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What to Look Forward to From TV in 2011

by AOL TV Staff, posted Dec 27th 2010 11:00AM

Game of ThronesTelevision in 2010 proved to be quite a rollercoaster, with highs ('Walking Dead,' the 'Lost' finale, the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear) and lows (the late night war, a weak fall season) alike. It was the year 'Glee' blew up into a phenomenon, Betty White took over pop culture and The Situation became a household name.

So what's in store for TV fans in 2011? Here are 10 things we're looking forward to this coming year ...



1. 'Game of Thrones.' Is it us or has it taken approximately 400 years for this adaptation of George R.R. Martin's famous fantasy saga to make it to the small screen? Maybe it only feels like HBO's been working on this show for 400 years. Thank goodness we only have about four months to wait before the saga of knights, battles, kings and palace intrigues finally arrives. If the TV show is anywhere near as good as the book of the same name, 'Game of Thrones' is going to knock us sideways. Fingers crossed! - Mo Ryan

Oprah finale2. The 'Oprah' finale. Everybody gets a ... goodbye hug? After 25 years of conducting tearful interviews, sporting various hairdos and giving away her favorite things, Oprah bids farewell to her syndicated daytime talk show. No doubt O will go out in style, though how she could possibly do more than give away cars and trips to Australia, we have no idea. Then again, maybe Winfrey will choose to have a more emotional, personal finale episode. Either way, it'll be a can't-miss cultural event. - Kelly Woo

Parks and Recreation3. NBC's Three-Hour Comedy Block (Most of It). The return of 'Parks and Recreation' could stand on its own as part of this list, but the fact that it's helping to launch NBC's new three-hour Thursday night comedy block on Jan. 20 makes it even better. That way, we don't have to lose any of the regulars ('30 Rock,' 'Community' and 'The Office) and we get a taste of the new show 'Perfect Couples.' Now, we could do without 'Outsourced,' but at least it's slotted for the 10:30PM tail end. - KW


Simon Cowell4. Simon Cowell's snark on 'The X Factor.' Steven Tyler and J. Lo who? Sure, 'American Idol' upped the star power on its judges panel after Cowell departed last season, but can they match his withering wit or his cutting criticisms? We think not. Simon will bring his signature sarcasm to his new show this September and with 'Idol' on a downward trajectory, can 'The X Factor' reign supreme as the new king of reality TV? We think yes. - KW

Chicago Code5. 'The Chicago Code.' This show tops a lot of "best" lists for me: Best New Drama, Best Cast and, most impressively, Best Use of Shawn Ryan Since 'The Shield' (sorry fans of 'Terriers,' 'Lie to Me' and 'The Unit' -- but trust me). This gritty, action-packed take on cops-and-robbers stars Jason Clarke as a veteran Chicago cop, Matt Lauria as his green new partner, Jennifer Beals as the boss lady and Delroy Lindo as the local politician they're all convinced is corrupt. The backdrop of Chicago -- with its history of mob activity and gorgeous skyline -- only adds to an already compelling story. - Maggie Furlong



Kate Winslet in Mildred Pierce6. Kate Winslet in 'Mildred Pierce' miniseries. The Oscar winner is one of our favorite actresses, so of course we're excited to see her on the small screen this spring as a single mom during the Great Depression. The roll call for this five-part miniseries is staggering: director Todd Haynes ('Far From Heaven'), Evan Rachel Wood as Mildred's daughter, Guy Pearce, Melissa Leo, Hope Davis and Mare Winningham. That Oscar trophy might get a new companion named Emmy on the mantle this year.


Walking Dead season 27. A full season of 'The Walking Dead.' AMC had a great year, thanks to award-winning shows like 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad,' as well as the great-but-sadly-canceled 'Rubicon.' But no show got viewers as excited (or grossed out) as zombie drama 'The Walking Dead,' which earned record ratings for the cable network. But due to AMC's haste to get the series out by Halloween, the first season was just six episodes. And as good as that little taste of zombie was, we want more (brains) and can't wait for a full 13-episode season 2. - KW



Maura Tierney8. Whatever Maura Tierney does next. Give Maura a few months to lick her wounds following the premature cancellation of 'The Whole Truth,' but after that she needs to be back on TV ASAP. The 'ER' veteran is a master actor, she either deserves a show of her own, or to join the cast of an established hit. She can play comedy and drama equally as flawlessly. Perhaps 'The Office' has found its new boss, or a new female foil for Alicia Florrick on 'The Good Wife' ... - Chris Harnick


Glee Super Bowl9. The 'Glee' Super Bowl episode. The Fox hit's second season has focused more on big-name guest stars and a single bullying storyline than its talented ensemble. Althought we already know the big February installment will feature an attention-grabbing cameo by Katie Couric and a cover of 'Thriller,' this is the perfect opportunity for creator Ryan Murphy to dig deep into his stacked roster of performers and showcase what lies at the heart of 'Glee' -- a group of underdogs with a whole lot of talent, spunk and, well, heart. - Jean Bentley

Lindsa Lohan10. The next 'Dancing With the Stars' trainwreck. Bristol Palin and Kate Gosselin have set quite a high bar. Who can top them in terms of scandal? Perennial trainwreck Lindsay Lohan is an obvious choice, but she has denied reports of joining the show. Could Disney darling Demi Lovato turn to 'DWTS' for some image rehab after her current stay in treatment? Mel Gibson, an obvious choice, would be huge for the show. If Randy Quaid ever returns from Canada he'd sure bring all kinds of drama. Either way, after Gosselin and Palin, DWTS' will need to step up its game to keep the flame of scandal burning. - CH




What are you looking forward to on television in 2011?

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james

and you people keep watching "reality shows" and dont even think that tey are ral as a stipppers boobs

January 04 2011 at 5:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
enelram52

I just wish that Benjamin Bratt would come back of a show. He is terrific.

January 03 2011 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
k

Cowell's withering wit? Gimme a break. Everything smelt bad to this twerp because he was born with a lump of turd on his nose. Let him lick it off and go home.

January 03 2011 at 5:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mikki

Cant stand talk shows, reality shows; and if Lohan or Mel Gibson show up on DWTS I won't watch it again.

January 03 2011 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pamela S

I DON'T WANT A HUG FROM THE BIGGEST.....AND BIGGEST MOUTH IN TV HISTORY!

I AM JUST ELATED THAT THE "HASBEEN" IS GOING, GOING AND WILL BE GONE...INTO CABLE ANONIMITY.

THERE IS ALSO NEED FOR THE LATE NIGHT TV,"CBS NETWORK", TO SEND LETTERMAN ON HIS WAY 'OUT'AS WELL.

PAMELA S



January 03 2011 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tglam

Cowel is an egotiscal, anal retentive ass. Why do you people watch this moron?

January 03 2011 at 12:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SUSAN

I don't know how Rap ia considered music. It is nothing but illeterate people mumbling a conglamoration of words that white people would be called racist and accused of hate crimes if they said them. They call women ho's and niggers and worse and they call their men nigga's and worse, they talk about murder and killing cops, anything their illiterate mind comes up with but if a white person got on a stage and said those things they would throw their ass in jail. Don Imas called them the same thing and Old Sharpton jumped up and down and got him fired.Shows what a hypocrite he is.

January 03 2011 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SUSAN

I don't get it!!! 39 out of every 1000 teen age girl in the US got pregnant in 2009. They teach you how in school as well as pass out condoms as if to imply it is ok to have sex as long as you use a condom, yet let someone get pregnant and have a beautiful child like Bristol Palin did because Aol don't like her mother they AOL calls her a scandal? At least she didn't abort it, abandon it or give it away or hand it to her parents to raise. Let movie stars have bastard babies and they are glorified as if it is a wonderful thing!!!!!! Bristol, knowing how much the media would put her down and cause the Palin haters to laugh and joke about her, bit the bullet and went on anyway, giving her an opportunity to give her child a better life. She didn't blow her money on booze and drugs; she bouight a nice house for her and her son. I applaud her for that and wish her much success. Sarah Palin didn't do such a bad job with her.

January 03 2011 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Faye

Definitely not looking forward to ANYTHING Oprah. I glanced through the listings for her new channel. "Oprah Presents". "Oprah this." "Oprah that". Much ego??? I used to like her. Now I'm just sick of her.

January 03 2011 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John F.C. Taylor

Nothing on this list that I'd be looking forward to. Had you included all reality shows getting canned, that I'd look forward to.

January 03 2011 at 7:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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