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Video: Steve Carell back in the office

msnbc.com
updated 9/20/2006 2:13:14 PM ET 2006-09-20T18:13:14

The fall television season is officially underway, complete with new fixes of old addictions like "Grey's Anatomy" and "The Office," but there are some new shows worth checking out this season, as well.

We asked Stephen Battaglio, senior correspondent for TV Guide, to help us pick our poison and unclutter the Tivo.

"The Most":  We've heard that a lot of the shows this season are pretty good.  Is that true?

Stephen Battaglio, senior correspondent for TV Guide: You won't see anything premiering this year that will get you saying why did they put that on.  Quality seems to be the name of the game this year.  The other thing is the return to serialized programming.  For many years the networks thought that they had to tell the story in self-contained hours like Law & Order or the CSI series.  Not this year; this year it is about unfolding story lines. 

Most: Notable new shows?

Battaglio:  Some of the notables that are creating buzz include Ugly Betty, The Nine, Smith on CBS and some more down the middle shows like Shark with James Woods (CBS).  The most interesting battle is going to be Thurs. night at nine, its CSI versus Grey's Anatomy.  That's a big night and it will have many suits nervous.   Grey's Anatomy has been a huge hit for ABC and of course CSI has been huge to so you have some big guns out there on Thurs.

Most:How about the two shows "Studio 60" and "30 Rock?"

Battaglio: They're on different nights and they are different shows.  What you have is Lorne Michaels vs. Aaron Sorkin.  Sorkin returns to TV and will be watched - he is considered a terrific writer and gave us some great years on The West Wing.  The question is, will people be that interested in the behind the scenes in show biz?  One is a drama about a comedy show and then Tina Fey's is an over the top comedy, 30 Rock. 

Most:Any sleepers hits?

Battaglio: They are all sleepers until they become hits.  The question is how many of these are people ready to commit to at some point people say they're busy enough and then they start to choose the shows they have time for and suit them the best.

Most:Lots of shows have some kind of Web tie-in, eh?

Battaglio: Yes.  One of the trends is that people can now go online and watch before the actual show premieres.  What the networks are doing is planting their flag in broadband.  The networks want to be ready to capitalize on this trend before it really takes off.  TiVo and DVRs are popular but still only capture a small part of the market.

Most:Will "Deal or No Deal" continue to be a hit?

Battaglio: It is a big for NBC.  It's a hot show and the prizes are bigger.  It will be interesting to see if it holds up if there's a big hit out there that it's up against.

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