Thursday, August 18, 2011

What I'll Be Watching This Fall

We're about a month away from the new 2011-2012 fall TV season getting underway.  Here's what I'll be watching.  Really quickly, here are the top 5 summer shows that are currently in season right now:  5. Wilfred, the new comedy is hilarious and has already been renewed for a second season.  4. Damages, after a long hiatus due to its move to DirecTV's Audience Network from FX, this season has picked up and gotten really good.  It's like Law and Order meets 24.  3. Entourage, the HBO show is in its final season and has plenty of storylines to wrap up.  2. Rescue Me, also in its final season, Tommy Gavin and company have definitely pulled out all the stops.  Plenty of laughs as usual and also a lot of poignant drama, like last night's footage from Ground Zero.  1. True Blood, after a good, but not great third season, the vamps and company are back in a very good season thus far.  The battle with the witches is definitely heating up!

Despite several promising and entertaining series being canceled after last season, there are still some very good shows returning.  First and foremost, Dexter and Boardwalk Empire will be returning on Showtime and HBO respectively.  These shows alone are reason enough to subscribe to their premium channels.  Two of the best shows on TV right now, hands down.  Showtime will also premiere Homeland starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis of Life fame.  I'll give it a shot, especially since I'll have Showtime already for Dexter.

With regard to network dramas that are returning, Fringe leads the pack.  The JJ Abrams sci-fi series may not be Lost, but it's the closest thing we have now that hasn't been canceled.  Hawaii Five-O and Law and Order: SVU will also be back.  The Walking Dead will also be back on AMC.  A very good zombie series. 

As far as returning comedies, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is by far the best and funniest show out there.  ABC's breakthrough hit Happy Endings, CBS' How I Met Your Mother, and the animated Family Guy and The Simpsons.  I've decided to give The Office my standard probationary two episodes to see how James Spader is taking over Steve Carell's lead, but I was very underwhelmed with last season as a whole.  Spader is going to have to have a great couple of episodes in order for me to keep that on my DVR.  The usually reliable 30 Rock will be back, but has been pushed to midseason due to Tina Fey's real-life pregnancy.

While there aren't too many great returning shows (the aforementioned shows being the exceptions), the new show lineup is even thinner.  JJ Abrams is taking another shot with Person of Interest.  Despite Abrams failed espionage show last year in Undercovers, Person of Interest does seem to have potential.  Its test ratings were apparently through the roof, the highest of any drama in 15 years, according to CBS.  I may also give Ringer a shot.  It stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and Nestor Carbonell of Lost and The Dark Knight.  A show called Revenge on ABC.  Maybe give Whitney a shot, starring comedian Whitney Cummings?  Don't know about that one, but like I said, the list is lean this year.  I will give How to be A Gentleman a shot.  It stars David Hornsby, Rickety Cricket from Sunny and Entourage's Kevin Dillon.  MTV's infamous Beavis and Butthead will also be returning this fall.  Remember them?  Huh huh...he he...

There are actually some promising shows set to debut midseason this year.  JJ Abrams is producing another series titled Alcatraz, starring Jorge Garcia (Hurley from Lost).  Kiefer Sutherland will return to TV in the series Touch, by Heroes creator Tim Kring.  Jack Bauer with superpowers!

Anyway, the tricky thing with all the new shows is that I have yet to even see previews for them, so at this point, I'm going solely off of descriptions and star power.  We'll see how it all shapes out.  Here's my schedule below.

The Simpsons, Fox 9/25
Family Guy, Fox 9/25
Boardwalk Empire, HBO 9/25
Dexter, Showtime 10/2
Homeland, Showtime 10/2
The Walking Dead, AMC 10/16
The Firm, NBC midseason

How I Met Your Mother, CBS 9/19
Hawaii Five-O, CBS 9/19
Alcatraz, Fox midseason

Ringer, CW 9/13
Apartment 23, ABC midseason

Law & Order: SVU, NBC 9/21
Revenge, ABC 9/21*
Happy Endings, ABC 9/28

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FX 9/15
Person of Interest, CBS 9/22
The Office, 9/22*
Whitney, 9/22*
How To Be A Gentleman, CBS 9/29
Beavis and Butthead, MTV 10/27
30 Rock, NBC midseason

Fringe, Fox 9/23

Touch, Fox midseason

* denotes 2 episode probationary period
shows in italics are new

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