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Best bets: New TV season begins at last

"Dancing With the Stars," "Grey's Anatomy," and "House" are among this week's returning shows.
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The new fall TV season officially starts this week, with old favorites and new hopefuls filling the screen. A few highlights:

Can politicians dance? Tom Delay gives it a shot on "Dancing With the Stars," which also features more likely contenders, including Donny Osmond and Aaron Carter. (Premieres Sept. 21, 8 p.m., ABC.)

Can geeks keep up a romance? "The Big Bang Theory" tests that theory as the boys return from Antarctica. (Premieres Sept. 21, 9:30 p.m., CBS.)

Can a doctor allow himself to be a patient? "House" meets "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" as the star of the show finds himself in a mental institution. (Premieres Sept. 21, 8 p.m., Fox.)

And speaking of doctors, what happens when a hospital loses one of its own? It's hardly a secret that one of the docs on "Grey's Anatomy" has put down his scalpel permanently, but now his friends must deal with the loss. (Premieres Sept. 24, 9 p.m., ABC.)

With “High School Musical,” “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” winning so many fans, is it any surprise that Hollywood decided to remake “Fame”? It even features “SYTYCD” contestant Kherington not to mention “SYTYCD” choreographer and star of the original film, Debbie Allen. You want fame? Well, fame costs. But if you just want to watch it, you won’t have to pay in sweat, just good old American currency. (Opens Sept. 25)

Whether you love or hate Michael Moore, he gives everyone something to talk about. In “Capitalism: A Love Story,” his target is the financial industry. The U.K. Guardian wrote that the film “is by turns crude and sentimental, impassioned and invigorating. It posits a simple moral universe inhabited by good little guys and evil big ones, yet the basic thrust of its argument proves hard to resist.” (Opens Sept. 23)

Feeling the need for a little grunge? Pearl Jam returns with a new album, “Backspacer.” Spin magazine awarded it four stars and wrote that the first three songs on the album mark a high point for the band. “The band hasn’t put together a trifecta this energized and from-the-gut in a decade,” the magazine wrote, “and though the rest of ‘Backspacer’ doesn't match that opening salvo, it has a terrific time trying.” (On sale Sept. 15)

Does the world need another supergroup? If it involves M. Ward, My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, and Bright Eyes’ members Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, the answer is yes. Collectively, they are known as The Monsters of Folk, and Spin gave their self-titled album three and a half stars and wrote, “Everyone brings A-list material.” (On sale Sept. 15)