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2011 Fall Television Premieres: Downton Abbey, It's Always Sunny...

The returning shows to watch plus the new ones to catch

The following is the list of the returning and new television comedies and dramas I'll be tuning in for this fall, starting now in September. For each of the four categories, I've listed first my most anticipated series and then the rest in the chronological order of their premiere dates. Network information and brief explanations for why I'll be watching are also given. Enjoy! And post your comments about what you'd add/subtract to my list. Please feel free to give recommendations.

The outrageous It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is back for a seventh season, and I'm oh so very happy to welcome it.The outrageous It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is back for a seventh season, and I'm oh so very happy to welcome it.

The Returning Comedies

Most Anticipated: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

When? Sep. 15

Where? FX

Why? Because Charlie Day is absolutely hilarious. Because the writing is surprising and unexpected, eleveating the humor above other simpler, TV comedy. Because the complete cast has amazing chemistry and are all talented. And, finally, because Rob McElhenney gained fifty pounds to give himself the "fat" funny edge and I'm dying to see what he does with it.

How I Met Your Mother

When? Sep. 19

Where? CBS

Why? This is a funny show, although it has become less and less entertaining and creative over the seasons. Still, Barney Stinson, as played by Neil Patrick Harris, is one of the funniest television characters, and the cast is very talented and have a natural appeal. I'll watch it in hopes that it improves over last season and brings something new to its increasingly stale plot lines.

Modern Family

When? Sep. 21 

Where? ABC

Why? It's just a very easy time with this well-rounded, funny cast that deliver their above-average funny lines with full, comedic conviction.

Parks and Recreations

When? Sep. 22

Where? NBC

Why? Because it's the funniest network sitcom on television. Amy Poehler. Ron Swanson's moustache. Great guest appearances.

The Big Bang Theory

When? Sep. 22

Where? CBS

Why? Jim Parsons's Sheldon Cooper. And a great cast, of both dorky men and also dorky (with one former cheer leader) ladies. 

Community has seen better days than the second part of last season. Here's to hoping it gets really funny again; all the potential is there.Community has seen better days than the second part of last season. Here's to hoping it gets really funny again; all the potential is there.

Community

When? Sep. 22

Where? NBC

Why? It was once really funny and has recently faltered. I'm hoping the talented cast and writing team and bring it round again, back to its great, hilarious origins.

The Office

When? Sep. 22

Where? NBC

Why? The Office without Michael Scott (Steve Carell) but with a great James Spader instead and the still very funny cast will be an experiment worth witnessing and, hopefully, enjoying. I thought the last Michael-free episodes weren't disasters and were still pretty strong, so I have high hopes for the future - although hopefully short - of The Office.

How to Make It in America

When? Oct. 2

Where? HBO

Why? It had a decent first season and shows promise to continue being a fun, although unthrilling and mostly unsurprising, half hour. But it's better than most comedies and it's always nice to see New York City in all its glory, even if it's limited to the lower east side.

Bored to Death

When? Oct. 10

Where? HBO

Why? A strong trio cast (Zach Galifianakis, Jason Schwartzman, and Ted Danson) of hilarious men. 

The Returning Dramas

Downton Abbey's large, talented cast - headed by a brilliant Maggie Smith - will be back for some more great drama with that great British comedic touch.Downton Abbey's large, talented cast - headed by a brilliant Maggie Smith - will be back for some more great drama with that great British comedic touch.

Most Anticipated: Downton Abbey

When? Sep. 18

Where? BBC America

Sons of Anarchy

When? Sep. 6

Where? FX

Why? Read my recommendation HERE. In brief, because it's an exciting, eventful show that features strong acting and good writing.

Boardwalk Empire

When? Sep. 25

Where? HBO

Why? It's HBO, and because it needs to improve on its first season. Second seasons are always exciting; they're where shows really become great, growing in dimension and learning from the mistakes and strengths of their debut seasons. We were left with new intrigues and dynamics, and I'm interested to see what the show does with them.

Luther

When? Sep. 28

Where? BBC America

Why? Already saw it and it was pretty good - not as good as the first season - and still features great acting, especially from star Idris Elba, and smart, sharp writing.

Dexter has always been a reliable fun hour of television. Season 6 should be no different.Dexter has always been a reliable fun hour of television. Season 6 should be no different.

Dexter

When? Oct. 2

Where? Showtime

Why? It's just such a fun, witty show. Michael C. Hall is great to watch. And this season has some fun surprise guests, including Edward James Olmos. Read more HERE.

The Walking Dead

When? Oct. 16

Where? AMC

Why? As with Boardwalk Empire, this was a highly-rated, highly-anticipated premiere last year that let me down but still managed to entertain me enough for me to keep watching and enjoy it. Again, second seasons are crucial. I'm very excited to see what this contemplative zombie-drama does a second time around. Also, this season we get a full, 12-episode arc, and not that miserly 6-episode one that made up its debut. 

The New Comedies

I'm excited to see what turned the fabulous Laura Dern onto television; and HBO always delivers creative comedy.I'm excited to see what turned the fabulous Laura Dern onto television; and HBO always delivers creative comedy.

Most Anticipated: Enlightened

When? Oct. 10

Where? HBO

Why? Laura Dern in a television comedy! LAURA DERN! And Luke Wilson there to help. And it's HBO.

Up All Night

When? Sep. 14

Where? NBC

Why? Will Arnett, its lead, is really funny. Christina Appelgate, its other lead, is okay, but her boss is played by Maya Rudolph who I found to be one of the last remaining funny people of SNL before she quit to do Hollywood. But mostly, I'm watching for Will Arnett and the reviews so far seem to be pretty positive.

The New Dramas

Hell on Wheels is AMC's next attempt at greatness, and I'm happy to have it while I wait for the Mad Men 2012 premiere.Hell on Wheels is AMC's next attempt at greatness, and I'm happy to have it while I wait for the Mad Men 2012 premiere.

Most Anticipated: Hell on Wheels

When? Nov. 6

Where? AMC

Why? AMC. Pretty much that's my only reason for really being excited about this. I would say more "curious" than actually excited, considering that The Killing ended up being just an above-average show that left me wanting much more, though still believing in its potential to be great and its strong qualities. But the trailer reminds me of Deadwood, a previous HBO show that was cancelled much too early and that I thoroughly enjoyed. I just have no idea what to expect from this new AMC venture, which makes it especially enticing to me.

Prime Suspect

When? Sep. 22

Where? NBC

Why? This is one I'll probably watch just the premiere of and see how that goes before deciding to continue. I'm not committing myself quite yet. But I really like Maria Bello, and I'm always interested in why good actors with flourishing careers decide to do television. Plus, U.S. versions of great European shows seem to be doing pretty good, so I'll tune in.

Person of Interest

When? Sep. 22

Where? CBS

Why? It's created by J.J. Abrams. Need I say more?

Terra Nova

When? Sep. 26

Where? Fox

Why? I need my dose of science fiction drama, and why not go to the source: Spielberg. I'm not committed but we'll see how the debut goes.

Homeland

When? Oct. 2 

Where? Showtime

Why? I'm intrigued that Showtime made a new drama, to accompany Dexter, and it stars movie veteran Claire Danes.

American Horror Story

When? Oct. 5

Where? FX

Why? Just to see what this bizarre thing really is. It's really for the premiere and we'll see if its ridiculousness is good - and worth pursuing - or just plain bad. And, it's on FX, which had produced some great television.

Notes: Late Returns

There are a few shows that would normally  be premiering around now but have been put on hold. I'll definitely be watching AMC's Mad Men, when it finally comes back in February 2012, as well as Tina Fey comedy 30 Rock, to return in 2012 for its last season.

Recent and Upcoming Season Finales: Summer TV

The summer months have given us some great shows, warming up the seat for the fall stars. I've really enjoyed comedies Louie, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Wilfred. Of course there's Breaking Bad, that already at its midway point. But I'd also like to draw attention to a new show on USA (a network never before mentioned here!): Suits. It had its season finale last week and has been a very enjoyable show all season.

Comments (3)

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kelly
September 17, 2011

Thank you for no Glee!! I like your list. Wish I had more time and consciousness for TV.

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jason brees
September 24, 2011

High quality information about tv shows you have shared in this blog. And I want you to keep sharing this kind of information for the fans of tv shows. Thanks.

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HONEY STARR
October 14, 2011

You mentioned a few shows that you intend to watch or watch and love.
Watched ENLIGHTENED once. that will do it. Mindless. Downtown Abbey... counting the seconds it will return. TOO incredible. love it. I love Dexter, the year with Lithgow excellent. Sons of ANARCHY. jUST CAN'T GET INTO IT. I also can't a grip on the WIRE. nOT SAYING it is bad show, don't think I will invest the time. Up all night, cute, but Modern Family is excellent. Haven't seen parks and rec. I intend to get on demand BOARDWALK EMPIRE. BREAKING BAD has ruled my life, my thoughts, and it goes way beyond anything I have ever seen. I am captivated. Shows I like are hard to watch. I staarted with no one telling me to with my husband start of season 3. addicted. When it was over bought 1 and 2 and the rest is history.
Everyone has different tastes and favorites one that was cancelled so quickly was TERRIERS on FX. to bad it was cancelled. well cheers till then we can BREAK BAD ??

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