The Big Bang Theory, season premiere at 8pm on CBS
– The hit comedy sitcom that seeks to rival NBC’s successful Thursday night comedy block opens its fifth season with two back-to-back new episodes. Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons in his Emmy-award winning role) are brilliant physicists who work at the California Institute of Technology. They have the kind of “beautiful minds” that understand how the universe works. But none of that genius helps them interact with people, especially women. All this begins to change when a free-spirited beauty named Penny, a blonde waitress and aspiring actress, moves in next door. Sheldon, Leonard’s roommate, is quite content spending his nights playing Klingon Boggle with their socially dysfunctional friends, fellow CalTech scientists Howard Wolowitz and Raj Koothrappali. However, Leonard sees in Penny a whole new universe of possibilities… including love. Leonard and Penny’s relationship has been on and off over the past four years, and last season Penny regretted breaking up with Leonard and was jealous of his current girlfriend Priya, Raj’s sister. In the season 4 finale, Raj and Penny had too much wine and wound up in bed together with no recollection of what happened that night…but their clothes were missing so you can put the pieces together…Producers told The Hollywood Reporter their drunken hook-up will be addressed in the season premiere, and as can be expected, Leonard doesn’t take the news well. Meanwhile, Leonard will have to deal with Priya moving back to India and trying to make a long-distance relationship work.
Charlie’s Angels, series premiere at 8pm on ABC
– Everyone deserves a second chance – even a thief, a street racer and a corrupt cop. After all, the three women who solve cases for their elusive boss, Charlie Townsend, are no saints. They’re angels… Charlie’s Angels. Set and filmed in Miami, this remake of the 1970s smash hit series from executive producer Drew Barrymore introduces us to three new angels, all fearless detectives, head-turning beauties and close friends. There’s Abby (Grey’s Anatomy’s Rachael Taylor), a Park Avenue princess who became a world-class thief. Then there’s Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), a Miami cop who fell from grace, losing both her career and her fiancé. Finally there’s Gloria, a disgraced army lieutenant who has a way with explosives. When one of the angels’ missions ends in Gloria’s tragic death, Charlie persuades them to partner with Gloria’s childhood friend, Eve (Parenthood’s Minka Kelly), a street racer with a mysterious past. They may not know each other yet, but one thing’s for sure — Abby, Kate and Eve will always have each others’ backs. The angels are rounded out by the new Bosley (Ramon Rodriguez), a hot, young computer hacker who helps them solve cases and enjoys being surrounded by powerful, beautiful women.
Community, season premiere at 8pm on NBC
– Or as I like to call it, the little show that does so much. Despite being very underrated and undeservedly so, this comedy series is an all-around winner that never ceases to amaze and entertain, from guest spots by the brilliant Betty White to its stop-motion holiday episode to its Dungeons and Dragons imaginary episode to its double episode Western-themed paintball season 2 finale, this show has so much heart in addition to its smart and funny writing. From Dan Harmon (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Emmy Award winners Joe and Anthony Russo (Arrested Development), this series revolves around a band of misfits who attend Greendale Community College. At the center of the group is Jeff Winger (Joel McHale, The Soup), a fast-talking lawyer whose degree has been revoked. With some help from his fellow classmates, Winger forms a study group that eventually learns more about themselves than their course work. Also among the series stars who comprise the group are comedy legend Chevy Chase (Chuck) as Pierce, a man whose life experience has brought him infinite wisdom; Gillian Jacobs (The Book of Daniel) as Britta, the 20-something dropout with something to prove; Yvette Nicole Brown (Rules of Engagement) as Shirley, a sassy middle-aged divorcée; Danny Pudi (Greek) as Abed, a pop culture junkie; Alison Brie (Mad Men) as Annie, a high-strung perfectionist; Donald Glover (30 Rock) as Troy, a former high school football star trying to find his way, and Ken Jeong (The Hangover) as former professor Señor Chang who got the boot at the end of season 1 for not having his teaching certification and enrolls as a student, then forces himself into the study group. At the end of last season, it was revealed Winger was having secret sex with Britta all year but had also kissed Annie. McHale tells EW this year Winger will have to choose one, and he is leaning towards Annie. Click here to watch a brilliant film noir montage of season 2 on nbc.com that portrays the fun-loving show as a moody psycho-sexual thriller revolving around this love triangle!
Parks and Recreation, season premiere at 8:30pm on NBC
– The now critically acclaimed series (star Amy Poehler received a much-deserved Emmy nod for her work last season) is returning for an amazing fourth season and all the word-of-mouth buzz suggests this season might be the highest-rated yet. The mockumentary comedy from the producers of The Office stars SNL’s Poehler as Leslie Knope, Deputy Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation in the small city of Pawnee, Indiana. The ever-optimistic, kind-hearted, and overly ambitious Knope never tires of trying to make her quintessentially American town just a little bit more fun and beautiful even though no one else in her department, or her town for that matter, gives a crap. The series not only features smart, witty writing, and hilarious storylines, but also one of the best ensemble casts on television. Leslie’s office mate is Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari aka my homeboy, ‘nuff said), a fashion-obsessed wannabe player whose greatest dream is to own his own nightclub. Leslie’s boss, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman, Children’s Hospital), hates the very government he works for, and sports one of the most impressive moustaches on primetime television. Rounding out the cast are Leslie’s best friend Ann (Rashida Jones, I Love You, Man, The Office), her ex-boyfriend Andy (Chris Pratt, Everwood), and Ron’s assistant April (Aubrey Plaza, Funny People), who is dating and very much in love with Andy. The addition of Adam Scott (Party Down) and the divinely beautiful Rob Lowe (Brothers and Sisters, The West Wing) as regular cast members portraying government officials Ben Wyatt and Chris Traeger during the entire third season was a delight that elevated the series to another level. This season we can expect it to get even better (if that’s even possible, its pretty freakin’ awesome as is already) as Leslie tackles her internal dilemma regarding whether to date her coworker Ben or pursue her dream of running for elected office.
Grey’s Anatomy, season premiere at 9pm on ABC
– The hit medical drama enters its eighth season dealing with a lot of the loose ends left hanging in the season finale. Before we breaked for summer, Karev accidentally ratted out Meredith for messing with the clinical trial, resulting not only in her expected firing this season which we see in the promos but also in Derek leaving her for jeopardizing his whole clinical trial, just as the two are granted the adoption of little baby Zola. In the premiere, Mer-Der are still very much not the great couple we’ve become accustomed to seeing in the past few seasons since Derek feels very betrayed by Meredith’s actions but they are forced to come together nonetheless for baby Zola’s health. At the end of last season, Christina also realized she is pregnant and Owen kicked her out of the house because she insisted on having an abortion. So while the dark twisty sisters have enjoyed a few years of pleasant relationship happiness, they are now back to being single (hopefully only temporarily). Also, in the season finale it was revealed that the uptight and by-the-book April Kepner got the very competitive position of Chief Resident. This season, April will not only have to deal with all the responsibilities that come with that, but also work on earning the respect of her colleagues so that they can follow her directions, which is not so easy for the girl who is the biggest push-over on the show. Also this season, Karev is single and bitter after he told Dr. Lucy Fields (Rachel Taylor, one of Charlie’s Angels in the new ABC remake) to go to hell instead of asking her not to go to Africa for a great job opportunity she basically stole from under him, marking her departure from the show.
The Office, season premiere at 9pm on NBC
– Much suspicion regarding casting surrounds this season of the mockumentary series that explores the humorous and sometimes poignant foolishness that plagues the world of 9-to-5 based on the award-winning BBC hit. The recent departure of regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell), after 19 years of service, and the unexpected medical leave of his successor Deangelo Vickers have left many vying for the coveted manager position, including a few internal candidates. One startling move that did transpire during the interview process was the hiring of the weirdly charming and manipulative Robert California (James Spader, “Boston Legal”) by Dunder Mifflin Sabre CEO Jo Bennett. Robert accepted the regional manager job and quickly realized he was meant for something bigger, convincing Jo to step down and appoint him as the new CEO. Spader will be guest starring in the season premiere but once he leaves, who will be Michael’s successor? That’s the biggest question that looms over this season of the hit comedy series, especially when considering the in-house options…The loyal and often times unmotivated staff includes sales rep Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) who shares his working space with Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) the arrogant assistant to the regional manager whose responsibilities have expanded as the new owner of the office building. Pam Beesly Halpert (Jenna Fischer) is the former office receptionist now office administrator married to Jim, with one baby at home and another on the way. Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak, Inglorious Basterds) is the young, smart, former temp, whose fall from grace as a Dunder Mifflin executive quickly landed him back at the bottom of the food chain in Scranton. Andy Bernard (Ed Helms, The Hangover) is the preppy salesman and die-hard Cornell alum whose endless and unique musical talents keep the office entertained. A surprising relationship has also formed between Andy and the ambitious distribution coordinator Darryl Philbin (Craig Robinson, Hot Tub Time Machine), who moved his office from the warehouse to the main floor alongside Michael and his staff.
Person of Interest, series premiere at 9pm on CBS
– This critics’ pick of new fall series stars Jim Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson in a crime thriller about a presumed dead former-CIA agent, Reese (Caviezel), who teams up with a mysterious billionaire, Finch (Emerson), to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice. Reese’s special training in covert operations appeals to Finch, a software genius who invented a program that uses pattern recognition to identify people about to be involved in violent crimes. Using state-of-the-art surveillance technology, the two work outside of the law, using Reese’s adept skills and Finch’s unlimited wealth to unravel the mystery of the Person of Interest and stop the crime before it happens. Reese’s actions draw the attention of the NYPD, including homicide detective Carter (Henson), and Fusco, a cop whom Reese uses to his advantage. With infinite crimes to investigate, Reese and Finch find that the right person, with the right information, at the right time, can change everything.
Whitney, series premiere at 9:30pm on NBC
– NBC’s new multi-camera comedy named after and starring its creator Whitney Cummings from Chelsea Lately is a hilarious look at modern day love, which centers around Whitney and Alex (Chris D’Elia, Glory Daze), a happily unmarried couple. Together for three years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched, which seems to get a mixed response from their friends. Whitney’s close circle of girlfriends includes, on one side, Lily, a romantic idealist who loves being in love, and on the other, Roxanne, a recent divorcee who is practical, cynical and dreading being single again. Lily and Roxanne’s opposing points of view only exacerbate Whitney’s own complicated outlook on relationships. Completing their close-knit group is Neal, a real modern day Renaissance man – sensitive and cool, who knows a little bit about everything and happens to be dating Lily. On the other end of the spectrum is Whitney and Alex’s next-door neighbor Mark, a police officer and total bachelor, who claims to be the ultimate player, but likes to talk a good game. At the end of the day, Whitney and Alex try to have a relationship on their own terms – in a world that expects a more traditional approach.
The Mentalist, season premiere at 10pm on CBS
– The hit crime procedural stars Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor sharp skills of observation. Before working for the CBI, he was a very successful fake psychic, until serial killer Red John murdered his wife and daughter in retaliation for Jane’s televised mocking. The murder of his family left Jane devoid of much empathy and feeling. Combined with his con artist upbringing, this has made him a cold and uncaring person with deep anger issues. He hides this by being charming and carefree. Despite this, Jane has started to develop close friendships with his colleagues, especially Agent Lisbon (Robin Tunney). He often shows his darker side concerning Red John, the serial killer who murdered his family. In the season finale, Patrick set an elaborate trap designed to expose and snare Red John’s mole inside the CBI. Mission accomplished: The traitor turned out to be FBI agent Craig O’Laughlin (Eric Winter), who outed himself by trying to assassinate Virgil’s replacement, Madeleine Hightower (Aunjanue Ellis), who had been framed for murder and gone into hiding, protected by Jane and Lisbon. Jane had Lisbon dial the last number on O’Laughlin’s number and a man sitting near Jane in a shopping mall answered the phone in Red John’s fake high tenor. Jane finally came face to face with the mysterious and elusive Red John, and the monster turned out to be Bradley Whitford, the former star of The West Wing and The Good Guys. He shot Red John three times then calmly proceeded to finish drinking his tea as cops swarmed in to arrest him.
Prime Suspect, series premiere at 10pm on NBC
– Based on the critically acclaimed British television series of the same name, Prime Suspect has been redeveloped for American audiences by producers Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives) and Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights). The crime drama stars Maria Bello (A History of Violence) as tough-as-nails NYPD homicide Detective Jane Timoney, an outsider who has just transferred to a new squadÂ where her new colleagues already dislike her. Jane is confident and focused – and also rude, abrupt and occasionally reckless. She has her vices, and rumors of a questionable past follow her everywhere – but at the end of the day, she’s an instinctively brilliant cop who can’t be distracted from the only important thing: the prime suspect.