Hi there, my name is Denette Wilford and I like fluffy TV. No, not trashy, guilty pleasure stuff (OK, well, not always), and not super-important, super-serious fare that gives me a knot in my stomach for an entire hour for its entire season. Rather, I like my shows to be a fun and light escape, occasionally suspenseful, often action-packed but, most importantly, entertaining. Oh, and a heads-up, I also tend to gravitate towards shows that have me reaching for Kleenex during its heart-wrenching moments (ahem, "Friday Night Lights," "Parenthood").
While I've been a TV critic for a few years now and I have watched just about every show at least once, my taste in TV hasn't changed. I'm still an avid viewer, loyal to the major networks. So if you're like me, just an average person who loves TV, then you might want to check out what shows I'll be watching this season.
New Must-See Shows
"The Mindy Project"
Debuts: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9:30 p.m. ET on Citytv/Fox
"The Mindy Project" is the kind of show where Barbies talk, women make fun of kids and Bill Hader is the hottie the lead wants to marry. So, not typical. Nor is the lead. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) may be attractive, charming, hilarious, great at her job, and has amazing friends, but her obsession with rom-coms (presumably more than the average OB-GYN) and crappy taste in men makes her someone we can all identify and sympathize with. Kaling (writer, producer, co-star of "The Office") is delivering the comedy that everyone should be watching this season. "The Mindy Project" is as self-deprecating as her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), and I don't think there's a woman -- or man, even -- around who can't relate to this frank and funny sitcom.
Why you should watch: It will make you laugh out loud. A lot. And that's all you can ask for in a comedy, right? Plus, it's teamed with "New Girl," making it arguably the most hilarious one-two punch this fall ("Happy Endings" and "Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23" comes in at a close second). And aside from Mindy, the series boasts one of my favourite new characters of the season: Danny Castellano. Trust me. You'll love him.
Debuts: Monday, Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. ET on Citytv/NBC
What would I do without the laptop I'm furiously typing on, a television to watch these shows on, my iPod to listen to my favourite songs (I'm going through an '80s phase right now), my iPad to play Words With Friends on, and my BlackBerry to check my emails and BBM friends with? Well, that's what happens in "Revolution," when all the electricity in the world shuts down and everyone is thrown into the Dark Ages 2.0. It relies heavily on flash-forward elements -- which may or may not be your thing -- but I dig the concept because a straightforward tell right from the beginning when the power shuts off would've been too tedious.
Why you should watch: It comes from J.J. Abrams ("Lost," "Fringe") and Erik Kripke ("Supernatural"), both of whom have the chops to make "Revolution" a fun ride. And unlike what I thought before I watched the first episode, "Revolution" has the makings of being like "Lost," not "Flash Forward."
Debuts: Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 10 p.m. ET on CTV Two/ABC
Even having not seen 2010's "Country Strong," I knew when I saw the previews for "Nashville," it was basically a rip-off of the 2010 movie about an aging country star and a hot, young up-and-comer, with Connie Britton in Gwyneth Paltrow's role and Hayden Panettiere in Leighton Meester's. But that's OK. Britton is fabulous as Rayna Jaymes, a legend who refuses to believe her time is up, while Panettiere is perfection as Juliette Barnes, an ambitious, entitled, sluttier Taylor Swift with a secret. Throw in the rest of the characters -- those in the industry, those trying to make it in the industry, and Rayna and Juliette's families -- and what we're left with is a gripping, well-rounded drama.
Why you should watch: While there's more to the show than the women's rivalry, it still is the main reason to watch. They may share the same twang, but Rayna is no Tami Taylor, and Panettiere is perfect as the bad girl (you'll immediately forget "Save the cheerleader, save the world") who you just know we'll feel sorry for in the coming weeks, even though I want to keep hating her. Oh, and country music may not be your thing, but the songs are sweet. "Glee" and "Smash," watch out.
"The New Normal"
Debuts: Monday, Sept. 10 at 10:00 p.m. ET on CTV/NBC
It's simple -- if a show makes me laugh, out loud, more than twice, it has me. (And why, sadly, "Partners" did -- and will -- not.) "The New Normal" is the latest from Ryan Murphy (who continues to wow me with "Glee" and freak my freak with "American Horror Story"), and sets out to show that couples of all colours, sizes and sexes want to have families, too. The premiere manages to be both sweet and mean, thanks to Goldie Clemmons (Georgia King), who may be the nicest woman (with a backbone) on television, and her grandmother, Jane Forrest a.k.a. Nana (Ellen Barkin) , who makes Sue Sylvester seem caring and compassionate.
Why you should watch: Nana's one of my new favourites of the season (can she, Danny Castellano and "New Girl'"s Nick Miller please hang out?), but I love the adorable, relatable, believable wannabe dads, Bryan and David. Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha are perfection and I want to hang out with them. Well, go shopping with Bryan and watch the Super Bowl with David.
Debuts: Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV Two/The CW
I used to watch "Passions," so when Justin Hartley joined "Smallville" as billionaire Oliver Queen/Arrow, I was pleased as spiked punch. So I was a little biased against Canadian Stephen Amell right off the bat for stealing a role I felt was already perfectly played by the former soap actor. But all those bitter feelings quickly went away after watching Amell kill it. Er, Justin who? (Though he may have gotten a better offer, co-starring on another CW show, "Emily Owens, M.D.") The pilot may be one of the best (it's visually stunning, and its sheer entertainment factor and action scenes will have you gripped and on the edge of your seat), and shouldn't be shrugged off as just another comic book series. Oliver/Arrow is a man trying to fix his corrupt city with his slick bow-and-arrow prowess, a hood and some raccoon-like makeup. Sounds cheesy, but it's not. Not only can he physically beat the baddies to a pulp, but his archery and parkour skills would make Katniss Everdeen and "New Girl'"s Schmidt jealous with rage.
Why you should watch: Not only is Amell hot (like, haaaaawwwwwt), he has the acting chops to back it up. Plus, there's something very Bruce Wayne about Oliver Queen -- always a good thing. And the series comes from Greg Berlanti ("Political Animals," "Everwood"), David Nutter ("The X Files") and Andrew Kreisberg ("Warehouse 13"), three savvy dudes in the industry.
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Returning Must-See Shows
Returns: Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV/ABC
Holy. Crap. Was everyone else alternating between crying ad screaming at their televisions during the season finale? I know some people think the Shonda Rhimes show is tired but not me. The only time I questioned the hospital drama was during that Denny Duquette ghost period. Ugh. I wish those episodes were forever gone from my brain. But forget about that. Last we saw them, the doctors were moving on, most to different hospitals. Then -- bam! There was the plane crash that killed Lexie (Chyler Leigh). Whammo! Owen (Kevin McKidd) fired Teddy (Kim Raver) and let April (Sarah Drew) go after she failed her boards. Gah! Raver's officially gone, as is Leigh, of course. Eric Dane (Sloan) has also opted not to return, and since the new season picks up a couple of months after the survivors were rescued, I wouldn't be surprised if McSteamy dies of a broken heart. (In fact, I kind of hope for a "Notebook"-like ending since Lexie and Mark never got their happily ever after.) But just because they're three docs down doesn't mean more focus will be paid to the core cast. Multiple actors have signed on to the show -- including Tina Majorino ("Veronica Mars," "True Blood") and Gaius Charles ("Friday Night Lights") -- so the halls of Seattle Grace Mercy West will still be overpacked. And I'll still love every second of it.
Returns: Sunday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m. ET on CBC
I think everyone groaned when Amy (Amber Marshall) found her engagement ring in Ty's (Graham Wardle) bag. For fans who have been rooting for the couple for years, it was a letdown, and where we pick up isn't exactly romance and rose petals. I won't give anything away, but let's just say there is still some suspense to be had as far as Amy and Ty's future, and also with new character Georgie (Alisha Newton). A young newbie is exactly what "Heartland" needs to keep the family drama fresh and strong and keep the CBC sniffing elsewhere come budget-cut-and-cancellation time.
"The Good Wife"
Returns: Sunday, Sept. 30, 9 p.m. ET on CBS and 10 p.m. ET on Global
"The Good Wife" is returning after a couple of lows over the summer. Executive producer Tony Scott committed suicide last month, and before that, guest star Kristin Chenoweth was badly injured on-set and had to leave the role (her "GCB" co-star Miriam Shor replaced her). But on a lighter note, look out for Maura Tierney, Amanda Peet and Annabella Sciorra to join the cast, as well as Matthew Perry to return as evil Mike Kresteva. As far as story goes, I love how Cary (Matt Czuchry) is back at Lockhart Gardner, love that Peter (Chris Noth) confirmed that he would be running for governor, and love that Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) are kinda/sorta becoming friends again. But it was the ending that rocked, as Kalinda sat in front of her apartment door with a loaded gun, waiting for her husband (!!) to show up. Just when I think "The Good Wife" is at its awesome capacity, it unloads more complex drama on us to feast our eyes on.
Returns: Monday, Sept. 24 at 10 p.m. ET on CTV/ABC
They kissed, they finally kissed!!!! Squeeeeeeeee! It's uncertain whether Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) will go public with their relationship (if there is a relationship when season five starts -- though there better be, grrrrr), and I'm also assuming Kate gets her badge back after resigning in the finale. I'm hoping she and Castle -- as well as Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Ryan (Seamus Devers) -- finally solve Beckett's mother's murder, and the sooner, the better (November sweeps, maybe?). I also hope that the Canadian-led series doesn't get boring now that Castle and Beckett are finally together. Pfft, who am I kidding, they finally kissed! If anything, there's even more material for Castle and Beckett to work with.
"The Walking Dead"
Returns: Sunday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC
A season without Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) and Shane (Jon Bernthal) sounds ideal for some, but I suppose they couldn't all survive. I just don't get why it couldn't have been T-Dog (IronE Singleton), who, presumably, no one really cares about. But I guess that's the point. The season ended with all the remaining survivors fleeing Hershel's (Scott Wilson) farm, and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) finally taking a stand against the group. Andrea (Laurie Holden) is presumed dead by the others, but she may be part of the most interesting part of the third season -- being saved by mystery woman Michonne (Danai Gurira) and her leashed, armless bodyguards/pets. Also joining the cast are David Morrissey as The Governor, as well as one of my favourites, Dallas Roberts ("Rubicon," "The Good Wife"), as Milton. Oh, and we'll be seeing Merle (Michael Rooker) again. Ugh. The Governor, who heads up the much-hyped Prison, will add a whole new layer of creepy terror. You know, because the blood, guts, growling walkers and slow-moving conflict isn't enough.
When we last checked in on the adventures of Lockhart/Gardner and co., Kalinda was ready to face her demons -- that pesky ex-husband -- and Alicia was debating whether or not to have some pizza with her family. Oh yeah, Louis Canning and Patti Nyholm were creating a whole lot of trouble for Will and Diane, too.
Viewers -- and Alicia -- will finally meet Kalinda's nefarious ex-husband, and a whole new crop of famous faces will guest star in recurring roles. Look for Nathan Lane to pop up as a bank trustee, Maura Tierney as a democratic party bigwig, Kristin Chenoweth and Miriam Shor as journalists and Amanda Peet as Alicia's new pal. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/the-good-wife-season-4-guest-stars_n_1761540.html" target="_hplink">And that's just the tip of the guest star iceberg</a>. <em>"The Good Wife" returns Sun., Sept. 30 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.</em>
Last time we visited Pawnee, Leslie Knope was triumphant in the Pawnee City Council race, beating Bobby Newport. Thanks to his campaign skills, Ben Wyatt got a new gig in Washington.
Leslie Knope goes to Washington! Some real-life senators will interact with Pawnee's finest when Leslie visits Ben in his new city. Plus, Lucy Lawless guest stars as a new love interest for ... Ron Swanson. <em>"Parks & Recreation" Season 4 premieres Thurs., Sept. 20 at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.</em>
Zombies, zombies everywhere! The undead took over Herschel's farm after Rick killed Shane, causing our favorite survivors to shoot a lot of guns and head for the hills. In the process Andrea got separated and was saved by a mysterious hooded woman.
Michonne! Yes, viewers will finally be introduced the fan-favorite comic character and her trusty katana. Plus, Rick and co. find a prison they want to make their home and another group of survivors, fronted by the Governor, come into play. <em>"The Walking Dead" Season 3 premieres Sun., Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.</em>
After using his connections and cunning to outlast a political coup led by the Commodore, Nucky Thompson managed to claw his way back to the top of Atlantic City's bootlegging trade. Nucky secured an Irish whiskey connection, beat the election-rigging charges against him, and married Margaret Schroeder, although unbeknownst to him, she sold his land holdings to the church. And he finally became a "full gangster" in the season's climactic season finale, when he shot and killed his former protege Jimmy Darmody.
As the "Boardwalk Empire" story skips ahead to 1923, Nucky looks to rebuild his bootlegging empire, but runs into an aggressive, violent obstacle: New York gangster Gyp Rosetti, played by Bobby Cannavale. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/boardwalk-empire-season-3_n_1763867.html" target="_hplink">A trailer for Season 3</a> shows Nucky saying, "Gyp Rosetti is trouble for everyone," and Arnold Rothstein incredulously asking Nucky, "You expect me to start a war in New York?!" And good news for fans who thought they'd seen the last of Agent Nelson Van Alden: Michael Shannon will be appearing in the show's third season, but not from Atlantic City. <em>"Boardwalk Empire" premieres on Sunday, Sept. 16. at 9 p.m. on HBO. </em>
"Dexter" Season 6 ended with a game-changing finale, as Deb finally learned Dexter's dark secret after she witnessed him killing Travis Marshall. The development came shortly after she realized that she might be in love with her step-brother, so things are just a little complicated between the show's two main characters right now.
Already-released footage of Season 7's first few minutes shows the action picking right back up where last season left off -- Deb, gun drawn, shocked at what she's seen, and threatening to call the cops. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/dexter-season-7-trailer_n_1790543.html" target="_hplink">A recent trailer</a> revealed a few additional developments: Dexter left a blood slide behind at the crime scene, causing LaGuerta to re-open the Bay Harbor Butcher investigation, while creepy video game programmer Louis Greene takes his obsession with Dexter to the next level. "Chuck" actress Yvonne Strahovski joins the cast as Hannah McKay, a mysterious woman who's helping Miami Metro with an old case. <em>"Dexter" Season 7 premieres Sun., Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime. </em>
After nearly leaving the club to start a new life, Jax instead took control of SAMCRO on last season's "Sons Of Anarchy" finale. He shot Clay in the chest, avenging the brutal beating he gave Gemma. The Mexican cartel the club was working with turned out to be CIA operatives, leaving the club at the mercy of the government. Meanwhile, the accidental death of Damon Pope's daughter in a car-chase left the Sons looking at a war with a black gang.
With Jax in control of the Sons, he finally has the chance to chart the club's path forward, but the walls are closing in. A war with Pope's gang looms, the club is still under the CIA's thumb, and a weakened Clay, who survived the shooting, could still cause trouble. The show made a ton of splashy casting moves, bringing in Harrold Perrineau, Jimmy Smits, Ashley Tisdale and Joel McHale in for the new season. <em>"Sons Of Anarchy" Season 5 premieres Tues., Sept. 11 at 10 p.m. ET on FX. </em>
A lot happened at the end of Season 7: The ghost of Bobby Singer was laid to rest for good (or was he?); king of hell Crowley kidnapped Kevin the Prophet for his own nefarious purposes; Sam and Dean (and Castiel and Meg) defeated the smarmy Leviathan boss Dick Roman, and Dean and Castiel found themselves zapped into Purgatory in the aftermath. In short, the Winchesters will have a lot of catching up to do come October.
Dean will return from Purgatory a changed man, and he'll bring back a dangerous new "friend" who helped him escape -- a vampire named Benny (Ty Olsson). <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/03/supernatural-season-8-jeremy-carver_n_1739537.html" target="_hplink">According to new showrunner Jeremy Carver</a>, we'll see Dean's time in Purgatory unfold in flashbacks throughout the first half of the season (including what happened to Castiel), as well as meeting the woman (Liane Balaban) who romanced Sam over the summer. Next season will also see Sam, Dean and Crowley all pursuing the same goal, so expect a major clash of the titans. <em>"Supernatural" Season 8 premieres Wed., Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.</em>
The explosive Season 2 finale saw Team Nikita reclaim Division after Percy's messy demise, with the government entrusting former CIA analyst Ryan Fletcher with control of the covert agency. Nikita agreed to assist Ryan with running Division and rehabilitating its agents, along with her boyfriend Michael, partner Alex, tech genius Birkhoff and former Navy SEAL Sean. Unlucky for them, Percy's former right-hand-woman, Amanda, is still alive -- and if the final few moments of the finale are to be believed, she's out for blood.
Nikita and her allies won't just have Amanda to contend with next season; they'll also have to deal with rogue agents, mercenaries and all manner of other bad guys in their quest to clean up Division. Nikita has always been anti-authority, so we're fairly sure she'll also be butting heads with Ryan now that he's in charge of operations. Luckily, since Devon Sawa was recently promoted to series regular, Nikita will have a little backup from super-spy Owen in Season 3. He and Amanda both return in episode 4. <em>"Nikita" Season 3 premieres Fri., Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.</em>
Surprise! Chuck's billionaire daddy, Bart Bass, faked his own death, so he returned to reclaim his company and fired Chuck from his own Empire -- which kickstarted yet another spiral of self-loathing that had Chuck lashing out at Blair. Despite his childish behavior, Blair was determined to win Chuck back, following him to Paris to prove her love. Serena was equally self-destructive, seducing Dan but finding her affections rebuffed. She did some coke and ran away from New York on a train, while Dan sought out the scheming Georgina to write a scathing exposé about the Upper East Side. Lily annulled her marriage to Rufus, and Nate was pretty/dull. The more things change ...
The series is wrapping up with a 10-episode final season, which will see a number of familiar faces -- such as Nelly Yuki and Poppy Lifton -- return for old times' sake. Season 6 will kick off with a wedding, Serena will have a new beau (Barry Watson), and Chuck and Blair seem like they might finally get their happily ever after. Dan and Georgina will still be causing trouble, and we predict that Nate will continue to be pretty/dull. <em>"Gossip Girl" Season 6 premieres Mon., Oct. 8 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.</em>
True Love's Kiss (Emma's love for her son, Henry) broke the curse that had kept the fairytale characters from remembering their past lives, and the unpredictable Rumplestiltskin summoned magic back to Storybrooke after being reunited with his lost love, Belle. Now, everyone remembers who they are, but we're guessing "happily ever after" still isn't guaranteed.
As well as promoting Emilie de Ravin (Belle) and Meghan Ory (Red Riding Hood) to series regulars next season, the magical show will be further beefing up its fairytale contingent. Already announced to appear next season are Sleeping Beauty (Sarah Bolger) and Prince Phillip (Julian Morris), Mulan (Jamie Chung), Sir Lancelot (Sinqua Walls), Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) and a mysterious "Jack" (possibly of "Beanstalk" fame). The identity of Henry's father will also be revealed, as will the origin of the "Once Upon A Time" book that Mary Margaret/Snow White gave Henry. You can also expect to see Sebastian Stan's Mad Hatter again, as well as Eion Bailey's Pinocchio, while Regina will stop at nothing to try and win Henry back from Emma.
After months of being surrounded by the overbearing mothers of Chatswin, Tessa (Jane Levy) started aching for her own mother, who left years before. After convincing herself that she was adopted, Lisa Shay discovered that it was her doofy brother Ryan who is actually the faux Shay.
Mom alert! In the holiday episodes of Season 2, Malin Akerman will appear as Tessa's long lost mother. Elsewhere, Lisa will use her newfound knowledge of Ryan's lineage to get the upper hand on her overbearing parents, and George and Dallas will finally act on all that simmering sexual tension.
After Jess trapped her roommates in the desert for an entire night in an effort to stop Nick (Jake M. Johnson) from moving in with his psychotic girlfriend, Nick decided against it on its own and everything went back to its natural order. Phew!
The new season boasts a number of guest stars, including Josh Gad as a beer delivery guy who tries to woo Jess, Anna Maria Nelson as Winston's mom, and Parker Posey as a "shot girl" at the party for the removal of Schmidt's penis cast.
After Cam and Mitchell spent an entire season working to adopt a second child, their plans fell through and -- surprise! -- it turned out Gloria was pregnant. Talk about a sore subject!
As to be expected, Dunphy drama will hit the fan. Not only will Jay get cold feet about being a dad again, but Manny worries all parental duties will be in his hands. Guest stars on the upcoming season will include Wendi McLendon-Covey and Michaela Watkins as a strong-willed lesbian couple whose son gets in a fight with Lily on her first day of school.
We'd say that heading into space might just be a nerd's greatest dream, and in season 5's finale, Howard got to do just that. He also got married, too, and the other two couples (Leonard and Penny, Sheldon and Amy) renewed their professions of love as only they know how, even if Leonard's marriage proposal timing was a bit "off."
Executive producer Steve Molaro revealed that the cast will be dealing with more "adult" themes in season 6. Howard will be in space for a few episodes before returning to Earth and dealing with his new wife/living situation, Amy will be working on Sheldon's anti-relationship mindset, and Leonard and Penny will be trying to figure out just what their relationship is, and how they'll move on. As for Raj, well ... anything can happen. <em>"The Big Bang Theory" season 6 premiere airs on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 9 p.m. on CBS.</em>
It's not a proper sci-fi finale unless someone temporarily dies, and in this case it was Olivia; she didn't die, but Walter believed that her Cortexiphan powers may be forever affected. She revealed after some recuperation that she was pregnant with Peter's child. Bell's biological experiments were stowed away, and the finale ended with September's cryptic statement: "We have to warn the others. They are coming."
This fifth and final season will focus on the predicted occurrences in 2036, continuing with the events involving the hostile Observers from the future. It won't all be about the impending Observer battle, though; the producers of the show promise major payoffs for long-time fans. Most importantly, we'll find out why Olivia slightly hesitated before telling Peter the news about her pregnancy. Yes, there was a reason. <em>The season 5 premiere of "Fringe" airs on Friday, September 28, 2012 on FOX at 9 p.m. ET.</em>
Strange how a lot of finales deal with marriage, and "HIMYM" is no exception. The finale closed out with a flash-forward to Barney's wedding, and despite the fake-out that made us believe he was marrying Quinn, in the final shot it was revealed that he was actually marrying Robin. Ted and Victoria (after much discussion and reminiscing) bailed on her planned wedding and drove off into the sunset together. Marshall and Lily had their baby -- and named him Marvin.
The 8th season premiere will (again) flash-forward to Robin and Barney's wedding day -- before flashing back to where we left off last season. We'll meet Victoria's jilted groom (Thomas Lennon, "Reno 911"), and we'll see Robin and Barney freak out before the ceremony. To keep Barney from running, Marshall and Lily have to literally restrain him. We're likely to see the trials and tribulations of raising a baby, too. <em>Season 8 of "HIMYM" premieres on Monday, September 24, 2012 on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.</em>
Brad finally told Jane that he lost his job, and the gang headed to a wedding where Max's band Mandonna rocked the house. Penny started to realize she might have feelings for Dave, but the episode closed with Dave and Alex holding hands.
The season will start off in a rocky way for Penny, but she'll soon be dating a guy and will always be "flirting with screwing it up," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/happy-endings-season-3-year-of-penny_n_1695437.html" target="_hplink">according to executive producer Jonathan Groff</a>. Dave and Alex will begin dating again, and Max will get a love interest too. An unemployed Brad, meanwhile, will explore the slacker-y Max lifestyle while he's out of a job and Jane brings home the bacon. <em>"Happy Endings" returns 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23. </em>
Emily broke up with Daniel and headed over to Jack's -- where she was greeted by a pregnant Amanda. Could Victoria be dead -- and was the evidence against Conrad destroyed in the plane crash that appeared to take her life? Among many other developments, Charlotte's apparent suicide is small potatoes compared to what Nolan revealed to Emily -- her mother is still alive. Dun-<em>dun</em>-dun!
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/revenge-abc_n_1708130.html" target="_hplink">Creator Mike Kelley revealed</a> that Season 2 would open with a terrible event at the end of the summer, and then, as Season 1 did, the show will trace how the Hamptonites got to that point. Emily's mom (Jennifer Jason Leigh) will arrive with plenty of baggage in the form of serious mental problems, and Barry Sloane will also turn up as an old pal of Em's. Fan favorite Nolan will get a love interest -- and this time, it's a lady. <em>"Revenge" returns 9 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 30.</em>
A traumatized and hospitalized Carrie remembered a key clue -- Nicholas Brody saying "Issa," the name of terrorist Abu Nazir's son -- but within seconds she was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy, which may have destroyed that memory. Fans were left wondering whether she would recall what she knew about Brody, her former lover, who's been revealed to be one of Nazir's operatives. And will Brody, a former POW who is regarded as a hero by everyone, ascend Washington's power ladder -- and serve or subvert Nazir?
When the new season begins, Carrie's gotten treatment for her bipolar disorder and is far removed from the intelligence community. Brody, on the other hand, is "a sitting congressman serving in the House of Representatives," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/03/homeland-season-2-spoilers_n_1644512.html" target="_hplink">according to executive producer Alex Gansa</a>. "I think we're still hopefully going to be able to walk the high wire of character development and thriller," in Season 2, Gansa said, though of course the "Homeland" writers won't be able to rely on the is-he-or-isn't-he secret that drove much of Season 1. <em>"Homeland" returns 10 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 30 </em>
In the Season 3 finale of NBC's "Parenthood," everyone cried ... a lot. Crosby and Jasmine got married in one of the sweetest ceremonies in TV history, but before that, there was a lot of bitterness. Crosby did not react well to Adam selling The Luncheonette behind his back (both drinks and punches were thrown in front of every single Braverman). He replaced Adam as best man in wedding. But when Adam stood up to make a speech at the reception, he decided to put Crosby first and to go not go through with The Luncheonette deal. The wedding made Sarah realize that she doesn't know if she wants another baby. She told Mark and they broke up after realizing they want different things. But when Mark showed up at Crosby and Jasmine's wedding and proposed, her smile indicated that things are back on. Meanwhile, Hattie got into Cornell, Amy and Drew had sex and Amber tearfully decided to put work first, asking Bob to work as his assistant, but not date him. And speaking of the Braverman kids -- Julia and Joel, after mourning the loss of being the parents of Zoe's baby, had another opportunity to have a second child by adopting nine-year-old Victor.
When the Bravermans come back, the family is celebrating Haddie's graduation and her starting at Cornell; struggling to accept Mark in Sarah's life; dealing with the addition of Victor; and Amber is working in Crosby and Adam's recording studio. Three new characters are also headed to Season 4 of "Parenthood": "American Idol" alum Paul McDonald, who will play Nick, the lead guitarist of a band who is recording at the Luncheonette (and a love interest for Amber); Matt Lauria, who will play a returning soldier from Afghanistan who bonds with fellow war vet Zeek; and Ray Romano, who will create a love triangle, playing yet another love interest for Sarah. <em>"Parenthood" Season 4 premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.</em>
After all these years of fighting it, Elena's a vampire. The season finale saw Elena decide between the Salvatore brothers. Elena told Matt that Stefan was there for her when she had nothing, but that when she is with Damon, she feels passion. Alaric staked Klaus and though Damon, Stefan, Caroline and Tyler immediately worried that it would be the end of them too because he originated their bloodline, it was revealed that he's still alive. Bonnie created a spell to transfer Klaus into Tyler's body in order to save her friends and her mother. Elena realized that she loves Stefan, choosing him over Damon. She remarked that things might have been different if she had met Damon first ... but it turns out she did, as seen in a flashback, though he compelled her to forget the meeting. Rebekah plotted to kill Elena and Alaric by driving them off a bridge, which is the same way Elena's parents died. Elena drowned in the water after asking Stefan to save Matt instead, but it was the revealed that Dr. Fell gave Elena vampire blood to heal her earlier. In the final scene, we saw a believed-to-be-dead Elena open her eyes in the hospital as she transitioned into a vampire.
We don't know too much about "Vampire Diaries" Season 4, but there are three things you can depend on: More Meredith (Torrey DeVitto), more Esther and more vampire sex. "Elena saved Matt's life, so he's going to end up paying it forward in a very peculiar way," <a href=" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/vampire-diaries-season-4-spoilers_n_1720414.html" target="_hplink">Nina Dobrev, who plays Elena, told TV Guide</a>. "It's like she's going through puberty and vampire sex is going to feel like her first time." <em>"The Vampire Diaries" Season 4 premieres Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.</em>
On the season finale of "Grey's Anatomy," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/18/greys-anatomy-lexie-dies-shonda-rhimes_n_1526833.html" target="_hplink">viewers said goodbye to two cast members</a> -- Lexie (Chyler Leigh) and Teddy (Kim Raver) -- after a plane crash left Lexie dead and Teddy moved on for a job at the United States Army Medical Command (MEDCOM). For the entire heart-wrenching episode, the doctors at Seattle Grace had no idea what happened to their loved ones -- Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Derek (Patrick Dempsey), Mark (Eric Dane), Christina (Sandra Oh) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) -- who were still stranded from the plane crash. Finally, at the end of the episode, Hunt realized they never made it to Boise. Meanwhile, back in Seattle, Avery made the choice to take a job offer at Tulane Medical Center (which tore April apart a bit) and Ben and Miranda decided to get married, even though he's going to start his surgical internship in LA.
The Season 9 premiere of "Grey's Anatomy" will surely be just as emotional as the finale. While showrunner Shonda Rhimes has remained tight-lipped about what's the come, we do know one thing: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/eric-dane-leaving-greys-anatomy_n_1707755.html" target="_hplink">Eric Dane is leaving "Grey's Anatomy."</a> Though pictures from <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/eric-dane-die-greys-anatomy_n_1721023.html" target="_hplink">Patrick Dempsey's Twitter indicate that Mark could die on the series</a>, there's no word on how Dane's character will exit. Season 9 will also have a bevy of <a href="[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/go-on-michael-vartan_n_1827410.html" target="_hplink">new "Grey's Anatomy" guest stars</a>, including <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/17/tina-majorino-greys-anatomy_n_1795746.html" target="_hplink">Tina Majorino</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/16/gaius-charles-greys-anatomy_n_1677785.html" target="_hplink">"Friday Night Lights" alum Gaius Charles</a>. Check out this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/greys-anatomy-season-9-promo_n_1827693.html" target="_hplink">"Grey's Anatomy" Season 9 promo</a> for more teases about what's to come. <em>"Grey's Anatomy" Season 9 premieres on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. ET.</em>
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