The New Normal
Series Premiere: Sept. 10, 10 p.m. (regularly Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m.), NBC
Showrunners: Ryan Murphy, Ali Adler
Stars: Justin Bartha, Andrew Rannells, Georgia King, Ellen Barkin, Nene Leakes, Bebe Wood
What it’s about: In more of a dramedy format, gay couple Bryan (Rannells) and David (Bartha) set out to have a child. Their quest ultimately leads them to create an interesting family of their own, which includes assistant Rocky (Leakes) and surrogate Goldie (King), who totes along her own sweet 8-year-old daughter Shania (Wood) and gay-hating grandmother Jane (Barkin).
Bartha says: ”My first reaction was that The New Normal treated a gay couple in a realistic way. You saw an actual relationship with love and them talking about real issues. It wasn’t a normal kind of sitcom that looks down on their characters or treats them as punch lines or set-ups.” —Tanner Stransky
Guys With Kids
Series Premiere: Sept. 10, 10 p.m. (regularly Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m.), NBC
Showrunners: Rick Wiener, Kenny Schwartz
Stars: Anthony Anderson, Zach Cregger, Jesse Bradford
What it’s about: This Jimmy Fallon-created sitcom tracks three dads (one who works full-time, one stay-at-home dad, one divorced) who are growing up even as they raise their own children.
Anderson says: ”Tempestt [Bledsoe, who plays his wife] gets a little carried away when she kisses me. She goes a little overboard when she gets close to me. You can print that, by the way.” —Stephan Lee
Series Premiere: Sept. 11, 9 p.m., NBC
Showrunner: Scott Silveri
Stars: Matthew Perry, Laura Benanti, Brett Gelman
What it’s about: A sportscaster who recently lost his wife has to go to group therapy before he can return to work.
Perry says: ”I don’t have much experience, thank goodness, with grieving but I certainly have experience with talking about my problems in a circle of people.” —Jessica Shaw
Season Premiere: Sept. 13, 9 p.m., Fox
Showrunners: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan
Stars: Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch
What to expect this season: Post-graduation, the show will be jumping back forth from the choir room at McKinley in Ohio to New York where Rachel (Michele) attempts to break out at NYADA.
Falchuk says: ”New Directions won [Nationals] so they’re stars, so they’re dealing with that and their popularity, and they have to recruit new members, which is a different experience now because now everybody wants to be in the glee club…but it’s hard to find the right people.” —Tim Stack
Saturday Night Live
Season Premiere: Sept. 15, 11:30 p.m., NBC
Showrunner: Lorne Michaels
Stars: Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers
What to expect this season: Sudeikis has had time to perfect his Mitt Romney, but whoever gets the nod to play Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, will have to work fast with two primetime ”Weekend Update Thursday” specials also on tap for Sept. 20 and Sept. 27.
Meyers says: ”The debates [which will happen in October] are the most fun for us because there’s this really nice thing when 40 or 50 million Americans tune in to watch something, you can make a lot more jokes about the minutia of what happened, as opposed to broad strokes about politics or the candidates. They’re also almost sketches in their own right.” —Mandi Bierly
Parks and Recreation
Season Premiere: Sept. 20, 9:30 p.m., NBC
Showrunner: Michael Schur
Stars: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones, Jim O’Heir, Retta
What to expect this season: A lot of new challenges for Leslie (Poehler): Not only is she now in a long-distance relationship with Ben (Scott) — who’s working on a congressional campaign with April (Plaza) as one of his interns — she is getting used to life on the City Council.
Schur says: ”What’s been fun is to show [Leslie] stumbling a little bit and trying to find her way, and realizing that her decisions have different consequences and there are different pressures. It’s a whole different ballgame.” —Dan Snierson
Season Premiere: Sept. 20, 9 p.m., NBC
Showrunner: Greg Daniels
Stars: Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer
What to expect this season: The final season promises to wrap up all the veteran comedy’s storylines and reveal who’s behind the documentary.
Daniels says: I’ve always felt like [Jim and Pam] are the heart and soul of the show. I’ve always had an inkling how to end that storyline.” —James Hibberd
Up All Night
Season Premiere: Sept. 20, 8:30 p.m., NBC
Showrunners: Emily Spivey, Tucker Cawley
Stars: Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph
What to expect this season: Working mom Reagan (Applegate) finds herself suddenly a stay-at-home when The Ava Show is cancelled, sending husband Chris back into the workforce. Never fear, though: Ava (Rudolph) will still make appearances — as will her yet-to-be-cast mother.
Applegate says: ”[Reagan is] taking that type-A producer personality into the home life, which is going to make things difficult for everybody involved.” —Stephan Lee
How I Met Your Mother
Season Premiere: Sept. 24, 8 p.m., CBS
Showrunners: Carter Bays, Craig Thomas
Stars: Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders
What to expect this season: Big movement on the issue of the mother, lots of breakups (see: October), the return of Joe Manganiello, and, more immediately, Ted learning an important lesson.
Thomas says: ”The theme of Ted in the season premiere is it is not as easy as it looks to drive off into the sunset. Turns out that sunset is further away than you want it to be.” —Sandra Gonzalez
2 Broke Girls
Season Premiere: Sept. 24, 9 p.m., CBS
Showrunners: Michael Patrick King, Whitney Cummings
Stars: Kat Dennings (Max), Beth Behrs (Caroline)
What to expect this season: Max will set up Caroline on a date.
Behrs says: ”[Caroline would] probably follow that book The Rules. She’s very type A.” —Melissa Maerz
Series Premiere: Sept. 24, 8:30 p.m., CBS
Showrunners: Max Mutchnick, David Kohan
Stars: David Krumholtz, Michael Urie, Sophia Bush, Brandon Routh
What it’s about: This largely traditional sitcom finds the funny in a dynamic bromance between a straight man (Krumholtz) and a gay man (Urie) and their own romantic partners (Bush and Routh).
Urie says: ”One thing that [Mutchnick and Kohan] aren’t trying to do — which is smart — is reinvent the genre. You can’t reinvent sitcoms; you can only embrace the constraints. It’s going to feel familiar, it’s going to feel like the show that we all grew up with, but it’s going to have this modernism in the humor.” —Tanner Stransky
Mike & Molly
Season Premiere: Sept. 24, 9:30 p.m., CBS
Showrunner: Mark Roberts
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Billy Gardell
What to expect this season: Now that they’ve tied the knot, Mike (Gardell) and Molly (McCarthy) are ready to take the next big step in their relationship — babies!
Gardell says: ”I’m pretty sure eventually they’ll be talking about kids and maybe [buying] a house. I’m pretty sure Mike will do something to get in trouble.” —Nuzhat Naoreen
Ben and Kate
Series Premiere: Sept. 25, 8:30 p.m., Fox
Showrunner: Dana Fox
Stars: Nat Faxon, Dakota Johnson
What it’s about: Wayward idealist Ben (Faxon), decides to move in with his younger sister, Kate (Johnson), to help her raise her precocious 5-year-old daughter.
Faxon says: ”Kate’s got a job, she’s taking care of her child, and she’s sort of struggling slightly in the sense of not really having the time for the things personally. I sort of come to town and cause slight chaos — well-intended chaos.” —Nuzhat Naoreen
Season Premiere: Sept. 25, 8 p.m. (regularly at 9 p.m.), Fox
Showrunner: Liz Meriwether
Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone
What to expect this season: Laid-off Jess (Deschanel) looks for a new job, while single (and penis cast-free!) Schmidt (Greenfield) decides to throw a re-branding party.
Deschanel says: ”I always like when they throw Jess into chaotic situations so I think that will be fun to see.” —Nuzhat Naoreen
The Mindy Project
Series Premiere: Sept. 25, 9:30 p.m., Fox
Showrunner: Matt Warburton
Stars: Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Anna Camp, Ed Weeks, Zoe Jarmon, Dana DeLorenzo, Ike Barinholtz, Stephen Tobolowsky
What it’s about: A hybrid workplace/romantic comedy starring Kaling as Mindy Lahiri, a talented gynecologist whose love life is in triage. Look for the quick-witted Mindy to hold her own with her dates and especially colleagues like masculine-but-vulnerable doc Danny (Messina).
Kaling says: ”I love that Much Ado About Nothing, passionate, smart fighting. That’s something that I don’t get to see: arguing at a high level with a member of the opposite sex. I just like that Moonlighting Benedict-Beatrice type of thing. I was just like, ‘That’s what I want to do. That’d be really fun.”’ —Dan Snierson
Season Premiere: Sept. 26, 9 p.m., ABC
Showrunners: Steve Levitan, Christopher Lloyd
Stars: Julie Bowen, Ty Burell, Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter
What to expect this season: A family-size serving of chaos as everyone handles the big news that Gloria is pregnant in different ways. (Claire, for example, secretly loves the fact that Gloria is getting fat.)
Lloyd says: ”There’s a bit of a fight over what to name the child. Gloria is determined to give it the family name in honor of her father who was Fulgencio, and Jay’s not so crazy about having a Fulgencio Pritchett in the family.” —Dan Snierson
Series Premiere: Sept. 26, 8 p.m., NBC
Showrunner: Marco Pennette
Stars: Justin Kirk, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Tyler Labine, Bobby Lee, Kym Whitley, Betsy Sodaro
What it’s about: It’s almost like the primates are running the asylum! Smart(-ass) veterinarian Dr. George Coleman (Kirk) pals around with a monkey named Dr. Rizzo while tending to his non-human patients and ignoring their owners, much to the chagrin of ex-girlfriend Dorothy (Garcia-Swisher), who inherited the animal hospital from her grandmother.
Kirk says: ”He’s a guy that has been broken down by life and people around him, so all the good things in him are saved for these animals.” —Dan Snierson
Season Premiere: Sept. 26, 8 p.m., ABC
Showrunners: Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline
Stars: Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher, Atticus Shaffer, Chris Kattan
What to expect this season: Frankie (Heaton) starts thinking about a new career and Mike (Flynn) focuses on getting Axl (McDermott) into college, while Sue (Sher) starts driving — two words: really scary — and Brick (Shaffer) develops yet another tic.
Heisler says: ”We’re getting an hour premiere again, which is really fun, and it’s all about the Hecks’ long, crappy summer. It’s a summer episode because you never really get to see that. Frankie and Mike want their kids to have a summer like they had when they were kids, all the joys of summer that they had so they have something pleasant to look back on when their lives are crappy.” —Tanner Stransky
Series Premiere: Sept. 26, 9:30 p.m. (regularly 8:30 p.m.), ABC
Showrunner: Dan Fogelman
Stars: Jami Gertz, Lenny Venito, Simon Templeman, Toks Olagundoye, Clara Mamet, Isabella Cramp, Max Charles, Ian Patrick, Tim Jo
What it’s about: Typical New Jersey family the Weavers — mom Debbie (Gertz), dad Marty (Venito), and their three kids — move into a gated community to find that all their new neighbors are aliens hiding in human skins.
Venito says: ”I got a call from my agent, and he said, ‘They’re really interested in you for this part. It’s about aliens.’ And I said, ‘Really?’ I was skeptical. Do I worry about it bombing? There’s always that possibility. It’s going to be a possibility.” —Tanner Stransky
The Big Bang Theory
Season Premiere: Sept. 27, 8 p.m., CBS
Showrunner: Bill Prady
Stars: Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki
What to expect this season: Howard (Simon Helberg) will remain in space for several weeks and Amy (Mayim Bailik) is emboldened in the romance department now that Sheldon has deigned to hold her hand.
Executive Producer Steven Molaro says: ”Sheldon has been reluctantly pulled along into the world of boyfriendhood. It doesn’t take a lot to feel like a big move for him. It took two years for them to hold hands.” —Lynette Rice
Two and a Half Men
Season Premiere: Sept. 27, 8:30 p.m., CBS
Showrunner: Chuck Lorre
Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones
What to expect this season: Jake (Jones) and Eldridge (Graham Patrick Martin) adjust to life in the Army and away from Malibu. Meanwhile, Alan (Cryer) continues his tempestuous relationship with Lyndsey (Courtney Thorne-Smith) and Walden (Kutcher) treats his gal pal to music by Michael Bolton.
Exec Producer Jim Patterson says: ”Jake will have an interesting relationship with the Army. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way with Jake. He will be a bit dangerous that way.” —Lynette Rice
Season Premiere: Sept. 30, 8 p.m., Fox
Showrunner: Al Jean
Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer
What to expect this season: Marge is thinking about expanding the Simpson brood, Homer prepares for the end of the world, and in one ”Treehouse of Horror XXIII” segment, Bart goes back to 1974 to try to stop Homer and Marge from getting together. Don’t miss the season premiere, in which Bart tracks down a bunch of his ex-girlfriends (voiced by Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Sarah Silverman), only to discover that they don’t much care for him.
Jean says: ”Homer says that the great thing about breaking up is that you can get drunk and call them, so he teaches Bart how to drink and dial.” —Dan Snierson
Season Premiere: Sept. 30, 9 p.m., Fox
Showrunners: Mark Hentemann, Steve Callaghan
Stars: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis
What to expect this season: Guests include Jessica Biel, Sofia Vergara, Johnny Depp, Elizabeth Banks and Kellan Lutz.
Hentemann says: ”We wanted to tell some smaller, more grounded stories, so this season we’ll see the Griffins climb Mt. Everest, go into outer space, and sell meth, Stewie and Brian reverse the direction of Time, Peter agree to have sex with Quagmire and become a Muslim, Mayor West tried for murder, and Stewie fight an evil turtle and be unborn.” —Dan Snierson
Season Premiere: Sept. 30, 8:30 p.m., Fox
Showrunner: Loren Bouchard
Stars: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal
What to expect this season: Aziz Ansari will reprise his role as a nerdy neighborhood boy who joins the rest of the kids in an…ahem…unusual enterprise.
Bouchard says: ”They find a hill that overlooks the nude beach, and they charge teenage boys to come and look down on the nude beach.” —Ray Rahman
Season Premiere: Sept. 30, 9:30 p.m., Fox
Showrunner: Rich Appel
Stars: Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, Rachael MacFarlane, Dee Bradley Baker
What to expect this season: We might finally get a glimpse of Roger’s home planet.
Exec Producer Mike Barker says: ”[Roger is] tired of having to put on disguises…let’s just say space travel is assured.” —Ray Rahman
Season Premiere: Oct. 2, 8 p.m., Fox
Showrunner: Greg Garcia
Stars: Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt, Cloris Leachman, Lucas Neff
What to expect this season: Though baby Hope is back in the custody of the Chance family, it’s not all smooth sailing, particularly for Luke (Neff) when girlfriend Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) introduces him to her wacky mother (Melanie Griffith) and grandmother (Tippi Hedren).
Garcia says: ”Don’t be surprised if Maw-Maw finds a man this season.” —Stephan Lee
Hart of Dixie
Season Premiere: Oct. 2, 8 p.m., The CW
Showrunner: Leila Gerstein
Stars: Rachel Bilson, Scott Porter, Wilson Bethel
What to expect this season: The love triangle heats up in season two as George (Porter) and Wade (Bethel) both realize they’re contending for Zoe (Bilson).
Bilson says: ”I think Wade has a good heart, but it will be interesting to see if he’s capable of a relationship, when George obviously is like ‘relationship guy’ and very loyal. It will be interesting to see them both sort of vie for Zoe’s affection. I’m not sure who’s going to win.” —Nuzhat Naoreen
Season Premiere: Oct. 4, 8 p.m., NBC
Showrunners: Tina Fey, Robert Carlock
Stars: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Jordan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer
What to expect this season: Can Liz Lemon (Fey) have it all? The Emmy-winning sitcom bows out with a 13-episode swan song season that will explore the question. Expect James Marsden to return as Liz’s boyfriend, as well as some outlandish, poignant twists in Liz’s quest to become a mom. In the aftermath of his break-up with newsreader Avery Jessup (Elizabeth Banks), Jack (Baldwin) will rebound by dating as many as five women at once. Jenna (Krakowski) will plan her wedding to sexually adventurous superfan/soul mate Paul (Will Forte) and tap Liz has her maid of honor — an honor Liz will not want. There will be no live episodes this year — but there will be a two-part election-themed episode. For shippers who harbor dreams of a Liz-Jack hook-up…well…
Carlock says: ”It’s not going to happen, folks, but [shippers] should keep watching anyway! Maybe if they watch the final moments of the series frame by frame, we’ll have Liz and Jack making out.” —Jeff Jensen
Premiere: Oct. 17, 9:30 p.m., ABC
Showrunner: Emily Kapnek
Stars: Jane Levy, Jeremy Sisto, Cheryl Hines, Alan Tudyk
What To Expect This Season: Tessa meets her long-lost mom (Malin Akerman)! George (Sisto) and Dallas (Hines) date! Noah’s (Tudyk) a single dad! And Dallas’ daughter Dalia (Carly Chaikin) continues to do more with three words of dialogue than anyone else on TV!
Kapnek says: ”We have our local Chatswin folks going through a lot. We have a lot of upheaval planned for their relationships. There’s a lot of parallels between Noah now functioning as a single dad where George has a lot of experience in that area…. There are a lot of opportunities for Geroge and Tessa to help their new community to get through some of the stuff that hits them this season. They feel needed and in-the-know.” —Henry Goldblatt
Premiere: Oct. 19, 8:30 p.m., NBC
Showrunners: David Guarascio, Moses Port
Stars: Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, Jim Rash
What To Expect This Season: The season premiere offers up a Hunger Games parody, as Jeff partakes in a cutthroat competition to enroll in a class. Later, the study group will take a history class taught by a ”brash” professor played by…Malcolm McDowell.
McHale says: ”[McDowell’s character is] at Greendale because of some past transgressions, and he is just funny and really great. It’s freakin’ Malcolm McDowell! I was just like, ‘There’s Malcolm McDowell right there in front of me, and I’m acting with him! I mean, this is the guy that killed Captain Kirk!”’ —Dan Snierson
Season Premiere: Oct. 19, 8 p.m., NBC
Showrunner: Will Calhoun
Stars: Whitney Cummings, Chris D’Elia
What to expect this season: The first season focused on Whitney and Alex’s unmarried pseudo-bliss; but now that they’re enfianced, expect a whole new set of relationship woes.
Cummings says: All my friends who’ve gotten married say that as soon as you get engaged, the dynamic changes. You can’t let things slip because it’s forever now. —Stephan Lee
The Cleveland Show
Season Premiere: Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m., Fox
Showrunner: Rich Appel
Stars: Kevin Michael Richardson, Sanaa Lathan, Mike Henry
What to expect this season: After getting kicked out of the Hip-Hop Illuminati, Kanye West joins Cleveland Jr.’s polka band.
Appel says: ”Kanye takes it over and comes up with this spectacular hip-hop-rap to ‘Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay’ unlike any other version you’ve ever heard.” —Ray Rahman
Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23
Season Premiere: Oct. 23, 9:30 p.m., ABC
Showrunner: Nahnatchka Khan
Stars: Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, James Van Der Beek
What to expect this season: Chloe (Ritter) will get a boyfriend who can handle her titular bitchiness and James (Van Der Beek) attempts to reconnect with some old pals.
Ritter says: ”The first episode he’s trying to put together a reunion of Dawson’s Creek. It’s like a Dawson’s reunion if it’s on acid.” —Tim Stack
Season Premiere: Oct. 23, 9 p.m., ABC
Showrunners: David Caspe, Jonathan Groff
Stars: Casey Wilson, Adam Pally, Elisha Cuthbert, Damon Wayans, Jr., Eliza Coupe, Zachary Knighton
What to expect this season: Max (Pally) will take care of Penny (Wilson) a little too well after an accident, Dave (Knighton) and Alex (Cuthbert) will try to casually date while Jane (Coupe) will try to make her dad laugh for the first time, and unemployed Brad (Wayans) will find himself with plenty of free time.
Caspe says: ”Brad gets back into some of the hobbies that he had to put aside while working. We meet his ventriloquist doll named Sinbrad.” —Dan Snierson
Series Premiere: Nov. 2, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Showrunner: Kevin Abbott
Stars: Reba McEntire, Lily Tomlin, Sara Rue, Justin Prentice, Juliette Angelo, Jai Rodriguez
What it’s about: In the wake of infidelity by her country singer husband, Reba (McEntire) moves her family — children Cash (Prentice) and June (Angelo) and mother Lillie (Tomlin) — to Malibu to start out and relaunch her own singing career.
McEntire says: ”I thought the idea was great, and what really appealed to me was my mother character with her no-nonsense, I’m-not-going-to-put-up-with-this attitude with the kids. She was very much like my own mother.” —Tanner Stransky
Last Man Standing
Season Premiere: Nov. 2, 8 p.m., ABC
Showrunner: Tim Doyle
Stars: Tim Allen, Nancy Travis
What to expect this season: Amanda Fuller replaces Alexandra Krosney as Mike’s eldest daughter Kristin while Mike’s grandson Boyd is now a 5-year-old (newcomer Flynn Morrison). We’ll see Boyd’s dad again too, but it won’t be Nick Jonas, who played the role last season.
Doyle says: ”It’s the same show. We’re just goosing up the conflict. We’re just reinforcing what worked really well last year.” —Lynette Rice