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Returning shows: 2010 Winter TV preview

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Big Love
HBO | Jan. 10 | 9-10PM
Only nine episodes this season, but luckily, they’re overflowing. The clan is opening a family-friendly casino, while Bill (Bill Paxton) wants to win a state senate seat so he and his family can come out. Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn) is fretting over the upcoming marriage of her daughter Sarah (Amanda Seyfried, in her final season); Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) has Queen of QVC aspirations; and Nicki (Chloë Sevigny) isn’t exactly winning Mom of the Year with her teen daughter.

Project Runway
Lifetime | Jan. 14 | 10-11PM
New year, whole new show! (At least we hope so, after the debacle that was season 6.) The fashion competition returns to the Big Apple, and much like New York City’s inhabitants, the contestants come from around the world, including the Philippines, China, and Côte d’Ivoire. They’ll be critiqued by another round of celebrity judges, starting with Nicole Richie, not to mention the regular judges, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors, who thankfully return full-time.

24
Fox | Jan. 17 | 9-11PM
Kicking off with a two-night, four-hour premiere, the eighth season takes the action to NYC, where Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) butts heads with the new CTU leader (Boomtown’s Mykelti Williamson) while working alongside ex-Marine Cole Ortiz (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Cole’s fiancée, Dana Walsh (Battlestar Galactica‘s Katee Sackhoff), a computer expert with a troubled past. Also, Slumdog Millionaire‘s Anil Kapoor joins as a Middle Eastern leader who’s the target of an assassination attempt. (See review, page 64.)

Burn Notice
USA | Jan. 21 | 10-11PM
Hopefully, Michael’s (Jeffrey Donovan) fridge is still stocked with plenty of yogurt — as well as beer for Bruce Campbell’s Sam — as the blacklisted spy has to deal with a black-ops sociopath (Prison Break‘s Chris Vance), along with the return of Michael’s brother, Nate (Seth Peterson), and his mentor, Larry (Tim Matheson). Plus, Tyne Daly joins Sharon Gless in the premiere for a Cagney & Lacey reunion!

Damages
FX | Jan. 25 | 10-11PM
Ellen (Rose Byrne) may be free from the icy clutches of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) in the workplace, but the duo’s power struggle lives on thanks to a new investigation of the Bernie Madoff-esque Lou Tobin (Len Cariou). Joining for season 3 are Lily Tomlin as Tobin’s wife; Campbell Scott as the Tobin scion, Joe; and Martin Short as formidable family attorney Leonard Winstone.

RuPaul’s Drag Race
Logo | Feb. 1 | 10-11PM
Take some fabulous guest judges (Kathy Griffin and Jackie Collins), add season 2 contestants with names like Jujubee and Pandora Boxx, and you’ve got an even fiercer quest to become America’s Next Drag Superstar.

The Sarah Silverman Program
Comedy Central | Feb. 4 | 10-10:30PM
In season 3, the potty-mouthed comedian takes on pedophiles and their vans, sues Home Alone (yes, the movie), and rigs a mayoral election.

Celebrity Fit Club
VH1 | Feb. 8 | 9-10:30PM
Former USMC drill instructor Harvey Walden whips another crop of puffy celebs — including Bobby Brown, former Baywatch babe Nicole Eggert, and Ex-Mr. Britney Spears, Kevin Federline, (plus, randomly, K. Fed’s ex Shar Jackson) — into lean, mean tabloid-fueling machines.

Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains
CBS | Feb. 11 | 8-10PM
You know the names: Rupert, Sugar, Colby, Jerri, Boston Rob, Danielle — okay, well, maybe not Danielle, but you know most of the names. How will these all-stars perform when divided into good guys and bad guys? And how will Russell fare when he’s up against people who actually know how to play the game? Survivors, ready…

Flashforward
ABC | March 4 | 8-9PM
Sure, we’re itching to find out whether Mark (Joseph Fiennes) will get his FBI badge back, how Zoey (Gabrielle Union) will try to change Demetri’s (John Cho) fate, and what havoc the foretold future will wreak on Olivia (Sonya Walger). But what we want to know most of all is whether guest star Timbaland, who plays an evidence agent in the March 4 episode, will set his appearance to some toe-tapping beats.

The Celebrity Apprentice
NBC | March 14 | 9-11PM
Cyndi Lauper, Bret Michaels, and Sinbad are part of the illustrious — and we use that term lightly — lineup. Adding a dash of politico flavor (and questionable hair) to the mix is former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who follows in the grand footsteps of wife Patti, who appeared on NBC’s other D-lister mishmash, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

Nurse Jackie
Showtime | March 22 | 10-10:30PM
Cheating on your husband with a co-worker is bad. For Jackie (Edie Falco), bad is about to get worse, now that said husband (Dominic Fumusa’s Kevin) and said co-worker (Paul Schulze’s Eddie) have finally come into contact. When Jackie isn’t dealing with the collision of her two worlds, she’ll be visited by guest stars Harvey Fierstein, as the husband of an incoming patient, and Julia Ormond, playing an international journalist who visits the hospital under surprising circumstances.

United States of Tara
Showtime | March 22 | 10:30-11PM
Tara (Toni Collette) unleashes her alters — some new, some old — to solve a mysterious neighborhood incident. Meanwhile, Marshall (Keir Gilchrist) begins to question his sexuality, Charmaine (Rosemarie DeWitt) gets tangled up in a love triangle, and Kate (Brie Larson) discovers her own second self — in the form of an online fantasy persona. Kinky!

V
ABC | March 30 | 10-11PM
After its four-episode run in the fall, V returns and we find out whether Chad (Scott Wolf) decided to fast-track his medical treatment on the V’s advice, whether Father Jack (Joel Gretsch) survived the stabbing, and what kind of baby — boy, girl, or alien — Valerie (Lourdes Benedicto) will have.

Breaking Bad
AMC | March TBA
We saw tension mount between Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) last season, but things get even stickier when Damages‘ David Costabile joins the cast as Walt’s new assistant, Gale. Plus, Bob Odenkirk’s shady lawyer, Saul, becomes a series regular.

Glee
Fox | April 13 | 9-10PM
While New Directions preps for its season-ender performance at regionals, we get an all-Madonna music episode, along with an influx of Broadway stars like Idina Menzel as Vocal Adrenaline’s coach, Jonathan Groff as their lead singer (and Rachel’s love interest), and more Kristin “Maybe This Time” Chenoweth.

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