Fall’s New-Look Thursday Night: Plenty of New Shows and Plenty of Drama

Sep 22, 2011  •  Post A Comment

The stakes are high for the broadcast networks tonight, when the opening salvos will be fired in the battle to be this season’s king of must-see TV.

Thursday night won’t be the sitcom-dominated barrel of laughs it once was. New entries include ABC’s “Charlie’s Angels,” CBS’s “Person of Interest” and, over on NBC — the network that once owned the night with its comedy lineup — a new drama, “Prime Suspect,” TVLine.com reports.

They’ll all face stiff competition. At 8 p.m. “Charlie’s Angels” will have to contend with not only hour one of the two-hour “X Factor” results show on Fox but also CBS’s hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” which ratchets up the pressure with back-to-back episodes. NBC hopes a few viewers will be left over to watch “Community” and “Parks and Recreation.”

ABC follows the “Charlie’s” premiere with a two-hour season opener for “Grey’s Anatomy” at 9 p.m. As if that won’t make it tough enough for the “Person of Interest” launch on CBS, NBC serves up its new-look “The Office,” with James Spader as CEO and months of intrigue cranking up viewer interest in finding out who gets Steve Carell’s old job. Leading out from “Office” is NBC’s new sitcom “Whitney.” Meanwhile, the CW offers up “The Secret Circle.”

Things don’t get any easier at 10 p.m., when NBC hopes to establish a foothold with Maria Bello toplining the New York-based cop drama “Prime Suspect.” Is it time yet to ask the question of when police procedural burnout will set in? Probably not, but if it is, then CBS may be in just as much trouble here with “The Mentalist” — and they’ll both have to scrape for viewers against hour two of the “Grey’s” launch on ABC.

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