If you’ve been feelling productive and all without much to watch on your DVR, this week should cure that problem. This week – especially Monday, Wednesday and Thursday bring a slew of shows either returning from their holiday hiatus or new season premieres. And next Sunday brings back Jack! Yep, the never-die agent Jack Bauer is back with the 8th season of 24.
Don’t miss the Ultimate Guide to the 2010 Winter TV Season Premieres with free downloads by premiere date & by show name! I’ve updated this guide with some additions and network changes.
The above video is a network “ad” for the 100th episode of “How I Met Your Mother” airing this week
Below you’ll find all this weeks TV premieres, finales and specials through next Sunday.
NOTE: All Times are Listed for EST
Sunday, January 10
Inside Cocaine Submarines (7pm & 10pm on National Geographic– Available in HD) – A special that documents the latest method being used by drug cartels
Food Network Challenge (8pm on Food– Available in HD) – Season 10 premiere
The Simpsons (8pm on Fox– Available in HD) – The 450th Milestone episode followed by the 20th Anniversary Special in 3-D
Cosmic Collisions (8pm on Discovery– Available in HD) – A special that examines meteors & asteroids orbiting the Earth and discusses their potential to collide with the planet
A Trace of Danger (8pm on ION) – A made-for-TV movie where an attorney returns to her hometown to defend a former boyfriend accused of murder.
The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice! (8:30pm on Fox-Available in HD) – A special where filmmaker Morgan Spurlock travels the country interviewing fans of the animated series. *Yawn*
Chuck (9pm on NBC– Available in HD) – Chuck gets a two-hour season three premiere and then moves to it’s regular time-slot on the 11th. In this first episode, Chuck takes his new abilities to train as a “real” spy. Adam Baldwin stars in this episode. It will be interesting to see if they are able to maintain the quirky charm that kept viewers watching Chuck this season. The series was on the edge of being cancelled last season so this will be an important couple of weeks for Chuck – and I don’t mean the fictional character.
Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (9pm on SyFy – Available in HD) – A made-for-TV movie that takes us back to the recent Battlestar Galactica series. Here’s the plot: “The fleet struggles to survive when Cylons embark on a mission to destroy humanity.” If it sounds familiar, it should. Word is there is a very large amount of clips from the actual series you’ve already seen. I’d say this is for serious BSG enthusiasts only.
Masterpiece Classic – Return to Cranford (9pm on PBS – Available in HD) – PBS brings back a two-part sequel to last season’s miniseries following the everyday life in a small Cheshire market town. The series last year received lots of praise from critics and this should continue that tradition.
Big Love (9pm on HBO– Available in HD) – The season four premiere of Big love brings back Bill Paxton as Bill. Bill & family prepare to open the Blackfoot Magic Casino. This show has become quite the hit – which is amazing considering it follows the family of mythical Morman polygamous folks. Strange.
The Wishing Well (9pm on Hallmark) – Another Hallmark made-for-TV Movie. A wishing well magically gives celebrity journalist (Jordan Ladd) a new life in a small town.
Brace for Impact the Chesley B. Sullenberger Story (9pm on TLC-Available in HD) – Harrison Ford narrates this look back at the US Airways jet getting an emergency landing into the Hudson by Capt. Chelsey B. “Sully” Sullengberger.
Madhouse (10pm on History-Available in HD) – The History Channel presents a new original programming series premier “Madhouse,” a show that captures ongoing rivalries at a North Carolina NASCAR track between Burt Myers and Junior Miller.
Celebrity Rehab (10pm on VH1) – Season three premiere of the show following Dr. Drew helping celebrity patients. Not in HD and not all that interesting to me.
Monday, January 11
House (8pm on Fox – Available in HD) – Season 6 of House continues. Guess who they’re working on in this episode. Yep, a drug dealer which seems somehow appropriate for this show.
How I Met Your Mother (8pm on CBS – Available in HD) – Season 5 of HIMYM continues with the 100th episode of the popular sitcom. The TV critics that have already watched this episode and say this is by far the best episode of the season. Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of HIMYM will be seen singing and dancing about Barney Stinson’s love of… “wait for it”… suits. I know this comedy isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of my long-time favorites and I’ll be watching this one for certain. A video of the “trailer” for this episode is above in this post.
Two and a Half Men (9pm on CBS– Available in HD) – Season 7 continues
The Big Bang Theory (9:30pm on CBS– Available in HD) – Season 3 continues
CSI: Miami (10pm on CBS– Available in HD) – Season 8 continues
Castle (10pm on ABC– Available in HD) – Season 2 continues
Diners, Drive-ins & Dives (10pm on Food– Available in HD) – Season 8 continues
Fantasia for Real (10pm on VH1) – A new reality TV series with… you guessed it, Fantasia the winner of American Idol a while back.
Let’s Talk About Pep (10:30pm on VH1) – Another new realityTV series from VH1. It follows Sandra “Pepa” Denton of “Salt-n-Pepa” fame. This is apparently what formerly successful pop artists do after they no longer sell music.
Tuesday, January 12
American Idol (9pm on Fox– Available in HD) – A two-hour season premiere followed up on the 13th with part 2 of the premiere. There have been some good music artists via the American Idol machine, but the core of American Idol has never really been about the music. It’s all about the entertainment driven by the hosts and the popularity contest during the last half of the season. The addition of Ellen Degeneres further confirms this. Ellen is in my opinion definitely entertaining, but has even less of a connection to the music biz than the other hosts. Then again, the winners of American Idol can actually sing which is more than you can say for many of the current top-40 artists these days. Guest judges this season will include: Victoria Beckham, Katy Perry, Mary J. Blige, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris and Kristin Chenowith. Don’t listen to the naysayers who think this will be the final season. American Idol has plenty of time before it moves to life support.
Blue Mountain State (10pm on Spike) – A new comedy about three freshman at a big football school. It’s spike so expect it to be a little gritty.
Wednesday, January 13
Note: Our Little Genius was cancelled due to the producers (or some at least) getting outed that they were leaking info to the contestants. Wow.
The New Adventures of Old Christine (8pm on CBS– Available in HD) – The second half of season 5 begins
Gary Unmarried (8:30pm on CBS– Available in HD) – Season 2 returns
Criminal Minds (9pm on CBS– Available in HD) – Season 5 returns
CSI: NY (10pm on CBS– Available in HD) – Season 6 returns
Leverage (10pm on TNT– Available in HD) – Season 2 returns with the last six episodes
Little Miss Perfect (10pm on WE) – Season 2 of a realityTV series premieres. Not in HD
Tosh.0 (10:30pm on Comedy– Available in HD) – Season 2 premieres
Thursday, January 14
The Vampire Diaries (8pm on CW– Available in HD) – Season 1 returns
Parks and Recreation (8:30pm on NBC– Available in HD) – Season 2 returns
CSI (9pm on CBS– Available in HD) – Season 10 returns
Fringe (9pm on Fox– Available in HD) – My current favorite TV series next to Lost & 24. Fringe returns for four weeks and then goes back on hiagus again until April 1st. Gotta love those network execs.
Grey’s Anatomy (9pm on ABC– Available in HD) – Season 6 returns
Archer (10pm on FX) – A new animated series on FX. I hated the screener I saw of it, but perhaps you won’t. Not in HD. I should explain the plot because there’s likely some of you who will enjoy it more than me: Archer is an animated, 30 minute comedy set at the Intl Secret Intelligence Service. Think 24 for the adult-cartoon set.
The Mentalist (10pm on CBS– Available in HD) – Season 2 returns
Private Practice (10pm on ABC– Available in HD) – Season 3 returns
Project Runway (10pm on Lifetime) – Season 7 premiere and still not in HD
Carnie Wilson: Unstapled (10pm on GSN) – A new realityTV series premiere
Ace of Cakes (10pm on Food) – Season 8 of this RealityTV show returns but not in HD. I want my bakery TV in HD darn it!
Models of the Runway (11pm on Lifetime) – Season 2 premiere - realityTV
Friday, January 15
No new premieres
Saturday, January 16
The Singing Bee (9pm on CMT) – Season 2 premiere
The Pit Boss (10pm on Animal– Available in HD) – A new realityTV series where they rescue pit bulls
Sunday, January 17
Human Target (8pm on Fox– Available in HD) – A new series on Fox. This will be followed up on the 20th with the same episode re-aired. The series follows the cases of a unique bodyguard/private detective who interferes with murder attempts by impersonating the intended victims to draw the killers fire. I’m curious about this one and will have it on my favorites list to check out later.
24 (9pm on Fox) – The two-hour premiere of 24. Will be followed up on the 18th with the two-hour, part 2 of this one. CTU is back and so is Jack. Early reports are that this first two hours will continue to confirm that the 24 writers are completely back on track. It should be good.
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