Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall 2011 TV Lineup

Labor Day has come and gone, the air outside is getting (a little) cooler and all the kiddies are back at school. That can only mean one thing: Fall TV is back!

With the series premiere of Up All Night with Will Arnett and Christina Applegate, tonight begins the barrage of season and series premieres that will flood our DVRs over the next few weeks. From new shows like New Girl and Terra Nova to returning favorites like Glee, Modern Family and The Amazing Race, it looks like this is going to be one heckuva busy television season.

If you're wondering how to sift through the massive long guide on your cable box to pick out the perfect schedule, look no further! Here are the shows I'll be tuning into this fall:

8-8:30pm How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - Starts Sept 19 (two new episodes)
8-9pm Terra Nova (FOX) - Starts Sept 26
8-10pm The Sing-Off (NBC) - Starts Sept 19

After the announcement that How I Met Your Mother would continue through at least Season 8, there's been much speculation about how many answers we should really be expecting from the show. Will we ever meet the mother, or are we just building ourselves up to be disappointed? Fortunately, this isn't Lost we're talking about and Season 6 was certainly a huge improvement from Season 5. It will be interesting to see how The Sing-Off transitions from a three-week special to a permanent part of the primetime lineup. With more a cappella groups than ever and the departure of judge Nicole Scherzinger (she's been replaced by Sara Bareilles!), I have high hopes that it will do just fine. Of course, the big arrival to Monday nights is Terra Nova, FOX's huge (and much delayed) project about time travel, dinosaurs and saving mankind. Hopefully it's more Jurassic Park meets Lost than The Event meets Flash Forward.  
8-9pm Glee (FOX) - Starts Sept 20
9-9:30pm New Girl (FOX) - Starts Sept 20
9:30-10pm Raising Hope (FOX) - Starts Sept 20
10-11pm Mad Fashion (Bravo) - Starts Oct 4
11-11:30pm Awkward. (MTV) - Currently Airing

FOX pretty much owns my Tuesdays nights. Glee will hopefully recover from its sophomore slump and return to its previous glory—look for my Season 3 wishlist next week. Zoey Deschanel's New Girl (pictured above) is the new comedy everyone has been talking about. I downloaded the pilot for free on iTunes and I can tell you two things: 1) I loved it; 2) if you don't like Zoey Deschanel, you will hate this show. It relies a lot on whether or not you think the (500) Days of Summer star is a cute dork or an insufferable weirdo. And while I only tuned in every once in a while to the first season of Raising Hope, I'm adding it to the DVR and giving it a second chance. The night wraps up with Bravo's new reality show Mad Fashion starring Project Runway Season 4's Chris March and—at least until its October finale—the new MTV show Awkward. which I'm slightly embarrassed to be watching but highly recommend it to you all. It's like Undressed meets Gossip Girl (see, I told you it was embarrassing). 
8-8:30pm Up All Night (NBC) - Starts Sept 14 (at 10pm), Regular Time Slot Sept 21
9-9:30pm Modern Family (ABC) - Starts Sept 21 (one-hour premiere)
9:30-10pm Happy Endings (ABC) - Starts Sept 28

Tonight is the series premiere of Up All Night, starring Will Arnett and Christina Applegate as new parents. Along with New Girl it's one of the more promising new shows of the season and it also stars the always-hilarious Maya Rudolph. It's airing at 10pm after the America's Got Talent finale, but its normal time slot is at 8pm which will begin next week. Then over at ABC is the one-two punch of Modern Family and Happy Endings, and I cannot wait for both of these shows to be back. If only Cougar Town was still a part of this Wednesday line-up! More on that in a bit.
8-8:30pm The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - Starts Sept 22 (two new episodes)
8-8:30pm Community (NBC) - Starts Sept 22
8:30-9pm Parks and Recreation (NBC) - Starts Sept 22
9-9:30pm The Office (NBC) - Starts Sept 22
9-10pm Grey's Anatomy (ABC) - Starts Sept 22 (two-hour premiere)
9-10:30pm Project Runway (Lifetime) - Currently Airing
10-11pm The Millionaire Matchmaker (Bravo) - Currently Airing
10:30-11pm Archer (FX) - Starts Sept 15 (special three-week run)

As always, Thursdays is the busiest night of television for me. NBC's Thursday night lineup starts with the consistently amazing Community and Parks and Recreation, which go up against The Big Bang Theory over on CBS. Then my DVR explodes for an hour or so, but thankfully it will settle down soon. Project Runway and The Millionaire Matchmaker are in the middle of their seasons and will be winding up by the end of October, and Archer's fall appearance will be a short-lived three-episode arc before Season 3 premieres in January. That will leave some breathing room for Grey's Anatomy, which will hopefully continue the renewed quality from last season, and a Steve Carrell-less The Office, which at this point will need to work hard to stay on the DVR.
8-9pm The Amazing Race (CBS) - Starts Sept 25
9-10pm The Good Wife (CBS) - Starts Sept 25

Sunday nights bring another season of The Amazing Race and a new time slot for The Good Wife, which I am determined to start watching and loving. Don't forget to set your DVRs to record at least one or two hours after the scheduled end time. Sunday night football always gets in the way of these shows, and the last thing you want is to sit down to watch The Amazing Race and be staring at Andy Rooney's ear hair on 60 Minutes instead.
You may have noticed a few shows missing from the above lineup, namely 30 Rock and Cougar Town. Well, fear not! I haven't forgotten about these shows—how could I?!—they are set for mid-season premieres. Cougar Town will be airing on Tuesdays at 9pm on ABC once Dancing with the Stars is over, so look for it to premiere the week after Thanksgiving. And due to the birth of Tina Fey's second daughter, 30 Rock won't air until January on NBC. There a few other mid-season premieres I have my eyes on—American Idol (FOX), Apartment 23 (ABC), Awake (NBC), Bent (NBC), G.C.B. (ABC), Smash (NBC)—but we'll talk about those once premiere dates are announced.

I've also left The X-Factor off the list. I love Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, but my Wednesday and Thursday nights are completely booked. If it turns out that the show is a must-see, I may do some rearranging, but for now I'm going to leave it alone.

What shows are you planning on watching, dear readers? Are your Thursdays as jam-packed as mine are? And which shows, old or new, are you most looking forward to?

[Image Source: FOX]

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