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TWoP 10: Most Promising New Shows of the 2010-11 TV Season

This past week, each of the broadcast networks unveiled their fall and midseason lineups at their annual upfront presentations for advertisers and media. While a bunch of the new shows look like they could be dead on arrival, and none totally blew us away, there were a handful of programs that we're definitely already excited about. Here's our early picks for what might be worth watching this fall and next winter/spring.

10. Nikita (CW)
The CW is only launching two new shows this fall, with this one looking like it could be the most addictive. With a bit of an Alias vibe about it, this series, based on the cult action film La Femme Nikita, features a sexy Maggie Q set on revenge against the government. If nothing else, a hot girl kicking ass seems like a recipe for success to us.

9. Perfect Couples (NBC)
There are a lot of relationship comedies heading to the airwaves in the near future, but the one that looked like it could actually be funny was this midseason sitcom. It's about several couples, in various stages of their love lives, who are all way too involved in each other's business. It's not totally original, but it had some good one-liners and an appealing cast (including FlashForward's Christine Woods and G4's Olivia Munn), which is more than we can say about most of the other sitcoms previewed this week.

8. Body of Proof (ABC)
We're probably sicker of crime-scene investigation shows than anyone, but Dana Delany's morgue-based medical examiner might change our minds. She almost made Desperate Housewives watchable again, so think of what she can do as the star of a show in which she gets to play a rogue former surgeon with personal issues.

7. The Cape (NBC)
The still promo shot of a guy with a cape looked very cheesy, but the actual teaser we saw for this midseason superhero drama had us smiling like little geeks. Former ER star David Lyons is a cop who gets framed, fakes his death and turns into a superhero to fight off bad guys who also look like they're out of a comic book. And it co-stars Firefly's Summer Glau, which gives it bonus points as far as we're concerned.

6. Blue Bloods (CBS)
It isn't the grittiest NYC crime drama we've ever seen, but this fall show has a strong cast headed up by chief of police Tom Selleck, whose children are all involved in the crime-fighting field: Donnie Wahlberg is a detective with no objection to torturing people, Bridget Moynahan is a tough assistant DA and Will Estes is a recent law school grad who just joined the force.

5. Lone Star (Fox)
It's going to be hard to fill the 24 timeslot, but it seems that Fox really wants this fall drama to succeed, giving it the plum spot after House. This show may lack corrupt world leaders and insidious terrorists, but it does offer up con artist, solid acting (from a cast that includes David Keith and Jon Voight) and an intriguing premise. It's not exactly an even trade, but we'll take it.

4. Off the Map (ABC)
Yes, we know that this midseason medical drama, which is basically Doctors Without Borders in the jungle, isn't the most original premise to come out of the upfronts, but as far as sure bets go, a Shonda Rhimes medical show tops the list. She's really got a knack for coming up with crazy patients of the week and creating romantically challenged characters, so if you like what she does, you'll want to tune in for more of the same in a brand-new setting.

3. Terra Nova (Fox)
We're taking a bit of a leap of faith on this midseason show because not a single piece of footage has been shot yet. However, Steven Spielberg and dinosaurs seem like a winning combination, and the concept designs we saw were pretty impressive. We're hoping that the big-budget effects meet our expectations, and that the somewhat confusing time-travel plot actually makes sense once it all comes together. And besides, who doesn't like dinosaurs?

2. Undercovers (NBC)
A show about married spies produced by J.J. Abrams? We're already sold. Although we are admittedly a little bit skeptical about the stand-alone nature of this show, since we do love our overly complicated mythologies, the action-packed teaser we saw mixed humor, sexiness (have you seen the two smoking-hot leads?) and drama expertly together along with top-notch production values. Let's hope this fall show lives up to the hype.

1. No Ordinary Family (ABC)
Hands down, this was the most exciting promo we saw throughout upfront week. This new show from the alphabet net might not be the next Lost, but it is easily the new Heroes. It looks like it combines the fun of The Incredibles with the realistic atmosphere of Unbreakable, seamlessly blending the superpowered elements with relatable family drama. We can't wait for this one to blast off.

Get our complete take on all the new shows from Fox, NBC, ABC, The CW and CBS.

Watch TWoP's editors discuss the shows that deserved to get cancelled in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop cable news channel:

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video.

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