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Back on the boob tube: Fall 2015 TV shows

Looking at the fall 2015 TV schedule, we can’t but help but notice a number of our favorite actors are making notable returns. Some of them are transitioning off recently wrapped series; others are stepping into starring roles for the first time in years; one is moving from the movies; and another is walking out from behind the camera.

Here’s where you can find a few of your faves back on the boob tube:

Bllod & Oil

Don Johnson hasn’t had a starring role on a hit show since Nash Bridges, but all that could change with a little Blood & Oil. As Hap Briggs, he’s a legendary North Dakota oil titan who intends to leave a legacy second to none. During a massive boom, a young upstart named Billy LeFever (Chase Crawford) steps into the fray and earns Briggs’ grudging respect, something even his son Wick (Scott Michael Foster) can’t do. Impressed or not, Briggs won’t let anything or anyone keep him from being the Baron of the Bakken. (ABC; premieres September 27 at 9/8C)

James Brolin has had countless guest-starring roles (Hello, Castle‘s dad), but not since playing Lt. Col. Bill Kelly on Pensacola: Wings of Gold has he had his own show. Now he’s starring in Life in Pieces, an ensemble sitcom (aka CBS’ version of Modern Family), with rotating stories from four branches of the Short family. As the gregarious, goofy patriarch, he finds himself struggling with turning 70. So he decides to hold his own funeral in lieu of a birthday party. (CBS; premieres September 21 at 8:30/7:30C)


By now, everyone knows John Stamos will be stopping by a Fuller House as everyone’s favorite uncle (he also exec produces). But you may not realize he’s also starring in his own show as the antithesis of the Elvis-loving, hair-obsessed, lullaby-singing Jesse Katsopolis. Imagine a pre-marriage George Clooney suddenly learning he has a kid who has a kid, and you get the idea behind Stamos’ Jimmy Martino character on Grandfathered. Also returning to a lead role is Drake & Josh‘s Josh Peck as Jimmy’s adult son, Gerald. (Fox; premieres September 29 at 8/7)

While the Muppets originated on TV in 1976, Jim Henson’s anthropomorphic cast has made the bulk of their fortune through theatrical releases. Now they’re back with a mockumentary-style show somewhere between The Office and 30 Rock, as we take a behind-the-scenes look at the cast and crew of Up Late With Miss Piggy. This show-within-a-show construct was developed by The Big Bang Theory executive producer Bill Prady. If anyone could make The Muppets a surprise hit, it’s definitely the man who made nerds king. (ABC; premieres September 22 at 8/7C)

Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris

Before the polarizing series finale of How I Met Your Mother even aired, Barney Stinson’s portrayer was planning his immediate return to TV. His Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris is inspired by a popular U.K. program that will tap into his many skills, while offering viewers a potpourri of guest stars, stunts, skits, games, pranks, and more. Variety shows haven’t been de rigueur since the ’70s, but NPH is talented enough to bring them back and prove you needn’t be a duo to do so. We’ve got you, babe. (NBC; premieres on September 15 at 10/9C)

Best known as Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years, Fred Savage has spent the majority of his adult life behind the camera directing shows like 2 Broke Girls, Modern Family, and a slew of your kids’ Nickelodeon and Disney favorites. Now he stars as small-town lawyer Stewart Sanderson, while his brother Dean (Rob Lowe) plays one on TV. When The Grinder is canceled, Dean ditches Hollywood for Boise, figuring he can take his faux courtroom skills and, much to Stewart’s horror, apply them to real cases in the family law firm. (FOX; premieres on September 29 at 8:30/7:30C)

Angel from HellTwo Glee alums return to TV with nary a musical number in sight. Jane Lynch goes from playing the coach you love to hate to a crazy angel with one more chance to prove her worth in the sitcom Angel from Hell. Speaking of Hell, Lea Michele may find herself face-to-face with the devil himself in Ryan Murphy’s black comedy Scream Queens. As nerdy Hester, there’s no way she’d ever get into Kappa House … until the Dean orders the elitist (read: rich bitches) sorority to accept ALL pledges. That evil edict has someone seeing red—blood red. (CBS; premieres in November/Fox; premieres on September 22 at 8/7C)

Action hero Wesley Snipes had his biggest TV foray in six episodes of 1990’s quickly canceled H.E.L.P. Now Snipes steps into his first starring TV role in this high-stakes thriller from the executive producers of The Blacklist. Playing Mr. Johnson, an unconventional pit boss who gambles against crime in Las Vegas, he must persuade a former intelligent officer to be The Player (Philip Winchester) in his life-or-death game in order to keep his underground enterprise going. Winner takes all. (NBC; premieres on September 23 at 9/8C)

Some actors might need to do research to play a doctor, but not Ken Jeong. An internist in his former life, he’ll now play a physician with no bedside manner in the sitcom Dr. Ken. If laughter is the best medicine, this show might be good for your health, considering Jeong and his stellar supporting cast: Suzy Nakamura, Tisha Campbell Martin, Jonathan Slavin, and Dave Foley. (ABC; premieres at October 2 at 8:30/7:30C)


Jennifer Carpenter‘s first project since the demise of her Dexter character trades one badge for another. Foul-mouthed Debra Morgan was a cop with a serial-killer brother. Special Agent Rebecca Harris solves complex crimes with the assistance of Brian Finch (Jake McDorman) and the Limitless abilities he has, thanks to the cognitive-boosting drug NZT. Look for Bradley Cooper, who starred in the originating film, to have a recurring role, and for Carpenter to be romantically reunited with her Dexter love interest, Desmond Harrington.(CBS; premieres on September 22 at 10/9C)

Morris Chestnut puts a positive spin on procedurals as the sunniest doctor in Miami. Dr. Beaumont Rosewood is a private pathologist who aids straight-laced detective Annalise Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz) in solving crimes, while getting on her last nerve with his toothy grin and endless optimism. You’d think working with the dead—while facing his own mortality—would put a crimp in his charisma, but nothing will keep Rosewood from doing what he can, while he can. (Fox; premieres on September 23 at 8/7C )

Heroes Reborn

From Chuck Bartowski to Geeks Who Drink, Zachary Levi is nerd noblesse. But he’ll be moving from goofy to gritty in his new role on Heroes: Reborn. Vengeance is on his mind as Luke Collins, a despondent dad bent on killing all Evolved Humans (EVOs) for the death of his son. This being Heroes, though, we know HRG will get hold of him and give him an eye-opening reality check. If only Luke had access to the Intersect. (NBC; premieres on September 24 at 8/7C)

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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