Sunday’s Emmys Usher in Traditional Start of Fall Season

First come the Emmys (with Jane Lynch) and then the new season (Ashton Kutcher in "Two and a Half Men") Photos: Fox, CBS

The traditional start of the fall season is here – that one-two punch consisting of the Emmy Awards on a Sunday night in mid-September followed by the “official” start of the fall TV season the very next evening.

It’s a tradition that’s been in place since the 29th Emmy Awards in 1977 (co-hosted by Robert Blake, star of “Baretta,” and Angie Dickinson of “Police Woman”) – the TV industry celebrating itself with an annual awards show that also serves as a nifty and timely showcase of the best of TV just as the industry is poised to introduce a slew of new fall shows.

Despite the fact that most of the new offerings will fail (we’re not being critical here – that’s a historical, statistical fact), the Emmy Awards nonetheless serve as a kind of pep rally for television – coincidentally, not unlike the pep rallies that break out this time of year with the onset of another fall tradition, the college football season.

We happen to love the mid-September Emmy tradition and have been known to groan whenever the industry deviates from it by convening the annual awards show in late August (before Labor Day? Gimme a break!) as it did last year when Jimmy Fallon hosted the show on NBC. In fact, the late-summer Emmys seem to be an NBC trademark. The awards circulate each year among the four big broadcast networks, and the previous time they aired in August they were also on NBC – in 2006 – with Conan O’Brien as host.

This year, of course, the show’s on Fox – Sunday night starting at 8/7c – with Jane Lynch of “Glee” (also on Fox) serving as host. Then, on Monday night, the fall season starts out with a bang: The ninth-season premiere on “Two and a Half Men” (on CBS at 9/8c) – the most talked-about premiere of all the premieres coming our way (due, of course, to the show’s reboot with new star Ashton Kutcher).

Certainly, a handful of network shows premiered last week, most notably a couple of NBC shows – the new comedies “Up All Night” and “Free Agents,” and the returning “Parenthood” – and on CBS, the new “Survivor.” But this season, by and large, the tradition of premiering the new fall lineups in the weeks after the Emmys is back in a big way.

And just so you can plan for the week ahead, here’s what’s premiering:


On CBS, “How I Met Your Mother” (8/7c), “Two and a Half Men” (9/8c), the new comedy “2 Broke Girls” (9:30/8:30c) and “Hawaii Five-O” (10/9c).

On ABC, “Dancing With the Stars” (8/7c) and “Castle” (10/9c)

On NBC, “The Sing Off” (8/7c) and the new “Playboy Club” (10/9c).


On CBS, “NCIS” (8/7c), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (9/8c) and the new “Unforgettable” 10/9c).

On ABC, “Dancing With the Stars Results Show” (9/8c) and “Body of Proof” (10/9c).

On Fox, “Glee” (8/7c), the new comedy “New Girl” with Zooey Deschanel (9/8c) and “Raising Hope” (9:30/8:30c).

On NBC, “The Biggest Loser” (8/7c)


On CBS, “Criminal Minds” (9/8c) and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” with newcomer Ted Danson (10/9c).

On ABC, “The Middle” (8/7c), “Modern Family” (9/8c) and the new “Revenge” (10/9c)

On Fox, the new “The X Factor” (8/7c)

On NBC, “Harry’s Law” (9/8c) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (10/9c)


On CBS, “The Big Bang Theory” (8/7c), the new “Person of Interest” (9/8c) and “The Mentalist” (10/9c)

On ABC, the new “Charlie’s Angels” (8/7c) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (9/8c)

On Fox, “The X Factor,” the long premiere continues (8/7c)

On NBC, “Community” (8/7c), “Parks and Recreation” (8:30/7:30c), “The Office” with newcomer James Spader (9/8c), the new “Whitney” starring comedian Whitney Cummings (9:30/8:30c) and the new “Prime Suspect” (10/9c)


On CBS, the new “A Gifted Man” (8/7c), “CSI: NY” (9/8c), “Blue Bloods” (10/9c)

On Fox, “Kitchen Nightmares” (8/7c) and “Fringe” (9/8c)

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

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