2012 Fall TV Preview: Our Night-by-Night Guide

  • Publish Date: August 28, 2012
  • Comments: ↓ 4 user comments

Updated August 30, 2012


Monday Primetime Schedule (All times ET/PT)
  8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Dancing With The Stars Castle
CBS How I Met Your Mother Partners 2 Broke Girls* Mike and Molly Hawaii Five-0
CW 90210* Gossip Girl* [Local programming]
Fox Bones The Mob Doctor [Local programming]
NBC The Voice Revolution
Key cable shows:
  Monday Night Football (ESPN)
The Mortified Sessions (Sundance)
Switched at Birth (ABC Family)
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (Travel) Catfish: The TV Show (MTV)

New shows are highlighted in bold above.
* New time slot this fall

Key shows

NEW The Mob Doctor Watch trailer
Fox, Mondays at 9p starting September 17

What they said about the pilot:*

"There's such a huge disconnect between what this show thinks it is and what's on screen that it's borderline laughable."

—Brian Ford Sullivan, The Futon Critic

Ladies and gentlemen, meet your House replacement. Taking over for Fox's retired Monday night staple is another medical drama, this one starring Jordana Spiro (My Boys) as a talented Chicago surgeon who harbors a secret (which the show title has already spoiled, so we will too): she also works as a doctor for the Mafia in order to save the life of her brother, who otherwise would be killed over a gambling debt. Also starring are Zeljko Ivanek (Damages), Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), and William Forsythe (Boardwalk Empire), while Shohreh Aghdashloo (24) will join the cast beginning in the fourth episode. The show was created by Josh Berman and Rob Wright, best known for Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva, and one critic who wrote about the pilot indicated that Mob Doctor indeed felt like a Lifetime drama. (Several reviewers also had issues with the overall casting, though Spiro drew mixed reviews for her lead performance.)

* Note that critic quotes provided throughout this article are impressions based on the original pilot episode for each series. Many series experience changes in casting, story, tone, and other aspects after the original pilot is filmed, and in some cases the first episode will be re-shot prior to its public debut in the fall. Look for official reviews of each new series throughout the fall in Metacritic's TV section.

NEW Partners Watch trailer
CBS, Mondays at 8:30p starting September 24

What they said about the pilot:

"I don't know whether I hate it more for its hacky, broad sitcom writing, for the way it aggressively traffics in stereotypes about gay men, or for Brandon Routh's wooden, anti-funny performance. I just know all of it makes me stabby."

—Maureen Ryan, Huffington Post

Two and a Half Men was shifted (to Thursdays) out of CBS's hit Monday night comedy lineup to clear room for this newcomer, which will follow HIMYM at 8:30p. Series creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (who created Will & Grace, among other series) based Partners on their own personal history working together; the sitcom centers on lifelong friends and business partners (one straight, one gay) whose relationship is tested when one is engaged to be married. David Krumholtz (Numb3rs) and Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) star, and the cast also features Molly Shannon (SNL), Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill), and Brandon Routh (Superman Returns). Kohan and Mutchnick have been trying to bring their story to the small screen for years, and that journey may have negatively impacted the pilot, which several reviewers described as feeling dated. Still, it's hard to bet against a CBS comedy; they have a habit of sticking around.

NEW Revolution Watch trailers and interviews
NBC, Mondays at 10p starting September 17

What they said about the pilot:

"The pacing is weird. The mysteries are beyond 'Jericho'-esque. The cast is too big and too full of forgettable people. But I like that things go a bit nutty in the last act and I like Burke, Esposito and Spiridakos."

—Daniel Fienberg, HitFix

"I found the pilot ... cheesy and predictable, full of 'twists' that were telegraphed minutes ahead of time and characters that I wanted to strangle."

—Jace Lacob, The Daily Beast

It's hard not to look at NBC's fall schedule and get the impression that the network has finally given up. One notable exception is Revolution, easily the most ambitious new program in the low-rated network's fall lineup. Producer J.J. Abrams' latest attempt to bring sci-fi to the small screen, Revolution is attempting something not seen on broadcast TV since the departure of cult favorite Jericho: a drama set in a post-apocalyptic world. Revolution takes place 15 years after a mysterious event permanently disabled all electronics on the planet—that means no cars, no electricity, no internet—plunging the world into chaos. (Guns are a no-no too, thanks to laws put in place by a new government—that's why the Hunger Games-esque promos feature a girl with a bow and arrows.) Abrams isn't exactly on a winning streak lately (Undercovers for NBC and Alcatraz for Fox both failed in recent seasons, though the less ambitious Person of Interest did earn a renewal on CBS), but he has help here: the new series was created by Supernatural's Eric Kripke, while the pilot was directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), and the cast includes Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), and Billy Burke (Twilight). The original pilot also featured Andrea Roth (Rescue Me), but she was subsequently replaced by Mitchell, which will result in a portion of the pilot being re-shot. (Expect Mitchell's Lost co-star Jeff Fahey to also turn up in an early episode.)

Also on Monday:

2 Broke Girls CBS, 9p starting September 24
The girls (Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs) will finally open their long-planned cupcake shop during the second season of the breakout comedy hit, which moves back 30 minutes into the 9p slot this fall.

90210 The CW, 8p starting October 8
The fifth season of the reincarnated 90210 finds the show relocating to 8p. Early episodes will feature singer Carly Rae Jepsen and swimmer Ryan Lochte guesting as themselves.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Travel, 9p starting September 3
It's the final season of the acclaimed series hosted by the chef-turned-author-turned-travel guide; next year, Bourdain will move to CNN, where he will host a new (but similar) series in addition to contributing to other CNN programming. Before that happens, Bourdain will visit Austin's SXSW (where he'll hang out with indie bands Sleigh Bells and Neon Indian) and head to Italy, Australia, and the ever-exotic Coney Island. Bourdain's other Travel Channel series, The Layover, recently filmed a second season, though it is unclear when that will air.

Bones Fox, 8p starting September 17 Watch trailer
Booth and Brennan will indeed get back together at the beginning of season 8—which picks up three months after last season's finale—but that doesn't mean that things will be easy for the couple as the season progresses. In fact, expect a slightly darker season altogether, with bad guy Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds) recurring throughout the year.

Castle ABC, 10p starting September 24
Jack Coleman (Heroes) will guest during the upcoming fifth season of Castle, which will focus on the new romantic relationship between Nathan Fillion's Castle and Stana Katic's Beckett; the latter will also need to get her job back after resigning from the force in last season's finale.

NEW Catfish: The TV Show MTV, 10p starting November 12
Based on the controversial "documentary" film, this reality series will focus on a variety of couples who have fallen in love despite never meeting face to face.

Dancing with the Stars ABC, 8p starting September 24
The competition's first-ever "all-stars" season will feature returning contestants including Kirstie Alley, Drew Lachey, Bristol Palin, and Emmitt Smith. A two-hour results show will air Tuesdays at 8p.

Gossip Girl The CW, 9p starting October 8 Watch trailer
The sixth and final season of The CW's teen soap will likely consist of just 10 episodes (returning to the show's former 9p time slot), so pencil in mid-December for the series finale.

Hawaii Five-0 CBS, 10p starting September 24
The new season will include an episode—in which Terrence Howard, Ving Rhames, and rapper T.I. will guest star—that flashes back to Danny's (Scott Caan) previous gig in New Jersey, while Christine Lahti will recur throughout the season as the mother of McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin).

How I Met Your Mother CBS, 8p starting September 24
Season 8 begins with the quick downward spiral of three relationships involving key characters (the producers have deemed October to be "breakup month"), and early episodes will feature a variety of guest stars, including returnees Ashley Williams, Bob Odenkirk, Michael Trucco, Chris Elliot, and Joe Manganiello and newcomer Thomas Lennon (Reno 911). Producers and network executives are hoping for one more season after this one, but negotiations are still ongoing.

Mike and Molly CBS, 9:30p starting September 24
Star Melissa McCarthy will find out if she's an Emmy winner for the second straight year the night before the hit comedy returns for its third season.

The Mortified Sessions Sundance, 10p starting October 8
Sundance's interview series (based on the book series Mortified by the show's host, David Nadelberg) will feature Busy Philipps, Gillian Jacobs, Mark Duplass, Adam Goldberg, Marc Maron, and other celebrities discussing awkward moments from their lives during the show's second season.

The Voice NBC, 8p starting September 10
Adding a fall cycle for the first time (though it will air again in the winter as well), NBC's singing competition will add Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty), Michael Buble, and Mary J. Blige as mentors, while tweaking its format slightly to allow those coaches to steal contestants from each other during the battle rounds. A weekly results show will air Tuesdays at 8p.

Comments (4)

  • jerrycurlan  

    I LOVE this! Thanks for putting this together. (All your preview articles are so thorough...) I can't freakin' wait for Fringe!

  • LamontRaymond  

    Brilliant preview - thanks for the great work! Revolution and Last Resort appear to be the best new shows - so nice to see the networks avoided the Pan Am, Playboy Club nonsense of last season.

  • khan2705  

    thank you so much for this! now i know what to watch and what to not ....

  • cristane  

    Fantastic guide, thanks for all the hard work.

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