We've watched all the new shows and picked these eight superior comedies and dramas as our fall favorites.
The Soup's Joel McHale stars as an ethically challenged attorney who is forced to go back to college — community college. There, he meets a ragtag bunch of misfit toys, including an understated Chevy Chase, Gillian Jacobs and Mad Men's Alison Brie ("Hell's bells, Trudy!") who all yearn for some higher learning, despite their obvious deficiencies out in the real world. Community is a perfect addition to NBC's great Thursday-night comedies. Chase and McHale are great together.
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 17 at 9:30/8:30c
Cougar Town (ABC)
Cougars everywhere, rejoice! Courteney Cox shines in her funniest role since Friends. The title is a play on words, as it refers to both the mascot of the show's high school and the amped-up sexuality 40-something divorcee Jules Cobb (Cox) struggles to contain. It's not Simone de Beauvoir, but Jules' struggles have a slightly feminist, "old ladies like doing it too" vibe that plays well off the show's breezy-hot Florida setting. Also, it's from Scrubs' Bill Lawrence, so it's very funny.
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9:30/8:30c
ABC has high hopes for this series, centered around a bizarre event that allows millions of people to briefly see flashes of the future. What do they see? What does it mean? And should people be worried if they don't have a future? Watch to find out, we don't know, and yes. Needless to say, FlashForward's mysterious pilot has us intrigued. This could be the next Lost.
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8/7c
If you watched Fox's preview this spring, you can already hum along with Glee, but fall episodes will reveal that the dark high school dramedy is about more than just singing. Mr. Shuster (Matthew Morrison) needs six more students to compete at regionals; recruiting them is where the fun starts. Jane Lynch is a dream as an iron-fisted cheerleading coach. Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber and rapper Eve will all guest-star. Glee is an updated, musical Breakfast Club. We're rooting for the geeks and jocks to harmonize all season long.
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 9/8c
Melrose Place (The CW)
Bisexuals and prostitutes and murder, oh my! This is not your mother's Melrose Place! The CW's remake of the soapy '90s melodrama features many familiar archetypes: the brooding bad boy, the nice couple, and the power bitch, to name three. The new show departs from its source material with a mystery storyline concerning a dead body that appears, Sunset Boulevard-style, in the apartment complex's pool. Vets Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro co-star.
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 9/8c
Modern Family (ABC)
America is sorely in need of a new laugh-out-loud comedy, and we think Modern Family is it. Ed O'Neill (Married... with Children), Julie Bowen (Ed) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (The Class) headline a top-notch cast delivering a fresh take on the multigenerational family comedy. Our favorite moment from the pilot is scored by the Lion King theme.
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9/8c
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
Who doesn't want to see Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J fight crime? NCIS:LA has a proven formula and actors we love. O'Donnell and Cool J front this spin-off of the hit CBS procedural, playing special agents assigned to the high-tech Office of Special Projects. Oscar winner Linda Hunt plays their "Q"-like gadget master, while Rocky Carroll's Leon Vance will appear on both NCIS shows.
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 9/8c
The Vampire Diaries (The CW)
Brooding high school newcomer Stefan (Paul Wesley) can't get his mind off classmate Elena (Nina Dobrev) — perhaps because the two of them were deeply in love 130 years years ago. Yeah, Stefan is a vampire, and so is his reckless bad-boy brother, Damon (Lost's Ian Somerhalder). This one also features a special guest appearance by massive amounts of fog. Vampire Diaries has an intriguing premise, fantastic writing, and the hottest cast of the new season.
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 10 at 8/7c
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