Lea Michele, Ellen Pompeo
The 2012-13 TV season doesn't begin for nearly four months, but it's never too early to start planning your viewing habits — especially when it comes to certain ultra-competitive timeslots.
We can't be the only ones who groaned when Fox moved Glee to go up against Grey's Anatomy. Or when ABC shifted Revenge to duke it out with The Good Wife.
Since there are only so many hours in the day and even less DVR space, it's time to pick and choose with which shows we want to spend our precious time. Below are four major timeslot battles this fall and our take on what to watch, DVR, skip or just watch online.
Fall TV: Check out the day-by-day schedule
MONDAYS AT 8/7C
Key Battle: The Voice vs. Dancing with the Stars
The Voice enters the fall fray for the first time, going head-to-head to with Dancing with the Stars All-Stars. Also in the slot: New comedy Partners will launch after How I Met Your Mother, while 90210 returns to Mondays. Bones stays put.
Watch: The Voice
The Voice has fared well as a midseason series, but midseason is less competitive than the fall and it won't have the Super Bowl off which to piggyback either. The curiosity factor will be there to see if they do anything new or different to make its mark on a crowded slate. Besides, the blind auditions are the best part of most reality shows.
DVR: Dancing with the Stars, Bones
Dancing could get a ratings boost with an all-stars outing, but since you will already know what to expect from the cast for the most part, you can fast-forward through all the people you don't want to see again. Bones left off with one juicy cliff-hanger — Brennan on the run — and we know we're not the only ones who want to see where she ends up.
90210 hasn't been appointment TV since the paternity reveal of Kelly's son.
Watch online: How I Met Your Mother, Partners
We don't blame you if you're tired of waiting to meet Mrs. Mosby. As for Partners, we always encourage you to check out new shows, but comedies are much more easily digestible watching online than dramas.
TUESDAYS AT 9/8C
Key Battle: New Girl and The Mindy Project vs. Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 vs. Go On and The New Normal
Who will have the last laugh? Six (!) comedies will face off this hour, three of them being new shows. Also on: New drama Emily Owens, M.D. will check in for The CW and CBS has NCIS: Los Angeles.
Watch: New Girl, The Mindy Project
Mindy Kaling's comedy is one of the buzziest new shows and a pairing with Zooey Deschanel seems too good to be true. With another new comedy, Ben and Kate, preceding it, New Girl won't have the strong lead-in that Happy Endings (Dancing with the Stars) and Go On (The Voice) will, but its lead-in will be a better tonal fit.
DVR: Happy Endings, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23
ABC's weird and wacky comedies — with their meta-references and kinetic style — lend themselves better to DVR viewing, when you can pause, laugh, rewind, notice something new and laugh again.
Skip: Emily Owens, M.D.
We're putting this under here until The CW comes up with a better name. What was wrong with First Cut?
Watch online: Go On, The New Normal, NCIS: LA
You only have so much room on your DVR, right? And once you've seen one explosion on NCIS: LA, you've seen them all.
Photo Gallery: Check out all the new fall shows
THURSDAYS AT 9/8C
Key Battle: Glee vs. Grey's Anatomy
Glee will aim to take a bite out of Grey's Anatomy's similar female-friendly audience. Also in the mix: New series Beauty and the Beast on The CW, while Person of Interest, The Office and Parks and Recreation return in the same slots.
Season 4 will toggle between McKinley High and Rachel's exploits in New York City, a format that Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly dubs a "show within a show." Who doesn't want to see how — and if — Ryan Murphy's brainchild can pull it off?
DVR: Grey's Anatomy, Parks and Recreation
You wanna see how they make it out of the woods and if anyone else dies, right? So you just skip to those parts. Grey's is still a dependable performer, and while the plane crash, Lexie's death and Teddy's exit will spark more story lines, it still feels a little been-there-done-that, especially if the first half of the season is everyone in mourning. Again. (See: Season 6.) Meanwhile, Parks and Rec is sure to wring hilarity from Leslie's city council seat that you'll want to savor over and over again.
Skip: Beauty and the Beast, Person of Interest
Sorry, but we can't really picture Kristin Kreuk as a tough cop. And let's just say the beast-morphing effects are almost as laughable as this. Person of Interest is a solid performer, but hardly a breakout hit that anyone thought it could be this time last year, and it's currently unavailable online or for download. Maybe that'll change this season? Although, as a male-skewing show, POI is perfect counterprogramming to Glee and Grey's.
Watch online: The Office
The Office is on its last legs.
SUNDAYS AT 9/8C
Key Battle: Revenge vs. The Good Wife
Can camp take down cerebral? Emily Thorne brings her Revenge-ing to Sundays, inheriting Desperate Housewives' old slot and going up against The Good Wife. Elsewhere: NBC will have Sunday Night Football in the fall, and Fox wraps the night with its animation block with Family Guy and American Dad.
The soap is one of the few shows that is guaranteed to be watercooler talk the next morning and you probably won't want to be the odd man out. Plus, with an earlier time and a stronger lead-in in Once Upon a Time than it had its first season, Revenge has a very good shot of attracting more eyeballs and putting a red X over Alicia Florrick.
DVR: The Good Wife
The show will be delayed by football most weeks anyway, so you might as well record it and spend your time watching something else.
Skip: American Dad!
We'd rather spend time with the Griffins.
Watch online: Family Guy
Stewie & Co. are still good for some laughs.
Tell us your viewing plans below. We know — bargaining is hard, but eventually comes acceptance.