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Damien Lewis (Life), Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies), Zachary Levi (Chuck)

Mitchell Haaseth/NBC, ABC/JUSTIN STEPHENS, Chris Haston/NBC

I just got an email from a reader named Thasso in Texas, who raises a good question. 

Kristin, thanks for all the great reviews in Totally Tube! Very informative. Curious, though, if you had to pick five shows we have to watch, what would they be? I can't handle adding more than that to my DVR lineup! I'm hardly sleeping as it is!

I presume many of you are facing this same dilemma. So, since there are far too many new shows to watch and we all need shut-eye and perhaps bathroom breaks from time to time, here's the nitty-gritty lowdown on the five best shows of fall you must watch--in my humble (but always right! hee hee) opinion.

Read it now because three of them start this week! 

And by the by, this list changed over the weekend after I got the chance to watch the second episodes of many of the new shows...

Fall's Five Best New Series 

5. Samantha Who? on ABC (Oct. 15): Christina Applegate's cute (albeit, girly) new comedy about a girl with full-fledged amnesia. Applegate's adorable and endearing, as is Barry Watson, and Jean Smart and Jennifer Esposito will give 30 Rock's Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin a run for his money with their crazy-good one-liners. Some critics are lukewarm on this show but I love it.

4. Reaper on CW (this Tuesday, Sept. 25): Worth breaking your post-Veronica-cancellation CW boycott!! This funny, witty and unique dramedy about a guy (Bret Harrison) whose parents sold his soul to the Devil is thoroughly entertaining.

3. Life on NBC (this Wednesday, Sept. 26): I just watched the second episode and would like to say for the record, I am now officially obsessed with this show. This drama about a wrongly accused cop (Damien Lewis) who is freed after 12 years in prison is awesome--the new House! And the second episode is even better than the first.

2. Chuck on NBC (Monday, Sept. 24--tonight!): A sweet, funny version of Alias starring the adorable Zachary Levi. Me love him--and the whole cast (hello, Sarah Lancaster!)--long time. And something tells me you will, too.

1. Pushing Daisies on ABC (Oct. 3): Soooooo good. You're gonna love it. I just hope mainstream America does, too.

Honorary mentions:

  • Bionic Woman on NBC (this Wednesday): The pilot is strong but I've heard it falls apart in the second episode, so the jury's still out.
  • Carpoolers on ABC (Oct. 2): A quirky comedy that probably will struggle to find a mainstream audience; the second episode is better than the first. 
  • Gossip Girl on CW (already premiered; airs Wednedsay nights) A guilty-pleasure teen drama that probably would have been my favorite new show 10 years ago.
  • Dirty, Sexy Money on ABC (this Wednesday): I loved the original version of the pilot so much more. But this show is still delicious and devilish and stars Peter Krause, so you know it's worth your time!
Now go rev up that TiVo! And don't forget to weigh in after watching each show--and help create the right kind of buzz!--by participating in our Save It or Sink It campaign the night of each new show's premiere. Every teensy-weensy bit helps these first two weeks!