MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
'Terra Nova' (8PM ET, Fox) series premiere
The long-awaited, super-hyped and mega-expensive sci-fi drama finally lands on Fox this week, but is it worthy of the buzz? Surprisingly, yes. Some of the dialogue is leaden and lord knows how many times we've seen the "obnoxious teenager" archetype on genre shows, but I have a certain fondness for "event" TV, and this action-packed premiere is engaging enough and sets up plenty of potential mysteries for the season ahead. Gather your whole family for the spectacle.
'Hart of Dixie' (9PM ET, The CW)series premiere
Following the return of 'Gossip Girl,' this 'Everwood'-esque drama brings a little heart to The CW (pardon the pun). If you can get over the (admittedly large) hurdle of buying Rachel Bilson as a doctor, you'll probably appreciate its guileless, small town charm. This light-hearted show gave me a serious case of the warm fuzzies (the way 'Gilmore Girls' used to do in The WB's heyday) and few shows can replicate that fond, nostalgic feeling these days, so I'll admit that I'm kind of addicted. Whether it's more realistic than dinosaurs, though ... you'll have to draw your own conclusions.
'Castle' (10PM ET, ABC)
When an ex-con is mysteriously slain in an alley, Castle and Beckett believe a vigilante is behind the murder. But efforts to identify their suspect are thwarted when they discover that he roams the city in a Superhero costume -- and may indeed be a Superhero. Can they capture and unmask the killer before he strikes again? (Marvel crossover alert, comics fans!)
'The Big C' (10.30PM ET, Showtime)season finale
In the Season 2 finale, Cathy is inspired by Lee's passing to ring in the New Year in an unexpected way; burdened by financial issues, Paul tries a new tactic with the insurance agency; Adam makes a surprising connection with Dr. Todd.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27'NCIS' (8PM ET, CBS)
After a young Marine shows up to his homecoming party with a fatal stab wound, the NCIS team uncovers a startling surprise in his squeaky-clean past.
'Ringer' (9PM ET, The CW)
Fine, so last week's episode was a bit of a snooze, but everyone involved in the show promises that every episode is stronger and more compelling than the one before it, and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for my love of SMG. This week, Bridget learns she has a potential clue to bring her closer to Siobhan's killer, and discovers some interesting information about Andrew, which causes tension between them. Meanwhile, Agent Machado continues his pursuit of Bridget and tensions flare between Henry and Gemma over their investment in Andrew's hedge fund.
'New Girl' (9PM ET, Fox)
The adorable comedy makes some casting changes this week, switching out the fantastic Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) for Winston (Lamorne Morris), so I'm interested to see whether the dynamics change with the new addition. Nick and Schmidt convince Jess to get her stuff out of her ex-boyfriend Spencer's apartment; Jess meets new roommate Winston, who has returned from playing basketball in Latvia; Winston tries to get his old room back from Schmidt.
'Awkward' (11PM ET, MTV)hour-long season finale
The addictive comedy wraps up its first season with a delicious double-bill: it's winter formal time and Jenna is hoping for an invite from Matty, but Jake's not out of the running yet. Sadie tries to sabotage Jenna's chances of being crowned Formal Princess, and the identity of the carefrontation letter writer is finally revealed.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 28 'Suburgatory' (8.30PM ET, ABC)series premiere
One of the most charming new comedies of the fall, 'Suburgatory' sees tomboyish Tessa (Jane Levy) uprooted from her awesome life in NYC and relegated to the sleepy suburbs by her well-meaning single dad George (Jeremy Sisto) following an unfortunate condom incident. Sadly for Tessa, the 'burbs are populated by Red Bull-swilling, bright orange teenagers and their 'Real Housewife' plastic moms, who all seem to have personal space issues. Hilarity ensues, and the show also features Alan Tudyk -- what more could you want?
'Happy Endings' (9.30PM ET, ABC) season premiere
Last year's midseason gem returns for a new season of laughs, and if you don't hop on the bandwagon now, you'll be missing out on some seriously irresistible comedy. Penny buys her first home, an "a-mah-zing" condo complete with a wine fridge and Italian marble. But will the new digs really signal "the year of Penny" and turn her life around? And, on the year anniversary of their almost-marriage, Jane encourages Alex and Dave to finally be honest with each other -- a plan that backfires rather spectacularly.
'Luther' (10PM ET, BBC America)season premiere
Idris Elba stars as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, the super-intuitive detective struggling to cope with his own demons in the long-awaited second season. The sequel features two new distinctive thrilling crime stories, from creator and acclaimed suspense novelist Neil Cross, which premiere in four parts, across four weeks.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
'The Vampire Diaries' (8PM ET, The CW)
Klaus and Stefan arrive in Chicago, where Stefan is reunited with a vampire who hasn't really moved on from her interest in him decades earlier. In a flashback to Chicago in the 1920s, Stefan comes face-to-face with a shocking chapter from his wild past. After Damon gets a tip on Stefan and Klaus' whereabouts from an unexpected source, he and Elena follow their trail. Back in Mystic Falls, Tyler is concerned about Caroline and turns to Sheriff Forbes for help.
'Parks and Recreation' (8.30PM ET, NBC)
Leslie is forced to intervene when Tammy One re-enters Ron's life and begins controlling his every move. Ben tries to help Tom balance the books at his new company, while Ann makes a PSA starring Chris. Watch out for multiple Tammys!
'Private Practice' (10PM ET, ABC)season premiere
Sam, Cooper, Charlotte and Amelia team up to save the life of their friend Pete after he suffers a heart attack, while Violet, who was in the middle of leaving Pete and L.A., is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Addison's desire to have a baby leads her to see Jake Reilly (Benjamin Bratt), her recent mystery man, in a most surprising place, and Sheldon tries to help Amelia in her battle with alcohol.
'Archer' (10.30PM ET, FX)fall finale
FX giveth and FX taketh away; after only three blissful weeks of 'Archer' goodness, the spy comedy disappears once more into the abyss until early 2012 -- savor it while you can. Archer and his fellow prisoners attempt to escape the Pirate Fortress, as Malory hardballs the negotiation for their ransom.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30'Nikita' (8PM ET, The CW)
While investigating an old corrupt Division program, P9, that seems to have resurfaced, Nikita and Michael run into Owen (guest star Devon Sawa). He tells them he is searching for Dr. Joseph Mars, who is not only the mastermind behind P9, but also invented the Regimen and could help Owen wean himself off the dangerous drug. Michael is hesitant to trust Owen again but Nikita decides that the three should join forces.
'Fringe' (9PM ET, Fox)
As the victims of a highly intelligent serial killer "Over There" stack up, the Fringe Division "Over Here" is asked to assist. As the two sides tangle and innocent people remain at risk, the suspect's doppelganger "Over Here," a professor who teaches Forensic Psychology, is brought into the fold and forces the team to consider the notion of sending civilians to the other side.
'Supernatural' (9PM ET, The CW)
Hiatus may be over, but 'Supernatural' apparently had another killer cliffhanger up its sleeve for the season premiere, and we're hoping episode two will shed a little light on a new set of burning questions: what are the leviathans, is Castiel really gone for good and will Sam be able to differentiate hallucination from reality? Meanwhile, Bobby worries that Dean is beginning to stumble under the weight of fighting Castiel and keeping an eye on Sam.
'Haven' (10PM ET, Syfy)season finale
The dead visit the living to resolve unfinished business, and the reverend resurfaces to launch his endgame.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1'Doctor Who' (9PM ET, BBC America)season finale
As the Doctor makes his final journey to the shores of Lake Silencio in Utah, he knows only one thing can keep the universe safe: his own death. But has he reckoned without the love of a good woman?
'Bedlam' (10PM ET, BBC America)series premiere
The tagline for this spooky new British series is "If Melrose Place were haunted, it would be Bedlam Heights" -- how can you resist? Want more? Welcome to Bedlam Heights, the stylish new apartment building with sexy tenants and gorgeous decor. But little do its new residents suspect that behind the luxury fittings lie unimaginable horrors ... A former insane asylum, this is a place tainted by abuse, suffering and death, and the ghosts of its dark and violent past are out for revenge.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2'Dexter' (9PM ET, Showtime) season premiere
Dexter arrives at his high school reunion with the intention of confronting the arrogant former prom king. An investigation into a heinous murder with religious overtones leads Dexter to ruminate on spiritual matters and consider his son's legacy.
'The Good Wife' (9PM ET, CBS)
When Alicia wins a verdict in a libel case involving a British businessman, she must quickly learn to navigate English Law when the case is retried in British court via satellite. Eddie Izzard guest-stars.
'Homeland' (10PM ET, Showtime) series premiere
One of the smartest, most engaging pilots of the season, 'Homeland' is a psychological thriller that tells the story of Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA officer battling her own demons while trying to keep the nation protected from potential terrorist threats. She becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of Sgt. Nick Brody (Damian Lewis) -- a U.S. soldier who had been missing and presumed dead for nine years -- was a set-up and may be connected to an al-Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil.
What will you be watching? Did we miss out any of your favorites? Let us know what you're looking forward to below!