Fall TV Comebacks
Chevy Chase is finally ready for primetime this fall. He will be starring in his first weekly sitcom, joined by E! TV host Joel McHale. It’s been 34 years since Chevy made his debut on “Saturday Night Live.” He left after that show’s legendary first season to be a movie star (which went really well for a while), and he’s dabbled on the small screen since then, including his widely panned and very short-lived ’90s talk show, and more recently with a little “Brothers and Sisters” here, a little “Chuck” there.
Chevy is just one of the many stars, shows, and movies from decades past coming to the small screen this fall season. Here are some other notable mentions:
“Eastwick” – Wednesdays at 9:30pm ET on ABC
“Eastwick” has big shoes to fill. A TV version of the hit 1987 movie that starred Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cher, and Jack Nicholson, this show had better be good. Others have tried and failed to bring the magic of “The Witches of Eastwick” to the small screen, but by all accounts this latest version has real potential. Early buzz says that the series starring Rebecca Romijn, Lindsay Price, Jaime Ray Newman, and Paul Gross will cast quite a spell on audiences when it premieres on September 23.
Laura Leighton on “Melrose Place” – Tuesdays at 9pm ET on the CW
Many people were skeptical when the CW resurrected “Beverly Hills, 90210” last year, dubbing it the way more hip and modern “90210.” It couldn’t possibly live up to the original trials of Donna, Dylan, Kelly, and the rest of the gang at West Beverly High. But the producers managed to surprise the viewers. This season, directly following “90210,” will be the reboot of another Aaron Spelling classic, “Melrose Place.” A slew of hot, young stars, including Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Katie (daughter of David) Cassidy, will be joined by original “Melrose” master manipulators Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro. The fur is sure to fly.
Christian Slater on “The Forgotten” – Tuesdays at 10pm ET on ABC
Christian Slater was just on TV, and it didn’t work out so well. It turns out he might just have been his “Own Worst Enemy” on that last series. But everybody is hoping for the return of the Christian Slater that we know and love: the “Heathers” and “True Romance” Christian. “The Forgotten,” his new series about a group of amateur detectives, might be just edgy enough to revive the darker side of this talented actor. We’ll all find out when the show premieres on September 22.
Jenna Elfman on “Accidentally on Purpose” – Mondays at 8:30pm ET on CBS
Which came first: “Knocked Up” or “Accidentally on Purpose”? According to the executive producer of the new sitcom, the Jenna Elfman series is based on Time magazine movie critic Mary Pols’ memoir “Accidentally on Purpose: The True Tale of a Happy Single Mother,” not on the Katherine Heigl/Seth Rogen movie about the pretty career girl who gets pregnant by a schlubby slacker. Either way, many are happy to see Elfman back on TV. Hopefully, this series will last longer than her previous TV comeback attempt, 2006’s “Courting Alex.”
Ed O’Neill on “Modern Family” – Wednesdays at 9pm ET on ABC
Ed O’Neill, Al Bundy to us TV freaks, is back in another sitcom about quirky relatives, “Modern Family.” Though O’Neill has done some TV work since “Married. With Children,” including stints on “Dragnet” and “The West Wing,” we’re excited to see him with another dysfunctional family. And this one looks really funny. The mockumentary, created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan (the team that brought us “Frasier”) follows the lives of Jay Pritchett’s extended family. The three branches of the Pritchett-Delgado-Dunphys are being filmed for a Dutch reality TV show: Jay (O’Neill) and his much younger, hotter, Latino wife (Sofía Vergara); Jay’s daughter, Claire (Julie Bowen), her husband, Phil (Ty Burrell), and two their teenage kids; and Jay’s gay son, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), his partner, Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) and their adopted Vietnamese baby. It’s like “American Family” meets “Arrested Development”… with Al Bundy.
Julianna Margulies on “The Good Wife” – Tuesdays at 10pm ET on CBS
Many are looking forward to “The Good Wife,” in part because it stars Julianna Margulies, who despite respectable small screen showings on such series as “The Sopranos,” hasn’t found that groove she lost when she left “ER” in 2000. She’s returning with a cast of fellow former TV favorites from years gone by, including Chris Noth from “Sex and the City,” Christine Baranski from “Cybill,” Matt Czuchry from “Gossip Girl,” and Josh Charles from “Sports Night.”
Joseph Fiennes on “FlashForward” – Thursdays at 8pm ET on ABC
Joseph Fiennes is Ralph Fiennes’ younger brother and the break-out star of “Shakespeare in Love,” the 1998 film that was supposed to launch him to superstardom. Well, that never quite happened. More than 20 films and 11 years later, and he’s still known as Ralph Fiennes’ younger brother. But “FlashForward” could be the break he needs. Maybe his turn as the FBI agent trying to solve a mysterious global event allowing people to briefly see into their future will secure his own.