Monday, September 9, 2013

Figuring out Fall TV - Sundays

It's fall TV season again, which means decisions! How ever will you keep up with your old favorites while packing in a bunch of new shows that may or may not have a chance of making it? I'm here to help, breaking down each day hour by hour, letting you know what you should watch, what you should avoid, and how exactly you're going to fit it all in.

In general, I'm focusing on the four main broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) as well as HBO, Showtime and a few other pay cablers. New shows are in bold.

Let's start this soiree with Sunday. Most shows are premiering Sept. 29, the same day as the "Breaking Bad" finale. If you're not watching football (go Broncos!), this is what you have to look forward to:

8 p.m.
Once Upon a Time (ABC)
The Amazing Race (CBS)
The Simpsons/Bob's Burgers (Fox)

All of these are established, so you're going to watch the one you've been watching. There's unlikely to be any overlap in tastes anyway.

9 p.m.
Revenge (ABC)
The Good Wife (CBS)
Family Guy/American Dad (Fox)
Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Homeland (Showtime)
The Walking Dead (AMC, season premiere Oct. 13)

Good luck guys! This is the moment you fire up your DVR or hang tight till after midnight to watch online or On Demand. My advice: Watch the talkers live -- the shows you like to gab with your friends about the next day, or the ones that get the most play in the media (most likely "Homeland" and "The Walking Dead.") Record the rest and save them for down times throughout the week.

If your DVR runs into conflict issues, it's better to record the network shows, where you'll want to fast-forward through commercials, and save the premium cable ones for online or On Demand, where that's not a problem.

10 p.m.
Betrayal (ABC)
The Mentalist (CBS)
Eastbound and Down/Hello Ladies (HBO)
Masters of Sex (Showtime)

I haven't seen many reviews yet of "Betrayal," targeted toward the "Revenge" folks, but what I have seen is not positive. "Masters of Sex," on the other hand -- starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as pioneering sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson -- is being almost universally praised.  And you probably can't go wrong with "Hello Ladies," a half-hour comedy from Stephen Merchant (i.e., the tall half of Ricky Gervais) about a bloke just looking for love in L.A.

Wild card
The last couple of years have seen a steady stream of big-name movie actors coming to play leads on the small screen, and at 10 p.m. on Sundays, Julia Ormond joins their ranks -- on, of all networks, Lifetime. She's starring in "Witches of East End" (premiering Oct. 6) as the head of a family of witches. Even if it's not your batch of brew, aren't you at least just a little curious?

Fall TV Mondays
Fall TV Tuesdays
Fall TV Wednesdays
Fall TV Thursdays
Fall TV Fridays and Saturdays

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