Television’s best night, filled with football, animation and cable heavy hitters. Fall brings back Dexter and Homeland on Showtime, Boardwalk Empire and Treme on HBO, The Walking Dead on AMC. ABC’s retooled lineup includes top second-year shows Once Upon A Time and Revenge — up against CBS’s The Good Wife — and newcomer 666 Park Avenue. CBS moved The Mentalist to CSI: Miami’s old slot.
Note: CBS announced it will officially push back start times of its primetime programming by 30 minutes on weekends with NFL doubleheaders, hopefully cutting down on the DVR woes associated with overtime games that cut into the regularly scheduled shows.
666 Park Avenue (Sept. 30)
Terry O’Quinn (Lost) and Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives) are the owners of the Drake, a luxury apartment where evil lurks. Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters) and Rachael Taylor (Grey’s Anatomy) play the building’s new owners. ABC hopes that the supernatural drama, based on a book by Gabriella Pierce, works with last year’s rookie hits Once Upon A Time and Revenge on its retooled Sunday night. It will need to be scary without being too serious.
The Cleveland Show (Oct. 7) – Kanye West and will.i.am return as a guest stars in the season premiere, while later episodes will feature Nick Offerman, Sofia Vergara, Bryan Cranston, Krysten Ritter and George Clinton.
The Simpsons (Sept. 30) – The show’s 24th season will feature guest appearances by Justin Bieber, Steve Carell, Natalie Portman, Sarah Silverman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Zooey Deschanel and Anne Hathaway.
Bob’s Burgers (Sept. 30) – The quirky animated comedy gets its first fall debut. Guest stars will include Zach Galifianakis, Fred Savage, Jeffrey Tambor, Fred Armisen, Will Forte, and the duo of Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally.
Once Upon A Time (Sept. 30) – Things are going to change in Storyville. In the season 1 finale of ABC’s fairy-tale hit, Emma Swan fulfilled her destiny by shattering Queen Regina’s evil curse, restoring the residents’ former fairytale identities and setting the the ball rolling for magic to enter their world.
Family Guy (Sept. 30) – Season 11 will see Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands. Guest stars will include Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Banks, Ryan Reynolds, and TV producers JJ Abrams, Dick Wolf, and Mark Burnett.
American Dad (Sept. 30) – Season 8 will see Star Trek: TNG star Patrick Stewart recurring as Patrick Stewart. Other guests will include Alison Brie, Nathan Fillion, Danny Glover, Jon Hamm, and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Revenge (Sept. 30) – ABC’s addictive soap moves from Wednesdays to Sundays for its second season. Jennifer Jason Leigh joins the series in a recurring role as the mother of Emily Thorne, while English actor Barry Sloane will pop up in multiple episodes as a man from Emily’s past.
The Good Wife (Sept. 30) – In season 4 of CBS’s best drama, the firm continues to struggle with financial woes, Alicia decides how much she and the kids can help Peter in his campaign for governor, and Kalinda encounters her dangerous, estranged husband.
The Mentalist (Sept. 30) – Simon Baker’s CBS crime drama moves to a new night for season 5, but the show’s overriding theme remains the same — Patrick Jane’s consuming hunt for Red John, the elusive serial killer who murdered his family.
Boardwalk Empire (Sept. 16) – Season 3 of HBO’s Atlantic City bootlegging drama picks up in the aftermath of Jimmy Darmody’s death in last season’s shocking finale. New characters include Department of Justice agent Gaston Means (Stephen Root), Italian-born bootlegger Gyp Rosetti (Bobby Cannavale), and flapper Billy Kent (Meg Chambers Steedle).
Call the Midwife (Sept. 30) – Jessica Raine and Miranda Hart star in PBS’s period drama about midwifes in 1950s East London. Vanessa Redgrave narrates.
Dexter (Sept. 30) –
The Showtime series will dramatically change after Deb discovered that her brother is a serial killer in last season’s shocking finale. Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck) will play a mysterious woman who helps Miami Metro.
Homeland (Sept. 30) – Season 2 of the award-winning Showtime drama picks up six months later with Brody considering a major run in politics and Carrie reluctantly being pulled back into helping the CIA.
The Walking Dead (Oct. 14) – The AMC vampire series changes locations in season three. After escaping Hershel’s farm, the survivors attempt to convert an infested prison into their new home. Meanwhile, a new human threat arrives in the form of a man who calls himself The Governor (David Morrissey).
Treme (Sept. 23) – David Simon’s HBO drama is finally back with 10 new episodes. Season three is set two years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, and focuses on the mixed blessing of redevelopment.
Upstairs, Downstairs (Oct. 7) -- The saga continues at 165 Eaton Place, with new characters upstairs and down, in a six-part sequel to the beloved Masterpiece series from the 1970s.