Summer is great and all, but I’m an Autumn girl. I love everything about the fall – apple picking, leaves changing, the slightly cool and crisp weather, the beginning of football and MLB playoffs. Some people love a tropical climate, but I’m happiest in jeans and sweatshirt weather. I prefer Halloween to the 4th of July. September has always been my favorite month, as it meant going back to school and, more importantly, celebrating my birthday. And as a pop culture junkie, September used to be the beginning of a new television season. That model has obviously evolved – shows now premiere throughout the year – but the Fall is still when most of the new programming on the “big 4” networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox) debuts.
Labor Day may still be around the corner, but there is no doubting that Fall is quickly approaching. Today I ordered a pumpkin coffee at Dunkin Donuts, one of the surest signs that Autumn is waiting in the wings.
So in honor of the impending change of the season, I’m going to write what is perhaps my most embarrassing post to date. I’m going to pull back the curtain and reveal what my Fall TV viewing schedule looks like. Keep in mind, this is not for the weak of heart. My TV rotation is pretty daunting and despite its appearance, I must assure you that I do have a life. I don’t spend all my time in front of the TV; I have a job, am social and am a productive member of society. But I do watch a lot of TV. That I cannot deny.
Without further ado, here is my Fall TV schedule (premiere dates appear in parentheses):
8 pm – How I Met Your Mother (ABC – September 24)
9 pm – Gossip Girl (The CW – October 8)
10 pm – Revolution (NBC – September 17)
Monday is the iffiest day of programming for me, as I am not committed to any of these shows. I used to love HIMYM, but the quality the last season has been severely compromised. I’d be watching strictly for Jason Segel and Neil Patrick Harris; I’m just tired of them jerking us around about the identity of the mother. It’s beginning to feel like a series of misdirections just for the sake of misdirection. I actually bailed on Gossip Girl last season, but since this is their final season and it contains an abridged number of episodes, I may catch up and then tune in for their swan song. I’m intrigued by Revolution, a new show on NBC, but my skepticism about investing my time in new shows may prevent me from tuning in until I know it will be back.
9 pm – Happy Endings (ABC – October 23)
9 pm – Go On (NBC – September 11)
9:30 – Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 (ABC – October 23)
10 pm – Parenthood (NBC – September 11)
10 pm – Sons of Anarchy (FX – September 11)
My Tuesday night viewing is kind of all over the place tonally. For my money, Happy Endings is one of the most fun comedies on TV; it is a great ensemble and I love its quirky sense of humor. I enjoyed the pilot of Go On and am willing to give it a try, at least for a few episodes. Don’t’ Trust the B was also a nice surprise last season and I look forward to its return. I like the cast on Parenthood more than the current storylines, but I enjoy spending time with the Bravermans enough to make room for it on my schedule. I’m a really big Sons of Anarchy fan; even though the last few seasons have been a little uneven, I still really like this somewhat soapy show about a motorcycle gang in California. Hell, I’d tune in just to see Charlie Hunnam on a regular basis; the fact that he can act is just a bonus. Katey Segal is doing some stellar work as matriarch Gemma. If you aren’t watching Sons, I’d recommend catching up on DVD.
8 pm – The Middle (ABC – September 26)
8 pm – Survivor (CBS – September 19)
9 pm – Modern Family (ABC – September 26)
9:30 pm – Suburgatory (ABC – October 17)
10 pm – Nashville (ABC – October 10)
10 pm – American Horror Story (FX – October 17)
10:30 pm – South Park (Comedy Central, September 26)
I like The Middle in spite of Patricia Heaton, who I find annoying. I’d be delighted with a spin-off with just the kids, who are really doing some great work. I’m not 100% sure I’ll watch Survivor, but the news that Lisa Welchel (aka Blair Warner from Facts of Life) will be a contestant might peak my curiosity enough that I tune in. If I don’t like the contestants, I’ll stop watching. Modern Family took a step down in quality last year in my opinion, but when it is firing on all cylinders it is pretty darn funny. I enjoyed the freshman season of Suburgatory, though I liked the show more when it focused on Tessa and her high school friends rather than the adults. I’m willing to take a chance on Nashville for one reason: Connie Britton. I love her; she was part of one of my favorite TV marriages of all time on Friday Night Lights, so wherever Tami Taylor goes I follow. South Park can be hit or miss, but when it hits it is some of the best satire out there (and it hits more often than not). As for American Horror Story – the show is nuts. It’s not always good nuts, but it is definitely not boring. It’s what I imagine being on a weird acid trip is like.
8 pm – The Big Bang Theory (CBS – September 27)
8 pm – The Vampire Diaries (The CW – October 11)
8 pm – 30 Rock (NBC – October 4)
9 pm – The Office (NBC – September 20)
9:30 – Parks and Recreation (NBC – September 20)
10 pm – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX – October 11)
10:30 pm –The League (FX –TBD)
Obviously Thursday at 8 pm is a tough time slot; I usually wind up watching The Big Bang Theory on Demand at some point over the weekend because it is a low priority. I’m a sucker for the NBC Thursday comedy block; the fact that this is The Office’s final season is the only reason I’m coming back. 30 Rock will also have an abbreviated final season. Parks and Recs is the best of the current Thursday night lineup. I refuse to apologize for my affection for The Vampire Diaries – despite the fact it is on the CW and is a show about vampires, it is really good. Of all the shows on the air that deal with a mythology, The Vampire Diaries does the best job in execution; I am constantly surprised by the plot twists. The FX comedies are not for the faint of heart – they are crude and raunchy – but they are among the best comedies on TV. They are on my must see list.
8:30 – Community (NBC – October 19)
9 pm – Grimm (NBC – September14)
Normally I don’t have anything to watch of Friday nights, but then NBC decided to ship off my beloved Community to the TV wasteland. I’ve come to terms that the shortened order of Community will probably be its last. I’ve enjoyed the improvements to Grimm since it has returned for its second season, so I’ll stick with it. I suspect both of these shows will be watched on tape delay.
Day of rest. Catch up on the DVR
8:30 pm – Bob’s Burgers (Fox – September 30)
9pm – Revenge (ABC – September 30)
9 pm – The Walking Dead (AMC – October 14)
9 pm – Boardwalk Empire (HBO – September 16)
9 pm – Dexter (Showtime, September 30)
10 pm – Treme (HBO, September 23)
10 pm – Homeland (Showtime, September 30)
So much for the end of the weekend being relaxing; I have a royal clusterfudge at 9 pm on Sundays. Thanks a lot ABC – you just HAD to move Revenge. I’ve made my problems with Walking Dead known, but I still generally enjoy the show. I’m curious how Boardwalk Empire is going to handle the shocking cast change from last year’s finale. Dexter has been declining in quality the last few seasons, but they have introduced an interesting new development that makes me want to come back for more. Treme isn’t for everyone with its very methodical storytelling and deliberate pace, but I really enjoy it. I still need to catch up on season one of Homeland, but I’ve heard nothing but universal praise for it so I definitely want to add it to the rotation. And I may have just discovered Bob’s Burgers, but I really find it amusing. Thank goodness for the West Coast feeds of HBO and Showtime and their respective on demand channels; that’s the only way I can view everything.
I don’t know how I’ll do it all, but somehow I always manage. This is one of the advantages of not having kids; plenty of time to devote to television.
What’s on your fall TV schedule? Need help planning? Check out TV Guide’s Fall TV Preview.