It is officially September! It is almost time for all things pumpkin-flavored, cooler weather, and the return of fall clothing. For television fans, this is an exciting time of year. While summer shows have become more popular in recent years, fall is still the official start of a new season of television. Our favorite shows are returning and the buzz surrounding new shows is contagious.
Some of us (myself included) enjoy predicting which of the new shows will succeed and which will fail. Others are content sampling the new offerings and enjoying what is available for as long as they last. No matter what your viewing style, the excitement that comes from deciding which shows you will be watching this fall can’t be denied.
For me, the excitement of a new television season begins in May during the network upfronts. It’s a heartbreaking time of year, as show cancellations are announced or final seasons are confirmed, but also an exciting time of year, as it brings new show synopses and new trailers to help soothe our disappointment as favorite shows are canceled. From the early information, I get a sense of what shows I may be interested in adding to my schedule.
As the summer progresses, networks release their fall schedules and allows us to determine which shows will be watched live, which will be recorded, and which will be watched online. This brings a new round of excitement. Not only do I get to make my personal viewing schedule, but I also get to theorize about how certain shows will fare against their competition.
For the past few years, networks have attempted to garner early buzz for their show by pre-releasing their new shows ahead of the scheduled premiere dates in September. This proved to be a smart decision for FOX last year with “New Girl” and we will see in the next few weeks if it helps NBC and FOX develop an early base of dedicated fans for their new shows. While I don’t have a Nielsen box, and am therefore uncounted in my excitement, I am a big fan of pre-releases. It allows me the opportunity to get excited about the new season all over again and it makes me more inclined to sample all the new shows, even if I wasn’t initially drawn to them by their synopsis and trailer.
Finally, after 4 months of waiting, the start of the new season is upon us! The first scripted shows of the season return tomorrow and kick off a month of premieres. Over the next month, I will be reviewing each of the new pilots individually, but before I do, I want to talk a little bit about the shows I am most interested to see return this fall. These are not all the shows that I watch, so if there is a show you would like my opinion on, feel free to ask in the comments!
Parenthood (NBC, September 11th): It has been 7 long months since this fantastic show has been on the air. This show has so much heart to it and it is one I look forward to watching every week. The cast is large but it is truly one of the few ensemble shows where I enjoy watching every single character and plot line.
Glee (FOX, September 13th): While I am not always thrilled about the plot or character choices on this show, I am really interested to see how this transitional season goes. If done well, it could mean good things for the show’s future, as the problem of graduating seniors will continue for the rest of the show. If the split between the New Directions and the graduated seniors doesn’t work as planned, I wouldn’t be surprised to see two different shows in the future or for Glee to shift it’s focus away from Glee club in order to focus more on the original cast members who hold more of the audience’s affections.
Parks and Recreation (NBC, September 20th): This is easily my favorite show on the air right now, so I’m extremely excited for its return. If you are not watching this show, you should start immediately. The world needs more people like Leslie Knope and the Leslie Knopes of the world need people around them who support them as much the characters on this show support Leslie. This show is full of characters who genuinely care about each other and want each other to succeed and to me, it’s beautiful to watch.
Castle (ABC, September 24th): I am so ready to see how Castle and Beckett react to the events of last season. Everything I have read about it sounds like Andrew Marlowe and the rest of the writers have done a really good job at maintaining the feel of the show after getting the two leads together. I can’t wait to see where this season takes us, both with the relationships between the various cast members and with Joanna Beckett’s case.
Gossip Girl (CW, October 8th): I have tentative high hopes for the final season. The show can be a mess sometimes, with its ridiculous (and numerous) plots and its characters who refuse to act like normal human beings that communicate with each other, but I am grateful that the CW gave it a final season to wrap things up. There are very few things that I want from the final season, but more than anything I want Blair and Serena to end the show as friends, and I want the original four (Serena, Blair, Nate, and Chuck) to be happy and to have grown up a little since the start of the show. Nate made so much progress on that front last season, and I’d like to to see the others make the same progress.
Community (NBC, October 19th): I am disappointed in that Dan Harmon will no longer be with the show, but I’m glad they kept some of the other people who worked with him. I wish there were going to be more episodes this season, but I hope it means that they will be 13 outstanding episodes. No matter what the future of the show is beyond this season, I want this season to be one that, if it should be canceled, we can look back on it and say it went out on a high note.
What shows are you looking forward to seeing return?