PREVIOUSLY ON… | Thanks to Sophie and Chestnut, Max and Caroline got prettied up and arrived at the Met Ball in time to get domestic diva Martha Stewart to try their beer-batter-maple-bacon cupcake – which she proclaimed a good thing.
COMING UP NEXT | Max finally meets Caroline's imprisoned pop Martin (Wings’ Steven Weber) when he urges the girls to bid on a Channing family keepsake up for auction in the Season 2 opener. And we'll soon find out what someone else familiar with the penal system really thinks of the Brooklyn bakers. "We are doing a story about what happens to the girls after Martha Stewart took their business card," says co-creator Michael Patrick King. Ready for some sprinkles on top of that good news? "We are planning to give Caroline a love interest. Now that she's sort of back on her feet again, she might be ready for love – at least, the writers think she is," he says. "And so does Max, who fixes her up with someone." Also look the ladies' diner boss to try some "Han-line dating," King previews, and "we'll learn more about Earl when one of his children comes to town."
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Are Caroline and Max the next Food Network stars? Straight from King: "The girls are going to go for broke and appear on Cupcake Wars, and they just might have a taste of success earlier than they planned."
RETURN DATE | Monday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c (CBS)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Max reunited with Naomi; Silver, struggling with her BRCA gene diagnosis, asked Teddy to have a baby with her; Ivy moved to Mexico; and Dixon was in what looked to be a life-ending car crash.
COMING UP NEXT | “For the first time in 90210 history, we are not passing time over the summer,” EP Patti Carr shares. “We’re coming back about 15 minutes after we left off and diving straight in.” Look for Teddy to respond to Silver’s baby proposal, Austin to leave town — sans Ade — and Annie to find love with Riley Smith.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Carr won’t reveal whether Dixon survives his “huge accident,” but does say that its repercussions “won’t be undersold. We built a morgue set and we’ll go through the emotions of what actually happens from an accident like that.”
RETURN DATE | Monday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c (The CW)
THE BIG BANG THEORY
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Howard and Bernadette had an impromptu wedding before his space launch, which brought Amy and Sheldon together in an unexpected way – he held her hand! – and only added to the tension between Penny and Leonard after she rebuffed his impetuous marriage proposal.
COMING UP NEXT | Penny and Leonard will continue to date even as the weirdness from his mid-coital question-popping persists. "Fresh off of her 'no' to Leonard, I don’t think [marriage] is something that’s weighing heavily on her mind right now," says executive producer Steve Molaro. Perhaps Penny shouldn’t wait too long though, because Sheldon’s new assistant, who hits it off with Leonard, "may create a little tension" for the couple. In the nerd-love department, "it’s the ongoing situation of Amy trying to drag Sheldon along further into this relationship, and Sheldon being reluctant every step of the way." Will the harpist ever get tired of her beau’s hesitancy? "More girls'-night talks will give us more of an insight as to where Amy really is on all that," replies Molaro. "[But] I don’t think she’s giving up anytime soon — although she will certainly get frustrated."
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Raj’s new romance, which the producers hinted at during Comic-Con, may not be what we think. "'Love interest' may be strong words," concedes Molaro, adding with a laugh that "words like ‘she’ and ‘her’ may be a little off-base. I would just say he’s a lonely guy who could really use a friend right now. He may find that very soon."
RETURN DATE | Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8/7c (CBS)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Brothers Danny and Jamie bonded over a cold case involving a little boy while Frank was faced with a possible terrorist attack against New York. Never fear, the bad guys were caught and then all the men in the family served the women dinner to celebrate Mother’s Day.
COMING UP NEXT | The release of a bank robber Danny put behind bars should have the detective sleeping with one eye open. After said criminal discovers that the love of his life and his child are now dead, he blames the elder Reagan brother, who’s also contending with his wife’s return to work. Sis Erin will battle her ex-husband (SVU‘s Peter Hermann) in court when she finds herself having to defend her father, and Desperate Housewives alum Richard Burgi guest-stars in the premiere as a high-powered councilman.
RETURN DATE | Friday, Sept. 28 at 10/9c (CBS)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Bob accidentally kissed Linda's sister, Gayle, who fell for him. Tina thought her chances of getting with Jimmy Jr. would improve by hanging out with bad-girl Tammy. The restaurant got a bad review from a food critic, and Gene botched Bob's chance at fame by wearing a Bigfoot mask during his dad's cooking segment on a local morning news show.
COMING UP NEXT | The Emmy-nominated animated series has lined up quite the guest roster for its third season. On the long list of visitors: Mad Men's Jon Hamm voices a talking toilet, Arrested Development's Jeffrey Tambor is a cruise ship captain who pulls a fast one on Bob and Breaking Bad's Bob Odenkirk plays a crooked insurance adjuster in the Season 3 premiere — which "has to do with Louise's ears, her beloved bunny hat, and what happens when that gets taken from her," previews creator/exec producer Loren Bouchard. In the second episode, "Bob Fires His Kids," real-life couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman play pot farmers who hire the Belcher offspring when Bob sets them free from their restaurant duties "out of love," Bouchard says. And later in the season, Zach Galifianakis spreads Yuletide cheer as someone who "believes that he is in love with and used to be a mannequin." Look for previous Bob's guest stars – including Gary Cole, Kevin Kline and Bill Hader – to return, as well.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Verbatim from Bouchard: "In the Thanksgiving episode, there's going to be gunplay. Bob is going to be fired upon by a female sharpshooter while running away with the turkey, under the influence of absinthe." Make of that what you will.
RETURN DATE | Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8:30/7:30c (Fox)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Evil mastermind Christopher Pelant framed Brennan for murder, but rather than stick around and wait for the "hacktivist" to further incriminate her, the new mom ditched Booth and went on the lam with daughter Christine.
COMING UP NEXT | The Pelant imbroglio will be tied up early on, giving way to those four standalone bonus episodes that were shot last season. Nearly all of the characters will experience some kind of upheaval in their personal or professional lives, with Cam getting a surprising new love interest (hint: it’s someone we’ve met before), Angela considering a new line of work, and Booth and Brennan confronting that pesky issue of marriage. “Last season was a funnier, very peaceful and kind of loving season,” notes exec producer Stephen Nathan. “But we don't want them to get too comfortable. So this season is probably going to be just a touch darker.”
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER |Shark alum Danielle Panabaker, who is set to play an FBI agent paired with Sweets during one of the aforementioned bonus episodes, is in talks to return on a recurring basis.
RETURN DATE | Monday, Sept. 17 at 8/7c (Fox)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | After coming thisclose to death at the hands of the conspiracy and its resident trigger man, Cole Maddox, Beckett resigned from the NYPD and eventually wound up at Castle’s door… and then in his bed. For fans, 139 long days followed.
COMING UP NEXT | What happened in the sheets stays in the sheets, at least for now. “Whatever it is they've got, they're really protective of it,” says Stana Katic of the new Kate/Rick dynamic. “I don't know that they want to necessarily spread the word until they figure out what it is.” As for the loose threads surrounding her mother’s unsolved murder, Katic likens her newly focused alter ego to “a viper lying in wait. And when the right moment is there to strike, she will.” Also on tap for Season 5: a Comic-Con-themed episode, one shot documentary-style a la The Office and a November sweeps return that should shake things up.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Turning from Caskett romance to Rysposito bromance: Things will start off very tense ‘tween Kevin and Javier — who strongly disagreed over the latter dutifully involving Gates in the Beckett/Maddox situation — and from there only get worse. “There is going to be a moment where that relationship is really tested,” previews Seamus Dever.
RETURN DATE | Monday, Sept. 24 at 10/9c (ABC)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | In a season finale designed to double as a series finale if necessary, the Greendale Gang all found happy-ish endings. Most notably, Jeff Winger at long last chose his true friends — the study group! — over his former life as a lawyer and opted to seek out his MIA father. Evil Abed was defeated, as well.
COMING UP NEXT | If new bosses Moses Port and David Guarascio are to be believed, more of ousted creator Dan Harmon’s signature innovation is ahead. “The only thing we care about is keeping it this weird, wonderful gem," Guarascio has promised. Some Season 4 specifics: an Inspector Spacetime convention (with British comedian Matt Lucas) and Battlestar babe Tricia Helfer; revved-up romance for Britta and Troy; and graduation for some — but not all.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Daddy Winger isn’t the only member of Jeff’s family we’ll meet this season: His brother is on the way, too.
RETURN DATE | Friday, Oct. 19 at 8:30/7:30c (NBC)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Prentiss (played by Paget Brewster) left, again, to head up the London Interpol office. JJ and Will got married. Good times!
COMING UP NEXT | Things pick up three months later, after Morgan (pulling special duty at the Olympics) and Garcia (tagging along) have helped Prentiss settle into her new flat. We promptly meet Alex Blake, a career Bureau agent who in the past has famously clashed with Strauss (“She can talk to him like no one else,” says EP Erica Messer) and now has boarded the BAU as a forensics linguistics expert. Though Garcia gives the new gal a bit of a hard time, “by the end of the episode, she says, ‘Can we start over?'” Messer previews. “From then on, you know who that these people are going to be together.” And that is a good thing, because there will be a season-long threat to Hotch & Co. – though viewers will be privy to the big bad before anyone else. “At the end of the premiere, you will realize that somebody is taunting the team but also hunting them – and that will be the villain they come head-to-head with in the season finale.”
RETURN DATE | Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9/8c (CBS)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | In the final moments of the finale, Russell’s granddaughter was kidnapped by the folks doing McKeen's bidding, Morgan’s father was shot, Nick quit and Finlay found herself getting dangerously close to a detective with a hidden agenda.
COMING UP NEXT | Executive producer Don McGill describes the season opener as Cape Fear-like, with the normally zen Russell "pushed right to the edge" by recent events. "By the end of the teaser, you will see something we never thought we’d see, and that is D.B. Russell ripping his crime novels off the shelf to reveal a safe in the wall," previews the EP. "He’ll open it up and pull a gun out." Meanwhile, Nick is MIA and possibly hurt – "When we first see him in the episode, the audience will think… we may be seeing the last of Nick Stokes," teases McGill – and Finlay is onto Detective Crenshaw’s bad intentions. "Finlay’s not so naïve," the EP assures us. "She figures out that she’s in the arms of the enemy. But what she’ll do with that knowledge is the interesting part of the premiere."
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | A re-opened cold case from Finlay’s past in Seattle will reignite her over-zealousness – and introduce someone close to her. "[She] will be taking a lead and getting herself in trouble not just with the authorities, but also her ex-husband, whom we’ll discover is a cop in Seattle," reveals McGill.
RETURN DATE | Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 10/9c (CBS)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Following a near-fatal shooting, Mac chose to live and fight alongside his New York-based crime scene investigators another day. (CBS, in turn, chose to renew this show over CSI: Miami, allowing Mac’s team to in fact investigate crime scenes another day.)
COMING UP NEXT | Exec producer Pam Veasey tells us they are attempting the impossible: “We’ve decided to do stories we haven’t told — and yes, there are stories we haven’t told in nine seasons!” Most notably, the procedural will “take time throughout the season to spend a day off with each character within an episode.”
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Mac and Christine’s relationship is “moving forward, slowly but surely,” says Veasey. “She is definitely in this relationship for the long haul — as is he, but not with any definitive plans.”
RETURN DATE | Friday, Sept. 28 at 8/7c (CBS)
DON'T TRUST THE B—- IN APARTMENT 23
PREVIOUSLY ON… | During a night on the town, June tried – and failed – to keep up with legendary party girl Chloe (whose exploits, we learned, inspired a series of Japanese comic books). James had a fit when he learned that his Dancing With the Stars dressing room was smaller than that of nemesis Dean Cain.
COMING UP NEXT | June's getting a job and an archenemy, Chloe's getting a love interest and James is getting the Creek kids back together (kinda). Chloe will coach June on how to handle her workplace threat, but she'll be distracted around Halloween by a good-looking guy. "It's kind of the first time a guy turns the tables on her and beats her at one of her own schemes," says series creator and executive producer Nahnatchka Kahn. But first, Busy Philipps, Frankie Muniz and Mark-Paul Gosselaar show up for the season premiere, in which James tries to stage a Dawson's Creek reunion that "takes a couple of left turns," she previews. Other Beek-related developments include his obsession with getting chosen as one of People's Sexiest Men Alive and his new "man-puppet love" movie, Love Monster (don't ask).
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | James and Dean Cain will fight over partnering with DWTS pro Karina Smirnoff, who plays herself. But that carnage may be nothing compared to what happens when, as Kahn puts it, "Chloe's old friend from psychopath camp shows up."
RETURN DATE | Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 9:30/8:30c (ABC)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | On the heels of uncovering some seemingly latent romantic feelings for her adoptive brother, Deb walked in on Dexter murdering the season’s Big Bad Travis.
COMING UP NEXT | Early on, Dexter will (almost completely) come clean to his “sister” about his Dark Passenger. Also, look for the Bay Harbor Butcher to once again pique interests, while a mysterious new lady (played by Chuck‘s Yvonne Strahovski) catches Dex’s eye.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | In devious undercover intern news, Dexter is going to learn the hard way why it’s so vital to password protect your computer.
RETURN DATE | Sunday, Sept. 30 at 9/8c (Showtime)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Peter urged Joe to counter Bonnie's infidelity with a tryst of his own, then had to scramble to get the couple back together when she threatened divorce. Brian and Stewie came to Meg's rescue after she was kidnapped in Europe. Chris went to fat camp. And oh, the angry chicken…
COMING UP NEXT | It's almost easier to talk about who isn't guest-voicing a character on Family Guy's Season 11 than who is. The big names include hunk vampires (Twilight's Kellan Lutz), behind-the-scenes TV giants (Dick Wolf, J.J. Abrams and Mark Burnett), assorted honeys (Sofia Vergara, Cheryl Tiegs) and Edward Scissorhands himself, Johnny Depp – not to mention Ryan Reynolds returning for the Christmas episode as what executive producer Mark Hentemann calls "basically fetal alcohol-syndrome Jesus." But let's not get ahead of ourselves – the season premiere finds the world's least athletic family taking on one of the world's most athletic challenges. "The Griffins climb Mt. Everest," Hentemann previews, and it all starts when Peter and Lois feel second-rate in comparison to her ex-boyfriend, Ross Fishman, and his wife (voiced by Elizabeth Banks). So when the Fishman fam plans the epic trek, the Griffins say, "'We're not only going to achieve this, we're going to beat you to the top,'" he says. "And they obviously go through hell getting there." One word: pukesicles. Later in the season, in a rom-com-themed Valentine's Day episode that finds everyone but Brian with a little love story, Stewie gathers the pup's ex-girlfriends (including characters voiced by Drew Barrymore, Jessica Biel and Cheryl Tiegs) for a summit about just what's wrong with our four-legged friend. Other Season 11 standouts: Lois has a mid-life crisis, Peter wields a whole lot more Nielsen control than he should and the series' 200th episode will rewind time to Stewie's birth – but will Brian be able to put things right before the football-headed toddler is rewound out of existence?
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Mayor Adam West will be tried for murder in the season ahead. You know that part about "a jury of your peers"? Good luck with that, Batman.
RETURN DATE | Sunday, Sept. 30 at 9/8c (Fox)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | To thwart William Bell’s plan to create a “new world” where he is a god, Walter put a bullet in Olivia’s pretty little temple — and then quickly hammered it right back out, using, like, an ice pick and the heel of a boot. (We kid somewhat, but really…. Ewww.) After she cortexiphantastically healed herself, Liv learned she and Peter would be parents!
COMING UP NEXT | Though showrunner Joel Wyman of course has myriad freaky, Fringe-y toys at his disposal, with just 13 hours left to go, “It’s not a season for tricks, multiple universes and the introduction of new things,” he asserts. Rather, his goal for Season 5 – which is set almost exclusively in the year 2036, like last season’s “Letters of Transit” — is to “put the viewer down on ground level” to “get inside the emotion of the characters and pay off [the four-year investment] in a big way.” (That said, he teases that “because we’re in the future, things are all that much cooler and some may really blow your mind!”) What sort of emotions will your Fringe faves be dealing with? For one, that promo in which an idyllic outing for Peter, wife Olivia and a young Etta is interrupted by Observers ends as horrifically as you feared. “They had their daughter taken from them,” Wyman reveals. “And most couples, when they lose a child… don't make it through that. So what happened to Peter and Olivia before the ambering?”
PREVIOUSLY ON… | After getting “dumped” by Finn, Rachel moved to New York to fulfill her NYADA dreams. Meanwhile, Kurt was denied admission to NYADA, throwing his future in turmoil, and Brittany was forced to repeat her senior year.
COMING UP NEXT | The dramedy will split its focus between Lima — where Artie, Blaine, Sam, Tina and Brittany are now the Kings and Queens of New Directions — and New York, where Rachel and (surprise!) Kurt are adjusting to their new life in the Big Apple. Sue, meanwhile, will find a fresh “head bitch” in newcomer Kitty (Becca Tobin), previews exec producer Brad Falchuk, who describes the nascent Cheerios captain as a cross between Quinn and Santana. Speaking of Sue, the new mom is still keeping the identity of her celebrity baby daddy under wraps. “We’re going back and forth about who we want the dad to me,” says Falchuk. “We have one person in mind who we think would be perfect.”
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Rachel and Finn’s quasi-breakup in the finale will be made more official early into the season. Teases Falchuk: “What happens to them and the way they end it is actually kind of fresh.”
RETURN DATE | Thursday, Sept. 13 at 9/8c (Fox)
THE GOOD WIFE
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Cary landed back at a now-bankrupt Lockhart & Gardner, Alicia inched closer to reuniting with Peter and Kalinda braced for the arrival of her Achilles’ heel-slash-husband.
COMING UP NEXT | Will and Diane work to get the firm back on the right financial track under the watchful eye of a belt-tightening bank trustee played by Nathan Lane. “The difficulty is, in the real case of trustees, they do have the veto power over the managers of the firm,” notes exec producer Robert King. “So Will and Diane are going to have to deal with someone who can actually overrule them and that creates a difficulty.” Kalinda, meanwhile, reluctantly “reunites” with her toxic hubby (played by Brit actor Marc Warren) and proceeds to head down a path of self-destruction, Cary’s effort to transition from “yuppie fighter” to “calm spirit” is complicated by the arrival of his hard-to-please father, and Alicia strikes up a friendship with a fellow lawyer (played by Amanda Peet)
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Fresh off his six month suspension, Will returns to the courtroom in Episode 2 with disastrous results.
RETURN DATE | Sunday, Sept. 30 at 9/8c (CBS)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Blair tracked Chuck down in Monte Carlo in the hopes of reconciling, a broken Serena left town in a haze of sex and drugs, Nate asked Lola to move in with him and Rufus and Lily went their separate ways.
COMING UP NEXT | After a brief opening act to tie up some of the loose ends from last May’s cliffhanger, the show’s final 10-episode season jumps forward four months and promptly launches into a new mystery. “Serena is missing,” reveals exec producer Stephanie Savage. “No one has heard from her, not even Gossip Girl. She’s truly off the map. So the gang has to get together to try and find her.” S eventually resurfaces on the arm of a new, more mature beau, played by 7th Heaven vet Barry Watson. “He lets Serena be herself,” notes Savage, “which is something that she really needs right now.” Blair, meanwhile, finally realizes she needs Chuck — and vice versa. “They now understand what it would mean for them to be together,” says exec producer Sara Goodman, adding that they first have to figure out “what they need as separate people” before they can fully commit. The main theme of the season is “adulthood,” says Savage. “High school is long in the past and they’re thinking about who they want to be and how they want to be.”
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Although she won’t technically be a series regular, Michelle Trachtenberg will have a bigger presence as Georgina than in any previous season.
RETURN DATE | Monday, Oct. 8 at 9/8c (The CW)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Lexie died and Derek, Meredith, Cristina, Arizona and Mark remained stranded in the aftermath of the plane crash. Back at Seattle Grace, Teddy resigned, Bailey and Ben got engaged, and Jackson and Alex accepted positions at Tulane and Johns Hopkins, respectively.
COMING UP NEXT | The premiere, which picks up several months after Lexie’s death, will quickly answer two questions: Who survived the crash (Derek, Mer and Cristina are safe, a confirmed-to-exit Mark and an in-limbo Arizona remain question marks) and which of the docs actually followed through on those new job opportunities. “You come back to discover that a lot of them are having a hard time, even the ones who stayed [at Seattle Grace],” reveals series creator Shonda Rhimes. “All of our interns are now attendings so they’re all in new circumstances.” Rhimes has dubbed Season 9 the Year of Romance, a theme she confirms will extend to Dere/Mer and, believe it or not, Cristina/Owen. “They’re going to find their way back to one another, but it’s going to be a long journey,” she warns of the latter, fractured pair. “I want everyone to be clear on that.” Elsewhere, this season’s second episode will flash back to shed new light on what happened immediately following the plane crash, and Alex will at long last find a love with “somebody who doesn’t leave him for once.”
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | With Mark out of the picture, Derek will be in the market for a new BFF. Who will fill that void? “Derek and Callie become very good friends,” reveals Rhimes. “When we come back we see that they have become very good friends; they spent a lot of time together in the intervening months.”
RETURN DATE | Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9/8c (ABC)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Penny admitted (to herself, at least) that she has feelings for Dave just as he was nearing a reconciliation with Alex. Brad, meanwhile, adjusted to life on the unemployment line.
COMING UP NEXT | With Brad out of work, Jane takes a second job as a car saleswoman. Penny falls down a flight of stairs and ends up in a half-body cast — that’s the bad news. The good news is she checks out of the hospital with discharge papers and a new boyfriend (played by Nick Zano). Dave and Alex, meanwhile, consider moving in together.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Penny’s aforementioned new beau is sticking around for a while — six to eight episodes at least.
RETURN DATE | Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 9/8c (ABC)
HART OF DIXIE
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Zoe finally followed her heart loins and hopped in the sack with her adoring suitor Wade. However, George — who had just broken things off with fiancée Lemon — interrupted the union to profess his love for the adorable doc. Great moment, really bad timing.
COMING UP NEXT | The scandalous “events of the finale will all come out within the first episode,” showrunner Leila Gerstein tells TVLine. “Zoe will make a choice” between Wade and George by premiere’s end. And Lemon and Lavon will encounter their own love geometry when former townie Ruby (played by Girlfriends’ Golden Brooks) returns to Bluebell.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Single for the first time in her life, Lemon will finally move out of her father’s house and get a job waitressing at the Rammer Jammer.
RETURN DATE | Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 8/7c (The CW)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Frank Delano made Chin Ho choose between racing to save his wife Malia or his cousin Kono (who last was seen sinking to the bottom of the ocean, bound and gagged); Joe White led McGarrett to the mysterious “Shelburne” – aka Steve’s mom!
COMING UP NEXT | Based on these season premiere photos, it appears that — spoiler alert! – Kono is alive and well (and back in a bikini), while Chin Ho is conspicuously absent. (Maybe Malia didn’t actually make it?) As for the mother of a reveal, Christine Lahti will recur as Doris McGarrett, while Michelle Borth is now a series regular, playing Steve’s squeeze/colleague Catherine. On the guest star front, watch for Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction), Arielle Kebbel (90210), Robbie Amell (Revenge) and rapper T.I. to visit the Aloha State.
RETURN DATE | Monday, Sept. 24 at 10/9c (CBS)
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
PREVIOUSLY ON… | In the wedding-themed Season 7 ender, Robin was revealed as Barney’s future bride while he and Quinn got engaged in the present and Ted and Victoria ditched her fiancé at the altar to drive off into the sunset together. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily welcomed baby Marvin Waitforit Eriksen into the world.
COMING UP NEXT | Everyone is coupled up – including Robin and her returning crush (played by Michael Trucco) – but doom is in the air. "We're calling October ‘Breakup Month,’" says executive producer Craig Thomas. "This is the month where some stuff went crazy in these relationships." That carnage will pave the way for Barney and Robin’s future nuptials. The season premiere jumps further into that wedding day and shows the audience something "that I think will blow some people’s minds," Thomas adds. Could it be a big, mother-related clue?! As for Marshall and Lily, they’ll have to figure out who's trustworthy enough to take care of their little one.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Remember how Robin wanted to see best man Ted on her big day? "I think you can tell from [Cobie Smulders’] performance at the end of our finale there was something important on her mind," says Thomas. "We’re going to show you what that is. It isn’t just, ‘Does my veil look OK?’ There’s a real issue she wants to talk to Ted about that has great importance to the story."
RETURN DATE | Monday, Sept. 24 at 8/7c (CBS)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Jane pulled the ultimate long con to get close to Red John, going off the deep end in order to strike up a relationship with the murderer's agent, Lorelei. In the end, the killer eluded Jane, but the team was able to capture his mysterious helper.
COMING UP NEXT | The CBI and the FBI (represented by new recurring players Polly Walker and Ivan Sergei) will battle for custody of Lorelei, and Jane’s not about to let her go. In order to get information out of the devious gal, he is "willing to go way beyond the limits that Lisbon would like to set for him," reveals executive producer Bruno Heller. "Lisbon and Jane come into serious conflict about that. Now that he has this close connection to Red John via Lorelei, he’s not going to let it go." That’s good news for viewers frustrated by the elusive figure, Heller says. "Jane is going to get much, much, much closer to understanding who Red John is and what he’s about and how to catch him."
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | The CBS drama is planning something pretty special for its upcoming 100th episode, which will reveal "what happened when Jane first arrived at the CBI all those years ago," previews Heller. "It’s like the origins of Spiderman [or] Batman. We see Jane soon after the death of his wife and child, and we see him meeting the team for the first time. It’s a great, fun episode."
RETURN DATE | Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10/9c (CBS)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | The Hecks hosted a last-minute wedding for Mike’s brother Rusty (Norm MacDonald), but when Frankie (Patricia Heaton) realized she’d run out of time to finish redecorating the living-room, she was forced to restore the old wallpaper using glue and staples. Meanwhile, in an effort to avoid getting summer jobs with demanding managers, Axl (Charlie McDermott) and his buddies Sean and Darrin formed Boss Co, a poorly thought-out handyman service via which all of them got to be in charge.
COMING UP NEXT | That grim living-room wall will be a recurring source of frustration in the Heck household in Season 4, as will a troublesome washer-dryer duo. Boss Co. will live to blunder another day. And Sue (Eden Sher) will become a mentor to an incoming freshman (Bunheads‘ Bailey Buntain) who may not benefit from the middle Heck child’s eternally optimistic insights.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Brick (Atticus Shaffer) develops a new tic, and on the recommendation of a therapist, ends up as the owner of what executive producer Eileen Heisler calls a “psycho bunny.”
RETURN DATE | Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 8/7c (ABC, one-hour)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Gloria revealed that she is pregnant — though just to the camera, not the fam; Mitch and Cam were unable to adopt their second child; Haley (amazingly) got into college.
COMING UP NEXT | “The big arc this season is obviously Jay and Gloria having this baby,” exec producer Christopher Lloyd shares. Elsewhere in the Family, Cam will go back to work as a teacher, Haley will occasionally Skype in from her dorm and Phil and Luke will delve deep into the magic of… well, magic.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | “Phil and Claire are debating [him] having a vasectomy,” Ty Burrell tells us. Initially, “They’re both back and forth” on the snip-snap decision, but one will be made.
RETURN DATE | Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9/8c (ABC)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Big bad Harper Dearing (played by Richard Schiff) scared off Dr. Ryan (Jamie Lee Curtis) and car-bombed the NCIS building, leaving Gibbs, Abby, Tony, Ziva and McGee in peril (and killing Scott Wolf’s Jonathan Cole). Upon hearing of the tragedy, Ducky suffered a heart attack.
COMING UP NEXT | … is perhaps not as much dramatic tension as show boss Gary Glasberg would like, given the public nature of the actors’ contract renewals that took place over the summer. “That's just the nature of the business,” he shrugs. “All I can do is tell the best stories I can.” To that end, he promises “much more significant” ramifications to the explosion that even the savviest of fans might imagine. “It really rocks [the agents’] world, and the trauma of it will carry throughout the season.” For starters, “Things become very personal” for Gibbs now that Dearing has brought the fight to NCIS’ literal back yard, Ducky experiences “an emotional discovery” in the wake of his health scare, Abby is prompted to “look deeper into herself and her family,” and Tony and Ziva “emotionally connect” during their hours trapped in the elevator. (And once they’re free? “I hope fans embrace the Tony/Ziva relationship stuff that we have in mind,” Glasberg teases.)
RETURN DATE | Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8/7c (CBS)
NCIS: LOS ANGELES
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Callen executed an unarmed “Chameleon” in broad daylight and in public/in front of a TV crew, jeopardizing his cover and placing him quickly in police custody; Hetty quit.
COMING UP NEXT | “I don't know how we’re going to get out of that!” showrunner Shane Brennan says with a laugh, addressing Callen’s professional pickle. This much is known: Season 4 picks up no more than 24 hours later, with Callen under investigation for murder and Hetty on a yacht about to set sail across the ocean – though not before she exchanges some choice words with Granger. “The way the episode lays out, the audience will be kept guessing right through the last minutes,” Brennan promises. “It’s a really great opening to the season.” (On the lighter side, Episode 2 is being touted by the boss as “the funniest episode we’ve ever made…. The Kensi/Deeks fans are going to love it!”
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Just in time for the November elections, Episode 4 will revolve around “the sort of political candidate that everyone would love to vote for this year,” Brennan says. “It really will touch a nerve with the audience in terms of what they think of politicians.”
RETURN DATE | Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9/8c (CBS)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Schmidt and Cece broke up, the gang’s roommate search came to a halt after a Caroline-free Nick decided to move back in.
COMING UP NEXT | Jess gets laid off in the premiere and spends the early part of the season “jumping from job to job and from man to man,” previews leading lady Zooey Deschanel. Among Jess’ Season 2 suitors: Book of Mormon‘s Josh Gad and Bent‘s David Walton (pictured). Elsewhere, Winston will get a visit from his mom (Amen‘s Anna Maria Horsford), Schmidt will throw a party to celebrate the removal of his penis cast and Nick will come face-to-face with his future self (Justified‘s Raymond Barry).
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | In the premiere, both Nick and Winston tackle “Groove is in the Heart” — one while in the shower and the other while drunk on a fruity cocktail.
RETURN DATE | Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9/8c (Fox)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Having finally defeated — and killed — Big Bad Percy, Nikita & Co. decided to take over Division instead of destroying it.
COMING UP NEXT | Look for lots of job-related head-butting between new co-managers Nikita and Ryan. There will also be much more Owen, because Devon Sawa has been made a series regular for Season 3. And while there will also be Baddies of the Week, Amanda is now the ultimate villain.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | “Mikita” is solid early on, but something “horrible” happens to Michael which is going to “test his strength of character and his relationship with everyone,” shares Shane West.
RETURN DATE | Friday, Oct. 19 at 9/8c (The CW)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Wallace’s purchase of Dunder Mifflin left Robert unemployed, Andy with his old manager job back and Nellie demoted to a special projects post. Dwight and Angela, meanwhile kinda-sorta reunited, although it remained unclear if he’s the father of her child.
COMING UP NEXT | Exec producer Greg Daniels’ mission for the show’s ninth and final season is make every episode Must-See TV. “I want to tell big arcs for the main characters,” he says, “and regain that sense of needing to see each episode when it airs to find out what is happening next.” Among the noteworthy plots in the pipeline: The Scranton Strangler will be unmasked; Kelly leaves her job, but not before saddling the two new hires — played by Jake Lacy and Clark Duke — with upwards of 4,000 unanswered customer complaints; Jim and Pam attend her ex Roy’s wedding; and viewers will finally get the full story about the documentary crew that’s been shadowing the gang for the past decade.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Although Zach Woods’ contract option was not picked up for the final season, sources confirm that we have not seen the last of Gabe.
RETURN DATE | Thursday, Sept. 20 at 9/8c (NBC)
ONCE UPON A TIME
PREVIOUSLY ON… | To save Henry from the poisoned apple turnover, Emma retrieved a last bit of “true love” potion from a cavern beneath Storybrooke, after defeating a dragon-ized Maleficent. Mr. Gold, though, pulled a fast one on Emma, pinching the potion for his own purpose: to restore magic to the town whose denizens now remember their true identities.
COMING UP NEXT | Now that Emma’s a believer and everyone else knows what’s what, what’s next? “Part of it is going to be about how Nucky retains power over the boardwalk,” hedges Adam Horowitz, who cocreated the show with Eddy Kitsis. Led back on track, he notes, “The show to us was never about breaking the curse and getting memories back. It was about larger conflicts, some of which were introduced last season and some which we’ll introduce very soon.” One epic clash, of course, involves Rumplestiltskin and the Evil Queen, who took her own pleasure in seeing that purple smoke sweep through town. “They have this weird thing where they keep f—king each other over, yet they still seem to need each other,” notes Kitsis. Case in point: Rumple has reunited with his true love, “so whatever Regina was saving Belle for just went away. And I have a feeling Rumple is going to want revenge.” And while fairytale characters such as Sleeping Beauty, Mulan and Captain Hook will join the narrative, Horowitz promises, “It’s all in service of the larger story we’ve been telling, centered on Snow White, Charming, their daughter Emma and their relationship with the Queen and Rumplestiltskin.”
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | An unexplored part of Snow White’s past apparently includes one memorable knight. “Lancelot (played by Teen Wolf‘s Sinqua Walls in at least three episodes) has a, uh, very ‘complicated’ relationship with Snow,” Kitsis teases. “The two of them have a secret that I’m not sure Charming knows.”
RETURN DATE | Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8/7c (ABC)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Mark proposed to Sarah, Jasmine and Crosby tied the knot, Drew lost his virginity, Julia and Joel became the adoptive parents of a 9-year-old boy, and Adam decided to remain in the Luncheonette business with Crosby.
COMING UP NEXT | Newly engaged Sarah and Mark encounter some turbulence en route to the altar when she takes a photo assistant job and develops feelings for her boss, played by Ray Romano. “In a weird way he’s kind of more right for her than somebody like Mark,” notes showrunner Jason Katims. “He’s in a more similar stage of life as she is, so we wanted to watch as that dynamic develops.” Elsewhere, Amy dumps Drew, Haddie goes off to college, Jasmine and Crosby adjust to married life, Zeek befriends a fellow military vet (played by Friday Night Lights‘ Matt Lauria), and a new medical crisis rocks the Braverman clan.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Later in the season, Amber will embark on her first mature adult relationship.
RETURN DATE | Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 10/9c (NBC)
PARKS AND RECREATION
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Leslie was elected Pawnee’s newest member of city council, while Ben took a job on a national campaign in Washington D.C.
COMING UP NEXT | ‘Benslie’ will struggle to cope with their long distance love, while April (who has also moved to D.C., as Ben’s assistant ) and Andy (who is looking to enter the Pawnee police academy) make cross-country romance look simple(r). Also, did Tom and Ann move in together? You’ll find out!
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER |Parks will celebrate Halloween this year with a movie night at City Hall, where everyone will dress up in costumes and watch a campy, late ’80s horror flick. Also: Tom/Ann isn’t the only cohabitation question on the table.
RETURN DATE | Thursday, Sept. 20 at 9:30/8:30c (NBC)
PERSON OF INTEREST
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Carter and Fusco came to discover they are both working with Reese and Finch; the finale’s POI (played by Angel‘s Amy Acker) turned out to be the elusive computer hacker “Root,” who killed Alicia and abducted Finch. A desperate Reese appealed to The Machine (via a random surveillance camera) for help, at which point a nearby payphone rang. Hmm…. Saved by Ma Bell?
COMING UP NEXT | Yep, that’s our friend The Machine calling Reese, as the season premiere addresses the burning question: How do things work when Finch isn't around to fetch the numbers? “Through the first season, the Machine stayed a silent partner,” says exec producer Jonah Nolan. “But now the big questions are: How does it communicate, and what does it want?” As for Root, “Like any great villain, we’re going to find out that she and Finch have more in common than he previously believed,” says EP Greg Plageman. Further down the road, Season 2 will afford a greater understanding of “what happened with Harold Finch to get him where he is today,” as well as tackle the mysteries of his lost love Grace, the death of his partner Nathan Ingram and, yes, how he got that limp. Likewise, Nolan promises to explore Carter’s personal life “and what makes her tick, this woman who is in many ways the conscience of the show.”
RETURN DATE | Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9/8c (CBS)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | New mom Addison, who was in the midst of starting up something real with Jake, fielded a marriage proposal from sometime-beau Sam. Awkward.
COMING UP NEXT | Picking up three months later, Addison’s sticky sitch, says Kate Walsh, “will be resolved in the season opener (airing Tuesday, Sept. 25) – “and then every character has a huge revelation or gets information that’s life-changing. It’s really good!” For one, Tim Daly’s exit from the show sets Violet and Lucas “on a really interesting and beautiful journey,” says show boss Shonda Rhimes. Elsewhere, Paul Adelstein says Charlotte and Cooper realize that “everything that happens to them or everything they want to do in their lives has a residual effect on [Mason],” while Caterina Scorcese told us that Amelia has been “grieving the losses that she suffered, and finding new footing.” But the overall twist for the new season is a Rashomon-style of storytelling, in which each episode, starting a few weeks in, is told through a different character’s eyes. “It’s a really cool idea,” raves Adelstein.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Rhimes is ruling out any Grey’s Anatomy crossovers during Walsh’s final, 13-episode run, but won’t rule out the “possibility” of a wedding, for someone.
RETURN DATE | Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c (ABC)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Hope’s assumed-executed serial-killer mom was shockingly revealed to be alive, successfully sued for custody, but then was subsequently mowed down by a bus while attempting to stab Sabrina (Shannon Woodward). Hope was then returned to Jimmy (Lucas Neff) and the Chance Family, with a caveat from the judge that they’d need to work harder to provide a safe home for the baby girl.
COMING UP NEXT | Melanie Griffith joins the cast as Sabrina’s narcissist mother Tamara, with Wilmer Valderrama signing on as the minor-league baseball pitcher who woos her. SNL vet Jenny Slate, meanwhile, has signed on as a social worker following up on some “care concerns” pertaining to little Hope.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | An upcoming episode that finds the Chances descending into the competitive world of candy fundraisers will pay homage to classic gangster movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas.
RETURN DATE | Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 8/7c (Fox)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Emily — having just split with fiancé Daniel — learned that the mother she long presumed dead was in fact alive; Fauxmanda returned to town, (presumably) carrying Jack’s baby; Charlotte overdosed on pills; a plane crash may have claimed the lives of both Lydia and Victoria.
COMING UP NEXT | The season once again begins with a flash forward to a “dramatic incident” — rumored to be Emily’s wedding day — and will then return to the moment where the ABC drama’s freshman run wrapped. “You’ll have all of your answers about what happened the night of the plane crash and who’s dead — and why — in the first two episodes,” showrunner Mike Kelley assures TVLine.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | “That baby is real and that baby is coming,” Kelley teases of Amanda’s child-to-be. “After the first run of four episodes, we’ll know what that family is going to look like, with Jack and Amanda.”
RETURN DATE | Sunday, Sept. 30 at 9/8c (ABC)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | After growing ever-closer with former flame President Fitzgerald Grant during her “fixing” of the Amanda Tanner situation, Olivia Pope promised First Lady Mellie to keep a wide berth; Olivia’s team of gladiators realized that colleague Quinn Perkins was harboring a deep secret and, well, isn't really “Quinn Perkins.”
COMING UP NEXT | Series star Kerry Washington tells TVLine the “Who is Quinn?” mystery is dealt with “right away” — though not necessarily to the satisfaction of each Pope associate. “We find out who she is, but we’re still left with why, and how… all of that.” (Most simply said? Baby did a bad, bad thing.) Turning to the bigger, juicier question: Has Olivia been “behaving” herself? “She has not been going to the White House. She has not been doing that,” Washington affirms. “She’s a woman of her word.” In fact, viewers will see Olivia cross paths with Mellie (new series regular Bellamy Young) before she has occasion to come face-to-face with Fitz again.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Washington says that as well as she has gotten to know Olivia, a new interpersonal relationship introduced in Season 2 caught her quite off guard and raises many questions. Now, before you wrongly assume that she’s referring to the character (reportedly an ex of Olivia’s) being played by Norm Lewis, the actress makes clear: “It’s actually somebody that no one is taking about, something that isn’t out there yet – and it’s a really important new dynamic on the show.”
RETURN DATE | Thursday, Sept. 27 at 10/9c (ABC)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | In the series' 500th episode, the residents of Springfield drove the titular family outta town – then missed them so much, they followed them. Ned made Edna an honest woman when they eloped, but the celebratory reception Marge planned for the couple didn't go so well. Guest star Lady Gaga helped Lisa over a rough patch with her peers.
COMING UP NEXT | The guest-star heavy Season 24 begins with Bart realizing he's never been able to make love last. So he visits his former girlfriends – voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman and Sarah Silverman ("He's dated more young starlets than Warren Beatty!" jokes executive producer Al Jean) – before winding up in New York to see Mary Spuckler (New Girl's Zooey Deschanel, in her first of two appearances this season). "There's a few surprises in the episode," Jean promises, one related to The Longest Daycare 3-D short that aired in theaters before Ice Age: Continental Drift last summer and another big announcement at the end of the premiere. In addition to a Grandpa-centric episode featuring The Good Wife's Anika Noni Rose and the late Marvin Hamlisch – as well as this year's "Treehouse of Horror" ep (Oct. 7) — listen for Steve Carrell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Edward Norton, Justin Bieber, Fred Armisen, Patton Oswalt and Tom Waits to show up throughout the season.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | If you liked having a say in whether or not "Nedna" should stay together, rejoice: The show is planning a few more audience-participation opportunities for the coming season. "We have one definite thing and one more that we're working on," Jean teased.
RETURN DATE | Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8/7c (Fox)
SONS OF ANARCHY
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Just when it looked like Clay would most certainly be offed by one of several scorned Sons, Jax was forced to intervene and keep the old timer alive — for now — for the sake of the club. As a result, the onetime prince became king of the Charming charter, with Tara, but not Opie, at his side.
COMING UP NEXT | Harold Perrineau (Lost) and Jimmy Smits (Dexter) are joining the fray, playing the season’s Big Bad and Jax’s mentor of sorts, respectively. Most importantly, though, expect to see “what kind of leader Jax will become” by season’s end, says SOA boss Kurt Sutter. Also on tap for Season 5: Joel McHale! (Enough said, right? Still, here’s more: The Community star will drop by as a con man who tangles with Gemma.)
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Prepare yourself for a shocking death in the premiere. And by shocking, we mean the grisly nature of the killing more so than the person whose life is extinguished.
RETURN DATE | Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 10/9c (FX)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Mother’s Day brought out the revelations: Lisa discovered her brother Ryan is adopted, Dallas realized she wanted Dalia to stay with her rather than go to Israel with her dad and Tessa came face-to-face with her maternal grandmother!
COMING UP NEXT | The show will finally introduce the woman who gave birth to and abandoned Tessa; the deadbeat mom (played by Malin Ackerman) will first appear in the Thanksgiving episode. "Now that she’s having this new chance to connect with Tessa – I feel a lot of parents make this mistake – [she] almost treats her like a sister," previews executive producer Emily Kapnek. Meanwhile, George and Dallas will stop flirting and actually go out on a real date – with her life coach in tow (voice actor H. Jon Benjamin)! – and Dalia will be on the receiving end of an "unexpected kiss."
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | What will Lisa do with the intel she’s acquired about her bro? "She’s determined to capitalize on it and use it against her parents," says Kapnek. "’If you think I’m going to keep this secret, things around here are going to change’ – that kind of thing. As they retell her the story of when Ryan was first adopted, we get some fun flashback stuff."
RETURN DATE | Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 9:30/8:30c (ABC)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | After taking out Leviathan boss Dick Roman, Dean and Cas disappeared to a monster-filled purgatory while Sam was left on his own back on Earth. Ghost Bobby finally moved on to the other side.
COMING UP NEXT | Dean and Sam will reunite in the season premiere, but lots will have changed while they were separated. For one, after a "not very cute meet" with Amelia (recurring guest star Liane Balaban), Sam struck up a romance with the damaged woman during the Winchesters’ hiatus from each other, previews new showrunner Jeremy Carver. Dean’s side of the story will be told in flashbacks, which will answer the mystery of why Castiel vanished and how the elder brother got out of purgatory. Hint: He’s now indebted to the vamp Benny, "who is a super cool, super complex character who is a force to be reckoned with unto himself," says Carver. "That is something that applies above ground and below ground."
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Prepare for a major new recurring character in Naomi, who’s all business – complete with a serious pulled back hairdo – and very private. But underneath that no-nonsense suit exterior, she’s not quite so together.
RETURN DATE | Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 9/8c (The CW)
TWO AND A HALF MEN
PREVIOUSLY ON… | As Alan recovered from a heart attack, Charlie appeared to him in the guise of a bawdy, mature woman (guest star Kathy Bates). Walden and Zoey toyed with the idea of living together. New high school graduate Jake enlisted in the military.
COMING UP NEXT |Men will be on the receiving end of a little time, love and tenderness when Walden hires Michael Bolton to serenade birthday girl Zoey in the Season 10 premiere. When things don't go well, Walden "may get a little drunk," teases executive producer Jim Patterson. "And Michael Bolton may give him a ride home." (Guest stars Judy Greer and Mimi Rogers also reprise their roles as Walden's ex-wife and mom, respectively, in the opener.) Patterson adds that Zalden may not survive the season, partly beacuse Walden's "the kind of character who's always looking for love and may not be the best at it, despite the fact that he looks like Ashton." One commitment that will last: Jake's Army enrollment, though thanks to Skype and home visits – such as when he meets love interest Missi (guest-star Miley Cyrus) — we'll still see plenty of the show's half man. And though Alan's health crisis has passed, he'll have plenty to deal with in the coming months. As Patterson puts it, "He seems to be cursed a little bit in his life."
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | After guest star Kathy Bates nabbed an Emmy nomination for her turn as a beyond-the-grave Charlie last season, might she – or someone else – reprise the role Charlie Sheen made famous? "If we could figure out another good reason that Charlie would see his brother, absolutely," Patterson says. "I do think Kathy would be the one we'd go to. She was awesome last year."
RETURN DATE | Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8:30/7:30c (CBS)
UP ALL NIGHT
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Chris finally got the chance to propose to his wife Reagan — who some eight years prior had interrupted his initial attempt with her own question-popping.
COMING UP NEXT | The comedy’s sophomore run will ditch the Ava show-within-a-show entirely in favor of “smaller stories that explore Chris and Regan’s relationships” with each other, their daughter, Maya Rudolph’s quirky character and Reagan’s lackadaisical brother (played by the newly cast Luka Jones).
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Though she briefly toyed with a between-seasons time jump, showrunner Emily Spivey opted to keep ridiculously cute twins Carly and Delaney Prince around as baby Amy in Season 2. “They’re back and better than ever,” she shares. “It’s a cute age; they’re walking and talking and becoming really interactive. We thought it would be fun to deal with that toddler aspect this season.”
RETURN DATE | Thursday, Sept. 20 at 8:30/7:30c (NBC)
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Where to start? Elena chose Stefan and then it was revealed that Damon met her first, Rebekah ran Matt and Elena off the road and into the river, Bonnie helped Klaus take possession of Tyler’s body and Alaric died. Did we forget something? Oh yeah — Elena became a vampire!
COMING UP NEXT | With her grief magnified, Elena won't handle her new vamp state very well, says executive producer Julie Plec. But she won’t be questioning her decision to pick Stefan even as Damon’s compulsion wears off. Still, the regained knowledge – his confession of love, that she met him before his brother – will "imbed itself in her brain a little bit." Vamp/hybrid couple Caroline and Tyler will have to deal with Klaus’ "mistaken identity hijinks" – don’t fret, he won’t be taking residence in his siree’s body for long – and the arrival of Hayley (The Secret Circle‘s Phoebe Tonkin), a friend of Tyler’s "who’s been very important to him in the past." Another fresh face coming to the show: Grace Phipps' Mystic Falls returnee April, who shares a history with Jeremy and Elena and has no idea what has become of her hometown. "But of course, as most new, innocent, beautiful young women that enter our show do, [she] gets very caught up in it very quickly," adds Plec. As if all of that weren't enough, Bonnie will suffer some "witch consequences" from her decision to help Klaus, and a new, powerful vampire hunter with an agenda (played by Todd Williams) shows up in town.
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Look for a pivotal-ish death during November sweeps, as well as the return of a familiar face.
RETURN DATE | Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8/7c (The CW)
PREVIOUSLY ON… | Despite her prior reluctance to wedded life, Whitney agreed to marry Alex. But a series of mishaps ultimately led the pair to decide the traditional route wasn't for them, so they sealed their commitment with "I Do" tattoos. Meanwhile, Lily and Neal helped Mark figure out his feelings for Roxanne.
COMING UP NEXT | The comedy's first season was all about Whitney's insecurities, and series creator and star Whitney Cummings says now it's Alex's turn. "It's about how he needs what I can't give him and how I learn to give him what he needs," she previews in character, adding we're likely to see the return of Ken Marino as Alex's brother Brian, as well as other members of the Green clan. And though Whitney will switch to a tighter focus on the central couple, members of the ensemble will get into plenty of shenanigans of their own. A Neal-less Lily will "be out there, out in the trenches, getting choked and spanked and all the things that go on when you're single now," Cummings jokes. Mark and Roxanne, meanwhile, "will continue to have a very cool, unconventional, frustrating relationship."
TVLINE BONUS SPOILER | Look for Jane Kaczmarek to reprise her role as Whitney's mom in the season opener.
RETURN DATE | Friday, Oct. 19 at 8/7c (NBC)
Which returning favorite are you most excited about? Hit the comments with your thoughts.