The 11 Most Popular CDP Posts Of All-Time.

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As of today’s post, I have been blogging here at the CDP for 12-and-a-half years. Since February of 2004, to be specific. Nearly 1500 individual entries, too.

That’s a long time to have done anything, and since the inception, I’ve managed to keep a side-eye on what seems to resonate on the web and what does not, traffic-wise. Now, this information has never shaped what I do here, and the CDP has never been popular enough to move the needle in any significant cultural sense, but that’s just the way I like it. It’s 2016. If you suddenly find yourself receiving a ton of attention on the Internet, it’s probably because a bunch of lunatics are forcing you to apologize about something. It’s never been worth it to me. I write what I want to write for the people who want to read it, I release a book every decade or so, and life is good.

I realized a long time ago that you cannot predict what will catch fire and what will languish in the archives and be read by nobody. It’ll drive you insane. It’s just best to do what you want and see what shakes out. When I think about my biggest, most ambitious projects that I’m the most proud of (Decade In Review, Loves The 90’s, TV25 Tournament, TV Month, etc.), statistics say that they weren’t all that massive. This isn’t even speaking to the hundreds of personal essays over the years that comprised both of my books. Some of those have been read by literally nobody.

But today isn’t about any of that. Today is an analysis of the Most Popular Posts In CDP History. Not my ‘best,’ not the most well-received. Just a straight-up look at the entries that have been viewed by the most people. The reason I’m doing this is because…well, we’ll get to that later. It’s worth your while.

Again, is this indicative of my best work? Nope; not even close. In fact, a couple of these are downright embarrassing in the light of 2016. Like I said, you cannot predict these things, but a few patterns did emerge once I started crunching the numbers. For example, 7 of the Top 11 entries are lists, which proves the Internet adage that if you’re just looking for traffic, clickbait always trumps quality.

Here we go. I’ll add personal thoughts as we venture along.

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11. Top 50 3rd Wave Ska Albums Of All-Time

Published – 09/24/10
Unique Hits – 10,000+

I had a lot of fun writing my list of the 50 Greatest 3rd Wave Ska Albums Of All-Time, but I thought it was just a selfish labor of love. I remember putting a fair amount of work into it with clips and photos and whatnot, along with personal remembrances of my time as a hardcore Ska fan. Frankly, the only reason I did it was because I wanted to read a list like this, but nothing existed on the Internet that I thought was worthy. So I made one myself, and it seemed to resonate with those who remember the era as fondly as I did. I also really like that logo.

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10. 10 Stupid Jobs

Published – 01/17/06
Unique Hits – 12,000+

This isn’t a list of 10 jobs that I find ‘stupid.’ This was literally a list of the first 10 jobs I’ve ever had; totally personal and autobiographical in nature. I like the essay and had fun with it, but the real reason it got bigger than average was because it shows up extremely high on search engines when you type in ‘stupid jobs.’ I’ll take it, if only because I want as many people as possible to read about the time I crashed that golf course mower through a fence and onto the highway.

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9. The Worst Album Covers Of All-Time

Published – 03/20/06
Unique Hits – 15,000+

This was a lucky example of striking while the iron was hot. Long before clickbait was a word and BuzzFeed carved an empire off of shit like this, I sifted through a bunch of terrible album covers and made fun of them. Now, I think I did a good job with this, but it was more of a ‘right time, right place’ thing. I still get e-mails about this original album cover list (I did a few of them). In fact, one album in particular makes its own appearance later on in the countdown.

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8. Everything Went Exactly As Planned

Published – 01/18/11
Unique Hits – 15,000+

This is a funny story. I created the above image and scanned it. The idea was to make it look like something from my childhood, and specifically to make it look like I got everything I ‘wished’ for. It was a self-deprecating, un-serious way to poke fun at how you think things will go, versus how things end up going. You either think it’s clever or it’s not, right?

Well, BuzzFeed either didn’t get the joke, or the tween they had writing their list didn’t look close enough at my image. The above ‘MASH’ creation was used (without permission, although I was cited) on one of their nostalgia lists. This lead to some hilariously misguided comments (“This idiot wanted a Mercury Sable?”) as nobody checked the source material to fully understand the joke. It was just a random, dumb luck set of circumstances that confused a lot of people who didn’t know me.

However, the best part was the spike in web traffic for my wife’s maiden name. Thousands of people on BuzzFeed wanted to know who this unknown woman was who shared a MASH category with Cindy Crawford and Christie Brinkley. It was a fun few weeks to sit back and watch it all play out. Internet’s weird, man.

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7. The Conspiracy Starts Now

Published – 06/24/06
Unique Hits – 16,000+

Many years ago, I found myself stuck in the middle of a UFO convention. Not a fun one. A serious, terrified group of people in the sweltering middle of nowhere talking about probes and mind control and personal tales of punching aliens in the face (not kidding). Instead of fleeing for my life, I stuck around and rolled tape until I thought I’d be outed as a skinwalker and got the hell out of dodge. 

I still think about that day sometimes. There was a moment during the festivities where the speaker wanted to go around the room and have people say out loud what their personal experiences had been with aliens. That was my cue to throw the car keys to Celia and start running.

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6. Top 20 Scary Movie Moments

Published – 10/28/04
Unique Hits – 20,000+

From a strictly search engine, clickbaity standpoint, I totally understand why this entry is so popular, especially around Halloween. I, however, sort of hate it. I was 22 years old, couldn’t write for shit, and basically blew it. I should really update this list. Not gonna hurt my feelings if you don’t go back and check it out.

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5. Top 30 TV Shows Of The 90’s

Published – 07/14/10
Unique Hits – 40,000+

I spent an entire month in 2010 counting back my favorite Films, TV Shows and Albums of the 1990’s, and I feel like I really put the work in. Lots of research, lots of re-watching and re-listening to stuff. Basically just an excuse to wallow in my favorite decade for the purposes of entertainment. But one entry in particular (Top TV Shows) seems to continue to generate traffic over the years. Hey, if you like that, I did a dozen more 90’s lists that month! Click around, homies!

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4. Ken-By Request Only – The Complete Story

Published – 09/25/07
Unique Hits – 50,000+

For a while in the mid-2000’s, Ken was a myth. A legend. An polyester enigma shrouded in mystery. With the help of Snopes and a crazy person willing to call a stranger on the telephone, I was one of the first people to shed more light on the mystery surrounding one of the ‘worst’ album covers of all-time. For that reason, this entry continues to draw people in. A new Ken fan is made every day, and I’d like to think I have a little something to do with that.

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3. 10 Hard-Hitting Questions

Published – 08/18/08
Unique Hits – 60,000+

Inspired by Chuck Klosterman’s set of ‘HyperTheticals,’ I attempted to create bizarre scenario questions and see how the Internet decided to answer them. It eventually took off, although I couldn’t really tell you why. I thought they were funny though, so it’s all good. 

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2. Twenty-Six Things That Suck About Turning 26

Published – 02/01/08
Unique Hits – 100,000+

Who knew that ‘Turning 26’ was searched by so many people? Chances are, if you turned (or are turning) 26 and wanted to see what people had to say about it, you found my essay right off the bat. To this day, I receive new comments and e-mails on a monthly basis as 20-somethings lament about this most mediocre of birthdays. Hang in there! It gets better! Or something! And yes, that is a childhood photo of me with a broken nose and two black eyes.


We’ve reached the top of our list. Number 1. The single most popular entry in CDP history.

Out of anything I’ve ever written, this is the only one I can legit say went ‘viral.’ It has already amassed well over a million unique hits and averages an additional 25,000 new hits per month. It has been viewed by more people than anything I have ever written in my entire life combined. It generates the most e-mail, has been featured on more news sites than I can keep up with, and has spawned an Internet community bigger than anything I could have ever imagined.

I’ve been waiting over five years to talk about this, and we’ll get into all of it, every granular detail, next time.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

The CDP 2016-2017 Fall TV Preview.

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It’s about that time, homies.

For the 11TH GODDAMN YEAR, the CDP is back with the rundown on nearly 60 new, returning, mid-season and recently-canceled TV shows. These are the shows I will be watching (or at least giving a chance to) throughout the season. All times Central, and the premiere and time slot information is as accurate as I could get. I also stuck mostly with national networks and basic cable, because the CDP is welcoming of those in all tax brackets and considers piracy a crime literally worse than murder (or at least worse than watching shows on your tiny dumb phone).

However, for the first time in Fall TV Preview history, I will be covering notable Netflix series as well. Black Mirror? Stranger Things? MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000??? How could I not? I’ll talk about all of those (and a lot more) in a bit.

Each year, I try to cut back on my TV watching habits a bit more, and while it looks like I’ve been abysmal in this crusade, I really (really!) haven’t picked up many new series this season. This has been made easier by the fact that most new programs (network ones, at least) look like garbage juice in the noonday sun. So yeah, the preview feels slightly lean, with more of an emphasis on already-established programs, but you work with what you have, right? It’s my list.

My my me mine.

And hey, if this preview isn’t enough for you, feel free to take a trip in the Wayback Machine to see my 10 other Fall TV Previews:

2005-2006 Preview. (Lost! Malcolm in the Middle! Arrested Development!)
2006-2007 Preview. (King of the Hill! House MD! The Office!)
2007-2008 Preview. (Friday Night Lights! 30 Rock! Heroes!)
2008-2009 Preview. (24! My Name is Earl! Dollhouse!)
2009-2010 Preview. (Parks and Recreation! Modern Family! The Middle!)
2010-2011 Preview. (Community! Bob’s Burgers! Louie!)
2011-2012 Preview. (Breaking Bad! The Walking Dead! Adventure Time!)
2013-2014 Preview. (The Goldbergs! Agents of SHIELD! Brooklyn Nine-Nine!)
2014-2015 Preview. (Gotham! Once Upon a Time! The Flash!)
2015-2016 Preview. (Better Call Saul! The Muppets! Fear The Walking Dead!)

…Yeah, I’ve reviewed a lot of television over the years. It looks great on a resume. No sense in stopping now; let’s do this.

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6:00-7:00 – America’s Funniest Videos (ABC – 10/2)
6:30-7:00 – Bob’s Burgers (FOX – 9/25)
7:00-7:30 – The Simpsons (FOX – 9/25)
7:00-8:00 – Once Upon A Time (ABC – 9/25)
7:30-8:00 – Making History (FOX – Midseason)
7:30-10:30 – Sunday Night Football (NBC)
8:00-9:00 – Fear The Walking Dead (AMC – 8/21)
8:00-9:00 – The Walking Dead (AMC – 10/23)
8:30-9:00 – The Last Man On Earth (FOX – 9/25)
9:00-10:00 – Talking Dead (AMC)
9:00-10:00 – Better Call Saul (AMC – Early 2017)

THE SKINNY! – FOX once again stacks the deck for Comedy on Sunday nights, with Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons and The Last Man On Earth all returning. New arrival Making History looks to be a Time Travel-based comedy from the creators of The Last Man On Earth, which is more than enough to earn a spot in my DVR queue. Meanwhile, NBC’s got you covered for football, and AMC takes care of the rest.

BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW!The Simpsons is the greatest show in TV history, but Bob’s Burgers is the best animated series currently on TV. However, you’re probably better suited to go with whatever drama happens to be on AMC. Fear is attempting to overcome some character issues in Season 2, while Better Call Saul begins Season 3 with tremendous momentum. That all being said, you watch The Walking Dead. I’m convinced the show has done nothing but improve, and we’re poised for a cliffhanger resolution the likes of which haven’t been seen since we pulled Desmond out of the Hatch on Lost.

My money is on Maggie or Glenn.

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7:00-8:00 – Supergirl (CW – 10/10 – Moved From CBS)
7:00-8:00 – Gotham (FOX – 9/19)
7:00-10:00 – Monday Night Raw (USA)
7:30-10:30 – Monday Night Football (ESPN)
9:00-10:00 – Fargo (FX – Early 2017)

THE SKINNY!Supergirl moves to (better fit) The CW, allowing for unlimited crossover potential with The Flash and Arrow, as if we haven’t seen enough already. Also in the DC-verse, Gotham continues to improve on FOX, and Season 3 of Fargo (with Ewan McGregor!) arrives some time next year on FX. Elsewhere, Monday Night Raw has a new (good) look and new (great) talent on USA, while Monday Night Football caps the evening on ESPN.

BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – What’s your nerd pleasure? Wrestling? Superheroes? Football? Noir? Pick one; they’re all dope in their own way. Who am I to tell you how to live your life? Stop listening to me. Close your browser. Call your mom.*

(*Don’t do any of these things.)

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7:00-7:30 – The Middle (ABC – 10/11)
7:00-7:30 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX – 9/20)
7:00-8:00 – The Flash (CW – 10/4)
7:00-9:00 – Tuesday Night SmackDown (USA)
8:00-9:00 – Scream Queens (FOX – 9/20)
9:00-10:00 – Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC – 9/20)

THE SKINNY! – Family Comedy. Grown-Up Comedy. DC. Marvel. WWE. Campy Horror. Tuesday is eclectic, fun and not-too-serious. Save that shit for Sunday.

BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW!Brooklyn Nine-Nine is super funny and sharply written, but The Flash is on another level going into Season 3. It’s been punching above its weight class since the premiere, and done nothing but improve.

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7:00-7:30 – The Goldbergs (ABC – 9/21)
8:00-8:30 – Modern Family (ABC – 9/21)
9:00-10:00 – The Ultimate Fighter (FS1 – 8/31)

THE SKINNY! – The UFC continues to look for their next big MMA star on The Ultimate Fighter, while one of the most popular (and critically acclaimed) comedies in Modern Family holds fast at 8am.

BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – You watch The Goldbergs.

If you are anywhere near my age and aren’t watching The Goldbergs, I don’t know what to tell you. They quite simply get it right every single week. They’ve already devoted entire episodes to countless aspects of 80’s Pop Culture, such as…

Weird Al, Double Dare, The Beastie Boys, Hands Across America, Scrambled Porn, Say Anything, Life Alert Bracelets, Gimbels Department Store, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, Slap Shot, Star Wars, The Goonies, the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, Laser Tag, Punch-Out, WWF, Mixtapes, Trivial Pursuit, Back to the Future, Mall Modeling Scams, New Kids on the Block, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Cabbage Patch Kids, a $900 Compact Disc Player, The Noid, Just Say No, America’s Funniest Home Videos, American Gladiators, The Princess Bride, Dance Party USA, Milli Vanilli, Jazzercise, Strawberry Shortcake, Short Circuit, We Are The World, Troop Beverly Hills, New Coke, Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’ Video, Dirty Dancing, Columbia House, David Copperfield, Rush, Space Camp and Dungeons and Dragons.

These aren’t just passing, winking references, either. Everything I mentioned was either the subject of an entire episode or a major character arc. It also boasts the greatest soundtrack since The Adventures of Pete and Pete (or The Wonder Years), and the whole thing is narrated by Patton Oswalt. Oh, and since the show is based loosely on the real-life family and experiences of Adam Goldberg, we often get home movie footage at the end of the episode, sometimes replicated shot-for-shot earlier in the episode. It’s absolutely fantastic.

You watch The Goldbergs.

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7:00-7:30 – Superstore (NBC – 9/22)
7:30-10:30 – Thursday Night Football (CBS/NBC)

THE SKINNY! – Thursday’s already skinny enough for my tastes. You have underdog Superstore returning for a (somewhat unlikely) Season 2, and you have football.

BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – If you have ever worked a day in your life within a retail setting, Superstore is pitch-perfect. Furthermore, it’s essentially the only decent comedy NBC has after cleaning house last year.

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8:00-9:00 – The Exorcist (FOX – 9/23)

THE SKINNY! – I’m literally only DVR’ing one show on Friday night, and it’s the FOX Exorcist remake. Pickings; they are slim.

BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – …eh. I mean, who knows if The Exorcist is going to be good. Record it and check it out later. Go out for sushi or something.

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10:30-12:00 – Saturday Night Live (NBC – Late 2016)
10:30-2:00 – Toonami (SWIM)

(The current Toonami lineup consists of Dragon Ball Z Kai, One Punch Man, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Hunter x Hunter, Naruto: Shippuden, One Piece and Parasyte)

THE SKINNY! – Slumber Party Saturday! Buy some snacks, build a fort and invite your friends over for a late night of Comedy and Anime, courtesy of SNL and Toonami. Or, you can do what I do, and drink whiskey alone with the cats until the sun comes up. What’s important is that you build a fort.

BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW!SNL is still culturally important from a water cooler standpoint, but you watch One Punch Man because that shit is awesome.

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15. Iron Fist (Premieres 2017)
14. Bloodline (Renewed)
13. Orange Is The New Black (Renewed)
12. Making A Murderer (Renewed)
11. Jessica Jones (Renewed)
10. House Of Cards (Renewed)
9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Renewed)
8. Luke Cage (Premieres 9/30)
7. Daredevil (Renewed)
6. BoJack Horseman (Renewed)
5. Degrassi: Next Class (Renewed)
4. Fuller House (Renewed)

THE SKINNY! – All projections state that Fuller House is one of the most popular things Netflix has ever done, so it comes as no surprise that we’re getting a Season 2. And hey, if you’re looking for an excellent Season 1 recap, I’ve got you covered.

Episode 1 Review.
Episode 2/3 Review.
Episode 4/5 Review.
Episode 6/7 Review.
Episode 8/9 Review.
Episode 10/11 Review. 
Episode 12/13 Review.

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3. Stranger Things (Renewed)

THE SKINNY! – It is so difficult to do what Stranger Things did. Come out of nowhere and surprise everyone in this day and age. To take such memorable tropes and come up with something new and exciting. To take a children’s adventure, teenage emotional journey and an adult’s redemption, and mash it all up with equal amounts respect and supernatural goodness. Throw in a killer soundtrack, and you have one of the great sleeper hits in the last 15 years. All eyes will be on the Duffer Brothers as they try to replicate the magic in Season 2.

2. Black Mirror (Season 3 Premieres 10/21)

THE SKINNY! – I’m unabashedly flipping my shit in anticipation for Black Mirror‘s return. We’ve only gotten 7 episodes in the last 5 years (insanity), and are now set to get 6 all at once on 10/21. The remaining 6 episodes that close out Season 3 will show up some time next year. That’s an embarrassment of riches for a show that is parallel to nothing but The Twilight Zone, which is seriously the highest compliment I can pay to a TV show. You have time; go watch the first 7 episodes and lose your freaking mind.

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1. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Premieres Late 2016)

THE SKINNY! -I seriously cannot believe that this is happening.

When MST3K aired their final episode in 1996, there was a sliver of hope that it would return. And it did, on the (then) SciFi Channel. But when they aired their second final episode in 1999, most people understood that it was over for good.

Then 16 years pass, production rights exchange hands, over SIX MILLION DOLLARS is raised on Kickstarter, an absurdly talented cast is hired and Netflix jumps on board. Suddenly, we’re only a few months away from an 11th Season of MST3K, and I have no idea what to expect. Most people know that MST3K is extremely near and dear to my heart, and I’m staying as optimistic and grateful as possible for as long as I can. I just feel really, really fortunate that we’re getting another season, and that first night we get new episodes on Netflix, I’ll try not cry like a little weiner.

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10. America’s Next Top Model (Moved To VH1)
9. The Good Wife
8. Nashville (Moved To CMT)
7. Castle
6. CSI
5. Agent Carter
4. American Idol
3. The Muppets
2. Mythbusters
1. The Grinder

THE SKINNY! – Everyone happy? You got The Muppets canceled. Ya’ bastards.

I knew The Grinder wouldn’t last; it had ‘one and done’ written all over it. Too specific. Not enough people watched it. Too meta. But man, it was a sitcom for people who obsess way too much over sitcoms. So yeah, I loved it. Just like BrainDead over on CBS, The Grinder feels like one of those shows that people will discover a few years from now and lament about not watching when it was new.

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Are you like me? Do you want to watch the same exact programs that I do, in the perfect order, every week? Well then, this is for you. What follows is my personal weekly Live and DVR TV schedule, featuring all Prime Time shows included* in my Preview, 4 hours a night (5 on Saturday), 7 nights a week. I am not responsible for any divorces or losses of friends as a result of following this schedule:

(*Midseason/Nightly/Late Night shows and sports not included. Get in where you fit in, yo.)

6:00-7:00 – America’s Funniest Videos
7:00-7:25 – Bob’s Burgers
7:25-7:50 – The Simpsons
7:50-8:40 – Once Upon A Time
8:40-9:30 – Fear The Walking Dead/The Walking Dead
9:30-10:00 – Talking Dead

6:30-7:00 – The Last Man On Earth
7:00-8:00 – Gotham
8:00-8:50 – Supergirl
8:50-10:30 – Monday Night Raw

6:00-7:00 – NETFLIX
(Degrassi: Next Class and Fuller House)
7:00-7:30 – The Middle
7:30-8:20 – The Flash
8:20-8:45 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
8:45-10:00 – Tuesday Night SmackDown

6:00-6:50 – Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
6:50-7:40 – Scream Queens
7:40-8:05 – The Goldbergs
8:05-8:30 – Modern Family
8:30-9:00 – NETFLIX
(BoJack Horseman)
9:00-10:00 – The Ultimate Fighter

7:00-7:30 – Superstore
7:30-11:00 – NETFLIX
(Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange Is The New Black, House Of Cards and Iron Fist)

6:00-9:00 – NETFLIX
(Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Luke Cage)
9:00-10:00 – The Exorcist (FOX – 9/23)

7:00-12:00 – NETFLIX
(Black Mirror, Stranger Things, Bloodline and Mystery Science Theater 3000)

Note that I didn’t include Making A Murderer, because…well, I didn’t want to include it at all, because any discussion on whether or not this show is ‘good’ felt sorta crass to me. It’s a stylized documentary; watch it if you want to watch it.

Pow. Over 35 shows and nearly 30 hours of TV perfectly curated throughout the week. It’s…gorgeous.

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Well, there you have it. The scoop on my personal Fall TV schedule, for the 11th year running. Set your DVR’s, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your week. Don’t forget to tell me the shows you plan on watching on My Twitter and over on My Facebook. And hey, go buy one of my books while you’re at it. Thanks much; have a good one.