Question: As we approach the annual barrage of year-end Top 10 lists, I'm dreading the fact that one worthy, excellent TV show will be overlooked by most critics: The Vampire Diaries. Don't get me wrong, I love Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones as much as any sane person, but I also think TVD is one of the most expertly paced, perfectly plotted shows on TV right now. Unfortunately, I don't think many professional critics bother to watch it, though they'll analyze lesser shows like True Blood and The Walking Dead just because of the networks they air on. Even if critics don't think The Vampire Diaries is Top 10 worthy, I think it at least deserves to be part of the year-end conversation. Why is it so hard for a show like this to be taken seriously? — Donnie
Matt Roush: I like Vampire Diaries and probably give it more consideration than ...
Is he a good Santa or a bad Santa? Sounds like a case for Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick), and in a very campy Christmas episode of TNT's The Closer (9/8c) — one of many holiday episodes we'll be weighing in on this week — the Santa is ...
Nathan Fillion, Kat Dennings, Jason Segel
Every week, editors Adam Bryant and Natalie Abrams satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to email@example.com.
I am so excited for the "Cuffed" episode of Castle. What can you tell me? —Erin
ADAM: Castle and Beckett, handcuffed on a bed together, with no recollection of how they got there — what could possibly go right wrong? As you might imagine, the duo finds themselves in a number of awkward — and suggestive —positions as they try to escape. At one point, Beckett even asks Castle to lift up her shirt. Rawr! (That sexist sound is also a hint.)
Will Max and Caroline ever hit their goal on 2 Broke Girls? — Jen
NATALIE: I know, right? These girls need some quick cash. What could they do, what could they...? No! Not...
The two-hour finale of The Sing-Off plummeted 37 percent in the coveted demo from a year ago and some 20 percent in viewership. Instead, people got into the holiday spirit by watching the umpteenth showings of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Shrek the Halls on ABC in the first hour of Cyber Monday's prime time.
Last Man Standing, Homeland, The X Factor
So many new shows, so little time! With a handful of fall TV casualties already — RIP Charlie's Angels, Playboy Club, Free Agents, How to Be a Gentleman and H8R (and it's not looking too good for Prime Suspect or Man Up either) — it's time to assess what's worth keeping on your DVR, and what you can safely skip.
For now, we're high on American Horror Story, a spooky mash-up unlike anything else on TV, and Homeland, a twisty thriller anchored by two riveting performances. We're cautiously optimistic about Suburgatory, for those who miss Gilmore Girls, but then there are the shows we're thisclose to ditching...
Is your favorite show in danger? Check out our list of 10 "bubble" shows
Read on to see how we see fall TV's freshman class thus far...
Ricki Lake, Derek Hough
Down to the last three contestants, Dancing with the Stars attracted 20.04 million viewers but hit an all-time low in the industry-prized demo for a final performance program, scoring a 3.6 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds, preliminary Nielsen data shows.
Katie Couric and Lady Gaga
These are the guest stars and events that the networks have planned for the second week of November sweeps:
Monday, Nov. 21
Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
It's the final week of performances for the remaining three celebs: Rob Kardashian, Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez. (Sadly, though, no Muppets!)
Rock Center with Brian Williams
The newest show with the smallest audience in the Monday-at-10/9c time slot made the biggest news — and got a ratings boost.
In its third week on the air, Rock Center with Brian Williams scored its first big "get" as Bob Costas interviewed former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky about the child sexual abuse allegations against him, attracting 4.49 million viewers and posting a 1.3 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds — a 30 percent increase in the demo. It also marked the newsmagazine's biggest viewership yet, though that bar is low with audiences of 3.51 million and 4.13 million in its first two weeks.
CBS has ordered three more episodes of A Gifted Man, Deadline reports.
10 bubble shows — Which will survive?
Monday's order brings the medical drama's freshman season to 16 episodes...
Jason O'Mara, Shelley Conn
On Monday night, Terra Nova attracted 7.67 million viewers and a 2.6 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds, up 16 percent in viewers and an impressive 24 percent in the demo, Nielsen's fast overnights show.
But the real winner Monday night was Dancing with the Stars, averaging 18.02 million and 3.3 demo rating — up 18 percent over last week's series low — over two hours starting at 8/7c. Over the same span, NBC's The Sing-Off pulled in 4.20 million (1.5).