The TV stars — and Jagger — come home to roost
Everyone’s coming out of the woodwork this season. Ted Danson, Calista Flockhart, John Lithgow, and Amanda Peet are among the actors prepping for an effusive back-to-TV homecoming, and even Mick Jagger will be on screen. But the networks have their meaty hands full, what with the need to promote each of their thinly veiled homages to Lost without seeming too obvious. Plus, NBC got the bright idea to air two “original,” behind-the-scenes shows about late-night sketch comedies, yuppie-lawyer dramas abound, and the new CW is just hoping it can compete with the big boys.
DOUBLE-DIPPING: NBC has two shows about creating a late-night comedy show, including 30 Rock, with SNL’s Tina Fey.
In THE KNIGHTS OF PROSPERITY (Tuesday October 17 at 9 pm), which was created by Late Show with David Letterman producers Jon Beckerman and Rob Burnett, Donal Logue plays a janitor desperate to open his own bar. Inspired by a Cribs-esque show that tours the luxe digs of a famous celebrity, he recruits a gang of misfits to help him rob Richie Rich’s apartment. Beckerman and Burnett wanted Jeff Goldblum, but they got Mick Jagger instead — and the aging Rolling Stone will make several cameos. Ted Danson stars in HELP ME HELP YOU (Tuesday September 26 at 9:30 pm) as a crazy, self-obsessed doctor who leads a therapy group made up of other messed-up, socially awkward individuals forced to take his advice. A bank robbery gone wrong forever intertwines the lives of strangers in THE NINE (Wednesday October 4 at 10 pm). Without a Trace’s Hank Steinberg writes a sharp script, and an all-star cast (Scott Foley, Kim Raver, Chi McBride) should ensure that the mystery will overpower the sap. UGLY BETTY (Thursday September 28 at 8 pm), executive-produced by Salma Hayek, is an hour-long comedy based on a Spanish hit, a Just Shoot Me for the Devil Wears Prada generation starring America Ferrera as Betty — a sweet, “overweight” (i.e., larger than size 2) Queens girl desperate to prove herself in the cutthroat publishing industry. GREY’S ANATOMY (Thursdays at 9 pm) switches to a new night and time, and the nailbiting over whether Meredith will choose to go home with her Dr. McDreamy or the hot veterinarian ends September 21. In MEN IN TREES (Friday September 22 at 9 pm), Anne Heche plays a relationship coach whose fiancé cheats on her, just before a snowstorm conveniently dumps her in small-town America, where she’s suddenly surrounded by a brimming population of available men. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (Sundays at 9 pm) opens its third season on September 24, leading in to the next potentially addictive Sunday drama, BROTHERS & SISTERS (Sunday at 10 pm), which marks the return of Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal) to television. Ron Rifkin (Alias) and Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under) co-star.
On THE CLASS (Mondays at 8 pm), a group of twentysomethings from the third grade reunite for the first time at a party — as if they hadn’t been stalking each other on the Internet for years. SMITH (Tuesdays at 10 pm) tries to fill the hole Alias left with Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Jonny Lee Miller, and Amy Smart as a tight-knit group of criminals who take orders doled out by a mystery man with an all-too-common name. In JERICHO (Wednesdays at 8 pm), the residents of a small Kansas town spot a nuclear cloud and believe they may be the only people to have survived the fallout. On SHARK (Thursdays at 10 pm), cutthroat defense attorney James Wood switches sides and joins the LA district attorney’s crime unit. HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (Mondays at 8:30 pm) and its cult-fave cast kick off their second season on September 18.
UPN and the WB have coupled off and spawned a two-headed hybrid tot: the CW. On September 20 the new station rears its angsty, hormonal head with a random combo of teen soaps and celeb-run reality shows. 7TH HEAVEN (Monday September 25 at 8 pm) has been renewed for its 11th season, and six out of eight Camden kids have gone through puberty without turning into atheists. The new RUNAWAY (Monday September 25 at 9 pm) stars Donnie Wahlberg as a fugitive on the run with his wife and kids in tow. GILMORE GIRLS (Tuesday September 26 at 8 pm) is back for what’s rumored to be its last season. Tyra Banks’s AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL (Wednesdays at 8 pm) premieres on the CW’s launch date, September 20. Adolescent snore fests ONE TREE HILL (Wednesday September 27 at 9 pm), SMALLVILLE (Thursday September 28 at 8 pm), and SUPERNATURAL (Thursday September 28 at 9 pm) ride out the rest of the CW’s week until the beginning of October, when EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS (Sunday October 1 at 7 pm) and VERONICA MARS (Tuesday October 3 at 9 pm) smack everyone awake.
, Ally McBeal, Amanda Peet, America Ferrera, More