Fall TV Preview (Mania.com)

By:Rob Vaux
Date: Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Interesting bit of trivia: the tradition of premiering new shows in the fall began as an advertising tie-in. Detroit released its new car models every autumn, and a brand new show would give them an ideal opportunity to show off their wares. A lot has changed since then (just ask Detroit) and television has become a rotating series of season premieres instead of an all-or nothing glut every September.  Nevertheless, some traditions die hard, and as we bid farewell to the summer shows, let’s take a close look at the new crop of fall series rising up to take their place. We’ve broken down the prime-time genre shows premiering between now and New Year’s Day below by new series and returning shows, along with a brief description of each. (For the sake of my sanity, I am ignoring reality shows. Syfy will have a lot of them. They will suck.)


New Shows

666 Park Avenue (ABC, premieres Sept. 30)

This soapy new entry about an exclusive Manhattan apartment building possessed by a demonic entity has “guilty pleasure” written all over it. It’s based on a novel by Gabriella Pierce and features Lost’s Terry O’Quinn. Huzzah!

Arrow (The CW, premieres Oct. 10)

DC is officially getting its ass kicked on the big screen by arch-rival Marvel, with its lone trump card (Christopher Nolan) moving on for other projects. This gritty new take on Green Arrow represents their best bet to get back in the game.

Beauty and the Beast (The CW, premieres Oct. 11)

The CW revamps the old Ron Perlman/Linda Hamilton show about a noble monster living in the sewers and the beautiful woman he loves. Smallville’s Kristen Kreuk stars in the Hamilton role.

Elementary (CBS, premieres Sept. 27)

Move over BBC: CBS is stealing your idea! Sherlock Holmes gets another modern-day update, this time moving to New York and with a female Watson (Lucy Liu) to share in his adventures. They have a VERY big shadow named Benedict Cumberbatch to outrun.

Last Resort (ABC, premieres Sept. 27)

ABC enters Tom Clancy territory with the story of a U.S. submarine that refuses to fire its missile without confirmation, then ends up on the run from its own government. Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman star.

Revolution (NBC, premieres Sept. 17)

I have to say, I am very skeptical of this post-apocalyptic series, involving a new Dark Age rising after every electrical device in the world shuts off. A small group of people set out in search of answers, hoping to turn the power back on and thus restore civilization.


Returning Shows

American Horror Story (FX, returns Oct. 17)

Everybody died in the finale last year, but is that stopping this show? The second season picks up with a whole new cast of characters… including Jessica Lange, who was in the first season but plays an entirely different character here. Everyone clear? Good.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, returns Sept. 27)

Sheldon and the gang are back for more nerdy excesses in the biggest comedy on television. There will presumably be another passel of sci-fi references, guest stars and general zaniness to keep its viewers giggling.

Burn Notice (USA, returns Nov. 11)

Burn Notice ran in the summer, but it returns from hiatus in November to finish off its season.

Dexter (Showtime, returns Sept. 30)

The continuing adventures of everyone’s favorite serial killer ended on a doozy of a cliffhanger last year, as Dexter’s sister Debra stumbled upon him butchering the Doomsday Killer like a hog.  Season Seven apparently kicks off a two-season arc, with Ray Stevenson joining the cast as a Russian mobster who arrives in Miami looking for one of his (dead) associates.

Doctor Who (BBC America, returned Sept. 1)

The Energizer Bunny of science fiction cranked up its seventh season (or 26th, depending on how you count)  again this past Saturday. Matt Smith continues his yeoman work as the good Doctor, while Karen Gillian and Arthur Davill will appear in the first handful of episodes before being replaced by a new companion.

Fringe (Fox, returns Sept 28)

Fox renews Fringe for a fifth and final season, giving fans a chance to say good-bye and the Fringe team an opportunity to bow out with grace.

Haven (Syfy, returns Sept. 12)

Will Audrey Parker finally get to the bottom of her connection to Haven? Will Duke avert his increasingly certain doom? Will we finally find out what the heck it is about this little Maine town that brings out the Freakazoid in everyone? Ah to hell with it: bring on the Troubles!

Nikita (The CW, returns Oct. 19)

Nikita’s proving as tough to kill as its titular character, who returns for a new round of covert ops and shadow games. She and her pals finally killed Percy and took over Division at the end of last year. This season, we’ll presumably see what they do with their newfound power.

Once Upon a Time (ABC, returns Sept. 30)

The surprise ABC hit ended last year with Rumplestiltskin unleashing a toxic cloud of pure love on the town of Storybrooke just as its citizens recovered their lost memories. We get to see how they deal with it this year.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Cartoon, returns Sept. 29)

The fifth season of the terrific animated series promises to move the story closer to the events of Revenge of the Sith… which suggests that the producers have a viable end-game in mind. That may spell bad things for a certain spunky Jedi girl, who shall remain nameless here.

Supernatural (The CW, returns Oct. 3)

They said it would be gone a couple of seasons ago, but the Winchester brothers just won’t stay down.  Showrunner Jeremy Carver claims to have a new arc planned this year that will take the show to the end of Season Ten. Time will tell how they do.

Touch (Fox, returns Oct. 26)

Kiefer Sutherland and Fox have had a long and fruitful relationship, and they see no need to stop it just because that ticking clock on 24 has stopped. His supernatural drama about a very special little boy returns for a second go-round this fall.

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, returns Oct. 11)

Y’all enjoy it. It’s the bestest show ever for anyone who’s never actually heard another vampire story. No, Twilight doesn’t count.

The Walking Dead (AMC, returns Oct. 14)

The prison looms… and The Governor stands ready to make life for Rick Grimes and his friends that much more hellish. Look for Michael Rooker’s triumphant return as one-handed redneck Merle Dixon this year.