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Tonight's TV Hot List: Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009 - Featured

* Grey's Anatomy (9/8c ABC)


Grey's fans have had all summer to deal with George's sudden death, but it just happened at Seattle Grace so things are in a state of shock as Season 6 begins. That's hardly a surprise, but staffers work through their grief in ways you might not immediately suspect. (TV fans with long memories might get a chuckle out of it.) But life goes on, and for Izzie, at least, that's good news. Mitch Pileggi returns as board chairman Larry Jennings. For the chief, this is not good news.


* FlashForward (8/7c ABC)


The premiere of the much-anticipated sci-fi drama series lays down its promising premise with a bang: While in the midst of a high-speed pursuit of suspected terrorists, FBI agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) and partner Demetri Noh (John Cho) black out for two minutes and 17 seconds... as does, it seems, everyone else on Earth. Intriguingly, during the blackout people believe they saw six months into their futures - except for those who didn't, which may bode ill for them. But are the visions (or lack thereof) really fated to happen? Here's a quick glimpse into this viewer's future: It'll be fun finding out.


* CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (9/8c CBS)


The 10th season begins with one of the most bizarre openings in its history. The CSIs are seen frozen in time, some in midair, inside the lab, which is in disarray with corpses scattered about. A couple of lab techs appear to be shot, and Ray, apparently, is kicking a thug through a glass wall. Flash backward 48 hours and an intriguing story unfolds that begins with the death of a starlet who perishes in a traffic accident. Back to help the understaffed CSIs (due to Lauren Lee Smith's departure from the show) is Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox).


* 'The Mentalist (10:01/9:01c CBS)


It didn't require Patrick Jane's heightened sense of observation to realize that the crime drama, with its winning cast and compelling stories, would be around for a second season. So the series is back, but the opener doesn't begin on a bright note for Jane: The Red John case is given to another CBI team, led by Sam Bosco (Terry Kinney). But Jane often follows his own rules, so it's safe to say he'll still pursue this deeply personal case on his own time and in his own way.


* Fringe (9/8c FOX)


Last week's Season 2 opener was so chock-full of shockers, including the Broyles-Nina Sharp lip-lock and Olivia's accident, that it appears a sophomore slump is out of the question. But perhaps the most intriguing story was the apparent loss of Charlie to the shape-shifters, an event that may be connected to the show's off-season rumblings (ask a fan or Google "Kirk Acevedo" and "Facebook" if you don't know). In the meantime, tonight there's a disappearance in rural Pennsylvania that requires the Fringe division's attention.


* The Office (9/8c NBC)


Are we wincing yet? The mock-doc opened Season 6 last week with more patented cringes and on-target comedy. Stanley was caught cheating on his wife; Andy grappled with sexual-identity issues; and Michael spread false gossip, chattering that Kelly has an eating disorder ("She's an anorexetic"), Kevin is controlled by a person inside his body, and Pam is pregnant. (One of those rumors is true, by the way.) Plan for more squirming tonight when Toby and Dwight lurk in the shadows to investigate a workers'-comp claim filed by warehouse denizen Darryl. Meanwhile, Michael feels defensive following a request.


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