Whitney Pastorek
March 21, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Yap, yap, yap: There seem to be a gazillion disembodied voices narrating TV shows every week, but now that Morgan Freeman’s been anointed Best Voice-over Dude Ever (thanks to his Million Dollar Baby Oscar win), how do all those small-screen talkers stack up? We grade them based on a Morganometer of 1 to 10, with 1 being a basic understanding of the English language and 10 being Shawshankian perfection.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES Mary Alice’s posthumous chatter sets the scene, but her pun-filled moralizing makes us wish for a less prissy omniscient dead lady. Morganometer: 5

ONE TREE HILL Star Chad Michael Murray bookends the soapy episodes with oh-so-deep passages from literature. Just try not to drool on your Kahlil Gibran. Morganometer: 3

VERONICA MARS The no-nonsense observations of Kristen Bell’s fearless girl detective strike a balance between peppy and poignant, kind of like high school. Morganometer: 7

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT Wry, documentary-style narration from executive producer Ron Howard is the icing on this perfect show’s absurdist cake. Morganometer: 10

SCRUBS As hormonal doc J.D., Zach Braff keeps this comedy off life support with his exuberant inner monologue. Get it? Life support? That was for you, Mary Alice. Morganometer: 8

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