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SMART LIST

Paula Abdul, Harry Potter and more 'Twilight' vampires

Looking ahead to next year.

December 27, 2009

The big questions: What we'll still be talking about in 2010.

"American Idol."

Will we miss Paula Abdul's parade of verbal nonsense -- "I want to squish you! Squish your head off and dangle you from my rearview mirror," she told runner-up David Archuleta in 2008 -- after Ellen DeGeneres makes her debut? (Jan. 12)

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1."

Must we begin saying goodbye to Hogwarts? Can no one imperio J.K. Rowling into writing more? A prequel? A sequel about Harry and Ginny's kids? (November)

"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."

Must we endure two more movies after this one? "New Moon's" $634 million worldwide (and counting) box office point to "yes." (June)

"Mad Men."

Will we need a stiff drink when the show returns? Joan is back, yes. But Sterling Cooper is no more. Business with Conrad Hilton is no more. Don and Betty are no more. (Please, please, please let Duck and Peggy be no more.) (To be announced)

"Toy Story 3" in 3-D.

Please, sir, may we have some more? (June)

HBO.

Can waiting get any harder? 2010's looking like a banner year at the pay network, which will premiere Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter's "Boardwalk Empire," about Prohibition-era Atlantic City, and David Simon's "Treme," a series set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and centered on the lives of the jazz musicians and second line culture of New Orleans. (To be announced)

-- Denise Martin

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