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Midseason TV: Returning Shows

[IMG:L]There’s just as much reason to be excited about this year’s returning shows as for the new ones…

24 (Jan. 11)
In November, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) returned in the TV movie 24: Redemption, but now he’s back in earnest, Tony’s alive, there’s a female president and CTU is dead. 

American Idol (Jan. 13)
We’ve all heard the news: There’s a fourth judge (Kara DioGuardi), fewer bad auditions, more time in Hollywood. Now we get to see if/how it all pans out. 

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The Bachelor (Jan. 5)
Former Bachelorette castoff – and single dad — Jason Mesnick gets to break hearts of his own. 

Battlestar Galactica (Jan. 16)
The beloved sci-fi (and Sci-Fi Channel) series finally comes to a close with 10 episodes. And we find out just who the last Cylon is. 

Big Love (Jan. 18)
Prepare yourself for the addition of an eighth child to the Hendrickson family and potentially … a fourth wife! 

Damages (Jan. 7)
More high tension between Patty (Glenn Close) and Ellen (Rose Byrne) — which is a very, very good thing! Meanwhile, William HurtTimothy Olyphant and Marcia Gay Harden join the already top-notch cast. 

Dancing With the Stars (March 9)
Julianna Hough is gone, pursuing her country-music career. The big questions: Which boybander will they get this time around – and will they find someone older than Cloris Leachman?

[IMG:L]Flight of the Conchords (Jan. 18)
New Zealand’s fourth-most-popular folk-comedy duo is back, but soak this season up — because it’s probably the last! Seymour Cassel, Jim GaffiganGreg Proops and Kristen Wiig are among this season’s guest stars, although no guest stars are necessary for one of TV’s funniest shows. 

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Friday Night Lights (Jan. 16)
If you didn’t already see season 3’s episodes when they aired on DirecTV this fall, they’re new to you; if you have … well, it’s worth watching again. 

Hell’s Kitchen (Jan. 29)
In the fifth season of Gordon Ramsay’s emotion-ridden reality show, 16 chefs duke it out for the chance to land a head-chef position at a swank Atlantic City hotel. 

The L Word (Jan. 18) 
Elizabeth Berkley (Showgirls, Saved by the Bell) joins the estrogen-heavy cast of L Word … as a straight woman! What more do you even care to know?

[IMG:L]Lost (Jan. 21)
As always, expect the unexpected — and copious amounts of time-foolery — as the survivors try to make it back to the island. 

Medium (Feb. 2)
Look for the entire Dubois family to go on more “adventures” this season — and a number of guest stars, including Blythe Danner

Nip/Tuck (Jan. 6)
The good: Everyone’s favorite plastic-surgery drama returns after almost a year. The bad: There will only be eight episodes in “season 5, part 2.” 

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The Real World (Jan. 7)
After an indulgent Hollywood setting for its 20th season, The Real World returns to its New York roots for No. 21: Brooklyn. In a slight format change, this season will feature only hour-long episodes. 

Rescue Me (April TBD) 
Michael J. Fox joins the cast of Denis Leary’s looong-delayed firefighter series for four episodes as Janet’s (Andrea Roth) wheelchair-bound love interest.

[IMG:L]Scrubs (Jan. 6)
Courteney Cox, no stranger to television, joins Sacred Heart as the new chief of medicine. The real question: Can she help save Scrubs (now on ABC instead of NBC)? 

The Tudors (March 30)
British singer Joss Stone surprisingly joins the cast this season, playing the fresh object of King Henry’s (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) affection.

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