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Ten 10 (Countdown Numbers)

All this week, we're counting down the most anticipated series of the new year and telling you what to watch and what highlights to expect from 2010's top TV. Coming in at No. 10 is one of cable's most critically acclaimed legal dramas...


Premieres Jan. 25, 10 p.m.
Starring: Glenn Close, Rose Byrne
Status: Returning for season three

So why should you give Damages a chance, especially if you've never seen it before and are leery of joining the fray in season three? Here's our take:

FX's Damages is returning with some new creative casting: Campbell Scott (lately of Royal Pains) and Martin Short join Emmy-winning Glenn Close, Rose Byrne and Tate Donovan as series regulars, with Keith Carradine (Dexter, Dollhouse) and Lily Tomlin guesting.

As for the SNL alumni, Short's casting in any other drama would have given us pause. But don't forget fellow late-night veteran Darrell Hammond's convincingly creepy turn last season as axman Deacon. Barring any Ed Grimley-Ernestine song-and-dance routines, we have complete confidence in Short and Tomlin holding their own against nasty (but utterly unhatable) Patty Hewes.

FX is playing coy about season three's plot points, but we wager Campbell Scott will somehow lure Ellen back to Patty's camp with his melodiously seductive voice. Obviously the producers are trying their best to erase from our memories William Hurt's bizarre, sedated slo-mo speech in his season-two guest stint. Without Hurt dragging 'em down, we anticipate an especially explosive season for the always-gratifying, award-winning legal thriller.

Are you excited for new episodes of Damages? Share your take on this tricksy series in the comments!


Check out our calendar of winter premiere dates to find out when your fave series return!