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TCA: The buzziest shows of fall '11

Actress Zooey Deschanel attends the 2011 Fox Upfront

Actress Zooey Deschanel attends the 2011 Fox Upfront at Wollman Rink - Central Park in Manhattan. (May 16, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

People ask me -- as is their right -- what the hottest new shows of the new fall season, and I have tended to respond: "Ahhhh...ummmm....aaaahhh please ask me next month...."

But that doesn't do anyone any good. We want to know now. In any event, at the recent TCA tour in Beverly Hills, I began to collect impressions -- via Twitter, the Web, the sessions, and just plain osmosis -- about what shows seemed to have the highest caloric content so far...

 ...the hottest...

...the funniest...

...the most compelling...

...the most watchable....

 ...the buzziest...

And so here, in descending order, appear to be the hotties of 2011. Please note -- when I get around to reviewing these, judgments may be rendered otherwise, but so far, these all look promising.

1.) "American Horror Story," FX, from "Glee's" Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Nice creepy opening credits and critics still feeling the Connie Britton love (she stars) after "Friday Night Lights."

2.) "Surburgatory," ABC. With a title this ugly, the show's gotta be good (right?). Great cast -- including Jeremy Sisto, Cheryl Hines -- sold this package.

3.) "New Girl," Fox. Two words. "Zooey." Deschanel." It was almost embarrrassing to watch the (mostly) male critics kvelling over her.

4.) "Prime  Suspect," NBC. Remake of Helen Mirren classic starring Maria Bello getting some respect.

5.) "Pan Am," ABC: Great looking period piece; nostalgia sells!

6.) "A Gifted Man," CBS: CBS dramas look solid, but casting here  Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Ehle -- is best of all new dramas. In fact, all of CBS' new shows look good; "How to be a Gentleman," included.

7.) "2 Broke Girls," CBS: Sizzling pilot with Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, based on Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City") gets good reception. Deservedly.

8.) "Terra Nova," Fox: Could go higher on this list, but critical reception didn't seem wildly enthusiastic; not to say the tough crowd wasn't awestruck by the technical demands here. It was. "TN" has a great production team and a great look; I personally have very high expectations for this baby. I think it could be the best new show of the season.  

9.) "Homeland," Showtime. Damian Lewis as Marine POW, who returns home, with "Machurian Candidate" written all over it.

10.) "Ringer," CW. Three words -- "Sarah," "Michelle," "Gellar."

11.) "Grimm," NBC. Funky drama/sci-fi based rather loosely on the Grimm fairy tales is the dark horse of the '11 season. Could be a winner.


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