It’s that time of year again, when the major TV networks unveil their fall schedules and we get a little glimpse of what we might be obsessing about at the water cooler from September to May. Here’s a look at the schedules and, more importantly, new shows that NBC and FOX announced at their Upfronts presentations in New York City today (ABC, CBS, and the CW will present over the next few days):
NBC's Fall 2013 Schedule (all times ET)
7:00-8:15 p.m. – Football Night in America
8:15-11:30 p.m. – Sunday Night Football
8-10 p.m. — The Voice
10-11 p.m. — The Blacklist (DRAMA) — With shades of FOX’s The Following, James Spader (The Office) stars as a most wanted criminal who will surrender and talk on one condition—he works only with one specific rookie FBI agent to whom he seemingly has no connection. It’s nice to see co-stars Homeland’s Diego Klattenhoff and Dollhouse’s Harry Lennix back on our TV!
Ship watch: Too soon to tell.
8-9 p.m. – The Biggest Loser
9-10 p.m. – The Voice
10-11 p.m. – Chicago Fire
8-9 p.m. – Revolution
9-10 p.m. – Law & Order: SVU
10-11 p.m. – Ironside (DRAMA) — This remake of the hit '60s drama stars Blair Underwood as the tough cop paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Brent Sexton (The Killing) and Spencer Grammar (Greek) help him solve the hardest cases in the city.
Ship watch: Too soon to tell.
8-8:30 p.m. – Parks and Recreation
8:30-9 p.m. – Welcome to the Family (COMEDY) – A white family (headed up by Glee’s Mike O’Malley and In Plain Sight’s Mary McCormack) and Latino family (led by Desperate Housewives’ Ricardo Chavira and Private Practice’s Justina Machado) are forced to bond when their kids fall in love and—whoops!—get pregnant. Deception’s Ella Rae Peck and Awkward.’s Joey Haro play the young lovers.
9-9:30 p.m. – Sean Saves the World (COMEDY) – Will & Grace’s Jack (Sean Hayes) is back, with this family comedy (are you sensing a theme?), playing a divorced gay dad who must deal with a cranky new boss, his pushy mom (Linda Lavin!) and his 14-year-old daughter moving in. Is it too much to hope that Karen Walker lives next door and pops in to give him terrible advice all the time?
9:30-10 p.m. – The Michael J. Fox Show (COMEDY) – A TV legend returns, and NBC is so bullish about this comedy from the former Alex P. Keaton and producer Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends with Benefits), that they gave it a full season order of 22 episodes. Fox plays a news anchor dealing with work and family challenges, as well as Parkinson’s disease.
10-11 p.m. – Parenthood
8-9 p.m. – Dateline NBC
9-10 p.m. – Grimm
10-11 p.m. – Dracula (DRAMA) – Jonathan Rhys Myers as the infamous (and now sexy) undead bloodsucker? Yes please! The count takes out his grief and rage over his wife’s death on Victorian London—until he sees a woman who is her (presumably un-)dead ringer! It’ll be a short run at 10 episodes, but enough to…sink our teeth into.
Ship watch: Dracula/Mina or Dracula/Lucy?
NBC's Spring 2014 New Shows
About a Boy (COMEDY) — This dramedy based on Nick Hornsby’s bestselling novel about a man who learns to grow up by befriending the young boy next door was already a hit Hugh Grant movie. Producer Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights) is aiming for TV success with David Walton (Happy Endings) as the guy with the Peter Pan complex and Minnie Driver as the young boy’s wacky mom. Will sparks fly between them? Of course, they will.
Family Guide (COMEDY) — A post-divorce family grows closer in this sitcom featuring an impressive cast, including Parker Posey as the mid-life crisis-having mom and J.K. Simmons as the blind dad. Harold Perrineau (Lost) also stars as Posey’s apartment building manager.
Believe (DRAMA) – From JJ Abrams’ production company comes a drama that’s tailor-made for YA fans, y’all! A girl named Bo with a supernatural gift (hmm this sounds familiar) goes on the run from evildoers with the help of an ex-con guardian (a very smoking Jake McLaughlin!)
Crisis (DRAMA) – X-Files goddess Gillian Anderson and a debonair Dermot Mulroney (Enlightened) team up to crack down on an international conspiracy targeting the children of world leaders in this Scandal-meets-24-style drama. Rachael Taylor (666 Park Avenue) and James Lafferty (One Tree Hill) round out the pretty people cast.
Ship watch: The possibilities seem endless at this point — Thomas/Meg? Meg/Susie? Marcus/Meg? Nash/Susie? Lots of pretty pairings possible.
Chicago P.D. (DRAMA) – Is Chicago Fire really popular enough to warrant a spin-off already? We’ll find out this fall as we follow Fire’s Jon Seda and Jason Beghe to the precinct house, and get personal with both the beat cops and the detectives. If it’s anything like its parent show, at least we’ll get lots of shirtlessness and fan service.
Ship watch: Everyone/everyone?
Night Shift (DRAMA) — Ken Leung (Lost), Brigid Brannagh (Army Wives), Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under), and Brendan Fehr (Roswell) star in this San Antonio-set hospital drama featuring the doctors and nurses of the night shift.
Ship watch: Topher/Althea? Drew/Ragosa?
Undateable (DRAMA) –A bunch of sad prospects dubbed “The Undateables” find their lives changing when a charismatic and confident newcomer joins their circle. Chris D'Elia (Whitney), Bianca Kajlich (Rules of Engagement) and Briga Heelan (Cougartown) star.
Ship watch: Everyone/everyone?
FOX 2013 Schedule
8:00-8:30 p.m. — The Simpsons
8:30-9:00 p.m. — Bob's Burgers
9:00-9:30 p.m. — Family Guy
9:30-10:00 p.m. — American Dad
8:00-9:00 p.m. — Bones (fall) / Almost Human (late fall)
Almost Human (DRAMA) — Another JJ Abrams’ production starring Star Trek doc Karl Urban, this buddy cop drama with a twist is set 35 years in the future, and features… ROBOTS! The humans and androids team up to take down criminals each week, but like any good JJ show, expect a big mythology surrounding our evolution. Michael Ealy and Lili Taylor also star.
Ship watch: John/Sandra? John/Dorian?
9:00-10:00 p.m. — Sleepy Hollow (new; fall) / The Following (midseason)
Sleepy Hollow (DRAMA) – Fringe producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are updating Washington Irving’s classic tale of Ichabod Crane, turning him into a time traveler (and an incredibly good-looking one at that!). British actor Tom Mison stars as the history professor turned Revolutionary War soldier, who lands in present-day Sleepy Hollow, where he’s indicted for the murder of a cop. Only Detective Abbie Archer (Shame’s Nicole Beharie)knows the truth and can help him prove his innocence.
Ship watch: Ichabod/Abbie?
8:00-8:30 p.m. — Dads (COMEDY) – Seth MacFarlane goes live-action with this comedy starring Giovanni Ribisi and Seth Green as roommates who suddenly find themselves sharing their apartment with their dads (Martin Mull and Peter Riegert). Let’s hope it’s Family Guy funny and not Oscar-hosting “funny.”
8:30-9:00 p.m. — Brooklyn Nine-Nine (COMEDY) – An odd-couple cop show penned by a writing duo from Parks & Recreation, this comedy stars SNL’s Andy Samburg and Andre Braugher (The Last Resort) getting into sticky situations in a New York City precinct.
9:00-9:30 p.m. — New Girl
9:30-10:00 p.m. — The Mindy Project
8:00-10:00 p.m. — The X Factor (fall) / American Idol (midseason)
8:00-9:00 p.m. — The X Factor Results (fall) / American Idol Results (midseason)
9:00-10:00 p.m. — Glee (fall) / Rake (midseason)
Rake (DRAMA) – Imagine if Dr. House had been a lawyer instead… You might come up with something like this new drama, featuring Greg Kinnear as a prickly and eccentric attorney with a gambling problem. (Amazingly, this one seems to have zero connection to JJ Abrams… so far.)
Ship watch: Keegan/Leanne?
8:00-9:00 p.m. Junior Masterchef (fall)
9:00-10:00 p.m. — Sleep Hollow encores (fall)
8:00-9:00 p.m. — Bones (late fall)
9:00-9:30 p.m. — Raising Hope (late fall)
9:30-10:00 p.m. — Enlisted (late fall)
Enlisted (COMEDY) – Gorgeous Geoff Stults (The Finder) stars in this comedy as a soldier who’s charged with supervising the dysfunctional troops—including his two younger brothers—at a Florida army base. Christopher Lowell (recently of Private Practice, but we’ll always remember him as Veronica Mars’ Piz!) and Parker Young (Suburgatory) play the brothers. Bring on the men in uniform!
FOX's Spring 2014 New Shows
Surviving Jack (COMEDY) – Another single dad comedy, this one is based on Justin Halperin’s book I Suck at Girls and features Christopher Meloni in the title role and Connor Buckley (Deception) as his teenaged son. Smart move, Fox, offering hotties for the young and the young at heart!
Us and Them (COMEDY) – Finally a romance! This remake of the Brit hit show Gavin & Stacey, features the charming Jason Ritter and adorable Alexis Bledel as the core couple (we’ll just conveniently forget he was almost married to her TV mom on Parenthood last season, mmkay?) The always excellent Jane Kaczmarek and Kurt Fuller have supporting roles.
Ship watch: Gavin/Stacey!
Gang-Related (DRAMA) – Lost’s Terry O’Quinn stars in an intense drama that turns the usual undercover cop trope on its head. This time, a member of a Latino gang infiltrates the San Francisco PD, rising through its ranks.
Ship watch: Ryan/Jessica?
Watch this space for schedules from ABC, CBS, and The CW in the days ahead!
Tara Gelsomino is a reader, writer, pop culture junkie, and internet addict. You can tweet her at @taragel.