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Fall TV Preview

Scene Staff Report | Tuesday, September 14, 2010

“30 Rock

NBC, Premieres Thursday, Sept. 23 at 8:30 p.m.

The wittiest show on television, “30 Rock,” ended with an overload of romance as the two final episodes followed Liz and Jack attending three separate weddings. After years of misadventures in love, Liz has finally found her soul mate, who is both a pilot and loves TGS. The only problem is that he hears Liz professing how incredible he is on the very day they met. Too fast! Hopefully this Matt Damon thing doesn’t work out so that Wesley Snipes (played by Michael Sheen) will continue to make appearances. And what? Jack’s going to be a father? One can only hope that this all leads up to an awesome live episode on Oct. 14.

“Boardwalk Empire”

HBO, Premieres Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m.

HBO, known for its daring dramas and outrageous comedies, brings to life 1920s Atlantic City with the help of creator Terence Winter (“The Sopranos”). “Boardwalk Empire” follows the real-life gangster-king of Atlantic City, Nucky Thompson (played by Steve Buscemi of “The Sopranos”) and explores his exploits in politics, bootlegging and gambling to keep control of his city. If HBO’s long history with great television is any indication, “Boardwalk Empire” is sure to be another critical and audience hit.


NBC, Premieres Monday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m.

A lot of things happened last season. Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) got together. Chuck’s best friend Morgan (Joshua Gomez) joined the team in a limited capacity. Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) found out Chuck was a spy. Chuck and Ellie’s father (Scott Bakula) was killed. With their father’s death, Chuck promised Ellie he would give up the spy game. But the season finale left viewers with a shocking cliffhanger that Chuck’s mom is still alive and somehow involved in espionage. How can our favorite Nerd Herder resist investigating his mother? This season Linda Hamilton (“Terminator”) will join the cast as the elusive mother of the Bartowski clan. Also, prepare for a slew of guest stars.


FOX, Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m.

Last season America’s favorite group of misfits lost the glee club regional competition to Vocal Adrenaline even after singing an inspiring medley of Journey songs. Luckily the villainous Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) saved the day by convincing Principal Figgins to give New Directions another chance. Also, Quinn (Dianna Agron) gave birth during a rousing rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Finn told Rachel he loved her, and Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) surprised Emma (Jayma Mays) with a kiss and a promise he wasn’t giving up on them. This season expect more epic musical numbers and fantastic guest spots by Britney Spears, Javier Bardem and a recurring spot by John Stamos as Emma’s dentist boyfriend. Uncle Jesse!

“Gossip Girl”

The CW, Mondays at 9 p.m.

Season 3 of “Gossip Girl” ended with a literal bang — dear Chuck Bass was shot in a dark alley in Prague. But luckily Blair and Serena were headed for Europe simultaneously for some down time. Get excited to see who will pair up this season. The CW is running out of options, so expect some repeat love affairs between Blair, Chuck, Serena, Nate, Dan, Vanessa, Jenny, etc.

“Grey’s Anatomy”

ABC, Premieres Thursday, Sept. 23 at 9 p.m.

Season 6 ended with an emotionally gripping two-hour episode where a distraught, widowed man wreaked havoc on Seattle Grace by shooting up the hospital. Alex (Justin Chambers) nearly died when he was shot, but was saved by Lexie (Chyler Leigh) and Mark (Eric Dane). Two interns from Mercy West were not so lucky. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) was finally happy (and pregnant!), but sadly lost the baby when Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) life was in danger. Owen (Kevin McKidd) finally chose Cristina (Sandra Oh), and look for them to be happy in the upcoming season. This season will focus on the fallout of last year’s shooting for all of the characters.


FOX, Premieres Monday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m.

After cleaning “House” of vicodin in the two-hour premiere last season, all panicked. Did they de-House House? Season six proved that untrue: House was still a smart aleck, just with shorter hair. However the season ended with the nearly unthinkable — House and Cuddy together. No hallucinations this time? Could the show finally have jumped the shark? The season seven’s premiere episode is aptly named “What’s Next?”

“How I Met Your Mother”

CBS, Premieres Monday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m.

“How I Met Your Mother” returns to the airwaves this fall for its sixth season. Following CBS’ announcement that Jennifer Morrison, formerly of “House,” has been added as Ted’s new love interest and “the biggest female character” in Ted’s life, speculation is high among critics and fans alike that this season Ted (Josh Radnor) will meet “The Mother.”

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”

FX, Thursday, Sept. 16 at 10 p.m.

The character-driven show focuses on the exploits of five self-obsessed yet co-dependent losers who operate a Philadelphia bar. Dee, Denis, Mac, Charlie and Frank are delightfully amoral (at best) and tackle some of the more absurd situations on television.

This season adds some reoccurring story elements like a pregnancy and a marriage, but the show will stay true to its episodic-adventure format meaning new viewers will have no problem jumping right in. Among the relevant issues getting the “Sunny” comic treatment this season are boat buying, high school exes, health care reform and gay marriage. The new season promises to be as inappropriate and hilarious as ever.

“Modern Family”

ABC, Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m.

Last season’s hit “Modern Family” is back for season two after striking gold at the Emmy awards, winning Outstanding Comedy Series. The show, which trails a dysfunctional family, wowed critics and audiences alike last season with hilarious poignancy and is sure to be back with more tricks up its sleeve this fall.

“The Office”

NBC, Premieres Thursday, Sept. 23 at 9 p.m.

After an office scandal regarding faulty Sabre printers, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) receives sympathy from Sabre executive Jo (Kathy Bates). The very end of the episode implies that she will do everything she can to ensure that Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) returns to work at the Scranton branch. In keeping with the theme of office romance Andy and Erin have yet to take their relationship to the next level. While the in-office romances are a little forced, it would still be nice to see Michael Scott end his final season at Dunder Mifflin with someone by his side because, of course, his greatest fear is loneliness.


NBC, Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 10 p.m.

Based on the 1989 Ron Howard film of the same name, “Parenthood” follows the Braverman clan, including siblings played by Peter Krause (“Six Feet Under”), Lauren Graham (“Gilmore Girls”), Dax Shepard (“Baby Mama”) and Erika Christensen (“The Perfect Score”). The dysfunctional yet lovable family rouses tears of sadness and laughter in every episode. Don’t miss this hidden television gem as they continue the trend in Season 2.

“Running Wilde”

FOX, Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 9:30 p.m.

Will Arnett returns to television as a leading man in “Running Wilde.” It is supposedly the tale of a wealthy “playboy trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart, the ultra-liberal humanitarian who got away,” according to Fox. There is of course nothing Will Arnett plays better than a wealthy entitled man-boy, and there is potential for lines just as quotable as “Yeah, the guy in the $4,000 suit is holding the elevator for the guy who doesn’t make that in four months. Come on!”


The CW, Premieres Friday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m.

This is the 10th and final season of “Smallville” so expect them to pull out all the stops, including Clark (Tom Welling) flying and donning the red and blue suit. Last season, during the battle with the Kandorians, Chloe (Allison Mack) and Oliver (Justin Hartley) expressed their love for each other. Clark narrowly defeated Zod (Callum Blue) and sent him off of Earth. And Lois (Erica Durance) finally realized Clark’s true identity when he kissed her as the Blur. How will Lois deal with this new knowledge? Tune in to find out and see guest spots by several familiar faces like Lionel Luthor (John Glover) and Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) in the final season.

“Saturday Night Live”

NBC, Premieres Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11:30 p.m.

Saturday Night Live kicks off its 36th Season with former cast member Amy Poehler set to host alongside musical guest Katy Perry. SNL also welcomes four new cast members, including Paul Brittain and Vanessa Bayer. Like many SNL greats, Bayer and Brittain hail from the Chicago Comedy Circuit, so expectations are high for these freshmen. “MacGruber” fans everywhere hang their heads over Will Forte’s departure, although Andy Samberg will surely be providing his infallible “Digital Shorts.”

“The Vampire Diaries”

The CW, Thursdays at 8 p.m.

This soap opera on supernatural steroids returned for its second season premiere last week, and it’s like the summer break never happened in Mystic Falls. With breakneck pacing, an outrageously attractive cast and loads of caustic one-liners from Ian Somerhalder’s vampire Damon, “Vampire Diaries” is the sleeper hit of the current vampire craze on TV and film. After a thrilling first episode in which half a dozen plotlines were ramped up or given new twists, it’s safe to say this year might very well top the surprisingly addictive first season.