Fall TV Preview: Our Night-by-Night Guide

  • Publish Date: August 23, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 8 user comments


Tuesday Primetime Schedule (All times ET/PT)
  8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Last Man Standing Man Up! Dancing With The Stars [Results] Body of Proof
CBS NCIS NCIS: Los Angeles Unforgettable
CW 90210 * Ringer [Local programming]
Fox Glee New Girl Raising Hope * [Local programming]
NBC The Biggest Loser Parenthood
Key cable shows:
      Onion News Network (IFC)
Sons of Anarchy (FX)
Tosh.0 (Comedy Central)
Workaholics (Comedy Central)

New shows are highlighted in bold above. Cable shows will be covered in full in tomorrow's article.
* New time slot this fall

Key network shows:

NEW Last Man Standing Watch trailer
(ABC, 8p starting Oct. 11)

Unapologetically conventional in format—to the point of seeming dated—Last Man Standing marks the return of Tim Allen (Home Improvement) to network television, and serves as the lead-in to ABC's new male-oriented Tuesday night comedy block. Created by Jack Burditt (30 Rock) and produced by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum), the sitcom casts Allen as a truck-driving, beer-drinking man's man who finds himself living in an increasingly female-dominated world: his wife (Nancy Travis) is a successful executive, his daughter works multiple jobs to save up for a house, and the boss at the sporting goods company where he works just promoted his niece to CEO. However will he cope? Don't expect good reviews (critics hated the pilot); instead, the series will serve as a test of the continuing appeal of Allen and the multi-camera family sitcom format in general.

NEW New Girl Watch trailer
(Fox, 9p starting Sep. 20)

Boasting one of the best-reviewed pilots of the new season, New Girl brings film actress and musician Zooey Deschanel ((500) Days of Summer) to TV for a starring role as a goofy, optimistic elementary school teacher who moves in with three rowdy guys in New York. The comedy comes from screenwriter Liz Meriwether (No Strings Attached) with a pilot directed by Jake Kasdan. Though Jake M. Johnson, Max Greenfield, and Damon Wayans Jr. star as the roommates in the pilot, Wayans will be replaced by Lamorne Morris beginning in episode two, since his ABC series Happy Endings was unexpectedly picked up for a second season.

NEW Ringer Watch trailer
(The CW, 9p starting Sep. 13)

Sarah Michelle Gellar is back on network television, and her show has potential, according to critics who generally praised the pilot. Originally slated to appear on CBS, this ambitious action-drama instead landed at The CW, though it doesn't have all that much in common with the network's typical programming. Gellar stars as a troubled woman on the run from the mob who decides to hide out by adopting the identity of her wealthy identical twin sister (also played by Gellar), only to discover that her sister also has a bounty on her head. Nestor Carbonell (Lost), Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected), and Ioan Gruffudd (Titanic, Fantastic Four) also star.

Also on Tuesday:

90210 (The CW, 8p starting Sep. 13) Watch trailer
Season 4 finds 90210 moving back to Tuesday nights after a one-year experiment on Mondays, and will also see the crew leaving high school for college under the guidance of new showrunners (and former Life Unexpected writers) Patti Carr and Lara Olsen. The streamlined cast will lose Lori Loughlin, Trevor Donovan, and Ryan Eggold as regulars, though singer Brandy will have a recurring role (as a Congressional candidate, naturally), and former American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler will guest.

Body of Proof (ABC, 10p starting Sep. 20)
Despite mixed reviews, the Dana Delany medical crime drama was a rare hit for ABC when it launched in the spring. The show returns for a longer second season in September, with a new semi-regular cast member (Nathalie Kelley, of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift); former Laker Rick Fox will guest in one episode.

Glee (Fox, 8p starting Sep. 20)
New cast members in season 3, which will have a decreased emphasis on guest stars and gimmicks to better concentrate on character development (and Sue Sylvester's campaign for Congress), include Vanessa Lengies (American Dreams) and LaMarcus Tinker (Friday Night Lights), while the show's writing staff should be bolstered by the addition of Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Despite rumors suggesting that this would be the final season for regulars Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, and Cory Monteith, the three actors will return if Glee is back for season 4, though their characters will graduate at the end of the current season.

NEW Man Up! (ABC, 8:30p starting Oct. 18) Watch trailer
ABC bills this comedy from writer Christopher Moynihan (who also stars) as being "in the vein of The Hangover." (Sure it is, to the extent that they are both things that you can look at with your eyes.) The series centers on three sensitive, metrosexual men (Moynihan, Dan Fogler, and Mather Zickel) who begin to embrace their more conventionally masculine sides after one of the trio crashes his ex-girlfriend's wedding in an attempt to win her back. We're not in the habit of predicting Metascores, but it's hard to see this one being green.

NCIS (CBS, 8p starting Sep. 20) Watch previous season recap
Visiting the long-running CBS drama this season is Lily Tomlin, who plays the grandmother of Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) in an upcoming episode. Scott Wolf will guest in the premiere, which picks up four months after last season's finale.

NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, 9p starting Sep. 20) Watch previous season recap
Season 3 opens with an episode that unfolds in real time. That episode, and the following three, will deal with the aftermath of the season 2 finale, and Bridget Regan (Legend of the Seeker) will guest somewhere during that span.

Parenthood (NBC, 10p starting Sep. 13)
Season 3 of Parenthood will see the return of both John Corbett and Jason Ritter, while newcomers Rosa Salazar and Brittany Belt have been added to the cast; the former will be working the coffee cart at Julia's (Erika Christensen) office, while the latter plays Haddie's (Sarah Ramos) longtime friend.

Raising Hope (Fox, 9:30p starting Sep. 20)
Fox's hit comedy returns for a second season after picking up two Emmy nominations for its first year, including one for star Martha Plimpton.

NEW Unforgettable (CBS, 10p starting Sep. 20) Watch trailer
Based on short story by novelist J. Robert Lennon, the rather generic crime procedural originally known as The Rememberer (true fact!) centers on an NYPD officer who has hyperthymesia—basically, the ability to recall almost everything that happens to her, down to the smallest detail. She is quickly drafted back into the force when her neighbor is murdered; presumably, in future episodes, she'll also have some sort of personal connection to each case, or else her extraordinary memory will be extraordinarily pointless. (One such case: the long-ago, unsolved murder of her sister.) Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) stars.

Comments (8)

  • veronicalodge  

    hi,you've specified that cheryl cole will be a judge on the u.s. x factor - she was replaced months ago; the fourth judge on the u.s. panel is nicole scherzinger. cheers.

  • conditionals  

    This is coming from a diehard supporter of NBC comedies: Community is probably the most overrated show on TV. It's OK, but doesn't deserve the hype. The 'randomness' reeks of lazyness... compare it with Parks & Recreation, which ties smart comedy with genuinely affecting storylines. My vote for most underrated would be Cougar Town.

  • SamECircle  

    lamontraymond, I don't have cable, actually :-)! I'll just watch whatever got good ratings on netflix in the summer.

  • LamontRaymond  

    Don't forget the cable stuff, Sam

  • SamECircle  

    What I'm watching:
    Monday: 2 broke girls, hart of Dixie
    Tuesday: New Girl, and Raising Hope if it wins an emmy
    Wednesday: Up All Night, Suburgatory, Modern Family
    Thursday: Community, Parks and Rec, the Office, perhaps Whitney (I’ll see after pilot)
    Friday: My 9yrold sister wants to watch Grimm because the plot’s so similar to the Sisters Grimm kids books, but after the pilot prolly nothing
    Saturday: nothing
    Sunday: Once upon a Time, (same reason as Grimm) until we’re sick of it, then simpsons, perhaps Pan Am

  • GRubi  

    The actor that plays the Dean on Community is named Jim Rash, not Jim Roush.

  • Vaille  

    If Community isn't the best comedy on television right now, it's certainly the most underrated.

  • LamontRaymond  

    The networks have to be quaking in their boots with these lineups. Bottom line? I can't think of more than 2 or 3 new shows that look remotely worth watching. Everything good these days seems to come from HBO, Showtime, AMC, FX, USA, and the other cable channels. It is still the golden age of TV, but if you're going to spend your TIME on free entertainment, make sure you do your research and stick with the quality. There are no risk takers on network TV any more - it's the same old crap. The edgy stuff - the stuff that won't get cancelled after 2 underperforming episodes - is further up your dial.

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