- The Walking Dead
Thursday, Oct. 11 (FX)
Season Premiere: While it would be funny if It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia followed through on those gag promotional ads and actually replaced the cast with Haley Joel Osment, Andrew Dice Clay and the rest, the gang has chosen to open Season 8 with something even more hilarious: Nazis! In a callback to the 2005 debut season, Dennis and Dee’s ex-Nazi grandfather Pop-Pop is on his deathbed (as he was seven years ago—minor detail); while they mull over pulling the plug, Frank, Charlie and skinny-again Mac set out to steal the geezer’s war riches. Oh, and The League and Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell are also back tonight (woo-hoo!), along with, somehow, Brand X With Russell Brand (nooo!).
Thursday, Oct. 11 (The CW)
Series Debut: Before you start asking “Who’s gonna play the teacup?”, know that this is a remake of the ’80s TV series Beauty & the Beast, OK? Unlike that Ron Perlman/Linda Hamilton “classic,” this Beast (Jay Ryan, Terra Nova) only looks beastly when he’s angry; otherwise, he’s just as pretty as Catherine (Kristin Kreuk, Smallville) and therefore suitable for The CW. As long as the network doesn’t find out that they’re both, like, 30, everything will be fine.
Sunday, Oct. 14 (AMC)
Season Premiere: Yes, AMC is splitting the season in half again; eight now, the next eight in early 2013. This is where you start whining, “Why, why, why do I have to wait sooo long?! I want all of The Walking Dead right now! How do I find the will to live?! AMC are bastard people!” Nevermind that this now cable-standard practice actually shortens the gap between new episodes and you’ve only waited seven months between the last one and tonight’s Season 3 premiere (which Big Shiny Robot, True TV and City Weekly will once again be presenting at Brewvies Cinema Pub, 677 S. 200 West, at 7 p.m., 21+), as opposed to 12. Anyway, what’s coming tonight: The prison, the Governor, Michonne, a zombie-killin’ frenzy and a minimal amount of “talking” and “feelings.” Feelings ruin everything.
Tuesday, Oct. 16 (MTV)
Series Debut: The Only TV Column That Matters™’s hate/tolerate relationship with MTV continues: The network has some of my all-time favorite shows after single seasons (Death Valley, Warren the Ape, Clone High) while running crap for years (anything involving knocked-up teens or dumbed-down guidos). New dramedy Underemployed doesn’t pack the same punch as HBO’s Girls when it comes to portraying New York City early-20-somethings in professional/personal freefall after promising to “change the world” at high school graduation, but it is one of the most realistic—and occasionally funniest—series that Maternity Television has produced in years. Which means you’ll only have to commit to one season.
Wednesday, Oct. 17 (FX)
Season Premiere: The Asylum qualifier is important, as this is an entirely new story with new characters (although played by some of AHS’ first-season actors, like Jessica Lang, Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Lily Rabe), and your DVR may not play along if you’ve just set it for American Horror Story. Fittingly mysterious, FX didn’t send anything in advance to preview, just this blurb: “Set in 1964, American Horror Story: Asylum takes us into a church-run haven for the criminally insane, ruled with an iron fist by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange), a nun with a troubled past. Inside this locked-down facility, danger lurks around every corner. From Nazis and serial killers, to mutants and aliens, no one is safe inside these walls.” Eek!