Fall Television Preview

Summer goes by fast. Warm weather and short sleeves are almost over for another year and flip flops, normally reserved for feet in the sand, will revert back to what we refer to when a politician changes position on an issue.

Truthfully, the only lengthy thing about summer is the wait for fall television shows to return and this season is going to be quite an array of fun. There are some favorites coming back and some new programs that will quickly find an audience.


“The Simpsons” on FOX is returning with the voice-cast IN PLACE. This is big news, since negotiations seemed to have fallen apart over the last year. This animated series is back, starting Sunday, September 27, at 8 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: DVR

Homer Simpson

My wife loves “Once Upon A Time.” The series is brilliantly cast, the story is ever-changing and the characters are masters of developing, from good to evil and back. Now, we are seeing Merida coming to the series, as well as dark Emma, changing the entire idea of what we’ve seen the first four seasons! “Once Upon A Time” returns for Season 5 Sunday, September 27, at 8 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH

If you were a fan of “Dallas” on TNT, you definitely have a hole in your heart since the series was prematurely cancelled by the network (which I still haven’t forgiven) last year. Thankfully, ABC has a similar program, starring Don Johnson and Chase Crawford called “Blood & Oil” that is set in North Dakota, where a family faces off against a cruel oil tycoon. The series is set to premiere on Sunday, September 27, at 9 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH


“The Voice” makes its return with a different lineup (again) with Gwen Stefani returning to join Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine and the newly single Blake Shelton. You can catch the returning NBC singing competition on Monday, September 21, at 8 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: DVR

One of the most watched shows on television is “The Big Bang Theory.” The geek-friendly show has lost some of its shine, but the cast is good and the opportunity is there to bring the story back to the premise that originally made the show great. This year, the boys with be making a road trip to Mexico. Hopefully, CBS won’t be moving the show to a different night again, which also didn’t help. The series returns Monday, September 21 with TWO NEW episodes, back-to-back, starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH

“Gotham” wasn’t what I expected, therefore, I gave up on it early on. I regretted that decision and had to go back and catch up on what I had missed. The show really picked up the pace late in the season and captured a vibe all its own. The new season gives us a more sinister Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), as well as a now crazy E. Nygma/Riddler (Cory Michael Smith). The Bat-Cave is now in play, the Joker is on his way, Detective Gordon is angry and the city of Gotham is witnessing the birth of villains with the worst of intentions. “Gotham” returns Monday, September 21, 8 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH


The Muppets

“The Muppets” on ABC isn’t quite the same as you remember. Miss Piggy has moved on from her relationship with Kermit and is now (possibly) dating Liam Hemsworth, while Kermit is dating another pig. He definitely has a type. The structure of the show is set up more like ‘Modern Family,’ in that it has cut-aways to an interview-type of camera work. This means that we can see our Muppet friends break the fourth wall and talk directly to the camera. Watch the ABC premiere on Tuesday, September 22, at 8PM Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back for a third season on ABC and some major changes. Director Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Agent Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) are searching for more people with powers. Inhumans will have a part in keeping them from finding those people. The new season starts Tuesday, September 29, at 9PM. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: DVR

Everything old is new again! Fred Savage from “The Wonder Years” is back on television, opposite Rob Lowe from “Parks and Rec”, in FOX’s new series, “The Grinder.” Savage is an attorney, while Lowe is an actor who plays an attorney, in an all-star comedic cast. Look for Christina Applegate later in the season! FOX’s “The Grinder” premieres Tuesday, September 29, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: DVR

“Fresh Off the Boat” also returns on Tuesdays, this fall. Though it had a slow start last year, the ’90’s throwback series, following the Huang family, is above average and deserves to find a solid audience. Based somewhat loosely on the memoir of famed chef, Eddie Huang, the series a great representation of the life of a preteen immigrant and how he deals with moving to a new state. A great use of ’90’s hiphop music sets this show apart. ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” returns Tuesday, September 22, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH

The CW is a booming network! They’ve found quite the support with their new shows and will continue to build on it this season. “The Flash” is one that really surprised fans because, even though there were cliffhangers, events actually played out and jaw dropping surprises were present in nearly every episode. Since last season’s S.T.A.R. Labs team no longer has a leader, look for The Flash to try to go solo, in an effort to avoid hurting the ones he loves. This fresh, exciting series comes back Tuesday, October 6, at 8 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH

If you were a fan of zombies and a fan of “Veronica Mars” and a fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” then “iZombie” is probably already on your watch list. It’s a detective style comedy/action mystery series that breathes fresh air into a saturated zombie market. The CW series returns for its second season on Tuesday, October 6, at 9 p.m.Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: DVR


“The Mysteries of Laura” was on the chopping block last year with ratings that seemed to lead many to believe it wouldn’t see a second season. It’s back, though and may potentially find its footing with a new year. Speculation of guest stars, like last season’s Melissa Joan Hart, may add to the enthusiasm NBC had for this cross-over comedy/action/drama. The return date is Wednesday, September 23, at 8 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: DVR

“Arrow” is another “DC Comics” series that the CW airs, along the same lines as “The Flash.” Arrow is based on the “Green Arrow” comic book and has an incredible social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t expect it to make a lot of sense, unless you start from the beginning of the series. It’s a good time for you to go back and watch last season online, before the new season starts on Wednesday, October 7, at 8 p.m.Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: DVR

Wednesday night comedy belongs to ABC, so grab the popcorn, a soda, sit back and prop your feet up with the family. From 8PM until 10PM, there’s no reason to turn the channel.
Starting at 8 p.m., “The Middle” is back with a seventh season! Who doesn’t love Sue Heck? It’s the middle of the United States, during the middle of the week and middle child, Sue (Eden Sher) is starting college and Axl (Charlie McDermott) has to deal with having his sister even closer than before. That means Frankie (2 time Emmy winner Patricia Heaton) and Mike Heck (Neil Flynn) are home with one child, Brick (Atticus Shaffer). Wednesday, September 23, at 8 p.m. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH


The Goldbergs

If you’re not watching “The Goldbergs,” we probably wouldn’t get along. It’s the funniest show since “Arrested Development” and the entire cast is perfectly cast for this ’80’s stroll down Memory Lane. Set in Pennsylvania, the series is narrated by Patton Oswalt and is seen through the eyes of young teen, Adam Goldberg (Sean Giambrone). It’s like an more modern version of “The Wonder Years,” only funny. The series returns Wednesday, September 23, at 8:30 p.m.on ABC. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH

“Modern Family” has become a staple of ABC’s comedy lineup. We’ve watched the kids grow up, been a part of the weddings and taken vacations with the family. It was a groundbreaking way to present a comedy series, almost like a documentary comedy, with interviews and asides. Now that another Alex Dunphy (Ariel Winter) has graduated high school and her sister, Haley (Sarah Hyland) has a job, the audience gets to see a new direction for “Modern Family,” which should open doors of opportunity to see new guest stars. The series returns Wednesday, September 23, at 9 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH

“Black-ish” was a hit in its opening season, last year and returns this season with Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. This fun series tackles tons of hard issues, from racism to dating, with a mix of old school and modern parenting. This is one of the funniest ensemble casts on television! This season, rumor has it that the show will be tackling “The N-Word.” The series returns Wednesday, September 23, at 9:30 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH

Comedy Central has a long-running animated series you may have heard of. It seems the seasons of “South Park” get shorter every year, but the anticipation is always high and they don’t disappoint. The new season begins Wednesday, September 16, at 10 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: DVR

The hottest show of last year is returning for a second season. While I couldn’t get into it at all, “Empire” is undoubtedly the biggest hit FOX has ever had. The season premiere for “Empire” is Wednesday, September 23, at 9 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: (If you’re already a fan) WATCH


NBC had a potentially exciting premise for a television show several years ago called “Heroes.” There was an amazing cast, a solid fanbase going in and a good time slot. The problem was, nothing happened. It dragged on, without mercy, until it vanished. For whatever reason, NBC is bringing it back in the form of “Heroes Reborn,” only without the biggest stars and the fanbase. The premiere of this NBC series is Thursday, September 24, at 8 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: SKIP

In keeping with its decline in caring, NBC doesn’t have much to offer this fall. One bright spot will be a favorite, “The Blacklist.” We’ll see a different attitude from Liz this year, as she has just discovered that she was the one responsible for the death of her father. Now she is the prey instead of the hunter. You can follow Raymond “Red” Reddington starting Thursday, September 24, at 9 p.m.  Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH


NBC used to be the go-to for comedies, particularly sitcoms. “Undateable,” unfortunately doesn’t hit the mark. The series is on Friday nights, which is a great timeslot for a show that is slowly sliding off the radar. Never fear, the cast is good enough to land other shows very quickly. If you’re hoping to see this show, catch it while you can. “Undateable” returns Friday, October 16, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: SKIP

“Grimm” has a supportive fanbase that has kept it alive and an online community that rivals most other shows on network TV. It’s not for everyone’s taste, so a wide audience isn’t going to be reached, but a loyal one will. “Grimm” returns Friday, October 30, at 9 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: (die hard fans) WATCH

“Community” fans rejoice! Ken Jeong is returning to network television in a new ABC comedy, “Dr. Ken.” The doc has absolutely zero bedside manner, but he’s fortunate to have married a therapist, who might keep him from surgically sewing his foot in his mouth. “Kids In the Hall” and “The Middle” star, Dave Foley will also star in the series, along with Suzy Nakamura from “According to Jim” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The premiere is Friday, October 2, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. WATCH, DVR, or SKIP? VERDICT: WATCH



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