...and thus I give you a blanket post of all shows to whose return or premiere I am looking forward in some degree, listed by the system of "The Order I Thought Of Them In This Morning." I figure this is a useful guide to my likely interests in the coming year, since this is a new blog.
1) Battlestar Galactica (back in Jan. '08, Sci-Fi)
Returning for its fourth and final season in January, Battlestar Galactica is sure to dazzle us all. The third season dealt with the Cylon occupation and its aftermath on levels personal and public, from Kara's transformation into ice queen to the fleet's hatred for Gaius Baltar, and concluded with Baltar's trial, the death and triumphant return of Kara Thrace, and the revelation that four of the fleet's own are... not quite the fleet's own. I personally can't wait to hear what happened to Kara between "Maelstrom" and "Crossroads"; to understand Saul Tigh's past in relation to his new identity; to find out who the fifth cylon is; to see Earth. Despite the heavy predominance of sci-fi on my current list, I don't in fact enjoy sf much of the time. But Battlestar Galactica is no conventional genre-bound show; it's a brilliantly written, beautifully acted, and incredibly moving one and in my opinion the best on TV.
2) Heroes (9:00 Mondays, NBC)
Another sci-fi show on the list, this one more of Alias' ilk: good story, great cast, might not change your life but could eat up several days of it at a time in marathon sessions. The first season was uneven, as noted by many others, and I personally would love to see Sylar go away and stop bothering everyone (I prefer villains a bit more complicated, a la Arvin Sloane)... but with little Hayden Panettiere's fantastic acting, Milo Ventimiglia and Greg Grunberg's general awesomeness, the balanced ensemble feel of the show, the acrobatic juggling of storylines, and the promise of Kristen Bell (squee!) I hope that Heroes will survive the inevitable sophomore slump with our love for it intact.
Premieres: September 24, 2007
3) House (9:00 Tuesdays, Fox)
This show needs no explanation. Gregory House is one of the great TV characters, sharply written, terribly human, fatally flawed, intelligent, challenging, funny as hell, and let's face it, pretty damn sexy for someone who's probably older than my dad. The end of season 3 saw a big shake-up with the loss of the ducklings, but Wilson and Cuddy, the essentials, remain. I can't wait to see the new underlings House gets to torture in season 4.
Premieres: September 25th, 2007
4) Lost (back in Feb. '08, ABC)
Always terribly uneven, Lost took a rather large dip for the worse in season 3. The writers displayed a basic lack of respect for character and plot development, an increasingly aggravating tendency to portray Jack as a hero without any real justification, and seeming disinterest in answering our questions. Also, Bai Ling? Seriously? But the season finale was intriguing (flash-forwards were a nice change) and I hope to see the plot fairy uncurl herself from her long hibernation and give us a little love in season 4.
5) 24 (back in Jan. '08, Fox)
Didn't watch season 6, I'll admit it, and unless one of my friends buys the DVDs I can't afford to catch up. I heard it was terrible; I have no comment. With the deaths of Tony and Palmer in season 5 and the super-blah romance of Kiefer and Audrey, I had somewhat lost interest. But I hope to tune into season 7 and see what's going on. Fox wants the rumor mills churning about a better year ahead, and I'm taking the bait (and mixing my metaphors).
6) Bionic Woman (9:00 Wednesdays, NBC)
David Eick and Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar fame produce and guest star respectively. For fans of BSG I'm sure I need not say more, but NBC's new drama is getting lots of hype and I can't imagine that it won't live up to our expectations.
Premieres: September 26, 2007
7) Gossip Girls (9:00 Wednesdays, CW)
A bunch of it-girls in NYC, their sex lives, and their drug use. Josh Schwartz betrayed his promise once with the steady downward spiral of The OC, but I hope that his new creation Gossip Girls, like the former, will have at least one season of teen-soapy glory. Plus, Kristen Bell. Again. Best TV season ever.
Premieres: September 19, 2007
8) Pushing Daisies (8:00 Wednesdays, ABC)
Looks like a charming little bundle of magic and quirk and romance. It remains to be seen if the combination gets too relentless.
Premieres: October 3, 2007
9) ER (10:00 PM Thursdays, NBC)
The biggest TV obsession of my life has been showing its age for seven or eight years now, and I haven't watched this season, or seasons 11 and 12, very regularly. With the reunion of Abby and Luka after three years apart though, one of my craziest TV wishes was fulfilled (as unexpected and welcome as the resurrection of Starbuck and the triumph of Pacey over Dawson). Hope to have the time to tune in for season 14...
Premiered: September 13, 2007 (and I had no idea till I looked it up this morning! Bad blogger!)
10) Brothers and Sisters (10:00 Sundays, ABC)
With a cast full of pretty boys (Matthew Rhys, guy who plays Justin, Rob Lowe), the talent of Rachel Griffith and Sally Field, and a sugar-sweet mix of soapy romantic drama, snappy family humor, and genuine character insight, Brothers and Sisters deserves much more attention than it got. Season 1 saw Kitty, Sarah, Justin, Tom, and Kevin gossiping, squabbling, gossiping, bonding, and gossiping some more as they dealt with the death of their father and the insinuation into their lives of his mistress (played with aplomb by Patricia Wettig). Also, they have a Crazy!Mom, which Sally Field already won an Emmy for playing on ER. I look forward to the return of the Walker clan, and I hope the show gains popularity with others as well.
Premieres: September 30, 2007
11) Grey's Anatomy (9:00 Thursdays, ABC)
I loved the first season of this show, found the second season a drop-off, and the third a travesty (what I saw of it). I may be one of the few people mourning Isaiah Washington's departure -- whatever the actor's personal flaws may be, Burke and Christina made my romantic little heart glow. Perhaps the fourth season will go back to the magic, wit, and heart of the first. Perhaps it won't. But I think I'll at least tune in for the premiere to find out.
Premieres: September 27, 2007
12) Chuck (8:00 Mondays, NBC)
Josh Schwartz, creator of The OC. Need I say more? Even better, Rachel Bilson is supposedly going to appear (thanks, TV Addict). Apparently involves an electronics retail worker becoming a government spy. Sounds goofy, but might be good for some pre-Heroes fun on Monday nights.
Premieres: September 24, 2007
13) Cavemen (8:00 - 8:30 Tuesdays, ABC)
It's... about cavemen, and inspired by Geico commercials (?!). That's kind of all I know. But, I'm curious, it sounds like it could be funny, and it can at least function as my Tuesday-nights-at-8 rebound fling, for sure. (Gilmore Girls, how I miss you.)
Premieres: October 2, 2007
With the demise of Veronica Mars, the OC, and Gilmore Girls, my list is suddenly very light on the teen soaps -- fitting, I suppose, since this is the first season I start past my teens! It's also lighter on shows that have truly gripped me, but I'm willing to go back and give several another chance, and I'm excited about the new shows.
That said, until January comes and BSG returns to light up my life, I'll be counting the minutes.