Survivor, season premiere at 8pm on CBS
– The 18 castaways that will be competing with their loved one Survivor this season, themed Blood vs. Water, when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 29th season with a special 90 minute premiere. Some of the contestants in the San Juan Del Sur include an Amazing Race duo: twins Nadiya and Natalie Anderson. The “Twinnies” — who appeared on seasons 21 and 24 of Race — are a love it or loathe it duo for fans. Perhaps the biggest name to compete on this season is John Rocker, 39, a former Atlanta Braves pitcher who was widely criticized for his remarks about minorities in a 1999 Sports Illustrated interview. Now older (and hopefully wiser), he’ll compete with his girlfriend, Julie McGee, a model who owns a spray tan business.
The Middle, season premiere at 8pm on ABC
– The Hecks are all back under one roof for now, since Axl (Charlie McDermott) hasn’t returned to college for the fall. But this season, it’s all about Sue (Eden Sher). It’s Sue’s final year so Sue must decide where to go to college—but first, the braces are coming off. Of course it’s not going to go as smoothly as you think. Bad news for Sue, good news for viewers, since her orthodontist will be played by Spin City’s Richard Kind.
The Goldbergs, season premiere at 8:30pm on ABC
– Before there were parenting blogs, trophies for showing up and peanut allergies, there was a simpler time called the ‘80s. For geeky and movie obsessed youngest child Adam (Sean Giambrone), these were his wonder years, and he faced them armed with a video camera to capture all the crazy. The Goldbergs are a loving family like any other — just with a lot more yelling. Mom Beverly (Wendi McClendon-Covey) is a classic “smother,” an overbearing, overprotective matriarch who loves her delicious kids, but still rules this brood with 100% authority and zero sense of boundaries. Dad Murray (Jeff Garlin) is gruff and sometimes oblivious, parenting with half his attention span but all his heart. Sister Erica (Hayley Orrantia) is popular and terrifying, doing her best to cover up that she’s the smartest of the clan. Barry (Troy Gentile) is a passionate dreamer, who maybe dreams a little too big and who always gets the short end of the stick. Adam (Sean Giambrone) is the youngest, a camera-wielding future director who’s navigating first love, and growing up with his family. Rounding out the family is beloved grandfather Al “Pops” Solomon (George Segal), the wild man of the clan, a shameless Don Juan who’s learning as much from his family as he teaches them.
Law & Order: SVU, season premiere at 9pm on NBC
– We’re going to be exploring the various notions of what family is. Last season, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) received a promotion to acting commander and a foster son, while several longtime characters—including Detective Munch (Richard Belzer)—left the SVU team. Stories highlighted this season with guest stars like Stacy Keach and Ron Rifkin, will continue to riff on headlines, from a racist sports exec to an out-of-control former child star.
Modern Family, season premiere at 9pm on ABC
– Critically lauded for revitalizing the television sitcom, Modern Family is also quickly cementing itself as a culturally defining series. The Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan is a wonderfully large and blended family with Jay Pritchett sitting at the head. By his side is his young, vivacious second wife Gloria, who resists his old-fashioned ways — an impulse that will become all the more interesting now that he and Gloria have a new baby of their own. This exciting addition will bring more adventures to the family just as Gloria’s son, Manny, is about to embark on an adventure of his own as he enters high school. Jay’s grown daughter, Claire, and her husband, Phil, also have their son, Luke, heading to high school; their middle daughter, Alex, is full steam ahead on the college track, and the eldest, Haley, is back home figuring out her future. With the kids all growing up, this new chapter means Claire can explore returning to the workforce, which will have its fair share of missteps and victories. And this will be a big year for Claire’s brother and Jay’s grown son, Mitchell, who alongside his loving partner, Cameron, and daughter Lily, will have a lot of reasons to celebrate. Together these three families give us an honest and often hilarious look into the sometimes warm, sometimes twisted, embrace of the modern family.
Black-ish, series premiere at 9:30pm on ABC
– Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson has a great job, a beautiful wife, Rainbow, four kids, and a colonial home in the ‘burbs. But has success brought too much assimilation for this black family?
Nashville, season premiere at 10pm on ABC
– Going into season 3, the ladies have a lot of decisions to make. Will Rayna (Connie Britton) choose longtime flame Deacon (Charles Esten) or superstar fiancé Luke (Will Chase)? How will Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) handle her pregnancy, not to mention her former flame Avery (Jonathan Jackson)? Showrunner Dee Johnson swears some resolution will come quickly. But first, some music! The premiere will feature live performances from Deacon and Will (Chris Carmack), something that Johnson says is both exciting and nerveracking.
Chicago P.D., season premiere at 10pm on NBC
– By the end of the premiere, viewers will learn if Voight (Jason Beghe) or Stillwell (Ian Bohen) killed Jin (Archie Kao). And Mark Post starts a three-episode arc as the perennially disappointing mother of Lindsay (Sophia Bush). Lindsay struggles with who really is her family and how much slack do you cut your family.