This Is Still TV's Biggest Week – 12 New Series Premiere
A dozen new primetime TV series – 66% of the 18 new shows – arrive this week as broadcasters cling to the arcane notion of a "premiere week" immediately following the Emmy Awards.
The networks are still recycling many familiar faces (Bradley Whitford, Patricia Heaton and Billy Gardell) into new sitcoms after the Amazon streaming service collected Emmys for Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Sunday night.
Also returning to broadcast TV this week are Jimmy Smits, Marg Helgenberger, Cobie Smulders, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Lebanon High School graduate Woody Harrelson, who hosts the 45th season premiere of Saturday Night Live (which won the Emmy for best variety sketch series).
For the record, networks have been shrinking their new fall TV offerings for several years. Only 18 news shows debuted a year ago; 19 premiered in 2017; and 20 in 2016. Viewers used to see 20-30 new fall series from the networks, before increased competition from cable and Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services. (More are coming: Apple TV+ starts Nov. 1, and Disney+ begins Nov. 12.)
Here's my guide to new and returning series this week. All new series premieres are in BOLD ITALICS.
If you don't see your favorite show on the list, see my Sept. 9 master list for the entire Fall TV here.
MONDAY, SEPT. 23
8 p.m.: COUNTRY MUSIC, A FILM BY KEN BURNS, PBS. Sixth episode features Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and the Byrds recording in Nashville during the Vietnam War.
8 p.m.: A VERY BRADY RENOVATION, HGTV. PREMIERE. Third episode of The Brady Bunch cast members helping renovate the North Hollywood home which was used for exterior shots for their 1969-74 sitcom.
8 p.m.: The Neighborhood, CBS. Second season premiere.
8 p.m.: The Voice, NBC. The new twist for Season 17: Taylor Swift returns as a mentor before the "knockout rounds" in October.
8 p.m.: 9-1-1, Fox. Third season premiere.
8 p.m.: Dancing With The Stars, ABC. Second episode of 28th season.
8:30 p.m. BOB (HEARTS) ABISHOLA, CBS. PREMIERE. Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly) returns to CBS as a salesman who falls in love with his Nigerian nurse (Folake Olowofoyeku from Transparent) after his heart attack.
9 p.m.: ALL RISE, CBS. PREMIERE. Simone Missick (from Netflix's Luke Cage) plays a first-time Los Angeles judge, with help from Marg Helgenberger (CSI).
9 p.m.: PRODIGAL SON, Fox. PREMIERE. Tom Payne (The Walking Dead) plays the son of a serial killer (Michael Sheen) who tracks down murderers. With Bellamy Young (Scandal) and Lou Diamond Phillips (Longmire, Miami Vice).
10 p.m.: BLUFF CITY LAW, NBC. PREMIERE. Jimmy Smits (NYDP Blue, L.A. Law), plays a Memphis lawyer working with his daughter (Caitlin McGee).
10 p.m.: Bull, CBS. Fourth season premiere.
10 p.m.: The Good Doctor, ABC. Second season premiere.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 24
8 p.m.: COUNTRY MUSIC, A FILM BY KEN BURNS, PBS. Seventh episode features Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr., Roseanne Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.
8 p.m.: NCIS, CBS. 17th season premiere.
8 p.m. The Conners, ABC. Third season premiere.
8 p.m.: The Resident, Fox. Third season premiere.
8:30 p.m. Bless This Mess, ABC. Second season premeire.
9 p.m.: FBI, CBS. Second season premiere.
9 p.m.: Empire, Fox. Six and final season premiere.
9 p.m.: This Is Us, NBC. Fourth season premiere.
9 p.m.: MIXED-ISH, ABC. PREMIERE. In this black-ish, prequel, Arica Himmel plays Tracee Ellis Ross' Rainbow Johnson growing up in a mixed-race family in the 1980s.
9:30 p.m.: black-ish, ABC. Sixth season premiere.
10 p.m.: EMERGENCE, ABC. PREMIERE. Allison Tolman (Good Girls, Fargo, I'm Sorry) stars as a police chief in a thriller about finding a young, mysterious child that "draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined."
10 p.m.: NCIS: New Orleans, CBS. Sixth season premiere.
10 p.m.: New Amsterdam, NBC. Second season premiere.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT 25
8 p.m.: The Masked Singer, Fox. Second season premiere.
8 p.m.: Survivor, CBS. The new twist for the 39th season premiere is the return of past winners "Boston Rod" Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine as mentors to 20 new castaways.
8 p.m.: COUNTRY MUSIC, A FILM BY KEN BURNS, PBS. Eighth and final episode features Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, George Strait and Johnny Cash.
8 p.m.: Chicago Med, NBC. Fifth season premiere.
8 p.m.: The Goldbergs, ABC. Seventh season premiere.
8:30 p.m.: Schooled, ABC. Second season premiere.
9 p.m.: Chicago Fire, NBC. Eighth season premiere.
9 p.m.: Modern Family, ABC. Eleventh and final season premiere.
9:30 p.m.: Single Parents, ABC. Second season premiere.
9:30 p.m.: Big Brother, CBS. Live season finale.
10 p.m.: STUMPTOWN, ABC. PREMIERE. Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame; How I Met Your Mother) stars as an Army veteran with a gambling debt and a brother to take care of in Portland, Ore.
10 p.m.: Chicago P.D., NBC. Seventh season premiere.
10 p.m.: American Horror Story: 1984, FX. Second episode of ninth season.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 26
7:30 p.m.: Thursday Night Football, Fox. Philadelphia Eagles at Green Pay Packers.
8 p.m.: Young Sheldon, CBS. Third season premiere.
8 p.m.: Grey's Anatomy, ABC. Sixteenth season premiere.
8 p.m.: Superstore, NBC. Fifth season premiere.
8:30 p.m.: PERFECT HARMONY, NBC. PREMIERE. Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) stars as a Princeton music professor overseeing a small-town church choir filled with out-of tune singers.
8:30 p.m.: THE UNICORN, CBS. PREMIERE. Walter Goggins (Justified; Sons of Anarchy; Django Unchained) stars as a widower with two daughters who starts dating again.
9 p.m.: Mom, CBS. Seventh season premiere.
9 p.m.: A Million Little Things, ABC. Second season premiere.
9 p.m.: The Good Place, NBC. Fourth season premiere.
9:30 p.m.: CAROL'S SECOND ACT, CBS. PREMIERE. Emmy winner Patricia Heaton (The Middle, Everybody Loves Raymond) returns to CBS as a 50-year-old medical intern.
9:30 p.m.: SUNNYSIDE, NBC. PREMIERE. Cincinnati native Diana Maria Riva (Man With A Plan, The West Wing) will be a series regular in this sitcom about a New York councilman (Kal Penn) who moves in with his sister (Kiran Deol) after being arrested for public intoxication.
10 p.m.: EVIL, CBS. PREMIERE. Mike Colter (Luke Cage) explores demonic possessions.
10 p.m.: How To Get Away With Murder, ABC. Sixth and final season.
10 p.m.: Law & Order: SVU, NBC. Twenty-second season premiere.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 27
8 p.m.: Hawaii Five-0, CBS. Tenth season premiere.
8 p.m.: American Housewife, ABC. Fourth season premiere.
8:30 p.m.: Fresh Off The Boat, ABC. Sixth season premiere.
9 p.m.: Magnum P.I., CBS. Second season premiere.
9 p.m.: 20/20, ABC. Two-hour premiere for 37th season.
9 p.m.: Dateline NBC, NBC. Season premiere.
10 p.m.: Blue Bloods, CBS. Tenth season premiere.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 28
10 p.m. 48 Hours, CBS. Thirty-third season premiere.
11:30 p.m.: Saturday Night Live, NBC. Lebanon High School alum Woody Harrelson (Zombieland: Double Tap; True Detective; Cheers; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) hosts the 45th season premiere.
CW series premiere the week of Oct. 6. The last returning TV series to resume new episodes is CW's Black Lightning (9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21). How many shows will be canceled by then?