2016 Emmy Awards


I have to say, the Emmys have made some real strides in the last few years. There have been a lot fewer ridiculous winners and as last night’s ceremony pointed out, they are well ahead of the Oscars in recognizing diversity with their nominations. Last night’s Emmy telecast was enjoyable, but not all that exciting. A lot of the winners were pretty much a shoe-in, which took some of the tension out of the night. Jimmy Kimmel did a fine job overall as host; a few jokes didn’t land and he seemed particularly salty when it came to the real life people from the O.J. Simpson case, but I appreciated that the show was not padded with a lot of ridiculous skits or forced attempts at viral moments. Kimmel kept the show moving, had some pretty solid jokes, and brought the show in a few minutes early. So while there might not have been as much to write about this year in my running diary, it also didn’t feel like I spent three hours watching an awards show.

A word on my running diary – these times are probably WAY off. Because of computer issues I was watching on delay, so I had to guesstimate. I eventually caught up to real time, but these are educated guesses for the most part as to when they link up to the telecast. So if someone is out there breaking down the Emmy ceremony like the Zapruder film, there may be some discrepancies (also, you may have a problem).  So with that giant caveat in place, I watched the Emmys so you didn’t have to.

8:00 – I’ll admit that my heart skipped a beat when they started the show with an ABC News Special Report. I immediately thought that there was another explosion in NYC. So maybe not the best way to kick things off.

8:01 – Recreating the white bronco chase is far more topical than I would have expected in 2016. Nice to see Malcolm Jamal Warner reprising his AJ Cowling role.


8:02 – Everyone does like Tom Bergeron.

8:03 – “Thanks a lot, Theo.”

8:04 – Man I haven’t seen Modern Family in a really long time. The kid that plays Luke is really grown up now.


8:05 – I got really excited when I saw the A-Team van drive by. That’s a missed opportunity right there.

8:06 – James Corden is everywhere this year. That’s not a bad thing. Watch your back, Fallon.

8:08 – This “Wake Me Up Before You GoGo” parody is fantastic.


8:09 – Everyone should have voted for Beyonce. I like “Carpool Karaoke” as much as the next person, but that shouldn’t have beaten Lemonade.

8:10 – All hail president Selena Meyers.


8:11 – “LBJ? That was my nickname in my high school Spanish club.” And THAT’s why Julia Louis-Dreyfus is going to win another Emmy tonight.

8:12 – Jeb Bush as an Uber driver? This is a weird election cycle.


8:13 – And those two minutes made Jeb! more likeable than his entire presidential campaign.

8:14 – Hitching a ride to the Emmys with Khalessi is the way to do it.


8:15 – Setting Ryan Seacrest on fire via dragon? Kind of my dream.

8:16 – Just giving Jeffrey Tambor the Emmy may save time.


8:17 – “If your show doesn’t have a dragon or a white Bronco in it, go home now.” Probably true.

8:18 – Marcia Clark Burn. But Sarah Paulson has your back.


8:19 – “This must be very strange for you. Are you rooting for OJ to win this time?”

8:23 – Mark Burnett gets singled out for being responsible for Donald Trump.

8:27 – Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis-Ross here to present outstanding supporting actor in a comedy. So many great actors in this category.

Anthony Anderson, left, and Tracee Ellis Ross present an award at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

8:28 – Louie Anderson for Baskets. That wouldn’t have been my guess.

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

8:35 – Kimmel suggests that it may be time for Taraji P. Henson to drop the middle initial. Is she getting confused with other Taraji Hensons?


8:37 – Julie Bowen and Matt LeBlanc present outstanding writing in a comedy series.

(Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

8:38 – YAY! Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang win for Master of None, which I adored.


8:39 – Poor Aziz never got to say anything.

8:30 – Joel McHale and Kristen Bell present outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series.


8:31 – First win for Kate McKinnon for SNL. The last woman from SNL to win this? Gilda Radner.

8:32 – I enjoy that she clarifies that she is actually crying.


8:36 – Randall Park and Constance Wu discuss the Creative Arts Emmys, aka the not ready for primetime awards.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actors Randall Park (L) and Constance Wu speak onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

8:40 – Peter Scalari presents outstanding directing for a comedy series.

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

8:41 – Jill Soloway wins for Transparent, a series that I still have not watched yet.

Jill Soloway accepts the award for outstanding directing for a comedy series for “Transparent” at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

8:42 – Wait – who brought their kid to the Emmys?

8:43 – “I’m trying to figure out if ‘topple the patriarchy’ is good for me. I don’t think so.” – Jimmy Kimmel, after Jill Soloway’s speech.

8:44 – Keegan Michael-Key here to present outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, which should just be called the Julia-Louis Dreyfus invitational at this point.


8:45 – Yup – 5th win in a row. Well deserved.

8:46 – “Veep has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it now feels more like a sobering documentary. So I certainly do promise to rebuild that wall and have Mexico pay for it.” – Julia Louis-Dreyfus

8:47 – On no – her father died Friday 😦


8:48 – Jeffrey Tambor to pay tribute to Garry Shandling.

8:52 – Jimmy Kimmel pranks the audience by announcing Bill Cosby as a presenter.

8:53 – James Corden to present outstanding lead actor in a comedy series.

8:54 – We could have saved time – Jeffrey Tambor is indeed the winner.

Jeffrey Tambor accepts the award for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for “Transparent” at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

8:59 – America Ferrara and Mandy Moore present outstanding reality show. Either America is very short or Mandy is really tall.


9:00 – The Emmy goes to The Voice (and that traitor Mark Burnett).

9:01 – There are a LOT of people that work on The Voice.


9:02 – Jimmy’s mom has made PB&J for the audience. The Kids from Stranger Things are handing them out.


9:05 – And it’s the accountants and Leslie Jones. I expect hilarity and hijinks to ensue.


9:06 – Leslie Jones wants them to protect her Twitter account.


9:0 – Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwin to present outstanding writing in a limited series, movie or dramatic special.


9:07 – Kerry Washington is very pregnant.


9:08 – Not a huge surprise – a win for The People vs. OJ Simpson.

9:10 – Now the nominees for outstanding actress in a limited series

9:11 – Second win in a row for Regina King.

Regina King accepts the award for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie for “American Crime” at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

9:12 – That David Schwimmer “Juice” joke made me laugh way harder than it should have.


9:14 – Jimmy’s mom wrote notes to go with the sandwiches


9:15 – Amy Schumer ate hers, which was for the best since it was for Amy Poehler.


9:16 – Tom Hiddleston and Priyanka Chopra present outstanding directing for limited series/movie. They gracefully entered.


9:17 – And the winner is Hiddleston’s limited series, The Night Manager.

9:23 – Terrence Howard is presenting outstanding supporting actor in a limited series/movie. They apparently gave Tariji P. Henson the night of from being his minder.


9:24 – Well deserved win for Sterling K. Brown in The People vs. OJ Simpson. He was so damn good as Chris Darden. If you haven’t watched this series, do it!


9:26 – Claire Danes and Bryan Cranston present outstanding lead actress in a limited series/movie. This has got to be Sarah Paulson’s to lose.


9:27 – The voters for it right – Sarah Paulson gets the win. She was Marcia Clark.


9:34 – Amy Poehler and Tina Fey present outstanding lead actor in a limited series/movie. Amy explains why she didn’t attend the Creative Arts Emmys:


9:35 – This was a lock – Courtney B. Vance for The People vs OJ Simpson.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Courtney B. Vance accepts Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for 'The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story' onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

9:36 – Is “hottest chick rocking my chain” about to enter the popular lexicon? Jay Z, you’ve done it again.

9:36 – Jimmy Kimmel just implied Johnnie Cochran is in hell.


9:37 – Kyle Chandler and Michelle Dockery present outstanding  TV movie. #TexasForever

9:38 – Sherlock takes home the award. I have to say, the Emmy voters mostly got it right this year.

9:42 – Keri Russel and Live Schreiber present outstanding limited series.


9:43 – How cute is Matthew Rhys – his face lit up as soon as Keri walked on stage.

9:44 – No surprise here – a win for The People vs. OJ Simpson.

9:47 – Aziz Ansari presents the award for best writing for a variety special. He finally gets to thank his parents. His dad is adorable.


9:48 – A win for Patton Oswalt. Would have liked to see Schumer here, but this is OK too.

9:49 – Patton paid tribute to his late wife.


9:50 – Andy Samberg and Kit Harrington present outstanding variety talk series, but first do some comedy (and maybe got engaged). Andy Samberg is crazy – who wouldn’t kiss Kyle Chandler?!?!


9:51 – Great win for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. That man is doing God’s work.


9:52 – John Oliver, the first guy to asked to be played off.

9:53 – Matt Damon comes out to ask Jimmy Kimmel if he won (and then talk some trash).


9:54 – I love all shades of Matt Damon, but I may love funny Matt Damon most of all.

10:00 – Laverne Cox presents outstanding  directing in a variety special.


10:01 – Grease Live! wins, which was pretty impressive. Chris Rock pretends to be mad that he lost.

10:02 – “I wouldn’t want to be those guys when Kanye finds out that they beat Beyonce.” – Kimmel

10:03 – Damon Wayans, “a Damon with actual talent,” presents outstanding  variety sketch series.

10:04 – Key & Peele wins; I forgot the show was still eligible.


10:05 – Rami Malek and Abigail Spencer talk about more awards given out previously  at the Creative Arts Emmys.


10:07 – Hank Azaria and Margo Martindale present outstanding writing in a drama series.


10:08 – Game of Thrones takes home their first, but probably not last, Emmy of the night.

10:16 – Michael Weatherly and Minnie Driver present outstanding supporting actress in a drama series. We all know how I feel about her.


10:17 – Maggie Smith wins, which is hilarious given Kimmel’s monologue.


10:18 – Now for outstanding direction in a drama series.

10:19 – Another win for Game of Thrones.

10:25 – Taraji P. Henson presents outstanding supporting actor in a drama series. She had a costume change!


10:26 – Ben Mendelsohn wins for Bloodlines, which is kind of a surprise. He’s not in attendance either.

10:27 – Hey – it’s the Fonz (aka Henry Winkler) to pay tribute to Garry Marshall.

10:29 – Now the In Memorium segment. Can we pick a song other than “Hallelujah”? It is so played out at this point. No offense to Tori Kelly, who did a beautiful job (watch it here).

10:32 – So many great people died since the last Emmy Awards.  Alan Rickman still hurts.

10:33 – Prince is the last person in the montage, which seems weird since he really done anything with television (though he did appear on New Girl).

10:38 – Allison Janney is here to present outstanding lead actor in a drama series.


10:40 – Oh snap! Rami Malek wins for Mr. Robot. He’s the best.

10:41 – “Please tell me that you’re seeing this too!” That is hilarious if you watch the show (and you should).


10:42 – Kiefer Sutherland presents outstanding lead actress in a drama series.

Kiefer Sutherland presents an award at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

10:43 – Tatiana Maslany wins for Orphan Black, a show that I have recommended to many people but haven’t actually ever watched. And Kiefer butchered the pronunciation of her name.


10:49 – Larry David will present Emmy for outstanding comedy series.


10:50 – “I go out on dates, I know how to feign interest.” – Larry David

10:51 – Man, Modern Family  feels so out of place with all these other nominees.

10:52 – Veep wins. As they should.

10:52 – Julia Louis-Dreyfus pulled a Jennifer Lawrence.


10:52 – “I have a 9:30 am library shift at my son’s school tomorrow if anyone wants to switch, e-mail me” – Veep showrunner David Mandel

10:54 – Jimmy Smits and Dennis Franz present the final Emmy of the night – outstanding drama series.


10:55 – Game of Thrones takes it home. It will probably take 30 minutes to get all the cast on stage.


10:59 – And we’re done. Another Emmys in the books.

What did you think? Did you watch the telecast? Who do you think should have won? How did Jimmy Kimmel do? Let us know in the comments.

2016 Emmy Nominations


The 2016 Emmy Award nominations were announced today, which somehow managed to take me by surprise. I’d seen plenty of chatter on Twitter over the last few weeks with TV critics filling out their dream Emmy ballots and speculating who would be nominated, but that didn’t translate to me actually taking the time to find out when the nominations were actually happening. Thankfully a notification from CNN popped into my email just as my lunch hour was about to commence, so it gave me the perfect opportunity to pour over who got noms and who didn’t make the final list. Now that Jon Hamm has his Emmy, I’m a little less invested in who actually takes home a statue. That doesn’t mean that I’m completely disinterested – I still care about good TV being rewarded – but it means I’m probably a whole lot more rational about the whole thing.

Here’s a list of the major nominees; I’ve indicated in bold who I’d like to see win, though take that with a grain of salt as the Emmy voters and I don’t often see eye to eye. I also haven’t seen everything, so picks are based on my own limited experience.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA (2015 winner: Game of Thrones)
The Americans
Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mr Robot

I love a lot of these shows, but I can’t bring myself to look beyond Game of Thrones.

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Jon Hamm)
Kyle Chandler, Bloodlines
Rami Malek, Mr Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

It is a tragedy that more people aren’t watching The Americans. Brilliant performances.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Viola Davis)
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Taraji P Henson, Empire
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Keri Russell, The Americans
Robin Wright, House of Cards

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Uzo Aduba)
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
Maura Tierney, The Affair
Constance Zimmer, UnREAL

While Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams are great, Lena Headey has managed to make Cersei a far more interesting and sympathetic character than she probably should be.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Peter Dinklage)
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Margo Martindale, The Americans)
Laurie Metcalf, Horace and Pete
Molly Parker, House of Cards
Ellen Burstyn, House of Cards
Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife

Horace and Pete was a great series, but the episode with Laurie Metcalf is legitimately next level.

GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards)
Max von Sydow, Game of Thrones
Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards
Mahershala Ali, House of Cards
Paul Sparks, House of Cards
Hank Azaria, Ray Donovan
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife

Reg E. Cathy’s status as an alumni of The Wire gets him my vote.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY (2015 winner: Veep)
Master of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I just binge watched the last two seasons of Veep and its among the funniest two seasons of television that I’ve ever seen.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus)
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Laurie Metcalfe, Getting On
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

This is basically Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ category to lose every year.

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Jeffrey Tambor)
Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Masters of None
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
William H Macy, Shameless
Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

I actually don’t watch many of these shows, but I love Aziz Ansari on Master of None.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Allison Janney)
Niecy Nash, Getting On
Kate McKinnon, SNL
Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent
Allison Janney, Mom
Judith Light, Transparent
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Again, I don’t watch many of these shows, but Anna Chlumsky is underrated on Veep.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Tony Hale)
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale, Veep

I was very tempted to go with Tony Hale, which is probably the safe choice, but Andre Braugher is so consistently great that I had to pick him (see The Wire corollary)

GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Joan Cusack, Shameless)
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Amy Schumer, Saturday Night Live
Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory
Laurie Metcalf, The Big Bang Theory
Melora Hardin, Transparent

When in doubt, go with Tina and Amy.

GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Bradley Whitford, Transparent)
Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Tracy Morgan, Saturday Night Live
Larry David, Saturday Night Live
Bradley Whitford, Transparent
Martin Mull, Veep
Peter MacNicol, Veep

A Very Murray Christmas
All the Way
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

LIMITED SERIES (2015 winner: Olive Kitterridge)
American Crime
The Night Manager
The People v. OJ Simpson

This was a two show race for me between The People v. OJ Simpson and Fargo, but I give Fargo a slight edge.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE (2015 winner: Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge)
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Billie Holiday: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Sarah Paulson, The People V OJ Simpson
Lili Taylor, American Crime
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

You can’t take your eyes of Sarah Paulson – she becomes Marcia Clark.

LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE (2015 winner: Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge)
Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Idris Elba, Luther
Cuba Gooding Jr, The People V OJ Simpson
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance, The People V OJ Simpson

Ditto for Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE (2015 winner: Regina King, American Crime)
Melissa Leo, All The Way
Regina King, American Crime
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Hotel
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Hotel
Jean Smart, Fargo
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager

As the head of her crime family, Jean Smart can be tough as nails, but still is sympathetic and soft when needed.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE (2015 winner: Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge)
Jesse Plemons, Fargo
Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson
David Schwimmer, The People v. O.J. Simpson
John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson

To me, this was really the most captivating performance of the series; Sterling K. Brown made me understand who Chris Darden was and the toll this case took on him.

REALITY SHOW HOST (2015 winner: Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night)
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars
Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night
Steve Harvey, Little Big Shots
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, Project Runway
RuPaul Charles, RuPaul’s Drag Race

RuPaul should win more things.

REALITY SHOW COMPETITION (2015 winner: The Voice)
The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef
The Voice

I cannot be bothered to even form an opinion on this.

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Late Show with James Corden
Real Time With Bill Maher
The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon

Don’t tell Fallon, but Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has become must watch. The Tonight Show is entertaining, but Last Week is both funny and informative. John Oliver and company are doing important work.

Winter Premiere Dates

Now that New Year’s has come and gone, it is back to business as usual for television programming. I must admit, as much as I love my programs, it was nice to have the hiatus. It’s really amazing how much you can get done when you don’t have to keep up with 20 television shows. Though who am I kidding? The holiday break just meant that I went to the movies more often. I didn’t suddenly become more productive; I just found another pop culture diversion for my time.

With the new model for programming, television shows are premiering throughout the year rather than everything starting in the Fall. It’s a model I like, but it does make it a little harder to keep track of when everything airs. So in the spirit of helping out my fellow television junkies, here are some upcoming premiere dates -and a few finales- that you might want to mark on your calendar. (All times are ET)

Monday January 7th

  • The Bachelor, Season 17, 8 pm (ABC) – and yes, I’m secretly judging you if you watch this show and take it seriously. And really – there have been SEVENTEEN seasons of this show? Moving on…..
  • Bunheads, Season 2, 9 pm (ABC Family) – I liked this show just fine when it debuted, but never kept up with it.
  • Deception, 10 pm (NBC) – A new drama on the peacock that features a detective going undercover in a wealth family to solve a murder. Stars a whole lot of people I am not familiar with, as well as The O.C./Damages alum, Tate Donovan. You can watch the pilot episode before it airs on Hulu.com

Tuesday January 8th

  • Justified, Season 4, 10 pm (FX) – Such a fantastic show with fantastic characters. Based on the character from the novels by Elmore Leonard, it is consistently one of the best dramas on network television.

Thursday January 10th

  • 1600 Penn, 9:30 pm (NBC) – I wasn’t too impressed with the pilot that debuted earlier; the first family was just too sitcom-y for my tastes. Plus I’m not a Jenna Elfman fan

Saturday January 12th

  • Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual, 9 pm(WE) – The latest celebrity to get their own reality show

Sunday January 13th

  • Girls, Season 2, 9pm (HBO) – I really dug this divisive show and am looking forward to what’s in store in the second season
  • Shameless, Season 3, 9 pm (Showtime) – I always meant to get into this show about a dysfunctional family headed by William H. Macy
  • Enlightened, Season 2, 9:30 pm (HBO)
  • Californication, Season 6, 10:30 pm (Showtime)
  • The 67th Annual Golden Globes, 8 pm (NBC) – You know I’ll be watching. Check out the nominees and my half baked predictions here.

Monday January 14th

  • The Carrie Diaries, 8 pm (The CW) – I long tired of the characters from Sex and the City, but if you can’t get enough you may want to check out this prequel about Carrie’s early life in New York
  • Being Human, Season 3, 8 pm (Syfy)

Wednesday January 16th

  • American Idol, season 12, 8 pm (Fox) – See Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj battle it out.

Thursday January 17th

  • Anger Management, Season 2, 9 pm (FX) – More of Charlie Sheen being Charlie Sheen
  • Archer, Season 4, 10 pm (FX) – One of the funniest shows, animated or not. An impressive list of guest stars are slated for the upcoming season
  • Legit, 10:30 pm (FX) – This new comedy stars Australian comedian Jim Jefferies, who was hysterically funny when I saw him live last year. The promos don’t make me optimistic, but I’ll give it a shot.

Friday January 18th

  • Fringe Season Finale, 8 pm (FOX) – A show that I have been meaning to wraps up this evening. I’ll have to catch up on DVD.
  • Real Time with Bill Maher, 10 pm (HBO) – The former host of Politically Incorrect returns to once again discuss current affairs with a diverse panel of guests

Saturday January 19th

  • Ripper Street, 9 pm (BBC America) – I’m pretty excited for this new program on BBC America that focuses on the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders

Monday January 21st

  • The Following, 9 pm (FOX) – I can’t help but be intrigued by this new drama that features Kevin Bacon on the trail of a serial killer

Tuesday January 22nd

  • Parenthood season finale, 10 pm (NBC) – Very bummed that this show is wrapping up its season so early; I really enjoy spending time with the Braverman clan, though they make me cry every single week
  • Private Practice Series Finale, 10 pm (ABC)

Thursday January 24th

  • Project Runway, Season 11, 9 pm (Lifetime) – Make it work.

Monday January 28th

  • Dallas, Season 2, 9 pm (TNT) – Pay your respects to the recently departed Larry Hagman by spending some time on South Fork
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 5, 9 PM (LOGO) – If you haven’t checked out this fantastic competition of drag queens, you are really missing out.

Wednesday January 30th

  • The Americans, 10 pm (FX) – I don’t know a ton about this new spy drama, but the cast intrigues me. Plus I’ll almost always take a chance on an FX show. They get me.

Thursday January 31st

  • 30 Rock Series Finale, 8 pm (NBC) – Blerg. It’s all over for Liz Lemon and the gang.
  • Do No Harm, 10 pm (NBC) – I’m skeptical about this new show about a neurosurgeon that has a dangerous alter ego, but I do like the lead actor Steven Pasquele, best known from Rescue Me

That should at least get you through January. Of course, I didn’t catch all the shows that are returning; for a more comprehensive listing for winter programming check out TVline.com’s handy dandy calendar. Get your DVRs ready – television is back!