September signifies many things, among them the end of summer, the arrival of gradually cooling temperatures, the start of a new school year, and the impending arrival of the new television season.
As big a day as the first of September is for the television fan, there is one bigger — the Sunday that plays host to the annual Emmy awards. It officially welcomes the start of the new season as the networks begin to roll out season and series premieres in the search of fall success. That day is here, so let's take a look at the notable premieres for the week along with my comments on what I will and won't be watching. This is a complete list of network premieres from September 16 through September 22.
- Start the week right with the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. Who will take home the gold? Which network will leave with this year's bragging rights? How many shows have commercials ready to go with Emmy Winner tags on them? I just hope the right shows win, and will be content that some won't as deserving shows don't always get nominated.
- NBC's hit game show Deal or No Deal returns to the network slate. I am not a big watcher, but this can be kind of fun. (NBC 8:00)
- Returning for its third season is the series that has been reinventing itself with each successive season, FOX's Prison Break. The first season saw the escape of eight inmates from Fox River Penitentiary. The second season saw those eight go their separate ways with wildly varied results, leaving the core group chasing a large cache of money all the way to Panama. The third season opens with the core characters trapped in a Panamanian prison where they will fight for their lives in the new season. I like this show and hope that the third season is as exciting as the first two. (FOX 8:00)
- Last year FOX tried following Prison Break with Kidnapped. That did not work out too well as the show was canceled in short order. This year they are trying another show in that spot to hold us over until 24 returns (in January, I believe). The new show is K-Ville. It stars Cole Hauser and Anthony Anderson as a mismatched pair of police officers in post-Katrina New Orleans. The commercials have looked decent, but I am withholding judgment until I see an episode or two. (FOX 9:00)
- The fourth (!) season premiere of the Ashton Kutcher-championed reality show kicks off with a two hour episode. The CW is home for Beauty and the Geek, a show I have zero interest in. Sorry, this type of series just ain't my bag. (The CW 8:00)
Wednesday - The busiest of the first week of premieres.
- CBS premieres the controversial Kid Nation. The show has come under fire for contracts that the kids signed and possible violations of child labor laws. It is another reality type show that I don't particularly care to watch. This one follows a group of kids taken to an Old West-type town that they have to make work, building a young society. I think I'll pass. (CBS 8:00)
- The first new sitcom to hit the airwaves is FOX's Back to You. Kelsey Grammer will attempt to step from the shadow of Frasier Crane as he plays a big shot news anchor who has to return to the local scene from the national stage, and to sharing the desk with his nemesis played by Patricia Heaton, who returns to series TV for the first time since the finale of Everybody Loves Raymond. I think this may be worth checking out. (FOX 8:00)
- 'Til Death returns for a second go around on FOX. This show also features Raymond alum Brad Garrett. I remember watching an episode or two of this relationship comedy centering on the stages of marriage and not particularly caring for it. I doubt I will tune in this season. (FOX 8:30)
- It wasn't long ago that Chef Gordon Ramsay had a rather painful kitchen experience of his own; will his disgust with his issue spill over to his new series? Time will tell as Kitchen Nightmares debuts on FOX. Either way, I doubt I will be watching. (FOX 9:00)
- America's Next Top Model returns to The CW. Frankly I have little to say, as it is another show that I won't be watching. (The CW 8:00)
- A brand new series for The CW follows Model. Gossip Girl is set at an exclusive prep school where an anonymous blogger has dirt on everyone. It is based on a series of books. I haven't seen any early word on this, but the premise does not strike me as terribly exciting. I will likely give it an episode to prove itself. (The CW 9:00)
- The latest season of the venerable reality series takes contestants to the Far East in Survivor: China. I have never been a a fan of Survivor or reality in general, but it continues to have strong ratings. (CBS 8:00)
That wraps up the first week of premieres. Next will be much, much busier; relax while you can.