Fall TV Preview: Our Night-by-Night Guide

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

Expected at midseason

The following midseason shows are slated to arrive between October 2010 and June 2011:


Friends star Matthew Perry returns to TV as the manager of a sports arena in the sitcom Mr. Sunshine, which has fairly negative buzz despite a strong cast that also includes Allison Janney and Andrea Anders ... Off the Map is yet another medical drama from Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes; the new show follows a group of American doctors working at an under-supplied medical clinic in a South American jungle ... In new sitcom Happy Endings, a close-knit group of friends is suddenly divided when the core of the group -- long-time couple Dave and Alex (Zachary Knighton and Elisha Cuthbert) -- split up after finally agreeing to get married ... The Bachelor will return in early 2011, while alien-invasion drama V will reappear at some point during the season, featuring two new cast members: Reaper's Bret Harrison, and Jane Badler, who starred in the original NBC miniseries as the evil alien Diana and will now play the mother to Anna (Morena Baccarin) ... Business-themed reality competition Shark Tank will be back with eight new episodes in 2011, some with new panelist Jeff Foxworthy.


The Brett Ratner-produced CIA drama Chaos stars Freddy Rodriguez, Tim Blake Nelson, and Eric Close ... New sitcom Mad Love tries to overcome a tired premise (a group of friends living in New York) with a strong cast that features Sarah Chalke (Scrubs), Judy Greer (Arrested Development), Jason Biggs (American Pie), and Tyler Labine (Reaper). ... The spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior centers on yet another group of FBI profilers, including Forest Whitaker, Janeane Garofalo, and Richard Schiff ... Also on tap for midseason is a new reality competition called Got to Dance.

Fox Fox

Created by The Shield's Shawn Ryan, the promising Ride-Along (which will air Mondays at 9pm beginning after the Super Bowl) is a fast-paced new crime drama set in Chicago, centering on a rogue cop and the city's first female police chief ... Based on an Israeli series, the sitcom Mixed Signals focuses on three male friends who are in different stages of their relationships ... The new animated comedy Bob's Burgers comes from some of the people responsible for Home Movies; the voice cast includes H. Jon Benjamin, Eugene Mirman, and Kristen Schaal ... American Idol will return in January, presumably with somebody occupying at least one of the judges' chairs (here's our pitch for a new reality show: America's Next Top Idol Judge) ... Gordon Ramsay will be back for a third season of Kitchen Nightmares.


Unfortunately, the much-improved Thursday comedy Parks and Recreation is being held back until midseason (one more reason to root for the quick cancellation of Outsourced), but when it does come back, Rob Lowe and Adam Scott will be full-time cast members ... New drama The Cape follows a good cop (ER's David Lyons) who adopts a superhero alter-ego when he goes on the run after being framed for murder; Summer Glau co-stars ... David E. Kelley's latest legal drama, Harry's Law, stars Kathy Bates and Nate Corddry as struggling attorneys who practice out of a shoe store ... Hourlong romantic comedy anthology Love Bites will feature guests stars in a variety of stories each week in addition to ongoing storylines centering on regulars Greg Grunberg and Becki Newton ... New sitcom Friends with Benefits is the network's latest attempt to re-capture the Friends magic; the ensemble cast of 20-somethings includes Ryan Hansen (Party Down), Zach Cregger (The Whitest Kids U Know), and Danneel Harris (One Tree Hill) ... Another new Friends-ish comedy, Perfect Couples, depicts three different relationships at differing levels of success; Olivia Munn and Kyle Bornheimer are among the stars ... The Paul Reiser Show is the former sitcom star's attempt at a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style reality-based comedy, but don't expect Curb Your Enthusiasm-style results ... America's Next Great Restaurant is a new reality competition seeking out -- well, you figure it out ... Game show Minute to Win It and Jerry Seinfeld's The Marriage Ref will also return in 2011.


Put together writer David Milch (Deadwood), director Michael Mann (Heat), and star Dustin Hoffman, and you have a drama that critics are certainly excited about, although you'll likely have to wait until spring -- at the earliest -- to see Luck, set in the world of horse racing ... The highly-anticipated big-budget fantasy Game of Thrones, based on the novels by George R.R. Martin, will debut in the spring ... A third season of In Treatment arrives in October (though it doesn't have a firm date yet), with new cast members Amy Ryan and Debra Winger joining returnee Gabriel Byrne ... Polygamy drama Big Love will attempt to rebound from a sub-par fourth season when it returns in January, with Gregory Itzin (24) joining the cast as a Utah state senator ... The animated Ricky Gervais Show will be back for a second season ... A second season of Treme has been ordered, but the show won't return until April at the earliest ... Larry David has been shooting the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm in New York, but there is no word yet on a return date (other than "sometime in 2011") ... Also with a tentative 2011 launch is Mike White's new comedy Enlightened, which stars Laura Dern as a woman experiencing a mid-life crisis/spiritual awakening, to the chagrin of those around her (including her real-life mother Diane Ladd and Luke Wilson); Jonathan Demme will direct two of the episodes ... In March, the network will debut Todd Haynes' five-part miniseries based on the Depression-era novel Mildred Pierce, with Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce starring.

Showtime Showtime

Friends star Matt LeBlanc will play an exaggerated version of himself in the single-camera comedy Episodes, which is set in the TV industry and debuts January 10th ... That same night sees the arrival of season four of Californication, which will feature Carla Gugino in a recurring role as the lawyer for bad-boy novelist Hank Moody (David Duchovny), while Rob Lowe will star as an actor who is playing Moody in a movie about his life ... Also arriving in January is William H. Macy as the head of a troubled family in the new drama Shameless, which is produced by John Wells and based on the UK series of the same name ... The cable network's next costume drama, The Borgias, is written, directed and produced by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), and stars Jeremy Irons as the head of the powerful medieval Italian family ... The Emmy-nominated Edie Falco will be back as Nurse Jackie in the spring, when the show returns alongside The United States of Tara.


Based on -- but not strictly adhering to -- the comic book series, The Walking Dead (coming in October) is a six-part, highly cinematic, post-apocalyptic zombie drama produced by Frank Darabont; the trailer earned raves at Comic-Con ... The network has also ordered a remake of hit Danish television series Forbrydelsen; the still-untitled series (which will debut in early 2011) stars Mireille Enos (Big Love) as a Seattle detective investigating the murder of a young girl, which also impacts the girl's family and local politics.


Animated spy comedy Archer returns for a second season beginning in January ... Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins -- who is elevated to full-time cast member -- return for a second season of Justified beginning in March. ... The promising new boxing drama Lights Out follows a one-time champion (Holt McCallany) who decides to return to the ring to support his struggling family ... The network has several other shows in the pilot stage that could get picked up before the end of the season, including the sci-fi comedy U.S.S. Alabama from the creators of Reno 911, the comedy Wilfred (starring Elijah Wood as a man who sees his girlfriend's dog as a real person in a dog costume), and the Southern crime drama Outlaw Country.

Starz Starz

Joseph Fiennes stars as a devious version of the wizard Merlin in a darker, less fantastical retelling of the Arthurian legend, Camelot; James Purefoy will co-star as an enemy of King Arthur ... Coming in January, the six-part Spartacus: Gods of the Arena will serve as a prequel to Spartacus: Blood & Sand while the star of the latter is on medical leave; the main series will also be back for a second season that will air later in 2011 (or early 2012), and both will return co-star Lucy Lawless ... The 10-episode Torchwood: The New World builds on stories developed in three seasons of the Dr. Who spinoff Torchwood, but also works as a stand-alone offering.

Syfy Syfy

The Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica returns with 10 new episodes in January, and the early word is that they are an improvement over the first half of the show's debut season (yes, technically, we're still in season one) ... An American remake of the BBC series Being Human is also on tap for early 2011, as is the third season of Merlin.


Noah Wyle stars in the Steven Spielberg-produced Falling Skies (due in 2011), which depicts the aftermath of an alien invasion of Earth ... Cop drama Southland will be back with all-new episodes in January.

Other networks

USA's latest procedural is Facing Kate, which stars Sarah Shahi (The L Word) as a lawyer-turned-mediator, beginning in January ... The acclaimed legal thriller Damages will return for the first of two additional seasons, but as an exclusive to DirecTV subscribers ... Set in the year 2040, BBC America's Outcasts (expected in December) follows a group of settlers on a newly-discovered planet ... MTV's Skins is an Americanized remake of the British teen soap of the same name, while the network's Teen Wolf is based on the 1985 werewolf movie ... IFC is producing a new series based on the Onion News Network web shorts, while Comedy Central is doing the same for the Onion Sports Network. ... Comedy Central also has the twenty-something comedy Workaholics, based on the web series of the same name.

What do you think?

Which shows are you most looking forward to this fall? Let us know in the comments section below.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

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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