There are no words to describe our elation over the return of scripted television this month. It’s been a long, hot summer, with far too much time in the sun, lounging, loafing, freeloading. We eagerly anticipate the crisp fall air and racing back to our respective plasma screen televisions right after dinner to soak up the next chapter in some of our favorite stories.
BUT, there are also NEW addictions and stories (and some rehashing of old-school fare) to enjoy as well. Here’s a sampling of the autumnal offerings…
The CW / Premieres 8 September @ 9pm
Sweet wounded Jesus, it’s back! Of course after the grand success that was “90210” this was an obvious next step for The CW. We still don’t understand the appeal, but if the children like it there’s not stopping the crazy. This updated ‘Melrose’ changes up some of the major characters for the younger crowd. We enjoy Michael Rady (“Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”) but Ashlee Simpson-Wentz (or at least her character) has yet to woo us.
FOX / Premieres 9 September @ 8pm
If you loved the pilot which got an early viewing at the end of the school year, then you will LOVE LOVE LOVE the next few episodes. The music is invigorating, the ensemble is adorably quirky, the show is genius. If you missed episode numero uno..
The Vampire Diaries
The CW / Premieres 10 September @ 8pm
Yes, vampires are terribly chic, and when we first saw the billboards in Los Angeles, we thought the network was just jumping on the bandwagon. But after watching the pilot, this could be the kind of show that’s in the vein of ‘Gilmore Girls’ or ‘Dawson’s Creek.’ But with, ya know…fangs. We’re looking forward to seeing more…
The Beautiful Life
The CW / Premieres 16 September @ 9pm
The show about fashion, pricey music licensing, lecherous model agents and tiny girls with large heads. The premise may make you wretch but it’s two leads have actually got chops and heart.
NBC / Premieres 17 September @ 9:30pm
NBC has been pushing this one pretty hard and for good reason; it’s hilarious. Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, Gillian Jacobs, Don Glover and Danny Pudi make a fantastic ensemble plus, with the addition of Ken Jeong as the infamous Spanish teacher NBC might have a chance to crawl out of 4th place.
Accidentally on Purpose
CBS / Premieres 21 September @ 8:30 pm
CBS has proven once again that the multi-camera comedy with a laugh-track is NOT dead-in-the-water. Jenna Elfman, as spunky as ever, stars in this series about a San Francisco film critic who ends up in a bit of a tryst with a much-younger fellow. When she becomes pregnant, a whole new dynamic emerges – one that has never (not that we know of) been tackled on television. And it’s pretty darn funny to boot.
NCIS: Los Angeles
CBS / Premieres 22 Septmeber @ 9pm
You know the drill. NCIS, except in Los Angeles, and with the obvious pairing of LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell.
ABC / Premieres 22 September @ 10pm
Jerry Bruckheimer’s new drama about a group of amateurs meet in coffee shops to solve mysteries about unidentified murder victims; putting a name to these corpses and then tracking down their killer. Christian Slater heads up the cast.
The Good Wife
CBS / Premieres 22 September @ 10pm
It’s the triumphant return of Julianna Marguiles as a woman scorned after her politician of a husband (played by Chris Noth) admits to having an affair while in office. But our leading lady, Alicia, is going back to practicing law and making a name for herself. Unfortunately, no one is cutting her any breaks in the process. Watching a phoenix rise from the ashes…pretty gratifying.
NBC / 23 September @ 8pm
There are three things that have a 90% shot of working on a television series: cops, doctors and lawyers. Here is a new series that looks at the hospital life through the eyes of the nurses. With ‘Nurse Jackie’ and ‘Hawthorne,’ maybe nurses are the new doctors?
ABC / Premieres 23 September @ 9pm
ABC joins in on the mocumentary trend that started with ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’ with this soon to be hit. It’s basically the opposite of every family sitcom ABC aired in the early 90’s.
ABC / Premieres 23 September @ 9:30pm
When Courtney Cox assumes the role of a suburban cougar on the prowl this month, and the chit-chat and bloggery will finally be realized. Of course cougars make fine fodder for this new single-camera comedy. To Ms. Cox, we say “KUDOS!” and to the show…well, we wish you luck. We just hope that the interest in the series didn’t dwindle by the time they started rolling. We have NEW interests now, you see? We Tweet. And stuff…
ABC / Premieres 23 September @ 10pm
First there was the John Updike book. Then there was the classic movie with Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer. Then there was the West End musical with Ian McShane. People loves these witches. They love upset in a quaint New England town, and now we get a fourth pass at Updike’s story. It’s been well watered-down by this point but soak it up if you really must.
ABC / Premieres 24 September @ 8 pm
We got our first taste of FlashForward at this year’s Comic Con and were instantly hooked. It’s being praised as the new ‘LOST’ but lets hold off on those sorts of claims until season two; which I’m sure there will be since David Goyer already planned it out.
FOX / Premieres 25 Septmeber @ 9pm
A former NFL player goes back to his parents’ Texas home and it’s like being a kid again. Spats with brother, getting grief from the parents, your mom is played by CCH Pounder. Ya know, the usual.
NBC / Premieres 28 September @ 9pm
Executive producer Peter Berg takes us into the action-packed world of first-responder paramedics in San Francisco. Looks like one of the leading boys is kind of a douche, but there’s a helicopter crash, so we’ll be watching.
ABC / Premieres 30 September at 8pm
A new half-hour comedy with Kelsey Grammer about a Park Avenue CEO who loses his job and life savings and must move his family to the small town of River Bend, Virginia.
ABC / Premieres 30 September @ 8:30pm
Patricia Heaton’s new comedy about keeping a family together.
CBS / Premieres 4 October @ 9pm
A new procedural starring ‘Moonlight’s Alex O’Loughlin as a skilled Pittsburgh surgeon that deals in the precarious world of organ donors and transplants every day. Katherine Moennig of ‘The L Word’ is also on the team, and it’s a fiery and passionate group that will watch fate and circumstance screw and bless them week after week.
USA / Premieres 23 October @ 10pm
Looks like USA has another promising contender for its lineup of characters. Matt Bomer plays a slick con artist named Neal Caffrey and Tim DeKay is Peter Burke, the FBI agent who’s put him away. But it turns out that Caffrey is more useful in the field helping to nab the bad guys than sitting behind bars. Here’s one that promises to be clever and charming and funny. At least, we hope that’s how it’s gonna be.
ABC / Premieres 3 November @ 8pm
The miniseries from the 1980s has been reimagined as a series, but without all the kitschy lizard faces. ‘Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell is a lead FBI investigator and Scott Wolf is a news anchor on the verge of a major break in his career when alien (“Visitor”) ships arrive to hover above the world’s major cities. The true intentions of these visitors are a mystery, but you know it ain’t good.
The Prisoner (Mini-Series)
AMC / Premieres November 2009
Here’s another one we caught a glimpse of at Comic Con. This expertly-produced mini-series is a new take on the 1960s original created by Patrick McGoohan. Now, in six one-hour episodes, ‘The Prisoner’ is about a man who quits his job and wakes up one morning trapped in a desert. It’s very strange and ‘LOST’-esque. Jim Caviezel plays the lead, “Number Six” while the wonderfully mysterious and menacing Ian McKellen is suited up as “Number Two.” Can. Not. Wait.