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Tuesday: New + Returning Shows

”New Girl,” ”The Mindy Project,” and more

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Dads
New Comedy, 8 p.m., Fox
Though this new sitcom from exec producer Seth MacFarlane has already been scourged by critics and advocacy groups for its…let’s just call it questionable race- and gender-based humor, Team Dads says it’s staying the equal-opportunity-offender course. ”We hope [Dads] will toe the line between scandalous, thought-provoking comedy and heartfelt moments,” says star Seth Green of the multicam sitcom, which follows two un-PC pops (Peter Riegert and Martin Mull) who move in with their small-business-owning sons (Green and Giovanni Ribisi). Co-creator Alec Sulkin invokes the Norman Lear classic All in the Family, which he says ”had a sort of irreverence that hopefully, in our best possible state, we could achieve.” And Green points out that real-life relatives aren’t always so nice — something he believes viewers can relate to. ”There’s the family that you’re saddled with,” he says, ”and the family that you choose.” Sept. 17

NCIS
Returning Drama, 8 p.m., CBS
NCIS is saying farewell to a team member. And while Cote de Pablo’s departure from the show was ”not what we had hoped for,” says exec producer Gary Glasberg, he’s written a two-part season 11 premiere that he hopes will bring the story of de Pablo’s Ziva to a close and deal with the finale cliff-hanger that saw Gibbs (Mark Harmon) set his crosshairs on Agent Fornell (Joe Spano). ”The Ziva story now sort of weaves its way through and becomes a huge part of that as well,” Glasberg says. Fans are already mourning Ziva’s exit — and the end of the much-loved flirty tension she shared with Tony (Michael Weatherly) — and Glasberg says they won’t be the only ones feeling the loss: ”There will be a resonance [for the team] and a presence for quite a number of episodes.” Sept. 24

The Goldbergs
New Comedy, 9 p.m., ABC
Though Adam F. Goldberg’s autobiographical sitcom about growing up in a loud-yet-loving family takes place in the 1980s, he says the humor isn’t all shoulder pads and Atari jokes. ”What we do in the writers’ room all day long is talk about painful, embarrassing stories and make them as funny as possible,” says Goldberg, whose original title for the show was How the F*ck Am I Normal? ”I have so many stories to tell, and the stuff in the ’80s — TRON, The A-Team, Transformers, what it was like having one phone line in the house — is window dressing.” How does the cast, which includes Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids), feel about the decade? ”I’m roller-skating and wearing some hot sweaters,” says Garlin, who plays the blustery family patriarch. ”I’m not really nostalgic for the ’80s, but I always had a good time. I lost my virginity in that decade.” Sept. 24

Ravenswood
New Drama, 9 p.m., ABC Family
Tyler Blackburn’s not feeling much pressure as he prepares to move from Pretty Little Liars to the spin-off series. The reason, he says, is that while his character, Caleb, will introduce fans to Ravenswood, ”it’s definitely an ensemble” show: ”I feel like a team player more than anything else.” Rounding out the cast are fellow teens Luke (Brett Dier), Olivia (Merritt Patterson), Remy (Britne Oldford), and Miranda (Nicole Gale Anderson) — all of whom join forces to uncover the source of the curse that plagues the town of Ravenswood. Fans of Liars may think mysterious ”A” is the worst foe ABC Family can offer, but exec producer Joseph Dougherty teases, ”There’s a force that’s working in Ravenswood that makes ‘A’ look like an amateur.” Oct. 22

The Mindy Project
Returning Comedy, 9:30 p.m., Fox
When season 2 begins, Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) and Pastor Casey (Anders Holm) are headed for doomsday, Danny (Chris Messina) is living a dull suburban life with his ex (Chloë Sevigny), and Jeremy (Ed Weeks) has hired a new doctor (guest star James Franco). Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) also guests, as a new love interest for Mindy, and former Kardashian husband Kris Humphries appears as…himself. ”Bill Hader is back, and he’s started a support group for guys who have been left by the women in their lives. Kris Humphries is in that group,” says exec producer Jack Burditt. How was he as an actor? ”He had a problem with one line, and it had nothing to do with appearing as a loser — it was a line about him having too much sex.” Sept. 17

Trophy Wife
New Comedy, 9:30 p.m., ABC
Marrying a twice-divorced dad 20 years your senior isn’t just a great way to scandalize Facebook stalkers — it’s also ideal sitcom fodder. At least that’s what co-creator Sarah Haskins discovered when crafting her new comedy, which stars Malin Akerman as a reformed party girl, Bradley Whitford as her much-older hubby, and Marcia Gay Harden and Michaela Watkins as his still-involved exes. (Harden’s an intimidating supermom, Watkins is a kooky free spirit.) Joining such a complicated clan came easily to Akerman; while her own parents have had five spouses between them, she swears that ”everyone is still really great friends.” Maybe that would change if somebody based a TV show on their lives — though thirtysomething Haskins says her own fiftysomething thrice-divorced husband is a fan of his wife’s new show. Then again, she adds, ”let’s see how everybody reacts in a month.” Sept. 24

Chicago Fire
Returning Drama, 10 p.m., NBC
The personal lives of the firefighters continue to go up in flames in season 2. Someone will have a new romance; Casey (Jesse Spencer) will deal with a family crisis that brings him much closer to Dawson (Monica Raymund); and exec producer Danielle Gelber teases that there will be a ”surprise twist” in the baby-triangle saga involving Severide (Taylor Kinney), Shay (Lauren German), and Renee (Sarah Shahi). ”It’s going to impact the living situation and the close friendship between Severide and Shay,” she says. On a totally unrelated note, we’d like to wholeheartedly endorse Kinney’s jokey idea for a theme episode: ”I think there’s a few shows out there that have their novelty episode where they do a musical, but on Chicago Fire we have an entire episode where all the characters are shirtless.” Sept. 24

Lucky 7
New Drama, 10 p.m., ABC
For some the lottery is a weekly bit of fun, for others it’s a tax on stupidity. But for the characters on Lucky 7, it’s a life changer. When the employees of a Queens gas station hit the jackpot in this adaptation of the British series The Syndicate, they find that the winnings are both a blessing and a curse. ”Their lives have been completely turned upside down,” says showrunner David Zabel. ”We see how this seismic shift affects their lives in good ways and troubling ways.” Isiah Whitlock Jr. (The Wire), who stars as the gas station’s fatherly manager, admits he is prone to playing the numbers every now and then. ”Not weekly, but when it gets up to $400 or $600 million, you have to buy a ticket,” says the actor. ”I mean, come on!” Sept. 24


Crazy Cliff-Hanger!
New Girl
Returning Comedy, 9 p.m., Fox
Where We Left Off Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Zooey Deschanel) were riding into the sunset, and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) was faced with choosing between Cece (Hannah Simone), who almost made it to the altar, and college girlfriend Elizabeth (Merritt Wever).
What’s Next Mexico! The season 3 premiere begins moments after the finale, which means Nick and Jess must take the next step in their future together right away. They follow up their impulsive decision with another by heading south of the border for a vacation that will have some bumps. ”You have two people who are new at a relationship,” says Deschanel. ”It’s not as if we pick back up and it’s old hat.” Resolution for Schmidt isn’t smooth either. ”He has a real dilemma in the premiere,” says exec producer Liz Meriwether, ”and hopefully the audience goes with us for the choice he makes.” Elsewhere, Coach (Damon Wayans Jr., late of Happy Endings) will stop by and we will meet Jess’ (still uncast) sister. Sept. 17

Person of Interest
Returning Drama, 10 p.m., CBS
The good news: Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Finch (Michael Emerson) are still getting numbers from the Machine. The bad news: The device is also in touch with Amy Acker’s unhinged hacker Root, who’s been bumped up to series regular for season 3. At least the good guys have a newly minted regular on their side: the fearless Shaw (Sarah Shahi), an ex-assassin who prefers to kill first and ask questions later. Expect a Fleet Week-set premiere that delves into Reese’s backstory, and plenty more surveillance-based shenanigans — though as Emerson points out, recent revelations about the NSA make POI feel as though it’s ”no longer a science-fiction show.” Creator Jonathan Nolan takes things one step further: ”[Exec producer] Greg [Plageman] and I are both insufferable at this point, because we keep crowing about how we predicted our nation’s descent into an Orwellian nightmare.” Sept. 24

Sons of Anarchy
Returning Drama, 10 p.m., FX
Spoiler alert: Viewers may still be recovering from the disturbing season 6 premiere, which saw SAMCRO shutting down a ”torture porn” set (oh, the irony of star Charlie Hunnam being cast as Christian Grey!) and an 11-year-old shooting up a classroom — using a weapon that can be traced back to the gunrunning motorcycle club. Creator Kurt Sutter says he’s wanted to do the shooting story for years but decided to wait until the series’ penultimate season in order for the event to have the maximum effect on the club’s relationship with the IRA (its supplier), other Sons charters, local law enforcement, and the town of Charming. ”It’s the domino that takes us to a fairly tragic and epic conclusion,” says Sutter. It also gives vengeful former U.S. marshal Lee Toric (Donal Logue) a powerful new ally in district attorney Tyne Patterson (CCH Pounder). ”She is looking for the face of the devil to hang this crime on,” Sutter says. ”What I hope gets conveyed is the idea that there is not necessarily one party responsible for what happened with this kid.” Premiered Sept. 10


Also on Tuesday
The Biggest Loser
Returning Reality, 8 p.m., NBC
Count on equal parts sweat and tears in season 15 of the long-running weight-loss series. For the first time a celebrity joins the contestant pool: American Idol season 2 winner Ruben Studdard, who’s out to revitalize his body (and career). ”Ruben needed to come onto the show,” says exec producer Lisa Hennessy of the singer, who starts the season as the heaviest contestant. ”He’s turning 35 this year…. He really wants to be around long enough to be the success that he deserves to be.” Oct. 8

NCIS: Los Angeles
Returning Drama, 9 p.m., CBS
Sam (LL Cool J) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) are exactly where they were at the end of season 4 — being tortured by Russian arms dealer Issak Sidorov and his men. The rest of the team must scramble to save their friends in what exec producer Shane Brennan calls ”a big, big, big, powerful episode…. This event will probably resonate longer and more deeply than any other event that they’ve shared.” Sept. 24

Supernatural
Returning Drama, 9 p.m., The CW
What happens when angels rain from the sky? Spook hunters Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) are about to find out in season 9 — and it’s not going to be pretty. Teases exec producer Jeremy Carver, ”It’s not just a broken landscape, but you’ve got a lot of broken angels that have to quite literally put themselves together.” Oct. 8

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