September 1, 2005
Falling into the new season
Television to keep you going through the frosty days of winter
by Amy Diaz
Let us bow our heads in
praise of TV.
For though nature
taketh away (daylight that lasts until 9 p.m., the ability to achieve a
tan without a tanning bed) TV giveth the rosy glow of a new fall season
to warm our Lost and Veronica Mars-craving hearts.
And, though it is the
return of old friends that makes us save the date for TV viewing, it’s
the lure of the unknown, the brand-new cult hit or watercooler
phenomenon that truly makes fall such an exciting time.
With the new season
officially underway (Monday’s Prison Break got the ball rolling), here
are a few of the new show’s most worthy of space on your Tivo.
• Bones (Tuesdays on
Fox, 8 p.m.): David “Angel” Boreanaz returns to creepy drama as an FBI
agent who frequently turns to a forensic anthropologist for help solving
crimes. You can take the prosthetic vampire fangs out of his mouth, Fox,
but you will never be able to hide that gigantic brooding brow.
• Commander in Chief
(Tuesdays on ABC, 9 p.m.): Sometimes you can’t wait to see a show just
to see it fail. Geena Davis stars as a VP picked to pretty up a ticket
but who actually gets some time in the big chair when the president
dies. Geena Davis. Geena Davis who already racked up a failed sitcom.
Geena Davis who couldn’t host the Oscar preshow without embarrassing
• Everybody Hates Chris
(Thursdays on UPN, 8 p.m.): The childhood of Chris Rock, dramatized, is
fertile comic territory for this sitcom about a 13-year-old boy who
moves into a tough Brooklyn neighborhood but attends a mostly-white
school across town.
• My Name is Earl
(Tuesdays on NBC, 9 p.m.): Perhaps realizing that “wacky” was its only
hope at returning to comedy dominance, NBC wisely cast Jason Lee as a
loser who tries to make good on his wasted life of low-level crime.
• Night Stalker
(Thursdays on ABC, 9 p.m.): Stuart Townsend takes over for Darrin
McGavin as Kolchak, a reporter obsessed with the supernatural. His quest
to track down the things lurking in the shadows stems in part from the
murder of his pregnant wife. Think the proto-X-Files (Chris Carter long
cited Night Stalker as his inspiration).
• Reunion (Thursdays on
Fox, 9 p.m.): Sure, gimmicks can be, er, gimmicky but they can also give
a crappy show a fighting chance (that’s right, you little underdog Cold
Case, I’m throwing a little faint praise your way). In this crime drama,
a present-day murder has ties to six friends who graduated high school
in 1986. Each episode flashes back to a different year (ooo, ready the
Pearl Jam for those post-college years).
• Surface (Mondays on
NBC, 8 p.m.): Originally called Fathom, this tale of an oceanographer
(Lake Bell, rightfully cut from Boston Legal) who finds a new form of
life (possibly terrestrial, possibly extra) is worthy of notice because
of some behind-the-screen talent — Josh and Jonas Pate, writers for the
excellent underrated G. Vs. E.
• Twins (Fridays on
The WB, 8:30 p.m.): This cheesy sitcom has a horrible premise (fraternal
twin sisters; one’s pretty, one’s snarky) and the presence of Melanie
Griffith but does rate our notice due to the starring role (guess which
sister?) of Sara Gilbert.
This is no time to
develop a social life.
Competition is fierce
and for once, the broadcast networks’ biggest concerns aren’t just each
other. DVDs, premium cable such as HBO, standard cable such as TNT and
FX, video games and the whole Internet/iPod/ podcast mishagas is way
scarier to the networks for the way it sucks your attention than
whatever NBC has put in the 8 p.m. Thursday slot.
For us the viewers this
means a good chance at some new shows worth watching and some old shows
that made a point of not going stale during the summer.
Though HBO continues
its rolling debuts of shows (look for The Sopranos in early 2006) and
mid-season starts (24 will show up January-ish) will keep the winter
interesting, it’s September when all the real fun happens.
Generally speaking, the
networks will roll out the bulk of their season/series premieres thusly:
ABC: Tuesday, Sept. 20
though Thursday, Sept. 29
CBS: Monday, Sept. 19
through Thursday, Sept. 29
Fox: Monday, Aug. 29
through Monday, Sept. 19
NBC: Monday, Sept. 19
through Sunday, Sept. 25
The WB: Tuesday, Sept.
13 through Friday, Sept. 16; Thursday, Sept. 29
UPN: Monday, Sept. 19
through Thursday, Sept. 22
Here’s a more specific
schedule of when networks plan to debut their new seasons or new series.
• Thursday, Sept. 8:
The O.C., Fox, 8 p.m.; Reunion, Fox, 9 p.m.
• Sunday, Sept. 11: The
Simpsons, Fox, 8 p.m.; The War at Home, Fox, 8:30 p.m.; Family Guy, Fox,
9 p.m.; American Dad, 9:30 p.m.
• Monday, Sept. 12:
Wife Swap, ABC, 8 p.m.
• Tuesday, Sept. 13:
The Biggest Loser, NBC, 8 p.m.; Bones, Fox, 8 p.m.; Gilmore Girls, The
WB, 8 p.m.; House, Fox, 9 pm; Supernatural, The WB, 9 p.m.
• Wednesday, Sept. 14:
Head Cases, Fox, 9 p.m.
• Thursday, Sept. 15:
Survivor: Guatemala, CBS, 8 p.m.
• Friday, Sept. 16:
What I Like About You, The WB, 8 p.m.; Twins, The WB, 8:30 p.m.; Reba,
The WB, 9 p.m.; Threshold, CBS, 9 p.m.; Living with Fran, The WB, 9:30
• Saturday, Sept. 17:
MADtv, Fox, 11 p.m.
• Sunday, Sept. 18:
King of the Hill, Fox, 7:30 p.m.
• Monday, Sept. 19:
Arrested Development, Fox, 8 p.m.; The King of Queens, CBS, 8 p.m.; One
On One, UPN, 8 p.m.; 7th Heaven, The WB, 8 p.m.; Surface, NBC, 8 p.m.;
All of Us, UPN, 8:30 p.m.; How I Met Your Mother, CBS, 8:30 p.m.;
Kitchen Confidential, Fox, 8:30 p.m.; Girlfriends, UPN, 9 p.m.; Just
Legal, The WB, 9 p.m.; Las Vegas, NBC, 9 p.m.; Two and a Half Men, 9
p.m., CBS; Half & Half, 9:30 p.m., UPN; Out of Practice, CBS, 9:30 p.m.;
CSI: Miami, CBS, 10 p.m.; Medium, NBC, 10 p.m.
• Tuesday, Sept. 20:
According to Jim, ABC, 8 p.m.; NCIS, CBS, 8 p.m.; My Name is Earl, NBC,
9 p.m.; The Office, NBC, 9:30 p.m.; Law & Order: SVU, NBC, 10 p.m.;
Nip/Tuck, Fox, 10 p.m.
• Wednesday, Sept. 21:
America’s Next Top Model, UPN, 8 p.m.; The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,
NBC,8 p.m.; Still Standing, CBS, 8 p.m.; Yes, Dear, CBS, 8:30 p.m.;
E-Ring, NBC, 9 p.m.; Lost, ABC, 9 p.m.; Veronica Mars, UPN, 9 p.m.; CSI:
NY, CBS, 10 p.m.; Invasion, ABC, 10 p.m.; Law & Order, NBC, 10 p.m.
• Thursday, Sept. 22:
Everybody Hates Chris, UPN, 8 p.m.; Joey, NBC, 8 p.m.; Eve, UPN, 8:30
p.m.; The Apprentice, NBC, 9 p.m.; CSI, CBS, 9 p.m.; Cuts, UPN, 9 p.m.;
Love, Inc., UPN, 9:30 p.m.; Criminal Minds, CBS, 10 p.m.; ER, NBC, 10
• Friday, Sept. 23:
The Bernie Mac Show, Fox, 8 p.m.; Dateline NBC, NBC, 8 p.m.; Ghost
Whisperer, CBS, 8 p.m.; Supernanny, ABC, 8 p.m.; Malcolm in the Middle,
Fox, 8:30 p.m.; Hope & Faith, ABC, 9 p.m.; Killer Instinct, Fox, 9 p.m.;
Three Wishes, NBC, 9 p.m.; Inconceivable, NBC, 9 p.m.; Numbers, CBS, 10
• Sunday, Sept. 25:
Charmed, The WB, 8 p.m.; Cold Case, CBS, 8 p.m.; The West Wing, NBC, 8
p.m.; Blue Collar TV, The WB, 9 p.m.; Desperate Housewives, ABC, 9 p.m.;
Law & Order: Criminal Intent, NBC, 9 p.m.; Crossing Jordan, NBC, 10
p.m.; Grey’s Anatomy, ABC, 10 p.m.
• Tuesday, Sept. 27:
The Amazing Race: Family Eidition, CBS, 9 p.m.; Commander in Chief, ABC,
9 p.m.; Sex, Love & Secrets, UPN, 9 p.m.; Boston Legal, ABC, 10 p.m.
• Wednesday, Sept. 28:
George Lopez, ABC, 8 p.m.
• Thursday, Sept. 29:
Alias, ABC, 8 p.m.; Smallville, The WB, 8 p.m.; Will & Grace, NBC, 8:30
p.m.; Everwood, The WB, 9 p.m.; Night Stalker, ABC, 9 p.m.; Without a
Trace, CBS, 10 p.m.
• Tuesday, Oct. 4:
Rodney, ABC, 8:30 p.m.; Close to Home, CBS, 10 p.m.
• Wednesday, Oct. 5:
One Tree Hill, The WB, 8 p.m.; Freddie, ABC, 8:30 p.m.; Related, The WB,
• Friday, Oct. 7: Hot
Properties, ABC, 9:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, Nov.2:
That ‘70s Show, Fox, 8 p.m