Big Love, Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Jennifer Goodwin, Chloe Sevigny

Lacey Terrell/ HBO

Three 3 (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. 3 is HBO's epic Utah-set family drama:

Big Love (HBO)

Premieres Jan. 10, 9 p.m.
Starring: Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin
Status: Returning for season four

Should you commit to a new season with the sister-wives and the Juniper Creek cuckoos? Here's what we can tell you:

You thought you could cancel premium cable after the Dexter finale, didn't you? Not so fast. Showtime has all those fabulous ladies, and HBO's fourth season of Big Love is nothing less than must-see TV. Why? Well, the king is dead, and everyone who has ever even heard of "the Principle" in Utah is grappling with the aftermath of Roman Grant's (Harry Dean Stanton) death.

Among the complications following Roman's death is a certain splinter group's desire to anoint Bill Henrickson himself as the new prophet. (This splinter group is led, or at least spoken for, by none other than Chloë Sevigny's Nicolette Grant.) Why not? Bill's already in the process of starting a new church, as he promised us at the end of last season; he has a strong committment to his (very extended) family; and some people think it's his birthright. This cockamamie plan might even make sense, except...

Except, well, Bill's got other problems. These issues include Barb unravelling, Nicki (in general), Margene's capitalist ambitions, the new casino partnership with Weaver gaming, his renegade daughter Sarah (setting off on her own as a prelude to Amanda Seyfried's departure from the show), his brother the murderer, his second wife's dastardly first husband J.J. (Zeljko Ivanek) and, of course, his feuding parents, who are engaged in a Spy vs. Spy cycle of perpetual assassination attempts. Suffice it to say, Bill Henrickson is busy. The man doesn't have time to be prophet.

In short, all that craziness makes for brilliant drama, and all that ambition for Bill's elevation is going to collide wildly with Alby Grant's (Matt Ross) long-standing believe that he is the heir apparent. Who will prevail? Tune in and find out!


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

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