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September 1, 2014

What To Watch: TV Picks for Sept 19-25

by Laura Prudom, posted Sep 18th 2011 2:00PM
Two and a Half MenNote: Since this is officially "premiere week," with dozens of new and returning shows airing, I'm emphasizing the "picks" portion of the title and only spotlighting a selection of the most noteworthy offerings. For a full listing of new and returning shows and their timeslots, check out our fall premiere grid or alphabetized list to plan your schedule.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

'Eureka' (8PM ET, SyFy)
season finale
After a controversial summer which saw the renewal and subsequent surprise cancellation of the series, the show's fourth season comes to a close with a dramatic episode guest-starring Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton. A special holiday episode will air in December before 'Eureka' returns for its final season next year.

'Two and a Half Men' (9PM ET, CBS) season premiere
'2 Broke Girls' (9:30PM ET, CBS) series premiere
One is a comedy I've never seen, the other is one of my favorite comedies of the fall -- guess which is which? Though I've never sat through an episode of 'Two and a Half Men' before, I can't deny that I'm curious to see how the long-running Chuck Lorre comedy will reinvent itself post-Charlie Sheen -- with the addition of Ashton Kutcher, it has the potential to be either an epic comeback, or an epic trainwreck (check out AOL TV's exclusive interview with Kutcher, Cryer and Jones here). More of a sure thing, however, is the charming '2 Broke Girls,' one of my favorite comedy pilots of the season. Centered around a bristly Brooklynite and a Park Avenue princess, the risqué comedy had me laughing out loud for the majority of the episode, which is more than can be said for a lot of the new sitcoms this year ...

'Castle' (10PM ET, ABC) season premiere
Detective Beckett fights for her life as Castle, plagued by guilt over his role in the events, struggles to uncover who's behind her brutal shooting. Meanwhile, back at the precinct, Ryan and Esposito have to adjust, as Victoria "Iron" Gates becomes the precinct's new uncompromising Captain.

'The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (11:59PM ET, HBO) special presentation
As the 'DADT' law's repeal goes into effect, HBO tells the strange-but-true tale of the US military's ban on gays and lesbians from its implementation, through passionate protests and debates, to its 2011 repeal. Filmed during the final 15 months of the law, the special interweaves archival news footage and interviews with key players, from policy experts to Pentagon personnel, as well as personal accounts by a number of actively serving gay soldiers (obscured from the camera because speaking about their sexual orientation violated Don't Ask, Don't Tell). The special will be reaired on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 8PM ET if you miss the first showing.



TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

'Glee' (8PM ET, Fox)
season premiere
After an ... inconsistent second season (to put it lightly) the tumultuous high school dramedy returns for a third year with a whole host of new writers (including 'Buffy' alum Marti Noxon), and the promise of a more focused narrative. Will the pop-culture sensation be able to recapture the magic of the first half of season one? We'll find out, starting tonight.

'Ringer' (9PM ET, The CW)
Though the reviews (and ratings) for Sarah Michelle Gellar's return to TV were less than stellar last week, I'm far more interested in whether the intriguing premise can build some momentum and expand on the mysteries it established in the pilot, now that all of the pieces are in place. A mystery show can't be judged purely by its first episode, so I hope viewers will give the series a second chance to impress them before it's taken out to the woodshed (and that there are no more boating scenes).

'New Girl' (9PM ET, Fox) series premiere
Zooey Deschanel has charmed many critics with her peppy new pilot, but will that translate to a wider audience? Either you'll love her adorable pixie routine or you'll find the whole thing entirely grating, but the pilot offers some genuine laughs, mostly due to the strong trio of guys that Deschanel's Jess improbably moves in with after a bad break-up. Don't get too attached to Damon Wayans Jr., though -- he'll be gone after the pilot, since his hilarious comedy 'Happy Endings' was renewed for a second season.

'Sons of Anarchy' (10PM ET, FX)
SAMCRO encounters an unlikely foe when a piece of their business goes missing.

'Awkward' (11:30PM ET, MTV)
This show is consistently worth staying up late for -- even when 'Teen Mom' bumps it back a half hour. After Matty invites her out for a real date, Jenna finally starts feeling like she and the jock are on solid ground ... at least until Tamara reveals a dark suspicion about him.



WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

'The X Factor' (8PM ET, Fox) series premiere
Simon Cowell brings his alternative to 'Idol' to US shores, and he's reuniting with Paula Abdul to do it. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll be truly horrified during this two-hour premiere, but there's some genuine talent to be found in the first of the audition rounds. L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones also star.

Modern Family'Modern Family' (9PM ET, ABC) season premiere
The first episode in a double bill sees America's new favorite dysfunctional family take a trip to a dude ranch in Wyoming where things go predictably awry, culminating in a showdown between Jay and a cowboy. In the second episode, Cam and Mitchell plan to announce that they're looking to adopt another baby, but Lily has other ideas.

'Revenge' (10PM ET, ABC) series premiere
Emily VanCamp stars as a seemingly sweet new neighbor who returns to the Hamptons to seek revenge against the scheming socialites who sent her father to prison for a crime he didn't commit. It's always the quiet ones ...



THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

'Community' (8PM ET, NBC)
season premiere
'Parks and Recreation' (8.30PM ET, NBC) season premiere
Prepare your DVR for a workout on Thursday nights -- it's a scarily competitive schedule. NBC boasts an awesome comedy duo from 8PM, with the return of the utterly genius 'Community' featuring guest appearances from John Goodman and Michael K. Williams (Omar from 'The Wire'!), before we meet Ron Swanson's terrifying first wife, Tammy One (Patricia Clarkson) on a new 'Parks and Rec.'

'The Big Bang Theory' (8PM ET, CBS) season premiere
Over on CBS, the gang must deal with the nuclear fallout from Raj and Penny's drunken hook up, while Leonard must examine his feelings for Penny and his continuing relationship with Priya.

'Person of Interest' (9PM ET, CBS) series premiere
The most interesting new procedural of the season, this thriller sees Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson teaming up to prevent violent crimes using technology and vigilante justice. It's produced by J.J. Abrams and 'The Dark Knight' writer Jonathan Nolan -- what more do you need?

'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' (10PM ET, FX)
Dee and Dennis take the gang to their favorite childhood vacation spot where things aren't quite how they remember. While Dee and Dennis see the seedy side of the Jersey Shore, Mac, Frank and Charlie have the nights of their lives. Watch out, Snooki.



FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

'Nikita' (8PM ET, The CW)
season premiere
The sophomore spy drama returns with a literal bang (or two) as Alex tries to track down Nikita and Michael, who are now on the run with a black box containing all of Division's dirty secrets. There's plenty of action, romance and ass-kicking to go around, but there's also a welcome injection of humor, mostly thanks to Birkhoff.

Castiel
'Supernatural' (9PM ET, The CW) season premiere
Castiel has declared himself God, so now what? After an agonizingly long summer, I'm hoping the seventh season premiere will provide some long-awaited answers, as Sam and Dean try to utilize Death to stop Castiel from meting out his own brand of divine justice to those he deems sinful.

'Fringe' (9PM ET, Fox) season premiere
Just one week after Peter Bishop saved the day and was then wiped from existence, the truce between the two worlds remains intact and the two sides are forced to work together. Lincoln Lee joins the Fringe team as they investigate a shapeshifter case that is very personal to him.

'Blue Bloods' (10PM ET, CBS) season premiere
When a supporter for the mayor elect is found dead, Frank is put on the spot when the mayor wants him to position it to the public as a random act of violence. Meanwhile, Jamie goes undercover at a bar and meets a suspicious patron.



SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

'Saturday Night Live' (11.30PM ET, NBC)
season premiere
Alec Baldwin hosts with musical guests Radiohead in the 37th season premiere of the hit sketch show.



SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

'The Simpsons' (8PM ET, Fox)
season premiere
The 23rd season kicks off with Homer befriending Wayne (guest voice Kiefer Sutherland), a reserved security guard recently hired by the nuclear power plant. Plagued by violent flashbacks from his past as a CIA agent, he must overcome his tortured nightmares to save Homer from a Ukranian terrorist. Meanwhile, Marge fantasizes about being a contestant on 'Top Chef.'

'The Good Wife' (9PM ET, CBS) season premiere
One of the smartest, most consistently compelling dramas on network TV returns for its third season on a new night, and if you haven't joined the bandwagon yet, now is the perfect time to hop on board. While the staff at Lockhart/Gardner adjust to new realities and relationships, Alicia must put aside distractions in her personal life to defend a Muslim student accused of murdering a Jewish classmate.

'Pan Am' (10PM ET, ABC) series premiere
ABC's jet-setting drama sees Christina Ricci take to the skies as one of the stewardesses on the maiden flight of a new Pan Am plane. This intriguing pilot is nothing like what you'd expect (and nothing like 'Mad Men,' which isn't a bad thing) but undeniably entertaining, blending romance, history and espionage while making you long for the days when air travel was practically a vacation in itself.



What will you be watching this week? Are you planning on giving any new pilots (or returning shows) a try?

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shadowracer

No Up all Night or Whitney? Those are both terrific... if you want whatever the opposite of laughter is.
Whitney is like something that time traveled out of the 90's to show you how not funny anything can be. It's soul suckingly bad. Up all Night is just a waste of talent.

September 18 2011 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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