Try big serial <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="GENRE00006" title="Mystery (genre)" href="/topic/arts-culture/genres/mystery-%28genre%29-GENRE00006.topic">mysteries</a>, more shows about women behaving badly, sex and more sex, and more sitcoms.<br>
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It seems only three months, because it is, since the fall season sent its raw recruits out of the trenches, over the top and into the fray, to advance the cause or be cut to ribbons -- by the very networks that had sent them out there, ironically. The new year brings in the reserves and the reinforcements, for whom similar fates await. We are meanwhile here once again to write their names in the record. (Most of them, anyway.)<br>
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What will they show us, these early days of 2012? Big serial mysteries, some with paranormal underpinnings. (Will <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ENTTV00000799" title="Alcatraz (tv program)" href="/topic/entertainment/television/alcatraz-%28tv-program%29-ENTTV00000799.topic">"Alcatraz"</a> be the new <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ENTTV00000027" title="Lost (tv program)" href="/topic/entertainment/television/lost-%28tv-program%29-ENTTV00000027.topic">"Lost,"</a> or will "The River"?) More shows about women behaving badly. (<a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORCRP000009600" title="ABC" href="/topic/business/media-industry/television-industry/abc-ORCRP000009600.topic">ABC</a> has two series whose titles abbreviate the word "bitch.") The escalation of explicit sex humor on broadcast television proceeds rapidly apace; three-camera comedy continues its gradual return. And some series seem to have been made just to be mowed down.

( ABC / NBC / Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times / Fox )

Try big serial mysteries, more shows about women behaving badly, sex and more sex, and more sitcoms.

It seems only three months, because it is, since the fall season sent its raw recruits out of the trenches, over the top and into the fray, to advance the cause or be cut to ribbons -- by the very networks that had sent them out there, ironically. The new year brings in the reserves and the reinforcements, for whom similar fates await. We are meanwhile here once again to write their names in the record. (Most of them, anyway.)

What will they show us, these early days of 2012? Big serial mysteries, some with paranormal underpinnings. (Will "Alcatraz" be the new "Lost," or will "The River"?) More shows about women behaving badly. (ABC has two series whose titles abbreviate the word "bitch.") The escalation of explicit sex humor on broadcast television proceeds rapidly apace; three-camera comedy continues its gradual return. And some series seem to have been made just to be mowed down.

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