The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of September 21, 2015

This week's Most Important Shows entry is super-sized because of the sheer number of them premiering this week. For more on what's premiering this week, make sure to check out our Premieres & Finales Calendar!


Returning Series:

The Big Bang Theory: S9E1

The Big Bang Theory (Season Premiere)

Monday at 8:00pm on CBS

Why: Leonard and Penny are maybe getting married? Also, more than 20 million people watch this show each week. There are only 300 million people in this country, so that's a sizable percentage. Play the odds, people! I'm sure the nerds (or "nerds" as my actual nerd friends would refer to these nerds) would give you the same advice. Bazinga and whatnot, you know? Besides, Kaley Cuoco's hair looks better now that it's grown out a little bit.

Prepare to talk about: Penny and Leonard! Married! Maybe? Probably! So cute — but does this perpetuate stereotypes? The internet probably thinks so, so you should say it does. Schlubby man with a hot wife? Then again, if the schlubby man is brilliant, is that a paradigm changer or whatever? (Lifehack: just use the word paradigm a lot and people will think you're smart.)


Empire: S2E1

Empire (Season Premiere)

Wednesday at 9:00pm on FOX

Why: Last season's best new show (for real) is back, which means last season's best new characters is back. Lucious. JK OBVIOUSLY, it's Cookie. LOL, Lucious. Yeah right. No one thinks he's the best. Especially not the justice system, because now he's in jail! Meanwhile, (the nefarious?) Andre, Hakeem, Anika, and Mimi are ready to seal the deal on that hostile takeover of Empire.

Prepare to talk about: #FreeLucious! COOKIE; COOKIE; COOKIE; COOKIE; Cookie's outfits; COOKIE; the music; and finally, COOKIE.



Grey's Anatomy: S12E1

Grey's Anatomy (Season Premiere)

Thursday at 8:00pm on ABC

Why: It's a year in the future, and Meredith and the gang are all back. Well not the whole gang, you know, what with so many of them being dead or in fights with Shonda Rhimes. Medical things will happen, people will bang, and you know what? Life just goes on! Even on TV. Also, Taylor Swift watches this show and is professional best friends with Ellen Pompeo, and are you better than Taylor Swift? I don't know you, so maybe you are, but probably you are not. Also, my best friend, who is an ACTUAL BRILLIANT DOCTOR loves this show, so that counts for something.

Prepare to talk about: Meredith, post-Derek: tough-skinned and optimistic-yet-vaguely-haunted, but with great hair, no? How Alex Karev is still around; how Maggie's all violent; why a successful surgeon (with children) still needs roommates.



New Series:

The Muppets: S1E1

The Muppets (Series Premiere)

Tuesday at 8:00pm on ABC

Why: "It's time to get things started / On the most sensational inspirational celebrational / Muppetational / This is what we call the Muppet Show!" Or at least that's how it used to be, back in the day, before everything went meta and mock-docs became a thing and now, instead of a delightful variety show starring felt beings, we have to pretend that they have lives, complete with confessionals to the camera. I am sad. Also, by now you've certainly heard that Kermit and Miss Piggy broke up and he's got a new slam piece in DENISE (potential last name: The Pig), ugh. Miss Piggy, we've got your back... whatever that's worth.

Prepare to talk about: Freakin' Denise, the homewrecker (probably, unless we find out Miss Piggy dumped Kermit's sorry hand-infested ass, in which case, the narrative will change, and I will apologize for even caring); how the delightful old curmudgeons should in all likelihood be dead by now; if this Office-style mockumentary thing is soooooooooo early 2000s.


Scream Queens: S1E1

Scream Queens (Series Premiere)

Tuesday at 9:00pm on FOX

Why: Ryan Murphy made a new show starring his coterie of ingenues, and some of them will be bitchy and some of them will get murdered. Some of them will be both. A bunch of them are named Chanel! Presumably none of them are named Gap Dream or Axe Bodyspray (though maybe that's for the frat guys).

Prepare to talk about: Who gets murdered, like, immediately; whether Ariana Grande uses her weird baby Betty Boop voice or what; why Nick Jonas is in this; what kind of dirt Ryan Murphy has on network execs that they won't stop giving him shows.


Heroes Reborn: S1E1

Heroes Reborn (Series Premiere)

Thursday at 8:00pm on NBC

Why: Remember when we all loved Heroes? I do. Vividly. It had a great first season (mostly)! And then... [sadface emoji; here you can see my excitement come crashing down in the space of one day]. Eventually, it was ignominiously canceled, and approximately zero people were sad. However, since NBC is all out of ideas (especially since that Coach reboot never really panned out), we have Heroes Reborn, in which the show is... reborn.On the upside, Hiro is back! On the downside, Matt Parkman is back. Blech. Anyway, maybe it'll be better this time around! Just keep repeating that to yourself.

Prepare to talk about: Hiro Nakamura: still the best (probably); whether they'll ever manage to get Hayden Panettiere to guest star now that she's on Nashville; whether, as David Bowie once proclaimed, we really can be heroes, just for one day.



Leah E. Friedman is the editor of You can follow her musings on Twitter.



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Sep 18, 2015 3:21PM EDT


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Sep 19, 2015 4:13AM EDT

Let the Awesomeness begin!

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Sep 25, 2015 7:35PM EDT

woohoo :)

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