Fall TV Preview: Our Night-by-Night Guide

  • Comments: ↓ 13 user comments
  • Publish Date: August 20, 2010


Tuesday Primetime Schedule (All times ET/PT)
  8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC No Ordinary Family Dancing With The Stars [Results] Detroit 187
CBS NCIS NCIS: Los Angeles The Good Wife
CW One Tree Hill Life Unexpected [Local programming]
Fox Glee Raising Hope Running Wilde [Local programming]
NBC The Biggest Loser Parenthood

New shows are highlighted in bold above.

New shows


Key new show: No Ordinary Family (ABC, 8p starting 9/28)
Yes, you may have to put up with characters talking directly to the camera -- and other quirks -- but ABC's new dramedy is the least ordinary show on the network's fall lineup. Falling somewhere in between The Incredibles, Heroes, and Modern Family, creator Greg Berlanti's No Ordinary Family centers on a married couple (The Shield’s Michael Chiklis and Dexter’s Julie Benz) who, along with their two teenaged children, develop unique superpowers after surviving a plane crash. There's a serialized element to it, but the show will succeed or fail based on how well it settle on the right tone, and how willing audiences may be to buy into the premise.

May not last long: No Ordinary Family
If Family is too family-oriented for superhero fans and too strange for family drama fans, or if audiences are simply tired of comic book-influenced stories (even if this one isn't from an actual comic), ABC could be left with all too ordinary ratings in an unusually tough timeslot.

Also: Thanks to its Arrested Development-related pedigree, critics really, really wanted to like the Running Wilde (Fox, 9:30p starting 9/21) pilot much more than they did; fortunately, creator Mitch Hurwitz & co. are working to re-tool the comedy about an immature rich jerk who falls for a tree-hugging liberal, and David Cross has been added to a cast that stars fellow AD alumnus Will Arnett, plus Keri Russell ... The latest dysfunctional family comedy from the team behind My Name Is Earl, Raising Hope (Fox, 9p starting 9/21) centers on a 25-year-old man (Lucas Neff) who suddenly finds himself raising an infant as a single parent, with the help of Martha Plimpton and Chloris Leachman ... Its premise may have changed since the pilot was filmed (it's no longer a fake documentary with characters talking directly to the camera), but the crime drama Detroit 187 (ABC, 10p starting 9/21) still centers on homicide cops on the beat in the Motor City; Michael Imperioli stars.

Returning shows

Key returning show: Glee (Fox, 8p starting 9/21)
Fox's hit first-year musical-comedy dominated the Emmy nominations and convinced thousands of Gleeks to buy its numerous soundtrack albums. What to do for an encore? For starters, there's Britney Spears, who will appear in an episode devoted to her songs. (We can't say the same for Kings of Leon, who turned the show down.) Expect slightly fewer musical numbers in each episode this season, and a greater emphasis on the supporting characters (as well as some new cast members like 30 Rock's Cheyenne Jackson), as Ryan Murphy and his fellow producers attempt to avoid Glee burnout. Season 2 will also feature a tribute to Rocky Horror Picture Show, an episode with original songs for the first time, and a special episode that will air after the Super Bowl.

Also: Critically-acclaimed legal drama The Good Wife (CBS, 10p starting 9/28) returns for a second season, with Tammy Blanchard, Scott Porter, and Michael Ealy joining a cast led by Emmy nominee Julianna Margulies; Michael J. Fox will guest in an upcoming episode ... Cast members from One Tree Hill (CW, 8p starting 9/14) will appear on an upcoming crossover episode of fellow Tuesday night drama Life Unexpected (CW, 9p starting 9/14) ... William Baldwin will be a recurring guest on the second season of Parenthood (NBC, 10p starting 9/14) ... NCIS (CBS, 8p) and NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, 9p) each return on September 21; the latter show will elevate guest star Eric Christian Olsen to a regular cast member.

Cable highlights

Key show: Sons of Anarchy (FX, 10p starting 9/7)
While critics and viewers generally enjoyed the first season of FX's violent biker drama, last year's season two took the show to an entirely different level, placing it among TV's best current shows. The upcoming third season -- which will take place in part in Belfast -- will include appearances by Hal Holbrook and (briefly) Stephen King, and the return of Titus Welliver, Kenneth Johnson, Taryn Manning, and Ally Walker.

Also: The new Adam Sandler-produced comedy Pretend Time with Nick Swardson (Comedy Central, 10p starting 10/12) mixes sketches with short films ... A second season of Stargate Universe (Syfy, 9p) and a third year of Sanctuary (Syfy, 10p) will debut on September 28th; each returns for 20 new episodes.

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Comments (13)

  • Mitch Tough  

    Outstanding preview!

  • Pearl  

    Thanks for the overview. A few shows seem promising. Time will tell.

  • Mitch  

    Great job, Jason! Extremely useful article. It's all about Lone Star for me. Nothing much else really excites.

  • TT Boy  

    Thin, thin fall season. What the hell ever happened to Swing Town, CBS?? That was GOOD! And I miss The Unit. And Jericho. Good wrap-up.

  • Nashid  

    Thanks, Man. Very thorough preview.

  • Christopher  

    Great job. I'm starting to really love the content of this site.

  • Jim  

    the original Hawaii 5 0 was a great show but without Jack Lord and James MacArthur it will be a lot different. I have hopes because of the strong acting team they assembled. I do hope they at least use the great music from the first 5-0.

    Men of a Certain Age sounds ...well who wants to listen to l old men gripe..that is too much like real life.

    Is anyone else getting over dosed on Two and a half pervs running the same shtick over and over?

    Chase...just what we need..NOT. In Plain Sight, the Close and the original NCIS are very good but the rest of them are at best .....time fillers.....we need more options besides yet another cop show

  • Tom  

    I will try The Event and Chase . I am not interested in a fat people show like Mike&Molly . And Hawaii 50 doesn't even compare to the Original, nothing new, standard cop show crap with mostly second rate actors. No Jack Lord, No Hawaii 50.

  • Damasc  

    Well done mate..All I really needed to know about the upcoming season. Cheers

  • Eileen  

    Where is Numbers this fall

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