Here are synopses, time slots and premiere dates, where available, for new series, movies and specials from the broadcast networks, cable channels and PBS. Schedules are bound to change. TV critic Hal Boedeker assesses the programs.
Fall broadcast ABCShark Tank, 8 p.m. Tuesday: Budding entrepreneurs pitch to "sharks" (millionaires) to invest in their businesses in this reality show from Mark Burnett (Survivor). Aug. 9.
V, 8 p.m. Tuesday: A new take on the 1980s miniseries. Elizabeth Mitchell and Joel Gretsch know the sci-fi routine. Nov. 3.
The Forgotten, 10 p.m. Tuesday: Christian Slater stars in this Jerry Bruckheimer drama about amateurs solving the murders of unidentified victims. Sept. 22.
Hank, 8 p.m. Wednesday: Kelsey Grammer plays an out-of-work chief executive officer learning to be a family man. This tepid sitcom is a long way from Frasier. Sept. 30.
The Middle, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday: Think a milder Malcolm in the Middle. Patricia Heaton charms as a put-upon Indiana mom balancing family and a car-selling job. Sept. 30.
Modern Family, 9 p.m. Wednesday: The fall's most-praised new comedy. This mockumentary takes a daffy but poignant look at families. Ed O'Neill and Julie Bowen star. Sept. 23.
Cougar Town, 9:30 p.m. Wednesday: Courteney Cox finds happiness with a younger man in this slapstick-filled sex comedy. Sept. 23.
Eastwick, 10 p.m. Wednesday: Or "Desperate Witches." John Updike's The Witches of Eastwick, which became a Jack Nicholson movie, gets the ABC treatment. Rebecca Romijn and Paul Gross have the showiest roles. Sept. 23.
FlashForward, 8 p.m. Thursday: What happens after the world blacks out? Epic sci-fi with a strong cast, including Joseph Fiennes, Courtney B. Vance and Sonya Walger. Sept. 24.
CBSThree Rivers, 9 p.m. Sunday: Moonlight heartthrob Alex O'Loughlin works miracles in a transplant hospital. Alfre Woodard assists in this well-meaning but sudsy drama. Oct. 4.
Accidentally on Purpose, 8:30 p.m. Monday: A film critic ( Jenna Elfman) gets pregnant by a younger man, who becomes her roommate. Will the ho-hum comedy birth enough laughs? Sept. 21.
NCIS: Los Angeles, 9 p.m. Tuesday: You know the routine because NCIS introduced this spinoff last season. Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J lead the cast. Sept. 22.
The Good Wife, 10 p.m. Tuesday: Promising drama about a political wife ( Julianna Margulies) who must re-enter the work force after her husband (Chris Noth) is jailed in a scandal. Josh Charles and Christine Baranski co-star. A likely hit, and deserving of it, too. Sept. 22.
FoxThe Cleveland Show, 8:30 p.m. Sunday: Cleveland Brown leaves Family Guy and graduates to his own outrageous show. Sept. 27.
Glee, 9 p.m. Wednesday: This musical-comedy debuted last spring and follows a struggling glee club. The quirky outlook comes from Ryan Murphy, creator of nip/tuck. Sept. 9.
Brothers, 8 p.m. Friday: Michael Strahan and Daryl "Chill" Mitchell are estranged siblings in this uneven sitcom. CCH Pounder of The Shield shifts gears to play their mom. Sept. 25.
NBCTrauma, 9 p.m. Monday: Frenetic drama about first-responder paramedics looks like ER taken to the streets. Sept. 28.
The Jay Leno Show, 10 p.m. Monday-Friday: Can the former host of The Tonight Show make it in prime time? Sept. 14.
Mercy, 8 p.m. Wednesday: The soap flows in this flashy drama about three very different female nurses. Sept. 23.
Community, 8 p.m. Thursday: An acerbic comedy about the misfits at a community college. Joel McHale of The Soup stars, and Chevy Chase assists. Sept. 17.
The CWMelrose Place, 9 p.m. Tuesday: Want to go back? Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro repeat their roles in this update of the 1990s drama. Josie Bissett and Daphne Zuniga will guest star. Sept. 8.
The Beautiful Life: TBL, 9 p.m. Wednesday: Beautiful models have it rough. This glossy drama asks you to sympathize. Mischa Barton plays a troubled veteran model. Sept. 16.
The Vampire Diaries, 8 p.m. Thursday: Juicy fun, based on the L.J. Smith books. Vampire Stefan (Paul Wesley) goes to high school, and mourning Elena (Nina Dobrev) swoons. She won't be alone. Sept. 10.
Midseason broadcastThe Deep End, ABC: Four young lawyers compete at a prestigious Los Angeles firm. Billy Zane and Clancy Brown are in the large cast.
Happy Town, ABC: A Minnesota town's dark past of kidnappings haunts it when a new crime makes headlines.
Lost, ABC: The sixth and final season begins next year.
Better Off Ted, ABC: This low-rated comedy will look for more viewers.
Scrubs, ABC: You thought it was dead? It still has a pulse.
The Bachelor, ABC: More roses, more TV love.
Wife Swap, ABC: The lessons will continue.
The Bridge, CBS: A drama about a police officer who juggles fighting corruption and running a union.
Miami Trauma, CBS: Jeremy Northam headlines this medical drama from Jerry Bruckheimer.
Undercover Boss, CBS: In this reality show, executives learn by taking low-level jobs and meeting their employees.
Arranged Marriage, CBS: More reality as friends and family set up the unions.
Flashpoint, CBS: More crime drama from Canada.
24, Fox: Jack Bauer's new day will be in New York. Katee Sackhoff and Freddie Prinze Jr. join the cast.
American Idol, Fox: Can it stay on top in its ninth season?
Human Target, Fox: The CD Comics graphic novel becomes a live-action thriller. Mark Valley plays the title character, a private contractor who provides security.
Past Life, Fox: A psychologist and a former police detective team to solve mysteries through exploring clients' past lives.
Day One, NBC: A look at life after a global catastrophe. Catherine Dent and Carly Pope star.
Parenthood, NBC: Peter Krause, Craig T. Nelson and Maura Tierney star in this comedy-drama based on the Ron Howard film.
100 Questions, NBC: James Burrows directs this comedy about an online dating service.
Chuck, NBC: Subway's sponsorship helped make a third season possible.
Friday Night Lights, NBC: It will be back after a fall run on DirecTV.
Life UneXpected, The CW: A foster child starts a new life after she meets her biological parents.
PBSAmerican Experience: The 1930s offers a five-part look at the tumultuous decade Oct. 26-Nov. 23.
American Masters: Profiles of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo on Sept. 2, singer-activist Joan Baez on Oct. 14 and Little Women author Louisa May Alcott in December.
The Botany of Desire: A two-hour look at the plant world, based on Michael Pollan's book, debuts Oct. 28.
Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times: A sweeping look at the family and the Los Angeles Times. Oct. 5.
Latin Music USA: Jimmy Smits narrates the four-part history. Oct 12 and 19.
Masterpiece: The Mystery! portion continues with Inspector Lewis stories on Sundays, Sept. 6-Oct. 18. The Contemporary portion starts Oct. 25 with Endgame, a South African political thriller starring Jonny Lee Miller. Place of Execution tells of a girl's disappearance in 1963, stars Juliet Stevenson and airs Nov. 1 and 8. Collision examines the connections among 10 people involved in a major accident; it airs Nov. 15 and 22.
The National Parks: America's Best Idea: Civil War documentarian Ken Burns rolls out his latest epic. Sept. 27-Oct. 2.
Nature: F. Murray Abraham is series narrator. Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions on Oct. 25. Born Wild: The First Day of Life on Nov. 1. Black Mamba on Nov. 8. Fellowship of the Whales on Nov. 15.
Nova:Becoming Human: Unearthing Our Earliest Ancestors airs Tuesdays, Nov. 3-17. Alan Alda hosts The Human Spark on Mondays, Nov. 9-23.
CableSons of Anarchy, FX: The motorcycle gang rolls back for a second season. Sept. 8.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FX: The comedy starts its fifth season. Sept. 17.
Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO: A Seinfeld reunion figures in the seventh season. Sept. 20.
Bored to Death, HBO: Jason Schwartzman and Ted Danson star in this comedy about a hard-drinking writer. Sept. 20.
Dexter, Showtime: John Lithgow plays a serial killer. Sept. 27.
Californication, Showtime: The third season features Kathleen Turner and Peter Gallagher. Sept. 27.
Stargate Universe, Syfy: Robert Carlyle, Lou Diamond Phillips and Ming-Na star. Oct. 2.
Nip/tuck, FX: The sixth season begins Oct. 14.
White Collar, USA: A diverting comedy-drama about an FBI agent (Tim DeKay) who gains help from a criminal mastermind (Matt Bomer). Oct. 23.
By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, HBO: A documentary on his presidential run. Nov. 3.
Lopez Tonight, TBS: George Lopez tries a late-night talk show. Nov. 9.
The Very Funny Show, TBS: Tim Meadows hosts this showcase for comedians. Nov. 13.
The Prisoner, ABC: This lavish miniseries offers a new take on the classic series; Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen star. November.
Archer, FX: This animated comedy is set in a spy agency.
The Closer, TNT: The fifth season resumes in December.
Men of a Certain Age, TNT: Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula star in this drama about male friendship. December.
The People Speak, History: Matt Damon produced this celebration of American words and music. Late this year.
Caprica, Syfy: Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales play the patriarchs of competing clans in this drama. Jan. 22.
Leverage, TNT: Season two resumes, but no date has been given.
Damages, FX: The Glenn Close drama starts its third season early next year.
The Tudors, Showtime: Joely Richardson joins the cast when the final season starts next year.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times