Sunday, September 25th
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, season premiere at 7pm on ABC
– The tearjerker series that helps create dream homes for the poor and good-hearted returns for another riveting season. We don’t know about you, but it is what’s lurking behind that big bus which keeps us absolutely riveted from week-to-week: a house pimped out to the extreme. It’s extremely uplifting, as the renovated home always belongs to a deserving family. It’s extreme transformation. And it’s extremely community-oriented. You’ll see dingy kitchens get completely tricked out, spa-inspired bathrooms built where icky ones once were, and olympic-sized swimming pools installed in what were once shabby overgrown yards. It’s stuff we know you’d want at your own pad—and then some. And Ty and his crew do it from the ground up, adding five-star luxuries and the occasional theme park attraction. Before you start getting all jealous, the lucky homeowners always have a heartening back-story: Heroes, community leaders, and a plethora of inspirational families are truly the heart and soul of the show. There’s that saying, “home is where the heart is,” and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition puts the heart right where it belongs.
The Amazing Race, season premiere at 8pm on CBS
– The hit reality competition series is an eight-time Emmy Award-winning reality series hosted by Emmy Award- nominated host Phil Keoghan, which pits 11 teams, each comprised of two members, against each other on a trek around the world for approximately 25 days. At every destination, each team must compete in a series of challenges, some mental and some physical, and only when the tasks are completed will they learn of their next location. Teams who are the farthest behind will gradually be eliminated as the contest progresses, with the first team to arrive at the final destination winning $1 million.
The Simpsons, season premiere at 8pm on FOX
– The longest running scripted show on television exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 1990 and has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises. Matt Groening created the iconic family consisting of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie.
The Cleveland Show, season premiere at 8:30pm on FOX
– The animated comedy series is a spin-off of the mega-hit Family Guy starring the “happy mustached face” of Cleveland Brown (Mike Henry) and his family and friends living in his hometown of Stoolbend, Virginia. The Cleveland Show follows the Brown-Tubbs blended family headed by Cleveland and his sassy high-school-sweetheart-turned-second-wife Donna (Sanaa Lathan). The rest of the household includes Donna’s boy-crazy teenage daughter, Roberta; the 5-year-old with an old soul Rallo (Henry); and the lovable but not-so-bright Cleveland Jr. Rounding out the clan are Cleveland’s friends and neighbors, including loudmouth redneck Lester (Richardson) and his weighty wife, Kendra; talking bear Time (creator Seth MacFarlane) and his talking bear wife, Arianna (guest voice Arianna Huffington); vertically challenged Holt (Jason Sudeikis); and Holt’s gay best friend, Terry (Sudeikis). In the third season, the family gets a new neighbor; Donna is reunited with her long-lost mother; Cleveland Jr. joins the church choir and finds religion, a girlfriend and possibly a wife; Cleveland discovers a conspiracy behind pop music; and Cleveland’s most embarrassing secrets are revealed to the world.
Boardwalk Empire, season premiere at 9pm on HBO
– From Martin Scorsese and the writer of The Sopranos Terence Winter comes this critically-acclaimed and high-budgeted HBO period drama series set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition when the sale of alcohol became illegal and created opportunities for corrupt men to become filthy rich. Everything is for sale in America in the 1920s. Atlantic City is “The World’s Playground,” a place where rules don’t apply. For a few dollars, a working man can get away and live like a king—legally or illegally. The undisputed ruler of Atlantic City is the town’s Treasurer, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi), a political fixer and backroom dealer who is equal parts politician and gangster and equally comfortable in either role. Along with his brother Elias, the town’s Sheriff, and a crew of Ward Bosses and local thugs, Nucky carves out a niche for himself as the man to see for any illegal alcohol. The moody drama picked up many awards at the Golden Globes for its freshman season but lost steam at the Emmy’s this fall despite being nominated for 18 awards. When the second season opens, the year is 1921 and Nucky will face consequences for tampering with the election results in the season finale.
Desperate Housewives, season premiere at 9pm on ABC
– The seventh and final season of the primetime soap opera starring a group of wealthy Desperate Housewives promises to pull out all the stops and come full circle by returning to the original plot line of Mary Alice’s suicide. In the town of Fairview there’s a street called Wisteria Lane; a peaceful cul-de-sac with manicured lawns and beautiful houses. It’s a place where you know all your neighbors and your neighbors know all about you. It’s the perfect suburban fantasy. But, behind every picket fence there are secrets. And, in every seemingly happy home, you’ll find jealousy, lust, passion, and sometimes…murder. In the season finale, Gaby’s abusive stepfather tracked her down to satisfy his perverted desires but thankfully Carlos saved her by knocking him over the head. However, that blow proved to be fatal and now they had a corpse on their hands right as their dinner party was set to begin. Gaby’s trio of best friends/neighbors arrived to find the dead body and decided to help conceal the crime before their significant others, including Bree’s detective boyfriend, made the discovery themselves. This season, the four housewives and Carlos will have to deal with the guilt and anxiety that comes from hiding a murder.
Family Guy, season premiere at 9pm on FOX
– Entering its ninth season, Seth MacFarlane’s brainchild continues to entertain fans with its outrageous humor, cutting-edge animation and epic episodes. Since its debut, the show has reached cult status among fans, and its breakout star, a talking baby, has become one of the greatest TV villains of all time. Family Guy has racked up numerous awards, including an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series, only the second animated series in television history to be honored with such a distinction. The show follows the adventures of an endearingly ignorant dad, Peter Griffin (Seth MacFarlane), and his hilariously odd family of middle-class New Englanders in Quahog, Rhode Island. Lois (Alex Borstein) is Peter’s wife, a stay at home mom with no patience for her family’s antics. Then there are their kids: 17-year-old Meg (Mila Kunis) is a social outcast and the Griffin family punching bag; 13-year-old Chris (Seth Green) is a socially awkward teen who doesn’t have a clue about the opposite sex; and 1-year-old Stewie (MacFarlane) is a diabolically clever baby whose burgeoning sexuality is very much a work in progress. Rounding out the Griffin household is Briar (MacFarlane), the family dog, a member of Mensa with a penchant for dry martinis and dumb blondes. Next season, Peter befriends Ryan Reynolds (guest-voicing as himself), the Griffins struggle to stay grounded after winning the lottery, Meg falls for an Amish boy and Stewie gets behind the wheel to take the family car for a spin. Then, on Meg’s 18th birthday, Quagmire moves in for the kill, and Peter tries to put an end to the relationship. Finally, Brian and Stewie travel back in time to the very first episode of the series.
The Good Wife, season premiere at 9pm on CBS
– The hit drama stars Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies as a wife and mother who boldly assumes full responsibility for her family and re-enters the workforce after her husband’s very public sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail. Pushing aside the betrayal and crushing public humiliation caused by her husband, Peter, Alicia Florrick starts over by pursuing her original career as a defense attorney. As a junior associate at a prestigious Chicago law firm, she joins her longtime friend, former law school classmate and firm partner Will Gardner, who is interested in rekindling their former relationship. The firm’s top litigator and other partner, Diane Lockhart, likes Alicia’s work and her connections so she and Will award her with a full-time associate position following a trial period. Alicia beat out Cary Agos, a clever young attorney who takes a job in the state’s attorney’s office, now bitter and vengeful. Alicia finds an ally and a friend in Kalinda, the firm’s tough and mysterious in-house investigator. Gaining confidence every day, Alicia transforms herself from embarrassed politician’s scorned wife to resilient career woman, especially for the sake of providing a stable home for her children, 14-year-old Zach and 13-year-old Grace. At the end of last season, Peter won the race for State’s Attorney on the same night that Alicia discovered he had slept with Kalinda when she worked for him at the State’s Attorney’s office. Alicia kicked Peter out of the house and started up a heated romantic relationship with her longtime love interest and current boss Will.
American Dad, season premiere at 9:30pm on FOX
– The Emmy-nominated animated series that follows staunch GOP supporter and CIA agent Stan Smith (voiced by creator Seth MacFarlane) and the misadventures of his unconventional family in Langley Falls, VA returns for a seventh term. Stan’s blissfully unaware wife, Francine (Wendy Schaal), has an unfaltering loyalty that allows her to turn a blind eye toward Stan’s unabashed arrogance. Meanwhile, Stan constantly butts heads with his 18-year-old left-wing activist daughter, Hayley (Rachael MacFarlane), who knows just how to push her father’s buttons whether it’s by helping the homeless, demanding women’s rights or supporting gun control. Hayley’s 14-year-old brother is the geeky yet cocky Steve (Scott Grimes), a kid who spends his time playing Dungeons & Dragons and obsessing about the opposite sex. The Smith cabinet is rounded out by two rather unconventional members. There’s the sassy and sarcastic space alien, Roger (Seth MacFarlane), who lives in the attic and loves to play dress-up; and Klaus (Dee Bradley Baker), an attention-starved goldfish with the brain of a German guy who always throws in his two cents regardless of whether anyone is listening.
Pan Am, series premiere at 10pm on CBS
– ABC’s new period drama about the luxurious Pan Am Airways in the 1960s stars the wonderful Christina Ricci as a stewardess for the posh airline during a time when flying was the coolest thing to do. Welcome to 1963: a time when only a lucky few could take flight, experience a global adventure or gain a front-row seat to history. Those lucky few flew Pan Am, the largest, most prestigious airline in the world. More than Coca-Cola, Elvis Presley or the transistor, Pan Am exported American culture to the world abroad and brought that world back to American shores. The jet age has arrived and Pan Am’s Clipper Majestic is about to embark on its inaugural flight with Captain Dean Lowrey (Mike Vogel) at the helm. Dean, who has recently been made captain wouldn’t trade this moment for anything in the world. Step by step, Maggie Ryan (Christina Ricci) has climbed her way up to a better life, to greater opportunity. As Purser of Pan Am’s new Clipper Majestic, she’s at last riding high; determined not to fall. Kate Cameron (Kelli Garner) left her sheltered life in East Granby, Connecticut to brave the intrigue of a wide new world. Now, she must brave even more intrigue in becoming an international agent for the CIA. In running off on her wedding day, Kate’s sister, Laura Cameron (Margot Robbie), left her past and future, following her older sibling to the skies of Pan Am; a bold move, but one with serious personal consequences.
CSI: Miami, season premiere at 10pm on CBS
– Inspired by the crime procedural franchise CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, this Miami-themed spin-off follows a South Florida team of forensic investigators who use both cutting-edge scientific methods and old-fashioned police work to solve crimes. Horatio Caine, a former homicide detective, heads a group of investigators who work crimes amid the steamy tropical surroundings and cultural crossroads of Miami. His team includes Calleigh Duquesne, a bilingual Southern beauty with a specialty in ballistics; Eric Delko, an underwater recovery expert who knows all the twists and turns of the Florida waterways; and Ryan Wolfe, a former patrol officer who specializes in blood and trace evidence. Rounding out the team is Natalia Boa Vista, the enigmatic DNA specialist and Walter Simmons, who has transferred over from the night shift. Helping Horatio with cases is Det. Frank Tripp, a tough yet thorough police officer. Together, these investigators collect and analyze the evidence to solve the crimes and to avenge those who cannot speak for themselves – the victims.
Monday, September 26th
The Chew, series premiere at 1pm on ABC
– The new daytime talk show/cooking show The Chew celebrates and explores life through food, with a group of dynamic, engaging, fun, relatable co-hosts who serve up everything to do with food — from cooking and home entertaining to food trends, restaurants, holidays and more — all aimed at making life better, fuller and more fun. It is broadcast live, weekdays, from New York City. The Chew stars Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. Mario Batali is co-owner of 17 restaurants across the country, including his flagship New York City restaurant Babbo. The former Iron Chef America star hosted a variety of shows for Food Network, including Ciao America and Molto Mario. Michael Symon is a star of the Food Network series Iron Chef America. Symon is the owner of five restaurants, including the critically-acclaimed Lola and Lolita, cornerstones of his hometown’s dining scene in Cleveland, OH. Carla Hall is best known as a competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef, where she won over audiences with her fun catch phrase “Hootie Hoo” and philosophy to always cook with love. Clinton Kelly is a familiar face to fashionistas around the country as style host of the TLC series What Not to Wear. Daphne Oz is The Chew‘s fresh face of healthy living and resident practical tipster. In 2006, she wrote her national bestseller The Dorm Room Diet, sharing the healthy lifestyle plan she developed at school that helped her permanently shed thirty pounds. Oz also helped to found HealthCorps, a non-profit organization that equips teenagers with educational information in the areas of nutrition, exercise and stress management.
Gossip Girl, season premiere at 8pm on The CW
– Our favorite Upper East Siders scattered around the world for one sizzling summer, the fifth season will reveal the souvenirs our sexy socialites have brought back home with them. Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) has spent a fabulous summer with her fiancé, Prince Louis (guest star Hugo Becker), in her future kingdom of Monaco. But when Blair returns home from the holiday, this Princess-to-be will quickly learn that planning a royal wedding can be a royal pain. And the fallout from Blair and Chuck’s (Ed Westwick) heartbreaking decision to let each other go isn’t making life easier. Meanwhile, Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) scored the perfect summer job in sunny Los Angeles, working for an A-list director. Being in California has clearly allowed Serena to discover a new sense of purpose, but will the return of her cousin Charlie (Kaylee DeFer), in actuality a struggling actress Aunt Carol paid to impersonate her daughter, threaten to ruin everything? Only time will tell. Chuck Bass and Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) enjoyed a hedonistic summer trip around the globe but, when they stop in Los Angeles to visit Serena, things quickly spin out of control. Nate falls into bed with a sexy and mysterious older woman, Diana Payne (guest star Elizabeth Hurley), who has more in store for him than he knows. And a seemingly carefree Chuck is chasing down exotic adrenaline rushes that might put his life in real danger.
Terra Nova, series premiere at 8pm on FOX
– From executive producer Steven Spielberg et al his friends comes this new CGI action series that can best be described as a time-traveling “Jurassic Park” with crappier special effects. This so-called “epic family adventure 85 million years in the making” follows an ordinary family on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149, the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped and overcrowded, with the majority of plant and animal life extinct. The future of mankind is in jeopardy, and its only hope for survival is in the distant past. When scientists unexpectedly discovered a fracture in time that made it possible to construct a portal into primeval history, the bold notion was born to resettle humanity in the past – a second chance to rebuild civilization and get it right this time. The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the Tenth Pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, the first colony established in this beautiful yet foreboding land.
Hart of Dixie, series premiere at 9pm on The CW
– Fast-talking New Yorker and brand new doctor Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) has it all figured out – after graduating top of her class from medical school, she’ll follow in her father’s footsteps and become a cardio-thoracic surgeon. But when her dreams fall apart, Zoe decides to accept an offer from a stranger, Dr. Harley Wilkes, to work with him at his small practice in Bluebell, Alabama. Zoe arrives in this small Gulf Coast town only to find that Harley has passed away and left his half of the medical practice to her in his will. She quickly finds that Southern hospitality isn’t always so hospitable – the other doctor in town, Brick Breeland, is less than pleased to be sharing the practice with this young outsider, and his daughter, Lemon, is a Southern belle whose sweet disposition turns sour when she meets Zoe. Zoe’s only allies are the mayor, former football star Lavon Hayes, her bad-boy neighbor Wade Kinsella, and handsome lawyer George Tucker – who just happens to be Lemon’s fiance. Zoe is out of her element and ready to pack her bags, but a surprise visit by her snobby New York mother leads to Zoe’s decision to stay in Bluebell for a while, discovering small-town life and a side of herself she hadn’t known was there.
Mike & Molly, season premiere at 9:30pm on CBS
– The sophomore comedy for which star Melissa McCarthy took home the Best Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy win this fall is about a working class Chicago couple who find love at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. Officer Mike Biggs (Billy Gardell) is a good-hearted cop who sincerely wants to lose weight. Mike’s partner, Officer Carl McMillan, is a thin, fast-talking wise-guy who, despite his teasing, encourages Mike on his road to slimness and romance. While speaking at an O.A. meeting, Mike meets Molly Flynn (McCarthy), an instantly likeable fourth-grade teacher with a good sense of humor about her curves. For Molly, focusing on smart choices isn’t easy while living with her sexy older sister, Victoria, and their mother, Joyce (Swoosie Kurtz), both of whom flaunt their effortless figures while indulging their healthy appetites right in front of her. Mike also faces temptation at the diner he and Carl frequent, where they’ve become friends with a Senegalese waiter, Samuel, to whom dieting is a foreign concept. Mike and Molly found each other in the most unexpected of places. Now, they’re about to find out where their quest for companionship will take them.
Wednesday, September 28th
Suburgatory, series premiere at 8:30pm on ABC
– This ABC Family-type comedy series tries to fill the hole in ABC’s Wednesday night comedy block following The Middle and leading in to Modern Family. Single father George Altman is doing his best to raise his sixteen-year-old daughter Tessa in the big city. When he discovers a box of condoms in her bedroom, though, he decides the time has come to move her to a more wholesome and nurturing environment: the suburbs. But behind the beautiful homes and perfect lawns lurk the Franken-moms, spray tans, nose jobs, and Red Bull-guzzling teens who have nothing in common with Tessa. It’s a whole new world, one that makes George wonder if they haven’t jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. With the help of suburbanites like old college friend Noah, flirty Alpha mom Dallas and awkward classmate Lisa, George and Tessa slowly learn to navigate the pitfalls of suburban life. With time, they might even find that it isn’t so bad. Once you get past the plastic smell.
Happy Endings, season premiere at 9:30pm on ABC
– Forget who gets to keep the ring — when a couple splits, the real question is, who gets to keep the friends? In this modern comedy, a couple’s break-up will complicate all of their friends’ lives and make everyone question their choices. When life throws you for a curve, hold on tight to the people you love. Every circle of friends has someone who’s the gravitational center. For years, perfect couple Dave (Flash Forward’s Zachary Knighton) and Alex (24’S Elisha Cuthbert) drew their friends in and held them together. Now that they’ve split, does this group have the stuff to stay together? Or do Max, Brad, Jane and Penny have to choose sides? Suddenly every event is a negotiation… like, who gets to go on the annual ski trip? There are a lot of big questions to be answered, but this group has been together so long, somehow, little by little, they’ll figure out how to hold on, even though their center is split up. It helps that Dave and Alex have agreed to stay friends. But there will definitely be other complications down the road. This show isn’t afraid to ask the embarrassing personal questions that inevitably arise in every long-term, close-knit group of friends.
The Real World: San Diego, season premiere at 10pm on MTV
– MTV’s less trashy and non-guido original reality series that spawned Jersey Shore is still on the air for its bagillionth season. Seven strangers find themselves in San Diego and though the locale may be sun-soaked and beachy, there are storms brewing. It’s a three month journey through the lives of Ashley, Alexandra, Frank, Nathan, Priscilla, Sam and Zach as they get to know, not just each other, but who they really are themselves. Living in the seaside community of La Jolla, the roommates must learn to navigate the waters, both in and outside the house. The diverse group includes a Zimbabwean Gymnast, a Professional Football Player, a Nuclear Engineer, a Drag King, a Model, a Bisexual Recent Graduate, and a San Diego Native who, as the youngest in the house, may have something to teach her roommates yet. The endless summer awaits.
Thursday, September 29th
How To Be a Gentleman, series premiere at 8:30pm on CBS
– This new comedy series inspired by the book of the same name is about the unlikely friendship between a traditional, refined writer and an unrefined personal trainer. Andrew Carlson (creator David Hornsby who doubles as executive producer, he’s also the EP of the brilliant and undercompensated It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is an etiquette columnist whose devotion to ideals from a more civilized time has lead to a life detached from modern society. Infectiously optimistic, Bert Lansing (Entourage’s Kevin Dillon) is a reformed “bad boy” from Andrew’s past who inherited a fitness center, but can still be rude, loud and sloppy. When Andrew’s editor, Jerry (Dave Foley), tells him to put a modern, sexy twist on his column or be fired, he hires Bert as a life coach in the hopes of learning to be less “gentle man” and more “real man.” Andrew’s mom, Diane (Nancy Lenehan), and his bossy sister, Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), support the plan, as would Janet’s husband, Mike (Rhys Darby), if he was allowed to have an opinion. Though Andrew and Bert’s views may be centuries apart, they may find they’re each other’s missing link.
Private Practice, season premiere at 10pm on ABC
– The hit Grey’s Anatomy spin-off from creator Shonda Rhimes follows renowned neonatal surgeon Dr. Addison Montgomery as she relocates to Los Angeles following her failed marriage to Derek Shepherd and joins a private practice run by her best friends from college that treats patients in all aspects of their medical care. Having made a home in LA and among her friends at the practice, Addy may have at last found true love with fellow doctor and longtime friend Sam Bennett. But just as things have become romantic for the two of them, their friends question if their relationship, so complicated by the presence of Sam’s ex—Addison’s best friend, Naomi—has a chance. Violet and Pete are finally married and taking care of their child together. At long last, through numerous bumps in the road, break-ups and make-ups, Charlotte and Cooper are engaged to be married, but the trip to the altar may not be an easy one. Charlotte didn’t want to tell Cooper about her traumatic rape last season but it all came out and when Charlotte finally decided to press charges, it was too late. Charlotte finally got some form of justice against the man who raped her when he was stabbed by his girlfriend in self-defense. Her telling the authorities about almost getting killed finally led to Lee’s arrest, but before this, he was saved at the surgeon’s slab with Charlotte granting the procedure in spite of her having been victimized by him. In the season finale it was decided that they would close down Oceanside Wellness and open another practice; and Naomi decided it would be best to move to New York to be with Gabriel. Benjamin Bratt will join the cast as a series regular for the fifth season as fertility specialist Jake Reilly who sparks up a prohibited romance with Addy behind Sam’s back.
Saturday, October 1st
Bedlam, series premiere at 10pm on BBC America
– Bedlam is a ghostly series set around Bedlam Heights — a hip, newly renovated apartment building. Those who live there think they have the best address in the world, but little do they know their new home has a harrowing past. The conversion of Bedlam Heights from a former insane asylum has awakened the ghosts of its dark and violent past. These spirits wish to reclaim what’s theirs and seek revenge on those who have wronged them. Kate (Charlotte Salt, The Tudors), a direct descendant of the people who ran the former asylum for generations, lives and works in Bedlam Heights. Her father, Warren (Hugo Speer, Skins), still owns the old family property, and Kate is helping him fill the remaining vacant apartments. She shares her apartment with roommates Ryan (Will Young, Skins) and Molly (Ashley Madekwe, Secret Diary of a Call Girl), but only with the unexpected arrival of Kate’s adopted cousin, Jed (Theo James, Downton Abbey) — a troubled man with a history of mental illness who sees ghosts and visions of the past — are they able to uncover the terrifying secrets of Bedlam Heights. The hauntings that follow prove that sometimes when you scratch away the surface, things aren’t always what they seem.