Fall TV Preview 2009

The Fall TV season officially kicks off Sept. 21 this year, a day after the Primetime Emmy Awards are announced, however a few shows are getting the jump early this week (most notably on NBC). There is a solid batch of comedy offerings on the TV lineup so I thought I’d drop some knowledge and premiere dates on shows I hope to follow in the 2009 season. (*spoiler alert: previews may include storyline/plot developments for the upcoming season)

Seinfeld Curb Reunion

Curb Your Enthusiasm (Premiere: Sun. Sept. 20 at 10 PM on HBO)
Probably the show I am most looking forward to with the much anticipated Seinfeld reunion scheduled as the primary plot line this season. Jerry, Jason, Julia and Michael will all reprise their roles in coordinating a reunion show within the show with Larry David who is attempting to woo back his TV wife, Cheryl Hines. While it may not be a reunion in its purest form, its probably the closest we will ever get to reuniting the Seinfeld Four on television. The storyline is intended to take up 5/10 episodes this year with the first coming on Oct. 3. Nostalgia should play a role to die-hard fans as much of the original set was recreated and episodes were shot in the original Seinfeld CBS Studio. It will be interesting to see if Michael’s racial outburst from 2006 will be discussed on the show and/or if some of the secondary characters from Seinfeld’s past will drop in for a visit. Curb originals Leon, Wanda Sykes, and Richard Lewis are all expected back for Season 7.

The Office (Premiere: Thu. Sept. 17 at 9 PM on NBC)
With a Jim-Pam baby on the way, I am struggling to class it as a “Jump the Shark” moment for the show. To add to that, the couple is planning a wedding ceremony in a 1 hour episode expected to air Oct. 8 (filmed in Niagara Falls). I have a strong feeling the writers have some tricks up their sleeve to discourage things from going exactly as planned. Other antics planned for this year include Michael presumably joining a Mob and Andy making moves on the new receptionist. While Amy Ryan has not officially signed on for any more episodes, I don’t think it would be far fetched to expect a Holly cameo later in the Spring.

How I Met Your Mother (Premiere: Mon. Sept. 20 at 8 PM on CBS)
I’m glad this show finally got a much deserved Emmy nod this year after 4 seasons in the books. This is probably one of the most underrated shows on TV but now looks to be gaining some steam with co-star Neil Patrick Harris hosting this year’s Emmy Awards on CBS (which should surely get some shameless promotion in the mix). This year will focus on the Barney-Robin relationship as well as Ted’s new gig as a teacher at Columbia University (where we were told he meets the titular mother). Canadian jokes are a staple to the show and I am looking forward to an upcoming episode titled “Duel Citizenship” in which Robin cannot let go of her Canadian identity.

Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Premiere: Thu. Sept. 17 at 10 PM on FX)
The gang from Paddy’s Bar is back at it for another round of politically incorrect comedy. While the show has lost some of its originality and luster from its earlier seasons, it is still is one of the funniest shows on TV (if you are not turned off by the outrageous shenanigans and touchy humor). This year, we are expected to see an intervention for Frank, the gang sneaking into the World Series and some appropriately timed economy based episodes touching on the Mortgage Crisis – which all sound like a hoot.

30 Rock (Premiere: Thu. Oct. 15 at 9:30 PM on NBC)
The show will premiere (after its now standard delay) in October which simply means less reruns later in the season. Fresh off a record 22 Emmy nominations, it is hard to understand why more people have not jumped aboard this show, which I believe has the best writing in the business. To help with the ratings, 30 Rock was recently picked up by Comedy Central to run in syndication starting in Fall 2010. This year is expected to feature a Page strike as well as a more prominent role for Jenna who will attempt to host her own talk show.

The Jay Leno Show (Premiere. Mon. Sept. 14 at 10 PM on NBC)
Probably the most anticipated show to premiere this Fall for media purposes. This will be an interesting experiment to see if comedy talk shows can replace usual drama slots at 10 PM in prime time. The show is being billed as a “Comedy Show” vs. a “Talk Show” and will feature Jay’s usual bits (“Headlines”, “Jay-Walking”) along with car racing (?) and a regular featuring of new comics, which should be fun. While not a big Leno fan myself, I am hoping to at least tune in for the start with Jerry Seinfeld scheduled as the premiere guest (probably a safe bet the Curb appearance might be promoted) along with Jay-Z/Rihanna/Kanye. Tom Cruise and Halle Berry are also expected to drop by during the first week.

Others to keep tabs on:

The Big Bang Theory (Premiere. Mon. Sept. 21 at 9:30 PM on CBS) – New prime slot following Two and a Half Men should surely bump ratings with featured story lines including a Penny-Lenord hookup and a Lewis Black guest appearance.

Thursday Night Live (Premiere: Thu. Sept. 17 at 8 PM on NBC) – TNL is back with Amy Poehler joining Seth Myers on the desk for a 6 episode run.

Saturday Night Live (Premiere: Sat. Sept. 26 at 11:30 PM on NBC) – Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson are out with 2 new females added to the cast. Megan Fox and U2 are scheduled to host the 35th season premiere.

Flash Forward (Premiere: Thu. Sept. 24 at 10 PM on ABC) – An interesting concept where the world briefly blacks out and each character catches a glimpse into the future. 1 of 2 dramas (along with Numb3rs) I intend on following this year.

Parks and Recreation (Premiere: Thu. Sept. 17 at 8:30 PM on NBC) – Leslie finds herself in a gay marriage debate over a penguin fiasco at the zoo.

Scrubs (Premiere: TBA on ABC) – The show shifts from Sacred Heart to the Dr. Cox/Turk show at a Medical school with JD/Elliot expected to make guest appearances later in the season.

The Cleveland Show (Premiere: Sun. Sept. 27 at 8:30 PM on FOX) – Newly added comedy to the Simpsons and Family Guy “Animation Domination”, read my full review here)

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