It’s the most wonderful time of the (television) year.

Entertainment Column
Written by Amy Bugno

September brings about many lovely things – back to school shopping, wildcard clinchers, my best friend Tiffany’s birthday and of course – premiere week. Many folks (probably those still in college) might not get as excited as I do about this because they’ve still got meetings, study groups and the like to fill evenings. But from the perspective of an 8-to-5’er, weekend nights are often best spent in front of the tube (where you can have a good time but still manage to get up the next morning for work). So here you have it folks, my recommendations for what to watch this coming premiere week.
MONDAY
Shows that are premiering:
“Dancing With the Stars” – 8pm (ABC)
“The Big Bang Theory” – 8pm (CBS)
“How I Met Your Mother” – 8:30pm (CBS)
“Heroes” – 9pm (ABC)
“Two and a Half Men” – 9pm (CBS)
“Worst Week” – 9:30pm (CBS)
“Boston Legal” – 10pm (ABC)
“CSI: Miami” – 10pm (CBS)

Can’t miss for Monday night:
“Worst Week”
While I know many of you may be big “Heroes” fans, I personally never got into the show myself (though I hear it’s good). Apparently there’s a one-hour recap before the two-hour premiere for those of you that are interested. If three straight hours doesn’t hook you, there’s probably no hope. Personally I’m most looking forward to the new CBS sitcom “Worst Week,” which chronicles the life and times of Sam Briggs (played by Kyle Bornheimer). Briggs is an entertainment magazine editor who basically falls into a “Meet the Parents”-esque trap when he knocks up the daughter of two staunch conservatives. If it doesn’t directly mimic Stiller’s award-winning slapstick masterpiece it could be a pretty good show. And hey, if it sucks, you can always flip to TLC and tune into “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”

TUESDAY
Shows that are premiering:
“NCIS” – 8pm (CBS)
“Opportunity Knocks” – 8pm (ABC)
“Dancing with the Stars” – 9pm (ABC)
“The Mentalist” – 9pm (CBS)
“Law & Order: SVU” – 10pm (NBC)
“Without a Trace” – 10pm (CBS)

Can’t miss for Tuesday night: “The Mentalist”
Sorry for going with CBS again but how cool does this show look? Patrick Jane (played by Simon Baker, who desperately needs a successful CBS show) is a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation and basically solves incredible crimes by his powers of observation. He’s super-suave, uber-charming and pretty good-looking to boot. I’m not typically into crime shows but that trailer has got me hooked and pumped about it.

P.S. If you waste your time watching “Opportunity Knocks,” a new game show type thing produced by Ashton Kutcher (I can’t believe I used to have a celeb-crush on him…) I will probably knock your teeth out. Pun intended.

WEDNESDAY
Shows that are premiering:
“Knight Rider” – 8pm (NBC)
“The New Adventures of Old Christine” – 8pm (CBS)
“Garry Unmarried” – 8:30pm (CBS)
“Criminal Minds” – 9pm (CBS)
“CSI: NY” – 10pm (CBS)
“Lipstick Jungle” – 10pm (NBC)

Can’t miss for Wednesday night:
Knight Rider”
Although you’re going to have to do some convincing to get me away from “America’s Next Top Model” and “Project Runway” on Wednesday night, I’m not sure I can miss the premiere of this reinvented classic. Yes I was born in 1986 (the year the original ended) but that doesn’t mean I missed out on the reruns when I was old enough to get how cool a talking car was. I even got to sit in the original K.I.T.T. at Universal Studios in L.A.; so sweet. Anyway regardless of whether this show rivals the original, you know it’s going to be critiqued all over the news and pop culture blogs the next day. Might as well watch so you have something interesting to say at the water cooler.

Sidenote: Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the first season and I’m a little shocked it came back, I have to put in a good word for “Lipstick Jungle”… simply because an old friend of mine plays Brooke Shields’ assistant and that’s pretty awesome for him. So if you have nothing better to watch Wednesday at 10, show Seth some love by giving him a little more airtime.

THURSDAY
Shows that are premiering:
“My Name is Earl” – 8pm (NBC)
“Ugly Betty” – 8pm (ABC)
“Survivor: Gabon” – 8pm (CBS)
“Grey’s Anatomy” – 9pm (ABC)
“The Office” – 9pm (NBC)

Can’t miss for Thursday night:
(Almost) all of the above.
I’m sorry, I couldn’t choose. That’s like choosing who’s cuter between puppies and babies. I’m just going to critique them all and you can make your own decisions.

First of all, WHY IN THE WORLD is “Ugly Betty” still on the air? Seriously how did that show make it through one season? With all this other great TV on if you tune into “Ugly Betty” you should re-examine your taste. My opinions on “My name is Earl” are indifferent. My mom says it’s good, I never really liked it, whatever. But everything else that’s on Thursday is sooooo exciting. I might actually need to force my Dad to buy a TiVo just so I can watch everything that night and avoid having to wait for it to be posted online the next day.

“Survivor: Gabon” may not excite you, but listen up. This show has lasted for 16 seasons. 16 SEASONS! (Holy crap. It must be good. You know what’s crazy? I’ve watched all 16. Yikes). This one promises to be full of exotic animals, ridiculous challenges, incredibly good-looking people and a healthy dose of reality-TV drama. There’s even an Olympic gold-medalist competing. The premiere is 2-hours long and you betcha’ it’s gonna be a good one.

As a proud Scranton native it’s in my blood to be excited about “The Office.” Can you believe we’re starting season 5? Maybe Jim will finally man up and propose. Maybe Andy will kick the crap out of Dwight for hooking up with Angela in last year’s finale (Ok, who are we kidding, Dwight would totally win in that match-up). Regardless of what happens, you know you’re going to laugh your hind-parts off during this premiere. I recommend taping it so you can go back and review the parts you missed when you were in hysterics.

Lastly, although I’m going to have to tape it and watch it later, as a 20-something girl it’s also in my blood to be pumped about the “Grey’s Anatomy” premiere. It started going down the tubes a bit last year but I’m pretty jazzed to see the house McDreamy builds on that gorgeous plot of land and how much of a conniption Meredith has when she figures out that for once in her life things are good. Plus, what’s going to happen with George’s exam and will Alex and Izzie ever get back together?!

Bottom line, don’t bother me Thursday night. I’ve got 5 hours of TV to watch.

(Links today via: CBS, ABC, NBC, Wikipedia and IMDB.com)

Disagree with Amy’s primetime picks? Just e-mail her.
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