The TV season is nearly year-round these days… But since I don’t expect you to watch TV live, I mean we’ve all got places to be and commercials to avoid, here’s a handy guide of where and when to find new episodes from your favorite TV shows. Scroll down for network-by-network information. [Updated: February 2016]
New TV Shows on Sunday Nights
Sunday nights are jam-packed with returning network staples this year. Only ABC is using the night to launch a new series – Betrayal, which will air at 10pm, after Revenge. It seems that ABC is sticking with the counter-programming strategy against football.
On Sunday nights FOX must subscribe to the ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ motto since The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, and American Dad all return.
Although it won’t happen until Fall 2014, there’s a Family Guy Simpsons crossover episode to look forward to. Apparently Seth MacFarlane’s Griffin family will be taking a road trip to Springfield.
A Night of Drama
Joining Betrayal on Sunday nights are Once Upon a Time, Revenge, The Good Wife, and The Mentalist.
As a fan of Revenge I was particularly pleased to hear that the new showrunner plans to simplify season 3 by cutting back on the numerous nonsensical subplots and to focus more on the revenging.
However, I’ve got less good news for fans of The Mentalist, apparently this season will be the last for Amanda Righetti and Owain Yeoman a.k.a. special agents Grace Van Pelt and Wayne Rigsby.
One last fun fact about Sunday night TV – with the exception of Sunday Night Football on NBC, all other TV shows will return September 29th. Better make room on your DVR, I told you it was going to be a busy night.
New TV Shows on Friday Nights
Friday night is notoriously a mellow evening reserved for the quiet yet consistent performers, series in their final seasons, and all sorts of other odds-and-ends that don’t pair well with anything else in the network’s’ line-up.
Just two new-ish shows will debut on Fridays this fall:
- MasterChef Junior
MasterChef and Gordon Ramsay certainly aren’t new to the FOX network, but MasterChef Junior is the newest addition to this franchise and will feature contestants between the ages of 8-13 years old. Mostly I’m assuming that this cooking competition will put my cooking skills to shame.
According to NBC, this version of Dracula is a, “sophisticated and sexy take on Bram Stoker’s classic novel…” so that should tell you right away whether or not this series is for you. Also, in this reincarnation, Dracula will be working alongside Van Helsing.
Don’t Forget to DVR These Returning Favorites
There’s a little something for everyone on Fridays this fall. Returning scripted series include The Carrie Diaries, Grimm, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, The Neighbors, and Last Man Standing.
Nikita’s Final Season
Although no official return date has been announced, the CW’s little-show-that-could is expected to return to the TV schedule later this fall. My guess is that Nikita will return for its fourth season and final six episodes after America’s Next Top Model completes its current cycle.
New TV Shows on Thursday Nights
The Thursday night comedy blocks for NBC and CBS will look pretty different this fall as five new comedies join the prime time line-up.
- Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
- The Millers
- The Crazy Ones
- Welcome to the Family
- Sean Saves the World
- The Michael J. Fox Show
The Millers featuring Will Arnett and The Crazy Ones, which stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and Robin Williams will be sandwiched by some of CBS’s biggest sitcom performers – Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.
With The Office and 30 Rock gone, NBC had a lot of rebuilding to do, which is why three new sitcoms will be joining Parks and Recreation on Thursday nights – Welcome to the Family, Sean Saves the World starring Sean Hayes, and The Michael J. Fox Show.
New Show Most Least Likely to Be Cancelled
My pick is The Millers, mostly because Will Arnett’s last two broadcast sitcoms didn’t exactly succeed.
The Game Plan for Glee
With the unfortunate and unexpected passing of Cory Monteith, the creative team of Glee has had to do some scrambling. But with the blessing of Lea Michele the show will go (probably for another two seasons).
The 5th season of Glee will premier on September 26th, a week later than originally scheduled. The first two episodes back will be a 2-parter revolving around the music of The Beatles. The third episode of the season will then address the passing of Monteith and the character of Finn. And then after that episode, the show will go on hiatus for a bit to figure out what’s next for McKinley High School’s glee club members and alumni.
Who’s Coming & Going
Come mid-season, Parks and Recreation will say goodbye to Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe, aka – Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger. While I can see how both characters have run their course, I’ll still miss the Ann and Leslie friendship.
Meanwhile the 10th season of Grey’s Anatomy, which kicks off with a 2-hour premiere on September 26th, will be the last season for Sandra Oh and the character of Dr. Cristina Yang.
And Amber Tamblyn will be joining the cast of Two and a Half Men as Charlie’s lesbian illegitimate daughter. Her role will most likely fill the gap left by Angus T Jones, who will only appear in a recurring role this season.
New TV Shows on Wednesday Nights
- Back in the Game
- Super Fun Night
- The Tomorrow People
For the most part, Wednesday nights this fall are full of established shows and consistent performers for their networks, but four shows are lucky enough to get some strong lead-ins.
Joining ABC’s night of comedy is Back in the Game, which appears to be another family-based sitcom, and Super Fun Night, which I’m mostly looking forward to because it stars Rebel Wilson from Pitch Perfect.
Meanwhile, Ironside will cap off NBC’s Wednesday night line-up. It’s another cop show, but the twist is that the lead detective is in a wheel chair; however, that doesn’t make him any less good at what he does.
Over on The CW, The Tomorrow People should fit in nicely with the escapades of Oliver Queen, as the show is about a group of pretty-looking people with extraordinary abilities fighting evil or something.
New Show I’m Not Betting On
Although I don’t feel strongly about Back in the Game, I’m thinking NBC’s Ironside is the most likely to be short-lived. We all know NBC has been struggling and I don’t know if another cop show is going to be their saving grace. The show’s creator also has a pretty small IMDB list so this one is certainly a wildcard.
New to the Night
Revolution has made the move from Monday nights at 10pm to the family hour in the middle of the week. Creators however promise that Revolution will still be action-packed. I personally remain a bit skeptical about the unfolding plot lines and may drop the show from my watch list.
- Survivor: Blood vs. Water
- The X Factor
Wednesday night is a big night for law enforcement with TV staples like Criminal Minds, CSI, Law & Order: SVU, and now Ironside.
Arrow, The Tomorrow People, and Revolution also hunt down the bad guys, albeit with a bit more brute force and a lot more arrows.
Tuesdays are All-New on ABC:
In a rare move, ABC will be premiering an entire night of new programming starting with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D at 8pm. It seems that ABC is banking on the Marvel brand, the popularity of The Avenger’s movie, and Joss Whedon’s new found mainstream popularity to create a strong lead-in for Tuesday night’s primetime schedule – I personally hope it succeeds.
At 9pm they’ll try a new duo of comedies: The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife. If you recall, last season, Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 and Happy Endings failed to find a sizable audience in the same time slots. I really enjoyed both of those shows so I’m feeling pretty nonchalant about their replacements’ success.
Lucky 7 caps the night off in the 10pm time slot. Out of all of the new ABC Tuesday night shows I have the least amount of faith in this one.
Other New Tuesday Night TV Shows:
FOX will be debuting two new comedies. Brooklyn Nine-Nine starring Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, and Fred Armison, which looks like it could be amusing; however, Dads is this year’s new show that begs the question, “How did this ever get the go-ahead?”
Meanwhile The CW will stick with its moderately successful formula of supernatural remakes/re-tellings/adaptations with The Originals, a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries. The show will be airing on Tuesday nights but will make its network debut on Thursday October 3rd at 9pm, following the 4th season premier of The Vampire Diaries.
New Show I Hope Will Fail Miserably:
Seriously just watch the current FOX promo for Dads. The show was created by Seth MacFarlane though, so I might be out-of-luck since he’s got a good track record of success – i.e. Animation Domination.
Returning Show I’m Most Excited About:
- New Girl
The second season of New Girl was excellent, so I cannot wait to see what kind of hijinks Jess, Cece, Nick, Schmitt, and Winston get themselves into this year. Also Coach is set to return for a handful of episodes. Should be fun.
- The Biggest Loser
- The Voice
# of Shows Staring Joss Whedon Alumni:
If you’re seeing a pattern develop here then you’d be correct, next week I’ll be taking a look at Wednesdays’ new and returning TV shows.
New Monday Night TV Shows:
- We Are Men
- Sleepy Hollow
- The Blacklist
Despite generally playing it safe, mostly because they can, CBS is making the biggest moves on Monday night this year with the debut of three new series. Two of which, We Are Men & Mom, will join their powerhouse Monday night comedy block. (I can’t stand shows with laugh tracks and I’ve never fallen in love with any of Chuck Lorre’s other series, but Mom stars Anna Farris so I might have to give it a shot.)
After two hours of laughter, CBS switches gears with Hostages, which will anchor the night at 10pm. The title might not include the acronym CSI, but the series is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and stars some big names like Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott.
FOX and NBC have kept more seasoned and consistent performers around in an effort to create strong lead-ins for their newbies. FOX is taking a gamble on a re-telling of the classic Sleepy Hollow story while NBC has opted for a less fantastical drama with The Blacklist staring James Spader.
New Show Most Likely to Fail:
From what I’ve seen, this series reminds me a lot of the other high-concept TV shows that aimed big and fell short. Also, I just don’t see how this plot can be stretched out over more than one season – the creative team has even had clarify that this show is not meant to be a miniseries. But of course I also feel that way about Under the Dome and that series is pulling in decent numbers and just received a second season pick-up, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Bidding Adieu – The Final Season:
- How I Met Your Mother
It’s only taken 9 seasons, but Ted finally gets to the point of the story in this final order of episodes.
- Dancing With the Stars
- The Voice
Same Old, Same Old:
- ABC: Dancing With the Stars & Castle
- The CW: Hart of Dixie & Beauty & The Beast
Monday nights are risk-averse for ABC and The CW. However, both Hart of Dixie and Beauty & The Beast are new to the night, although given how often The CW show’s are time-shifted these moves will probably have little to no affect on their live ratings.
# of Shows Staring Joss Whedon Alumni:
Next week I’ll be talking about Tuesday night’s new Fall TV line-up so keep an eye out for that post.