TV picks: Returning shows make a strong comeback

The returning shows of primetime televison are off to a stellar beginning this season. Top favorites "Glee" and "Modern Family" are, as expected, in the clear as far as good ratings go. Surprisingly, "Desperate Housewives" seems to have a strong grip on the top ten broadcasts as well. Wisteria Lane and all the housewives are back on the map with news that Juanita might not be Gabriela and Carlos' baby. Paul Young has returned from prison, and guest stars Vanessa Williams and Brian Austin Green heat up the scene as well.

Fox's "Glee" has had quite a first act with an odd array of episodes including one paying homage to Britney Spears and also one for Jesus Christ, which portrayed the complex trials of faith and the lack thereof.

While "Glee" has caused much controversy over its racy Britney Spears episode, fans can rest assured this glee club isn't going anywhere for a long while.

Another crowd pleaser, "Modern Family," is off to a shaky start as the cast survived an earthquake last week. If a sitcom can make a natural disaster funny (which they successfully did), they deserve that number seven spot for broadcast TV (which they have).

Thanks to the earthquake, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) avoided the fabulously disastrous themed party of Pepper (Nathan Lane) while Phil (Ty Burrell) spent his time securing the cabinet he lied about securing previously. With unusually comical situations such as these, the show still hasn't lost its luster. It's extremely popular, and for good reason.

"How I Met Your Mother," on the other hand, seems to be lacking its usual hilarity. While many legendary sitcoms all inevitably face a less funny time in life, it seems "How I Met Your Mother" has reached a slump.

In the latest flat-fallen episode, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) uses his best moves to lure Ted (Josh Radnor) into designing the new GNB building. Successful or not in his attempts, the show has not been enticing the audiences recently.

Although it might not be categorized as funny per se, the prior episode was at least touching as Barney's stepbrother took measures into his own hands to find his father.

NBC's "30 Rock" is still kickin' it. The longtime veterans of the acting scene Tina Fey (Liz) and Alec Baldwin (Jack) are still delivering the funny in Rockefeller's fifth season.

This season has thus far invited guest stars Queen Latifah as the Congressman determined to bring diversity to NBC, and Matt Damon, Liz's romantically challenged pilot boyfriend. This season is pretty strong and will even take on a live episode on Oct. 14.

The returning shows are admirably holding their spots for the time being, but it might not be long though before one of the newer series steps into their territory.

Next week, we'll see just how real the reality shows are keeping it.