Last Man Standing, Homeland, The X Factor
So many new shows, so little time! With a handful of fall TV casualties already — RIP Charlie's Angels, Playboy Club, Free Agents, How to Be a Gentleman and H8R (and it's not looking too good for Prime Suspect or Man Up either) — it's time to assess what's worth keeping on your DVR, and what you can safely skip.
For now, we're high on American Horror Story, a spooky mash-up unlike anything else on TV, and Homeland, a twisty thriller anchored by two riveting performances. We're cautiously optimistic about Suburgatory, for those who miss Gilmore Girls, but then there are the shows we're thisclose to ditching...
Is your favorite show in danger? Check out our list of 10 "bubble" shows
Read on to see how we see fall TV's freshman class thus far...
Some selective highlights and mini-reviews to get you through the long holiday weekend:
Last week, she was a hapless office assistant on Up All Night. Tonight, in the same time period on a different network, she's an insufferable sibling who makes Thanksgiving a chore, as Saturday Night Live vet Molly Shannon shows off her range, playing Frankie's demanding sister Janet on ABC's The Middle (8/7c). A holiday visit to Frankie's mom and dad (Marsha Mason and Jerry Van Dyke) becomes a recipe for disaster: "Stir in one broken toy, one passive-aggressive sister and let stew overnight ... Take unresolved issues and soak in alcohol." Frankie insists that "Everybody in one house is what makes holidays special," but anyone who's ever spent the festivities sleeping on an air mattress will relate to this first-rate episode.
Chyler Leigh, David Boreanaz, Marcia Cross
Every week, editors Adam Bryant and Natalie Abrams satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will Mark and Lexie ever get back together on Grey's Anatomy? -- Jeannie
NATALIE: Just because Jackson and Lexie broke up doesn't mean that Lexie will go running back to Mark, particularly since he isn't single at the moment. Yes, Julia will still very much be in the picture when Grey's returns in January, though don't expect Lexie to throw any more softballs at her chest -- not literal softballs anyway.
Can you tell us anything about next week's Bones? I heard that David Boreanaz killed it! — montgomerysloan, via Twitter
ADAM: How did you hear that? (Do tell.) I can confirm that Booth will...
Lost in all this week's understandable hubbub over NBC putting Community on midseason hiatus — and no, I'm not happy about it, either — was the welcome news that NBC is at least doing the right thing by its freshman sleeper comedy Up All Night and moving it to Thursdays come January, swapping time periods with Whitney. (What took them so long?) On this week's new episode (8/7c), yet another Saturday Night Live alum makes a guest appearance:
American Horror Story
When we last saw the ghost of Nora Montgomery, formerly a '20s-era socialite who maintained her well-to-do lifestyle by feeding her flailing, drug-addicted surgeon husband starlets in need of an abortion, she was telling Ben to man up and protect his baby from crazy Hayden! (At least, he thinks the thing inside Vivien is his...)
American Horror Story's Lily Rabe, who plays the original owner of and oldest ghost in Casa Harmon, tells TVGuide.com that modern-day Nora is more of a haunted, rather than haunting, spirit.
What exactly happened to Nora's baby after it was kidnapped, killed, dismembered and, um, sewn back together by her husband?
Did Dr. Charles (Matt Ross) successfully breathe life back into little Thaddeus Montgomery?
In this exclusive sneak peek of Wednesday's new episode of American Horror Story, a devastated-but-ever-irritable Nora (Lily Rabe) complains about having to wear an old dress to her baby's funeral.
Or will she? Will there be a funeral at all?
Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott
FX's American Horror Story is arguably the season's sexiest, scariest, strangest show — and it's about to get even weirder. Yep, that means fans can expect more Rubber Man, more ghosts of tenants past, more on Constance's creepy kids and — finally! — the truth behind the baby-daddy mystery. At the heart of the sex-and-screams series are Ben (Dylan McDermott) and Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton), the tenuously married couple who buy the wicked old mansion in L.A. known as "The Murder House." Britton and McDermott take us inside the don't-watch-it-alone thriller...
American Horror Story
On Wednesday's American Horror Story (10/9c, FX), Constance (Jessica Lange) is dropping off a special treat for Vivien (Connie Britton) that makes those spit-and-ipecac cupcakes seem like crème brulee.
What is it?
Our top moments of the week:
14. Biggest Hair-Raising Moment: Just when we had gotten kinda, sorta comfortable with the American Horror Story players — Dr. Charles makes Franken-babies, Constance is the worst mother ever, Rubber Man impregnates attractive homeowners — a mystery pair of hands make an ...