This week is a big one in television. Fall premiere week is upon us.
While a few new and returning shows premiered during the past two
weeks, most are packed into this week—Sept. 20-24. There are, in fact, so many premieres within this short
period that not even the most dedicated couch potato and television
aficionado could possibly watch them all. Nor would I suggest that
watching this much TV in the space of one week is a good use of your
time, even if you could find a way to manage it. However, in good faith
that you and your DVR both know your limits, I am providing a run-down
of all the shows the major networks are offering this week. (For now,
you’re on your own when it comes to shows on regular and premium
cable.) All I can say is choose wisely and try to keep up.

Monday, September 20

Primetime Monday on NBC began with everyone’s favorite spy in geek’s clothing as Zac Levi returns to his role in Chuck. Monday staples How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement and Two and a Half Men, along with the all-new sitcom Mike and Molly, complete the early primetime line-up for CBS. As much as I enjoy the comedy of it, I am beginning to wonder, in this, How I Met Your Mother’s sixth season, if grown-up Ted’s kids are ever going to find out who
their mother is, or if they fell asleep on the sofa sometime last
season still listening to him ramble on with no real end in sight.

If drama is more what you’re looking for, check out the sure-to-be dramatic return of House on Fox or the season three premiere of ABC’s Castle. If these do not interest you, Monday offers four new dramas that are, perhaps, worth a glance. Lone Star on Fox plunges us into a con-man’s duplicitous existence (though its existence might be in jeopardy—it didn’t have a very good premiere). The mystery-laden The Event (a la Flash Forward) on NBC is followed by the all-new Chase,
chronicling the efforts of U.S. Marshals to capture fugitives.
Finally, CBS presents the old and new collide in a revival of Hawaii
Five-0
.

Tuesday, September 21

Tuesday brought the return of the gang from William McKinley High School on Fox’s Glee,
along with other familiar options such as NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles,
both on CBS. New shows slated for primetime Tuesday include Raising Hope and Running Wilde on Fox, followed by Detroit 1-8-7 on ABC. Raising Hope tells the story of a young man unexpectedly thrust into single-fatherhood, while Running Wilde, from the creator of Arrested Development, follows
the journey of a wealthy man (Will Arnett) pursuing the only thing he
is missing—the heart of his childhood sweetheart (Keri Russell). In
contrast, ABC’s Detroit 1-8-7 takes a look at the inner workings of a police homicide unit.

Wednesday, September 22

Again, Wednesday is grounded in the familiar: ABC’s Cougar Town, The Middle and Modern Family (fresh off its recent Emmy successes), NBC’s (dare I say it) tired Law and Order: SVU and Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen. As for Wednesday’s new television, Undercovers
on NBC claims to have created the “sexpionage” genre for its
romantically involved spies. Makers of this show may have mashed the
word together, but they did not create the concept. But hey, now we
have a colorful one-word descriptor for what James Bond has been up to
for decades. Better with You
on ABC is a generational comedy about relationships. (It’s been done … so 
… many … times. Does that mean it lacks originality or that it works?)
New legal drama The Whole Truth
on ABC, starring Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney is, perhaps, slightly
more dynamic than others in its genre, but will it last? In a similar
vein, The Defenders on CBS focuses on the work of two defense attorneys played by Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell.

Thursday, September 23

Long
known at my house as "TV Night in America," Thursday boasts some of our
longest-held collective favorites in television. These include NBC’s
go-to block of Community, 30 Rock and The Office, ABC’s soap fest of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, Fox’s Bones and Fringe, and The Big Bang Theory, CSI and The Mentalist on CBS. A few brave new offerings have emerged to test their strength against TV’s heavy-hitters, among them ABC’s drama My Generation,
which chronicles just how far a group of “Class of 2000” high school
seniors have and/or haven’t come since graduation. As for comedic
choices, look for NBC’s Outsourced as an apparent replacement for Parks and Recreation. And for all those searching for proof that the Apocalypse is, indeed, drawing near, look no further than the premiere of S#*! My Dad Says, inspired by the Twitter feed of the same name.

Friday, September 24

It
turns out, there’s a reason people often go out on dates on Friday
nights. Friday is officially the loneliest night for television. In
fact, I would
suggest you find something else (almost anything else) to do on Friday
night. If you choose to watch television, the choices are few. Apart
from television newsmagazines and paranormal fodder, such as Medium
(CBS) and Supernatural (CW), your options are Smallville on the CW, The Good Guys on Fox, CBS’s CSI: NY or the all-new drama Blue Bloods, yet another cop show.

As
if Monday through Friday’s programming is not enough, there are still a
few more premieres to come during the week of Sept. 26. So watch,
and be sure to let me know which shows you enjoy most. Happy fall
television season to all. Ready, set, record!