The month of September is known for casting the winds of change — and with them, new beginnings. For many, September marks the start of another school year or even a new job. For a few others, though, this month means so much more: the start of another groundbreaking season of primetime television. This week, the answers and resolutions that we’ve been yearning for since May’s burning finales, as well as the pilots of promising new series, will start to hit our TV screens.
Of the 25 new series making their debuts this month, there are a few worth mentioning. The CW’s reboot of Fox’s teen hit of the nineties 90210 will feature a fresh cast of young faces. Produced by the people behind cult favorite Freaks and Geeks, 90210 promises to be this season’s hit teen soap, following in the shoes of Gossip Girl, and now defunct THE O.C.
If pesky angst-ridden teen dramas aren’t your thing, consider checking out Fox’s Fringe, produced by the mastermind behind Lost, Alias, and Cloverfield: J. J. Abrams. Cast with a serious X-Files tone, the mysterious deaths of an entire plane full of people and the disturbing cause are at the center of Finge‘s eerie plot. This show is expected to be Fox’s breakout hit this season, comparable to NBC’s premiere season of Heroes two years ago.
When it comes to returning series, a handful of television’s greatest treasures tend to become overshadowed and undeservedly cast aside by the more established and even over-appreciated shows like HEROES, THE OFFICE, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES or GREY’S ANATOMY (to name only a few).
One such treasure is the uncharacteristically charming story of Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), a less than successful college dropout who works at Geek Squad competitor, the Nerd Herd. Life for the hapless Chuck turns an interesting corner when a highly classified government database is inadvertently downloaded into his brain, and Special Agents Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and Casey (Adam Baldwin) scramble to protect him and the secrets he holds.
The draw to watch Chuck, now starting its second season, doesn’t necessarily come from its unique premise, but stems from the producers’ ability to creatively fuse comedy, action, mystery, and even romance utilizing characters who are endearing and likeable. From Chuck’s amusing and dopey co-workers at the Nerd Herd right up to his cheerfully optimistic brother-in-law, nicknamed “Captain Awesome,” the cast is solid and brightens up each and every scene.
Due to last year’s unfortunate writers’ strike, Chuck‘s first season was forced to be cut short and end early, which crippled their ability to create a solid group of loyal viewers. Because of this, producers have planned to infuse this season premiere with as much excitement and fervor as a pilot, giving viewers the perfect opportunity to jump on board Chuck‘s crazy and exciting ride which takes off on Monday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. on NBC.
ABC’s Pushing Daisies brings viewers into the bright and colorful world of Ned (Lee Pace) the Piemaker, who finds himself with a strange ability to bring people back from the dead. With such a great cast (Anna Friel, Kristin Chenoweth, Chi McBride, Swoosie Kurtz), creatively written stories, and masterfully bringing elements of mystery, humor, and cutesy romance together in such a visually stunning way, Pushing Daisies was one of last season’s sleepiest treasures and returns Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. on ABC.
Gaining much more traction with viewers last season after winning the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, NBC’s 30 rock still hasn’t received the love and attention The Office continues to receive. Characters like the neurotic Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), out-of-his-mind comic Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), overly sweet and naive page Kenneth (Jack McBrayer), and the full-of-himself network executive Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) are what make this show one of the funniest and most clever comedies on TV this season. The laughter begins on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. on NBC.
To uncover these gems, there’s no need to go hunting for them in some jungle, or searching for them at the bottom of an ocean — you need only turn on your TV. And what better time than September to discover your new favorite show??
SEASON PREMIERE SCHEDULE
MONDAY, SEPT. 1
“Gossip Girl” (CW), 8 p.m.
“Prison Break” (FOX), 8 p.m., two-hour premiere
“One Tree Hill” (CW), 9 p.m.
“Raising the Bar” (TNT), 10 p.m.*
TUESDAY, SEPT. 2
“90210” (CW), 8 p.m., two-hour premiere*
“The Shield” (FX), 10 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 3
“America’s Next Top Model” (CW), 8 p.m., two-hour premiere
“Bones” (FOX), 8 p.m., two-hour premiere
SUNDAY, SEPT. 7
“Entourage” (HBO), 10 p.m.
MONDAY, SEPT. 8
“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” (FOX), 8 p.m.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 9
“Fringe” (FOX), 8 p.m., two-hour premiere
SATURDAY, SEPT. 13
“MADtv” (FOX), 11 p.m.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 16
“House” (FOX), 8 p.m.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 18
“Smallville” (CW), 8 p.m.
“Supernatural” (CW), 9 p.m.
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (FX), 10 p.m.
MONDAY, SEPT. 22
“Dancing with the Stars” (ABC), 8 p.m., two-hour performance premiere
“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS), 8 p.m.
“How I Met Your Mother” (CBS), 8:30 p.m.
“Heroes” (NBC), 9 p.m., two-hour premiere
“Two and a Half Men” (CBS), 9 p.m.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 25
“My Name Is Earl” (NBC), 8 p.m., one-hour premiere
“Ugly Betty” (ABC), 8 p.m.
“Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), 9 p.m., two-hour premiere
“The Office” (NBC), 9 p.m., one-hour premiere
“ER” (NBC), 10 p.m.)
SUNDAY, SEPT. 28
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (ABC), 7 p.m., two-hour premiere
“The Amazing Race” (CBS), 8 p.m.
“The Simpsons” (FOX), 8 p.m.
“King of the Hill” (FOX), 8:30 p.m.
“Desperate Housewives” (ABC), 9 p.m.
“Dexter” (Showtime), 9 p.m.
“Family Guy” (FOX), 9 p.m.
“American Dad” (FOX), 9:30 p.m.
“Brothers & Sisters” (ABC), 10 p.m.
“The Unit” (CBS), 10 p.m.
MONDAY, SEPT. 29
“Chuck” (NBC), 8 p.m.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 30
“Dancing with the Stars: Results show” (ABC), 9 p.m., regular day and time premiere
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 1
“Pushing Daisies” (ABC), 8 p.m.
“Private Practice” (ABC), 9 p.m.
“DIrty Sexy Money” (ABC), 10 p.m.
FRIDAY, OCT. 3
“Everybody Hates Chris” (CW), 8 p.m.
“Life” (NBC), 10 p.m.
MONDAY, OCT. 6
“Samantha Who?” (ABC), 9:30 p.m.
THURSDAY, OCT. 9
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (CBS), 9 p.m.
“Life on Mars” (ABC), 10 p.m.*
MONDAY, OCT. 13
“My Own Worst Enemy” (NBC), 10 p.m.*
FRIDAY, OCT. 17
“Crusoe” (NBC), 8 p.m., two-hour premiere*
THURSDAY, OCT. 30
“30 Rock” (NBC), 8:30 p.m.