Sep. 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM ET
Fall TV season is here again, and the four major broadcast networks are offering quite a few new choices — 24 to be exact. But who has time to wade through all the new dramas and sitcoms in hopes of finding the few that fit your viewing desires and are worthy of your precious DVR space?
Well, we saved you a lot of potentially wasted viewing hours. Have a particular kind of show in mind? Here's what we'd recommend:
If you need some laughs ...
After a tough day at work, sometimes, all you want to do is kick back and chuckle the stress away. Fortunately, there are some nice new options (and they don't have laugh tracks!). ABC's "The Goldbergs" (debuting Sept. 24 at 9 p.m.) feels a bit like a return to "The Wonder Years," but instead of the '60s, this sitcom about the Goldberg family is set in the '80s. While it doesn't have the drama of "Wonder," it's added to the family fun factor with George Segal of "Just Shoot Me!" as the grandpa who teaches his 11-year-old grandson how to woo the young woman of his dreams. Added bonus? '80s musical hits! (Watch the trailer.)
It's "Mad Men" with humor on CBS' "The Crazy Ones," starring Robin Williams and the AMC drama's James Wolk (Bob Benson). The sitcom, about advertising genius Simon Roberts (Williams) and the HR-nightmare that is his talent, is charming not because of the comedian's over-the-top goofiness, but because of the magic Williams and Wolk create when they're onscreen together. They're like peanut butter and jelly, except you won't want a glass of milk to wash it down. You'll want to savor it. The show premieres Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. (Watch the trailer.)
War is no laughing matter, but FOX's "Enlisted" (premiering Nov. 8 at 9:30 p.m.) is a sweet comedy about three brothers who reconnect on an Army base. Big bro Pete (Geoff Stults of "Ben & Kate") finds himself in a Florida training camp after a mistake in battle gets him sent back to the U.S., where he's assigned to whip a group of seemingly unfit soldiers — including his two younger brothers — into fighting shape. The sitcom has shades of "Police Academy," minus the raunch. (Watch the trailer.)
Shows you can watch with the family ...
Let's face it: There just aren't that many shows nowadays that an entire family can sit down and enjoy together. Gone are the days of "Roseanne" and "Family Ties" ... wait! "Family Ties" star Michael J. Fox is coming back to TV this fall with — what else? — "The Michael J. Fox Show," which premieres Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. on NBC. This time, he's playing family man Mike Henry, who left his job after being diagnosed with Parkinson's to spend more time with his family and take care of himself, and is now venturing back to work. (The actor revealed his own diagnosis in 1998.) The comedy isn't always a barrel of laughs, but it is a very sweet ode to family. (Watch the trailer.)
For those looking to escape their mundane worlds with their kids, good news: ABC's family-friendly "Once Upon a Time" is offering a magical spin-off with "OUAT in Wonderland," featuring the adventures of a grown-up Alice (Sophie Lowe), set to debut on Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. But there will be more to "Wonderland" than just the tale that fans know and love. The show will also weave in "Aladdin" villain Jafar (Naveen Andrews of "Lost") and a genie in a bottle named Cyrus. (Watch the trailer.)
For fans of dark classics ...
Can't get enough of "Grimm's" take on fairy tales? You're in luck! Two television dramas are recreating dark, time-honored fables. NBC's "Dracula," starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("The Tudors"), has all of the same characters as Bram Stoker's tome, but adds a few twists. Meyers has always excelled in period pieces featuring lush backdrops, and "Dracula" is no different, featuring a moody, luscious London that is practically a star in its own right. The show debuts Oct. 25 at 10 p.m. (Watch the trailer.)
Don't want to wait until nearly Halloween? FOX's "Sleepy Hollow" is coming up a bit earlier, Sept. 16 at 9 p.m., to be exact. The updated tale finds both Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman coming back to life 250 years after death in modern-day Sleepy Hollow, but there's more to the new TV tale than what Washington Irving penned. That headless guy? Turns out he's one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. (Watch the trailer.)
Cop shows ...
Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? In the case of goofy, rule-breaking Det. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) of the "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," when the tough, no-nonsense new captain (Andre Braugher) arrives, he fights the power — in his underwear! FOX's workplace comedy premieres Sept. 17 at 8:30 p.m. (Watch the trailer.)
Want a serious cop? NBC is rebooting its 1960s and '70s drama "Ironside," this time with Blair Underwood as paraplegic Det. Robert Ironside. The man may be in a wheelchair, but he's practically a modern day Sherlock Holmes with his razor-sharp instincts and eye for detail. With his handpicked team of detectives, Ironside solves New York's most difficult crimes, and with seemingly record speed. Premieres Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. (Watch the trailer.)