Cold Mornings and Warm Shows

I don't doubt that we have a few scorching hot days left this Summer, extending well into the Fall. But as we've enjoyed a few cool mornings these last few days, just a hint of Autumn, the return of reasonable temperatures reminds me of another return: television.

Each Summer, my schedule transitions from the dictates of my favorite shows to the dictates of gigs with my various bands. Weeknights blur together, and only Fridays have some significance, with the others interchangeable. During the networks' broadcast season, I can tell the days of the week by what shows are on. With the Writer's Strike, many shows suffered a truncated season, which worked in my favor since a lot of new programs grabbed my attention last year along with old favorites. I would have been more upset that Bionic Woman sucked and got canceled if it didn't free up another hour in my week. Hopefully, there won't be too many new shows this season, though I know of at least three already. The question on my mind, as August winds down in a few short weeks, is when all these shows are coming back. I'm going to figure that out right now:

1) 24: Returns with a two-hour season 7 prequel movie on Sunday, 11/23/08 at 8 PM on FOX.

2) 30 Rock: Returns Thursday, 10/30/08 at 9:30 PM on NBC.

3) Battlestar Galactica: The first half of the fourth and final season has already aired, with the remaining 11 episodes to return in early 2009 Friday nights on SciFi.

4) Chuck: Returns Monday, 9/29/08 at 8:00 PM on NBC.

5) Cleveland: 13 episodes of this Family Guy spinoff are expected to air in 2009 on FOX. My guess would be on Sundays.

6) Dollhouse: 7 episodes of this new Whedon/Dushku/Acker joint will hopefully air on FOX in 2009. I'm already braced for the cancellation and subsequent search for unaired episodes online or on DVD, but with that creator and those actresses I hope they give it a chance.

7) Family Guy: Returns on Sunday, 9/28/08 at 9 PM on FOX.

8) Fringe: Premieres on Tuesday, 9/9/08 at 8 PM on FOX. Again, I'm cautiously optimistic about a new FOX show's chances for survival.

9) Heroes: Returns Monday, 9/22/08 at 8 PM on NBC and I can't wait.

10) How I Met Your Mother: Returns Monday, 9/22/08 at 8:30 PM on CBS and I guess I'll have to tape it. Actually, I'm booked with one of my bands that night so I'll need to tape the Heroes premiere too.

11) Knight Rider: Premieres Wednesday, 9/24/08 at 8 PM on NBC and I'm willing to give it a chance.

12) Lost: The 17 episode penultimate fifth season of the best show on television doesn't start until 2009 on ABC. It seems further away than it is.

13) My Name is Earl: Returns Thursday, 9/25/08 at 8 PM on NBC.

14) The Office: Returns Thursday, 9/25/08 at 9 PM on NBC.

15) Prison Break: Returns Monday, 9/1/08 at 8 PM on FOX, the first show to return in the 2008-2009 season.

16) Pushing Daisies: The facts are these: the best indescribable modern fairy tale returns Wednesday, 10/1/08 at 8 PM on ABC.

17) Reaper: Hopefully, 2009 will bring us at least 13 episodes of the second season on The CW. It's a fun show.

18) Scrubs: In 2009, stay scalpel-sharp and keep an eye out for a proper final season of 18 episodes to air on ABC.

19) The Simpsons: The 20th season begins on Sunday, 9/28/08 at 8 PM on FOX.

20) Smallville: Returns Thursday, 9/18/08 at 8 PM on The CW for an unexpected eighth season. I'm hanging on to this one by a thread, to see how the whole mess finally turns out, and because on those rare occasions when it's good, it's really good, and when it's bad, it makes a great drinking game. We lost three original cast members last year, though one won't be missed as much as the other two. This season Green Arrow becomes a regular which should be a good thing, and Doomsday becomes a regular, which would be a good thing if his character wasn't initially described as being a “bartender”, later revised to “paramedic”. Yeah, those are the first careers that come to my mind too when I think about the unstoppable alien entity that killed the world's most iconic superhero in the comics back in the ‘90s. Sometimes, watching the show is like the morbid curiosity of slowing down when passing an accident.

21) The Spectacular Spider-Man: There will be a second season on The CW, though probably not before March, 2009.

22) Stargate: Atlantis: The fifth and, as recently announced, final season is already airing on SciFi at 10 PM on Friday nights. I'm still catching up with the fourth season, but the good news is that in addition to film sequels to the series, the franchise will live on in yet another spinoff, Stargate: Universe. Who would have thought an average movie from Roland Emmerich would spawn all this?

23) Supernatural: Returns Thursday, 9/18/08 at 9 PM on The CW. It's easily the best show on that network.

24) Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Much to my surprise and delight, it survived FOX and will be back for a second season on Monday, 9/8/08 at 8 PM.

* * * * *

My Station Breakdown:
CBS: 1 Show
NBC: 6 Shows
FOX: 8 Shows
ABC: 3 Shows
The CW: 4 Shows
SciFi: 2 Shows

Well, dramas continue to outnumber sitcoms, and I'm down to only one Saturday morning cartoon. Still, 24 shows a week seems like a lot. Is that a lot? Mondays and Thursdays seem to be the busiest nights as with last season, so both the internet and my VCR will come in handy. At least a few shows won't be back until 2009, so maybe the herd will thin before then. Those are the shows I'll be watching; you can consult the Futon Critic's grid to find your favorites. And of course, save a few minutes each night to read the Nexus.


Blogger b13 said...

24, Heroes, Knight Rider, LOST, Prison Break, Terminator... Those are the ones that interest me. I saw a few episodes of PB last year and got hooked although I haven't seen the first season or most of the second. I should check the library for the DVDs.

8/23/2008 12:47 AM  

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