By Jeff Labrecque
Updated September 23, 2012 at 01:00 PM EDT
Bob D'Amico/ABC
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The Emmys are meant to honor the best of the best at the conclusion of a television season, but from a PopWatch Planner point of view, tonight’s ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, is the ideal kick-off for a week of much-anticipated television premieres. Now only do some old favorites return — Modern Family, Dancing With the Stars — but we finally get to peek at some of the most promising new shows. (I’m crossing my fingers for Last Resort.)

So you’ll forgive me if this week’s Planner is Boob Tube heavy, but for any true coach potato, this week is Christmas. Make sure your DVR is well-rested, because it will be put to the test every night. (Revenge versus Good Wife…?) These are the days that make Homer Simpson’s words resonate: “Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.” Be not ashamed.


The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, ABC, 8 p.m.

Host Jimmy Kimmel has already promised viewers “the biggest prank ever pulled” when he takes the stage at the Nokia Theatre, and he’s also hinted that the event might serve as a reunion for the Handsome Men’s Club. Apparently, there are also awards to be handed out. Will Amy Poehler and Jon Hamm receive their first trophies?


Dancing With the Stars season premiere, ABC, 8 p.m.

The first-ever all-star edition of the show combines some of the show’s best dancers — winners like Apolo Anton Ohno — with polarizing underdogs like Bristol Palin. The battle for the glittering Mirror Ball will certainly be more competitive now and the expectations much higher for these celebs who already know and understand the show’s physical demands. Still, there’s bound to be some daffy controversy and outrageous outfits.


The Avengers arrives on DVD and Blu-ray

As someone who initially doubted the wisdom of an Avengers movie and feared the adverse effect one ginormous super-movie would have on the individual franchises of the characters I’d already come to love, I can only say… I was wrong. I was wrong, I was wrong. Marvel and director Joss Whedon delivered a spectacular that honored the mythology of the comic universe and springboarded its heroes towards even more exciting adventures. As penance for my lack of faith, I will purchase two copies of the Blu-ray.


Modern Family season premiere, ABC, 9:00 p.m.

Last we checked in with the Pritchett brood, Gloria had a secret that is sure to surprise her family, especially the happiest granddad alive Jay. The voluptuous beauty is pregnant, and you can only imagine the reactions — not only from her husband, but from Claire, Phil, and Manny. It’s just a role, but Sofia Vergara always seems to have a certain glow, and she’ll be sharing it on the talk shows Wednesday, with visits to Katie Couric and David Letterman.


Last Resort series premiere, ABC, 8 p.m.

This thriller from The Shield‘s Shawn Ryan feels like The Bourne Legacy — that is if Jeremy Renner had the keys to a fully-armed nuclear submarine at his disposal. Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman lead the crew of the U.S.S. Colorado after it is targeted for destruction — by its own government? — for refusing a dubious order to nuke Pakistan.


Looper open in theaters

Yes, Fringe premieres on Friday also, but this film from Rian Johnson is the dimension-twisting thriller to prioritize. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays an unusual assassin whose targets are plucked from the future and sent back to him for easy disposal. Things get complicated when he’s assigned to kill his older self (Bruce Willis).


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Nickelodeon, 11 a.m.

The Turtles are back and should be the perfect TV time-kill while you finish Friday night’s cold pizza for “brunch.” (Don’t judge me!) Jason Biggs (Leonardo) and Sean Astin (Raphael) lead the cast, and Nick is promising “funnier and with more Ninjutsu than ever before.”


Revenge season premiere, ABC, 9 p.m.

It’s a new night and time for the hit sophomore show, but Sunday’s season premiere will include another flash-forward. Throw in new addition Jennifer Jason-Leigh as Emily’s mysterious loose-screw mother and it’s only a matter of time before there’s a juicy crazytown showdown between her and Madeleine Stowe. Giddy-up.


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  • Rian Johnson