Fall TV

Here’s the new class of doctors, lawyers, teachers—as well as witches, misfits, and vampires—debuting on network TV this fall.

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Accidentally on Purpose 8:30 PM, CBS
Instead of Two and a Half Men, think of this show as two half-men and one lady. Billie (Jenna Elfman) is a successful writer who has a fling with a much-younger post-grad—and winds up pregnant. When she invites the couch-crashing baby daddy to live with her and their future progeny, the pair lives like the Odd Couple if Felix and Oscar were expecting.

Trauma 9 pm, NBC
Surprise, surprise: another show about the medical profession. If you like all the drama of hospital shows but wish they could be a bit more extreme, you’ll be happy to discover that Trauma follows first-responder paramedics, who must do death-defying feats to get to their patients.


[What’s Hot] V 8 pm, ABC
Sci-fi geeks are already geared up to watch this show, which is a re-imagining of a miniseries from the 1980s. In it, visitors from outer space—the aptly named Vs—travel thousands of intergalactic miles to bring a message of peace to Earth. Or do they? Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell plays an FBI agent who discovers something secretive about the Vs—namely, that they may not be as cuddly and E.T.-like as they’d like the world to believe.

NCIS: Los Angeles 9 pm, CBS
Thugs are threatening national security? LL Cool J is on the case! In this spin-off of the wildly popular procedural, the rapper/actor plays a former Navy SEAL now working in undercover surveillance at the NCIS, with partner Chris O’Donnell. The show promises lots of high-tech spy gear and risky undercover, live-by-your-wits operations.

Photo by Patrick Ecclesine/The CW ©2009 The CW Network, LLC.

Melrose Place Tuesday, 9 pm, CW
Consider Tuesday flashback-to-the’90s night. Coming on the heels of the CW’s 90210 revamp, Melrose Place is another resurrected, catty, soapy, California-based drama with an ensemble of fresh-faced up-and-comers (and a couple of original Melrose Place veterans). Watch it while wearing your old flannel and drinking a Zima.

 The Good Wife 10 pm, CBS
Jenny Sanford, Darlene Ensign, Silda Wall Spitzer—it’s tough being a political wife when your husband is involved in a sex scandal. The Good Wife’s Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) knows how they feel. In the show, her husband’s scandal and subsequent divorce compels her to re-enter the workforce—at a distinguished law firm, no less—for the first time in more than a decade, competing for position with the annoying young whippersnappers just out of school.

The Forgotten 10 pm, ABC
More investigations, but, this time, the crack team isn’t looking for the killer, they’re looking for the victim. Well, the victim’s identity, anyway. When an unidentified body is considered a permanent John or Jane Doe by the police, a few amateur detectives try to pick up the slack and root out the lives behind the crimes.


Mercy 8 pm, NBC
With HawthoRNe and Nurse Jackie, shows about nurses are all the rage right now. Mercy follows a hospital full of ’em—and the personal dramas in their daily lives. (Is it us, or do hospitals have more drama than high schools?)

Hank 8 pm, ABC
Kelsey Grammer returns to television, doing what he’s done in some of this best TV work—annoying his on-screen family. This time, he plays an out-of-work Master of the Universe type who has to endure quality time with his wife and kids as he works his way back to the top.

The Middle 8:30 pm, ABC
Forget the gossip girls and real housewives—here’s a TV show about some normal people! At least in terms of money: As the name suggests, The Middle centers around a family that’s—gasp—middle class. Patricia Heaton plays the family matriarch, a mother of three living in totally unglamorous Indiana.

The Beautiful Life 9 pm, CW
Another show full of pretty people with dark secrets. Fashion modeling is a cutthroat biz, and this show follows a veteran model who seems to have a rare heart of gold when she takes a newcomer under her wing. Still, even with that rare moment of generosity, there’s plenty of jealousy, backstabbing, and general jerkiness to go around.

Modern Family 9 pm, ABC
Shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation bring a cinéma-vérité style to television, and Modern Family continues in that vein. The unseen documentary crew in this show, however, gets out of the office park and instead takes a look at, obviously, the modern family—and there are plenty of goings-on to document.

Glee Wednesday, 9 pm, FOX
This series feels like every classic high-school movie ever made, with a group of outcasts, losers, and weirdoes (and the one token popular kid who wants to follow his passion) trying to succeed despite the discouragement from the in crowd. Their passion is glee club, so fans of a cappella, pop-song medleys, or High School Musical should tune in.

Photo by Carin Baer/FOX ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co.





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