Published on Mommy Tracked (http://www.mommytracked.com)

Prime-Time Fall Favorites.

by Meredith O’Brien


The kids are back in school. The crisp edge of autumn can be felt in the air, at least here in New England where I live. Aside from the apple picking, pumpkin carving and fall festival attending to which many folks look forward, there’s one more reason to embrace this time of year: New TV shows premiering. While it’s true that a good number of programs now commence their seasons throughout the year -- namely the winter and spring – the kick-off of the traditional fall season is when you get the biggest dose of new original programming.


I’ve perused the slate of season premieres [1] and singled out some TV shows which I think would be of interest to Mommy Track’d readers. From several new kooky family-centric comedies and a drama featuring a betrayed political wife, to a comedy about a divorced fortysomething starting to date, all manner of mom are coming to TVs this fall:



Desperate Housewives [2], ABC, 9 p.m., Sept. 27


The housewives are back. When we last left the residents of Wisteria Lane, Edie Britt had died. Mike Delfino had rescued his ex-wife Susan Mayer and their son M.J. from the hands of a homicidal maniac. Mike had left his fiancé Katherine Mayfair in the airport, from which they were supposed to depart for Las Vegas to get married. Cancer survivor, ad exec and mother of four Lynette Scavo found out she’s pregnant with twins. Teasers for the sixth season premiere show an unfortunate “bride wars” type of skirmish between Susan and Katherine (Mike was seen at a wedding with a heavily veiled bride at the end of the finale). Me, I’m looking forward to Lynette getting a good storyline, like she used to have lo so many seasons ago.


Brothers & Sisters [3], ABC, 10 p.m., Sept. 27


In last season’s finale, Tommy Walker had fled to Mexico after he got caught orchestrating a crooked business deal. Despite his family’s attempts to bring him back to California, Tommy decided to remain at the Mexican spiritual retreat. Kitty Walker and Robert McCallister, who was recovering from a serious heart attack and planning a run for governor, were talking separation even though they’d recently adopted a baby boy Evan. (Kitty, angry about Robert’s upcoming campaign, had flirted with the notion of having an affair with a widower at-home dad.) Rebecca Harper and Justin Walker got engaged and immediately got into a fight about it while in Mexico. At least we know that their engagement is still on based on the season four premiere promos.



Accidentally on Purpose [4] CBS, 8:30 p.m., Sept. 21


This new half-hour comedy features Jenna Elfman, from Dharma & Greg, as a single, thirtysomething film critic who got pregnant during a one-night-stand with a young twentysomething after her longtime boyfriend who she’d hoped would become her husband – a guy who’s also her boss (played by Grant Show) -- dumped her.


The Good Wife [5], CBS, 10 p.m., Sept. 22


I wrote about The Good Wife [6] earlier this summer, the new ripped-from-the-headlines drama starring Julianna Margulies as the betrayed wife of a crooked politician who publicly humiliated her, with Chris Noth (Sex and the City’s Mr. Big) playing her prostitute-loving, now imprisoned husband. Margulies has to return to work – she’d stopped practicing law over a decade ago to support her husband’s political career and raise their two kids, now teens – and faces skepticism at her new law firm about whether she’s up to the task.



The New Adventures of Old Christine [7], CBS, 8 p.m., Sept. 23


Our old buddy Julia Louis-Dreyfus returns for her fifth season as the irreverent divorced mom gym owner Christine Campbell. Old Christine’s fourth season concluded with Christine lamenting the fact that her ex-husband Richard had moved on and was marrying “New” Christine, while she had no romantic prospects.


The Middle [8], ABC, 8:30 p.m., Sept. 30


Most of us remember Patricia Heaton from her Everybody Loves Raymond days, as the long suffering wife of sportswriter Ray Barone. Now she’s starring in an off-beat comedy playing the mom of three, who works as a car saleswoman while her husband is a quarry manager. “The Middle” is a reference to Heaton’s character middle age as well as the fact that she and her husband represent “Middle America.” After watching trailers for the show, they reminded me a great deal of Malcolm in the Middle and the matriarch played with comic genius by Jane Kaczmarek.


Modern Family [9], ABC, 9 p.m., Sept. 23


This new comedy premieres after The Middle, and stars Ed O’Neill (Married with Children) as the patriarch of what ABC calls “one big, straight, gay, multi-culture, traditional, happy family.” O’Neill’s character has recently remarried to a much younger woman (who’s often mistaken for his daughter) who has an 11-year-old son. His two grown children have children. His daughter is married and has three kids, while his grown son has a male partner with whom he’s adopted a baby from Vietnam. Previews immediately made me think of Arrested Development. Pre-season buzz is raising expectations.

Cougar Town [10], ABC, 9:30 p.m., Sept. 23


Okay, I hate – HATE – the title of this show with the passion of a thousand suns. This is a Courteney Cox vehicle, a comedy about a divorced fortysomething mom of a teen. As she tries to wade into the dating pool again, Cox’s character is taunted by her divorced, fortysomething male neighbor who revels in dating young women. I have no idea whether this show will be able to overcome the horrendousness of its title and provide some real, satirical commentary.



Grey’s Anatomy [11], ABC, 9 p.m., Sept. 24


After that finale last spring -- the one that left me clutching soiled tissues and feeling emotionally manipulated – as well as the behind-the-scenes casting drama, I’m anticipating that the season premiere will likely be tear-drenched as we learn the fate of cancer patient/newlywed Izzie Stevens and truck accident victim George O’Malley, both of whom flat-lined in the last episode and had that ethereal elevator meeting where George was in uniform and Izzie was wearing that pink Denny prom gown. Meanwhile, Mommy Track’d favorite TV doctor mom, Miranda Bailey, will have to come to terms with a marriage that’s still on the rocks because of her job.


Private Practice [12], ABC, 10 p.m., Oct. 1


Another Shonda Rhimes show, another shocking finale. Last season’s final episode concluded with the fate of single, pregnant psychiatrist Violet Turner -- who’d been immobilized by a psychotic patient who was going to cut open Violet’s belly and steal her baby -- uncertain. (That finale gave me nightmares.) My bet is that Violet (Amy Brenneman) will survive. As for her baby, that’s another story.



Medium [13], CBS, 9 p.m., Sept. 25


Still alive after NBC gave it the ax and CBS quickly snapped it up, the eerie supernatural drama starring Patricia Arquette as a married mom of three girls who helps the Phoenix District Attorney solve crimes by talking with the dead, left off on a cliffhanger last spring. Arquette’s Allison DuBois was in a coma after surgery on a brain tumor. Her husband Joe, who had a job that took him to San Diego for a few days a week, was left wondering if Allison would ever wake up and if she’d retain her gift. Given that Medium’s got an entire season ahead, my bet would be yes on both counts.


To what shows are you looking forward to seeing premiere this fall?


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