'Big Love' Among AFI Outstanding TV Programs

Big Love is among the outstanding programs of the year. Or at least according to the American Film Institute, which listed the HBO drama in the same league as critical favorite Mad Men and newcomer comedy The Big Bang Theory.

The polygamy-themed drama, which returns for its forth season this January, is part of the strong HBO presence on the list, including Botswana-set The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and vampire series True Blood. The other shows on the list are Friday Night Lights, Glee, Modern Family, Nurse Jackie, and Party Down. Critics darling Mad Men is the only repeater on the list.

Big Love has been nominated for Best Drama Series in the Emmy's this year and for the same category in the Golden Globe's in 2007.

The TV jury was chaired by writer-producer Neal Baer and included producer Stanley Brooks, Arizona State's Bambi Haggins, UC Santa Cruz's L.S. Kim, Variety's Brian Lowry, writer-producer David Milch, UC Santa Barbara's Lisa Parks, actor C.C.H. Pounder, journalists Matt Roush and Maureen Ryan, USC's Ellen Seiter, TV Academy president John Shaffner and Syracuse University's Robert Thompson.

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