Follow us each week as our USTownhall RoundTable panel discusses three of the hottest reality show competitions on television: Fox's American Idol, NBC's All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, and ABC's Dancing with the Stars!
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2-PART FINALE - Task 11: Lisa Rinna (Plan B) and Lil John (Team Power) fired leaving Penn Jillette and Trace Adkins as the final two. Each team must create a new ice cream flavor for Walgreens DeLish brand and put together a promotional video and fundraising event for its new flavor.
- Podcast coming soon!
Task 10: Design a suite at Barclay's Center for Foxwoods. Marilu Henner of Team Power fired.
Task 5: Art sale & Omarosa from Team Power fired.
Task 9: Create a 90-second video demonstrating LG's Smart Home Systems products - TV, cell phone, refrigerator, washing machine. Gary Busey of Plan B fired.
Task 4: Glass truck interactive experience for Farouk SystemsHair Care Products & Claudia Jordan from Team Powerfired.
Task 8: Create an interactive presentation for South African tourism in the categories of Adventure or Romance. Brande Roderick of Team Power fired.
Task 3: Soap opera themed stage play for Crystal Light & LaToya Jackson from Team Powerfired.
Task 7: Create a one minute silent movie highlighting the Australian Gold brand of sun protection products. Stephen Baldwin of Plan B fired.
Task 2: 3D interactive photo experience for Universal Studios Orlando & Dee Snider from Plan B fired.
Task 6: Create an advertorial campaign for Melania Trump's skin care line. Dennis Rodman of Team Power fired.
Task 1: Meatballs & Bret Michaels from Team Powerfired.
Stars: David Krumholtz, Michael Urie, Sophia Bush, Brandon Routh
Premise: Somewhat of a roman-à-clef of Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, Partners is a comedic take on two friends and business partners, one gay and one straight, and their significant others.
Stars: Tracy Spiridakos, Billy Burke, Elizabeth Mitchell, JD Pardo, Giancarlo Esposito, Daniella Alonso, Tim Guinee, Marla Howell, David Lyons, Zak Orth, Graham Rogers
Premise: After a mysterious planetwide blackout shuts off all the power, the series picks up 15 years later as the United States – now known as the Monroe Republic – is a land of relatively primative farm communities. Beneath the seemingly peaceful surface is a place where guns are outlawed and ownership is punishable by death. Law is enforced by a roving militia headed by Captain Tom Neville who is opposed by a band of resistance fighters. However, the militia secretly holds the answers to turning all the electricity back on.
Premise: The ever-durable Odd Couple template gets another go-round in this sitcom as free spirit brother (Faxon) moves in with his uptight sister (Johnson, daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson) and her young daughter in order to "help" them. Frequent flashbacks will be woven into the narrative to explain how the siblings turned out the way they did.
Stars: Mindy Kaling, Ike Barinholtz, Anna Camp, Zoe Jarman, Chris Messina, Amanda Setton, Stephen Tobolowsky, Ed Weeks
Premise: Sitcom stars Kaling, who played Kelly Kapoor on The Office, as a New York City OB-GYN who tries – and often fails – to balance her career and her dating life. Kaling created this series with Howard Klien and also serves as its head writer and co-producer.
Stars: Matthew Perry, Laura Benanti, John Cho, Brett Gelman, Suzy Nakamura, Julie White, Tyler James Williams
Premise: Perry plays a sports radio host who joins a support group after the death of his wife in a car accident while she was texting him. Despite the nature of the promos that have been run, this comedic series will mix in large doses of sadness and heart.
Stars: Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, Bebe Wood, Ellen Barkin, Nene Leaks
Premise: Co-created by Ali Adler and Ryan Murphy (Glee), this new sitcom explores the comedic situations arising from a gay couple (Rannells, Bartha) who hire a woman to be their gestational carrier for their baby to the consternation of Barkin's bigoted grandmother, Jane.
Stars: Hayden Panettiere, Connie Britton, Powers Boothe, Clare Bowen, Eric Close, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio, Robert Wisdom
Premise: Filmed entirely in Nashville, this new soap opera drama stars Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, an up-and-coming country-music star who tries to navigate through the drama of both the music business and her personal life. The expansive cast will also allow stories about Nashville itself – its people, politics, and power.
Stars: Lenny Venito, Jami Gertz, Toks Olagundoye, Simon Templeman
Premise: After the Weavers (Venito, Gertz) move with their children to a suburban gated community, they discover that all of their neighbors are extraterrestrial aliens. Culture clash comedy ensues as the aliens are not as up-to-date on American culture as they should be. For instance, they think kids' meals are made from actual kids.
Stars: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Paul Blackthorne, Colin Donnell, Willa Holland, David Ramsey, Susana Thompson
Premise: Adapted from the long-running DC Comics character Green Arrow, Amell plays billionaire Oliver Queen who returns to his native Starling City after having been shipwrecked on an island for five life-changing years. Cassidy (David Cassidy's daughter) plays Dinah Laurel Lance, who comic book fans will know as the superheroine Black Canary. At this time, however, Cassidy is not set to join in on the action. The tone of this series will be a bit darker than standard superhero fare, and Oliver will simply call himself Arrow as he stalks the night and the criminal underbelly of the city because that's CW-cool. Oliver's time on the island will unfold gradually in flashbacks week-to-week as new secrets and connections between that time and the denizens of Starling City are revealed.
Stars: Scott Speedman, Andre Braugher, Daisy Betts, Dichen Lachman, Daniel Lissing, Sahr Ngaujah, Robert Patrick, Camille de Pazzis, Autumn Reeser, Jessy Schram
Premise: The crew of the nuclear-armed Navy submarine USS Colorado seeks refuge on a Pacific Island after being attacked by the US government itself. A growing conspiracy begins to reveal itself and the crew attempts to make sense of things while fighting conflicts from without and dissension from within. But that nucler arsenal they carry on their sub makes for an excellent equalizer and gives them the breathing room they need as they try to piece things together in this new action thriller.
Premise: Current-day take on the Sherlock Holmes character with Liu as a female Dr. Watson. When we first encounter Holmes, here a British ex-pat living in New York, he's bottomed out from his drug abuse and has escaped the rehab center. Holmes will still be the smartest guy in the room, and won't be afraid to show it, but we'll see his awkwardness in social situations and his core of self-doubt. Despite Watson being a female in this take, there will be no romance between the two leads.
Stars: Kristin Kreuk, Jay Ryan, Austin Basis, Nina Lisandrello
Premise: Reboot of the 1987-1990 CBS series finds Kreuk taking on Linda Hamilton's role of Catherine Chandler while New Zealand actor Jay Ryan (of the Australian TV series Neighbors and Sea Patrol) re-creates Ron Perlman's role of Vincent. Since this is the CW where aesthetics are important, Ryan sports merely a scar and his beastly nature is more internal with only occassional transformations into something different. Other changes include Catherine being a police detective rather than an Assistant District Attorney, and Vincent's condition being the result of army experiments while stationed in Afghanistan after 9-11.
Stars: Reba McEntire, Lily Tomlin, Juliette Angelo, Justin Prentice, Jai Rodriguez, Sara Rue
Premise: The Gallagher family tries to adjust to life in Malibu as divorced mom Reba attempts to get back into the music business after having given it up for marriage and family. After receiving cheating husband's beachfront property in the divorce settlement, Reba, her kids, and her mother uproot themselves from Nashville and head off to sunny California in this fish-out-of-water comedy.
Premise: Street smart Italian Ameircan Martina Garretti is an attorney trying to fit in with a posh Manhattan law firm and win the respect of her more polished co-workers and bosses. Her people skills and quirky bits of knowledge often enable her to find the truth that her colleagues overlook.
Stars: David Annable, Rachael Taylor, Vanesa Williams, Terry O'Quinn, Robert Buckley, Samantha Logan, Mercedes Masöhn, Helena Mattsson, Erik Palladino
Premise: Loosely based on the novel by Gabriella Pierce, O'Quinn and Williams play Gavin and Olivia Doran, a couple who may be hiding a sinister – and supernatural – secret as owners of The Drake, the apartment building located at the titular address. Annable and Taylor play a couple hired to manage the building where the wife begins to uncover the Drake's darker and ominous side. The mythology of the building and of its owners reveal themselves over the course of the episodes as some uncooperative tenants meet a grisly end.
SUMMER 2012 TELEVISION PREVIEW
Written by USTownhall staff
Saturday, 02 June 2012 12:49
Below is our calendar of first-run television viewing for the summer months of June through August. Check back often for more details, updates, and additions! Click on the highlighted series titles below to watchpreview clips!
The Fall 2011 television season officially premieres on Monday, September 19, and the five networks are unveiling no less than 27 new series: 5 on first place network CBS, 7 on ABC, 6 on NBC, 5 on Fox, and 4 on The CW. Fall TV season is always brutal and the few that survive should always count themselves lucky.
Of the 23 series that premiered in September 2010, 17 have been canceled – some after just a handful of episodes were aired. The six returnees: Hawaii Five-O, Mike & Molly, Raising Hope, Nikita, Blue Bloods, and Body of Proof – three from CBS, and one each from ABC, FOX, and The CW. All of NBC's new shows from last September, including the much-hyped The Event, are gone. However, mid-season replacement Harry's Law performed strongly and is back for a second go-round.
Looking over the offerings, we see a few gems, but we think most of these series are rather uninspired and will die a quick death. Once again, we're seeing the continuation of hip, single camera comedies that tend to be neither hip nor funny. Other trends include some period dramas (Pan Am and The Playboy Club), fairy tales come to life (Grimm and Once Upon a Time), and that old chestnut, The Odd Couple (2 Broke Girls and How to Be a Gentleman).
(l-r) Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs [Photo Credit: CBS]
2 BROKE GIRLS
8:30pm • CBS • premieres September 19
Stars:Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs, Jonathan Kite, Garrett Morris, Matthew Moy
Premise: Think Laverne & Shirley in a diner. Odd couple Dennings (the tough/brash one) and Behrs (the girly/prissy one) work at a diner (in a shocking departure from the brewery) while trying to make their dreams come true by raising the money to start their own cupcake business. Sensibilities of the show will lean more toward crass one-liners than the broad physical comedy of Marshall and Williams, however.
Chances for survival: It's slotted between How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men, so its success largely depends upon how well the two aging shows fare against ABC's powerhouse Dancing with the Stars and Fox's new adventure series Terra Nova not to mention how well America takes to Ashton Kutcher.
Jason O'Mara (l) and cast of Terra Nova[Photo Credit: Fox Broadcasting]
8:00pm • FOX • premieres September 26
Stars: Jason O'Mara, Stephen Lang, Christine Adams, Shelley Conn, Mido Hamada, Landon Liboiron, Alana Mansour, Allison Miller, Naomi Scott
Premise: It's Jurassic Park in the Jurassic Age as the Shannon family travel back in time from the year 2049 to the prehistoric world of 85 million years ago in an effort to rebuild civilization. Hot on their trail are the terrorist "Sixers" determined to start civilization over their way, and a potential traitor in their ranks in the form of Commander Taylor (played by Stephen Lang).
Chances for survival: Produced by Stephen Spielberg (who has never really had much success with television), Terra Nova is ambitious, but will the dinosaur-filled world translate effectively on a television budget? Has a shot at success only because it's so different from anything else the networks are offering this season. Could build up a Lost-like cult following if the intrigue factor is kept high.
(l-r) Eddie Cibrian, Amber Heard [Photo Credit: NBC]
THE PLAYBOY CLUB
10:00pm • NBC • premieres September 19
Stars: Eddie Cibrian, Amber Heard, Naturi Naughton, David Krumholtz, Jenna Dewan, Laura Benanti, Leah Renee
Premise: Set in the world of the turbulent and transitional 1960s, politicians, mobsters, and entertainers all converge on the Playboy Club to rub shoulders and make backroom deals. Cibrian stars as Nick Dalton, a lawyer with political aspirations as well as ties to the Chicago underworld figures who frequent the exclusive club.
Chances for survival: Period dramas always have a rough go of it on network television and the time period is murder. Last season's Chase died a quick death on NBC up against Castle and Hawaii Five-O, and it's likely that The Playboy Club will follow suit against that same competition this year.
(l-r) Scott Porter, Jaime King, Rachel Bilson, Wilson Bethel, Cress Williams [Photo Credit: The CW]
HART OF DIXIE
9:00pm • The CW • premieres September 26
Stars: Rachel Bilson, Wilson Bethel, Scott Porter, Jaime King, Cress Williams
Premise: Southern Exposure. New York doctor (Bilson) leaves the Big Apple for a life down south in a town full of colorful and quirky stock television characters. Romantic element supplied by fellow New Yorker played by Friday Night Light's Scott Porter. Bilson is caught in a romantic comedy love triangle between Porter and his southern belle fiancée played by Jaime King.
Chances for survial: It's up against tough competition from all the other networks, but The CW tends to hang on to shows a lot longer than the big guys. If it can muster up just 2 million viewers a week, it has a shot.
MONDAY'S RETURNING SERIES:
Dancing with the Stars[Season 13 premieres September 19]: The set we've seen for the past 6 years (and 12 seasons) has undergone a massive multimillion dollar overhaul. Among the new features are a movable orchestra area and staircases and tiered seating that will now accommodate a studio audience of up to 750 people. Overall, the set will now look more like a traditional opera house. This season, three-time winner Derek Hough returns to the series and Maxim Chmerkovskiy's brother Valentin joins the cast as a regular. As far as the celebrity contestants, they will be: David Arquette (paired with Kym Johnson), Chaz Bono (with Lacey Schwimmer), Elisabetta Canalis (with Valentin Chmerkovskiy), Kristin Cavallari (with Mark Ballas), Nancy Grace (with Tristan MacManus), Rob Kardashian (with Cheryl Burke), Carson Kressley (with Anna Trebunskaya), Ricki Lake (with Derek Hough), J.R. Martinez (with Karina Smirnoff), Chynna Phillips (with Tony Dovolani), Hope Solo (with Maksim Chmerkovskiy), and Metta World Peace (with Peta Murgatroyd).
Castle[Season 4 premieres September 19]: At the end of Season 3, Captain Montgomery sacrificed his life to save Detective Beckett after it was revealed that Montgomery was involved in the conspiracy regarding the killing of Beckett's mother. At Montgomery's funeral, Beckett (Stana Katic) was shot and Castle (played by Nathan Fillion) revealed his true feelings to her. Beckett survives, of course, and the relationship between her and Castle moves to a new level. Penny Johnson Jerald joins the cast as Captain Montgomery's replacement, a hard-nosed character nicknamed "Iron Gates."
How I Met Your Mother [Season 7 premieres September 19]: At the end of Season 6, the series flashed foward to the wedding day of Barney (played by Neil Patrick Harris). In the present, Robin realized she still had feelings for Barney and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) told Marshall that she was pregnant. Whom will Barney marry? Robin, his girlfriend Nora, or someone else? This season will follow Barney on that journey while Robin seeks therapy and begins a relationship with her therapist, played by Kal Penn. Meanwhile, Ted (Josh Radnor) is still looking for "the one" who will end up being the Mother of the series title and it has been promised that Ted will meet her at Barney's wedding, which will happen in the show's final season (likely Season 8 beginning September 2012).
Two and a Half Men[Season 9 premieres September 19]: At the end of Season 8, Charlie Harper (played by Charlie Sheen) flew to Paris to propose to his girlfriend, Rose. As Season 9 opens, Charlie has died under mysteriouis circumstances and Internet billionaire Walden Schmidt buys Charlie's Malibu beach house and convinces Alan and Jake (Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones) to stay. Making return appearances this season will be Courtney Thorne-Smith as Lyndsey and Jenny McCarthy as Courtney. Judy Greer joins the cast as Bridget, Schmidt's soon-to-be-ex-wife. Everyone involved with the show promises that it will remain as raunchy and offensive as ever.
Mike & Molly [Season 2 premieres September 26]: In the first season finalé, Mike proposed to Molly. In the new season, we follow the couple as they make wedding plans, and we meet more of their extended families. However, will Mike and Molly actually make it down the aisle?
Hawaii Five-O[Season 2 premieres September 19]: At the end of the first season, McGarrett (played by Alex O'Laughlin) was framed for murder and Five-O was no more. In Season 2, the members of the team will find their way back to each other after going through some tough times. Kono (played by Grace Park) will be featured in a five-episode arc where she tries to regain her badge after having been arrested for theft at the end of Season 1. We'll also be introduced to new members of Danny's (played by Scott Caan) family. This year's season-long arc will be a mystery that will involve McGarrett's deceased father and Wo Fat.
House[Season 8 premieres October 3]: At the end of Season 7, House crashed his car into Dr. Cuddy's living room after seeing her with her new boyfriend through the window. Season 8 picks up a year later and begins with House in jail, but he gets released on parole with the condition that he continues to practice medicine. Lisa Edelstein, who played Dr. Cuddy has departed the series, and Odette Yustman will join the cast as Dr. Jessica Adams who works at the prison where House is incarcerated.
The Sing-Off[Season 3 premieres September 19]: The hit series featuring a capella singing groups that aired over the holidays for the last two years is back with an expanded season of 11 two-hour episodes that begin in September rather than its traditional Thanksgiving to Christmas run. Other changes include a new judge, Sara Bareilles, joining returnees Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman, and series host Nick Lachey. Nicole Scherzinger jumps ship to join Simon Cowell's X Factor.
Gossip Girl [Season 5 premieres September 26]: At the end of Season 4, one of the girls was revealed to be pregnant. Which one? You will know by the end of the Season 5 premiere. Producers promise that this season will be lighter in tone and that, now that the kids are almost 21, stories will be a bit more adult than in the past. Elizabeth Hurley joins the cast in a recurring role as Diana Payne, a media mogul that will become mixed up in the lives of our favorite dysfunctional socialites.
Premise:Tim Allen's back in a family comedy that's not too different in tone from his Home Improvement hit. His three kids are now female, but Tim's character, Mike Baxter, is still a guy's guy who likes being just that.
Chances for survival: Allen is a proven hit commodity, but Standing is up against TV's highest-rated drama, NCIS. Further, it's paired with the similar-themed, but weaker Man Up! so a strong competing one hour block isn't there for ABC to steal viewers away from NCIS or Fox's Glee. Hopefully, ABC will give it a full season to find an audience and pair it with a better companion once it inevitably dumps Man Up!
Cast of Man Up![Photo Credit: ABC]
8:30pm • ABC • premieres October 18
Stars:Christopher Moynihan, Dan Fogler, Mather Zickel, Amanda Detmer, Teri Polo, Henry Simmons
Premise: Three buddies try to reclaim their manhood in the post-Alpha male 21st century.
Chances for survival: Slim to none. Narrow premise, weak pilot, and lack of name actors in the cast will doom this unfunny series to a quick cancellation.
Poppy Montgomery (l) stars with Dylan Walsh (far right) in Unforgettable [Photo Credit: CBS]
10:00pm • CBS • premieres September 20
Stars: Poppy Montgomery, Dylan Walsh, Michael Gaston, Kevin Rankin, Daya Valdya
Premise:Without a Trace's Poppy Montgomery takes center stage in a new procedural playing a homicide detective who is gifted/cursed with Superior Autobiographical Memory – the total recall of everything she's ever seen or experienced. She works alongside her ex-boyfriend, played by Dylan Walsh, to solve the case of the week as well as piece together the one event she can't remember – the murder of her sister when they were children. Taxi's Marilu Henner, one of six Americans who actually have Superior Autobiographical Memory, is onboard the series as a consultant.
Chances for survival: If scripts get stronger and the character interplay between Montgomery and Walsh sparks, this could be one of the hit dramas of the season.
(l-r) Lamorne Morris, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Zooey Deschanel [Photo Credit: Fox Broadcasting]
Premise: After getting dumped by her boyfriend, Deschanel's character Jess moves in with three roommates – all guys – who try to offer their insights into the dating scene, how guys think, and life in general. However, Jess, cute but socially awkward, finds herself attracted to one of her three new big brothers.
Chances for survival: Deschanel, an established movie actress and the younger sister of Bones' Emily Deschanel, makes her weekly series debut here in a comedy that tries way too hard to be hip and "now," but never actually succeeds at being funny. Deschanel has appeal to spare and the awkward-female-finding-her-way bit has worked on TV since the Mary Tyler Moore Show, but the dialogue and situations are just groan-inducing.
Above: Sarah Michelle Gellar [Photo Credit: The CW]
9:00pm • The CW • premieres September 13
Stars:Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ioan Gruffudd, Nestor Carbonell, Mike Colter, Kristoffer Polaha, Tara Summers
Premise: Fan favorite actress Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to series television as twins Bridget and Siobhan. Bridget, on the run rather than testify at a murder trial, assumes the identity of her missing twin sister Siobhan, a New York City socialite. However, Bridget discovers that her twin's seemingly perfect life is full of its own secrets, danger, and soap operatic intrigue. Along for the rollercoaster ride are Ioan Gruffudd as Siobhan's husband, Kristoffer Polaha as Siobhan's lover, and Nestor Carbonell as an FBI agent. Can Bridget dodge those out to kill her and convince everyone that she is her own sister? And what exactly happened to the sister anyway?
Chances for survival: Originally developed for CBS before it was decided that it was more compatible with the younger-skewing CW. Gellar, now in her 30s, is a little bit older than the typical CW character, but her Buffy fans will undoubtedly give this a shot and the intriguing premise may just keep them tuning in for the long haul.
TUESDAY'S RETURNING SERIES:
Dancing with the Stars Results Show[Season 13 premieres September 20] : With Last Man Standing and Man Up! both premiering in October, expect to see the DWTS Results Show or specials take up the 8-9pm timeslot until then. Then expect the actual results to be announced at 9:57pm.
Body of Proof[Season 2 premieres September 20]: Season 1 was supposed to begin in November 2010, but then was postponed until midseason. This time, Dana Delany's medical drama begins during premiere week. In this season, romance is in the air for Delany's character Megan Hunt as she has a fling with an FBI agent with a promise of another big romance further along. Nathalie Kelley from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift joins the cast as Dani, the driver of Megan's medical examiner van who drives her male co-workers wild. The romance between Megan's ex-husband and her boss heats up, which causes strife in both Megan's personal and professional lives.
NCIS[Season 9 premieres September 20]: This season, Cote de Pablo's character, ex-Mossad agent Ziva David, becomes an official team member. Also, Tony DiNozzo is still on the case trying to uncover a mole – an assignment he got at the end of last season by the Secretary of the Navy, who will be a key player in the drama this season. Scott Wolf, fresh off ABC's canceled V reboot, joins the cast as an FBI agent, while Jamie Lee Curtis is on board as a potential love interest for Mark Harmon's character. Other returnees and new faces include Robert Wagner, Ralph Waite, Sarah Jane Morris, and Enrique Murciano. Expect to see Muse Watson's character Mike Franks pop up during the season in some capacity despite having been killed off last year.
NCIS: Los Angeles[Season 3 premieres September 20]: At the end of Season 2, the NCIS: LA team raced to Romania on a mission to rescue Linda Hunt's character Hettie Lange. Hettie gets shot, and while she's in recovery, Lauren Hunter will continue to fill in. During the season, we'll get to know more about Chris O'Donnell's character, G. Callen, than has been revealed thus far – but still not what the "G" stands for. LL Cool J gets a spotlight story arc during November sweeps. Also be on the lookout for a possible crossover with Hawaii Five-O as Kensi Blye, played by actress Daniela Ruah, visits the gang in LA.
Glee[Season 3 premieres September 20]: Much of the drama surrounding this series actually took place behind the scenes over the summer as series creator Ryan Murphy made some comments that lit up the Internet stating that some main cast members including Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Chris Colfer would all be departing by season's end as their characters graduated high school. Fans were shocked and disapointed, and some of the actors voiced surprise as well because they were not previously told that they would be let go. Since the debacle, Murphy and the other producers have kept quiet on this season's developments, but rumors have started to circulate that the departing cast members would actually be heading toward a spinoff series.
Raising Hope [Season 2 premieres September 20]: On this very competitive night, Fox's quirky family comedy returns with single dad Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff) becoming a slightly more competent and confident father. Stories this season involve the Chance clan taking a Vegas road trip. Also, Cloris Leachman enjoys an expanded role this season as a series regular.
The Biggest Loser[Season 12 premieres September 20]: In this season, overweight people will compete to see who will lose the most weight. Not exactly tampering with the formula, here, but in this season, tennis pro Anna Kournikova joins the cast replacing trainer Jillian Michaels. She'll join returnee Bob Harper as well as celebrity trainer Dolvett Quince in putting this season's crop of contestants through their paces..
Parenthood [Season 3 premieres September 13]: Getting an early jump on the competition, Parenthood begins its new season a week ahead of this fall's official premiere week. In this season, Adam (Peter Krause) agrees to become business partners with his brother Crosby (Dax Shepard) in a recording studio, which will play host to musician Cee Lo Green guest starring as himself in an episode. Other goings-on in the Braverman family include Julia (Erika Christensen) makes plans to adopt a baby; Sarah (Lauren Graham) resumes her relationship with Jason Ritter's character now that The Event has been canceled. Ritter will be appearing in much of this season. Adding to Sarah's complicated love life will be the return of her ex-boyfriend Seth. Crosby and Jasmine struggle to co-exist and co-parent their son in spite of having broken up as a couple. It doesn't help matters when Jasmine starts dating her child's pediatrician.
90210 [Season 4 premieres September 13]: Just as in the original series, the kids of the reboot graduated high school at the end of Season 3. After being made a series regular last season, actor Trevor Donovan goes back to recurring status, which means that his character of Teddy Montgomery, who came out of the closet last year, will be seen a lot less. Three new characters will be added to the cast including Navid's 17 year-old sister. With the kids older, expect less focus on parents and teachers and more on musical beds, mirroring the original series' storyline trajectory.
Above: Jeremy Sisto, Jane Levy, and the cast of Suburgatory [Photo Credit: ABC]
8:30pm • ABC • premieres September 28
Stars: Jeremy Sisto, Jane Levy, Carly Chaikin, Allie Grant, Cheryl Hines, Alan Tudyk
Premise:New Yorkers George and his daughter Tessa (Sisto, Levy) pack up and head for the quiet of the suburbs but discover that life in the 'burbs is about competing to keep up with the latest trends and can be just as stress-inducing as life in the big city.
Chances for survival: Sisto and Levy are solid – Levy in particular may prove to be a breakout – and this series is a more suitable companion piece to ABC's Wednesday night comedy lineup than last season's Better With You was.
Above: Emily Van Camp with the cast of Revenge[Photo Credit: ABC]
10:00pm • ABC • premieres September 21
Stars: Emily Van Camp, Christa B. Allen, Josh Bowman, Henry Czerny, Ashley Madekwe, Gabriel Mann, Connor Paolo, Madeline Stowe, James Tupper, Nick Wechsler
Premise: In a somewhat-distaff version of The Count of Monte Cristo, Emily Thorne (played by Van Camp) enters the upper crust of The Hamptons, the uber-wealthy Long Island community, in order to get, as the title says, revenge on those who were responsible for destroying her father when she was a child.
Chances for survival: It's been awhile since a nighttime soap became a hit on the major networks, and we're not convinced that this entry will be any different. However, with Desperate Housewives on its way out, ABC might be willing to stick with it to see if it can build enough of an audience to be a potential replacement. If it shows any promise, ABC would be wise to move it to a different night.
(l-r) Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell [Photo Credit: Fox Broadcasting]
THE X FACTOR
8:00pm • FOX • premieres September 21
Stars: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Antonio "L.A" Reid, Nicole Scherzinger, Steve Jones
Premise: Unless you've been living under a rock, you already know the drill: Simon Cowell brings his hit UK series to America and reunites with ex-Idol panelist Paula Abdul. X Factor distinguishes itself from Idol in a few important ways: there is no upper age limit to the contestants, and they can be as young as 12. Also, solo acts will be competing against groups. Finally, the four judges will take a more active role in mentoring the contestants before the finalists are chosen to compete for America's votes. At stake: the largest cash prize of any reality competition series – a cool five million dollars.
Chances for survival: Simon and Paula have a love/hate relationship that is irresistable to watch, so many will be tuning in just for that. However, we think that the personal stories of the hopefuls will also grab viewers and make them come back each week. Fox always takes the ratings crown during the January through May period when Idol airs, but X Factor may be enough to give them the title all year round.
(l-r) Katie Finneran, Jaime Pressly [Photo Credit: Fox Broadcasting]
I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER
9:30pm • FOX • premieres November 30
Stars: Jaime Pressly, Katie Finneran, Chad L. Coleman, Aisha Dee, Kristi Lauren, Kevin Rahm, Eric Sheffer Stevens
Premise: Two moms commiserate about raising their somewhat obnoxious teenage daughters. It doesn't help that their kids remind them of the girls who used to bully them in high school.
Chances for survival: Fox always seems to struggle to find a hit show to follow American Idol, and it looks like they'll have the same problem with X Factor. This sitcom lacks heart, which will likely seal its fate rather quickly.
(l-r) Will Arnett, Christina Appelgate [Photo Credit: NBC]
UP ALL NIGHT
8:00pm • NBC • premieres September 14
Stars: Christina Appelgate, Will Arnett, Nick Cannon, Maya Rudolph
Premise: Thirtysomething couple has baby, which upends their lives and wreaks havoc on their social, personal, and professional lives.
Chances for survival: Super-appealing cast and bright writing elevate this sitcom above its unoriginal premise. However, the competition is murder as it must find an audience among fans who are already watching Survivor, X Factor, and The Middle. Likely won't last the season without a timeslot change.
Stars: Hank Azaria, Kathryn Hahn, Anthony Head, Natasha Leggero, Joe LoTruglio, Al Madrigal, Mo Mandel
Premise: Middle-aged co-workers take a second shot at romance by entering into a relationship in this cyncial romantic sitcom adapted from the British hit.
Chances for survival: Not very good as sitcom characters generally have to be more likeable to succeed on American television, Seinfeld aside.
Above: Mario Lopez [Photo Credit: The CW]
8:00pm • The CW • premieres September 14
Stars: Mario Lopez
Premise: Host Mario Lopez brings together celebrities (really D-list reality stars for the most part) together with online bloggers who trash them to see what happens when they meet face-to-face.
Chances for survival: On a regular network, this wouldn't last past one episode, but The CW is so starved for programming that this cheap-to-produce series may just run ten years.
WEDNESDAY'S RETURNING SERIES:
The Middle [Season 3 premieres September 21]: The Middle kicks off ABC's Wednesday night with a one-hour premiere that reunites star Patricia Heaton with her Everybody Loves Raymond husband, Ray Romano. In a flashback sequence, to Frankie (Heaton) and Mike's (Neil Flynn) honeymoon, Romano's character, Nicky, intrudes on the newlyweds.
Modern Family[Season 3 premieres September 21]: Mitchell and Cameron (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet) decide to have another child and will explore whether to adopt or use a surrogate. Elsewhere, Phil and Claire's oldest child becomes a high school senior. The season premiere will be a one-hour special that finds the entire family taking a trip to a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Happy Endings [Season 2 premieres September 28]: A surprise renewal from ABC brought this quirky, single-camera comedy back from cancellation and forced star Damon Wayans Jr. to leave his new role in Zooey Deschanel's New Girl after the pilot to return to Endings. This season won't reinvent the sitcom so much as refine and refocus on what worked best for the series – following the lives of these six dysfunctional twenty-somethings. In the premiere, the gang marks the one-year anniversary of the non-wedding of Dave and Alex (Zachary Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert). Also look for guest star Megan Mullally (Will and Grace) as Penny's mother, which will allow us to gain insight into Penny's super-optimistic character.
Survivor [Season 23 premieres September 14]: In this competition round, the sixteen new castaways head to the South Pacific island of Upolu, Somoa to try to outwit, outplay, and outlast each other to become this season's survivor and the winner of the $1 million grand prize. Redemption Island, introduced in the last season, will return. Also returning are two former contestants, Benjamin "Coach" Wade (from Season 18's Tocantins and Season 20's Heroes vs. Villains) and Ozzy Lusth (from Season 13's Cook Island and Season 16's Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites). Among the new players is Brandon Hantz, who is the nephew of Russell Hantz one of the more notorious "villains" of the series. Brandon is seeking to redeem the Hantz family name.
Criminal Minds [Season 7 premieres September 21]: The cast is being restored back to where it was after adverse fan reaction to changes that were made. Gone is Ashley Seaver (actress Rachel Nichols did not have her contract renewed for this season) and back are Emily Prentiss (who, apparantly, did not die last season after all), portrayed by Paget Brewster, and JJ Jareau (actress AJ Cook). Producers promise that the return of Emily Prentiss will be handled plausibly with the character having faked her death and gone on the run after having escaped from her kidnapper, Ian Doyle, an old Interpol nemesis. Well, that's plausible for this type of show.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [Season 12 premieres September 21]: Major changes are in store for this long-running series that kicked off the CSI franchise. For one thing, the show gets booted from its familiar timeslot of Thursdays at 9pm in favor of Jim Caviezel's new series, Person of Interest. Also, star Laurence Fishburne has departed, and Ted Danson joins the cast as DB Russell, a well-adjusted family man who will bring a new sense of balance and stability to the show. Marg Helgenberger and her character Catherine Willows will depart the series in January and the stories for the first half of the season will be leading up to that. However, producers aren't keen on killing the character off, which may lead to return appearances in the future if Helgenberger is willing.
Harry's Law [Season 2 premieres September 21]: With the cancellation of Fox's Human Target, star Mark Valley joins the cast of this David E. Kelley legal drama headlined by Oscar-winner Kathy Bates. Valley previously worked for Kelley on Private Practice and will now play Oliver Richard, an attorney who was in Harry's old law firm. Oliver seeks out Harry's assistance with a murder case featuring guest-star Alfred Molina for a three-episode arc. Following that, Oliver joins Harry's shoe store law firm for good.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit [Season 13 premieres September 21]: Series star Christopher Meloni departed the cast at the end of Season 12 when he was unable to come to new contract terms with the show. Mariska Hargitay carries on alone, but reportedly with a reduced, more supervisory role, in the stories. Kelli Giddish (star of last season's Chase) and Danny Pino (of Cold Case) join the cast as new lead detectives, Amanda Rollins and Nick Amaro. L&O's trademark "ripped from the headlines" stories will continue, of course, with a story about a foreign dignitary accused of raping a hotel maid. Guest stars this season include Andre Braugher, TR Knight, Kyle MacLachlan, and Dan Lauria, among others. Also look for more screen time for series regulars Richard Belzer, Ice-T, and Dann Florek. Returning for occassional visits are Diane Neal (ADA Casey Novak) and Stephanie March (ADA Alexandra Cabot). Crossing over from the original L&O series is Linus Roache as Bureau Chief Executive ADA Michael Cutter.
America's Next Top Model [Season 17 premieres September 14]: This cycle will be an all-stars version with all fourteen contestants having appeared in prior seasons: Shannon Ratliff (Cycle 1), Camille McDonald (Cycle 2), Brittany Brower (Cycle 4), Lisa D'Amato (Cycle 5), Bre Scullark (Cycle 5), Bianca Golden (Cycle 9), Dominique Reighard (Cycle 10), Isis King (Cycle 11), Sheena Sakai (Cycle 11), Allison Harvard (Cycle 12), Laura Kirkpatrick (Cycle 13), Angelea Preston (Cycle 14), Kayla Ferrel (Cycle 15), Alexandria Everett (Cycle 16). In addition to the standard modeling competitions, there will be a focus on the fame aspect of the modeling industry as each of the fourteen have become known to the fans and public since their appearances on the series. Competitions will include making a music video with rapper Game, changing up their look with singer Ashlee Simpson, and a Michael Jackson inspired photo shoot mentored by Jackson's sister LaToya.
Premise: "Once upon a time, there were three beautiful girls..." You know the drill. Except that this time the three angels (Abby, Eve, Kate) and Bosley had all run afoul of the law and fell from grace. Charlie took them away from all that, and now they work for him in this reboot helmed by Smallville's Al Gough and Miles Millar. Drew Barrymore, who brought the franchise to the big screen is also on board the series as an Executive Producer.
Chances for survival: Pretty good if the series proves to be as fun as the original. It's up against both the X Factor results show and The Big Bang Theory, so the chemistry of the leads really has to be there. Not to mention tons of eye-candy moments.
(l-r) David Hornsby, Kevin Dillon [Photo Credit: CBS]
HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN
8:30pm • CBS • premieres September 29
Stars: Kevin Dillon, David Hornsby, Rhys Darby, Dave Foley, Nancy Lenehan, Mary Lynn Rajskub
Premise: The ever-dependable odd couple template gets another workout when a prissy magazine columnist becomes roommates with the boorish guy who bullied him in high school as Dillon's character offers his help to help make the magazine more "manly."
Chances for survival:Gentleman has a dream timeslot in that it follows The Big Bang Theory. If the writing is there, this could be another top 10 hit. However, the ratings really must hold up and not fall too far from Theory's lead in. Last season's $#*! My Dad Says was given the heave-ho despite being a top 30 series, and buzz on Gentleman's pilot was not good.
Above: Jim Caviezel [Photo Credit: CBS]
PERSON OF INTEREST
9:00pm • CBS • premieres September 22
Stars: Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Taraji P. Henson
Premise: In this new crime drama, the post-9/11 world of heightened security and heightened paranoia are explored as two men head up of team of vigilantes who try to stop violent crimes before they happen by spying on the persons of interest through the use of a suveillance project the head of the team once created for the government. Caviezel plays an ex-CIA agent who has fallen on hard times, become homeless, and is searching for a new purpose in life. Enter Michael Emerson's character, an eccentric billionaire with secrets of his own, who created the aforementioned surveillance system and can still tap into it. He recruits Caviezel to be his foot soldier in his private war on crime. This series will have both an ongoing mythology that will be revealed slowly over the course of the series – JJ Abrams of Lost is one of the creators of this series – as well as a case of the week that will be resolved by the end of each episode.
Chances for survival: Excellent. It occupies the golden timelost formerly held by CSI for the last decade and is one of the fall's most anticipated series along with NBC's Prime Suspect. The backstories and relationships between the characters are full of mystery and intrigue that will surely keep viewers hooked. Will likely be the highest-rated new series of the season.
Britt Robertson (c) and the cast of The Secret Circle[Photo Credit: THE CW]
THE SECRET CIRCLE
9:00pm • The CW • premieres September 15
Stars: Britt Robertson, Thomas Dekker, Ashley Crow, Gale Harold, Shelly Henning, Natasha Henstridge, Louis Hunter, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Phoebe Jane Tonkin
Premise: Robertson stars as Cassie Blake who, after being orphaned, moves to Washington to live with her grandmother. It isn't long before she discovers that she's descended from Salem withes and joins with other magical teens in their coven. In a departure from most series of this type, the teens are not living secret lives behind the backs of their clueless parents. The grown ups are also part of the magical action and the struggle between good and evil that surrounds Cassie.
Chances for survival: Very good. Off the success of author LJ Smith's The Vampire Diaries series of books, The CW optioned Circle, another LJ Smith series. Like Diaries, The Secret Circle will be helmed by Kevin Williamson.
(l-r) Chris D'Elia, Whitney Cummings [Photo Credit: NBC]
9:30pm • NBC • premieres September 22
Stars: Whitney Cummings, Chris D'Elia
Premise: Cummings brings her stand up routine to the sitcom format in this comedy that mirrors her real-life take on relationships.
Chance for survival: Iffy. Viewers who know Cummings are used to her being a whole lot more raunchy than she will be here on network prime time, and the viewers who don't know her may find themselves unimpressed by these watered-down anecdotes. Also, it's the only show on NBC's Thursday night comedy block to use a laugh track, which makes it seem markedly out of place.
(l-r) Maria Bello, Aidan Quinn [Photo Credit: NBC]
10:00pm • NBC • premieres September 22
Stars: Maria Bello, Kirk Acevedo, Peter Gerety, Tim Griffin, Damon Gupton, Joe Nieves, Brian F. O'Byrne, Aidan Quinn
Premise: One of the more anticipated new series of the new season, Prime Suspect is an American adaptation of the venerable British hit and stars Maria Bello in the Helen Mirren role. Bello's Jane Timoney has to navigate both the male-dominated New York City homicide squad as well as her own chaos-filled private life.
Chances for survival: Up against CBS's hit The Mentalist and ABC's Private Practice, Prime Suspect may fall squarely in the middle, ratings-wise, which should be enough to keep it on the schedule and get it renewed for a second season. The Mentalist still has plenty of juice left, while Private Practice – never as big a hit as its Grey's Anatomy lead-in – will likely prove little competition for Suspect.
THURSDAY'S RETURNING SERIES:
Grey's Anatomy[Season 8 premieres September 22]: This season will mark a turning point for the series as the contracts of all the original cast members will come up for renewal at season's end. Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd) has already stated that this season would be his last, but then later partially backpedalled. This season's storylines concern Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Shepherd's trying to rebuild their relationship after last season's separation and their adoption efforts falling apart. Christina Yang (played by Sandra Oh) is still facing an unwanted pregancy and the possibility of getting an abortion. We'll find out at the end of the season premiere what her decision is. On the less tumultuous side of things, Callie and Arizona (Sara Ramirez, Jessica Capshaw) are enjoying being newlyweds and new mommies. Eric Dane's Mark Sloan, the baby's biological father, will be involved in storylines away from Callie.
Private Practice [Season 5 premieres September 29]: Storylines this season include Kate Walsh's Addison trying to conceive a child with the help of new cast member Benjamin Bratt, who plays fertility doctor Jake Reilly. Addison and Sam (Taye Diggs) continue their relationship discreetly, but will Addison want him to be the father of her baby? Pete (Tim Daly) recovers from his heart attack while Violet (Amy Brenneman) is away on a book tour leading to some anger issues for Pete. Naomi (Audra McDonald) departed for New York at the end of Season 4 to be with Dr. Gabriel Fife, but will make some guest appearances this season.
The Big Bang Theory [Season 5 premieres September 22]: TV's favorite nerds move forward with their romantic entaglements this season as Penny (Kaley Cuoco), who still loves Leonard (Johnny Galecki) ended up drunk and in bed with Raj (Kunal Nayyar), but did they actually go all the way? We'll find out in the season premiere. Meanwhile, Leonard continues his relationship with Priya, in spite of the fact that she returned to India, via Skype. Don't count on Sheldon losing his virginity this season as his and Amy's (Mayim Bialik) relationship doesn't appear to be headed in that direction. She is still his girl-friend, but not his girlfriend. Howard and Bernadette are engaged and planning their wedding, but will they actually make it down the aisle?
The Mentalist[Season 4 premieres September 22]: Season 4 picks up directly after the Season 3 cliffhanger in which Simon Baker's Patrick Jane killed his ongoing nemesis, Red John, a serial killer who murdered his wife and daughter years earlier. Jane is arrested and put in jail with bail set at $1 million. Jane is found not guilty by the jury as he tries to prove that the man he killed was indeed Red John, but was he? This season, the entire CBI team had been disbanded and reassigned in the wake of the Red John fiasco, but Jane will attempt to bring his team back together while working with a new team in the meantime.
Bones [Season 7 premieres November 3]: At the end of the previous season, the will-they-won't-they storyline had been resolved – they did. To accommodate star Emily Deschanel's real-life pregnancy, her character Bones will also be pregnant. However, the odd couple relationship between her and Booth (David Boreanaz) will not soften as living arrangements and different ideas on parenting will continue to cause the two to butt heads. A new villain arrives this season in the form of a tech-savvy killer confined to his home due to an ankle bracelet, but who still manages to keep the team on its toes. Look for Ralph Waite to make return appearances this season as Booth's grandfather as Booth suffers a great personal loss.
Community [Season 3 premieres September 22]: Despite extremely poor ratings (it's second season was ranked #115 overall and had fewer than 4.5 million viewers per episode on average), Community is back for another season. John Goodman joins the cast as the Vice Dean of Greendale's Community College. Elsewhere, Ken Jeong's character joins campus security putting the rageaholic ex-professor in a position of power, and Abed and Troy (Danny Pudi and Donald Glover) move in together, and we see the follow up of the kiss between Abed and Annie (Alison Brie).
Parks and Recreation[Season 4 premieres September 22]: Like Community, Parks and Recreation is another critical darling that keeps getting low ratings and keeps getting renewed. It's previous season was ranked right behind Community at #116. At the end of Season 3, star Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope had a big decision to make: running for office or exposing her secret romance with her boss, played by Adam Scott. Poehler promises that Leslie will make her decision in the season premiere. Tom (Aziz Ansari) quit his job with the city to form an entertainment company with his friend, but is having a difficult time getting it off the ground and signing clients. Actress Patricia Clarkson has been cast as Ron's (Nick Offerman) first ex-wife, Tammy I.
The Office[Season 8 premieres September 22]: James Spader's Robert California joins the cast as Dunder Mifflin Sabre's new CEO after being introduced in the Season 7 finale. It remains to be seen whether viewers will take to Spader in the wake of Steve Carell's departure – much more low key than the Charlie Sheen debacle over at Two and a Half Men, but no less important as far as NBC is concerned. The Office, despite middling ratings is one of its crown jewels and as long as ratings stay steady, expect this critical darling to be a slam dunk for renewal.
The Vampire Diaries [Season 3 premieres September 15]: The season picks up with Stefan (Paul Wesley) having been forced to drink human blood by Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and join with him in exchange for obtaining some of Klaus's blood to save Damon (Ian Somerhalder), Stefan's brother. When Damon and Stefan's girl, Elena (Nina Dobrev), go off to find Stefan, Elena is revealed to Klaus as still being alive. Circumstances force Damon to take on a more heroic role as he has to protect Elena and rescue Stefan, but Damon will struggle with this and his dark side will not be kept at bay for long. Simmering feelings between Damon and Elena threaten to surface while Stefan is out of the picture.
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Ehle, Rachelle Lefevre, Margo Martindale, Pablo Schreber
Premise:Wilson portrays Dr. MIchael Holt, a gifted – and abrasive – neurosurgeon who begins to receive visits from the ghost of his recently deceased ex-wife, Anna, who had been working at a free health clinic. Anna seeks to help Michael become a better person and rediscover his humanity by having him care for the economically disadvantaged patients she left behind.
Chances for survival: If it can attract the same audience as The Ghost Whisperer or Medium did on Fridays in their heydays, then this series has a chance.
(l-r) David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby [Photo Credit: NBC]
Premise: Giuntoli stars as Nick Burkhardt, a descendant of the Brothers Grimm and a homicide detective for the Portland police department. Turns out those Grimm Fairy Tales weren't just stories – they were written in that style to serve as cryptic warnings of the creatures and monsters that really do exist. Burkhardt has the power to detect these creatures as they interact with everyday society in human form. Each week's episode is a police procedural riff on a classic fairy tale – for example, the pilot is a takeoff on the story of "Little Red Riding Hood."
Chances for survial: Likely not very good considering it's on Friday nights – typically a low ratings night for television – and is up against CSI: NY. Also, Fox's Fringe and The CW's Supernatural are already splitting the scifi/fantasy audience in that timeslot.
FRIDAY'S RETURNING SERIES: (details coming soon)
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition [Season 9 premieres Sunday, September 25]:
20/20 [Season 35 premieres September 23]:
CSI: NY [Season 8 premieres September 23]:
Blue Bloods [Season 2 premieres September 23]:
Kitchen Nightmares [Season 5 premieres September 23]
Above: Jennifer Morrison (r) with the cast of Once Upon a Time [Photo Credit: ABC]
ONCE UPON A TIME
8:00pm • ABC • premieres October 23
Stars: Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Carlyle, Josh Dallas, Jamie Dornan, Jared Gilmore, Raphael Sbarge
Premise: Like Grimm, this is another fairy-tales-are-real series. In the fictional locale of Storybrooke, Maine, Morrison's character is the grown-up daughter of Snow White (played by Ginnifer Goodwin). Snow's daughter is caught in the middle of the ongoing struggle between her mother and the Evil Queen. The series goes back and forth between the two worlds of the fairytale land and modern suburbia.
Chances for survival: Not bad considering that there's no killer competition in the timeslot. Whether viewers will buy into the premise is another story and it remains to be seen whether it will be a happy ending.
Stars: Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Karine Vanasse, Margot Robbie, Michael Mosely, Mike Vogel
Premise:Pan Am takes place in 1963 – the year of the Kennedy assassination. In this era of the Cold War and Camelot, we follow the lives and loves of four glamourous stewardesses on their global travels to all the international hotspots. Pan Am is pure glossy escapism and romance of the type that has rarely been seen on TV since the 1980s. The series is shot at Brooklyn's Steiner Studios, the largest film and television production complex outside of Hollywood. Steiner has played host to other television productions including Damages and Boardwalk Empire. Some exterior scenes for Pan Am were recently shot on the streets of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Chances for survival: Assuming the scripts remain of high quality, the chances of this opulent sudser finding a big audience is a given in spite of the fact that period dramas don't ordinarily translate into ratings gold.
[Photo Credit: Fox Broadcasting]
8:30pm • FOX • premieres October 30
Voice cast: Jonah Hill, Nat Faxon, Will Forte, Joy Osmanski, Cristina Pucelli, French Stewart
Premise: After his gay dads will no longer homeschool him, obnoxiously precocious Allen Gregory DeLongpre must attend public school like an ordinary 7 year-old – much to his eternal chagrin. As Allen sips on his Pinot Grigio in the lunchroom, he fantasizes about having sex with his 68-year-old principal.
Chances for survival: Now that The Simpsons and Family Guy are no longer considered envelope-pushing, Allen Gregory will definitely fill that void. Animated cartoons have always gotten away with more than their live action counterparts have, so it remains to be seen just how much of a fuss will be raised over this. Could very well be the sleeper hit of the season.
SUNDAY'S RETURNING SERIES: (details coming soon)
America's Funniest Videos [Season 22 premieres October 2]:
Desperate Housewives [Season 8 premieres September 25]:
60 Minutes [Season 44 premieres September 25]:
The Amazing Race [Season 19 premieres September 25]:
The Good Wife [Season 3 premieres September 25]:
CSI: Miami [Season 10 premieres September 25]:
The OT [Season 7 premieres September 25]:
The Cleveland Show [Season 3 premieres September 25]:
The Simpsons [Season 23 premieres September 25]:
Family Guy [Season 10 premieres September 25]:
American Dad [Season 7 premieres September 25]:
Football Night in America [Season 6 premieres September 11]:
NBC Sunday Night Football [Season 6 premieres Thursday, September 8]: