<p>Damian Lewis and Claire Danes in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Damian Lewis and Claire Danes in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Review: Claire Danes and Damian Lewis riveting in Showtime's 'Homeland'

Terrorism thriller is easily the fall's best new series

They seem too good to be true at first, the two leads of Showtime's "Homeland," the best new show of the fall season. One is Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a tough, smart, dedicated CIA agent who can only be held back by her by-the-book superiors. The other is Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a Marine sniper who went missing in Iraq 8 years ago and was long presumed dead, only to be discovered alive and (relatively) well during a special forces raid on his captors' base.

The two could be poster girl and boy for the War on Terror, but almost immediately "Homeland" (it debuts Sunday night at 10) begins showing cracks in the facade.

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<p>&quot;Whitney&quot;&nbsp;(Whitney Cummings)&nbsp;and Alex (Chris D'Elia)&nbsp;have a strange encounter in the lobby.</p>

"Whitney" (Whitney Cummings) and Alex (Chris D'Elia) have a strange encounter in the lobby.

Credit: NBC

'Whitney' - 'First Date': Crazy game

Things get worse rather than better with the second episode

A quick review of last night's "Whitney" coming up just as soon as I wear my dressy Crocs...

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<p>Andy (Ed Helms)&nbsp;has a new incentive plan for &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

Andy (Ed Helms) has a new incentive plan for "The Office."

Credit: NBC

'The Office' - 'The Incentive': Tattoo you

How long can the show get away with turning Andy into Michael Scott 2.0?

A quick review of last night's "The Office" coming up just as soon as I scat about the good part...

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<p>Annie (Alison Brie)&nbsp;has an idea on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Annie (Alison Brie) has an idea on "Community."

Credit: NBC

'Community' - 'Geography of Global Conflict': Rage against the machine

Alan and Todd VanDerWerff talk about the difference between "normal" and "abnormal" episodes

A quick review of tonight's "Community" - followed by an anything-but-quick discussion between me and Todd VanDerWerff about the current state of the series - coming up just as soon as I have a multi-cultural evil twin...

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<p>Ron (Nick Offerman)&nbsp;faces his past on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Ron (Nick Offerman) faces his past on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Ron and Tammys': If you have diabeetus...

Ron faces off against two ex-wives and his mom in a riotous episode

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I make toilet wine in the federal prison in Terre Haute...

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<p>David Hornsby and Kevin Dillon in &quot;How to Be a Gentleman.&quot;</p>

David Hornsby and Kevin Dillon in "How to Be a Gentleman."

Credit: CBS

'How to Be a Gentleman' - 'Pilot': The not-so-original odd couple

What did everybody think of the new CBS sitcom?

I posted my review of "How to Be a Gentlemanearlier today. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched - whether you're a Rickety Cricket fan, a Johnny Drama fan, a Murray Hewitt fan, Chloe O'Brien or Dave Nelson fan, or simply someone who left the TV on after "Big Bang Theory" - what did you think? Did you find it funny? Do you intend to come back for more? Did all the characters step out of a time machine from 1997?

Have at it.

<p>Stan &quot;The Man&quot;&nbsp;Lee will guest star on the fifth season of &quot;Chuck.&quot;</p>

Stan "The Man" Lee will guest star on the fifth season of "Chuck."

Credit: NBC

Exclusive: 'Chuck' gets comics legend Stan Lee to guest star

Chuck will meet Spider-Man's co-creator in the final season's 7th episode

"Chuck" has been loading up on the nerd-bait casting for the spy comedy's fifth and final season. Guest stars already announced for the new season, set to debut on Friday, October 21(*), include Mark Hamill, Carrie-Anne Moss and "Community" star Danny Pudi.

(*) UPDATE: NBC today pushed back the premiere date by a week, to October 28.

To that list we can now add perhaps the most Comic Con-friendly guest star of all time: Stan Lee, legendary co-creator of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and almost every other iconic Marvel Comics character (including most of the roster of Joss Whedon's "Avengers" film).

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<p>Kevin Dillon and David Hornsby do the odd couple thing in &quot;How to Be a Gentleman.&quot;</p>

Kevin Dillon and David Hornsby do the odd couple thing in "How to Be a Gentleman."

Credit: CBS

Review: CBS' 'How to Be a Gentleman' big on funny people, light on funny jokes

David Hornsby, Kevin Dillon and company need to do better

I'll be brief on "How to Be a Gentleman," which CBS debuts tonight at 8:30. On the one hand, this is a show - an odd couple comedy about a sophisticated magazine writer who has to learn how to be more dude-like with the help of his former high school bully - filled with lots of very funny people. David Hornsby (the gentleman) plays Rickety Cricket on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and is one of that show's writers, and the creator here. Kevin Dillon (the ex-bully) was consistently one of the few parts of "Entourage" I didn't hate myself for watching. Dave Foley (Hornsby's editor, who's adrift when the magazine goes the Maxim route(*)) was one of the Kids in the Hall, as well as the center of one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, "NewsRadio." Before she was Chloe on "24," Mary Lynn Rajskub (Hornsby's sister) was a very strange and funny comedienne. Rhys Darby (Rajskub's wimpy husband) was the hilarious Murray on HBO's deadpan "Flight of the Conchords." Nancy Lenehan (Hornsby's mother) has been a welcome sitcom presence for years.

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<p>How much of Leslie Knope's life is like &quot;The Contender&quot;&nbsp;and how much like &quot;The Remains of the Day&quot;?</p>

How much of Leslie Knope's life is like "The Contender" and how much like "The Remains of the Day"?

Credit: NBC

How a 'Parks and Recreation' pitch becomes a joke, part 2

The 'Parks' co-creator explains why some pitches survive, and some don't

Welcome to part 2 of How a "Parks and Recreation" Pitch Becomes a Joke. In part 1, I gave my account of an afternoon at the "Parks and Rec" writers room in early June, when Mike Schur and his staff were throwing out story and joke pitches for the start of season 4. Now it's time for a follow-up discussion with Schur (minus the part about Leslie and Ben, which I published last week), in which he discusses which of those June pitches survived, which didn't, why and why not, and what exactly that "Challenge Day" card was all about.

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<p>&quot;Hey, guys!&nbsp;Did you hear about these new ideas the writers have for us?&quot;</p>

"Hey, guys! Did you hear about these new ideas the writers have for us?"

Credit: NBC

How a 'Parks and Recreation' pitch becomes a joke, part 1

A fly on the wall account from an early season pitch meeting

Back in early June, while on a trip to LA to meet with my HitFix corporate overlords, I had a chance to go over to the "Parks and Recreation" writers room and watch Mike Schur and the rest of the staff brainstorm ideas. I've been to that writers room before, and many others, but always during either the summer press tour (late July/early August) or the winter one (mid-January) - in other words, after the season's larger story arcs had been figured out and now the focus was on individual episodes. This was June, though, and the writers hadn't been back at work for very long, and were still trying to figure out the content of the season premiere, and many episodes to follow, and I thought it would provide a good opportunity to show how a comedy - especially a great one like "Parks and Rec" - constructs jokes and storylines at the start of a season.

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