Monday, June 24

The CDP 2013-2014 Fall TV Preview.

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Two months ahead of schedule, IT'S BACK!

For the 8th goddamn year, the CDP is back with the scoop on over 50 new, returning and canceled TV shows. These are the shows that I will be watching (or at least giving a chance to); all times are Central, and the time slot information is as accurate as I could get as of the date this was written. I also stuck with mostly national TV and some basic cable; I did not include premium channels, because the CDP is welcoming to TV fans in all tax brackets.

And hey, if this preview isn't enough for you, feel free to take a trip in the Wayback Machine to see my 7 other Fall previews:

2005-2006 Preview. (Remember Invasion and Night Stalker?)
2006-2007 Preview. (Remember The Unit and Studio 60?)
2007-2008 Preview. (Remember Kid Nation and Carpoolers?)
2008-2009 Preview. (Remember The Goode Family and Lipstick Jungle?)
2009-2010 Preview. (Remember Time Warp and FlashForward?)
2010-2011 Preview. (Remember Detroit 1-8-7 and Better With You?)
2011-2012 Preview. (Remember Alcatraz and Awake?)

Let's do this, starting from the top.

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6-7pm - America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC)
7-8pm - Once Upon A Time (ABC)
7-10pm - Sunday Night Football (NBC)
7-7:30pm - The Simpsons (FOX)
7:30-8pm - Bob's Burgers (FOX)
8-9pm - The Walking Dead (AMC)
9-10pm - Talking Dead (AMC)

The Skinny - AFV, the classic, reliable archangel of nutpunches and vomiting babies, kicks off the night for me. One of the Missus’ favorites (that is beginning to grow on me), Once Upon A Time, returns for another season of fairytale genre-bending. If you’re not interested in NFL action (and who are you?), you can check out the best animated series on TV (Bob’s Burgers), preceded by the greatest TV show of all-time (The Simpsons) on FOX. We cap the weekend with the pop culture juggernaut that is The Walking Dead (and its companion Talking Dead) at 8.

What Else Is On? – CBS typically owns the night with heavy hitters such as The Amazing Race, The Good Wife and The Mentalist, while FOX closes the evening with Animation Domination mainstays Family Guy and American Dad.

But I Can Only Watch 1 Show! - Bob's Burgers might be the funniest show on television right now, so if comedy is your thing, go get it. However, The Walking Dead is the reigning heavyweight champion of ratings and discussion (oh, and it's great), so if action and gore by the truckload is more up your alley, you can't miss it.

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6-6:15pm - Adventure Time (TOON)
6:30-7pm - Regular Show (TOON)
7-8pm - Antiques Roadshow (PBS)
7-10pm - Monday Night Raw (USA)
8-11pm - Monday Night Football (ESPN)
9-10pm - Under The Dome (CBS)

The Skinny - The weird, wacky, surreal double-shot of Adventure Time/Regular Show starts Monday evening off with a much-needed dose of unbridled enthusiasm. From there, you can bask in other people’s nick-knacks with Antiques Roadshow, or watch professional wrestlers use similar foreign objects as weapons on Monday Night Raw (or watch both, like I do). Monday Night Football is a cultural institution at this point, although you can watch just to take bets on when Chris Berman finally has that heart attack. Finally, the excitement surrounding the Stephen King/Brian K. Vaughan-created Under The Dome will officially give me a reason to watch something on CBS.

What Else Is On?How I Met Your Mother is heading into its last season, which I guess is a big deal, while The Voice continues to be NBC’s most lucrative commodity from 8-10.

But I Can Only Watch 1 Show! - I personally find professional wrestling and football to be more stimulating and (dare I say) authentic to shows like The Voice and Dancing With The Stars, but I'm in no position to judge. Monday is a wild card; anything goes.

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7-8pm - Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
7:30-8pm - Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
8-8:30pm - The Goldbergs (ABC)
8:30-9pm - Trophy Wife (ABC)
8-9pm - The Ultimate Fighter (FS1)
9-9:30pm - UFC Tonight (FS1)

The Skinny - Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has some mighty big expectations to fill, and I’m sure its pilot episode will open to huge ratings. Another comedy with similar buzz is Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a buddy cop satire starring Andy Samberg. A couple of lesser-discussed sitcoms, The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife, show up in the 8-9 slot on ABC, and I’m crossing my fingers that The Goldbergs is everything I wish it to be. We wrap the evening up with The Ultimate Fighter and UFC Tonight, as I get my MMA fix and drift to sleep while watching people getting kicked in the head.

What Else Is On? – CBS continues its unrelenting cavalcade of crime dramas NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and Person Of Interest, while Supernatural continues to ward off pure evil (and cancellation) over on the CW.

But I Can Only Watch 1 Show! - The Ultimate Fighter is going to be incredible and Brooklyn Nine-Nine looks to be the breakout comedy of the season, but I think most of us are looking forward to what Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to pull out of their hat. No new drama has generated more buzz this year.

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7-7:30pm - The Middle (ABC)
7-8pm - WWE Main Event (ION)
8-8:30pm - Modern Family (ABC)
8-9pm - Mythbusters (DISC)
8:30-9pm - Super Fun Night (ABC)
9-10pm - Nashville (ABC)

The Skinny - The Middle and Modern Family have found permanent residence in the Zeinert household, as well as earning themselves heaps of praise and Emmys (the latter more than the former, although The Middle has a sizable, vocal fan base). WWE Main Event is for those of us who crave more than the 7 other hours of weekly pro wrestling we’re fed, and Mythbusters continues its 10th season with more skepticism, explosions and Kari Byron. Super Fun Night has trainwreck potential, but I’m giving it a shot due to Executive Producer Conan O’Brien. Finally, the sexy, trashy, soapy goodness of Nashville returns for a sophomore season.

What Else Is On?Arrow and The Tomorrow People might send some more casual fans the CW’s way in the wake of solid critical buzz, while the rest of the dial is loaded with massive mainstays (Survivor, CSI, The X Factor and American Idol).

But I Can Only Watch 1 Show! - Modern Family is about a perfect of a sitcom as you'll find over the last decade, but if dirty, soapy drama better suits you, you'll find it in Nashville.

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7-8pm - Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (ABC)
7-7:30pm - Parks And Recreation (NBC)
8:30-9pm - The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC)

The Skinny - What happened to Thursday night comedy? What was once a beacon of critically-acclaimed, breakthrough sitcoms has been relegated to a last-show-standing powerhouse (Parks And Recreation), and the welcome-yet-tenuous  return of a veteran TV actor (The Michael J. Fox Show). Thursday night also welcomes Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, a spinoff of the Tuesday night cult favorite.

What Else Is On? – Thursday night comedies seemed to have flipped the way of CBS, with The Millers and The Crazy Ones joining The Big Bang Theory and Two And A Half Men. Meanwhile, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal satisfy a need for sexiness on ABC.

But I Can Only Watch 1 Show! - Parks And Recreation, hands down.

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7-9pm - WWE Friday Night Smackdown (SYFY)
9-11pm - AxsTV Fights (AXS)

The Skinny - Fake fighting followed by real fighting. There’s a skinny for you.

What Else Is On? – With Grimm, Dracula and Crossbones, I like that NBC is throwing its weirdest stuff on Friday nights, a night where, let’s face it, their expected nerd fanbase is home in front of their television. Elsewhere, the CW keeps is superficial with The Carrie Diaries and America’s Next Top Model.

But I Can Only Watch 1 Show! - Get out of the house. Go hang out with your friends, or perhaps watch the shit you DVR'd throughout the week. Friday's a consistent wasteland for television, and for good reason.

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7-8pm - Cops (SPIKE)
10:30-12am - Saturday Night Live (NBC)
11-5am - Toonami* (TOON)

(*The Toonami block currently includes: Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Soul Eater, Eureka Seven, IGPX, Thundercats, Sym-Bionic Titan, Cowboy Bebop, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Inyuasha.)

The Skinny - After 25 years on the air at FOX (spanning the entire lifespan of the network), Cops finds a new home at Spike (home of their entire catalog at this point). Saturday Night Live returns with what we can expect to be a mostly new cast of featured players, which means it could be a stinker of a season, or a showcase of awesome new talent. Time will tell. Finally, the Cartoon Network gives us six straight hours of action-based Anime with Toonami, a weekly marathon that will take you right to sunrise.

What Else Is On? – Not a goddamn thing, dude.

But I Can Only Watch 1 Show! - Stay up late and watch Toonami with me. We'll liveblog it; it'll be fun.

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Time TBA - Resurrection (ABC - Night TBA)
9-10pm - Crossbones (NBC - Friday)
8-9pm - Believe (NBC - Sunday)
7-7:30pm - Community (NBC - Thursday)

The Skinny - Resurrection was a trailer that surprised me with its premise, but a mid-season slot usually means a rough road ahead for the vaguely-spiritual drama. Crossbones is, I believe, the first pirate-themed drama on network TV in a while (maybe ever), and Believe is a J.J. Abrams-produced thriller about a girl with special powers (sure, why not). Rounding out the Winter schedule is the very unexpected return of Community, along with the unfathomably unexpected return of series creator Dan Harmon. For those of you who didn’t watch Season 4 because of Harmon’s departure (and you missed out, because it was good), now you have no reason to stay away.

What Else Is On? – I’m not sure. It’s like, six months away; be patient.

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10. Animal Practice (Alright, just kidding.)
10. Vegas
9. Touch
8. The Cleveland Show
7. Gossip Girl
6. Smash
5. CSI: NY
4. Fringe
3. Happy Endings
2. The Office
1. 30 Rock

The Skinny – Two of the greatest comedies of all-time, 30 Rock and The Office, signed off last season to massive critical acclaim and fantastic finales. Happy Endings and Fringe were both beloved shows with cult followings that never seemed to get proper footing (or attention) at their respective networks. CSI:NY presumably fell victim to an over-saturation of the genre, and Smash…well, that just looked stupid from the beginning.

Well, there you have it. The scoop on my personal Fall TV schedule, for the 8th year running. Set your DVR’s, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your week. Don’t forget to tell me the shows you plan on watching on My Twitter and over on My Facebook. And hey, go buy one of my books while you're at it. Thanks much; have a good one.