Summer who? It’s Labor Day and that means the return of school, fall is on it’s way and my hours spent watching TV is about to dramatically increase. This year all of my favorites survived the chopping block and from what I saw at Comic-Con the newbies all look pretty promising. Let’s run through the list, shall we?
J2 Returning Favs
Biggest Loser (NBC): The show is scrapping the idea of opposing trainers/teams, a move they should’ve made a long time ago. Watch poor contestants get worked to the bone by Bob and then passed off to Jillian (evil grin and all). Heartwarming stories and amazing transformations included, as always. (Tuesdays 8/7c returning 9-15)
Bones (Fox): Yes they screwed us over with the finale. But with the fall comes fresh starts and my short term memory wasn’t all that good back in May anyway. Lets hope they’ll either go back to how it was (lots of sexual tension, but very little commentary on it) or just flush out the story and see how it goes. (Thursdays 8/7c returning 9-17)
Castle (ABC): The power of Nathan Fillion compels you, the power of Nathan Fillion compels you! I wanted to hate this show, I really did. Another crime drama? Puhlease. But the writing is sharp and the characters complete. If you avoided it last season, catch up now! (Mondays 10/9c returning 9-21)
Dexter (Showtime): True Blood who? If anything can fill the void left by hot vampires and southern belles it’s Dexter. The show returns as he enters into marital bliss, baby booties and all. If you can’t wait till the end of September for your Dexter fix check out the movie Gamer, Dexter dances! (Sundays 10/9c returning 9-27)
Dollhouse (Fox): IT WASN’T CANCELED! IT WASN’T CANCELED! This has to be a Fox first! A show with amazing promise not immediately canceled even though Fox stuck it in the Friday night death slot? While I agree the first few episodes kinda sucked big time, the rest of the season was amazing and the never aired episodes included in the DVD box set promise upcoming story lines to be EPIC. Makes me all nostalgic and sad Wonderfalls didn’t have that kind of luck… (Fridays 9/8c returning 9-25)
Fringe (Fox): Wow. Just wow. The amount of detail put into the title cards is more than most shows put into their plots. Addicting doesn’t even begin to cover it. As a bonus, we get JJ’s patented strong, well rounded, not slutty (sorry Eliza), uber intelligent, compelling leading lady played beautifully by Anna Torv. Delve into the fringe sciences while experiencing expertly crafted plot twist and turns. (Thursdays 9/8c returning 9-17)
Heroes (NBC): We love it, we hate it, we like it, we’re mad at it, we think we should break up, but better days always seem to be on the horizon. Lets hope some recent retooling (i.e. firing) helps bring the show back to why we once loved it so dearly. And here’s to characters who die staying dead in the future. (Mondays 8/7c returning 9-21)
House (Fox): I did not see that season finale twist coming, which only makes me want more more more. (Mondays 8/7c returning 9-21)
The Office (NBC): Even though Jim is taken/engaged both on the show and in real life I still can’t quit this show. *Possible Spoiler Alert* Are Jim and Pam pregnant? Will Dwight and Angela ever get back together? How long is this documentary going to be and who in the world is still funding it? (Thursdays 9/8c returning 9-17)
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox): If you’re thinking “wait, didn’t SYTYCD just end?” you are correct. To jump on the dancing/musical bandwagon Fox has decided to air SYTYCD in the fall, followed by Glee, and then replace it mid-season with American Idol. No word on if summer seasons of SYTYCD will still exist, but I bet you’ll have had your fill of singing and dancing come Summer 2010. (Tuesdays & Wednesdays 8/7c returning 9-9)
Supernatural (The CW): Bad Sammy! Bad bad bad Sammy! First the “addiction” and now this? What have you done!?! Kripke and crew are going to tear our hearts out for sure this season. Here’s hoping Sam, Dean, Castiel and Bobby live to tell the tale. Why aren’t you watching this show?!?! (Thursdays 9/8c returning 9-10)
Community (NBC): Joel McHale, I heart you. Let’s hope you get treated better than Scrubs and last a long long time. (Thursdays 9:30/8:30c beginning 9-17)
A comedy series about an oddball group of students attending a community college in Colorado. The Soup’s Joel McHale stars as an ethically challenged attorney who is forced to go back to college — community college. There, he meets a ragtag bunch of misfit toys, including an understated Chevy Chase, Gillian Jacobs and Mad Men’s Alison Brie (“Hell’s bells, Trudy!”) who all yearn for some higher learning, despite their obvious deficiencies out in the real world.
Flash Forward (ABC): It sounds different, which in the days of nothing but Doctors, Lawyers, Nurses and Cops – is reason enough to watch. (Thursdays 8/7c beginning 9-24)
The world’s population sees into the future when everyone blacks out for two minutes and 17 seconds at the same time. The clairvoyant episode staggers the minds of all, as in many instances their futures are not what they expected—and some, it seems, have no future at all. While many recount their experiences on a worldwide Web site, others seek to circumvent their fates; and some, like FBI agent Mark Benford, seek to learn what caused the mass blackout.
Glee! (Fox): Forget NBC/ABC/CBS, Fox is where it’s at! With shows like Glee, Dollhouse, Bones, House and Fringe you’ll never touch your remote. Thanks to Glee I won’t ever stop believing! (Wednesdays 9/8c beginning 9-9)
Musical comedy-drama about the misfits who make up a high-school glee club and the teacher who leads them, a one-time glee-club star himself. Created by Ryan Murphy (‘Nip/Tuck’).
Modern Family (ABC): The commercials make me laugh and Al Bundy is in it – you know you want to check it out. (Wednesdays 9/8c beginning 9-23)
Ed O’Neill (Married… with Children), Julie Bowen (Ed) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (The Class) headline a top-notch cast delivering a fresh take on the multigenerational family comedy.
V (ABC): The pilot was decent at Comic-Con and it wasn’t even finished yet! And this will make 5 Firefly actors employed on the small screen all at the same time again (ok, so not on the same show, a girl can dream can’t she?). Felt like it had a little too much drama to make my favorites list, but it’s always best to jump on the bandwagon right away – no catching up to do when it blows up later. (Tuesdays 8/7c beginning 11-3)
Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell stars in this reimagining of the 1980s sci-fi miniseries and series as FBI counter terrorism agent Erica Evans. She is the first to discover that, beneath the skin of a presumed friendly visiting alien race, they’re more sinister than anyone imagined. Evans’ son, Tyler (Logan Huffman), sees the Vs as an opportunity to make mankind unite with a common goal while news anchor Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) wants to advance his career by getting an exclusive interview with the aliens’ leader, Anna (Morena Baccarin).
Vampire Diaries (The CW): I haven’t read the books, but the advertisements make this show look hot. As if you could make vampires look cold this year (I’m so punny). The CW is full of guilty pleasures this season that’s for sure. And if you’ve been missing Boone since he died on Lost, never fear he’s been undead all along! (Thursdays 8/7c beginning 9-10)
A Virginia high-school student falls for a new boy in class who is actually a centuries-old vampire struggling to live peacefully among humans. Brooding high school newcomer Stefan (Paul Wesley) can’t get his mind off classmate Elena (Nina Dobrev) — perhaps because the two of them were deeply in love 130 years years ago. Yeah, Stefan is a vampire, and so is his reckless bad-boy brother, Damon (Lost’s Ian Somerhalder). This one also features a special guest appearance by massive amounts of fog.
Worth a Peek
Eastwick (ABC): I know, I know. They’ve tried this twice before. But I really really want to like it. The book and movie were just so good! Lets hope the third time’s the charm (look! another pun!!). (Wednesdays 10/9c beginning 9-23)
Fantasy series about suburban witches, which stars Rebecca Romijn and Lindsay Price.
Melrose Place (The CW): So 90210 was kind of a bust for fans of the original (I hear it’s been retooled by a new show runner, might be worth a second look this season), but Melrose may just be that guilty pleasure you’ve been waiting for. While I’m not thrilled at the Asslee Simpson stunt casting, Stephanie Jacobsen and Katie Cassidy (yes, her dad is that Cassidy) are two actresses I’d watch out for. And, I hear the bitch is back and has signed on to guest star in a few episodes, squee! (Tuesdays 9/8c beginning 9-8)
Remake of the hit ’90s series follows a group of sexy twentysomethings whose lives become entangled while living in a trendy Los Angeles apartment complex. The new show departs from its source material with a mystery storyline concerning a dead body that appears, Sunset Boulevard-style, in the apartment complex’s pool.
NCIS: LA (CBS): Yes it’s another procedural crime drama spun off from an already existing (but canceled?) procedural crime drama, but it stars Chris O’Donnel – need I say more? (Tuesdays 9/8c beginning 9-22)
“An “NCIS” spin-off following the undercover agents of the NCIS Office of Special Projects, working from a Spanish mission headquarters in Los Angeles.”
The Beautiful Life: TBL (The CW): Stupid name aside (did you really need to give me the acronym directly after the title? I’ll nickname my shows myself thank you – I think I’ll call you Beau Life from now on, or maybe TB just to be bitchy) I’m a fan of pretty people with problems in amazing locations (ala America’s Next Top Model) and this show promises that plus much more. Even if it sucks after one episode Mischa’s playing a troubled girl with drug problems again which always makes for fun TV watching drinking games at home. (Wednesdays 9/8c beginning 9-16)
Drama centering on fashion models who share a residence in New York City. Executive produced by Ashton Kutcher, this drama follows two young models (Sara Paxton and High School Musical’s Corbin Bleu) as they are swept up in the fashion business. There to guide them (or complicate matters) are the modeling agency’s boss (Elle MacPherson) and a model with a few years under her belt (The O.C.’s Mischa Barton).
White Collar (USA): Neil Caffrey makes this look good. (Fridays beginning October 23)
After finally being brought down by FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), master criminal Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) offers to help the Feds catch other notorious cons in order to remain a free man. Though wary at first, Burke soon learns the intuition required to nail these bad guys can’t be found on the right side of the law. Tiffani Thiessen also stars as Burke’s wife.
Mid Season Replacements (think January and beyond)
Chuck (NBC): If I learned anything at Comic-Con this year it’s that Smallville fans are freaking nuts. If I learned two things it’s that and the cast of Chuck are freaking rock stars! I got a little tired of the premise and fell out of love during the whole writers strike scheduling fiasco, but season 3 looks promising and will definitely be worth your time and devotion. Seasons 1 and 2 available on dvd now.
Human Target (Fox): I missed the panel at Comic-Con, but those who saw it liked it which is good enough for me. (Replaces Glee Midseason)
Based on the popular DC Comics comic book and graphic novel, HUMAN TARGET is a full-throttle action drama centered on CHRISTOPHER CHANCE (Mark Valley, FRINGE), a unique private contractor/security guard hired to protect. When there is an unusual or imminent threat that can’t be solved through “normal” means of protection, Chance is hired to completely integrate himself into his clients’ lives to become the human target. With every new danger, Chance’s dark history will also unravel. Does anyone know who Christopher Chance really is, or what secrets lay buried in his past? What would make a man willingly become a HUMAN TARGET?
Lost (ABC): The final season! If you gave up out of frustration awhile back (polar bears, wtf?) or just couldn’t devote the time necessary to follow along (like me) I have it on very good authority from J1 your weekends this winter are best spent catching up on Lost box sets. You’ll have closure in the spring; why not jump back on the bandwagon now?
Parenthood (NBC): May be similar to Modern Family, but if it’s funny – who cares? (Replaces Mercy midseason)
“Parenthood” is a one-hour drama inspired by the box-office comedy hit of the same name. This re-imagined and updated NBC Universal Media Studios/Imagine Television production introduces audiences to the very large, very colorful and imperfect Braverman family. The dynamic star-studded cast includes Peter Krause, Maura Tierney, Craig T. Nelson, Dax Shepard, Bonnie Bedelia, Monica Potter and Erika Christensen.
Did I miss an oldie but a goodie? Wondering when your favorite show is about to return? Need to know premiere dates and times to set your DVR’s? TV Guide has the best fall TV resource, check out the schedule and some handy dandy links here.
Haven’t scored a converter box yet? DVR-less? Check out Hulu for almost all your TV watching needs whenever and wherever. Cable 0, Internet 1!