Fall TV Preview: Our Night-by-Night Guide

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


Saturday Primetime Schedule (All times ET/PT)
  8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Saturday Night College Football [LIVE at 8p ET / 5p PT]
CBS Rules of Engagement * [Various repeats] 48 Hours Mystery
Fox Cops Cops [Various repeats] [Local programming]
NBC [Various repeats]
Sunday Primetime Schedule (All times ET/PT)
  7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC America's Funniest Home Videos Once Upon a Time ** Desperate Housewives Pan Am
CBS 60 Minutes The Amazing Race The Good Wife * CSI: Miami
Fox NFL postgame [LIVE] The Cleveland Show * † The Simpsons Allen Gregory † Family Guy American Dad [Local programming]
NBC Football Night in America [LIVE] Sunday Night Football [LIVE at 8:15p ET / 5:15p PT]
Key cable shows:
      Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Dexter (Showtime)
The Walking Dead (AMC)
Hell on Wheels (AMC)
Homeland (Showtime)
How to Make It in America (HBO)
Hung (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 Sep. 25 - Oct. 16, Extreme Makeover Home Edition will occupy this slot, shifting to Fridays starting Oct. 21.
† From Sep. 25 - Oct. 23, The Cleveland Show will occupy the 8:30p slot, before shifting to 7:30p on Oct. 30.

Key network shows:

The Good Wife Watch previous season recap Watch trailer
(CBS, Sundays at 9p starting Sep. 25)

As The Good Wife enters its third season, the Emmy-nominated and critically acclaimed but relatively low-rated (by CBS standards) drama is making a big move from Tuesdays to Sundays, where it will go head to head with Desperate Housewives. The season will pick up almost immediately after the events in last season's finale and address the relationship between Will (Josh Charles) and Alicia (Julianna Margulies), and early episodes will also provide a bigger storyline for Christine Baranski's Diane. House's Lisa Edelstein has been booked for multiple episodes as Will's former legal partner, while Parker Posey will appear as the estranged wife of Eli Gold (Alan Cumming), Michael Arden (Kings) will have a recurring role as a potential love interest for Owen Cavanaugh (Dallas Roberts), Harvey Fierstein will guest as a judge, and Peter Jacobson (House) shows up in the premiere. In addition, Dylan Baker will reprise his Emmy-nominated role as convicted killer Colin Sweeney.

NEW Once Upon a Time Watch trailer
(ABC, Sundays at 8p starting Oct. 23)

More fairy tale characters living among us in our modern world? Unlike NBC's Grimm, Once Upon a Time is not a crime procedural. Instead, this drama centers on a 28-year-old bail bonds collector (House's Jennifer Morrison) who is confronted by her now-10-year-old son she had given up for adoption, a boy who believes her to be the missing daughter of Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) and Snow White (Big Love's Ginnifer Goodwin). When she moves with him to a strange New England town named Storybrooke—where more fairytale characters live under alternate identities without remembering their past lives—she begins to believe his story. The series was created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who learned a thing or two about developing a mythology while writing for Lost. Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) will also have a recurring role.

NEW Pan Am Watch trailer
(ABC, Sundays at 10p starting Sep. 25)

ABC and NBC not only have dueling fairy tale shows this fall; they also have competing Mad Men-inspired dramas. ABC's entry is this soapy drama about airline stewardesses and pilots set in 1963, and it weaves in an espionage plot in addition to more personal storylines from the jet set age. (And speaking of pilots, Pan Am's was generally regarded to be superior to that for NBC's Playboy Club.) Christina Ricci toplines a cast that also includes Kelli Garner (The Aviator, appropriately enough), Michael Mosley (Scrubs), and Mike Vogel (Blue Valentine); ER's Goran Visnjic will guest in four episodes. The series was created by Jack Orman (ER, JAG) and is directed and produced by Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing).

Also on Saturday:

Rules of Engagement (CBS, Saturdays at 8p starting Oct. 8)
The good news for Rules of Engagement fans is that CBS renewed the David Spade comedy for a sixth season. The bad news is that the show will now air on Saturday nights, making it the first scripted show on network television to air new episodes on a Saturday since 2004. At least it won't have much in the way of competition (or high expectations from network programmers).

Also on Sunday:

NEW Allen Gregory (Fox, Sundays at 8:30p starting Oct. 30) Watch trailer
One of two new animated comedies in Fox's 2011-12 lineup, Allen Gregory stars Jonah Hill (who also co-created the series and will be writing for it) as an ultra-pretentious 7-year-old (he claims to have "composed operas, written novels and dated Chloe Sevigny") who is forced to attend elementary school with regular kids. The vocal cast also includes Will Forte and French Stewart. Just seven episodes were ordered.

The Amazing Race (CBS, Sundays at 8p starting Sep. 25)
The long-running reality competition returns for a 19th installment in the fall and a 20th cycle early in 2012. The fall season is rumored to include a team consisting of former Survivor winners Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca.

CSI: Miami (CBS, Sundays at 10p starting Sep. 25) Watch previous season recap
The upcoming 10th season of CSI: Miami will introduce a wealthy, powerful adversary (played by 24's Carlos Bernard) for David Caruso's character Horatio Caine. Also expect a season-long mystery involving a sadistic doctor. Before that happens, the show will resolve last season's cliffhanger in an episode that features the return of guest star Alana De La Garza, who plays Caine's late wife. Battlestar Galactica's Jamie Bamber will also appear in an upcoming episode.

Desperate Housewives (ABC, Sundays at 9p starting Sep. 25)
Yes, it's true: the upcoming eighth season will be your final opportunity to check in with the good (and not so good) folks at Wisteria Lane. Creator Marc Cherry aims to bring the series to a satisfying conclusion in May after a back-to-basics season that will feature a bigger on-screen role for series narrator (and dead person) Mary Alice (played by Brenda Strong). Charles Mesure (V) joins the cast as a town newcomer and potential love interest for Vanessa Williams' Renee Perry, while Miguel Ferrer (Crossing Jordan) will recur as an artist who teaches a college course taken by Susan (Teri Hatcher). One-time guest star Sarah Paulson (Deadwood) will also return, and several other familiar faces may reappear throughout the season.

Family Guy / American Dad / Cleveland Show (Fox, Sundays starting Sep. 25)
Seth MacFarlane's domination of Fox's Sunday lineup continues for another season, though The Cleveland Show will get shifted to a less desirable 7:30p time slot in October to make way for a non-MacFarlane newcomer (Allen Gregory). Guest voices on Cleveland will include Kanye West, Florence Henderson, Nicki Minaj, John Slattery, Carl Reiner, and a bunch of MLB stars, while Family Guy will get visits from Ricky Gervais, Ryan Reynolds, Cate Blanchett, and Ellen Page. American Dad will feature a musical episode this season, with Cee Lo Green performing, while Anjelica Huston, Patrick Stewart, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Kathy Griffin will guest on other episodes.

The Simpsons (Fox, Sundays at 8p starting Sep. 25)
Visiting Springfield this season are Michael Cera, Bryan Cranston, Lada Gaga, Kiefer Sutherland, Jane Lynch, Joan Rivers, Jeremy Irons, author Neil Gaiman, and celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay, while a satire of The Social Network will feature that film's Armie Hammer. And, on February 19, 2012, The Simpsons will air its 500th episode.

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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