Photo: NBC
Photo: NBC

TV best bets with returns of ‘This is Us,’ ‘NCIS,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Modern Family,’ ‘The Voice,’ ‘Empire’

Originally posted Sunday, September 22, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Ten years ago, the fall broadcast season was a big deal as a flood of shows came back and new ones were sprinkled in with pretty good odds at least a couple would break through.

Now with streaming services and cable pumping out original shows almost every week of the year, this week is a bit like foisting a buffet on folks who are perpetually full from non-stop snacking. 

What is impressive is how many shows have been around for 10 seasons or more. Here’s a sample of those that return this week: “60 Minutes” (52nd season), “Saturday Night Live” (45th), “Survivor” (39th), “The Simpsons” (31st), “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (30th), “South Park “(23rd), “Law & Order: SVU” (21st), “NCIS” (17th), “Family Guy” (17th), “The Voice” (17th), “Grey’s Anatomy” (16th), “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (14th), “Shark Tank” (11th), “Modern Family” (11th), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (11th), “Blue Bloods” (10th) and “Hawaii Five-O” (10th). 

Other relatively popular shows that are coming back include “This is Us,” “9-1-1,” “The Good Doctor,” “Bull,” “The Conners,” “Empire,” “The Masked Singer,” “Superstore,” “Young Sheldon,” “Mom” and “The Rookie.”
Two shows are ending forever (or at least until a reboot comes along): AMC’s “Preacher” and USA’s “Suits.” 

Among the notable new shows: Netflix’s “The Politician,” Fox’s “Prodigal Son,” ABC’s “Mixed-ish,” ABC’s “Stumptown,” Shudder’s “Creepshow” and CBS’s “The Unicorn,” a comedy starring former metro Atlantan Walton Goggins

This covers Monday, September 23 through Sunday, September 29, 2019. 

MONDAY

“9-1-1” 8 p.m. Fox (third season debut) — Athena enlists the 118's help when a teenager speeds out of control on the freeway

“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — The first dancer will be eliminated. Will it be Lamar Odom?

“The Neighborhood” 8 p.m. CBS (second season debut) — Dave is eager to take on a bigger role in Calvin's annual Yardecue.

“The Voice” 8 p.m. NBC (17th season debut) — Couple Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are both coaches again along with John Legend and Kelly CLarkson. Alex Guthrie of Atlanta will be one of the auditioners. 

“Bob (Hearts) Abishola” 8:30 p.m. CBS (new series) — Compression-sock businessman Bob falls for his cardiac nurse, Abishola, a Nigerian immigrant, while recovering from a heart attack. Some CBS exec thought it was trendy to use the term (Hearts). 

“All Rise” 9 p.m. CBS (new series) The premiere of the courthouse drama about judges, prosecutors and public defenders, as well as the bailiffs, clerks and cops they work with to get justice for the people of Los Angeles amidst a flawed legal process.

“The Deuce” 9 p.m. HBO — Abby befriends a graffiti artist named Pilar and takes a surprising trip downtown.

“Prodigal Son” 9 p.m. Fox (new series) Malcolm Bright knows how killers think and how their minds work, because his father, Dr. Martin Whitley, was one of the most notorious serial killers.

“A Very Brady Renovation” 9 p.m. HGTV  Some of the most famous areas of the Brady house are featured with Steve and Leanne Ford teaming up with Christopher Knight and Eve Plumb to build out the kitchen and family room on the first floor.

“The Terror: Infamy” 9 p.m. AMC  The Nakayamas have been torn apart.

“Bluff City Law” 10 p.m. NBC (new series)  Corporate attorney Sydney Strait puts aside years of conflict with her father Elijah to rejoin his legendary Civil Rights firm and take on a chemical company whose product may cause cancer.

“Bull” 10 p.m. CBS (fourth season debut)  Bull prepares for fatherhood, while his work at TAC suffers without his top attorney.

“The Good Doctor” 10 p.m. ABC (third season debut)  Dr. Shaun Murphy proposes a radical surgery to save a woman's life after what he believes was a disastrous first date with Carly.

TUESDAY

“NCIS” 8 p.m. CBS (17th season debut) — Ziva surprises Gibbs with a cryptic warning, prompting him to question why she remained underground for years while being presumed dead by family and friends, and what led to her return.

“The Resident” 8 p.m. Fox (third season debut) — The doctors of Chastain are surrounded by new rules and doctors, as Red Rock Mountain Medical takes over the hospital.

“The Conners” 8 p.m. ABC (second season debut) — . After Emilio's deportation, Jackie steps into the role of a paternal figure and creates a meticulous birth plan for Becky.

“Empire” 9 p.m. Fox (sixth season debut) — Lucious, who is now a wanted fugitive, is on the run from the Feds.

“FBI” 9 p.m. CBS (second season debut) — A bomb detonates at a restaurant in Queens, and the case becomes personal for OA, who grew up eating there.

“Mixed-ish” 9 p.m. ABC (new series) — A young Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the '80s.

“This is Us” 9 p.m. NBC (fourth season debut) — Jack meets Rebecca's parents.

“Black-ish” 9:30 p.m. ABC (sixth season debut)  The twins begin eighth grade. Junior manages Migo's social media.

“Emergence” 10 p.m. ABC (new series) — Police chief Jo Evans plunges her family into a mystery when she discovers a young girl the night of an inexplicable plane crash in her quiet northeastern town and decides to protect her.

“Greenleaf” 10 p.m. OWN — Bob Whitmore returns to Memphis to remind Grace that he is the one in charge and to firmly encourage her to consider a new idea he has for Calvary.

“NCIS: New Orleans” 10 p.m. CBS (sixth season debut) — Pride must cut his vacation short when Hannah is suspended for breaking protocol during a joint investigation with the FBI.

Mayans M.C.” 10 p.m. FX — The secrets behind the death of EZ and Angel's mother unfold.

“New Amsterdam” 10:08 p.m. NBC (second season debut) — Max works to find a new normal three months after the catastrophic accident and the birth of his daughter. Kapoor grapples with the stigmas of aging.

WEDNESDAY

“Chicago Med” 8 p.m. NBC (fifth season debut) — Will and Natalie face the aftermath of a horrific car incident and are left to battle for their lives.

“The Goldbergs” 8 p.m. ABC (seventh season debut) — Beverly insists the family take a road trip to go on vacation Disneyland in Anaheim, Cal., before Erica and Barry go off to college.

The Masked Singer” 8 p.m. Fox (second season debut) — This huge hit in the spring is back, bigger and more ridiculous. 

“Survivor” 8 p.m. CBS (39th season debut) — Boston Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz serve as mentors in an all-new twist.

The Goldbergs” 8 p.m. ABC (seventh season debut) — Beverly insists the family take a road trip to go on vacation Disneyland in Anaheim, Cal., before Erica and Barry go off to college.

“Buzz 9 p.m HBO  Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and celebrated author Buzz Bissinger is known for getting his subjects to open up, be it for Vanity Fair assignments, like his iconic 2015 Caitlyn Jenner profile, or for his bestselling book, Friday Night Lights.

“Modern Family 9 p.m ABC (11th season debut)  Haley is determined to follow the advice in her parenting books with the twins, but Phil and Claire think their old methods are better.

“Suits” 9 p.m USA (series finale)  Facing its potential destruction, the partners must go all in to save the firm.

“Big Brother” 9:30 p.m (21st season finale)  The winner is named.

“American Horror Story” 10 p.m FX  Darkness descends upon the camp.

“It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” 10 p.m FXX (14th season debut)  Mac concocts a scheme to attract single women to Airbnb Dennis' bedroom, while Frank and Charlie concoct similar plans to attract young, European coeds.

“South Park” 10 p.m Comedy (23rd season debut)  This show is guaranteed to be around until 2022 and season 26. 

“Stumptown” 10 p.m ABC (new series)  Dex Parios (Colbie Smulders) is a strong, assertive and sharp-witted Army veteran with a complicated love life, gambling debt and a brother to take care of.

THURSDAY

“Creepshow” 3:01 a.m. Shudder (new series)  Anthology horror series created by Greg Nicotero of "Walking Dead" fame. 

“Grey's Anatomy” 8 p.m. ABC (16th season debut)  Bailey fires Meredith, Richard and Alex from Grey Sloan for insurance fraud.

“Superstore” 8 p.m. NBC (fifth season debut) — Amy tries to help her employees cope with Mateo's ICE detention and with the introduction of a new robot co-worker that makes them fear they could be replaced.

“Young Sheldon” 8 p.m. CBS (third season debut) — Mary worries about Sheldon's mental health after Dr. Sturgis experiences a nervous breakdown.

“Perfect Harmony” 8:30 p.m. NBC (new series) — Former Princeton music professor Arthur Cochran (Bradley Whitford) stumbles into choir practice at a small-town church only to find a group of singers that are out of tune in more ways than one.

“The Unicorn” 8:31 p.m. CBS (new series)— Lithia Springs High School grad Walter Groggins plays a widower who finds himself attractive to other women. 

“The Good Place” 9 p.m. NBC (fourth season debut) — The experiment begins anew and Eleanor is in charge!

“Mom” 9:01 p.m. CBS (seventh season debut) — Bonnie struggles to enjoy her perfect honeymoon with Adam; and Christy makes some questionable changes at the bar.

“Carol's Second Act” 9:30 p.m. NBC (new series) — Carol (Patricia Heaton) enthusiastically begins her first day as an internal medicine intern, but has a rocky start when she disregards direct orders from her boss in order to help a patient.

“Sunnyside” 9:31 p.m. NBC (new series) — A former NYC councilman finds his calling when he meets a group of immigrants in search of the American dream.

“Evil” 10 p.m. CBS (new series) — Forensic psychologist Kristen Bouchard is hired by the Catholic Church to work with David Acosta, a priest-in-training,and contractor Ben Shakir, to determine whether a serial killer is possessed by a demon or merely a psychopath.

“How to Get Away With Murder” 10 p.m. ABC (sixth season debut) — Annalise struggles with the personal toll that Laurel and Christopher's disappearance has taken on everyone.

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” 10:01 p.m. NBC (21st season debut) — Benson finds herself in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse after an actress accuses a high-powered media mogul of attempted rape.

FRIDAY

“The Politician” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series) — Payton Hobart, a wealthy student from Santa Barbara, has known since age 7 that he's going to be president of the United States, but first he has to navigate the most treacherous political landscape of all, Saint Sebastian High School. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Lange are the big names. 

“Transparent” 3:01 a.m. Amazon (series finale) — The finale is inspired by classic musicals. 

“Hawaii Five-O” 8 p.m. CBS (10th season debut)  A new ally helps McGarrett and Five-0 when mob bosses on the island are being targeted by an assassin.

“Fresh Off the Boat” 8:30 p.m. ABC (sixth season debut)  Evan gets his first case of "the tingles" after Brandi Chastain scores the World Cup-winning goal against China and rips off her jersey to celebrate.

“Magnum P.I.” 9 p.m. CBS (second season debut)  Magnum waits for Higgins to decide if she'll officially become his partner.

“Blue Bloods” 10 p.m. CBS (10th season debut) — Danny and Baez grapple with a year-old homicide investigation brought to their attention by Maggie, the medium who previously helped them solve a case.

WEEKEND

“Saturday Night Live” 11:29 p.m. Saturday NBC (45th season debut) — Woody Harrelson hosts. Billie Elish sings. 

“America's Funniest Home Videos” 7 p.m. Sunday ABC (30th season debut) — In its 30 seasons to date, "America's Funniest Home Videos" has given away over $16 million in prize money and evaluated more than 2 million video clips from home viewers.

“Chesapeake Shores” 8 p.m. Sunday Hallmark (fourth season finale) — Mick and Megan celebrate their old life, Kevin and Sarah cherish their new one, Jess and David await the start of theirs.

“Power” 8 p.m. Sunday Starz — Starz is being rather coy about providing descriptions of "Power" episodes lately. The title of the show is "Inside Man."

“The Simpsons” 8 p.m. Sunday Fox (31st season debut) — A video goes viral of Bart and Homer fighting, sending them on a journey as social media celebrities.

“God Friended Me” 8:30 p.m. Sunday CBS (second season debut) — Miles tries to help the God Account's new friend, Joy, figure out what the account wants from her after she receives her first friend suggestion since getting Miles' name—a soldier on leave in New York.

“The Affair” 9 p.m. Sunday Showtime — In Montauk for work, Joanie becomes acquainted with EJ. Together, they explore Joanie's family history, leading her to question the cause of her mother's death.

“Fear the Walking Dead” 9 p.m. Sunday AMC (fifth season finale) — Facing an unknown future, Morgan leads the group on a mission.

“Shark Tank” 9 p.m. Sunday ABC (11th season debut) — Cookie legend Wally Amos appears before the Sharks to tout his new creation.

“Family Guy” 9:30 p.m. Sunday Fox (17th season debut) — The brewery announces it will be firing one employee, and Peter is nervous he will be the one let go.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” 9:30 p.m. Sunday CBS (11th season debut) — Callen and Sam work with Navy Capt. Harmon Rabb Jr. to apprehend spies aboard the USS Allegiance.

“On Becoming a God in Central Florida 10 p.m. Sunday Showtime  Krystal takes initiative and drums up some press for her business

“The Rookie 10 p.m. Sunday ABC (second season debut) The officers of Mid-Wilshire grapple with the aftermath of a plotted attack on the city of Los Angeles, leaving Officer Bradford fighting for his life.

“Preacher 10:14 p.m. Sunday AMC (series finale)  The curtain falls on the Apocalypse Revue as the fate of the world is decided, and the long journey of a preacher and his friends comes to an end.

“Ballers 10:35 p.m. Sunday HBO —  In the wake of an unexpected tragedy, Spencer prepares for his first owners meeting.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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