Fall TV 2011: 6 new shows and 6 returning shows to watch (Commentary)

Believe it or not, the fall TV season is less than a week away. Fittingly, one of the best-looking new shows and one of the best returning shows will throw out the first pitches of the season when they premiere on Tuesday. Here’s a closer look at those shows and more — my top six new shows and top six returning shows of Fall 2011. (Showing my non-coast bias, all times are Central.)

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John’s top 10 TV shows of 2010

This was the year when TV changed from low-definition to high-definition and from squares to rectangles (I still have a square, and I know I’m missing some things off to the sides, but at least I can hear everybody). Also, TV has never before been as accessible; unless it’s on a premium network, rare is the series that eschews free Internet broadcast (the fact that you can’t fast-forward commercials on the web is part of the appeal to advertisers, I’m sure).

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In search of the next ‘Lost?’ It’s already here, and it’s called ‘Fringe’ (TV commentary)

A recent issue of Entertainment Weekly examined networks’ efforts to find the next “Lost,” in terms of both quality and ratings, and determined that nothing fits the bill. I disagree: “Fringe” (8 p.m. Thursdays on Fox) — like “Lost,” produced by J.J. Abrams — is as good as “Lost” (maybe better), and it’s successful enough that it has been renewed for a third season.

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