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Countdown to Fall TV

Posted: September 9, 2011 6:00 a.m.
Updated: September 9, 2011 6:00 a.m.

One woman is willing to destroy everyone for revenge. “Revenge” stars Madeleine Stowe as Victoria Grayson.

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It's time to put fresh batteries in the remote, program season passes into your DVR and sit back and enjoy a plethora of new television entertainment. At least until the network cancellation axe falls. There will be dinosaurs, Evil Queens, "bunnies," ghosts, funny stuff and "Revenge." Oh, and no Charlie Sheen.

Ten shows to watch

Here's a roundup of the ten most interesting shows for Fall. However, if past experience is any guide, it's unlikely that most of these programs will return for a second season, so enjoy the novelty of the new Fall Television Season while it lasts.
1. "Terra Nova" FOX. Season premiere 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26. This season's "flash in a pan" - "Terra Nova" might be the most eagerly anticipated new show.

Everyone loves dinosaurs, correct?

However, eager anticipation often leads to heightened expectations, which leads to disappointment and the itchy "clicker" finger.

People are funny like that - that which we want so desperately we often discard once we have it. Strange, but true.

2. "2 Broke Girls" CBS. Season premiere 9:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18. This show is laugh out loud funny. I'll be surprised if this show is not the breakout hit of the new season. The series chronicles the lives of two New York (Brooklyn) waitresses - Kat Dennings, who comes from a poor working-class family and Beth Behrs, who was born rich, but is currently down on her luck (think Bernie Madoff's daughter.)

3. "Once Upon a Time" ABC. Season premiere 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23. Snow White, Prince Charming, the Evil Queen and Storybrooke, Maine. Throw in Rumplestiltskin for good measure and this fantasy/drama looks like good television.

4. "The Secret Circle" The CW. Season premiere 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. This supernatural series takes a seemingly ordinary teenage girl (Britt Robertson) who moves to a high school where her new friends turn out to be descended from powerful witches. She soon discovers her own magical powers. Simple, but fun, and something we all wish we secretly had!

5. "Revenge" ABC. Season premiere 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21. It may just be the mood I'm in these days, but I think "Revenge" could just be my cup of tea this season. The drama is loosely based on the Alexandre Dumas novel "The Count of Monte Cristo." It stars Emily VanCamp and Madeleine Stowe.

6. "Pan Am" ABC. Season premiere 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25. Totally retro, "Pan Am" - set in 1963 - stars Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie and Karine Vanasse in a drama about pilots and stewardesses who work for the iconic airline.

7. "Grimm" NBC. Season premiere 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21. Grimm follows Nick (David Guintoli), a man who finds out he's the descendent of a group of hunters called "Grimms" whose job it is to keep humanity safe against various supernatural creatures. The fantasy/drama was shot in Portland, Ore. I'm always a fan of shows shot in my home turf of the Pacific Northwest.

8. "A Gifted Man" CBS. Season premiere 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. This drama stars Patrick Wilson as a brilliant but egocentric surgeon (aren't they all?) whose dead ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle), tries to teach him compassion from her perspective on the other side.

9. "Suburgatory" ABC. Season premiere 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. Okay, this show might just be a little too close to home; however, it shows comedic promise.

Yes, I know, living in suburbia is such a drag. You don't have to worry about getting your car stolen out of your driveway or locking your car doors when you drive to the grocery store.

Suburbia is such an easy target, but you can take your depressing "gritty downtown inner city" reality and keep it.

10. "The Playboy Club" NBC. Season premiere 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19. Come on, be honest, you know you want to watch. This show is up against the unexpected hit "Hawaii Five-0" on CBS. In addition, it may just be a little too retro, and a little too "soap opera-ish" to last for long. I know women's groups are up in arms against the show which celebrates the heyday of Playboy and Hugh Hefner's "bunnies." But it happened. It might not be a bad idea to subject a new generation of women to what it was really like in "those" days. However, I predict it will be a white-washed version of history, with a veneer of "empowerment" thrown in for good measure.

Best second season show to watch?

"Mike and Molly" is a funny sitcom about two "heavyweights" who fall in love. There is something charming, as well as hilariously dark, in this fantastic comedy which stars Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy. Swoosie Kurtz and Katy Mixon provide the "off-the-wall" laughs as McCarthy's mother and sister, respectively.

"Mike and Molly" airs 9:30 p.m. Mondays on CBS. Season premiere Monday, Sept. 26.

Best guilty pleasure?

Hands down it has to be "America's Top Model" (season premiere 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14) or any of the "Bravo-lebrity" shows ("Flipping Out," "The Rachel Zoe Project," "The Real Housewives..." etc.).

Yes, a new season of television is upon us. My predictions for early doom?

Most likely anything I enjoy will be quickly cancelled. It seems to work that way.

However, I wouldn't bet any money on "The Playboy Club" or "Revenge" to last through the season.

"Terra Nova" might have some staying power, but I don't get a "Lost" vibe with this show. I think it's trying too hard.

In addition, after the first few people are devoured by dinosaurs I don't think the novelty will last.

"Up All Night" and "Free Agents" on NBC look to be fairly predictable sitcoms with short life spans.

Best show not on the fall schedule?

"Apartment 23" on ABC. I laughed until I cried when I watched the pilot of this show. I can't wait until it airs. Make no mistake, this is edgy comedy. Very edgy comedy. I loved it. Look for the show to air as a mid-season replacement.
The show I'll hate myself for watching?

"New Girl" on FOX (season premiere 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20). I adored Zooey Deschanel in the film "500 Days of Summer," but I really think a little of her will go a long, long way.

A long way.

Most over-hyped show?

"Two and a Half Men" (season premiere 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19 on CBS) with Ashton Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen. I predict huge ratings for the season premiere show, then I expect everyone will quickly lose interest - including Kutcher.



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