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Spoofs & Satire

What’s On?

With more than 70 TV show premieres this fall, who has time to watch them all? Or even know what any of them are about? With no prior knowledge of the shows’ premises, here are some guesses.

ABC

Terra Nova

After a horrifically violent Segway accident, Republican Congresswoman Terra Madison (Christine Adams) is reconstructed at the nation’s top surgical facility with all new body parts harvested entirely from human embryos. Upon awakening, she embarks on a self-flagellating crusade to block stem cell research once and for all, recruiting the help of fellow Congressman Michael Bachmann (Jason O’Mara) and God, portrayed convincingly by a fat, flowy-bearded Byron J. Brochmann. Comedy. Premieres on FOX, Monday, 9/26, 8 p.m.

2 Broke Girls

Tina (Will Barker) and Jennifer (Matt Drago) are unsuccessful, mannish New York City call girls who, out of desperation, resort to trading cocoa futures on the Intercontinental Exchange futures market, only to find themselves in way over their heads. A churlish Wall Street know-it-all (Halston Autumn McMurray) takes them under her wing as they’re exposed to the dark underbelly of the edible commodities trade. Action and Adventure. Premieres on CBS, Monday, 9/19, 9:30 p.m.

The Dead Files

A hot male/female detective team (Amy Allan, Steve DeSchiavi) solves Philadelphia’s most baffling cold cases without engaging in intercourse. Cop drama. Premieres on the Travel Channel, Friday, 9/23, 10 p.m.

Hart of Dixie

McKaley Miller makes her television debut as Dixie McGhee, an impoverished, hard-living, 50-something Bayou barkeeper whose recent cardiovascular maladies have prompted her to turn her life around. Despite crippling dyslexia, she enters a spelling bee in the hopes of winning the grand prize: a new heart. A young Indian spelling tutor named Puneet (Rachel Bilson) helps her overcome her impediment and teaches her how not to be such a racist. Drama. Premieres on the CW, Monday, 9/26, 9 p.m.

Revenge

A couple of unemployed redneck losers, Joe Bob and Stevie B. (Robbie Amell, Max Martini) hatch an ill-advised plan to kidnap their local representative, Democratic Congressman Jack Drew (Stephen Elliott), who they blame for their current predicament. Joe Bob comes to terms with the fact that he’s gay and in love with Jack, who develops Stockholm syndrome and helps Stevie B. finish high school. The three learn they aren’t so different after all. Comedy. Premieres on ABC, Wednesday, 9/21, 9 p.m.

The Nerdist

Host Chris Hardwick profiles tween-age and teenage bullies who are fighting the current anti-bullying trend in the United States. Equally poignant and sad, The Nerdist showcases the reverse discrimination bullies face each day and shows the personal side of bullying we rarely hear about. Reality. Premieres on BBC America, Saturday, 9/24, 10 p.m.

Grimm

Teleported to the future by fairy-tale-loving extraterrestrials, the Brothers Grimm (David Giuntoil, Russell Hornsby) miraculously find themselves in 2012 Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where they are celebrated modern authors among the fashionable literati. The brothers constantly lament the lack of good schnitzel, however, which won’t become hip for another five years. Comedy. Premieres on NBC, Friday, 10/21, 9 p.m.

Unforgettable

A panel of celebrity judges (Poppy Montgomery, Dylan Walsh, Michael J. Burg) vet contestants competing to make themselves as memorable as possible to the judges. Viewers then vote each week to decide who should be remembered and who should be forgotten. Reality. Premieres on CBS, Tuesday, 9/20, 10 p.m.

Charlie’s Angels

The Angels (Christopher de Stefano, Chaz Mena, Carlos Bernard), out of work due to the recent world peace treaty and with newly acquired male genitalia, form a drummer-less Beatles cover band called Ringo’s Angels. Paul McCartney produces six episodes. Drama. Premieres on ABC, Thursday, 9/22, 8 p.m.

The Playboy Club

After finding a stack of his father’s old nudie magazines in the garage, suburban teen Robbie (Randy Steinmeyer) and best friend Clayton (Eddie Cibrian) discover a portal that transports them back to the heady high-water mark of the 1970s porn industry. As interns at a popular skin magazine, they learn the secrets of what used to make porn great and honorable, devising a plan to bring their knowledge back to the future to revive the waning Los Angeles porn industry. Things get complicated, however, when Clayton falls in love with an actress named LuLu Oopsay (Amber Heard), who is only hot in the past. Comedy. Premieres on NBC, Monday, 9/19, 10 p.m.

Fashion Hunters

Two-man teams scavenge metropolitan areas to locate and kill the most stylish individuals. Contestants are awarded points by clothing brand, accessory assortment, and lack of body fat. Reality. Premieres on Bravo, Tuesday, 10/4, 10:30 p.m.

Last Man Standing

Union Army Major General George B. McClellan (Tim Allen) and Confederate Commander Robert E. Lee (Hector Elizondo) really get under each other’s skins in this rollicking Civil War-era comedy. Taking place over the course of one day during the famed Battle of Antietam, each tries to outflank the other with endless strategic gags and surprises. A mutual love interest (Kaitlyn Dever), meanwhile, increases the tensions. Comedy. Premieres on ABC, Tuesday, 10/11, 8 p.m.

The Secret Circle

A circular tunnel discovered in the middle of an abandoned library basement mysteriously brings together three strangers (Brittany Robertson, Logan Browning, Thomas Dekker). After crossing its threshold into another dimension, they find themselves trapped in the harrowing Level 6 of the original Super Mario Brothers for NES. Drama. Premieres on the CW, Thursday, 9/15, 9 p.m.

Man Up!

Through an unexplained mix-up at an in-vitro fertilization clinic, three best friends (Dan Foggler, Christopher Moynihan, Henry Simmons) all simultaneously get the same woman pregnant and together must learn responsibility. Traditional notions of friendship and parenthood are redefined as each discovers things he never knew about himself and reproductive science. Drama. Premieres on ABC, Tuesday, 10/18, 8:30 p.m.

Sweet Genius

Using advanced mathematical and architectural concepts, cake makers compete to make the tallest, ugliest, most angularly provocative and off-balance-looking cake in the two-year history of competitive cake-making. Reality. Premieres on the Food Network, Thursday, 9/22, 10 p.m.

Prime Suspect

Mathematical genius Darnell Franklin (Kenny Johnson) accidentally stumbles upon a police file and quickly deduces that a murder suspect (Andrew Wayne) may be choosing his victims based on a complex numerical system involving the numbers one, three, and five. When Darnell later discovers he and the suspect may share the same therapist (Maria Bello)—and that her middle name is “Twenty-three”—the wormhole opens. A real wormhole. Sci-fi cop drama. Premieres on NBC, Thursday, 9/22, 10 p.m.

A Gifted Man

Three certified geniuses (Jennifer Ehrle, Shirley Roeca, Susie Abromeit) board together in a small Massachusetts farmhouse, secretly performing ghost work for the Pentagon’s latest top-secret national security project. All of them appear to be women. But one of them isn’t… Mystery. Premieres on CBS, Friday, 9/23, 8 p.m.

New Girl

Zooey Deschanel plays the quirky and unpredictable Megheanh, whose unfettered spirit and penchant for dancing in public make for hours of entertainment for her roommate and twin brother, Jaysun (Max Greenfield), but not for a lot of steady boyfriends. Megheanh seeks romance in San Francisco’s Mission District with the help of her brother, completely unaware there is a bloodthirsty sexual-deviant serial killer (Jake M. Johnson) stalking her shapely calf muscles as trophies. Dramedy. Premieres on FOX, Tuesday, 9/20, 9 p.m.

Person of Interest

Using every promotional tool at their disposal, Hollywood publicists compete to make unheard-of actors Stanislav Shkilnyi (Kung Fu and Titties) and Naeem Uzimann (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City) seem interesting, semi-relevant, and ultimately—hopefully—good. One zillion dollar prize. Reality. Premieres on CBS, Thursday, 9/22, 9 p.m.

Suburgatory

A well-to-do soccer mom, Adelle (Carly Chaikin), finds herself locked for hellish eternity inside a suburban game room with lesbian postal clerk Gretchen (Ally Grant), and really annoying weak guy Steve (Rex Lee). Quickly they deduce the only way out is for Steve to beat Gretchen at foosball, and that they are screwed. Drama. Premieres on ABC, Wednesday, 9/28, 8:30 p.m. 

I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Contestants write critical essays, throw darts at pictures, and participate in the weekly Sob-Off, among other activities—all in a competition to determine who hates their respective teenage daughters the most. Reality. Premieres on FOX, Wednesday, 11/30, 9:30 p.m.

Free Agents

A former Romanian Olympic Handball star, Eftemie (Hank Azaria), comes out of retirement to compete in the newly formed pro league, only to find himself treading water in a young man’s world in which he feels threatened at every turn. Cocky young teammate Petru (Mark Roman) and his seductive girlfriend Kathryn (Kathryn Hahn) seek to take advantage of his weakness, but Kathryn is soon won over by his uncanny imitations of American screen actors, and a thrilling love triangle ensues. Suspense. Premieres on NBC, Wednesday, 9/14, 8:30 p.m.

Whitney

In the late 1780s, three beautiful suitorettes (Jennifer Cunningham, Nadia Sloane, Julia Chovie) vie for the affections of future cotton gin inventor and noted American playboy Eli Whitney (Chris D’Elia). None of them, however, is yet aware of Whitney’s “interchangeable parts.” Not recommended for children. Drama/suspense. Premieres on NBC, Thursday, 9/22, 9:30 p.m.

How to Be a Gentleman

Bitten by a rabid squirrel while camping in Yosemite National Park, vice officer Crane LeBarret (Kevin Dillon) begins to have visions of underground rodent crimes beneath his hometown of Las Vegas. LeBarret soon implicates a pair of psychotic rival Vegas crime bosses (Rhys Darby, Dave Foley) in a complex casino scheme, uncovering a maze of underground tunnels and a laundry list of unsolved rodent crimes. Cop drama. Premieres on CBS, Thursday, 9/29, 8:30 p.m.

Once Upon a Time

Answering a dying child’s request through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, beloved American garage rock band the White Stripes must reunite for one final album and tour. Guitarist Jack White (Josh Dallas) and drummer Meg White (Ginnifer Goodwin) agree reluctantly, though it quickly becomes obvious that, due to irreconcilable differences, they are incapable of having a professional business relationship. Just as it seems the whole thing is about to fall apart, friend and collaborator Holly Golightly (Beverley Elliott) turns up and reminds them of the beauty of making garage rock. Dramedy. Premieres on ABC, Sunday, 8/23, 10 p.m.

Allen Gregory

High-power defense attorney Allen Gregory (Nat Faxon) finds his life turned upside down after being hired by Jonah Hill (himself) to defend Hill in a grizzly Manson-esque quadruple-murder case. Gregory, nearly certain of his client’s guilt, is torn between his vocational duty to defend Hill and his personal abhorrence at the idea of Hill getting away with the gruesome crime. Reluctantly, Gregory petitions the help of Manson himself (Will Forte) to understand the nature of Hill’s sociopathic tendencies. Suspense. Premieres on FOX, Sunday, 10/30, 8:30 p.m.

Pan Am

Set 30 years in the future, Pan Am imagines the now-defunct airline reinstated as the only mode of transportation left in the United States. A triumvirate of busty undercover Air Marshals (Christina Ricci, Kelly Garner, Margot Robbie) keeps watch over the country, waging war against a cabal of jihadist robots hell-bent on bringing back Delta and restoring competitive balance to the industry (jihadists are very different in the future). There is tons of nudity since it’s in the late Sunday slot. It’s mostly hot naked women scenes. Drama/suspense/hot nudity. Premieres on ABC, Sunday, 9/25, 10 p.m.

The X Factor

Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and someone called Nicole Scherzinger decide who goes to hell. Reality. Premieres on FOX, Wednesday, 9/21, 8 p.m.

biopic

TMN Contributing Writer Eric Feezell‘s work has appeared at the Onion News Network and McSweeney’s, among others. He lives in Oakland, Calif. More by Eric Feezell

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