|No Ordinary Family||Dancing With The Stars [Results]||Detroit 187|
|NCIS||NCIS: Los Angeles||The Good Wife|
|One Tree Hill||Life Unexpected||[Local programming]|
|Glee||Raising Hope||Running Wilde||[Local programming]|
|The Biggest Loser||Parenthood|
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.
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.
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.