Fall TV Preview: Our Night-by-Night Guide

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

Friday

Friday Primetime Schedule (All times ET/PT)
  8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition * Shark Tank * 20/20
CBS A Gifted Man CSI: New York Blue Bloods
CW Nikita * Supernatural [Local programming]
Fox Kitchen Nightmares Fringe [Local programming]
NBC Chuck * Grimm ** Dateline NBC *
Key cable shows:
  Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Toon)   Boss (Starz)
Real Time w/ Bill Maher (HBO)

New shows are highlighted in bold above. Cable shows will be covered in full in tomorrow's article.
* New time slot this fall
** From September 23 - October 14, Dateline will occupy the 9pm time slot and run for two hours.

Key network shows:

Fringe Watch trailer
(Fox, 9p starting Sep. 23)

Enough of you watched Fringe last spring after it shifted to Friday nights that Fox picked up the series for a 22-episode fourth season, though it looks like that Friday slot will stick. Despite the events at the end of the spring finale, Joshua Jackson is indeed still part of the cast, though you'll have to wait until the season starts to find out how. Meanwhile, Seth Gabel, who plays fan favorite Lincoln Lee, has been elevated to a series regular. But it is unclear if Fox would be willing to renew the show for another season after this if ratings remain near May's series record-low levels, so if you are a fan, enjoy the ride while it lasts.

NEW A Gifted Man Watch trailer
(CBS, 8p starting Sep. 23)

Medium might be gone, but that doesn't mean CBS characters won't be talking to dead people on Friday nights. Patrick Wilson (Angels in America) stars as a gifted but self-absorbed surgeon who begins seeing visions of his dead, but apparently still idealistic, ex-wife, who convinces him to take a different, more compassionate approach to his practice. The drama was created by screenwriter Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich), and the pilot was directed by Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs), who doesn't typically work in series television. Recent Emmy nominee Margo Martindale (Justified) co-stars, along with Julie Benz and Jennifer Ehle, and Cara Buono (Mad Men) guests on an upcoming episode. The critical reaction to the pilot was better than you might expect, though it remains to be seen if the concept will play well over the long term.

Also on Friday:

Blue Bloods (CBS, 10p starting Sep. 23)
The Tom Selleck cop drama's second season adds David Ramsey (Dexter) to the cast as the newly elected mayor, while Jamie (Will Estes) will get a new partner played by Lie to Me's Monica Raymund.

Chuck (NBC, 8p starting Oct. 21)
You won't need to launch a "save Chuck" campaign next spring; the show's fifth and final season will run for 13 episodes beginning in October in its new Friday slot, and then the ratings-challenged survivor will be done for good. (So will one of the show's major characters, but that person's identity has not been revealed.) Mark Hamill will appear in the premiere as a villain, Lost's Jeff Fahey guests in episode two, and Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) has a multi-episode arc as a competitor to Chuck's new spy firm.

CSI: New York (CBS, 9p starting Sep. 23)
The show's eighth season begins with an episode that deals with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Smallville's Cassidy Freeman guests in that episode, while Courtney Ford (True Blood, Dexter) and Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) will appear in later episodes.

NEW Grimm (NBC, 9p starting Oct. 21) Watch trailer
Boasting one of the least-liked pilots and worst timeslots of the fall shows, Grimm also enters the season as merely one of two new series about fairy tale characters living in the modern world (with ABC's Once Upon a Time having slightly better buzz). Unlike that other show, however, Grimm is also a crime procedural: David Giuntoli plays a Portland, Oregon cop charged with protecting the world from fantastical characters who seem not to want humans to live happily ever after. Silas Weir Mitchell (Prison Break) and Sasha Roiz (Caprica) also star.

Nikita (The CW, 8p starting Sep. 23) Watch trailer
Shifting to Friday nights for its sophomore season, Nikita adds Dillon Casey (The Vampire Diaries) to its cast; he'll play a new agent charged with taking down Nikita (Maggie Q) and Michael (Shane West). Katheryn Winnick (Bones) will guest in the fourth episode.

Supernatural (The CW, 9p starting Sep. 23) Watch trailer
Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) return for a seventh season of monster hunting on Supernatural, one of just two remaining shows from The WB. One person not returning, however, is Misha Collins, though he will appear in a few episodes at the beginning of the season. Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel will get a treat in the season's fourth episode, which features guest appearances by those shows' Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters.

Comments (8)

  • veronicalodge  

    *CORRECTION NEEDED*
    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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