After an onslaught of forgettable game shows, strangely themed newsmagazines and just plain-old reruns, scripted programming will rebound from its strike-induced coma next week as CBS' Monday comedy lineup returns to full strength.
Top-rated sitcom Two and a Half Men along with How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory will lead the way as the first shows to return with new episodes since the three-month-long Hollywood writers' strike was resolved early last month. More sitcoms will return in early April, followed by heavyweight dramas like Grey's Anatomy and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
But with nearly three months since many shows' last hurrah, it's hard to keep all of TV's twisted plot lines straight. Is Meredith in or out of love with McDreamy now? Does House still have those random interns to torment? Who's dead on Wisteria Lane again?
Yeah, we are just as confused. So here's a refresher course on your favorite shows and a sneak peek at what's to come.
Returns: 9 p.m. April 24 with five new episodes
Where we left off: Meredith and McDreamy ended it for the umpteenth time, but at least now the hunky brain surgeon has an alternative - a sassy nurse named Rose. Meanwhile, Dr. Bailey's baby got smooshed by a bookcase; little Tucker survived, but it doesn't look like Bailey's marriage will. (Last show: Jan. 10)
What's ahead: Because the Grey's spin-off Private Practice won't resurface with new shows until next fall, Addison is expected to return to Seattle Grace for a least one episode.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Returns: April 3 with six new episodes
Where we left off: CSI bad boy Warrick was temporarily suspended after a dead woman was found in his car. And did we mention she was a witness in one of his cases? D'oh. Meanwhile, the rest of the team investigated the murders of two cowboys at a rodeo. (Last show: Jan. 10)
What's ahead: Warrick's downward spiral continues, and (surprise!) more bizarre deaths continue to present themselves to the Vegas crime-scene team.
Returns: 8 p.m. April 21 with five new episodes
Where we left off: Troublemaker Blair and golden girl Serena became entangled in a pregnancy scare. Although neither of the society girls was with child, the ensuing gossip (via the blog, of course) exposed Blair's promiscuous ways and gave her enemies enough ammo to make her a social pariah. (Last show: Jan. 9)
What's ahead: Blair was ready to escape to France to avoid the fallout of her love triangle, but (with a nudge from Serena) she's ready to face down her Upper East Side frenemies.
Returns: 9 p.m. April 28 with four new episodes
Where we left off: House discovers that his best and only friend Wilson was secretly dating somebody. But it's not just anybody - it's season arch-villain Amber, a cunning and manipulative doctor who House had recently canned. In a huge leap of maturity, the cranky doctor decided to accept the fact that hs nowhad to share his friend. (Last show: Feb. 5 )
What's ahead: In the two-part season finale, this three's company scenario will put House and Wilson's friendship to the test. Also, more medical mysteries will get solved.
Returns: 9 p.m. April 10 with seven new episodes
Where we left off: Season 4 finally brought Pam and Jim together - only to have Angela and Dwight break up after his mercy killing of Angela's cat, Sprinkles. After hitting Meredith with his car, Michael ran a 5K race to raise money for rabies prevention. And during Jan's deposition against Dunder Mifflin, Michael's diary was exposed as well as the famous Sandals picture of a topless Jan. (Last show: Nov. 15)
What's ahead: In the first show back, Michael tricks Jim and Pam into attending a dinner party hosted by Jan and Michael. To Dwight's horror, Michael also invites Angela and Andy.
Sun reporters Rob Hiaasen and Sarah Kickler Kelber contributed to this article.
Returns --9 p.m. April 13 with five new episodes plus a two-hour season finale
Where we left off --Lynette's cancer is in remission. Bree is raising a daughter who's really her granddaughter. Susan's stupid antics have driven Mike to drugs. And gold-digger Gaby is still in love with her ex-husband. If that weren't enough drama, a tornado slammed Wisteria Lane and killed off an older neighbor. (Last show: Jan 16)
What's ahead --One month after the tornado, Gabrielle learns that Carlos' blindness is permanent. Meanwhile, Bree returns to her own house after shacking up with Susan, but she finds that the void in her life is still there.
Returns --9:30 p.m. April 7 with six new episodes
Where we left off --Head-over-heels for the first time since her case of amnesia turned her into a nice girl, Samantha moved in with her new beau. But the bliss didn't last. She was sent packing less than a day later. (Last show: Dec. 10)