This is season premiere week for many new series and most veteran shows, so one of the major tasks for the week will be reacquainting ourselves with exactly where we were plotwise with all our old favorites. The situation on Grey's Anatomy was more chaotic than most, as that show seems to have now moved into its Chicago Hope phase, where cast members are announced with great fanfare and then dropped weeks later, and it's hard to remember who is still around at any given time. But as long as Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo stick around, and Chandra and Sandra are still there to get the occasional Emmy nomination, ABC likely won't complain too much.
The sixth Grey's season commences Thursday (ABC, 9 p.m.) with the fallout from the death of George (T.R. Knight), featuring everything we expect to see on episodes like this (the one who won't let go, the one who pretends to be coping well but really isn't...you know the drill). Izzie (Katherine Heigl) is no longer dying, which means we can feel free to be ambivalent about her again. And Derek (Dempsey) considers a possible bump in his professional status. Don't get too attached to anyone new you see on the staff, as they might be elsewhere by Thanksgiving.
Also this week:
Monday: Heroes (NBC, 8 p.m.): They're once again promising that yes, they hear us and yes, they finally get it and are bringing back the show we loved in 2006. How about we stop talking about it and start doing it, eh? The fourth season premiere finds Claire (Hayden Panetierre) in college -- like that will really last -- and the introduction of a character played by Prison Break scene stealer Robert Knepper.
Tuesday: NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, 9 p.m.): An easy pick for biggest hit among the new series, this gets its launch following original recipe NCIS. Chris O'Donnell plays an agent who, after surviving a shooting, joins the LA branch to do some NCISing. LL Cool J plays his partner in investigation. He likely knows all the best clubs too.
Wednesday: Dancing With the Stars (ABC, 8 p.m.): The first results show of the new season, so it might be your last chance to see hoofing luminaries like Louie Vito, Macy Gray, and Tom DeLay. Also, expect a tribute to the late Patrick Swayze, along with an appearance from the cast of Broadway's The Lion King.
Friday: Medium (CBS, 9 p.m.): CBS has been running repeats of the longtime NBC series all summer, but this is the first new Medium since the network switch. While the police look into whether a local sportscaster is being stalked, Allison (Patricia Arquette) deals with side effects from her brain surgery. Oh, you knew there were going to be some.
Saturday: Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30 p.m.): The 35th season commences with Megan Fox hosting and international activists-turned-annoying pitchmen U2 as the musical guests. Fox is facing a backlash for her diva ways, so expect her to star in some of those toothless "here I am poking fun at my image" moments SNL is infamous for.
Sunday: Desperate Housewives (Sunday, 9 p.m.): Season Six opens up with another new family arriving on Wisteria Lane, and you'll be surprised to learn they are "mysterious." Also, Gabrielle struggles dealing with her teenage niece now living in her home, and we finally learn whether Katherine (Dana Delany) or Susan (Teri Hatcher) was the one who married Mike. I suspect Mike is a loser either way.