<p>Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell) studies an alien artifact on the &quot;V&quot;&nbsp;season two premiere.</p>

Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell) studies an alien artifact on the "V" season two premiere.

Credit: ABC

Review: ABC's 'V' returns for season 2

Cosmetic fixes can't really fix a rotten foundation

When a TV show isn’t working creatively, executives will sometimes bring in a new lead producer in hopes that he or she will be able to take the idea the network liked and turn it into an overall show the network will like. That can work on occasion - see AMC’s “Rubicon,” which parted ways with its creator after a single episode - but more often than not, the new boss has inherits too much baggage from the old boss to do more than make minor, unsatisfying tweaks.

That seems to be the case with ABC’s “V,” which begins its second season - and first full one under the aegis of producer Scott Rosenbaum - tomorrow night at 9 p.m.

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<p>Ben McKenzie and Michael Cudlitz in &quot;Southland.&quot;</p>

Ben McKenzie and Michael Cudlitz in "Southland."

Credit: TNT

Review: TNT's 'Southland' returns for season 3

Despite reduced budget, the show's largely intact - but is that a good thing?

When a low-rated show from a broadcast TV network is canceled, its fans will often ask me if some random cable network might pick it up. After all, they reason, cancellation-level ratings on a broadcast network would be a success on a smaller cable channel, right?

I always explain that it’s not that simple, for two reasons. First, when a show moves from a bigger channel to a smaller one, its ratings almost always dip proportionally. But more importantly, broadcast shows and cable ones are made on a different cost structure where the network ones can cost twice as much as their cable counterparts. So any show trying to make the jump from one model to the other would have its budget slashed so much that it would barely resemble its former self.

But the TNT cop drama “Southland,” which returns Tuesday night at 10 p.m., might have me rethinking the whole thing.

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence in &quot;Winter's Bone,&quot;&nbsp;which had a spectacular sense of place.</p>

Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone," which had a spectacular sense of place.

At the movies: What were your favorite films of 2010?

Your humble TV critic loved 'Toy Story 3,' 'Inception' and 'Winter's Bone,' among others

I write about TV for a living, and I'm a dad, and when you intersect those two particular sets, in the overlap lives a guy who doesn't go to the movies very often anymore. But every now and then on the old blog I would write up a movie if I got to see it while it was still in theaters (as I did in these parts for "Inception"). And over this slow TV period at the end of December/start of January, it's always fun to ask about the best movies everybody's seen in the past year.

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Credit: NBC

The Worst TV of 2010: 'Gravity,' 'Outsourced' and more

Even a great year has a lot of junk

In many ways, this was a great year in television, one in which I struggled to make room for all my favorite shows in my Top 10 lists, even when splitting them into multiple lists. But with so many channels producing so much original programming year-round, the best stuff still represents a very thin slice of the pie - and if you cut into other sections, it was still easy to find plenty of things that were rotten.

I can't say that these 10 shows were the actual 10 worst to air in 2010. Because of the demands of my job, I often wind up just skipping over shows I suspect have no chance of being good. I haven't seen a second of "Bridalplasty," "Skating with the Stars" or the "Kate Plus 8 Minus Jon Multiplied By Rampant Narcissism" specials. These are just the 10 worst things I actually watched, in some descending order of terrible-ness (and you can find Fienberg's own worst-of picks here):

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<p>&quot;Modern Family&quot;&nbsp;star Rico Rodriguez in the episode &quot;Manny Get Your Gun.&quot;</p>

"Modern Family" star Rico Rodriguez in the episode "Manny Get Your Gun."

Credit: ABC

Best of the Rest: 10 great TV episodes of 2010

Stand-out installments from 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'The Walking Dead' and more

Time for one more Best of 2010 list before the year's out: some of my favorite episodes of the year.

Now, a list of my actual 10 favorite episodes would draw heavily from the shows that made my lists of the best new or returning series of the year - "The Suitcase" from "Mad Men," "One Minute" from "Breaking Bad," "Modern Warfare" from "Community," etc. - so in the interest of both spreading the wealth and acknowledging that less-than-perfect series can sometimes have perfect episodes, I'm going to restrict this list to shows that didn't quite make the cut for my other lists. (Though shows that I listed as Tough Omissions were eligible.)

If you listened to the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast a couple of weeks ago, some of these choices will sound familiar, but others weren't discussed in that show. Because I've already added a few qualifiers, these are listed alphabetically, rather than trying to subjectively rank them in order of greatness. Clips included where available, as well as links to my original reviews.

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<p>Ray Romano on &quot;Men of a Certain Age.&quot;</p>

Ray Romano on "Men of a Certain Age."

Credit: TNT

'Men of a Certain Age' - 'The Bad Guy': Sign on the line that is dotted!

The guys' big changes become official in a strong episode

A review of tonight's "Men of a Certain Age" coming up just as soon as I'm interested in beefing up my sombrero reel...

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<p>Bryan Cranston on &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Bryan Cranston on "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 52: Best TV of 2010

Alan and Dan count down their favorite shows of the year, with a fair amount of overlap


I know we promised that this Firewall & Iceberg Podcast would be posted late last week, but various developments led us to push it back to its regularly-scheduled day, even though we were actually able to record it on Thursday. (Long, boring story.) For our last podcast of the year - and, appropriately, our 52nd, even though we didn't record podcasts every week this year (we doubled up enough times to catch up) - Dan and I discussed our picks for the 10 best shows of the year. You've already read my list and likely seen Dan's as well, but have you ever heard us discuss them before? No. Nor have you heard me absolutely, positively screw up an attempt to reference the TV line of the year.

Enjoy, and thanks for listening in 2010. We promise to work on figuring out whatever the hell it is we're doing in 2011. 

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

And as always, feel free to e-mail us at sepinwall@hitfix.com and/or dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.

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<p>Michael Gambon, Matt Smith and Katherine Jenkins in the latest &quot;Doctor Who&quot;&nbsp;Christmas special.</p>

Michael Gambon, Matt Smith and Katherine Jenkins in the latest "Doctor Who" Christmas special.

Credit: BBC

'Doctor Who' - 'A Christmas Carol': Gone fishin'

The Doctor tries to help Michael Gambon find the Christmas spirit in a touching holiday special

"Doctor Who" presented its annual Christmas special last night, and it finally occurred to someone in BBC corporate that if America didn't get to see it on the same day as the UK, then fans on this side of the (Amy) pond might just bootleg the thing. Hopefully, that arrangement will continue for the upcoming season, but in the meantime, I've got a relatively timely review coming up just as soon as I get accidentally engaged to marry a Monroe...

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<p>Angelo and Jamie on last night's &quot;Top Chef.&quot;</p>

Angelo and Jamie on last night's "Top Chef."

Credit: Bravo

'Top Chef' - 'Advantage Chef': I'm trying to tell you now, it's sabotage!

Is it a flaw that Jamie has survived two elimination challenges where she didn't serve a dish?

A quick review of last night's "Top Chef" coming up just as soon as I freeze things so I can smash them...

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<p>Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley)&nbsp;gets into a fight on &quot;Human Target.&quot;</p>

Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley) gets into a fight on "Human Target."

Credit: FOX

'Human Target' - 'The Other Side of the Mall': Exile in suburbia

Awkward Christmas spirit and forced humor lead to the season's weakest episode

A quick review of tonight's "Human Target" coming up just as soon as I'm familiar with "The Secret Life of Bees"...

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