Thursday has traditionally been one of the most hotly contested night in television. While the night belonged to NBC for the longest time, CBS took Thursdays with CSI, and is now the top network in the country. This year, Grey’s Anatomy goes up against CSI, but we’ll all be holding our breath to see if the Asians, African-Americans, or Hispanics kill whitey first on Survivor: Racial Tension. Find out more about the fall lineup after the jump.
8 PM : ‘Til Death (Premiered 9/7) – “‘TIL DEATH is a comedy about long-married couple Eddie and Joy Stark, who are closing in on day 9,000 of their marriage and have the battle scars to prove it. It’s a show about new marriage versus old marriage, about keeping the romance alive – or at least staying together so you have someone to drive you to the hospital for your operations.” Will the Seinfeld curse apply to members of Everybody Loves Raymond? I have to say that everybody could care less. I wish Brad Garrett would go back to Vegas, not because I don’t like him, but because somebody needs to get rid of Danny Gans.
8:30 PM : Happy Hour (Premiered 9/7) – “‘Straight arrow HENRY BECKMAN (John Sloan) had it all: a great job, a perfect girlfriend and a sweet apartment. He was a big fish in the small pond of Amsterdam, Missouri. Then, as soon as he let HEATHER (Brooke D’Orsay) talk him into moving to Chicago to work in her family business, it all went wrong. In the span of one morning, Henry got dumped by Heather, the girl he thought was “the one,” learned he lost his job, and got kicked out of their apartment. It was in this vulnerable state that he found his new roommate, a vain and flashy yet loveable rogue named LARRY CONE (Lex Medlin).” I thought this was a joke at first, but yes, they are actually serious. If ever there was a sitcom that needed random Sherman Helmsley cameos to save it, this would be the one.
9 PM : The OC (Premieres 11/2) – “This time slot is actually reserved for the Celebrity Duets performance show, but the The OC will be back, likely for it’s final season, in November. Last year was a tough one for the show, and things don’t look like they are getting better with the death of the iconic Marissa Cooper (I wrote that with a straight face, BTW) and Grey’s Anatomy now in it’s time slot. Anybody left on this trip is a sadist….watch for my recaps in November!
8 PM : My Name is Earl (Premieres 9/21) – “Earl has taken one too many wrong turns on the highway of life. However, a twist of fate turns his life into a tailspin of life-renewing events. Earl wins a small lottery, and, after an epiphany, he is determined to transform his good fortune into a life-changing event as he sets out to right all the wrongs from his past.” I said this show was must watch last year, and I still think it is one of the best comedies on television. Everything just seems to work on this show, even the annoying (yes, I’m talking to you GIovanni Ribisi) cameos.
8:30 PM : The Office (Premieres 9/21) – “Many people expected that The Office would flop, much like Coupling, NBC’s other attempt at adapting British humor to our shores. Instead, The Office has become a showcase for Steve Carrell and the romantic relationship between Jim and Pam really had us on the edge of our seats. Although the official website leaves neglects to mention fellow Dartmouth alum Mindy Kaling, we know you all love Kelly as much as we do.
9 PM : Deal Or No Deal (Premieres 9/21) – “If you are going to settle for third place in the ratings, might as well do it with a game show with Howie Mandel as the host.
10 PM : ER (Premieres 9/21) – I sort of wish this show ended a few years back because the story lines are getting repetitive. However, I grew up loving this show and will continue to watch until NBC takes it behind the barn and shoots it.
8 PM : Ugly Betty (Premieres 9/28) – OK, I knew nothing about this show until I started writing this article. However, this show has great promise. It follows the life of Betty Suarez, an unconventional looking secretary at Mode. Now, before you say “Why would I want to watch an hour of Bridget Jones crossed with Just Shoot Me?”, remind yourself that it is being produced by none other than Selma Hayek. Do you remember that scene from Desperado? You owe it to her to watch this show. Of course, I’ll be watching Earl and The Office, but you should really watch this show. Need another reason? Well, it’s adapted from a Colombian soap opera, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve always wanted to watch those soap operas on the Spanish channels, but never understood what was going on and stopped after you finally realized it was so very pathetic. This is your chance to be at least 30% last pathetic. And you probably haven’t asked, but I’ll give you another reason: Vanessa Williams. Any woman who can deal with a marriage to a douchebag like Rick Fox deserves our love.
9 PM : Grey’s Anatomy (Premieres 9/21) – Again, it doesn’t really need a big explanation. I refused to buy into the hype for a long time, but how could I resist Sandra Oh for so long? Do yourself a favor and watch Out of Sight, besides some of the best scenes of Jennifer Lopez’s ass that any man could ever hope for, you’ll also see Isaiah Washington playing Kenneth, and it will give you an new appreciation for his acting ability. Or you can watch Wild Things 2 if you want to bring him back down to earth a little bit. ABC is taking a little bit of a chance putting Grey’s up against CSI, but I think Grey’s is good enough that it could challenge CSI in the ratings game. m_ruv will be continuing recaps this fall.
10 PM : 6 Degrees (Premieres 9/28) – “It’s said that six people separate any one person from another. Considering the millions of people in the United States alone, it’s an amazing thought that we’re connected to anyone and everyone by a chain of six.” Talk about heavy handed and over the top, I can barely stand this show and I only looked at the web site. This six degrees thing is starting to get old. It starts with separation, it ends with Kevin Bacon. ENOUGH!
8 PM : Survivor: Cook Islands (Premieres 9/14) – Ahh, Survivor! The show has been up and down lately, but I think it has been really enjoyable the last two seasons. Now they have made a tribe of four races (white, black, yellow, and brown!), and they are calling it a “social experiment”. Many people are upset with the gimmick, but honestly, it’s just a ratings grab. There will be two tribes within three episodes, and we’ll root for whoever is the coolest and not by how close their melanin levels are to ours. I am torn between the black tribe and the white tribe, so in hopes of not pissing off any relatives, I’ll go for the Asians. Well, they made my car, my computer, my iPod, and my cell phone. I think I can say I’d be lost without them, so they get my vote. B-side will be doing the recaps this fall.
9 PM : CSI (Premieres 9/21) – I think I have seen two episodes of this show, it’s pretty good, but when I want to get my crime scene re-enactment on, I look for Silent Witness on BBC America.
10 PM : Shark (Premieres 9/21) – How is CBS allowed to have a show named Smith and a show named Shark on at the same time? I used to think James Woods was really cool, but other then lending his voice to GTA: San Andreas, is there anything he has done this century that makes you think Smith will be good?
8 PM : Smallville (Premieres 9/28) – “Now beginning its sixth season, this new interpretation of the enduring Superman mythology and its classic characters blends realism and adventure into an exciting action series. This season, Clark Kent (Tom Welling, “Cheaper By the Dozen”) and Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum, “Sorority Boys”) have become the sworn enemies that comic book aficionados have always known and loved”. We’re still waiting for the death of Lana. Hopefully Chloe gets some Kent nookie before they kill her off. I’m not doing full recaps anymore, but will do photo recaps because I don’t want to leave people hanging.
9 PM : Supernatural (Premieres 9/28) – “Twenty-two years ago, Sam Winchester and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a mysterious and demonic supernatural force. Subsequently, their father John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, “Grey’s Anatomy”) raised them to be soldiers. He taught them about the paranormal evil that lives in the dark corners and on the back roads of America… and he taught them how to kill it.” This is actually one of those shows I think I would love, but I just don’t have the time or space on my Tivo.