In only two months’ time, both cable television executives and those manning the basic channels will bombard us with an influx of new shows, some good but most bad and primed for limited on-air life spans.

That’s right, the fall TV season is nearly here, which also means that, after Breaking Bads big July 15th return on AMC, most of our favorite shows will be back on the air: Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, and, yes, even the frustrating mess that Dexter has become. For many, September marks the time when TV officially kicks into quality overdrive, but, as evidenced by the last six months, 2012 is already off to an excellent start.

It hasn’t been all good—the less said about this year’s mid-season premiere disappointments (House of Lies, Alcatraz, Touch) and outright flops (Work It, The Firm, Are You There, Chelsea?) the better. But as a whole, the year’s first half has been steered into distinction through several returning favorites and a couple of HBO debuts that helped save Sunday night’s 10 p.m. through 11 p.m. EST slot from AMC’s The Killings web of irritation.

Without further delay, we present to you, idiot box fiends: The 25 Best TV Shows Of 2012 (So Far).

Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone) and Tanya Ghahremani (@tanyaghahremani)

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