Feature: Watch It!

Watch It: Fall Premieres of Mad Men-Inspired Shows, Sheen-less and Sheen-full

TV highlights for the week of September 19.

By , Columist

Last night’s Emmys told us (again) to tune in to Modern Family and Mad Men, and a few other shows (see separate coverage). But with the fall season upon us, attention is on next year’s Emmy winners with lots of new shows rolling out this week. It’s all about the broadcast networks these next couple weeks as they debut new sitcoms, dramas and reality shows.

There's much to catch this week:

Monday, September 19

Dancing with the Stars at 8 pm on ABC

See if Nancy has any grace and if Chaz can lead - not follow. Will Chynna, Ricki, Carson, and David just be the celeb fodder for dancing athletes?

Two and a Half Men at 9 pm on CBS

Meet Walden Schmidt a/k/a Ashton Kutcher. See if Uncle Charlie’s replacement works. Or should it be called Three Half Men?


The Charlie Sheen Roast at 10 pm on Comedy Central

The other half-man gets sent up. There are some good doozies as the gloves come off.

The Playboy Club at 10 pm on NBC

Chicago, 1963 and the cheesy Bunnies. Mad Men may have inspired it, or a good excuse.


Tuesday, September 20

Glee at 8 pm on Fox

Season premiere. Dance and sing, the kids are back in school. See the set-up for who’s leaving after senior year.

New Girl at 9 pm on Fox

Premiere of the adorable Zooey Deschanel—worthy of watching even if kind of the inverse of Three’s Company.

Unforgettable at 10 pm on CBS

Premiere of new police procedural featuring Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) and Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck) as a woman with a steel trap memory—a dangerous condition.

Kathy Griffin: Pants Off at 9 pm on Bravo

The sharp-tongued comedian returns with a new stand-up act.

Wednesday, September 21

The X Factor at 8-10 pm on Fox

Simon Cowell is back! The prince of snark brings another permutation of his endless UK talent shows stateside. With Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, and LA Reid (in Randy’s role?). Hopefuls perform for mentor judges.


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Ted Danson joins Mariska Hargitay. The detectives investigate when a hotel maid reports a powerful Italian diplomat assaulted. Ripped from the headlines with Franco Nero in the role of Strauss-Kahn.

Emmy alert!

Mildred Pierce repeats on HBO Signature channel and Modern Family at 9 pm on ABC.

Thursday, September 22

Person of Interest at 9 pm on CBS

“Superman” and “Lost” partner to discover if a young prosecutor is a victim or a suspect in this CIA-type caper. Stars Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, and Taraji P. Henson.

Plus premieres galore:

ABC: Charlie’s Angels fly back and Grey’s Anatomy returns with a two-hour season debut. NBC: The Office sans Carell but with deadpan James Spader as Robert California.

Friday, September 23

A Gifted Man at 8 pm on CBS

Jonathan Demme directs TV?! Patrick Wilson plays a surgeon whose ex-wife returns as a ghost to guide him. Beats Touched by an Angel.

And the premiere of Kitchen Nightmares and Fringe on Fox, Nikita and Supernatural on CW.

Saturday, September 24

Repeats of show debuts for anyone who missed out earlier in the week.

Sunday, September 25

Desperate Housewives at 9 pm on ABC - The final season begins.

Pan Am at 10 pm on ABC

Christina Ricci as a stewardess (as opposed to flight attendant). More Mad Men retro-inspired nostalgia for the early '60s. At least they’re in not satin-clad get-ups with fuzzy tails and ears.


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Roberta Cruger has written for Salon, The Believer, the LA Times magazine, and more. She was the founding media editor of Creem magazine and a member of MTV’s original programming team. Based in LA, she covers the green carpet for Treehugger and entertainment as US correspondent for the AFP’s RelaxNews.

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