After a few seasons crippled by the TV writers' strike a few years back, this year felt particularly refreshing - some strong new premieres (Modern Family, Glee and Community, which just barely missed the cut for this list) and returning favorites at the top of their games. Here are the shows that have kept us most riveted.

After a few seasons crippled by the TV writers' strike a few years back, this year felt particularly refreshing - some strong new premieres (Modern Family, Glee and Community, which just barely missed the cut for this list) and returning favorites at the top of their games.

Here are the shows that have kept us most riveted.


10. "Man vs. Wild"

In the post-Hills era, Bear Grylls' extreme nature survival travelogue is one of the few reality shows that feels like it's teaching us something valuable about our world.


9. "Chuck"

We're suckers for a good fans-bring-show-back-from-cancellation story, and we can't think of a more deserving show than Chuck. Forget about the convoluted premise (Zachary Levi's Chuck is implanted with a computer chip that contains a spy database) and just enjoy the fun action sequences, the musical stylings of Jeffster and the sweet will-they-won't-they romance between Chuck and his handler, Sarah.


8. "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

Sunny has always been an uneven show, but this consistently solid season would deserve honors if only for "The D.E.N.N.I.S. System," Dennis' (Glenn Howerton) despicable, sociopathic and hilarious plan for wooing women into emotional dependency.


7. "The Office"

The sixth season of NBC's superlative Thursday night comedy has brought us Jim and Pam's wedding - plus the hysterical fallout of Michael dating Pam's mom. And don't forget, 2009 also included last season's excellent Michael Scott Paper Company arc and a bittersweet finale moment between Michael and his soul mate, Amy Ryan's Holly.


6. "Friday Night Lights"

Season 3 swayed FNL away from soap opera twists and dead-end subplots and back to the authentic small-town scenarios that made it so warmly relatable in the beginning. Season 4 is off to just as strong a start.