Here are Monday's most anticipated shows this season


Retuning Drama

Premieres Oct. 8, 8-9 p.m., The CW

May’s finale left us with so many questions: Did Dixon (Tristan Wilds) survive that car wreck? Will Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) stay with Max (Josh Zuckerman) after crashing his wedding? Is Teddy (Trevor Donovan) actually going to have a baby with Silver (Jessica Stroup)? All those cliff-hangers are why — in a departure from the school-calendar format of past seasons — the premiere picks up right where we left off. ”We were excited to end by throwing bombs in everybody’s lives,” explains exec producer Patti Carr, ”and to be able to come right back to what happened.” Also, get ready for Navid (Michael Steger) to morph into a bad boy, Carly Rae Jepsen and Olympian Ryan Lochte to guest-star, and Dixon’s mom, Debbie (Lori Loughlin), to return in the wake of his accident — because, drumroll please, someone is dead. ”We did build a morgue set,” reveals exec producer Lara Olsen. ”We’re not going to have anyone wake up and say, ‘Oh, I had the most awful dream.”’


Retuning Drama

Premieres Sept. 17, 8-9 p.m., FOX

By the end of the season 8 premiere, Brennan (Emily Deschanel), who’s been on the run for three months with daughter Christine after she was framed for murder by serial killer/hacker Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds), will be reunited with Booth (David Boreanaz) — but he’s still not quite over his baby-mama’s decision to go on the lam. ”Just because everybody does the right thing doesn’t mean there isn’t some anger and resentment, even if there was no choice,” says creator Hart Hanson. ”One of the things we’re contending with is, what did Booth miss, and how does he react to that?” Pelant will figure into at least four episodes this season, which will be slightly darker in tone. Booth and Brennan will hunt a hipster mimicking Jack the Ripper, solve a Neanderthal murder (an idea Hanson’s had since the show’s first season)…and go undercover as ballroom dancers. After all, says Hanson, ”it’s still a crimedy.”

{C} Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars

Retuning Reality

Premieres Sept. 24, 8-10 p.m., ABC

Thirteen former contestants return to the Celebriquarium for the series’ first all-star season. ”We wanted to make this a celebration of the last seven years of dance,” says exec producer Conrad Green, adding that the cast was built to be a pleasing mix of winners (Apolo Anton Ohno) and nonwinners (Bristol Palin). ”You want to have some of that flavor of joy and exuberance and innocence — people who were characters as well as people who were good dancers,” he says. As for some couples starting at an advantage because they’ve already danced together, like Kirstie Alley and Maksim ”Sex on a Stick” Chmerkovskiy? ”We could have mixed it up, but it would just feel arbitrary doing that,” says Green. ”You get some of the classic teams, and you’ve got the added tension of people with new partners.” Fans can look forward to new theme nights and a bolder, more challenging dance roster for these second-time-arounders. But don’t worry — no more Dance Duel!

How I Met Your Mother

Retuning Comedy

Premieres Sept. 24, 8-8:30 p.m., CBS

True story: Season 8 could be the last for How I Met Your Mother. As negotiations for a possible season 9 continue behind the scenes, exec producer Craig Thomas says they’re prepared for every scenario, which is why the premiere contains a glimpse at the way the series ends. ”We jump to the end of Barney [Neil Patrick Harris] and Robin’s [Cobie Smulders] wedding day and show you a moment that we’re going to keep writing toward,” says Thomas. ”In some ways, we have to begin the ending sequence of the series.” Back in the present day, Ted’s (Josh Radnor) plan to drive off into the sunset with runaway bride Victoria (Ashley Williams) will hit a speed bump after he realizes that Victoria didn’t leave her fiancé a note before ditching him at the altar, and Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) struggle with parenthood. In October, look for a relationship ”bloodbath” that will result in a major split. The likeliest causes? Returning guest stars Michael Trucco and Becki Newton, who will reprise their roles as love interests for the not-yet-married Robin and Barney. And former SNL-er Abby Elliott will do an arc as a crazy girl whom one of the gang can’t resist. Says Thomas, ”It doesn’t end well.”


New Comedy

Premieres Sept. 24, 8:30-9 p.m., CBS

When David Kohan and Max Mutchnick created Will & Grace in 1998, they brought to life one of comedy’s great duos…who just happened to be a gay man and a straight woman. Now they’re back in the sitcom business, and this time their leading duo consists of a gay man, Louis (Michael Urie, 32), and a straight man, Joe (David Krumholtz, 34). The childhood friends work together in an architecture firm while dealing with their significant others (Brandon Routh and Sophia Bush, respectively). The idea is based on the humor in the writers’ own 30-year gay-straight friendship. ”In the last five years, David and I both got married and had children,” explains Mutchnick, who is gay. ”Our lives lined up and these characters emerged.” But don’t read too closely into what you see. ”It’s not like, ‘Remember the time when this happened?”’ Kohan says. ”For instance, we’ve never had the conversation about who’s Simon and who’s Garfunkel, but they will on the show.”

Q&A with Partners‘ Michael Urie

Welcome back! After Ugly Betty, were you looking to return to TV?

Not really. But when I read this part, I was like, I have to make this happen because it could be my only chance for a great leading role in a TV show.

Are you excited or nervous about doing a traditional sitcom?

I’m like a kid in a candy store, since Partners mixes everything that I love about television and theater. The difference between Partners and Ugly Betty is this awesome live audience. The audience is ripe. But also, they’re honest. They won’t laugh if they don’t get the joke.

Describe your character, Louis.

He is over-the-top and he is self-centered, but he is completely driven by love. That makes him likable and despicable.

So your onscreen boyfriend is being played by Brandon Routh.

He’s supercute and a big ol’ tree trunk of a man. He plays the character’s aloofness perfectly. He was so brilliant as Clark Kent, so this is basically a sitcom version of that.

How do you think the gay sitcom character has evolved since Will & Grace?

There are places in the country where straight people still don’t understand how to be friends with a gay man, and I think if they catch our show, it can be what Will & Grace was for those types of folks. Where Ugly Betty and Glee were able to tackle serious social issues about coming out, this show is much further along in the characters’ lives. We’re meeting them in midlife, so it’ll be less of an issue show, and more of a lead-by-example show, I hope.

Say Louis and Ugly Betty‘s Marc St. James met in a gay bar. How would they react to each other?

Marc would pay very little attention to Louis, and Louis would eventually point out that Marc was indifferent and he has no identity of his own and was never going to go anywhere. That’s if season 1 Louis met season 1 Marc.

Do you think there’s room for your old Betty castmates somewhere on Partners?

Oh God, I hope so. The one that I’m going to lobby for first is Judith Light. She can do anything! As Angela on Who’s the Boss? she was the person who I looked to on television to represent mothers.

So maybe she plays Louis’ mom when that role comes around?


The Voice

Retuning Reality

Premieres Sept. 10, 8-10 p.m., NBC

Expect major changes at The Voice for season 3, including even more chair-swiveling fun. ”That’s the big demand we got from the audience,” says exec producer Mark Burnett. ”The blind auditions are now 12 hours, which is incredible.” In addition to the usual lineup of coaches — Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton — Mary J. Blige, Michael Bublé, Rob Thomas, and Billie Joe Armstrong will be joining as advisers during battle rounds. Another twist: The coaches can now utilize a rule called the Steal, which allows them to snag up to two contestants from opposing teams. As for the inter-coach rivalry, Levine reports, ”Christina and I are no longer bickering like brother and sister. We’re all just kind of getting along.” Let’s see how long that lasts after Christina steals one of his singers.

2 Broke Girls

Retuning Comedy

Premieres Sept. 24, 9-9:30 p.m., CBS

After Martha Stewart takes your business card, what’s the next step toward living the dream? That’s the question Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) will be answering as they work on launching their cupcake venture in season 2. Plus, Caroline will be reunited with her Bernie Madoff-like dad (Steven Weber). ”We love him because he’s a young, charming, hunky father, as compared to some old dried-up banker,” says creator Michael Patrick King. The former heiress will also get a shot at love — with Max serving as her matchmaker. ”Caroline’s ex-boyfriend was a rich douche bag,” says Behrs. ”Max’s guy for Caroline will not be someone who goes to the Hamptons.” In fact, King reveals that the season will end with a wedding. Maybe Earl will finally get lucky?

Gossip Girl

Retuning Drama

Premieres Oct. 8, 9-10 p.m., THE CW

For its sixth and final season, Gossip Girl is hoping to make the Upper East Side feel like home again for fans. ”It is a return to the core group,” says exec producer Josh Schwartz. Referencing a famous Blair Waldorf line, he adds, ”It’s the nonjudging Breakfast Club reunited.” The characters will themselves be facing some of the issues that have plagued them from the beginning. Says exec producer Stephanie Savage, ”One of the things that we talked a lot about was going back to that Nate [Chace Crawford] and Chuck [Ed Westwick] conversation in Central Park [from the pilot], ‘Are we going to grow up to become just like our parents?”’ Speaking of parents, Rufus (Matthew Settle), who split with wife Lily (Kelly Rutherford) at the end of last season, has a secret new ladylove for these last 10 episodes. Teases Schwartz, ”It has the ability to cause a lot of friction and drama.” We’d expect nothing less.

The Mob Doctor

New Drama

Premieres Sept. 17, 9-10 p.m., FOX

What do you get when you combine the notions of ”do no harm” and ”honor among thieves”? The answer, according to exec producers Josh Berman and Rob Wright, is a new drama about headstrong resident Dr. Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro), who pays her heavy debt to the Chicago Mob by providing medical care — and possibly even committing murder. ”This show is about one woman living two lives,” says Berman, who adds that the series was inspired by Il Dottore, a 2004 biography of a New York City surgeon with Mafia ties. Spiro says she’s looking forward to seeing how those ties will affect Grace. ”I wonder if she’ll actually get seduced by the danger of it,” she says. ”Certainly that would be fun for me.”

Mike & Molly

Retuning Comedy

Premieres Sept. 24, 9:30-10 p.m., CBS

Mike (Billy Gardell), Molly (Melissa McCarthy)…and baby? According to creator Mark Roberts, it’s a definite possibility. ”They’re going to be going through some changes this year,” teases Roberts, who explains that in addition to looking for a place of their own, the couple will start talking about having kids. Of course, the path to parenthood will have its share of funny complications — particularly in the bedroom. ”There’s an inherent tension that can come from when your sex stops being recreational and becomes [about] procreating,” says Roberts. ”That can change the dynamic in a relationship.” Another potential obstacle? Says Gardell, ”Mike likes to plan things, and he’s going to find that he can’t plan this.”

Hawaii Five-0

Retuning Drama

Premieres Sept. 24, 10-11 p.m., CBS

When fans last glimpsed the tropical shores of the CBS drama, Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) was met with the mother of all surprises at his own front door. Momma’s come to town! Christine Lahti (Chicago Hope) will join the drama’s third season to help shed light on McGarrett’s past. ”You get to know a little more about McGarrett through her,” explains exec producer Peter Lenkov. ”But the most important thing is trust. He’s gone for 20 years without seeing her. Her explanation is that she’s made the sacrifice to protect the family.” Viewers will also get a fresh perspective on Scott Caan’s Danny through flashbacks to when he was a New Jersey cop that will feature an appearance by guest star Terrence Howard. ”That’s when he was at his happiest,” Lenkov says. ”Danny was in love with [ex-wife] Rachel. We go back on the day he found out he was going to be a father.”

2 Broke Girls
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