Viewers of television for the scholarly set often bemoan the seemingly endless supply of soap operas, reality TV, and game shows clogging the airways and reducing the IQs of their hapless devotees. Luckily, the cerebral set isn’t going to be left out. Here are five sharp shows for the discerning intellectual that have been officially renewed for the coming fall season.
Say what you will about Dr. House’s Vicodin habit and rude interpersonal interactions, this series simply screams cerebral. Following a group of diagnosticians as they work on bizarre medical cases, the viewer is given a unique peep into the world of non-routine medicine. The show has garnered a fistful of awards, nominations, and accolades in addition to making its actors and actresses household names. It has been renewed for an eighth season. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can get up to date by ordering the DVDs on Netflix.
This show is also going into its eighth season, as well as having launched a successful spin-off entitled Private Practice. Originally a mid-season replacement for Boston Legal, Grey’s Anatomy has won numerous accolades and lots of attention for its ‘color blind’, diverse casting decisions. Three Prime-Time Emmys, four NAACP IMage Awards, and multiple awards for individuals on the show, coupled with outstanding writing makes this series a huge success.
Bones was launched a year after House, leaving many to speculate that the two were too similar. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Where House understands people and simply dislikes them, Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan simply doesn’t understand certain aspects of humanity. Focusing on anthropology, the viewer is mesmerized by case studies of human remains as the cast works together to determine both the identity and cause of death. The character growth is amazing, the situations encountered are bizarre, and the writing is fluid. The new season is scheduled to air in a Thursday night, 9 PM time slot.
This police procedural drama follows a group of special agents working in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Headed into its ninth season, NCIS also has a successful spin-off in the form of NCIS: Los Angeles. The show has garnered six ASCAP Awards, three BMI Film and TV Awards, and been nominated for three Emmys and an NAACP Award. In 2011, it was voted as America’s most popular television show. While some people may not like police dramas, I’d recommend giving it a chance. The first seven seasons are available for purchase on DVD and is also available for rent from Netflix.
This horror series follows brothers Sam and Dean Winchester as they chase down demons and other supernatural entities. Creator Eric Kripke developed and shopped the series for over ten years before it was picked up, but once it got rolling the series has turned into a runaway train. Drawing from urban legends as inspiration, the show tackles many major horror themes and touches on unknown territory as well. Going into its seventh season this fall, fans are gearing up to see Sam and Dean take on their biggest, strongest foes yet.
While these shows have all run for quite a long time, the loss and cancellation of several smart-centric shows has left viewers searching for something new. If you’ve never seen these shows, give them a chance. If you’re a returning fan, rest assured that all five of these gems have all been renewed by their respective networks and will be returning next fall.