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The Marriage RefBy Sara Shereen Bakhshian
Now that the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics have come to a close, TV audiences can expect a slew of midseason premieres and new episodes of their favorite shows. Here’s a Winter/Spring update on the 2010 TV season’s shows that depict spirituality, family, life, and death.
Scripted Series
“Happy Town”
In this new show in the “Twin Peaks” realm, the small town of Haplin, Minn., is haunted by a series of unsolved abductions with town folk wondering if the “Magic Man” is behind the mystery. The series’ stars include Geoff Stults, Sam Neill, Lauren German, and Steven Weber.
“Happy Town” premieres Wed., Apr. 28 at 10 p.m., EST on ABC
“Miami Medical”
This Jerry Bruckheimer drama follows surgeons in one of the more renown trauma facilities in the U.S. Executive producer Jeffrey Lieber said during the Television Critics Association (TCA) Press Tour that the show is about doctors living in between the life and death moments of their patients, and how they go home after. Jeremy Northam leads the cast.
“Miami Medical” premieres Fri., Apr. 2 at 10 p.m., EST on CBS
“Parenthood”
A re-imagination of the eponymous 1980s film by Ron Howard, the series follows the Braverman family in Berkeley, Calif., as they balance the joys of life with trials and tribulations. The large cast includes Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson, Erika Christensen, Dax Shepard, and Peter Krause.
“Parenthood” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m., EST on NBC
“Spartacus: Blood and Sand”
The series follows the Roman rebel Spartacus as he’s forced to become a gladiator and fight for his life, while also examining the daily existence in the Republic with sensuality, betrayal, and immorality. The show stars Andy Whitfield, Lucy Lawless, and John Hannah.
“Spartacus: Blood and Sand” airs new episodes Fridays at 10 p.m., EST on Starz


“Treme”
The show gets its name from one of the oldest neighborhoods in New Orleans. Set in fall 2005, three months after Hurricane Katrina and levees breaking, the drama looks at rebuilding efforts and the local Creole, music, and African-American culture. Among the series’ stars are Wendell Pierce, Khandi Alexander, Melissa Leo, John Goodman, and Steve Zahn.
“Treme” premieres in April on HBO
Reality/Docu-Series
“Addicted”
The show features interventionist Kristina Wandzilak as she helps individuals grappling with substance abuse. Each episode will follow an addict and his or her family, as they make a plan to become sober and stay so. During the TCA presentation Wandzilak, a former addict, said that she had a spiritual awakening and is now living a service-focused life.
“Addicted” premieres Wed., March 17 at 10 p.m., EST on TLC
“Life”
From the producers of “Planet Earth,” the show follows a different animal or plant group in each episode. From every continent to every habitat, we will witness never before seen behaviors and the fight for survival. Oprah Winfrey narrates the series.
“Life” premieres on Sun., March 21 at 8 p.m., EST on the Discovery Channel
“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”
The latest installment of the Emmy winning reality show brings back memorable “heroes” and “villains” from previous seasons with producers placing the competitors in two respective tribes. The show is set in the South Pacific, featuring host Jeff Probst and contestants such as Rupert Boneham, Colby Donaldson, Tom Westman, Jerri Manthey, and Sandra Diaz-Twine.
“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m., EST on CBS
“The Marriage Ref”
A new comedy panel series from executive producer Jerry Seinfeld, the show looks at the odd, hilarious, and identifiable arguments married couples have. After each spouse shares their side, a celebrity panel will comment and the ref Tom Papa will decide who is right.
“The Marriage Ref” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m., EST on NBC
“Jessica Simpson’s The Price of Beauty”
The show follows the actress-singer-fashionista as she travels around the world learning about local beauty regimes, dietary trends, and fashions. The show includes different faiths’ interpretations of beauty, such as those from Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. Her best friends CaCee Cobb and hairstylist Ken Paves are also on hand in the series.
“Jessica Simpson’s The Price of Beauty” premieres Sun., March 14 at 10 p.m., EST on VH1

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