Yeah, yeah, Angel Cohn, among others, beat me to blogging about our favorite new fall shows. But out of fairness to ABC, I was waiting on the screeners for Brothers & Sisters and Men in Trees, among others. Which new series most impresses me? Is it Friday Night Lights, Six Degrees or Men in Trees? Here's how my assorted expectations met reality:

Sunday
Brothers & Sisters, ABC: Expectations were modest, as a stellar cast (Calista Flockhart, Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, Ron Rifkin, to name but a few) was balanced out by foreboding backstage buzz and shuffles. The pilot starts off slow (the first 20 minutes felt like an eternity), but by the end I was pulled in. The show is just a wee heavy-handed with the constant references to Calista's character being this Ann Coulter-type talking head. We. Get. It.

The Game, CW: This one (as well as ABC's Knights of Prosperity) I have yet to watch, sorry. I never watched UPN's Girlfriends, so perhaps I'm afraid I'd be helplessly adrift with this spin-off?

Monday
The Class, CBS: Joan of Arcadia's Jason Ritter stages a reunion of his third-grade classmates, for the purpose of proposing marriage to his honey. The cast threatens to be unwieldy, but there are some standouts, Ritter and Joey's Andrea Anders included. I smell another Mother (as in How I Met Your).

Runaway, CW: Being a Leslie Hope and 24 fan, I went in with a certain excitement. The concept is nifty - family man (Donnie Wahlberg), framed for murder back home, goes on the run with his brood - but I'm curious to see for how long that can or cannot elude The Conspiracy that dogs them. Good casting, though, including American Dreams' Sarah Ramos.

Vanished, Fox: I've been Watercoolering this for TVGuide.com, so check out my weekly thoughts over on that blog. But simply said: I need more answers, or at least hints of answers.

Heroes, NBC: Ausiello said it first and best: Don't miss the final five minutes, because they will suggest that this show will be full of surprises. (Me, I can't argue with the opening minutes, which treat us to Ali Larter as an online porn queen.) I've read in places that Heroes needs to lighten up, which is a fair criticism. Save for Masi Oka's corporate drone, none of these folk seem to thrilled to have "abilities."

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, NBC: It's The West Wing set at Saturday Night Live, as you all know, even with Bradley Whitford on board as the co-show runner (with Matthew Perry) of a late-night sketch program. If you want belly laughs, wait for 30 Rock. If you want a look inside the mechanics and politics of TV programming, this is the one to watch. And I say that because the giant Matt Perry billboard peering into my Emmys hotel room window said to.

Tuesday
The Knights of Prosperity, ABC: See Game, The (above).

Help Me Help You, ABC: I expected Ted Danson to be doing Sam Malone. I expected Jeer Burns to be doing a warmed-over take on Dear John's Kirk, especially considering the group therapy setting. What I didn't expect was to enjoy this comedy so much. There are at least two breakouts characters among the patients, including a deep-in-denial gay man (Jim Rash) and an extraordinarily socially inept babe (Suzy Nakamura). Try not to let the young guy's (Charlie Finn) eerie resemblance to Jason Ritter spook you.

Smith, CBS: I loved Ocean's Eleven, watch at least part of it most every time I catch it on cable. Thus, I loved FX's Thief and I liked NBC's Heist. So forgive me if I'm a bit jaded when it comes to TV series taking on high-tech burglars. I know some have raved about this one, but I just couldn't quite get there.

Standoff, Fox: Those who know me know I'm not big on the whole "procedurals" thing, but at least this one mixes in some frisky playfulness between its leads (Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt). Invest in bullhorns now.

Friday Night Lights, NBC: I'm not in high school, I don't live in Texas, and I'm not big on football of any level, but damn if this show didn't reel me in. Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton are spot on as the must-prove-himself new coach and his loyal wife, and the kids throughout are cast equally as well. If non-sports enthusiasts can get beyond the "football" hook, this could be the show to watch. One of my new favorites.

That concludes Part 1 of my Fall Forecast. In my next entry, I take on the newcomers airing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.