What’s on TV 2009 (Cable)

The Beast (premieres January 15th on A&E)

Patrick Swayze stars as Charles Barker as an unorthodox undercover FBI agent who starts training a rookie agent. For more, see here.

Trust Me (premieres January 26th on TNT)

TV needs more shows about ad agencies. Fewer professions see more drama and conflict both internal and external. This one stars Eric McCormack (Will and Grace) and Tom Cavanagh (Ed) as best friends working at a top Chicago ad agency.

The Closer (returns January 26th)

Kyra Sedgwick returns to one of the better procedurals on TV with one of the best casts. And why JK Simmons doesn’t have his own show is beyond me.

Monk and Psych (returning January 9th on USA)

This is the final season of USA’s most acclaimed hit, Monk. I never really got into it, but I’ve always appreciated Tony Shaloub. I’m guessing he’ll get another show pretty quickly. USA does a great job with their Monk promos though:

I’ve seen almost every episode of Psych. The first season was really fun but it’s been a little tired of late. Here’s hoping for a rebound.

Burn Notice (returns January 22nd on USA)

I lament the fact that I never caught this series as it looked really promising to me.

Damages (returns January 7th on FX)

This is show I will recommend more than any other. It’s not too late to rent Season 1 and catch up. Okay, maybe it is, but you really shouldn’t have much trouble with starting now, and you can probably find some recaps online somewhere. Anyway, as I’ve stated elsewhere, Damages has put together one of the better casts you’ll find on a TV drma these days with Glenn Close, William Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Zeljko Ivanek, Rose Byrne, Mario Van Peebles, and Ted Danson in one of my favorite performances of the past year.

Big Love (returns January 18th on HBO)

I can’t comment on this one, never having seen it, but wikipedia has this to offer:

In the third season of Big Love, Bill tries to find a partner for a Mormon-friendly casino and attempts to woo a fourth-wife prospect through unorthodox group-dating rituals, all while dealing with escalating hostilities between his parents.

United States of Tara (premieres January 18th on Showtime)

Written by Juno scribe Diablo Cody and produced by Steven Spielberg, Toni Collette stars as housewife with dissociative identity disorder.


Flight of the Conchords (returns January 18th on HBO)

You can already catch the first episode here.

Breaking Bad (returns March 8th to AMC)

Bryan Cranston returns as a high school teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer who turns to cooking meth to support his family after he’s gone.


Rescue Me (returns March 3rd to FX)

Denis Leary’s firefighter dramedy returns with Michael J. Fox joining the cast for the first four episodes. For previews, see here.

Battlestar Gallactica (returns January 16th to SciFi)

And lest I have my login revoked, I think I’d better mention this one.

13 thoughts on “What’s on TV 2009 (Cable)

  1. Just a side note about United States of Tara: it’s directed by Craig Gillespie, who also directed Lars and the Real Girl (which I only know because I just watched it last night). What’s with this guy directing “mental disorder” shows? Is that a new genre? (hello, Samantha Who?.) Anyway, I really liked Lars .

  2. I highly recommend Breaking Bad. In my opinion it’s even better than that other AMC show everyone talks about–you know, the one where people smoke and talk, but nothing else happens.

  3. I liked Monk but sometime last season it ran out of steam for me. I still have three unwatched episodes.

    That’s great that Michael J. Fox is in good enough condition to act.

    I’m really looking forward to Burn Notice. Like Steve I do hope they shake up the format a little bit as the Highway to Heaven shtick is getting a bit old.

    You didn’t mention 24 which starts next week. Here’s hoping it’s far better than that movie in December.

  4. I really liked Lars too.

    Is anyone watching Leverage? I haven’t watched it yet, but I have episodes on my DVR. It sort of looks like Hustle crossed by The Equalizer.

    Brian G, your recommendation means a lot, as I don’t think I would ever watch Breaking Bad based on the show description.

  5. Leverage has been a good show. Some of the episodes have been a little uneven, with the last one or two not so great.

    Mark Sheppard (plays Romo Lampkin in BSG) shows up as the hero’s nemesis in one episode – that is pretty good.

    Its kind of like Ocean’s 11 meets Highway to Heaven. But in a good way.

  6. Does anyone else thing that maybe Spielberg + Diablo Cody + Toni Collette just might be a formula for something awful? (Maybe it’s just me.)

  7. One other thing: I was disappointed at the season 2 premier for Flight of the Conchords. I’m a huge fan, but I thought the first episode really fell flat. No really good songs, and way too much Murray for my tastes. I kind of thought the series ran out of good ideas toward the end of season 1 (probably about the same time that the guys ran out of good original songs). I was hoping that the off season would give them time to resupply, but if episode 2.1 is any indication, things aren’t looking good. I hope I’m wrong.

  8. You didn’t mention 24 which starts next week.

    It was on my previous thread with the other broadcast TV premieres. Redemption was pretty awful, but the promos do look pretty awesome, Tony “Back From the Dead” Almeida notwithstanding.

  9. I think something’s wrong with me, I just don’t get what is funny in Flight of the Conchords. If I didn’t like the first episode, am I going to start liking it after a few more?

    There are so many good cable shows now, it’s amazing. Damages is the one I’m looking forward to the most, but Battlestar is right up there.

  10. BTD Greg,

    Breaking Bad is truly great. Bryan Cranston deserved that emmy, no question. Imagine if the Coen brothers directed a TV show. That’s what Breaking Bad is like. I heartily suggest checking it out.

  11. “[Last season/episode] was pretty awful, but the promos do look pretty awesome, [totally implausible plot line] notwithstanding.”

    This is how addicts talk. Break the cycle of dependency. Just say no to 24.

  12. I’ve tried replacement therapy. Lost, Damages, Friday Night Lights, The Unit. Nothing seems to work. I wonder if they make a nicotine-type 24 patch for this sort of thing.

  13. I’m looking forward to HBO’s Eastbound and Down. It’s a comedy about a hot-headed pro baseball pitcher played by Danny McBride whose loud mouth and bad attitude bring his career to an early and unexpected halt. Because he’s been stupid with his money, he has to move back to his hometown and work as a substitute gym teacher at his old high school. Also stars the hilarious Andy Daly.


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