Friday, September 23rd
A Gifted Man, series premiere at 8pm on CBS
– This new supernatural drama is about a brilliant, charismatic surgeon whose life changes forever when his deceased ex-wife begins teaching him the meaning of life from the “hereafter.” Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) is an exceptional doctor who lives a materialistic life of luxury thanks to his work-obsessed career and powerful and wealthy patients; however, Michael’s ordered world is rocked when his ex-wife, Anna, an idealistic free-clinic doctor and the love of his life, mysteriously appears to him. Michael’s off-beat sister Christina a single mom to her teenaged son Milo is thrilled that Anna’s back in her brother’s life, even as an “illusion,” because Michael was always a better person with her. Curious about Michael’s sudden change in behavior is his efficient assistant, Rita (recent Emmy-award winner for her role in Justified Margo Martindale). When Anna asks Michael to go to her clinic to help keep it running, he meets Autumn (Afton Williamson), a volunteer carrying on Anna’s work with the underprivileged. Touched by those in need and accepting of Anna’s compassionate “presence,” Michael’s attitude toward serving the rich and poor is turned upside down, and he begins to see that there’s room in his life for everyone.
Kitchen Nightmares, season premiere at 8pm on FOX
– World-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay is back for a fifth course of the ultimate restaurant revival show where he steps out of his own five-star establishments and travels the country visiting some of the most unsanitary and unsuccessful restaurants in America. For many, Ramsay is their last chance to help turn around their businesses or else they’ll be forced to close their doors forever. Each week, Chef Ramsay will visit the chosen establishment to try and get to the root of the problem causing the business to fail. Along the way, he’ll reveal the sometimes harsh and stressful realities of running a restaurant and wastes no time getting down to business as he uses his expertise and professional experience to try and help turn an empty restaurant into the most popular, sought-after venue in town. With Ramsay’s reputation on the line, he will demand absolute excellence and perfection from the owners as he gives them advice on everything from new signature menu items and updating the decor to customer service and staff changes. With some training and reinforcement, Ramsay hopes to help breathe new life into these failing eateries or else many will have to make some tough decisions as they continue to stumble toward closure.
Nikita, season premiere at 8pm on The CW
– In the first season, we saw Nikita (Maggie Q, Live Free or Die Hard, Mission Impossible 3) wage a war against Division, the agency that created her. On her trail was Michael (Shane West, ER, A Walk To Remember), the man who trained her, and in her corner was Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca, Kick-Ass, Desperate Housewives), her partner on the inside. By the end of the first season finale, Nikita and Alex’s relationship had been shattered, and Nikita and Michael’s relationship was restored. This set the stage for a new, exciting spy game. Nikita and Michael are now together – on the road and on the run, trying to right the wrongs that Division has committed over the years. This continues a personal and emotional journey of redemption for the two former assassins. Their guide on this journey is the Black Box – a hard drive that holds Division’s darkest secrets and conspiracies. But every time they try to right a wrong, it sends trouble chasing after them, trouble in the form of their former employer, Division. Leading the hunt for Nikita this time will be Alex, who is now pursuing her former mentor…and she knows all of Nikita’s tricks.
CSI: NY, season premiere at 9pm on CBS
– The New York-themed spin-off of the popular CSI franchise is about forensic investigators who use high-tech science to follow the evidence and solve crimes in the Big Apple. Det. Mac Taylor, a dedicated and driven crime-scene investigator who believes that everything is connected and everyone has a story, is a decorated Marine who served in Desert Storm and dabbled in war photography. The job is his life; he focuses on cases until they are solved. The team includes the newest addition, Josephine “Jo” Danville, an experienced investigator from Washington, D.C., whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim. They work with a team of experts, including Danny Messer, an investigator with an unflappable spirit and a troubled family history, which he uses on the job as he blends his own set of hybrid ethics. Messer was personally selected to join the team by Mac, and he attempts daily to live up to that honor and responsibility. Sheldon Hawkes is the crime lab’s former coroner, a brilliant Ph.D. who transitioned to the field team. Joining them is Don Flack, an edgy, hardcore homicide detective with a quick wit, impressive forensic insight and a long family history in law enforcement; and Lindsay Monroe Messer, a young, athletic CSI with a Midwestern work ethic who is willing to roll up her sleeves to tackle any job, and rarely hints at the dark and devastating secret that originally motivated her to dedicate her life to being an investigator. Lindsay and Danny are married and have a daughter, Lucy. Rounding out the team is lab rat Adam Ross and eccentric coroner Dr. Sid Hammerback. The New York CSIs may have a different process from those in Las Vegas or Miami, but they are guided by the same steadfast determination. These skilled investigators follow the evidence as they piece together clues and eliminate doubt to ultimately crack their cases.
Dateline NBC, season premiere at 9pm on NBC
– The signature broadcast for NBC News in primetime is a newsmagazine driven by stories of true crime, investigative reporting, and social justice. Since its premiere in 1992, it has been pioneering a new approach to primetime news programming. The multi-night franchise, supplemented by frequent specials, allows NBC to consistently and comprehensively present the highest-quality reporting, investigative features, breaking news coverage and newsmaker profiles.
Fringe, season premiere at 9pm on FOX
– Heading into its mind-bending fourth season, the critically acclaimed and beloved cult sci-fi favorite Fringe continues to explore otherworldly cases with endless impossibilities. Set in Boston, the FBI’s Fringe Division was introduced when Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) enlisted institutionalized “fringe” scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his globe-trotting, jack-of-all-trades son, Peter (Joshua Jackson), to help in the investigation of an airline disaster that defied human logic. After the defining case was solved and revealed to be one of a series of unusual incidents linked together, the unlikely trio was formed. At the end of season 3, Peter, with Olivia’s help, enters the prime version of the “machine,” and experiences a vision of the future where the parallel universe has been destroyed and the same fate threatens the prime one. Recovering in the present, Peter alters his plan and uses the machine to merge the two rooms. Peter placed himself in the machines in both worlds, forming “a bridge, so that we can begin to fix” — but his image flickered out before he completed that sentence. Peter was gone, completely disappeared and forgotten by both Walters and Olivias. Executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman have said that season 4 starts with the fact that “Peter no longer exists” and there will be visible consequences for what has transpired in the past 3 seasons, which may include changes in the past that alter the way events happened if they even happened at all.
Supernatural, season premiere at 9pm on The CW
– The thrilling and terrifying journey of the Winchester Brothers continues with the seventh season of the Supernatural drama. Twenty-six years ago, Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) lost their mother to a mysterious and demonic supernatural force. Subsequently, their father John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) raised them to be soldiers. He taught them about the paranormal evil that lives in the dark corners and on the back roads of America…and he taught them how to kill it. Sam and Dean have battled every kind of supernatural threat. After dozens of bloody adventures, they finally closed in on their dark destiny: with the help of their friends, father-figure Bobby and fallen angel Castiel, they managed to avert the Apocalypse. But the victory came at terrible cost: Sam sacrificed himself, to be imprisoned in Hell alongside Lucifer. A year later Sam mysteriously returned from Hell, but without his soul. In a risky move, Dean restored Sam’s soul, but that brought back all the painful memories of hell. At the end of last season, Castiel ignored Sam and Dean’s warning and made a deal with the King of Hell to find the door to Purgatory and opened it, granting him dangerous God-like power. Season seven finds Dean and Sam reeling from the loss of their friend. Sam’s violent memories of Hell threaten to overtake him, threatening not just his life, but his brother’s as well. Meanwhile, Dean struggles under the weight of a secret that threatens to tear them apart. And even as the brothers traverse the backroads of America, hunting things that go bump in the night, something is coming for them. They are about to face an enemy more canny and adaptable than any they’ve ever fought. As the landscape around them becomes increasingly treacherous, the tools they’ve come to rely upon will be stripped away. Our heroes, like so many outlaws before them, will find themselves utterly outmatched and outgunned, with no one to rely on but each other.
Blue Bloods, season premiere at 10pm on CBS
– This hit sophomore drama series follows a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) is the New York Police Commissioner and heads both the police force and the Reagan brood. He runs his department as diplomatically as he runs his family, even when dealing with the politics that plagued his unapologetically bold father, Henry, during his stint as Chief. A source of pride and concern for Frank is his eldest son Danny, a seasoned detective, family man and Iraq War vet who on occasion uses dubious tactics to solve cases with his loyal and tough partner, Detective Jackie Curatola. The Reagan women in the family include Erin, a N.Y. Assistant D.A., who also serves as the legal compass for her siblings and father, and single parent to her teenage daughter Nicky; and Linda, Danny’s supportive wife. Jamie is the youngest Reagan, a recent grad of Harvard Law and the family’s “golden boy.” Unable to deny the family tradition, Jamie has decided to give up a lucrative future in law and follow in the family footsteps as a cop.
Saturday, September 24th
48 Hours Mystery, season premiere at 10pm on CBS
– CBS’s primetime news program is television’s most popular true-crime series, investigating shocking cases and compelling real-life dramas with journalistic integrity and cutting-edge style. 48 Hours’ in-depth approach has earned the program and its teams numerous awards including three Peabodys, 17 Emmys and five RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Saturday Night Live, season premiere at 11:30pm on NBC
– NBC’s Emmy Award-winning late-night comedy showcase enters its 37th season for another year of laughs, surprises and great performances. Over the last three decades, SNL has launched the careers of many of the brightest comedy performers of a generation (i.e. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon and Bridesmaids star Kristin Wig) and has become a staple of American pop culture and entertainment. At the close of the century, Saturday Night Live placed seventh on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the Top 100 Entertainers of the past fifty years.