Children of Dune

Network: Sci Fi

Cast: Susan Sarandon, Alec Newman, Alice Krige

Director: Greg Yaitanes

Writer: John Harrison

Critically speaking: “Sci Fi Channel’s long-awaited sequel to 2000’s ‘Dune’ turns everything up a notch: the special effects, the star power and the melodrama. It’s everything a miniseries should be — unless you’re a diehard Frank Herbert fan,” Laura Fries, Daily Variety

The Forsyte Saga

Network: PBS

Cast: Damian Lewis, Gina McKee, Ioan Gruffudd, Rupert Graves

Director:Christopher Menaul, David Moore

Writers: Jan McVerry, Stephen Mallatratt

Critically speaking: “The new adaptation of John Galsworthy’s grand saga remains faithful to the original book while adding just enough contemporary grace notes to enhance credibility for a modern television audience,” David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

Helen of Troy

Network: USA

Cast: Sienna Guillory, Matthew Marsden, Rufus Sewell, Stellan Skarsgard

Director: John Kent Harrison

Writer: Ronni Kern

Critically speaking: “Standing out is Sienna Guillory as the title character and Rufus Sewell as Agamemnon. . . Guillory reps the overall highlight; she takes center stage among a group of more accomplished men,” Michael Speier, Daily Variety

Hitler: The Rise of Evil

Network: CBS

Cast: Robert Carlyle, Stockard Channing, Julianna Margulies, Liev Schreiber

Director: Christian Duguay

Writers: John Pielmeier, G. Ross Parker

Cast: Critically speaking: “But upon close and fair inspection, this mini has its compelling moments; despite a lead performance from Robert Carlyle that borders on cartoon overplay, there’s still enough that’s inherently watchable due to our fascination with the subject,” Michael Speier, Daily Variety


Network: NBC

Cast: Yancy Arias, Bobby Cannavale, Sheryl Lee, Brian Benben

Director: Allen Coulter

Writer: David Mills

Critically speaking: “When ‘Kingpin’s’ characters keep their emotions in check — and creator David Mills’ script asks that of them most of the time — a sense of danger and insecurity swells that sets ‘Kingpin’ apart from episodics about Hispanics or drug-running,” Phil Gallo, Daily Variety


Network: A&E

Cast: Christian Clavier, Isabella Rossellini, Gerard Depardieu, John Malkovich

Director: Yves Simoneau

Writer: Didier Decoin

Critically speaking: “The grandness of ‘Napoleon’ is appreciated even more since its confines are limited; having every right to shrink things in scope and cost in order to talk down to TV auds, producers instead have ramped up the elements,” Michael Speier, Daily Variety


Network: Sci Fi

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Steve Burton, Julie Benz, Michael Moriarty

Writer: Leslie Bohem

Director: Tobe Hooper (episode 1), Breck Eisner (2), Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (3), Bryan Spicer (4), Felix Alcala (5), Tom Wright (6), Jeremy Kagan (7), Jeff Woolnough (8), John Fawcett (9), Michael Kattleman (10)

Critically speaking: “‘Taken’ is mammoth, imaginative … certainly the most ambitious sci-fi epic ever produced for television,” Washington Post