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10 New Midseason Television Shows

NBC's Smash and HBO's Luck are just a couple of the prospects you'll find good and grownup

Showtime show House of Lies

House of Lies — Showtime, Sunday. Don Cheadle as the debauched slick genius management consultant who is a miracle worker for greedy, soulless Wall Street giants. Kristen Bell as the colleague who rightly identifies his barely concealed constant fear. This dark comedy is timely, and it's filled with moments that are cringe-worthy for their ring of truth. Meaningless jargon at a corporate meeting, anyone? Filled with sex and profanity, Showtime style, this one is not for kids or those with gentle sensibilities. Ongoing; premiered Jan. 8.

ABC show

Missing — ABC, Thursday. Smart cookie Ashley Judd brings the big screen-style action and locales in her first series, starring as a widowed mother who takes off on a cross-continental search for her college student son after he goes missing in Europe. Of course, once you get a load of her snuffing out an attacker with a shard of glass and an improvised garrote, you realize she's no ordinary mom. She used to be a deadly CIA agent, and she still has the skills and the contacts. Premieres March 15.

Martin (Kiefer Sutherland, L) tries to understand his son Jake (David Mazouz, R) in

Touch — Fox, Monday. Keifer Sutherland is back to series TV with this creation about a widower who discovers that his mute, severely autistic son (David Mazouz) has the ability to "see" the interconnections of the universe and thereby predict the future. Touted as "a preternatural drama in which science and spirituality intersect," the series features Danny Glover as a professor who gets what's going on with the boy and his obsession with numbers. This show is getting a lot of press and premiered end of January but doesn't begin its run until March 19.

PBS special on Bill Clinton

Clinton — PBS, Feb. 20-21. Our 42nd president gets the American Experience treatment over two nights next month and it's a stirring and heartrending trip back 20 years. Seeing Bill Clinton's story play out again through the lens of time, particularly in this election year, one is reminded anew of his supreme gifts as a politician, as a leader — and the infuriating needlessness of his fall when, as he put it, "I gave in to my shame."

NBC show

Awake — NBC. Jason Isaacs has turned in such memorable performances — as Irish mobster Michael Caffee on Showtime's "Brotherhood," for instance, and as evil Lucius Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" movies — we'd give his new series a try regardless of subject matter. But what subject matter! "Awake" has him as a police detective living in dual realities. In one, his wife survived a car crash but their son did not, in the other, his son survived, but his wife died. It's not "Inception," but like that film has a mind-bending, is-this-real aspect that will get you guessing. Premieres in March.

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