What’s on tonight: a guide to fall television

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What’s on tonight: a guide to fall television

Robert Voets, MCT Campus

Robert Voets, MCT Campus

Robert Voets, MCT Campus

The two funniest men on NBC Thursdays are sure to make viewers laugh again this fall

Melanie Sheehan, Copy Editor

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The end of summer is always tough, but there is one perk to our return to school: new seasons of our favorite television shows are returning, and new shows are premiering along with them. Here’s this fall’s lineup, according to tvguide.com.

Monday nights prove strong, with Dancing with the Stars and The Voice competing against the CBS sitcoms that always dominate the ratings, including How I Met Your Mother, which is coming off a strong season filled with plot lines that kept viewers wondering what would happen from week to week.

New to the CBS lineup is Partners, a comedy about two architect friends who become business partners. This “bromance” has an interesting twist: one of the partners is gay while the other is straight. The show has a good shot at success because there is nothing like it on network television, and the characters seem easy to sympathize with.

The Tuesday lineup is dominated by reality shows Dancing with the Stars and The Voice, and the crime drama NCIS. In addition, Matthew Perry, best known for his role as Chandler on Friends, returns to NBC in a new sitcom Go On, which will be about a sportscaster who must attend therapy after his wife dies suddenly. Since it is the only comedy on Tuesdays, the show has a chance to shine, but Perry has struggled to find a role since Friends went off the air, as evidenced by the failure of his sitcom, Mr. Sunshine. I have doubts about whether Perry’s character is likable enough to win viewers’ hearts.

Wednesdays look to be a win for ABC, with the return of fan favorite The Middle and critically acclaimed Modern Family. ABC has also added The Neighbors, a comedy about a family who moves into a gated community inhabited by aliens. There are obvious questions, though for how long such a seemingly bizarre show will last. Still, the new series may receive some hangover audience from Modern Family, and if the storyline proves decent, a following may grow.

NBC appears to be challenging the ABC Wednesday comedy monopoly with two new comedies of its own. Animal Practice focuses on a veterinarian who loves animals, and seems to have a winning combination: humor, heart, and a monkey. Guys with Kids, as you may have guessed, focuses on the struggle of fathers trying to raise kids. Far from groundbreaking, the show seems to be a safe but humorous choice for NBC. These shows, though likable, will likely struggle to compete with ABC’s already established lineup.

Thursday seems to be a competitive night, as CBS airs its popular comedy The Big Bang Theory, which is coming off a very strong season. While changes were made last season to keep audiences laughing and interested, the show never lost its unique identity as a show about socially inept geeks, which is the reason for its long-term success.

A notable change in the CBS lineup is that Two and a Half Men, which used to air on Mondays, will now switch nights to pair up with The Big Bang Theory on Thursdays; this may be the show’s last gasp for air, as it struggled last season after losing star Charlie Sheen, and the jokes regressed from racy to vulgar as time went on.

FOX will air Glee on Thursdays as well, though the magic of the first season has since died down. With the graduation of several main characters, what will become of the pop culture sensation is unknown.

NBC continues to air its comedy lineup, which includes 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and The Office. This will be The Office’s last season, so hopefully the show will have a strong finish. The past couple of years have been weak as the writers have scrambled for story lines, unlikeable characters have been added, and Steve Carell left the show. Still, final seasons are usually some of the best as the writers try to create closure for the audience, and story arcs build to the final episode.

Friday nights, never a magnet for viewers, include CBS’s new show Made in Jersey, a drama focused on a working class woman stuck living in a world of white collar, wealthy lawyers at a New York law firm. In this era when law dramas like The Good Wife are succeeding, this humorous twist on the form will surely win viewers.

This year’s fall lineup includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. We are sure to see some continued success, surprising popularity, and some failures. Regardless, here’s to a season of surprises, laughter, and all-around great TV.

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