Our look ahead to the Fall TV season begins with this nightly guide to new and returning shows, which also includes a quick peek at shows expected in midseason. In the coming days, look for a calendar of premiere dates for all shows, as well as our Fall Reality TV Preview.
|Dancing With The Stars||Castle|
|How I Met Your Mother||Rules of Engagement||Two and a Half Men||Mike and Molly||Hawaii Five-0|
|90210||Gossip Girl||[Local programming]|
|House||Lone Star||[Local programming]|
Key new show: Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, 10p starting 9/20)
CBS' latest crime procedural shares a name, characters, and location with the 1970s-era police drama, but don't expect the same campy fun. Instead, this 21st-century version of Hawaii Five-0 from producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Fringe, Transformers) goes for action, and the well-received, big-budget pilot plays like a summer blockbuster. The question is: can they pull off the same success on a weekly basis with less money to spend on explosions? The series stars Alex O'Loughlin (whose previous CBS shows Three Rivers and Moonlight failed), Scott Caan (Ocean’s Eleven), Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) and Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica).
May not last long: Chase (NBC, 10p starting 9/20)
The latest Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama follows a group of Texas-based U.S. Marshals who track down America's most-wanted fugitives; Kelli Giddish (Past Life) and Cole Hauser (K-Ville) star. NBC ordered just 13 episodes, but it may not even last that long; early buzz is nonexistent, and cable already offers superior shows about the Marshals Service (USA's In Plain Sight, FX's Justified).
Also: Centering on a con man leading a double life, Fox's unconventional Texas oil industry soap Lone Star (9p starting 9/20) has earned some of the most positive notices from critics based on early views, and Andie MacDowell was recently added to a cast that already includes Jon Voight ... Expect a lot of fat jokes in the Overeaters Anonymous dating comedy Mike & Molly (CBS, 9:30p starting 9/20), the only new sitcom on Monday nights ... NBC is hoping that a solid cast (Blair Underwood, Jason Ritter, Laura Innes) can overcome generic characters to draw viewers to The Event (9p starting 9/20), which offers a mysterious, conspiracy-rich, serialized storyline at a time when audiences seem to be growing tired of such things.
Key returning show: House (Fox, 8p starting 9/20)
No, last season's finale was not a dream: House and Cuddy will indeed explore a more personal relationship on the upcoming seventh season of House, as the show looks to tinker with its formula, at least slightly. Other changes in store for the upcoming season include the addition of Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia) to the cast as a young medical student who joins House's team. She'll be replacing -- temporarily -- Olivia Wilde, who will miss multiple episodes to shoot the movie Cowboys & Aliens.
Also: How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8p starting 9/20) kicks off the season with a "game-changing" plot development as producers attempt to improve on last year's lackluster season five ... Bonita Friedericy has been elevated to series regular for season four of Chuck (NBC, 8p starting 9/20), but the bigger casting news is that Linda Hamilton (Terminator) will appear in multiple episodes as Chuck's mom ... A major male character will come out of the closet on the third season of 90210 (CW, 8p starting 9/13), while Entourage's Adrian Grenier will guest on an upcoming episode ... Gossip Girl (CW, 9p starting 9/13) will feature guest appearances by Melrose Place's Katie Cassidy and Project Runway's Tim Gunn ... Don't expect Castle and Beckett to get back together anytime soon on Castle (ABC, 10p starting 9/20), as the two main characters will be seeing other people during season four ... The next "celebrity" cast of Dancing With The Stars (ABC, 8p starting 9/20) will be revealed on August 30, and it likely won't include the previously-rumored Troy Aikman ... CBS' Rules of Engagement (8:30p starting 9/20) will get a new gay character for season five after the network received a failing grade from GLAAD ... A lack of jail time for Charlie Sheen after an assault charge means that the return of Two and a Half Men (CBS, 9p starting 9/20) will proceed as scheduled.
Key show: Men of a Certain Age (TNT, 10p starting 11/29)
One of last season's most critically-acclaimed new series (and a ratings hit for TNT), Men stars Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, and the Emmy-nominated Andre Braugher as a trio of friends dealing with middle age. The dramedy returns with a dozen new episodes in its second season, though you'll have to wait until after Thanksgiving to see them.