Coming to your screen this week is the official onset of the Fall TV season, featuring the return of Sarah Michelle Gellar and more than a dozen other big premieres. (Also on tap: nine finales for exiting summertime fare). As but a supplement to the fresh features and original reporting TVLine has coming your way, here are 36 programs to keep on your radar.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
4 pm Anderson (Syndicated) | Hang with Mr. Cooper as his new daytime talker launches!
7 pm Monday Night Football (ESPN) | Season opener: Are you reading for some… Dolphins to get pounded by the Patriots?
8 pm The Lying Game (ABC Family) | New time slot alert! Emma frets about running for homecoming queen as Sutton. Hmm, this vote could get get as sticky as the 2008 presidential election.
8 pm Bachelor Pad (ABC) | Who’s about to win $250,000 to spend on spray tanning?
8 pm Eureka (Syfy) | Carter eyes two mysteries: a melted cow, and what’s next for him and Allison.
9 pm The Closer (TNT) | Summer finale: While her team investigates the shooting of a deputy sheriff, Brenda herself hopes to dodge a bullet as the judge decides if the “Shootin’ Newton” lawsuit will proceed. True story: The final scene found me Tweeting, “Holy ******* ****.”
9 pm Warehouse 13 (Syfy) | Pete enters Jane’s memories to look into the Regent murders.
9 pm Two and a Half Men (CBS) | A repeat of Sheen’s final turn as Charlie. (He left the show…?)
10 pm Rizzoli & Isles (TNT) | Summer finale: Can a serial killer be trusted to help the ladies investigate the behind-bars murders of a young convict?
10 pm Weeds (Showtime) | Nancy tags along with Andy and Doug for a weekend in the East Hamptons.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
8 pm 90210 (The CW) | Season 4 premiere: Naomi struggles with her non-Queen B status at college, Annie gets surprising news, Dixon looks for a place to live, and so much more.
9 pm Ringer (The CW) | Buffy‘s Sarah Michelle Gellar has the two lead roles in this edgy drama, playing a troubled young woman who co-opts her MIA twin sister’s life. An absurd amount of handsome men co-star. TVLIne’s full preview can be found here.
10 pm Sons of Anarchy (FX) | Pulp film icon Danny Trejo makes his debut in the storyline that threatens to destroy SAMCRO forever.
10 pm Parenthood (NBC) | The Season 3 premiere finds Kristina very pregnant, Sarah celebrating her 40th birthday by crossing paths with Mark (Jason Ritter), Amber scoping out apartments, Adam pondering a business deal with Crosby, and Julia getting some wild ideas about the mom-to-be coffee girl at work. Also: Someone gets arrested.
11:30 pm Awkward (MTV) | Special time slot alert! And it’s Jenna’s 16th birthday! Hmm, what’s in this box? Ooh, humiliation. And in this one…? Mortification!
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
8 pm Survivor: South Pacific (CBS) | Here’s the cast — plus returnees Coach and Ozzy.
8 pm America’s Got Talent (NBC) | Season finale: The winner nets $1 million and a show in Vegas.
8 pm Melissa & Joey (ABC Family) | The two-part season finale features angst over Lennox attending a school dance after-party, then a game-changing shift in Joe’s financial status.
9 pm America’s Next Top Model (The CW) | The “all-star” Season 17 trots out 14 former contestants; Nicki Minaj guest-judges.
9:30 pm Big Brother (CBS) | And we have a winner!
10 pm Necessary Roughness (USA Network) | Season finale: Dani takes on a surprising new client, Nico has a crisis of conscience, and T.K. faces his rival in the playoffs.
10 pm Up All Night (NBC) | Here’s a sneak preview of the new Christina Applegate/Will Arnett/Maya Rudolph comedy, which will normally air Wednesdays at 8. TVLine’s First Impression preview can be found here, though a new, stitched-in workplace change — to a daytime talk show hosted by Rudolph’s Ava — has dialed down the laughs a few notches.
10 pm Damages (DirecTV) | Season finale: Ellen is furious when Patty violates their agreement; Erickson faces off with Boorman; a life hangs in the balance.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
8 pm The Vampire Diaries (The CW) | Season premiere: It’s Elena’s 18th birthday — see who brought the cake.
8 pm Wipeout (ABC) | The two-hour season finale finds blind-date couples braving an Italian food-themed obstacle course.
9 pm The Secret Circle (The CW) | Life Unexpected‘s Britt Robertson plays an orphaned teen who moves to a seaside town populated by young and attractive witches — herself apparently included. TVLine’s First Impression can be found here.
10 pm It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) | The outrageous comedy returns with the gang trying to “Pretty Woman” the disgusting hooker Frank plans to propose to. Subsequent outings include a riff on kiddie beauty pageants and a trip to the Jersey Shore (underbelly).
10:30 pm Archer (FX) | This little three-week run of episodes kicks off with Malory hiring an adventurer (voiced by Seinfeld‘s Patrick Warburton) to find her MIA fiancé.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
8 pm Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Cartoon Network) | Season 4 finds Mon Calamari on the cusp of a civil war… with cocktail sauce?
8 pm 2011 ALMA Awards (NBC) | Eva Longoria and George Lopez host this tribute to Hispanic achievements in the entertainment industry.
9 pm Fringe (Fox) | Before Season 4 arrives next week, have your mind blown anew with this repeat of last May’s finale.
10 pm Haven (Syfy) | The episode title kinda says it all: “Who, What, Where, Wendigo?”
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
8 pm Creative Arts Emmy Awards (ReelzChannel) | Before TV’s biggest night arrives on Sunday, tune into this broadcast of its second-biggest night. (Spoiler alert!)
9 pm Criminal Minds (CBS) | Still smarting that the Wonder Woman reboot died on the vine? One, don’t be; it was rather ghastly. Two, here’s Adrianne Palicki going all Natural Born Killers on us.
9 pm Doctor Who (BBC America) | A mysterious hotel plays host to the team’s darkest fears — including but not limited to £6 mini-bar Smarties.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
8 pm Primetime Emmy Awards (Fox) | Jane Lynch hosts, presumably sans her Glee tracksuit (for once). Major nominees can be found here. Plan a date with TVLine that night, as we live-blog the event, post breaking news and videos from the red carpet, and deliver the winners’ best backstage soundbites.
10 pm Breaking Bad (AMC) | Not eligible for any Emmys this year is this otherwise annually acclaimed drama. In fact, this week Walt is also a no-show for his son’s 16th birthday party! That’s… troubling.
Which of the above is must-see TV for you? And by all means, hit the comments to politely share tune-in recommendations of your own.