending out a prayer to the TV powers-that-be anyway: when upfront time rolls around in a month or so, please let at least some of these shows reappear on your schedules.

chuck1. “Chuck”
In short, this show is clever, all-around fun, with a great cast, stellar writing and lots and lots of heart. And Chuck and Sarah may be the TV couple we most enjoy seeing almost hook up, but not quite. Save that for season five or six.

 

charlie-crews1 2. “Life”
Charlie Crews, the fruit-loving L.A. detective with a Zen attitude, has become one of our favorite TV cops ever in just under two years, thanks to Damian Lewis’ deceptively placid, quirky charisma. This season, the weekly cases got more creative, the supporting cast got stronger (partly due to the addition of Donal Logue and Gabrielle Union) and the underlying conspiracy plot got twistier.

 

joshua-jackson3. “Fringe”
We tuned in because of Joshua Jackson, stuck around despite a slightly sluggish start, and were finally rewarded with some fun science fiction. We’re just getting to the interesting mythology, and we’re finally warming up to Anna Torv, mostly because she kicks butt. It’s a little bit of Alias and a little bit of “X-Files”, with some really gross/awesome monsters of the week, and just turning out to be a pretty enjoyable action series.

 

4. “Better Off Ted”
We need a good workplace comedy to make us laugh again, since “The Office” has been disappointing us lately. This one is more akin to “Andy Richter Controls the Universe” and is filled with that quirk and innate silliness that turns off the general public who prefer the more straight-forward sitcoms like “Rules of Engagement”.

 

5. “Dollhouse”
We’re still iffy on this show, but it took a while for “Angel” to really hit its stride, too. Even “Buffy” had some less-than-stellar first season episodes. Perhaps that’s just part of Joss Whedon’s style. It seems like Joss and Co. are making an active effort to work out the kinks to really get this series to meet the high standards his fans hold him to. It’s getting there, but without a second season, we may never get to see that vision realized.

 

6. “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”
We’ve already lost one show with robots this season with the end of “BSG”. Don’t take our other one away from us. We need some robots kicking butt to really round out our weekly TV viewing. Seriously though, we love the idea of this show and every time it starts to wear our patience thin with family drama, they hook us again with more cool Terminator technology.

 

7. “Kings”
This ambitious series is bringing a whole world to life, and the twisted tale just started to get really juicy, with backstabbing and dirty deals. It may be based in history, but this tale of a rich, powerful, corrupt monarchy has an epic feel about it that shouldn’t be confined to just a few episodes. Plus, we’re so grateful to have Ian McShane back in a starring role again; to take the show away now would just reopen our old “Deadwood” wounds.

 

8. “Rock of Love”
Sure, Bret said that this “Bus” installment was his last chance at finding love, but we’re not sure we love, or even like, any of the girls that are left. He can do better than that, for sure. And even if he can’t, it would be great for us to see him try, because there’s something disgustingly engrossing about his sweet nature and the skanky girls who compete for him.

 

9. “Celebrity Apprentice”
“The Apprentice” was getting to be a tired format. The addition of celebrities makes it infinitely more interesting, and these last two seasons have succeeded in making us actually enjoy this franchise again. But apparently we’re in the minority, since the ratings are shrinking. Perhaps the problem is that they need a higher profile of celebrities to draw more viewers in the future, although the C-listers and sports stars (aside from Dennis Rodman) seem to be a scrappier bunch, willing to do what it takes to get 15 more minutes of fame.

 

10. “Southland”/”The Unusuals”
Neither of these shows have even premiered yet, but while they both have promising pilots that have us hooked, it is unlikely that they’ll actually last. “Unusuals” has police cases with a healthy dose of comedy, which might be a little too oddball for the general public. And “Southland” is twisted and gritty, but with NBC’s new schedule next fall, there’s not really a lot of space for this show that needs to be in the 10 PM hour. We like them, but we’re worried that they’re doomed before they started.

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