Fall TV Preview Cheat Sheet

'Seinfeld' Crashes 'Curb' (HBO)

Ahh, the fall TV season… So much promise, so quickly destroyed.

Whether it be a fan’s new favorite show getting canceled after three episodes or a TV critic’s favorite gem getting ignored by the masses, somebody always loses. Maybe this year will be different.

But with over 20 new broadcast shows alone, who has the time (or the DVR space?!) to sample them all to see who’s worth your precious time and who you should drop on a dime? …I do!

That’s why I created this little peep show list–the new shows in a nutshell, if you will–so you can properly plan who you’ll be spending your nights with come September.

Fall TV Cheat Sheet

Most Anticipated Return
After a two-year hiatus, Larry David is finally back for a seventh season of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ and he’s bringing everybody from ‘Seinfeld‘ with him. GET OUT!

The Biggest Buzz
Take one Ginger (Sofia Vergara) and one Mary Ann (Julie Bowen), add an Al Bundy, that funny guy from those shows, plus our favorite new gays, mash it up and you get the perfectly imperfect ‘Modern Family.’ Why the buzz? Because it’s a sitcom that’s funny. Rare.

Los Angeles' (CBS)

The Sure Thing
NCIS: Los Angeles:’ Did you know ‘NCIS‘ isn’t just for old people? If you’re not one of the 17 million viewers hooked on the show, producers created a hip new cousin to the second ‘JAG‘ spinoff, starring the likable Chris O’Donnell and the so cool it’s in his name, LL Cool J. P.S. The original and its spawn airing in a back-to-back block on Tuesday nights? Pretty much a one-two punch.

Best High-Concept Show
FlashForward:’ The comparisons to ‘Lost‘ are inevitable, and inconsequential. The premise of ABC’s new mystery is compelling enough: The entire planet blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds and flashes forward to a glimpse of their lives’ six months in the future (presumably). If you predict it’s not all kisses, sunshine and winning lotto numbers, you’d be right!

The Biggest Gamble
The Jay Leno Show:’ Whether you love him or hate him, Jay Leno’s move to prime-time is the most-talked about topic on TV since, well, um, ‘Jon & Kate.’ Still–win or lose–NBC’s bold move is a game-changer–and this season’s biggest unknown entity.

Courteney Cox, 'Cougar Town' (ABC)

Courteney Cox,

Hottest Fall Theme
Cougars! Cougar-licious comedy comes courtesy of Courteney Cox’s move to ‘Cougar Town,’ as a 40-year-old desperate ex-housewife unleashed on the dating world–and a pack of younger men. Empowering or insulting? Doesn’t matter: She is funny, hear her roar.

Epic Battle: Who are you rooting for? The Cougars or The Kittens?

Ripped from the Headlines
The Good Wife‘: Beside every shamed politician stands a stoic wife, and in this most topical new drama, ‘ER‘ fave Julianna Margulies plays ‘The Good Wife‘ to Mr. Big’s, er, Chris Noth’s disgraced husband. Betrayed and humiliated, Margulies re-joins the workforce as an attorney–but more than her laywering skills is on trial.

‘Saturday Night Live’ Star We Most Wanted Back
Weekend–and show–anchor Amy Poehler (No, ‘Parks and Recreation‘ doesn’t count). ‘SNL‘s’ loss of brilliance in both Poehler and Tina Fey still stings.

The One We Got
Chevy Chase: After a long break from TV (and a warm-up on ‘Chuck’ last season), Chase heads back to school in NBC’s quirky new ‘Community‘ (college) with the ‘Soup‘-er Joel McHale.

Cast of 'Glee' (FOX)

Cast of

Head of the Class
Glee:’ You know the song-and-dance routine: This is the one TV critics will be pushing harder then a bottle of ‘True Blood‘ V, so just join the ‘Glee‘ club already so we don’t have to nag you!

Must-Watch Doc
Brick City:’ Executive produced by Forest Whitaker, the riveting five-night documentary exposes the overwhelming inner-city struggles of Newark, N.J. What’s compelling is how worlds collide for the Mayor, the Police Director, a former Blood gang member named Jayda and her Crip boyfriend named Creep in a very real, “high-stakes drama.” (Premieres Monday, September 21st at 10 p.m. on Sundance)

Best Title
Bored to Death:’ Really, who isn’t? But in this ‘noir-otic comedy’ from author Jonathan Ames, a pot-smoking, white-wine-swilling writer is so bored he puts an ad on Craigslist as a P.I. We’re also on board with the impressive cast: Jason Schwartzman (‘Rushmore’), Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis (the dude from ‘The Hangover‘), as well as guest stars Kristen Wiig, Parker Posey and BeBe Neuwirth.

Worst Concept
Three Rivers:’ We applaud CBS for giving viewers their beloved ‘Moonlight‘ hunk back. We curse them for putting Alex O’Loughlin in a show about…organ donors?

Ian Somerhalder, 'The Vampire Diaries' (The CW)

Ian Somerhalder,

Lost‘ Actors Found on New Shows
It’s Penny! Sonya Walger is a surgeon with a secret on ‘FlashForward
It’s Charlie! Dominic Monaghan joins his former ‘Lostie’ for a new mystery on ‘FlashForward
It’s Juliet! Elizabeth Mitchell trades in the smoke monster for alien lizards in the remake of ‘V
It’s Boone! Ian Somerhalder is dead again, this time as a baddie bloodsucker on ‘The Vampire Diaries

This Year’s Movie Star on TV
Joseph Fiennes ditches the period costumes of ‘Shakespeare in Love’ and ‘Elizabeth’ to play an FBI guy in the highly anticipated drama ‘FlashFoward.’ And he looks so Fiennes in a pair of jeans!

By the Way…

Does Anyone Still Care If…
Katherine Heigl stays or goes?
Booth and Brennan ever hook up?
Heroes‘ is saved?

Just wondering….

For more on ‘Don’t Miss’ TV shows, click here.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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