ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Outstanding TV Shows of 2011

Updated on May 31, 2017

After the conversion from Analog to Digital TV broadcasting, more channels have been opened up to allow more free programs to be viewed by the general public. With the digital and HD format, not only the picture quality rivals to that of the cinema but also the variety of the programs has blossomed to include cooking demo, language learning, travel log, foreign country programming, etc. As a result, it is no longer a straight forward chore to surf through the airwave to locate the TV shows that are of interest with outstanding contents.


This is a TV series from the Great Britain about a government agency, MI-5. MI-5 stands for Military Intelligence section 5. The famed and fictitious secret agent James Bond belonged to MI-6. It is similar to the recently established US agency of the Homeland Security. Its primary function is to counter terrorist threats, be them domestic or foreign origins. The series is shown once a week on the Public Broadcast channel. Each episode has a semi-independent storyline with complicated plots, fast action, and high suspense showcasing the talents of dedicated and ordinary looking agents. There are also deliberate and careful character developments over the long haul. As a result, for someone who is new to the program, it will take time to get to know all the participants and their inter-relationships. Since its inception in 2000, several beloved characters have been killed off in the line of duty. It brings an extra dimension of realism and urgency to the fight against terrorism.

For the American audience, MI-5 offers not only good entertainment but also an informative window into the British culture; how they think and live in a more complicated, close, and tense society where surveillance cameras are situated at every major street corner and in a region populated with nations with deep religious convictions and hostilities that can be traced for thousands of years.

Cooking Showdown

This is a weekly cooking show from Japan being shown on one of the channel reserved specially for the foreign country programming. Unlike any other cooking program where an expert chef singlehandedly demonstrates the preparation of a popular dish step by step. This program starts with 2 teams each has 4 celebrity guests represented by a host. Each team is assigned to stand behind a dish of the day by random choice. Two pre-selected chefs then begin to prepare each dish simultaneously right in front of the 2 teams as well as a live studio audience. During the process, any team member is free to interject usually humorous comments.

Each chef first introduces the ingredients of the dish. Then, one of the ingredients from each dish is selected to show its origin, For example, it can be a fruit, vegetable, seasoning, animal part, fish, bread, etc. In doing so, the program breaks off to run an earlier tapped short piece that documented how and where the selected ingredient came from. This is usually the highlight of the show. After the diversion, the program returns to the studio and continues with each chef starting the actual process of making the dish and shows the facial expressions of the team members and their comments.

After the 2 dishes are expediently completed, each team member is up for a vote in the same time by raising the sign of the favorite dish (he is free to vote for either dish). Before the final voting result is revealed, the program again breaks off to give a quick tour to some of the restaurants that specialize in catering to the 2 dishes of the day. After returning to the studio, the team members who have voted for the dish with the most counts get to consume the dish in front of the studio audience while the losing members can only watch with regret and envy.

California Gold with Huell Howser

This is an outstanding interview-style documentary program being shown on the Public Broadcast channel. The show is produced, written, and hosted by the energetic, engaging, likable, and easy understandable Huell Howser who has been with the program and its follow-ups since 1987. As the title implies, it is about the people, places, and establishments in California that the audiences around the world may find unique and interesting. What is popular and special about this program is the host’s informal, informative, and intimate ways of extracting and presenting the subject matters. There is seldom a dull moment as the audiences are often hooked from the first moment and will likely to stay to the end. The most recent examples are the shows about:

1) the harvesting of the hops and its preparation for beer making,

2) a family restaurant called Tallyrand that is well known in Burbank,

3) Russak's Cured & Smoked Prods (sausage, cow tongue, etc.) in Los Angeles.


This is a British con game drama made with humor, sophistication, and worthwhile human values. The cast members are photogenic and ethnics and all can play into the required roles to execute a wide variety of cons to its successful completion. The closest American equivalent TV program was the 1960s popular and iconic Mission Impossible. However, Hustle has less violence and firepower but more dialogue and brainpower. If you ever wonder what actor, Robert Vaughn (from the 1960s UNCLE fame), is doing after all these years, you can find him alive and good as ever playing the patriarch of the con group. I personally find the British accent difficult to understand. But, the problem is solved with close caption.


This wildlife in nature TV show distinguishes itself from other similar programs like NOVA and National Geography in its single-mindedness and concise story telling. Each episode has a consistent theme of life and death drama with wild animals and nature as the actors. In one episode, the show introduces the audience to a little known Pantanal of Brazil where 60% of the world’s wildlife and fauna can be found there. Each entity has a simple role that is to survive and reproduce. Yet, each day brings forth a new story of life and death that is beautiful, violent, peaceful, and chaotic all at the same time. In another episode, it shows how two eagles try their best to raise their chick in a lush green valley. Just as the chick gets big and strong enough to leave the nest, it is attacked and eaten by a wild cat roaming in the valley floor below.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)