What to watch and skip on TV this fall

by Beacon Staff • September 20, 2006

"Lost"

ABC, Wednesdays, 9 p.m.

Premieres Oct. 4

As if "Lost" wasn't crazy enough before the second season's finale, we are now concerned with four-toed statues and magnetic fields. The new season of "Lost" promises to be full of surprises, with creator J.,"Lost"

ABC, Wednesdays, 9 p.m.

Premieres Oct. 4

As if "Lost" wasn't crazy enough before the second season's finale, we are now concerned with four-toed statues and magnetic fields. The new season of "Lost" promises to be full of surprises, with creator J.J. Abrams returning from his Mission:Impossible III leave of absence, as well as new characters and a promise to give some long-awaited answers. The show will start on Oct. 4 and will run for six straight weeks, then take a break for two months before picking back up in February to finish the season.

"Ugly Betty"

ABC, Thursdays, 8 p.m.

Premieres Sept. 28

Following the huge success of The Devil Wears Prada, ABC's "Ugly Betty" is already buzzing with great reviews. Betty is a smart but not-so-good-looking girl who is hired to work at a fashion magazine, and the rest is predictable. While the show has all the potential to be a successful drama-comedy, it still may be sending out the wrong message to viewers. Taking a girl deemed "ugly" by society and bribing her with materialistic things and high-end clothing to make her "suitable" for the job will certainly piss some viewers off.

"Grey's Anatomy"

ABC, Thursdays, 9 p.m.

Premieres Sept. 21

Scalpels, sex and love . oh my. Last season's finale of "Grey's Anatomy" ended with the ultimate cliffhanger: a hot and steamy love scene between two characters that viewers have been dying to see get it on. Meredith and Derek hooked up, while Izzie had her heart broken with the unexpected death of Denny and now faces an uncertain future. Season three will undeniably play on the strong sexual tension between Meredith and Derek and ultimately, she is going to have to choose between him and Finn. Naturally, the doctors will still deal with life and death situations they witness everyday at the hospital, as well as their own lives and relationships.

"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"

NBC, Mondays, 10 p.m.

"30 Rock"

NBC, Wednesdays, 8 p.m.

Premieres Oct. 11

As NBC tries to pull its primetime lineup together after losing "Friends," "Will Grace," and "The West Wing," the network has decided to bring back some old talent in a new way. Matthew Perry returns in the comedy-drama

"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," created by Aaron Sorkin, the man responsible for "The West Wing." The series follows the life behind a "Saturday Night Live"-style sketch-comedy TV show and is one of two new NBC programs about the subject.

Tina Fey's new "30 Rock" (starring "SNL" alums Fey, Tracy Morgan, and frequent-host Alec Baldwin) is literally about a sketch comedy program at NBC. Although each serires seems like a great idea individually, will viewers want to watch two shows a week about the life behind "SNL" and then tune in Saturday to watch the actual thing? Perhaps one of the two will prevail, but it seems more likely that they will cancel each other out-not exactly what NBC had in mind.

"Friday Night Lights"

NBC, Tuesdays, 8 p.m.

Premieres Oct. 3

As if there were not enough high school sports dramas, NBC's newest addition to that category revolves around football and all the angst that ensues. Chances are high it will be overly dramatic and extremely redundant, just like movies of this genre. The show, like the film version, is about a small Texas town in which the social event of the week is attending the football game-but off the field, players must deal with their own problems and not let them interfere with the game. Boring. If, by some chance, Bob Saget plays the coach, it might be worth the time. Until then, stick to the movies: at least there will be some excitement with partial nudity and the benefit of no commercials.

"Survivor"

CBS, Thursdays, 8 p.m.

The classic island game show enters the unlucky 13th season this fall. To combat falling ratings, producer Mark Burnett has decided to turn this season into one of the most controversial reality shows to date. Instead of the normal 16 survivors, the field has been expanded to 20 contestants and four different teams. This season will see segregated teams of whites, blacks, Asians and Latinos, who will go head to head in a battle for a $1 million grand prize. This seems like a desperate attempt to get viewers back, and it just might work, as it sounds tempting. But it's not really enough of a draw to waste a Thursday night.

"'Til Death"

Fox, Thursdays 8 p.m.

Have you been waiting desperately to see another sitcom about married couples? How about some jokes about how young couples are different from old ones? If you answered yes to those questions, you will love Fox's "'Til Death." But if you have heard these jokes a few times before, you will probably be able to find something better. The premiere episode offered a few good laughs, some fun commentary on marriage and some childish, yet amusing jokes. Eddie Kaye Thomas stars as Vice Principal Woodcock, who created a homepage for his students: MyWoodcock.com. Cute jokes like that keep the show mildly entertaining, but we've already broken it off with this one. Brad Garrett and Thomas should be able to carry a comedy pretty well, but unless the writers can pull it together, do not expect this to last long.

"Family Guy"

FOX, Sundays, 9 p.m.

Everyone's favorite dysfunctional family with a large-headed baby genius is back for another season. Last season ended with Peter having to deal with the unfortunate lack of a sex drive due to his vasectomy, and Stewie came across his future adult self, named "Stu." This season, viewers can expect just as much randomness and completely inappropriate humor to provide quick laughs. Playing on political incorrectness and using cripples for humor, "Family Guy" will once again provide another season of mindless entertainment for fans everywhere.

"Gilmore Girls"

The CW, Thursdays, 8 p.m.

Premieres Sept. 26th

Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino faced backlash from enraged fans following the unexpected end of the season six finale. She is not returning for the seventh season due to contract problems with Warner Bros. Instead, David Rosenthal has been given the unfortunate task of picking up the broken pieces of a show that was once one of the wittiest and entertaining shows on television. Expect season seven to confront the seemingly destroyed relationship between Lorelai and Luke.

"7th Heaven"

The CW, Mondays, 8 p.m.

Premieres Sept. 25

Just when WB/CW viewers thought it was safe to turn the TV back on, "7th Heaven" returns for yet another season. Yes, even after the show decided to end last spring, producers thought it best to surprise viewers for one more year. Most of the original c

ast members return for their last season, which will undoubtedly be just as overdramatic and farfetched as its predecessors. Will this series just go to hell already?

"Nip/Tuck"

FX, Tuesdays, 10 p.m.

Returning with just as much sex, nudity, drama and self-loathing, pompous, shallow jerks, season four seems to promise the same risqu