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Four promising new shows

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Glee (Fox)
Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy has dreamed up something really different: an hour-long comedy-with-music about a high school glee club. Sound dorky? Nope: It’s witty and high-spirited — a canny mix of American Idol with scripted punchlines and excellent acting (the large cast of mostly unknowns includes Matthew Morrison and Nip‘s Jessalyn Gilsig). Could be the sleeper hit of the year.

Harper’s Island (CBS)
Every week, someone is killed on a small island. Updating the kind of plot Agatha Christie used in about 742 novels, Harper’s is a murder-mystery soap with faces both fresh and familiar (hello, Harry Hamlin!).

Sit Down, Shut Up (Fox)
From some of the folks who brought you Arrested Development, The Simpsons, and Two and a Half Men comes an animated U.S. adaptation of an Aussie sitcom about beleaguered high school teachers. Arrested‘s Jason Bateman and Will Arnett are among the voice cast.

Better Off Ted (ABC)
Speaking of Arrested Development, Portia de Rossi costars in this fine, wacky, utterly original comedy. It’s about Ted (Jay Harrington), a research-and-development exec for a cynical corporation; de Rossi is his boss. A raucous satire of big-business amorality.

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