May 2 2012 10:30am

Just Can’t Get Enough: Author Allison Brennan on Her TV Addiction

Haven posterToday, author Allison Brennan—whose new Lucy Kincaid novel, Silenced, was released just last week—reveals she has a weakness. An addiction, if you will. Thanks for sharing with us, Allison!

I’m a television addict.

I’d rather watch good TV than go to the movies. Maybe it’s because I can curl up on the couch in my pajamas and a glass of wine, something frowned upon in movie theaters. Or maybe it’s because I gave up TV for three years while I was working full-time at a day job and the only time I had to write was at night, after my kids went to bed.

The days of network television are pretty much over. Viewers have choices now, and great programming focusing on character dominate the landscape. Cable networks usually have shorter seasons, tighter storylines, and stronger characters—in lieu of big budgets and flashy settings. Some of my favorite shows are on cable networks – Haven, the SyFy network series loosely based on Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid. Season three launches in the summer of 2012.

American Horror Story posterAmerican Horror Story is a dark series on F/X that changes character and location in each season. Heavy hitting actors (like Jessica Lange and Dylan McDermott and Zachary Quinto) create characters so compelling, it’s hard not to get sucked in. But warning: this show is not for the faint of heart!

Also on F/X is Justified with Timothy Olyphant … well, I just don’t have to say anything more. There’s just something about Olyphant that just sucks me into anything he’s in. Ahem. Well, Justified is a violent drama set in Kentucky about U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and has a host of top actors and brilliant characters, based loosely on a short story by Elmore Leonard. It’s been renewed for a fourth season, and is definitely worth the time to catch up. After all, it’s only 13 episodes per season … now for those who already watch it, I’m just hoping that Winona doesn’t come back. More about that on a future blog.

And White Collar. Light, fluffy white collar crime drama starring Matt Bomer as a con artist and forger forced to consult with the FBI and Tim DeKay as his FBI watchdog. It’s coming back for its fourth seasons. It’s from the USA Network and focuses more on the relationships between Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke, with some interesting crime twists because most crime drama focuses on murder and not art, history, and forgers.

Game of Thrones posterMy daughter is reading Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and we’re going to buy the DVD set of this HBO series when she’s done. She loves the books, so I’m hoping she’s not disappointed in the series. HBO also gave us Deadwood (also starring Timothy Olyphant—I told you I have a bit of an obsession with him, right?) which was an amazing three season historical drama set in Deadwood, South Dakota.

What cable television show do you like best and why?


Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eighteen novels and many short stories. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, she lives in Northern California with her husband Dan and their five children.

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1. AmandaP
I can't wait for the Glades to come back. It's on A&E and is just stunning. I love the use of color, the beautiful Florida setting and Matt Passmore is a hottie!
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I love Justified, and also loved Deadwood (sharing that Olyphant thing, for sure). I am astounded that Justified seems to be improving from season to season!
I love Game of Thrones also, have read all the books, and have gotten my husband sucked into watching, too. I also watch Mad Men and Lost Girl (on SyFy). I'm not sure if I've broken up with True Blood for good--I hear this season might be an improvement over last--but I'll probably watch at least one episode for some ASkars deliciousness.
Heather Waters
3. HeatherWaters
Cable is TOTALLY where it's at these days. There's so much more creative freedom and less pressure to get huge ratings, and like you said, the seasons are shorter, storylines tighter, and characters stronger. These shows just tend to be...better.

I count Justified, SouthLAnd, and Game of Thrones among my must-watches, and though it's ending this week (*sob*) In Plain Sight is one of my favorites too.
Allison Brennan
4. Allison_Brennan
@Amanda -- I loved the first season of GLADES, but the second season didn't do it for me. I will definitely give season 3 a try.

@M -- Lost Girl isn't on iTunes, so I haven't seen it though it's been recommended to me. I have Mad Men on DVD (Season 1) and haven't watched it yet. But JUSTIFIED is still my all-time fave show. I'm going to watch all three seasons again before season 4 starts :)

@redline -- That's it, creative freedom. Pushing and breaking rules. I liked In Plain Sight, but I'm surprised it lasted so long. It's a little sedate for my taste, though I really loved the first two seasons, and love Mary and Marshall's characters.
5. Louise@BetweenTheCovers
Like you I hadn't watched TV in years. Between working full-time and having three minions with extra-curricular activites, by the time I got home nights all I wanted was to eat and veg... which I usually did with a book instead of TV. *whispers* Minions can't see if what I'm reading is total smut, but they can see naked boo-tays on the TV. LOL

But then a horrible, terrible, very bad case of the flu landed me at home for a week. Reading took too much energy. And I suddenly found a use for that giant, flat screened thing that dominates my bedroom but is never on. I went on a TV binge. I watched EVERYTHING that my friends had been pushing me to watch. I won't list my loves here since many of them are on 'network' TV. But I also picked up some cable faves. *laughs* Of course!

Like AmandaP, I love The Glades. MFrampton and I are in complete agreement on Lost Girl. And I think MFrampton, redline_ and me all need to have a Game of Thrones girls night in. In Plain Sight is another show I really enjoy, and I think it's underappreciated.

Along with my crime drama addiction, I'm also a sci-fi junkie. I love Being Human, Eureka and Warehouse 13.

I've never watched Deadwood, Justified or White Collar. I may have to check those out...

Okay... I think that's enough TV show pimping for the moment. *laughs* I'll check back to see if there are any shows I'm missing that need to be kicked into the Hulu or Netflix queues. *winks*
Lege Artis
6. LegeArtis
Justifeid and Timothy Olyphant have big fan support on H&H... :) I love this show, can't wait for next season.
I watch GoT regulary, love it.
I was hooked up on The Good Wife and Sons Of Anarchy but last seasons were kinda meh...
American Horror Story was great, Jessica Lang was amazing, but I don't know how will it work in season two. New actors,new location, will it be a pattern thing or not...I don't know, but will see.
I also loved Homeland, but I hope that good reviews and large viewership won't diminish quality of story (stupid, unbelieveable and more complicated plot to make show last longer and will be resolved in next two or three seasons). (I still think that Prison Break should ended after second season).
@Megan- Do you think TrueBlood is reedemable or not? I watched season preview, Sookie is still screaming, ASkars is making out with that girl who played Marian in Robin Hood series (with Richard Armitage)... I was furious with season 4, softy Eric and lack of Pam. Maybe that's why there's long break between seasons-so we can forget how disapponted we were. :)
Saundra Peck
7. sk1336
The list is long, and I too have become an addict. I read soooo much as a young mother, my daughter grew up to be a book editor!!! But these days, I love tv, as I often get headaches from reading(a medical condition, BOO). I LOVE the Closer, MISS soo much Saving Grace, love Boss, Nurse Jackie, Southland, and I loved the early years of Nip/Tuck!!! I could go on...and on...cable rocks!!! And I could not post this without saying I came to love BattleStar Galactica thanks to that editor daughter, and will be starting to watch a show she recommends called Firefly?!?!
8. Misty H
Call me odd but I still tend to watch more network television then cable. I loved this seasons new dramas like Revenge and Touch, and I'm still heavily into the older shows like Bones and Criminal Minds. I tried getting into Tru Blood couldn't do it (the books are that much better). I have to limit my tv watching as work and school tend to jump right into my fun time mix.
Allison Brennan
9. Allison_Brennan
@Louise -- I really like Warehouse 13 as well, and White Collar is so much fun! I like that it's a bit different than other crime shows, less murder and more greed :)

@Lege -- I think AHS will survive because it's a fully contained story and it's truly about the story. And some of the best actors are returning (Quinto, Lange, the kid who played Tate, and Lily Raab -- I think.) They'll play completely new characters and it's going to be at an asyleum, or so I heard ... I like new and different, and cable can play around with different formulas, like non-recurring casts.

@sk1 -- My son and I are going to watch Battlestar Gallactica as soon as he's done with Star Trek with his dad. I can hardly wait!

@Misty -- my fave network shows are Bones, NCIS, and the new GRIMM -- which I'm thrilled was renewed. I'm still a fan of L&O: SVU and really like the two replacements for Elliot. I think the changes have been good for the show. Then there's the "other" networks like the CW that has SUPERNATURAL, which I still enjoy! ... I liked GLEE for the first two seasons, but this season doesn't have the spark anymore. Not quite sure why.
Marian DeVol
10. ladyengineer
I love the shows on the sister networks, SyFy and USA, especially White Collar, Covert Affairs, Psych, and Burn Notice on USA and Lost Girl, Haven, Eureka, and Warehouse 13 on SyFy (and Firefly when they do a marathon). I'm kinda bummed this is the final season for Eureka.
Anna Bowling
11. AnnaBowling
Impatiently waiting for new seasons of The Walking Dead and Hell on Wheels, but it's not too much longer until Royal Pains. Psych just wrapped a season, but we still have reruns. I recently discovered the UK Being Human, jumping in somewhere in the middle, so will likely have to hunt down DVDs and start from the beginning there .
Carmen Pinzon
12. bungluna
All my favorites have been mentioned already. I do watch procedurals on network tv 'cause I like 'em. Some cable shows started strong for me but wore out their welcome, like TrueBlood and Dexter.

The one thing I like about cable is that they stick to their shows more consistently. I hate the way networks drop shows or move them around so much (I'm talking about you, FOX!) that it's almost a full time job to keep up with where the hell they are! I'll take more time to get to know a cable show than a network show.
Allison Brennan
13. Allison_Brennan
@lady I haven't seen Eureka ... I should. I do enjoy Covert Affairs, but that's mostly because of Christopher Gorham (I hope I got his name right!) Yum!

@Anna -- I'm behind on the Walking Dead because it's a hard show to take in large doses. My daughter and I liked season one, but season two was just a bit too ... I don't know. Dark and depressing. I don't mind dark (American Horror Story is dark) but the violence (and the sounds!) get to me. I like psychological horror better.

@bungluna -- YES!!! I hate how network TV moves shows, drops shows without giving them a real chance (Detroit 187, Prime Suspect, Life.)
Jennifer Denning
14. redheadedjen
Grimm is my favorite lately. I will be home on a Friday night to watch Grimm.
Carmen Pinzon
15. bungluna
@Allison_Brennan- I loved Life! I'm mostly upset with the way the networks bury a show is it's not stellar right off the gate. Why waste my time on an intricate show that may be gone before I can figure out what's going on?
16. san301
I've only had HBO and Cinemax for the last 6 months, but I am hooked on Game of Thrones and I watch True Blood on HBO; love Strike Back on Max. Then there's Justified and In Plain Sight. Syfy got me again with Lost Girls; of course I love Haven and Eureka -- I'll miss Sheriff Carter et al; wish the TV powers hadn't messed with it so much. I too miss Saving Grace (possibly best theme song I've heard in years).
Allison Brennan
17. Allison_Brennan
@redheadedjen -- I love GRIMM! It's not cable, but it's definitely one of the best new network shows. I'm thrilled they renewed it.

@bungluna -- totally agree.

@san301 -- I'll be watching GAME OF THRONES after my daughter finishes the books.
18. rootsgrrl
@redline -- you're killing me! everywhere I go, there you are, and now you like all the same tv shows as me?! this is spooky, I tell you! Well, I agree with you on In Plain Sight, Justified, SouthLAnd, and the biggie, Battlestar Galactica. (I refuse to bother with Game of Thrones.) In fact, I also watched Law & Order UK, which I'll bet you watched too, and for the same blue-eyed reason.

I'm also addicted to The Good Wife.

@Allison_Brennan -- you're going to love Battlestar Galactica -- I'm excited for you!

I'm jealous of everyone who gets SouthLAnd and Justified on cable; I have to buy them through iTunes unless I'm willing to fork over a lot more money for the premium cable package, and I'm so afraid that if I do that I'll get re-addicted to HGTV that I won't risk it, even if I was willing to pony up the cash.
Heather Waters
19. HeatherWaters
@rootsgrrl -- Ha ha, sorry? (But not really!) I am always around, it's true--I'm one of the mods! :) Yep, I am a fan of...every single show you mentioned. We must be TV twins! Re: Game of Thrones, I can't really blame you. I mean, I read and enjoyed the first two books and I enjoy watching the show in that it is...pretty much the books come to life! At the same time, because it *is* so much like the books (at least so far), I can't say I wait with breathless anticipation for the next episode like I used to with BSG.

You are quite correct about Law & Order: UK, yes. I will also be watching a show called Chelsea General/Monday Mornings starring a certain someone if that pilot gets picked up by TNT. :DDD
ann ivey
20. annie
*sighs, stands, and says* "Hi, my name is Annie and I'm a tv addict." lol. Seriously....I love, love books but there are certain tv shows I try never to miss. On regular channels I watch all the CSI's, Criminal Minds, both NCIS shows, & Blue Bloods. On cable, as others have said, I'm a fan of Lost Girl, Haven, Eureka (bummed it's the last season), and The Walking Dead (sombies! who knew I would like zombies?!? except for the, you know, "thwak" & "thud" sounds).
*whispers* Also a slave to the wonderfully awful made-for-tv sci-fi movies made by the SyFy channel.
Kiersten Hallie Krum
21. Kiersten
Sherlock, Justified, Game of Thrones, Homeland (SO GOOD) and, naturally, Lost Girl are MUSTS for me. Also dig Strike Back on Cinemax. I watch True Blood solely for Manganiello, Pam, and ASkars, or at least when he isn't in a floating bed w/Suck-ee. That means I have to tune in to S5 as TB is very werewolf centered this season putting Alcide more front & center. Hoo-rah. Plus Erik is about to get his fang back on, which is always fun. And Chris Meloni is a badass vampire! I'm really hoping this season wipes most of lasts from my memory.

I have a handful of others I put on in background that ebb & flow in quality like Grimm, Castle, and Once Upon A Time. I suspect I'm about to get sucked in by Person of Interest as I love dark spy back stories and am digging the format. I watched 2 eps and liked it so its getting added to the rotation.
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