The 2013-14 TV season “officially” begins next week, though I don’t know who’s responsible for that demarcation. But we have a few new shows premiering this week, plus the return of several comedies and one drama, so let’s jump right in.
Monday, September 16
Sleepy Hollow (9-10 pm, Fox)
Very loosely adapted from the Washington Irving story, this version of Ichabod Cane somehow time-travels from the Revolutionary War to today, and of course ends up helping a small-town detective make sense of bizarre events, because naturally that’s what a time-traveling dude would do right away. Oh, did I forget to mention that the Headless Horseman also follows Crane through time, and may be a portent of the apocalypse? Gleefully bonkers with some humorous touches, this could be a fun ride but will probably require regular viewing to keep track of the story.
Bones (8-9 pm, Fox)
Season nine? Yup. Not sure how much gas is left in this tank, but David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel’s retirement accounts should be secure by now.
Tuesday, September 17
Dads (8-8:30 pm, Fox)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (8:30-9 pm, Fox)
You may have already heard about Dads, which has been trashed by critics as racist and offensive. Well, it’s from Seth MacFarlane and his Family Guy and Ted collaborators, so that’s everything you need to know right there. Two successful guys (Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi) suddenly have to deal with their boorish, old-fashioned fathers (Peter Riegert and Martin Mull) moving in with them. Honestly, what I find more offensive is how not funny it is.
On the other hand, I am looking forward to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, an ensemble cop comedy from the creative team behind Parks and Recreation, starring Andy Samberg as a lazy detective who is challenged by his by-the-book new commanding officer, played by the legendary Andre Braugher. Great supporting cast, loads of potential.
New Girl (9-9:30 pm, Fox)
The Mindy Project (9:30-10 pm, Fox)
These two comedies pair well with each other on Tuesdays. First, Jess and Nick dive into their new relationship with a romantic getaway, then Mindy is romanced by James Franco.
Also tonight: PBS airs the first of three installments of Latino Americans from 8-10 pm.
Wednesday, September 18
Key & Peele (10:30-11 pm, Comedy Central)
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are back for season three of their very funny sketch show. On a best-of clip show they teased a return visit from pronunciation-challenged substitute teacher Mr. Garvey, and a follow-up to last season’s college football player name bit is already online.
Thursday, September 19
Inside the Actors Studio (8-9 pm, Bravo)
Jake Gyllenhaal, coming off an outstanding performance in Prisoners, visits with James Lipton.
Friday, September 20
Last Man Standing (8-8:30 pm, ABC)
The Neighbors (8:30-9 pm, ABC)
Family comedies seem to be finding a home again on Friday nights, at least on ABC. Last Man is terrible; Neighbors is weird in kind of an interesting way.
Saturday, September 21
The Incredibles (9-11:30 pm, ABC Family)
By far my favorite Pixar movie, it’s hard to believe this is already almost a decade old. Highly entertaining and thought-provoking story about what happens when superheroes are forced to hide their abilities and pretend to live as normal people. Voices include Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, and Sarah Vowell.
Sunday, September 22
65th Primetime Emmy Awards (8-11 pm, CBS)
TV’s annual mutual-admiration-society ritual is hosted this year by go-to master of ceremonies Neil Patrick Harris. The ratings will surely suffer this year, as the show is up against not just the next-to-last episode of Breaking Bad on AMC (which, by the way, is expanded to an hour and 15 minutes), but also the series finale of Dexter (9-10 pm, Showtime). Get your DVRs ready, stock up on snacks, and plan accordingly.
Better Off Ted (2009)
Sharp workplace satire about a guy just trying to do his job and raise his daughter, but his employer, a huge conglomerate with questionable morals and ethics, usually gets in his way. Two seasons, 26 episodes total, this is one of those “too good for TV” shows that comes along every once in a while.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)