Leave the Lights on
Let's get one thing clear right now: Friday Night Lights might be about a small-town Texas football team, but it ain't The White Shadow. Not only is it the best high school drama on the air, but it's also one of the best dramas period, tackling issues of race, drug use (including steroids) and relationships in remarkably grownup fashion. Fridays 9 pm on NBC.
Don't fear The Reaper
Think your folks messed you up? How about having your soul sold to Satan and being forced to become hell's bounty hunter? Oh yeah, and you work at something resembling Home Depot? Gleeful slacker fun - like Supernatural with a sense of humour, or the better eps of Buffy. The real star of the show is Ray Wise's patronizing sleazebag of a Beelzebub. Think Family Feud's Richard Dawson with a better wardrobe. Tuesdays at 9 pm on Citytv.
TV's newest happy meal
A made-for-TV Daniel Craig, brawny Scotsman Kevin McKidd (left) is more swoon-worthy than McDreamy or McSteamy. Short-tempered Rome centurion Lucius Vorenus sweats gravitas. He also has a cool new time-warping drama, Journeyman (in a sweet post-Heroes time slot) that finds him being swept back and forth within in his own lifetime to fix people's relationship problems, including his own. Think Quantum Leap meets Dr. Phil - only, you know, cool. McKidd's also rumoured to be the hammer man in Marvel Comics' big-screen Thor. Oh, boy! Mondays at 10 pm on NBC.
Let's get it on!
From Marvin Gaye those words are about making sweet love. From The Ultimate Fighter ref Big John McCarthy they're a call to battle. Mixed martial arts - kickboxing, wrestling, ju-jitsu and anything else short of throwing the kitchen sink at an opponent - is the fastest-growing sport in the world. Now in season six, TUF is the ultimate reality show, pitting trash-talking would-be UFC warriors against each other while also making them live together Big Brother-style. The most intriguing part is watching the two coaches, bible thumper Matt Hughes and obnoxious Matt Serra, butt heads - figuratively, at least until they square off in the season finale. Wednesdays at 10 pm on Spike.
Are you smarter than a Drabinsky?
So you think you can dance? Sing? Act? Leave it to theatre impresario Garth Drabinsky to take the reality talent contest to the extreme with Triple Sensation. Cynthia Dale, Marvin Hamlisch, Adrian Noble and Sergio Trujillo will supply the necessary creative push as 12 aspiring entertainers vie for a $150,000 scholarship - although if they'd skipped making a show and just used the budget to fund scholarships, they probably could've helped a few dozen performers instead of just one. Sundays at 8 pm on CBC.
Tom Selleck's moustache
The sweetest soup strainer this side of the Bandit's rides into the now Jimmy Caanless Las Vegas (The OC for fans of Celebrity Poker). Selleck, playing a rancher-turned-casino-boss, has always been adept at action (the Jesse Stone series) and comedy (Friends, Boston Legal), but he hasn't had a chance to mix the two since he cruised Hawaii in a Ferrari. Aloha, Magnum, we missed ya! Fridays at 10 pm on NBC.
Superman's kissing cousin
Heroes may be hot, but Smallville deserves serious props for its geeky-cool take on the Big Blue Boyscout's teen years. It knows how to play with the comic book mythos without messing it up. Doesn't hurt that they always land super-awesome cameos by previous Superman stars: Margot Kidder, Annette O'Toole, Terence Stamp and now original Supergirl Helen Slater, who'll play the aunt of the new Supergirl. Thursdays at 8 pm on A Channel.
Pushing all the right buttons
Pushing Daisies may be the best new series of the season. It's certainly the most original, although the premise sounds silly: a pie maker who can raise the dead for 60 seconds teams with a P.I. to solve murders by questioning the victims. The result is absurdly enchanting and almost fairy-tale-like, as if Tim Burton were at the controls. It was created be a Heroes scribe, and the first ep was directed by Addams Family man Barry Sonnenfeld. Tuesdays at 8 pm on CTV, Wednesdays at 8 pm on ABC.