Seven Underrated Shows to Watch This Winter

HBO is bringing back "Big Love" in a big way this month, promising a hearty helping of intrigue in the Mormon fundamentalist home shared by one husband and three wives. Season three may manifest wife No. 4 for Bill (played by Bill Paxton), who tries to spearhead the creation of a Mormon-friendly casino while courting a fourth mate through unconventional means. Don't expect Barbara (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicolette (Chloë Sevigny) and Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) to take their husband's shake up lying down. HBO, Sunday, 9 p.m.

The United States of Tara

Talk about a stacked deck. With Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated actress Toni Colette starring, Oscar-winning "Juno" brainchild Diablo Cody writing and needs-no-introduction Steven Spielberg behind the whole shebang, "The United States of Tara" is a new series set to make waves this winter. Colette plays Tara, a suburban mother with dissociative identity disorder. Her multiple personalities include Buck, a male motorcycle fanatic who has a habit of starting bar fights and T, a teen girl who loves shopping almost as much as she loves smoking pot -- both less-than-ideal role models for her adolescent children. Showtime, Sunday, 10 p.m.

Friday Night Lights

Few other shows have garnered as much support as "Friday Night Lights." The NBC drama about a Middle America football team and the personal struggles of its players won acclaim from audiences and critics when it premiered in fall 2006, but fell into limbo when the writers strike hit Hollywood the following year. Despite picking up Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody honors, "FNL" struggled to gain a large viewership because of multiple time slot changes. Speculation that the show would be canceled hit a fever pitch when NBC released the portion of season two episodes produced prior to the strike on DVD. But listening to fans' online protests, NBC renewed for a third season and cut a deal with DirecTV that let the channel run the episodes first. This month, finally, season three will premiere on NBC -- so for those who didn't see it on satellite TV, the football favorite is on broadcast TV now. NBC, Friday, 9 p.m.

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