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TV's Smartest Detectives

by AOL TV Staff, posted Nov 28th 2011 10:00AM
Magnum P.I.Ready to sharpen your armchair detective skills?

TNT is kicking off a new Mystery Movie Night, starting with Scott Turow's 'Innocent' (premieres Tues., Nov. 29, 9PM ET), starring Bill Pullman as a man charged with murdering his wife, played by Marcia Gay Harden, and Alfred Molina as his defense attorney. In honor of this series of best-selling whodunit stories brought to the small screen, we rounded up the smartest detectives in TV history.

From an OCD gumshoe-for-hire to a no-nonsense Scotland Yard sleuth, a sassy high-school snoop and a P.I. with facial hair as famous as he was, check out our gallery of the top 20 smartest TV detectives of all time.

Do your keen powers of perception tell you we've missed someone? Add your own favorites in the comments.

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NBC Gives 'Grimm' a Full Season and a New Night

by Catherine Lawson, posted Nov 22nd 2011 7:45AM
Well, we were right: The ax-wielders over at NBC have decided to give fledgling drama 'Grimm' time to find its feet and develop an audience. 'Entertainment Weekly' reports that the network has placed a full series order, making 'Grimm' the only new NBC hour-long series to get a "back nine" episode order this fall.

NBC President, Robert Greenblatt, said "We are very pleased to be making a full-season commitment for 'Grimm.' This series is turning the traditional procedural drama on its head and is attracting a loyal following for us on Friday nights. We love where it's going creatively and we're excited to deliver more episodes to our audience."

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What to Watch: TV Picks for November 14-20

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 13th 2011 2:00PM
Mark Kelly and Gabrielle GiffordsMONDAY, NOVEMBER 14

'Clue' (8PM ET, The Hub)
miniseries premiere
Based on the iconic family game, this five-part original miniseries premieres with back-to-back episodes. The show follows six young sleuths who stumble upon an adventure they never imagined after witnessing a terrible crime. Along the way, the six very different kids discover they have a lot more in common than they thought as they uncover hidden treasures and decipher cryptic knowledge to reveal a secret society. The mystery they unravel, and the accusations they make, could very well define their own futures.

'Love & Hip-Hop' (9PM ET, VH1) season premiere
Returning for its second season, the reality series picks up where the first season left off, following the lives of six unique women, each with a link to the exciting, glamorous and high-stress world of hip hop. Featuring Chrissy Lampkin, Emily Bustamante, Kimberly "Kimbella" Vanderhee, Olivia Longott, Somaya "Boss" Reese and Yandy Smith.

'ABC News Special: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' (10PM ET, ABC) special presentation
Ten months after her shooting at a Tuscon grocery store, Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, talk to Diane Sawyer about the ordeal and the congresswoman's painful road to recovery.

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Talking TV Podcast Reacts to 'Sons of Anarchy' Madness, Talks 'Fringe,' 'Homeland'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 9th 2011 4:25PM
Ryan McGee and I had lots to discuss in this week's Talking TV podcast.

As we are doing every week until the end of 'Sons of Anarchy's' fourth season, we discussed the latest developments in Charming and what these shocking events may (or may not) mean for the show's future.

We also delve into the current seasons of two dramas with strong followings: Fox's 'Fringe,' which we're both somewhat disappointed with this season, and Showtime's 'Homeland,' which has had a very strong start to its debut season. Still, being paranoid types (which somehow seems appropriate), we wonder if the show will be able to mix big, suspenseful reveals with character-driven drama all season long, or if one of the other might suffer as the time to supply answers draws near.

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What to Watch: TV Picks for November 7-13

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 6th 2011 2:00PM
Blair and ChuckMONDAY, NOVEMBER 7

'Gossip Girl' (8PM ET, The CW)

Blair makes all of her former minions and Charlie compete to secure the coveted bridesmaid spots in her upcoming royal wedding. Nate is tired of keeping his relationship with Diana a secret, so he decides to use Charlie to make Diana jealous. Serena's boss (guest star Michael Michele) is determined to acquire the film rights to Dan's book, so Serena must put her personal feelings about Dan and the book aside in order to close the deal.

'The Bad Girls Club' (9PM ET, Oxygen)
one-hour special presentation
Perez Hilton hosts the first of a two-part reunion special, wherein the bad girls reminisce about season 7.

'Castle' (10PM ET, ABC)
During the investigation of the murder of an Atlantic City casino owner at an abandoned warehouse, strong leads emerge for the team in both New York and Atlantic City. As Beckett and Capt. Gates work the New York leads together, Castle naturally chooses to join the detectives for the road trip to "America's Playground," hoping to help solve the case while throwing an impromptu bachelor party for Ryan.

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What to Watch: TV Picks for Oct 31 - Nov 6

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 30th 2011 12:00PM
Bored to DeathMONDAY, OCTOBER 31

'How I Met Your Mother' (8PM ET, CBS)

Ted finally meets his mystery girl in the Slutty Pumpkin costume. Meanwhile, Barney learns he is part Canadian, and Lily has pregnancy brain. Katie Holmes guest-stars as Naomi, the Slutty Pumpkin -- what more can we say?

'2 Broke Girls' (8.30PM ET, CBS)
Caroline enrolls herself and Max in a cake-decorating class to increase their skill level and take their cupcake business to the next level.

'Bored To Death' (9PM ET, HBO)
George encourages Jonathan to give Emily a night out with a younger man, but they end up entangled in a stakeout with a wannabe detective (guest star Brett Gelman) impersonating Jonathan. Elsewhere, George goes out with Bernard, but is surprised to find out that Richard Antrem (guest star Oliver Platt) is a rival restaurateur.

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Bubble Trouble: Why 'Pan Am,' 'Parks and Rec' and 12 Other Shows Could Go 'Pop!'

by Chris Harnick, posted Oct 28th 2011 11:00AM
Bubble Shows 2011For producers of underperforming television shows, this is the scariest time of the year -- and it's got nothing to do with Halloween specials. By now, the glow of premiere season has long since worn off, and shows we couldn't wait to see just a few short months ago are in serious danger of getting the hook.

Truth be told, the majority of broadcast shows are floating precariously atop the cancellation bubble. A world without 'Fringe'? An NBC Thursday night without 'Community'? Folks, it could happen.

Take NBC: the struggling network is aggressively developing new shows, desperate for a hit. Can old standbys like 'Parks and Recreation' survive when big dogs Sarah Silverman and Dane Cook are all developing new shows at the Peacock network?

A few notches away on the dial, CBS's 'CSI' franchise is starting to fizzle and the network has its eye on new comedies. With three different 'CSI' shows, it's safe to say one will probably go.

Who will survive this season? Only time will tell, but any of these shows could be goners by May.

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Fox Bumps 'Fringe' for Baseball, Will NBC Bump 'Grimm' and 'Chuck'?

by Catherine Lawson, posted Oct 28th 2011 7:08AM
'Grimm'Last night's thrilling Game 6 was just fantastic for baseball fans, but has produced headaches of epic proportions for the schedulers at the TV networks.

Having wreaked havoc on the schedules at Fox for a couple of weeks already, the imminent championship-deciding Game 7 tonight may also prompt some gnashing of teeth elsewhere.

Game 7 means that Fox will have to reschedule 'Fringe' and 'Kitchen Nightmares,' but they've had a few days in which to consider their options. And 'Fringe' fans are already used to setting their DVRs to catch new episodes as the series is regularly bounced around the Fox schedule anyway. But what about 'Grimm?'

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What To Watch: TV Picks for Oct 24-30

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 23rd 2011 2:30PM
Marshall and LilyMONDAY, OCTOBER 24

'How I Met Your Mother' (8PM ET, CBS)

The gang begins to realize their romantic partner reminds them of one of their parents. Meanwhile, Barney and Nora's planned romantic evening is ruined by a string of bad events. Wayne Brady guest-stars as Barney's brother and Frances Conroy guests as their mother.

'2 Broke Girls' (8.30PM ET, CBS)
Caroline tries to build a Murphy bed for herself in Max's apartment, and the chemistry between Max and Johnny (Nick Zano) heats up.

'Hart of Dixie' (9PM ET, The CW)
Zoe discovers something shocking about the local minister (guest star Peter MacKenzie) and his wife (guest star Kerry O'Malley), causing quite a stir among the residents of Bluebell. Lemon is determined to find the funds to renovate the town's historic bridge that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, but first she is put in the extremely awkward position of having to convince Lavon to choose her proposal over so many other worthwhile submissions.

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'Fringe' Set Visit: The Cast Talks Peter's Return, Dueling Universes & New Threats

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 21st 2011 10:00AM
After four episodes of ghostly visitations, disembodied voices and brief cameos in reflective surfaces, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) is back from non-existence, which, ordinarily, would be cause for celebration.

Unfortunately for 'Fringe' fans, there's still the small issue of no one remembering who Peter is, which means that the tearful reunions might be a long time coming -- especially since there's no new episode this week.

Fringe cast
Last month, AOL TV traveled to Vancouver to catch up with the cast of the Fox drama (Fridays at 9PM ET) and find out what's coming up for our intrepid Fringe divisions -- on this side and the other.

After the jump, Anna Torv, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Seth Gabel and Lance Reddick weigh in on what Peter's return will mean for the team, how the addition of Lincoln will change the character dynamics and how the working relationship between the two universes will evolve. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

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Fall TV 2011: Which Shows Are You DVRing This Year?

by Chris Harnick, posted Oct 15th 2011 12:00PM
Fringe DVR RatingsSince Nielsen started keeping track of DVR playback, some shows that seemed like they were on death row showed tremendous gains in key ratings demographics.

According to the New York Times, new comedies 'Up All Night' and 'New Girl' had tremendous gains in the 18-49 demographic after Nielsen factored in DVR playback. 'Up All Night' jumped from 2.4 rating to a 3.5 rating. 'New Girl' debuted to a 4.8 rating -- already a great number for a new comedy -- but went up to a 6.7 rating when delayed viewing was factored in. 'Whitney' also went up from a 3.3 rating to a 4.2 rating.

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What To Watch: TV Picks for Oct 10-16

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 10th 2011 2:00PM
Chace Crawford and Elizabeth HurleyMONDAY, OCTOBER 10

'Gossip Girl' (8PM ET, The CW)

Nate must decide whether to cross moral lines at Diana's (guest star Elizabeth Hurley) request. Dan has figured out who is publishing his book and seeks help to stop it, but he ends up in the spotlight anyway. Chuck helps Dan come to terms with his fate, while Dan continues to try to help Chuck break through his emotional block -- bromance alert!

'Five' (9PM ET, Lifetime) special telefilm premiere
An anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people's lives, Five uses humor and drama to focus on the effects breast cancer and its different stages of diagnosis have on relationships and the way women perceive themselves. It's an undeniable tearjerker, but there's enough star-power in this earnest TV movie to light Manhattan: Directed by Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Alicia Keys, Penelope Spheeris and Patty Jenkins, the cast includes Patricia Clarkson, Rosario Dawson, Lyndsy Fonseca, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Holloway, Taylor Kinney, Jennifer Morrison, Kathy Najimy and Tony Shalhoub, among numerous others.

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What To Watch: TV Picks for Oct 3-9

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 2nd 2011 11:10AM
Robin - HIMYMMONDAY, OCTOBER 3

'How I Met Your Mother' (8PM ET, CBS)
Last week's hilarious episode was a return to form for the aging comedy, and we're hoping that tonight's offering can maintain that momentum. After Robin assaults a girl who is out to ruin Barney's relationship, she is forced to begin court-mandated therapy sessions. Meanwhile, Ted gets too involved in Lily's pregnancy. Featuring Kal Penn as Robin's therapist, in his first acting role since joining the Obama Administration -- you go, Kumar!

'House' (9PM ET, Fox) season premiere
After last season's controversial finale, we pick up one year later, with everyone's favorite Vicodin addict behind bars. When an antagonistic prison gang leader makes a serious threat, House solicits the help of a fellow inmate (guest star Jaleel White), but when another inmate's unusual medical symptoms spark his curiosity, House must come up with creative ways to treat the patient while navigating prison rules.

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'Fringe' Season 4 Premiere: Who is the Man in the Mirror? (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 26th 2011 1:00AM
'Fringe' - 'Neither Here Nor There'Where's Peter Bishop? It's the question that has plagued the 'Fringe' (Fri., 9PM ET on FOX) marketing team all summer. In the Season 3 finale, he sacrificed his very existence in an attempt to save two worlds. Now there's a meeting place where the two realities co-exist, but Peter never was.

His absence rewrote bits of the timeline, like Olivia and the team having not yet met Lincoln Lee. More specifically, though, it's left Walter even more agitated and untethered, while Astrid seems a little harsher toward him than we remember. But where's Peter?

The Observer -- the one we've been seeing since the beginning -- noted that he's not as fully erased as he should have been, but as some part of him caused him to interfere in the natural order of things once before, he again could not complete the task of finally erasing Peter from existence.

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What To Watch: TV Picks for Sept 26 - Oct 2

by Laura Prudom, posted Sep 25th 2011 2:00PM
Terra NovaNote: Premieres are still debuting, so I'd like to emphasize the "picks" portion of the title and remind you that I'm only spotlighting a selection of the week's most noteworthy offerings. For a full listing of new and returning shows and their timeslots, check out our fall premiere grid or alphabetized list to plan your schedule.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

'Terra Nova' (8PM ET, Fox)
series premiere
The long-awaited, super-hyped and mega-expensive sci-fi drama finally lands on Fox this week, but is it worthy of the buzz? Surprisingly, yes. Some of the dialogue is leaden and lord knows how many times we've seen the "obnoxious teenager" archetype on genre shows, but I have a certain fondness for "event" TV, and this action-packed premiere is engaging enough and sets up plenty of potential mysteries for the season ahead. Gather your whole family for the spectacle.

'Hart of Dixie' (9PM ET, The CW) series premiere
Following the return of 'Gossip Girl,' this 'Everwood'-esque drama brings a little heart to The CW (pardon the pun) and gave me a serious case of the warm fuzzies. If you can get over the (admittedly large) hurdle of buying Rachel Bilson as a doctor, you'll probably appreciate its guileless, small town charm. Few shows can replicate the fond, nostalgic vibe that used to be The WB's stock in trade with shows like 'Gilmore Girls' and '7th Heaven,' so I'll admit that I'm kind of addicted. Whether it's more realistic than dinosaurs, though ... you'll have to draw your own conclusions.

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