Let's take a look at the new season by the numbers:
One Friend: Matthew Perry on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"
One Friend of a Friend: Andrea Anders on "The Class"
Three FOJW (Friends of Joss Whedon): Leonard Roberts on "Heroes" (Forrest Gates in "Buffy"), Gina Torres on "Standoff" (Jasmine on "Angel" and Zoe on "Firefly") and Adam Baldwin on "Day Break" (Marcus on "Angel" and Jayne on "Firefly")
One Formerly Evil Mastermind: Ron Rifkin on "Brothers & Sisters"
One (Four) King: Josh Cooke on "Big Day"
One (Beauty) Queen: Vanessa Williams on "Ugly Betty"
Two Jacks: Victor Garber on "Justice" and Kerr Smith on "Justice" (alas no Aces)
One Enemy of Jack Bauer: Shoreh Aghdashaloo on "Smith"
Three Love Interests of Jack Bauer: Kim Raver on "The Nine," Connie Britton on "Friday Night Lights" and Leslie Hope on "Runaway"
Two Sets of TV Siblings: Rachel Griffiths on "Brothers & Sisters" and Jeremy Sisto on "Kidnapped" (Brenda and Billy Chenoweth on "Six Feet Under") and Tim Daly on "The Nine" and Steven Weber on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (Joe and Brian Hackett on "Wings")
Five Movie Stars: James Woods on "Shark," Sally Field on "Brothers & Sisters," Ray Liotta on "Smith," Timothy Hutton on "Kidnapped" and Adam Baldwin on "30 Rock"
Six If-you-Didn't-Succeed-Last-Season-Try-Try-Again: Josh Cooke on "Big Day" (and "Four Kings" last season), Marla Sokoloff on "Big Day" (and "Modern Men"), Sofia Vergara on "The Knights of Prosperity" (and "Hot Properties") and Owain Yeoman on "The Nine" (and "Kitchen Confidential"), Vanessa Williams on "Ugly Betty" (and "South Beach"), Milo Ventimiglia on "Heroes" (and "The Bedford Diaries")
What by the numbers trends have you noticed this season? Email me and I'll include them in my column next week.
Serialized dramas are all the rage this season. You know how TV works, suddenly everything old is new again. That makes the new FOX drama "Justice" (premiering Wednesday at 9 p.m.) one of the few procedural shows. You can always count on Jerry Bruckheimer. And "Justice" puts a new snazzy spin on a hackneyed format and, what do you know, it works. Kerr Smith is all grown up (I feel so proud) as cute, caring and cutthroat lawyer Tom Nicholson. Victor Garber brings that same devious twinkle in his eye as not exactly jury friendly Ron Trott and one of my favorite actors Eamonn Walker (who I loved last season on "ER") is brilliant lawyer Victor Graves. The entire episode is capped off by showing what really happened and whether the law firm of Trott, Nicholson, Tuller & Graves was defending a guilty or innocent client. "Justice" is FOX's best new show -- faint praise this season -- but I like it and I'm giving it three and a half stars. To check out my ratings system, read my column from last week.
New Season Cheat Sheet
Best: "The Nine" (Oct. 4)
Worst: "Men in Trees" (Sept. 22)
Undecided: As I still anxiously await the pilot, it's got to be "Brothers & Sisters" (Sept. 24).
Best: "Smith" (Sept. 19).
Worst: "Jericho" (Sept. 20) How bad is that I hope with all the power in my remote control that the sleepy Kansas town is attacked next?
Undecided: "Shark" (Sept. 21)
Best: "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (Sept.18) You can believe the hype.
Worst: "Twenty Good Years" (Oct. 4) Because Jeffrey Tambor deserves so much more than this average show, I got mad about "Arrested Development" being cancelled all over again.
Undecided: "30 Rock" (Oct. 11).
Best: "Justice" (Aug. 30)
Worst: "Happy Hour" (Sept. 7)
Undecided: "'Til Death" (Sept. 7) All FOX shows are graded on a curve this season. This show is pretty bad, but I like Brad Garrett so I'm being kind.
Best: "Runaway" (Sept. 25)
Undecided: "The Game" (Oct. 1)
Quotes of the Week
"You want variety, hit Target." Michael to his fellow inmates after they complained about the clothes he gave them on "Prison Break." Thanks to Andy for the quote.
Where Have I Seen Them Before?
Glenn Morshower, Aaron Pierce the Secret Service Agent we all came to know and love on "24," was the traffic cop giving Brenda a hard time on "The Closer."
Kathie recognized Jack Coleman, Steven Carrington on "Dynasty," as the studio head who turned down Ari, Eric and Bob on "Entourage."
And Jasmine wanted me to remind everyone that Jeff Perry, the President's brother on "Prison Break," is also Meredith's estranged father Thatcher Grey on "Grey's Anatomy."
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Time for Aug. 28 to Sept. 3
Kyle believes he's found his real parents and the secret to where he came from in the season finale of "Kyle XY" (Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC Family). You can catch up in an all day "Kyle XY" marathon that begins at 11 a.m.
Can you pick out the scene in this episode of "Prison Break" (Monday, FOX, 8 p.m.) that sent me over the edge?
I can't wait for the two-hour debut of "Celebrity Duets" (Monday, FOX, 8 p.m.). Clint Black, Michael Bolton, Belinda Carlisle, Patti LaBelle, and Dionne Warwick are among the famous singers trying to help the not-so-famous singers (Hal Sparks, Lucy Lawless) warble on tune. If somehow Drew Lachey could have been worked into this show too I would have be so happy.
"Rescue Me" ends its controversial third season Tuesday at 10 p.m. on FX. I do believe Tommy Gavin has now officially replaced Andy Sipowicz as TV's Job. His cousin died, his son died and now his brother died. How much can one man take? Who will Tommy sleep with tonight? Will we see Susan Sarandon again? Was there anything more ridiculous than last week's wedding? Tune in to find out.
Tamara Taylor, last seen as Walt's mother in "Lost" flashbacks, but who I'll always remember as Charlie's girlfriend Grace on "Party of Five," joins the cast as the gang's new boss Dr. Camilla Saroyan on "Bones" (Wednesday, FOX, 8 p.m.). She replaces Jonathan Adams' Dr. Daniel Goodman. But any fan of TV knows her real purpose is to create a little love triangle between Booth (who Camilla had a past relationship with) and Bones. I know a lot of you really like this show but I'm totally neutral on it -- I don't love it but I certainly don't hate it -- I just find it utterly unmemorable.
Jack Black hosts "2006 MTV Video Music Awards" live from Radio City Music Hall at Thursday at 8 p.m. on MTV. I cannot wait to see Justin Timberlake perform. My latest addiction is the song "Sexy Back" -- there seems to be no limit to the number of times I can hear it.
That's all for today. Remember my deadline for this column is Friday that's why I didn't discuss the Emmys in this column. But I will be back next week to talk about the series premiere of "Standoff" and the new ABC Family movie "Relative Chaos" starring Charisma Carpenter and Nicholas Brendon. Have a question, seen a familiar face, have an inside scoop or want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.