I've decided to go ahead and talk about some of my returning favorites. Not all of them, because who has that sort of time, but a good amount. I'll tell you when they are returning, the time slot (because many have changed) and what's coming up, or what I want to happen on this season. I'm going to split it up by network again. And once again, if I don't watch it, don't expect to read about it here. Sorry CSI fans. :) I'm selfish like that.
CASTLE (Mondays 10pm, Premieres Sept 20): Nathan Fillion finally with a show getting a third season and doing well in the ratings! I wouldn't expect too many changes to this show that has the formula down pretty well. More weird cases, more "aha moments" for Castle and Beckett, more ridiculous little boy behavior from Ryan and Esposito, more fun at home with Alexis (who is getting a boyfriend!) and Martha, and more sexual tension between Castle and Beckett. As for said sexual tension - I wouldn't expect any release for that tension any time soon. Castle is back with his ex, Gina. And Beckett is getting her own new love interest. Of course neither are going to be happy about the other's love life, but don't expect anyone to act on it, yet. However if you are hoping to have a Castle and Beckett love fest one of these days - stay tuned. Creator Andrew Marlowe has said it's something he thinks they will work towards.
MODERN FAMILY (Wednesday 9pm, Premieres Sept 22): If you watch one half-hour comedy (on a network) it should be this one. Frankly, you should watch more than one, because I would have a hard time giving up some of the others, but this is probably the best half hour comedy on TV right now. The Pritchett and Dunphy clan are some of the most interesting and hysterical characters I have seen on a "sitcom," though I hate to use the word. From moment one they had me hooked - I fell in love with every single one of them. This season, I expect more ridiculous behavior from all of them and nothing more. Nathan Lane is guest starring on an episode this season, which guarantees the laughs. Watch it and I promise you, you will thank me.
COUGAR TOWN (Wednesday 9:30pm, Premieres Sept 22): After a whole lot of back and forth, they decided to keep the name of this show the same, and I'm ok with that. Sure, it really has nothing to do with the show anymore, but does that matter? No. Much like it's lead in, Modern Family, this show is made up of a group of characters that I loved instantly. The three stand outs, for me, are Busy Phillips as Laurie, the ditzy friend/coworker of Courteney Cox's Jules; Dan Byrd as Travis, Jules's son, who this season is off to college, only 20 minutes away from home; and Carolyn Hennessey as Barb, another sort of friend of Jules who pops in unexpectedly all the time with an incredibly dirty one liner. Carolyn Hennessey is fab, and I love the 20 seconds she is on! Travis is especially funny as the voice of reason amongst a clan of crazy/drunk adults. This season Jules and her neighbor Grayson, continue their still new relationship. And I'm sure the fact that Laurie and Grayson slept together may come to light. Also, some actress you may have heard of, named Jennifer Aniston, is guest starring in the premiere as Jules's shrink. I wonder how she got the job......
GREY'S ANATOMY (Thursday 9pm, Premieres Sept 23): Last season ended with a whole mess of crazy when a widower came through the hospital and shot just about everyone. In case you forgot the mess: Charles and Reed (two Mercy Westers) were both killed, Alex was shot and declared his love for Izzie (poor Lexie), Derek was shot and nearly died which stressed out poor Meredith to the point that she miscarried the baby she had yet to reveal to Derek. If I'm remembering correctly Owen also was shot, but not as bad as the rest. The good that came from all of this: Arizona and Callie apparently worked out their problems, and according to Shonda Rhimes, it put an end to the dreaded Christina/Owen/Teddy triangle once and for all. So when the series starts up next month: about as much time has gone by for the docs at Seattle Grace as has gone by for us. They are all on the mend, some better than others. James Tupper (Men in Trees) has joined the cast as a counselor helping them deal. And possibly, cuz he is pretty, making sexy time with one of them. Also Sarah Drew (April) and the Hotness Monster himself, Jesse Williams (Jackson Avery) have been promoted to series regulars. Let's hope for a shirtless Avery scene!
PRIVATE PRACTICE (Thursdays 10pm, Premieres Sept 23): Because Shonda apparently didn't want the rampage at Seattle Grace to overshadow the docs at Oceanside Wellness, she decided to go ahead and kill Del in a car accident, orphaning his daughter Betsy. Why, Shonda?? WHY?? I loved Del, and not just because he was on Veronica Mars! When the series returns, Betsy's home life will be dealt with. Also, now that Pete and Violet are together, it has left it for Sam and Addison to be together. So those two couples, and the effect they will have on the other docs, mainly Naomi, I'm sure will be the source of much drama. That and, inevitably, lots of pregnancies and births that will lead to babies dying. Shonda must hate babies.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (Sundays 9pm, Premieres Sept 26): At the end of last season it was revealed that one (or two) families on Wisteria Lane are part of a baby switch mix up at the hospital. Thankfully, this mystery will be solved by the second commercial break of the premiere. Hallelujah! As for what else is happening this season, I'm sure it can be summed up in one word: DRAMA. As always. Vanessa Williams and Brain Austin Green are both coming to Wisteria Lane this season. And let's not forget that Paul Young returned at the end of last season. I'm sure everyone will be oh so happy to see his creepy face.
BROTHERS & SISTERS (Sundays 10pm, Premieres Sept 26): I have a feeling this will be the final season of B&S. Half the cast is leaving. Rob Lowe exited at the end of last season, Balthazar Getty is gone (again), and Emily Van Camp will only be on two episodes. Plus there are rumors about how many episodes series star, Calista Flockhart, will be on. But despite the behind the scenes drama, I do enjoy this show. Even if it has become lesser than what it was. All that matters is that Sally Field continues to be the best. And she can't help but be the best, right? Also helping matters: the yummy Giles Marini has been upped to series regular. More pool side scenes with him please!
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (Mondays 8pm, Premieres Sept 20): Well, there is just one thing I want from this season: THE EFFING MOTHER. And I think we can all agree on that, right?? There are only so many times that Ted can tell those poor kids who have been sitting on the couch for years listening to their father tell this never ending story "but that wasn't your mom." Fine, Ted, GET TO IT THEN! On a good note: from everything I've read we are this close to the reveal. Make it happen Carter Bays! Besides that, we will get lots of Marshall and Lily baby-making, in which I am sure the other three will be way too involved. Also Barney will be suiting up and being adorable. Plus the return of Robin Sparkles, including a whole new song and video. Hurray! Basically - as always, they are bringing the funny. But hopefully they bring it better than they did last season.
THE GOOD WIFE (Tuesdays 10pm, Premieres Sept 28): This was my favorite new drama last fall. And to be honest I thought I would, at best think it was OK. I watched because it had Chris Noth (Mr. Big, forever and always) and Matt Czurchy (Logan on Gilmore Girls). I also have had a crush on Josh Charles since Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and I think Christine Baranski is one of the funniest actresses around. However my hopes for the show itself were minimal. I'm happy to say I was wrong. This show is engaging on all levels. The "case of the week" is often interesting, and almost never completely obvious, something that often bothers me on other law/cop shows. But it's not the case of the week that really matters, it's the characters. Best new character of last season: Kalinda, the PI at the law firm. She is sassy, funny, great at her job, and beyond mysterious (sexually and otherwise). Following a close second would be Eli Gold played by the genius Alan Cumming who has been promoted to a series regular. This season a lot of the focus, I'm sure, will be on the fallout of whatever decision Alicia made at the end of last season (answering Will's call or getting on stage with Peter. CHOOSE WILL!). Plus Cary's decision to work with the enemy after being let go. Lots O' Drama. And not the cheesy kind. If you haven't checked this out yet, I very highly recommend it.
BIG BANG THEORY: After catching up with the last three season over the past few months I am happy for this one to return. Last season ended with Sheldon going on a date with Mayim Bialik's character, Amy. That story will continue and be a focus this season. As for the rest: well I expect a lot of physics based jokes, references to sci fi pop culture, Penny thinking the guys are crazy and, of course, Bazingas! Do we really need anything else?
90210 (Monday 8pm, Premieres Sept 13): This series ended with possibly the worse season finale of all shows last season. They said it would be EPIC and it was blah at best. Hoping they get back on track this season. What is to be expected: More tension between Annie and Liam. The fallout of Naomi being raped by her teacher after already accusing him of sexual harrassment and then admitting she lied. Adrianna and Navid drama. And one of the guys struggling with coming out of the closet. If you don't know who it is yet, I won't spoil it here. However I will say this: When it was announced a male character was gay on the show I knew it was without a doubt. Also, they will deal with the sudden disappearance of dad/principal, Rob Estes.
GOSSIP GIRL (Monday 9pm, Premieres Sept 13): Long Live Chuck Bass! Despite being shot in an alley at the end of last season, I don't think it would be a surprise to any of you to hear that Chuck Bass is alive and mostly well at the start of season 4. Don't expect too many changes from the standard super crazy Upper East Side drama of past season. Chuck and Blair will have to deal with each other, eventually. But before that he will be romancing a new french girl (Fleur from Harry Potter). Serena finds a new man to add to the mix of her already crazy love life - Sam Page (Mad Men, Desperate Housewives). Dan is dealing with being a dad to Georgina's baby (or so we think... I'm still questioning). And Nate... well he is Chuck-ing it up, as it were. Best part of this season: very little Jenny! HAZZAH! This show may be the definition of guilty pleasure, but I'm not afraid to admit I enjoy every guilty little bit of it!
ONE TREE HILL (Tuesday 8pm, Premieres Sept 14): You know how I just said that Gossip Girl is a guilty pleasure? I lied. THIS is a guilty pleasure. It takes cheesy to a whole new level. Last season ended with Haley finding out she is preggers (and so is the actress!), Julian and Brooke finally getting back together (thank goodness), Chase and Alex hooking up, right when Mia texted she wanted Chase back, and Crazy Crazy Sarah/Katie shooting Quinn and Clay, you know, cuz she is crazy. As for where this season is going: I don't know.... crazy drama town? This show is known for it's ridiculous storylines: psycho nannys, psycho stalkers, heart-eating dogs. You know, the normal stuff. So just look for more of that. Just one request: keep Julian and Brooke together. That poor girl has been through enough. Also, if this really is the last season, get P. Sawyer and Lucas Scott back to town, would ya? Like they would miss Haley having a baby or the inevitable Brooke/Julian wedding!
VAMPIRE DIARIES (Thursday 8pm, Premieres Sept 9): This was my surprise show of last season. I watched it because A- Vampires and B- Ian Somerhalder. I didn't expect to love it. And to be honest, at first I didn't. I thought Bella, I mean Sookie, I mean Elena was a really pathetic character. But then she finally got over her vamp issues and became kind of a badass, if not a little stupid at times. And then Nina Dobrev started playing Katherine as well in flashbacks and totally won me over. I think this show is a lot of fun, and can't wait to see the tamed down (compared to True Blood) vampire goodness they have to offer this season. First up: dealing with the aftermath of the finale (one of the best finales of any show last season). Jeremy is upstairs, possibly turning into a vampire after drinking Anna's blood and then trying to kill himself. Downstairs, Katherine just kissed Damon then stabbed Uncle John in the gut. Then Elena walked in. Ruh roh. The fallout of Katherine's return is going to be the major theme this season, and I for one, can't wait to see it!
SUPERNATURAL (Friday 9pm, Premieres Sept 24): Honestly, I feel like anything I say here is going to be redundant just because I have discussed it ad nasuem via text with my Supernatural buddy, Katie. But since I love it so much, let's talk about it here too! Last season, the boys stopped the apocolypse when Sam/Lucifer and Adam/Michael ended up going into Hell so Lucifer could be locked back up in his cage. Since then Dean has been playing husband/father to his ex, Lisa. and her son, Ben. Bobby has been back to hunting. Castiel has been in Heaven dealing with the mess the Apocolypse left behind. And Sam, well it turns out he is back from Hell, and I guess hunting as well. This season marks a reversal from the start of the series. Sam is now the jaded hunter and Dean is the one who is settled and moved on from that life. Sam comes back to get Dean back into the family business. It must work, because otherwise we don't have much of a show, do we? The series is going back to "monster of the week" format, unlike the last couple of season that have been one major storyline going through the entire season. The past several years have left a large wake of dead characters, which kind of sucks. But it also means the focus will be on the 4 boys (and the Impala) and is there any more that we can ask for? I CAN NOT WAIT for this show to come back. Jensen Ackles!!! WOO!
HOUSE (Monday 8pm, Premieres Sept 20): So.... Huddy. That's what this series has become about, for better or worse. And that is where the season begins. After many seasons of making each other miserable/happy, House and Cuddy are finally a couple, for real. Look for that to be the focus of the season, or at least the first half. How do they function as a couple outside and inside the hospital? How is House coping with the leg? How does House deal with Rachel (Cuddy's adoptive daughter)? And if anyone cares, how does it affect the team? Speaking of the team, Thirteen is gone for awhile because Olivia Wilde is off filming a movie with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig directed by Jon Favreau (no offence, House, but I'd leave you for that too!). In her absence, Amber Tamblyn (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, GENERAL HOSPITAL!) will be a new member of the team. Always fun to watch new people adjust to all that is House. Also look for the return of Jennifer Morrison as Cameron at some point.
GLEE (Tuesday 8pm, Premieres Sept 21): I'm not sure if you heard, but there is going to be a Britney Spears episode of Glee this season. What? You've heard? A lot!? Well then I'll move on from that. After last season's devastating loss to Vocal Adrenaline at Regionals, the kids of New Directions are starting over. There are new kids - an exchange student who gives Rachel a run for her money at Top Diva, and a new football player who rumor has it will also be the boyfriend we have been waiting for Kurt to find. Cheyenne Jackson will also be guest starring as the new coach of Vocal Adrenaline. Rachel and Finn will be a strong couple all season, something I appreciate Ryan Murphy allowing. So often shows put couples together just to screw with them right away. Let's just let these two be, mmmkay? In the not so happy couple department: Will and Emma are going to have their share of problems, mostly in the form of John Stamos - Emma's dentist/boyfriend. And don't worry Uncle Jesse fans, Stamos will be singing at some point. For sure in the Halloween episode which is Rocky Horror Themed! Woo! As for what else: lots of singing!! But not as much as the second half of season 1 had. It will only be about 5 songs an ep this season. Coming back some point this season: guest stars Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth and Jonathan Groff. Hopefully NPH as well.
BONES (Thursdays 8pm, Premieres Sept 23): One of my favorite shows ever! Just saying. I love Bones. And Booth. And Angela and Jack and Cam and SWEETS! What I'm saying is I love this show. While it can be frustrating (Really, Booth has a girlfriend??!!?!?!) it makes up for it in great writing and acting. The characters are all wonderful and make me happy. This season, Booth and Bones are called back from their different jobs around the world after 9 months (instead of the year) to help solve a case that effects one of their own. But, as I mentioned, Booth comes back with a girlfriend. Say it with me now: Booooooooo! But since Bones has no idea how to function normally in society, it doesn't seem to bother her. I will say this: I have a feeling this relationship won't stick. Everyone kows Booth and Bones are meant to be. Except maybe Bones. Darn her and her in ability to function in social situations. Whatever happens, I will be there because this show never upsets me. Even if it does seem to upset everyone else!
FRINGE (Thursday 9pm Premieres Sept 23): At the end of last season the gang went to the "other side" where we found alternate versions of all our favorite Fringe Division friends in another universe. After a series of crazy events, Olivia and Fauxlivia switched places, much Olivia's surprise/dismay. So we start the season with Olivia trapped in the Alternate Universe and Fauxlivia infiltrating our world. This season, or at least the first half, is going to run differently than previous seasons. Odd number episodes will be in Alt-Universe and even number episodes in our world. The good: getting to see the range of acting of (almost) all the actors. The bad news: Peter only has one version, so he is only going to be on even numbered episodes. I need more Pacey than that! My biggest fear: that Fauxlivia will be able to infiltrate our world too easily. Peter and Olivia had a moment when in the alternate universe, and I just don't see Peter being so stupid that he falls for Fauxlivia without question! Dear wonderfully genius execs: DON'T BLOW IT! Thanks!
HUMAN TARGET (Friday 8pm Premieres Oct 1): This show got a reprieve, and I'm so happy it did. Is it the best show: no. Is it a fun hour of television: yep! Mark Valley, Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley make an unlikely and very amusing team. And the season ended on a heck of a cliffhanger, so I'm glad we will get some resolution. Hopefully said resolution includes the return of Amy Acker as the girl we know didn't really die in that boat explosion. I also hope the producer realize they probably won't get more than these 13 episodes and make the most of them. Give this show the ending it, and the 12 of us who watch it, deserve.
CHUCK (Monday 8pm Premieres Sept 20): Once again Chuck fought to stay on the air and won. Thank you NBC. You screw up so many things, but thankfully you keep giving Chuck a chance. This show is well produced, written and acted - it deserves so much more viewers than it gets. Watch it! This season Chuck starts a new adventure. After promising his sister, Ellie, he would leave the CIA, he then finds his father;s incredibly extensive "lair" that is going to lead Chuck to find his mom. Mom is going to be played by the quintessential action hero mom, Sarah Connor herself, Linda Hamilton. Bring on the ass kicking. Also new this season: the character "Greta" which is actually a rotating character played by someone new each week and is there to help train Morgan and Chuck as a partnership. First two Gretas: Olivia Munn (Attack of the Show, The Daily Show) and Isaiah Mustafa (The Old Spice Guy). What could become a stupid shtick, I feel will actually work out well on this show. If anyone can do it, it's creator Josh Schwartz. Can you believe the same guy that does Gossip Girl and The OC came up with this show? I heart him!
PARENTHOOD (Tuesday 10pm, Premieres Sept 14): With this show, basically, expect more of the same as last season: family drama. Julia wants another baby, much to her househusband, Joel's surprise! We will see more of Adam's workplace, including his boss played by Billy Baldwin and a warehouse employee played by Kevin Alejandro (!!) both of whom will be love interests for Sarah, because Lauren Graham apparently demands that she always has multiple hot guys as love interests on her shows. And good for her! Amber gets a new (rich) BFF. And Crosby deals with how his relationship with Jasmine and Jabbar. It's a good show, but I hope it gets better this season since I can't not watch something starring Lauren Graham.
COMMUNITY (Thursday 8pm, Premieres Sept 23): One of the more underrated comedies of last season, Community is back this year and looking to do more of the same. But the one difference: Spanish Class. Last season we learned that Professor Chang was not legally able to be a professor, so he is now a student, and our favorite study group is moving on. One of their new classes: Anthropology. Their new teacher: Betty friggin White! It has awesome written all over it. I'm sure there will be more of the same antics between Troy and Abed a lot of theme-episodes, much like last season. And somehow Joel McHale will end up practically nekkid again once or twice, I'm sure. Oh, and I guess we will also be dealing with the Jeff/Annie kiss from last season. That will be interesting.
30 ROCK (Thursday 8:30pm, Premieres Sept 23): Don't worry everyone, Kenneth is coming back. Of course! And hopefully, so is Matt Damon! As for what else is going on this season, I really don't know. But I can tell you this: it will be off-kilter and the jokes will either be completely over the top or so random that they are hard catch. Whatever happens, it will be funny because Tina Fey is one of the funniest women on TV today.
THE OFFICE (Thursday 9pm, Premieres Sept 23): This is the final season of Michael Scott. And while I think that is going to be sad, if they handle it right, I don't think it will have to mean the end of the show. But I'm going to be honest with you. Of all the Thursday night comedies, this is the weak link nowadays. (Except now instead of Parks and Rec in the 4th slot, it's Outsourced, and based on what I've seen/heard of that show, it is by far the weakest link. Hopefully it will be gone soon and Parks and Rec can come back early) But this season we will have Holly Flax (the incomparable, Amy Ryan) back in Scranton, thanks to Kathy Bates. Also on an episode this season: Timothy Olyphant as Pam's ex. As in the guy she was seeing when Jim was dating Karen. I guess those documentary guys don't catch everything! The show is always funny, but hopefully it goes back to be on par with the rest of the NBC Thursday night lineup!
Alright, that's it! Hope I was able to get some of your returning favorites in there too! Looking forward to September! Pay attention to those premiere dates. The CW and Parenthood start earlier than most.
Comments always loved!