Celebrating TV's late-night gems

There is plenty of great primetime telly on at the moment - from One's The Food Truck (my favourite cooking show; Sundays at 8pm) and TV3's The Almighty Johnsons (my favourite Kiwi show; Thursdays at 8.30pm), right on through to Rialto's Rectify (fearlessly and wonderfully made, with a great cast and spectacular writing; Wednesdays at 8.30pm).

But there are also some great shows hiding on the schedule after most people have gone to bed. Here are eight great shows that don't hit the airwaves until after 10pm ...

Terriers (Four, Fridays at 10.30pm or after movie finishes)
Donal Logue (ex-marshal Lee Toric on Sons of Anarchy) and Michael Raymond-James (Gold's son on Once Upon aA Time) star as unlicensed private investigators. The show, produced by Shawn Ryan (The Shield), was cancelled after just 13 episodes, but don't let that put you off - it's a fun hour, well worth tuning in for.

Spy (One, Fridays at 11pm or after news)
A British comedy in which an immature divorcee applies for a civil servant's job in an attempt to impress his cheeky and intelligent son, but accidentally joins MI5 as a secret agent after walking into the wrong interview room. Hilarity ensues. No, really: Spy is bloody hilarious. A shame only 17 episodes were made.

Outrageous Fortune (TV3, Saturdays at 10.30pm)
Come on, who doesn't love the West family?! I've been enjoying the occasional repeat of Outrageous Fortune; we live in a time where one show ends and we just move on to the next in the queue, so it's easy to forget just how good this Kiwi classic is.

Louie (Comedy Central, Mondays at 10pm)
The most auteuristic show on television. Louie inserts snippets of Louis CK's stand-up comedy into a series of glimpses at his mostly fictional private life as a single dad. CK often uses the deeply personal show to make wider statements about society - for example, the latest episode (titled Miami) saw CK musing on the nature of aging, misunderstanding relationships, and the delight of exploring the world with childlike wonder. Marvellous.

Shameless (TV2, Mondays at 10.30pm)
Emmy Rossum stars as Fiona, the makeshift matriarch of the Gallagher family, a tight-knit group of kids (Fiona is their older sister) and a deadbeat dad, who are living below the poverty line in Chicago. It's often darkly funny but is more than capable - like the most recent episode - of doing drama. Rossum is thoroughly deserving of an, uhh, Emmy.

The Good Wife (TV3, Tuesdays at 11pm or after Nightline)
We're in the middle of Season 2 at the moment and rumour has it that TV3 will be leading straight into new episodes, airing the third season as soon as repeats of Season 2 are done. Since the demise of Boston Legal, I reckon The Good Wife has been the best legal drama on television. Julianna Margulies and Josh Charles are fantastic.

Back Benches (Prime, Wednesdays at 10.30pm
I really love Back Benches: hosts Wallace Chapman and Damian Christie are a great pairing, the style is unique for any kind of political show, and it consistently entertains. This is a wonderful local production.

Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central, Thursdays at 9.50pm)
OK, technically it sneaks in before 10pm, but this is my blog post and I reckon Inside Amy Schumer - ostensibly a sketch show, though it ties in closely to Amy Schumer's often wildly inappropriate comedy stylings - is a really funny half hour. Check out her sketch titled One Night Stand (MASSIVELY NSFW) as proof.

What late-night gems have you been enjoying lately?

- - - - -

The Lesser Gods - podcast review of The Almighty Johnsons
Stuff webeditor Mike Kilpatrick joins me to take a look at the second episode of Season 3, with a look at what the future might hold for Gaia, the big scene involving Anders and Michelle, and our episode MVPs. Enjoy!

Make sure you like On the Box on Facebook and add Chris on Twitter.
Or, feel free to email Chris with any questions or ideas.
This is a spoiler-free blog - please comment responsibly.