Sunday, September 28th
Once Upon A Time, season premiere at 8pm on ABC
– Season 4’s finale had everyone buzzing with the arrival of the year’s favorite Disney newcomer to Storybrooke: Elsa from “Frozen”. The Storybrooke residents do not know what Elsa has in store for them. Back in the past, in Elsa’s kingdom of Arendelle, we will discover what happened to her, her sister Anna and Kristoff, and how and why Elsa became a prisoner of Rumplestiltskin. And now that Emma has brought back Robin Hood’s wife, Marian, and possibly sparked the end of Regina’s relationship with him, will she return to her old, evil ways and do everything in her power to get even? And newlyweds Belle and Rumplestiltskin continue to be deeply in love with each other. But Rumple is hiding a secret from Belle — one that, if found out, could destroy their happiness – he continues to be the master of the dagger that calls upon him to be the Dark One. Can Emma and Hook commit to one another, and can these two damaged people take their love to the next level?
The Simpsons, season premiere at 8pm on FOX
– Having recently reached its milestone 550th episode, The Simpsons continues to strike a chord with viewers for irreverently poking fun at anything and everything. The Simpsons (Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie) reside in the town of Springfield. The family adventures continue this fall when in the season premiere the unthinkable happens: a Springfield resident dies. Additional guest voices this season include Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman, David Hyde Pierce, Will Forte, Jeff Ross, and Matthew Sweet. An episode written by Judd Apatow (rom-com writer/director extraordinaire) will also air this season.
Bob’s Burgers, season premiere at 7:30pm on FOX
– Having won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program, Bob’s Burgers returns for a fresh and flavorful fifth season. The series follows Bob (H. Jon Benjamin), who runs Bob’s Burgers with the help of his wife and their three kids. Bob has big ideas about burgers, but the rest of the clan falls short on service. Despite the greasy counters and lousy location, the Belchers are determined to make every “Grand Re-Re-Re-opening” a success. Bob’s wife, Linda (John Roberts), stands by her man and often does so by bursting into song. Their eldest daughter, 13-year-old Tina (Dan Mintz), has a slight obsession with boys and zombies. Middle child Gene (Eugene Mirman) is an aspiring musician with a thirst for life. Louise (Kristen Schaal) is the bunny ears-wearing youngest daughter with an off-kilter sense of humor that makes her somewhat of a liability in the kitchen – and with the public.
Revenge, season premiere at 10pm on ABC
– ABC’s soapy Hamptons drama returns for season four with one major change: Lead character Emily Thorne is no longer the one seeking the titular vengeance. This time around, the tables are turned, and it’s her arch-nemesis Victoria Grayson who will be pursuing a vendetta against Emily. Season three closed with a doozy of a finale — an hour packed with a plethora of cliffhangers that left fans reeling all summer long. Jack was hauled in for questioning after Charlotte turned him in as her kidnapper and Daniel woke up to find himself in bed with a corpse (an OD arranged by Gideon for blackmail purposes), and those were the two least shocking twists of the episode. In retaliation for Pascal’s death (and three seasons’ worth of meddling), Victoria pays Emily back by smothering Aiden to death and then parking his corpse in Emily’s living room. Then in retaliation for Aiden’s death (the cycle never ends), Emily lures Victoria to a graveyard where she’s digging up Amanda’s grave. She knocks Victoria out with a shovel, and when the ice queen wakes up… she’s been committed to an insane asylum! Emily told the doctors Victoria had gone crazy and was trying to prove that Emily was actually Amanda (which, as it so happens, is true). Season five will introduce The Simpsons‘ Yeardley Smith as Phyllis, a mental patient alongside Victoria Grayson (who of course was sent away for making insane furniture purchases).
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, season premiere at 8:30pm on FOX
– Fresh off his ”suspension,” the weirdly competent Detective Peralta (Andy Samberg) is back…sort of. He quickly goes undercover for a Mafia sting. Thankfully, the ep eschews tired gabagool gangster clichés, relying on the show’s strengths: quirky workplace comedy, goofy throwaway lines, and, best as always, Andre Braugher’s superb Captain Holt.
Monday, September 29th
Mom, season premiere at 8:30pm on CBS
– Allison Janney won an Emmy for this, so it must be good…right? Mostly. In the first one back, titled ”Hepatitis and Lemon Zest,” Christy (the always great Anna Faris) succumbs to the lure of gambling, and things quickly get dire. As the title suggests, the story is a little sweet, a little uncomfortable, and very Chuck Lorre.
Castle, season premiere at 10pm on ABC
– When viewers first met Richard Castle – a famous mystery novelist and divorced father raising his teenage daughter, while being kept grounded by his Broadway diva mother –he was creatively blocked. But when the NYPD questioned him in connection with a series of murders staged to imitate crime scenes from his books, Castle found inspiration in Detective Kate Beckett, a bright and aggressive homicide cop with a fascination for odd and offbeat cases stemming from the years-old unsolved murder of her own mother. Fast forward several years later, Castle and Beckett’s partnership has blossomed into a full-fledged romance but their journey to tie the knot has been plagued by many obstacles. It finally seemed like the lovebirds had overcome all the hurdles to find their happy ending when Castle’s car was run off the road on the way to his wedding ceremony. Did Castle survive the fiery car crash at the end of last season? We have no inside info—but we can’t help noticing they haven’t changed the title to Beckett.
NCIS: Los Angeles, season premiere at 10pm on CBS
– Callen and Sam are trapped in an armed submarine that terrorists have aimed to hit an aircraft carrier in San Diego. Meanwhile, Hetty defies orders and forgoes her trip to Washington, as the team tries to locate and save Callen and Sam and prevent the terrorist attack, on the sixth season premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles.
Tuesday, September 30th
Happyland, series premiere at 11pm on MTV
– Happyland a soapy teen dramedy exploring the underbelly of one of the country’s most popular theme parks, going behind the scenes to reveal the not so magical reality of the park workers. The series centers on Lucy (Bianca Santos), the cynical teenage daughter of idealistic park princess mom, Elena (Camille Guaty). Having grown up in a world of manufactured happiness her whole life, Lucy wants to get out and experience something real. When Ian (Shane Harper), the new park owner’s son, arrives and sweeps her off her feet, Lucy is left wondering if fairy tale endings do exist after all. But when a scandalous secret turns her life upside down, she learns Happyland is far from a walk in the park.
Manhattan Love Story, series premiere at 10pm on ABC
– Have you ever wondered what your date was thinking? This romantic comedy exposes the differences between men and women through the unfiltered thoughts, and often-contradictory actions, of a new couple who have just begun dating. Viewers will hear the inner monologues of unlucky-in-love New York twentysomethings Peter (Jake McDorman) and Dana (Analeigh Tipton). Manhattan will make quick use of its namesake (almost half of each episode is shot on location throughout the city), but Lowell says the central romance will be a slow, slow burn.
Selfie, series premiere at 8pm on ABC
– It’s loosely based on “My Fair Lady,” but Selfie also has a more modern muse: Miley Cyrus. Creator Emily Kapnek (Suburgatory) says, “There’s something compelling about the language barrier in people so steeped in technology.” That inspired Kapnek to invent Eliza (Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan) a self-obsessed pharmaceutical rep who seeks an image makeover from her marketing-whiz co-worker Henry (John Cho). As their potential romance simmers, Selfie’s humor stems largely from Eliza’s quirky colleagues and her extreme narcissism—not to mention her totes-ridic lingo.
Wednesday, October 1st
Criminal Minds, season premiere at 9pm on CBS
– Hit crime procedural Criminal Minds revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country’s most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. The Behavioral Analysis Unit’s most experienced agent is David Rossi, a founding member of the BAU who returns to help the team solve new cases. After spending the summer shorthanded because of Blake’s (Jeanne Tripplehorn) sudden departure, the BAU team will get a reprieve with the hiring of FBI agent Kate Callahan (Jennifer Love Hewitt). Kate has an instant rapport with the team, especially Rossi, who will have two big surprises this year.
Stalker, series premiere at 10pm on CBS
– Following in the failed steps of last year’s dark drama Hostages, Dylan McDermott is not scared away from starring in another psychological thriller. Co-starring Maggie Q, Stalker is about detectives who investigate stalking incidents – including voyeurism, cyber harassment and romantic fixation – for the Threat Assessment Unit of the LAPD. Det. Jack Larsen is a recent transfer to the Unit from New York City’s homicide division, whose confidence, strong personality and questionable behavior has landed him in trouble before – but whose past behavior may also prove valuable in his new job. His boss, Lt. Beth Davis, is strong, focused and an expert in the field, driven by her traumatic personal experience as a victim. With the rest of their team, young but eager Det. Ben Caldwell and deceptively smart Det. Janice Lawrence, Larsen and Davis assess the threat level of cases and respond before the stalking and intimidation spirals out of control, all while trying to keep their personal obsessions at bay.
Thursday, October 2nd
Reign, season premiere at 9pm on The CW
– Over the course of the stormy first season, Mary, Queen of Scots, struggled to balance her many roles — as Queen of Scotland, as royal fiancée, and later as young wife to the future King of France, and as faithful friend to her ladies in waiting. Challenges came in every form: the reigning queen consort of France, Francis’ mother, Catherine de Medici, did everything she could to destroy the union of Mary and Francis, even if that meant taking Mary’s life. Francis and Mary were both torn by their duties to their nations, paving the way for Mary to form a close bond with Bash, Francis’ illegitimate brother, who could offer Mary a level of devotion the future king could not. By the end of the season, the shocking death of King Henry made Francis and Mary the new King and Queen of France. But before their new crowns could be placed on their heads, Francis had placed himself on the wrong side of the quarantined castle’s gates, rushing to help Lola give birth to his first and possibly only child. The second season begins with Mary and Francis on the throne of a nation burning. France is rocked by the aftereffects of the plague – a disease that crept inside the castle walls, taking thousands upon thousands of lives across the land, and ravaging the stability of a nation. From the ashes, powerful lords will rise, carrying out personal, religious and political vendettas, taking lives, and tearing at Mary and Francis’ commitment to their people – and to each other.
The Vampire Diaries, season premiere at 8pm on The CW
– As season five begins, Damon and Elena have spent a blissful summer in love, unaware that Silas is free and Stefan has been suffering agonizing pain every day for months. Damon believes Stefan is staying away because it would be too painful for him to see Damon and Elena as a couple, but Elena can’t escape the uneasy feeling that Stefan needs their help. While Elena is reluctant to leave Damon and Jeremy, she is also thrilled to be heading off to a new start at nearby Whitmore College with Caroline as her roommate. Still unaware that Bonnie is dead, Elena and Caroline are waiting for their friend to join them at college. Jeremy is the only one who can see and talk to Bonnie who is trapped on the Other Side. Caroline is also waiting impatiently for Tyler to return and join her at Whitmore. Matt and Rebekah have spent a wonderful summer traveling through Europe, and the newly cured Katherine is having a tough time adjusting to being human after 500 years as a vampire. Returning to town after months on the run, Katherine asks Damon to help her now that she is vulnerable to her many enemies. Although everyone in this tight-knit group of friends is trying to move on to a new and better phase of their lives, the past is always with them, and Silas is determined to use his powers and the secrets of dopplegangers to make sure no one remains unscathed.
Bad Judge, series premiere at 9pm on NBC
– No excuses, no apologies, no compromises. Wild child Rebecca Wright (Kate Walsh, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice) knows how to have a good time, but she also happens to be one of LA’s toughest and most respected criminal court judges. She has a reputation for unorthodox behavior in the courtroom, including creative rulings and saying exactly what’s on her mind. Her private life, on the other hand, is anything but innocent. While there’s no shortage of male admirers who would love to spend time with her, she’s not ready to settle down.
A to Z, series premiere at 9:30pm on NBC
– A to Z tells the story of Andrew (Ben Feldman, Mad Men, The Mindy Project) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” How I Met Your Mother) – a pair that almost wasn’t – and all that happened from the day they met. Andrew Lofland, while a guy’s guy, has always been a secret romantic… not above crooning to Celine Dion while driving to work, with dreams of finding “the one.” He imagines her to be just like that shimmering beauty he spotted that night in that silver dress at that concert two years ago. Zelda Vasco is a no-nonsense lawyer who has strong feelings about being her own person and prefers the control of online dating. However, when a computer glitch sends her a total mismatch, she’s asked to come in for an interview at Wallflower Online Dating, the agency where Andrew works. Andrew and Zelda meet for the first time and despite their differences, sparks fly. She thinks it’s chance. He thinks it’s fate. After all, he’s convinced she’s the shimmering girl in the silver dress. Is it true love forever or just a detour in destiny?
Gracepoint, series premiere at 9pm on FOX
– When a young boy is found dead on an idyllic beach, a major police investigation gets underway in the small northern California seaside town where the tragedy occurred. Soon deemed a homicide, the case turns neighbor against neighbor and sparks a media frenzy, which throws the boy’s family into further turmoil and upends the lives of the town’s residents. Welcome to Gracepoint, a new 10-episode mystery event series based on Broadchurch, the U.K.’s critically acclaimed hit crime drama. Gracepoint is an expansion of the original series, introducing new characters, identifying new suspects and threading new storylines through the gripping narrative that will end when secrets are revealed and the killer is caught.
Saturday, October 4th
Austin City Limits, season premiere at 9pm on PBS
– ACL, the longest running music series in the country, showcases popular music legends and innovators from all genres. Great music. No limits.
Survivor’s Remorse, series premiere at 9pm on Starz
– Survivor’s Remorse, a six-episode comedy series follows Cam Calloway played by Jessie T. Usher, a basketball phenom in his early 20s who is suddenly thrust into the limelight after signing a multi-million dollar contract with a professional basketball team in Atlanta. Cam, along with his cousin, and confidant Reggie Vaughn (RonReaco Lee) move to Georgia to start Cam’s journey to success. The two confront the challenges of carrying opportunistic family members and their strong ties to the impoverished community that they come from. Cam, Reggie, and an unforgettable group of characters wrestle with the rewards and pitfalls of stardom, love, and loyalty.