Fall TV 2014: ‘Gotham’ and a handful other shows worth checking out (Commentary)

A year ago, I announced that the lineup of new fall shows was the worst in two decades, and although I ended up liking (and now mourning, since they were canceled) “Almost Human” and “Super Fun Night,” I think my prognostication was accurate. Now I’m here to say that the fall of 2014 looks worse. The good news is that, aside from “Almost Human,” the networks’ axes fell lightly, so a decent number of favorites will return. Here are my picks for three new shows to check out, along with a few returning shows of note:

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‘The Killing’ isn’t dead after all! Plus: 9 other resurrected shows (TV commentary)

With the awesome news earlier this week that AMC changed its mind about “The Killing,” which it canceled a few months ago but has now resurrected for a third season (to air later this year), I thought I’d take a look at a few notable resurrected (or un-canceled, if you prefer) series through the years.

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John’s top 10 TV shows of 2012

Here are my top 10 TV shows of 2012:

1. “Parenthood” (Season 3-4, NBC) — I hate to have the same No. 1 two years in a row, but “Parenthood” — the only current series where having a Kleenex box nearby is a must — gives me no choice. During the run of “Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood” was “Jason Katims’ other show.” Now it is filling “FNL’s” niche as the major-network show that best captures the universal human experience even though parenthood, like football, isn’t universal. This fall has been dominated by Kristina’s cancer arc, but it’s the non-awards-baiting moments such as Max winning the student presidency or Julia finally connecting with Victor that really stand out.

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First episode impressions: ‘Futurama’ Season 7 (TV review)

“Futurama” (9 p.m. Central Wednesdays on Comedy Central) has been around long enough now that it’s starting to contradict its own backstories. Since most “Futurama” fans are also “Simpsons” fans, we’re accustomed to this. Notoriously — on series where time passes but characters stay the same age — there are stories showing Homer and Marge getting married in the 1970s and the 1990s.

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Classic Christmas TV episodes: ‘Xmas Story’ (‘Futurama’)

Show: “Futurama” (Season 2, episode 8)

Airdate: Dec. 19, 1999

Overview: In the year 3000, Christmas is known as Xmas and Robot Santa Claus has been programmed with too strict of a “naughty or nice” judgment, so he judges everybody as naughty and guns them down. (Actually, it turns out that Zoidberg is judged to be nice.)

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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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One more day until ‘Futurama’ returns and all is right with the world again (TV commentary)


“Futurama” made a habit of exposing — in a funny way — all that was wrong with the world when it ran from 1999-2003 on Fox. But for me and many other “Futurama” fans, all will seem right with the world when the show returns with its two-episode season premiere at 9 p.m. Central Thursday on Comedy Central.

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