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2011 Fall TV Preview: 13 Shows Worth Watching this Season
Americaâ€™s Next Top Model (CW, Wednesdays 9pm EST)
Premieres September 14
Host: Tyra Banks
Banks is mixing things up for ANTM cycle 17, as she looks to the past for the future winner. This season will bring back 14 fan favorites who competed in past seasons but didnâ€™t win. Returning contenders include Camille McDonald (cycle two), Bianca Golden (cycle 9) and the controversial transsexual model, Isis King (cycle 11).
The X-Factor (FOX, Wednesdays 8pm EST)
Premieres September 21
Panel: Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, Steve Jones
American Idol creator Cowell brings his UK hit to the US, and rejoins with former Idol judge Abdul. Also on the panel are Epic Records Chairman Reid, former Pussy Cat Doll Scherzinger and Jones as host. The premise of the talent competition show is to find the next superstar or group, which comes with a $5 million recording contract.
Charlieâ€™s Angels (ABC, Thursdays 8pm EST)
Premieres September 22
Stars: Annie Illonzeh, Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor
Pop cultureâ€™s most iconic crime-fighting trio of divas is back incarnate for the new millennium. Executive produced by Drew Barrymore, ABCâ€™s 2011 version of Charlieâ€™s Angels takes places in steamy Miami and is a fresh new take on the classic series. Thereâ€™s even a woman of color (Illonzeh) playing one of the lead heroines.
Person of Interest (CBS, 9pm EST )
Premieres September 22
Stars: Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Taraji P. Henson
Produced by J.J. Abrams, Person of Interest is crime thriller about a missing and presumed dead ex-CIA agent who moves to New York City to fight crime with the help of a mysterious billionaire. Together they evade cameras that watch their every move and record every phone call in an action-packed series of adventures. Henson plays the agent assigned to track them down.
Dexter (Showtime, Sundays 9pm EST)
Premieres October 2
Stars: Michael C. Hall, Mos Def
Now in its sixth season, Showtimeâ€™s top-rated serial killer series returns with a few new surprises. Namely, the inclusion of rapper/actor Mos Def, who plays Brother Sam, an ex-con who claims to have found religion but always seems to find himself in the middle of violence. With religion and faith being the driving forces of this season it should be interesting to see how the storyline unfolds.
For Better or Worse (TBS, TBD)
Stars: Michael Jai White, Tasha Smith
Tyler Perryâ€™s latest sitcom venture is For Better or Worse. Based on the characters Marcus (White) and Angela (Smith) from his Why Did I Get Married? movie series, the half-hour series follows their tumultuous yet loving marriage. If the showâ€™s anything like the movie, thereâ€™s bound to be over-the-top drama and plenty of chuckles.
Hell On Wheels (AMC, TBD)
Premieres fourth quarter
Stars: Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Common
Set in 1865, this dramatic series takes place during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. A contemporary western about post-Civil War America, Hell on Wheelsâ€™ central character is a Cullen Bohannan (Mount), a Confederate soldier looking to avenge the death of his wife. Rapper-turned-actor Common also appears in the series as Elam, a newly freed slave who heads out West seeking work on the railroad. But as a half Black/half White man he has a hard time fitting in to either world.
After a successful first season, Breakout Kings returns for a second go-round. The series continues to follow two disgruntled US Marshals (Alonso and Lombardozzi) as they take a novel approach to their work by using former fugitives to catch criminals. Look for more action and intensity as the original scripted series looks to recreate its inaugural success.
The Chew (ABC, weekdays 1pm EST)
Premieres September 26
Hosts: Carla Hall, Mario Batali, Daphne Oz, Clinton Kelly, Michael Symon
ABCâ€™s new lifestyle talk show will revolve around what everyone loves mostâŽ¯food! Top Chef winner and culinary entrepreneur Hall will join Batali, Oz, Symon and Kelly to discuss epicurean fabulousness like food trends, where to dine and how to host phenomenal dinner parties.
The Playboy Club (NBC, Mondays 10pm EST)
Premieres September 19
Stars: Naturi Naughton, Amber Heard, Eddie Cibrian
Set in 1960s Chicago, The Playboy Club is a drama centered around publishing entrepreneur Hugh Hefnerâ€™s seductive world of bunnies, mobsters, politicos and entertainers. Naughton co-stars as Bunny Brenda, a sassy and determined aspiring Play Mate, who plans to become the first African American centerfold. Viewers can expect stars of the era like Sammy Davis, Jr. and Tina Turner to make a visit to the infamous club as well.
Top Chef Just Desserts (Bravo, Wednesdays 10pm EST)
Premieres August 24
Host: Gail Summers, Johnny Iuzzini, Hubert Keller, Dannielle Kyrillos
The culinary competition series that introduced the world to renowned chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Carla Hall returns with a different spin. This time around, as the showâ€™s title suggests, the focus is on â€œjust desserts. Fourteen pastry chefsâ€”including Virgin Island native Orlando Santos and Haitian-born Melissa Camachoâ€”will compete to see if they have what it takes to win the title and be recognized as the best in their business.
Reed Between the Lines (BET, Tuesdays TBD)
Premieres October 11
Stars: Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tracee Ellis Ross
Reed Between the Lines is a new scripted series that follows Alex (Warner), an English professor, and Carla (Ross), a psychologist as they navigate lifeâ€™s ups and downs. The couple are parents to teenage twins and an outspoken 7-year-old daughter and provides a glimpse of functional Black love and wit for viewers.