Fall is upon us and with it comes network televisionâ€™s annual mix of promising new shows and returning favorites. Here are a few suggestions to fill your nightly viewing scheduleâ€”the most promising series, new or old, for each night of the week (not that we ever watch TV when it actually airs).
Sunday: â€œOnce Upon a Timeâ€ (7 pm on ABC)
More intriguing than actually promising, â€œOnce Upon a Timeâ€ is set in a parallel universe in which fairy tale characters live amongst normal people and are unaware of their true identities. This new series is created and written by two major writers for â€œLost,â€ which gives me hope that the show will rise above its premise. â€œOnce Upon a Timeâ€ stars Jennifer Morrison (â€œHouseâ€) in the lead role of Emma Swan.
Monday: â€œHart of Dixieâ€ (8 pm on The CW)
Iâ€™m branching out of my demographic a bit with this one, but, honestly, Iâ€™d watch Rachel Bilson (â€œThe O.C.â€) do anything for an hour. Here she plays a recent medical school graduate from New York City who opens a practice in a small town in Alabama. Expect an old-school WB vibe (â€œGilmore Girls,â€ â€œEverwood,â€ etc.) and charming performances from Bilson and Scott Porter (â€œFriday Night Lightsâ€).
Tuesday: â€œNew Girlâ€ (9 pm on Fox)
Tuesday is shaping up to be a pretty bleak night for network TV (â€œDancing with the Stars,â€ â€œBiggest Loser,â€ among others), but critics have set my hopes high for â€œNew Girl,â€ starring Zooey Deschanel (â€œ500 Days of Summerâ€). â€œNew Girlâ€ is a half-hour sitcom that promises to be a perfect outlet for Deschanelâ€™s quirky sense of humor. The premise involves a Deschanelâ€™s character moving in to an apartment with three guys, but I donâ€™t think plot is going to matter much with this one.
Wednesday: â€œModern Familyâ€ (8 pm on ABC)
The second season of â€œModern Familyâ€ didnâ€™t quite reach the bar set by its outstanding freshman year, but it still remains one of the funniest half-hours of television. Letâ€™s hope the writers are able to keep things fresh in the showâ€™s third year. With such a great cast, my hopes are high. Iâ€™m also interested in â€œUp All Nightâ€ (7 pm on NBC), a sitcom starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, but â€œModern Familyâ€ remains the safest bet for Wednesday.
Thursday: â€œParks and Recreationâ€ (7:30 on NBC)
What began as a mediocre imitation of â€œThe Officeâ€ is now the best comedy on network television. Starring Amy Poehler as a small-town government employee, â€œParks and Recreationâ€ mixes humor and heart in an engaging, original manor. Every cast member is hilarious, especially the wonderful Nick Offerman. Watch it, you wonâ€™t be disappointed.
Friday: â€œChuckâ€ (7 pm on NBC)
Usually a TV dead-zone, Friday night is now home to one of my favorite series, â€œChuck,â€ returning for its fifth and final season. Though I always recommend starting from the beginning, â€œChuckâ€ is a show that anyone can pick up at any time. As a spy comedy, it has elements that will appeal to every demographic and, most importantly, itâ€™s just a fun hour of television, boasting a great mix of comedy, action, and romance. Catch â€œChuckâ€ while you still can.