The fall TV preview

"90210" made its debut last week.

"90210" made its debut last week.

-- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 3:14 PM ET

It's the boob tube's bustiest time of year.

What follows is a list of most of the highest-profile series scheduled to splash onto your TV screens this September and October, in order of debut date, either for their inaugural seasons or their new seasons. The main focus is scripted shows, but we have included the better known reality shows and game shows, too.

In terms of series that originate on U.S. cable networks, many of them are in the middle of their runs, or have completed their runs, south of the border. But if the seasons in question are new to Canada, we've included some of them here.

And please understand, as this is being written, this list is as accurate as we can make it. Networks change their debut dates sometimes, due to breaking news events interrupting scheduled programming, or whatever. Shockingly, we are not consulted on these moves.

So a week or so before your favourite show is scheduled to come back, double-check your local listings before sending us a nasty e-mail, okay?

Onward we go:

SUNDAY 9.07
Entourage
TMN/MC
Its best days are behind it, but still packs a powerful comedic punch.
New show
True Blood
TMN/MC
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and a vampire tale that gets under your skin -- in a good way.
Weeds
Showcase
Nancy Botwin and her bizarre family were on the move -- literally -- at the end of last season.
MONDAY 9.08
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
A, Fox
Bad guys coming, gotta fight 'em; the storyline wears you out, but the effects are impressive.
New show
The Cho Show
Comedy
A little of Margaret Cho goes a long way, frankly.
Do Not Disturb
E!, on Fox Sept. 10
You know what's really disturbing? How unfunny this show is.
Eureka
Space
Set in a high-tech town rather than a rube town, it's an interesting twist on standard sci-fi fare.
TUESDAY 9.09
Kitchen Nightmares
Global
Is Gordon Ramsay nearing the end of his fame cycle?
The Shield
Showcase
Fans of this show are the most devoted in TV, and it doesn't even have a vampire in it.
New show
Fringe
CTV, A, Fox
Not as laborious as Lost; does J.J. Abrams still have the Midas touch?
WEDNESDAY 9.10
'Til Death
Fox
Death can't come soon enough.
THURSDAY 9.11
New show
So You Think You Can Dance Canada
CTV
Likely to be a huge hit north of the border.
FRIDAY 9.12
Don't Forget the Lyrics
A, Fox
We forgot already.
SATURDAY 9.13
Saturday Night Live
Global, NBC
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps hosts the premiere.
TUESDAY 9.16
House
Global, Fox
Last season's finale was so freakin' sad. We know this is a medical drama, but a little levity, please!
The Biggest Loser: Families
E!, NBC
Does the title describe families who compete, or families who watch?
THURSDAY 9.18
Smallville
CW, Sun-TV in Ontario
The indefatigable Superman saga continues to yield dividends.
Supernatural
CW, Sun-TV in Ontario
Last season a hellbound character was ripped apart by invisible dogs. How many shows can say that?
FRIDAY 9.19
Everybody Hates Chris
CW, on Citytv Oct. 3
Why does this series get so little respect? It's narrated by Chris Rock, you know.
SUNDAY 9.21
Emmy Awards
CTV, ABC
Not a series, but if you're a TV lover, you likely will be tuned in here.
Without a Trace
CTV, on CBS Sept. 23
For some reason, this and NCIS are the same show in my head.
MONDAY 9.22
Boston Legal
E!, ABC
It's the final season, so maybe we finally can stop giving James Spader Emmy awards.
Heroes
Global, NBC
It's going to come back really strong. It is. For those of us who once loved it, you gotta believe.
Dancing with the Stars
CTV, ABC
Glitzy and glamorous ratings juggernaut shows no signs of losing its step.
New show
The Mentalist
A, on CBS Sept. 23
Simon Baker is a celebrity psychic who winds up working for the police.
Two and a Half Men
A, CBS
Have you seen the size of the kid lately? This is on the verge of becoming Three Men.
The Big Bang Theory
CBS
One of the most charming ensemble casts on TV. Check it out.
How I Met Your Mother
E!, CBS
You know who could wind up being the mother? Bristol Palin. Uh-oh, did we just go too far?
New show
Worst Week
E!, CBS
This tale of a karma-challenged dude could get old very fast, but I laughed hard at the first episode.
CSI: Miami
CTV, CBS
People love making fun of David Caruso, but they also love watching him, apparently.
TUESDAY 9.23
Law & Order: SVU
CTV, NBC
Thank goodness this show has been around long enough for me to learn how to spell Mariska Hargitay.
NCIS
CBS, on Global Sept. 24
For some reason, this and Without a Trace are the same show in my head.
New show
Opportunity Knocks
Citytv, ABC
Ashton Kutcher's latest production project gives families a chance to win big.
WEDNESDAY 9.24
Lipstick Jungle
Citytv, NBC
Take that, Cashmere Mafia.
New show
Knight Rider
E!, NBC
Uh-oh, better get Geico.
The New Adventures of Old Christine
CBS
I've tried to like this, but dammit Elaine, I can't quite do it.
Criminal Minds
CTV, CBS
Oh Mandy, you came and you gave without taking ... actually, Mandy Patinkin took the attention away.
CSI: New York
CTV, CBS
Some claim this actually is
the best sibling in the CSI family.
New show
Gary Unmarried
CBS
A new sitcom with Jay Mohr that looks absolutely, positively horrid.
THURSDAY 9.25
Survivor: Gabon
Global, CBS
Where the hell is Gabon, anyway?
The Office
Global, NBC
Many great story arcs were set up in the season finale. Funniest show on TV.
My Name is Earl
E!, NBC
Great cast, but this is nearing the end of its run, we would think.
ER
CTV, NBC
Final season for a legendary series. Will George Clooney come back for a cameo?
Ugly Betty
Citytv, ABC
Looking forward to Lindsay Lohan's contribution. Seriously, that's not sarcasm.
Grey's Anatomy
CTV, ABC
Time to sigh, time to lie, time to cry, time to die -- this is chick TV at its absolute best.
SUNDAY 9.28
Cold Case
A, CBS
Leaves me kinda chilly.
King of the Hill
Global, Fox
Bobby Hill is one of the most admirably quirky characters in TV history.
The Simpsons
Global, Fox
If this series operated in real time, Bart would be about 30 by now.
Family Guy
Global, Fox
Been around for quite a while, but hasn't lost its bite or its bravery.
American Dad
Global, Fox
Doesn't do much for me; seems like the weak sister of the cartoon crowd.
The Amazing Race
CTV, CBS
We're less amazed than we used to be, but it's a game show, a travel show and a reality show all wrapped into one.
The Unit
CBS
Shouldn't David Duchovny be starring in this?
Desperate Housewives
CTV, ABC
For real, the narrative has jumped ahead five years. It's liberating for the writers as well as for the sexy actresses.
Brothers & Sisters
Global, ABC
More Proof: Savvy primetime soap operas never completely go out of style.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
E!, ABC
Coincidentally, I'd have to undergo an extreme makeover to watch this.
Dexter
TMN/MC
Everyone's favourite serial killer faces new foes, but as much as we love it, we're wondering if this show has peaked.
MONDAY 9.29
The Border
CBC
A serious modern drama that Canadians were smart enough to embrace right away.
Chuck
Citytv, NBC
Love the name of the big-box store where Chuck works: Buy More. That's reason to watch right there.
Life
Global, NBC
Sarah Shahi used to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. That's reason to watch right there.
Californication
TMN/MC
Apparently David Duchovny is playing himself, rather than with himself.
Dragons' Den
CBC
Not my thing, but I'm not an inventor or a businessman, and this undeniably has a solid following.
New show
Little Britain USA
TMN/MC
Hilarity crosses the ocean. Look out, America, these guys are fearless.
TUESDAY 9.30
Rick Mercer Report
CBC
There's just something about this guy that Canadians love.
Pushing Daisies
A, on ABC Oct. 1
Great cast and cool look, we personally are pleased it skirted the axe.
The Tudors
CBC
Lavish and lush, a show fit for a king.
WEDNESDAY 10.01
Little Mosque on the Prairie
CBC
Snubbed by the Geminis again, but the numbers have held up fairly well.
Sophie
CBC
Natalie Brown is one of the most likable stars on TV
today.
Private Practice
A, ABC
Not much buzz left for one
of last year's big-buzz shows.
Dirty Sexy Money
A, ABC
Crazily over-the-top, but this show grew on me as its rookie season developed.
FRIDAY 10.03
The Ghost Whisperer
CTV, CBS
Spooky subject matter plus curvy Jennifer Love Hewitt equals diehard fans.
Numb3rs
Global, CBS
Not intrigu3d.
Air Farce Live
CBC
Final season for these cagey veterans wraps up on New Year's Eve.
New show
The Ex-List
Global, CBS
Thematically similar to last season's New Amsterdam, and that show flopped.
Wife Swap
A, ABC
Every man's fantasy.
Supernanny
CTV, ABC
Every woman's fantasy.
SUNDAY 10.05
Heartland
CBC
Hearts and horses; a quality show for the whole family,
and those are rare indeed.
New show
Star Wars:
The Clone Wars
CTV
An animated version, but can't we get over this Star Wars stuff? It has been 30 years, after all!
America's Funniest Home Videos
A, ABC
Hasn't YouTube made this completely redundant?
MONDAY 10.06
Corner Gas
CTV
We guarantee the final season for Dog River won't be a dog. Canadian gems like this don't come along very often, so enjoy it while you can.
Samantha Who?
A, ABC
Christina Applegate's recent health problems just another reason to cheer for her.
TUESDAY 10.07
Degrassi: The Next Generation
CTV
It truly is a new generation, with Shenae Grimes gone to 90210.
THURSDAY 10.09
CSI
CTV, CBS
Goodbye William Petersen, hello Laurence Fishburne, but not until mid-season.
New show
Eleventh Hour
A, CBS
Will midnight strike for Rufus Sewell and this poor-man's Fringe?
New show
Life on Mars
Global, ABC
Michael Imperioli goes back to the '70s. Candidate for early whacking.
New show
Kath & Kim
E!, NBC
Molly Shannon (age 43) and Selma Blair (age 36) as mother and daughter? Puh-leeze.
MONDAY 10.13
New show
Less Than Kind
Citytv
Canadian dysfunctional-family comedy -- with former Kid In The Hall Mark McKinney as the show-runner -- looks quite promising.
New show
My Own Worst Enemy
Global, NBC
Christian Slater in a split-personality saga. Maybe he's Jack Nicholson's alter-ego after all.
TUESDAY 10.14
Eli Stone
A, ABC
Likable cast, and Katie Holmes is a guest-star, but will audiences sing along?
New show
Testees
Showcase
New outlet for Kenny vs. Spenny-style yuks.
WEDNESDAY 10.15
Billable Hours
Showcase
Funny Canadian sitcom deserves more attention.
FRIDAY 10.17
New show
Crusoe
Citytv, NBC
Kind of the original Lost ... or the original Gilligan's Island, for that matter.
South Park
Comedy
A little too gross at times, but still admirably shocking after all these years.
MONDAY 10.20
Rent-a-Goalie
Showcase
Maybe this is where Mats Sundin will wind up playing.
TUESDAY 10.21
The Sarah Silverman Show
Comedy
She can't bounce things off ex-boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel any more.
WEDNESDAY 10.22
New show
The Starter Wife
Showcase
Debra Messing has to rebuild her life in Hollywood after being dropped by her studio-executive hubby.
THURSDAY 10.23
Keys to the VIP
Comedy
Obnoxiousness on parade, but it speaks to a certain crowd.
WEDNESDAY 10.29
The Guard
Global
Get wet, people -- this is an under-rated Canadian show with some quality actors.
THURSDAY 10.30
30 Rock
Citytv, NBC
Watch for Jennifer Aniston as a guest-star this season.
EARLY BIRDS THAT DEBUTED EARLY
90210
Global, CW, Sept. 2
NEW SHOW
Canadian kids have taken over the most famous zip code in America.Canadian kids have taken over the most famous zip code in America.
Mad Men
A, AMC, July 27
Time-in-a-bottle period piece that is one of the best dramas on TV, period.
Deal or no Deal
E!, NBC, Aug. 25
Seems to have staying power, and there's a daytime version on the way.
Prison Break
Global, Fox, Sept. 1
That Dr. Sara sure has a good head on her shoulders.
Gossip Girl
A, CW, Sept. 1
People like talking about this show more than they like watching it.
Bones
Global, Fox, Sept. 3
Critical respect for this series seems to be steadily on the rise.
America's Next Top Model
A, CW, Sept. 3
We prefer the 30 Rock version, America's Next Top Pirate.
The Riches
Showcase, Sept. 3
Has run out of steam; on life-support in the U.S.
Saving Grace
Showcase, Sept. 4
We love Holly Hunter; we don't love this show quite as much.
Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
E!, Fox, Sept. 5
Never under-estimate the consistent ratings power of family-friendly fare.
ON TAP FOR 2009
24
Global, Fox
To tide you over, there's a two-hour prequel scheduled for Nov. 23.
New show
The Listener
CTV, NBC
Canadian series about the perils of reading other people's thoughts.
Lost
CTV, ABC
The countdown continues; two seasons to go before we allegedly find out what the hell is going on.
American Idol
CTV, Fox
New hot female judge has the clock ticking on crazy Paula Abdul.
New show
Sanctuary
TMN/MC
Technologically ground-breaking sci-fi, and all-Canadian, too.
New show
The Cleveland Show
Fox
Family Guy spinoff, but we're not exactly sure what the point is.
Breaking Bad
AMC
Equal parts dark, sad and funny, this has attracted a strong cult following.
New show
Howie Do It
Global, NBC
Howie Mandel, unscripted; could be a golden age for lawyers.
Reaper
CW
A personal fave, we made a deal with the devil and arranged for this to return.
Damages
Showcase
Watch out, Patty -- Ellen is all grown up and isn't scared of you any more.
New show
Doll House
Global, Fox
Eliza Dushku in co-ed showers. Early candidate for "best show ever."


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