Pop Culture

New ‘NCIS’ series, ‘Mercy’ worth watching

Even the most devoted television watchers will have a tough time watching all the worthy series and season premieres that debut this week. So here’s your cheat sheet: If you stick with these five shows and let the DVR handle the rest, you won’t be left out of any of the next-day chatter.

Monday
“Dancing With the Stars” (ABC): Always a solid premiere, but this season brings Tom Delay, who isn’t just a former congressman, but one who remains under criminal investigation. No matter, Delay, who Tweeted that he has a “pre-stress fracture,” is going to kick up his heels. He might not last long, so better tune in.

Tuesday“NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS): It might sound like the same series, but trust me, it’s different — this iteration has LL Cool J. That’s right, LL Cool J. There’s also Chris O’Donnell. This unusual pairing, and the success of the ‘NCIS’ franchise, makes this series definitely worth a look.

Wednesday“Mercy” (NBC): Do we need another hospital drama? Of course we do, because the setting is rife with potential. You won’t confuse “Mercy,” which tells its stories through the eyes of the hospital’s nurses, with, say, “House” (which premieres Monday, and really, is every bit as worthy of watching as “DWTS,” if we’re being honest).

Thursday“Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC): Even though we basically know the outcome of George and Izzie’s fate, last season's finale of “Grey’s” was fantastic. The season premiere, what with a mourning Izzie and George-less cast, is going to be a good watch. Also, Martha Plimpton, who I wish did more television, makes a cameo.

Friday“Dollhouse” (Fox): The show came as a bit of a surprise success when it premiered last year. From the creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the fantastic sci-fi series impresses because it's better produced than what the mainstream might expect from the genre. Some insiders, however, fear that it might be difficult to keep the show believable during its second season. We shall see.

Martha Stewart has no time for ‘Housewives’

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    Image: Premiere Of Twentieth Century Fox's "Let's Be Cops" - Red Carpet

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    Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. on the "Let's Be Cops," red carpet, Selena Gomez is immortalized in wax and more.

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    Actor Idris Elba seen on the set of :A Hundred Streets" on Aug. 8 in London.

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    Actor Nick Kroll arrives at the premiere of RADIUS-TWC's "The One I Love" at the Vista Theatre on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Damon Wayans Jr., Jake Johnson

    Actors Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson arrive at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    James D'Arcy arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Hannah Simone

    Actress Hannah Simone arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Nina Dobrev

    Actress Nina Dobrev arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    TV personality Nicole Murphy and singer Brandy Norwood attend The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception at W Hollywood on Aug. 7 in Hollywood.

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    Actress Tara Reid attends The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception at W Hollywood on Aug. 7 in Hollywood.

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    Actors James Wirt and Julia Stiles stand on stage during the opening night curtain call for "Phoenix" at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Actress AnnaSophia Robb attends the opening night performance of "Phoenix" at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    A boy gives the wax figure of Selena Gomez a kiss at the unveiling of the new new, never-before-seen Selena Gomez wax figure at Madame Tussauds New York on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show at Z100 Studio on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Actor Michael Fassbender attends "Meet the Actor" at Apple Store Soho on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Mickey Rourke

    Actor Mickey Rourke is seen at "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Jordana Brewster

    Actress Jordana Brewster waves outisde of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam attends G. Garvin Live at Buckhead Theatre on Aug. 7 in Atlanta.

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    Singer Miley Cyrus performs in concert at Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 7 in Nashville.

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    Actress Melanie Griffith attends a press conference during the 67th Locarno Film Festival on Aug. 7 in Locarno, Switzerland.

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    Singer Lily Allen performs in concert at Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 7 in Nashville.

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    The stars of "Expendables 3," from left, Kellan Lutz, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes attend "Expendables 3" at Cinema UGC Normandie on Aug. 7 in Paris.

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    Actor Robert Pattinson speaks during the Meet The Filmmakers event for "The Rover" at Apple Store, Regent Street on Aug. 7 in London.

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    Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman

    Actors Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman are spotted filming Bateman's "The Family Fang" in Westchester, New York, on Aug. 7.

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    Akon

    Grammy-nominated artist Akon, who is the founder of Akon Lighting Africa Project, discusses at the US-Africa Leaders Summit "Africa: New Parnership Models for Growth" news conference, held in Washington, DC, on Aug. 7, the progress that African heads of state have made.

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The Us Weekly 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers party took place Sept. 16 and among the attendees were Alicia Keys, Elle MacPherson, Vera Wang, Sherri Shepherd and Martha Stewart. Stewart was sick though, and left shortly after she walked the red carpet. But not before an awkward run-in with Danielle of “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” who attempted to chat up Stewart … who was having none of it.

Weekend box office: more ‘Meatballs,’ less ‘Love’“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” didn’t disappoint at the box office, earning $30.1 million in its debut. The kids’ flick appealed to every age group, which helped with the bottom line, but so did the 3-D run, which carries a ticket premium. Big disappointment: “Love Happens,” which made $6.8 million. If its star, Jennifer Aniston, really could carry a film, this would have been the weekend that proved it.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @courtneyatmsnbc.

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