Fall TV Preview: 25 Things to Know About Fall TV 2013

From top left: Robin Williams ("The Crazy Ones"); Claire Danes ("Homeland"); Michael J. Fox ("The Michael J. Fox Show"); Kerry Washington ("Scandal") (Photo: CBS/Showtime/NBC/ABC)

Fall TV madness is upon us, folks. While the traditional notion of a "Fall TV Season" is starting to evolve as more and more shows premiere throughout the year, the broadcast networks are still in line, for now, with the big September kick-off for the majority of their new fare. And as the networks race to find the next big hit, there will be plenty of misses left in their wake.

And that’s where we come in.

xfinityTV’s Fall TV Special is loaded with early online premieres, previews and sneak peeks of the best and buzziest new shows, as well as Fall TV Features on ALL of the new and returning shows!

There’s so much happening in our “Fall TV Fest,” how do you know what you need to know? Here I’ve gathered a handy list of “25 Things to Know About Fall TV 2013” — a round-up of facts and finds about the new shows, scoop on returning favorites, what to watch and what to watch out for, and more!

Here’s your Cheat Sheet of 25 Things to Know About Fall TV 2013:

1. Favorite Returning Favorite: Michael J. Fox

The beloved TV star who charmed TV viewers in two long-running hit series “Family Ties” and “Spin City” is making a comeback with “The Michael J. Fox Show” and everyone is rooting for him. It’s been 13 years since Fox last starred on a TV series (although he warmed up with recurring roles on shows such as “The Good Wife” and “Rescue Me”) after announcing he has Parkinson’s disease — which is part of the storyline of his new sitcom about a local news anchor and family man returning work after a long hiatus to battle his illness.

2. The Biggest Star on the Small Screen: Robin Williams

Robin Williams turn in CBS’s “The Crazy Ones” marks his first return to television in three decades. It’s been 31 years since “Mork and Mindy” ended!

Notable Quotable: “It’s great to have a steady gig again after so long,” Williams said of his decision to do a TV series. “It’s wonderful.”

Says his new TV daughter Sarah Michelle Gellar (“Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”): “It’s a dream come true. He’s one of the top 10 comedians of all time.”

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3. More Returning Favorites!

This fall we also look forward to: “Will & Grace’s” Sean Hayes and Linda Lavin (It’s “Alice”!) play mother and son in “Sean Saves the World”; “West Wingers” Bradley Whitford (“Trophy Wife”) and Allison Janney (“Mom”) take on new comedies; Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”) takes us — and Toni Collette – as “Hostages”; James Caan gets “Back in the Game” on TV with a new ABC sitcom; and Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates get wicked with Jessica Lange in “American Horror Story: Coven.”

4. The Best New Dramas

The Blacklist” (NBC)
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (ABC)
Hostages” (CBS)
Sleepy Hollow” (FOX)
Masters of Sex” (Showtime)

Click on the Image Below to Watch the Pilot Episode of “Sleepy Hollow”:

"Sleepy Hollow" (Photo: FOX)

5. The Best New Comedies

Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (FOX)
Trophy Wife” (ABC)
The Goldbergs” (ABC)
The Michael J. Fox Show” (NBC)
Mom” (CBS)

Ready, Set, DVR! Check Out Our Fall TV Interactive Schedule Here to Find Out When Everything Starts

6. The Spinoffs

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” — A TV take-off of the super-powered box office hit “The Avengers” that resurrects Agent Coulson and brings on a new pack of protectors.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” — ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” heads to Wonderland for a new tale about a “kick-a**” Alice and her outlandish pals.
The Originals” — The highly anticipated spinoff of The CW’s hit “Vampire Diaries” centering around fan favorite Klaus and the original family of vamps.
MasterChef Junior“: A kids version of the Fox cooking show features whiz kids in the kitchen, but don’t look for pint-sized potty mouths — Gordon Ramsay promises he keeps his notorious foul language clean.

Get All Things Fall TV Here on Our Fall Preview Special Site

7. The Do-Overs (Remakes)

Sleepy Hollow

8. Major Departures

Some top shows will be grappling with the exits of major characters this season. Get ready to say goodbye to: Special NCIS Agent Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) on “NCIS“; Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) on “Grey’s Anatomy“; and Finn Hudson (the late Cory Monteith) on “Glee.”

9. More Final Farewells

This September, we’ll say goodbye to two groundbreaking series: “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad.” And if these series finales don’t deliver, there will be axes to grind.

10. Hot Property: Thursday night is prime real estate.

There are more new shows premiering on Thursday night than any other night – at 7.

P.S. ABC has completely revamped its Tuesday night prime-time lineup, debuting four new series that night: “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “The Goldbergs,” “Trophy Wife” and “Lucky 7.”

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11. Fall TV By the Numbers

There 28 new series debuting this fall.

~14 comedies
~14 dramas
~13 midseason shows in the bullpen

12. Fun Fact: 65% of new shows will be canceled, on average.

13. Top Trend: TV Event series/miniseries

"We're moving very aggressively into the miniseries and the limited series," NBC Entertainment President Robert Greenblatt told TV critics this summer. "It's a trend you're going to see at all the networks."

Here’s a look at some of the “event” miniseries to come during the 2013-2104 TV season:

“24: Live Another Day” (FOX) (midseason)
“Wayward Pines” (FOX) (midseason)
“Hostages” (CBS)
“Intelligence” (CBS) (midseason)
“Betrayal” (ABC)
“Resurrection” (ABC) (midseason)
“The Quest (ABC) (midseason)
“Dracula” (NBC)
“Fargo” (FX) (midseason)

14. Top Theme: Keeping It All in the Family

The Millers,” “The Goldbergs,” “Mom,” “Dads,” “Welcome to the Family,” “The Crazy Ones,” “The Michael J. Fox Show,” “Sean Saves the World

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15. Still Hot: Supernatural Themes — vampires, witches, super powers, oh my!

Sleepy Hollow,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “The Originals,” “The Tomorrow People,” “Dracula,” “American Horror Story: Coven,” “Witches of East End

16. The New Faces of SNL

The 39th season of “Saturday Night Live” welcomes six new Not-Ready-for-Primetime-Players to the fold: Beck Bennett, Brooks Wheelan, Noël Wells, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, and Mike O’Brien. For more, click here.

17. The One to Watch

James Wolk of "The Crazy Ones" (Photo: CBS)

James Wolk. He’s the super-handsome co-star of CBS’s “The Crazy Ones,” where he plays advertising executive Zach Cropper opposite Robin Williams. It’s a role he knows well. Wolk also played an ad exec — the mysterious Bob Benson — last season on AMC’s hit series “Mad Men.” Where have you seen him before? Wolk was the promising young star of 2010’s “Lone Star,” which was hailed as one of the best shows that season…and was unceremoniously cancelled by Fox after one episode.

Fun Fact: Acting Family Ties. Being CW hotties with superpowers isn’t the only thing these two hunks have in common: They also share a last name. New kid on the block Robbie Amell, who stars as Stephen Jameson as a guy with special powers on “The Tomorrow People,” is the cousin of Stephen Amell, who stars as The CW’s superhero “Arrow.”

Photo Gallery: The Breakout Stars of Fall TV 2013

18. Show Titles Most Likely to Be Confused

The Millers” and “The Goldbergs

Which TV family is which? “The Goldbergs” aren’t a modern family — they take you back to the ’80s, while “The Millers” features Will Arnett doing a “Dirty Dancing” number with his mom, Emmy-nominee Margo Martindale.

Runner-up: “The Millers” and “Dads” … both shows have the parents moving in with their grown children!

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19. Shows Worth Another Look

Did you bail on these shows early on? Well, some series need a season or two to find their footing … here are a few that have gotten better and are worth giving another shot.

The Mindy Project
Chicago Fire
Shark Tank

P.S. If you haven’t gotten Scandal-ized yet, there’s no better time to jump in the gladiators ring and get on the “Scandal” bandwagon!

20. On the Move: DVR Alert! Some of your favorite shows have New Nights and Times. Link to interactive fall schedule.

Parenthood” moves to Thursdays at 10 p.m.  [xfinity-record-button id=”6549919188765009112″ program_type=”series”]
Revolution” moves to Wednesdays at 8 p.m.  [xfinity-record-button id=”5665958712678255112″ program_type=”series”]
Person of Interest” moves to Tuesdays at 10 p.m.  [xfinity-record-button id=”5316721367798059112″ program_type=”series”]
Chicago Fire” moves to Tuesdays at 10 p.m.  [xfinity-record-button id=”5531888790362115112″ program_type=”series”]
Hawaii Five-0” moves to Fridays at 9 p.m.  [xfinity-record-button id=”4935872026532003112″ program_type=”series”]
Dancing with the Stars” now airs once a week, Mondays, 8-10 p.m.  [xfinity-record-button id=”6286089193231416112″ program_type=”series”]

Catch-up on Every Season of “Parenthood” Here on xfinityTV

21. Diversity Abounds on TV This Fall

Welcome to the Family“: This NBC series shines a light on Latinos but isn’t your typical culture-clash comedy: Watch the Pilot Episode Early Here.
Ironside“: Blair Underwood Takes on Wheelchair Duty. 5 Reasons to Watch “Ironside”
Brooklyn Nine-Nine“: Andre Braugher plays the straightest gay, black — and hilarious — police captain you’ve ever seen. 5 Things to Know About “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Sean Saves the World“: Sean Hayes plays a gay single dad in the family/workplace comedy, with the sassy, snarky sidekick role being filled by Linda Lavin (“Alice”), who plays his TV mom.

Watch Full Episodes of “The Blacklist” Here

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22. Daytime’s New Darlings

Bethenny Frankel and Queen Latifah have both launched new daytime talk shows.

23. “Bridesmaids” Revisited: Three stars of the hit film “Bridesmaids” are all starring on TV shows this year.

Melissa McCarthy stars on CBS’s “Mike & Molly.”
Rebel Wilson hopes to make Wednesdays a “Super Fun Night” on ABC.
Wendi McClendon-Covey plays the ’80s-riffic mom on “The Goldbergs.”

24. In the running for worst new show?

We predict a close battle between the sitcoms “We Are Men” vs. the already controversial “Dads.” Jerry O’Connell gets the bonus point for the Speedo though.

25. Returning Shows: Burning Questions!

There were cliffhangers galore in May, and these are some of the biggies we can’t wait to come back, so we can have the answers to all “what the … ?!?” jaw-droppers from May.

“Scandal”: The “Dad?” bombshell, Presidential affair exposed!  Shonda Rhimes Teases “Scandal” Twists
Does The Chief live on “Grey’s Anatomy”? 5 Things to Know About “Grey’s Anatomy”
“Castle”: What is Beckett’s answer?!  5 Things to Know About “Castle”
“Revenge”: A wedding & a death!?  6 Things to Know About “Revenge”
“Law & Order: SVU”: What traumatizes Benson!? “SVU” Premiere Is “Most Harrowing Episode Ever”
How will Ziva go out on “NCIS”? “NCIS” Burning Questions Answered
Is Alicia really leaving the firm? 5 Things to Know About “The Good Wife”
What happens after the missile launch on “Revolution”?  “Revolution” Burning Questions Answered
When will Leonard return to “The Big Bang Theory”?  “The Big Bang Theory” Burning Questions Answered
What about Charlie’s long-lost daughter?  5 Things to Know About “Two and a Half Men”
No, seriously, what’s the deal with The Mother?  5 Things to Know About “How I Met Your Mother”
Where’s Brody? “Homeland” “Homeland” Season 3 Burning Questions Answered
What happened to The Governor? “The Walking Dead”  “Walking Dead” Burning Questions Answered

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.