For network TV diehards like me, the unveiling of new shows for fall was like waking up to the smell of bacon. Here’s a don’t-miss snapshot of what’s in store:
•Person of Interest (CBS) Magnificently bearded drifter Reese (Jim Caviezel) is recruited off the street into a secret force that stops people about to be involved in violent crimes. From executive producers J.J. Abrams (who rules), Greg Plageman (cop drama king) and Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight writer). Expect sawed-off shotguns with wry dialogue and a conscience.
•Once Upon a Time (ABC) Through the looking glass from the town of Storybrooke is an enchanted forest, and characters unwittingly dwell in both. A curse keeps them trapped and vulnerable to the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), and the fate of all lies with real-world skeptic Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison).
•H8R (CW) Mario Lopez puts his dimples to good use as host of this face-to-face battle between celebrities and the “civilians” who hate them. Snooki taking on a guy who calls her a drunken slob/wannabe Italian = guilty pleasure gold.
•New Girl (Fox) After a humiliating breakup, Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel) moves in with three dudes. From incessantly watching Dirty Dancing to whisper-singing nonsense songs, her social imbecility is an adorable foil for what otherwise would be a typical story of love, loss and rebound sex.
•The Playboy Club (NBC) At Chicago’s legendary Playboy Club, new bunny Maureen (Amber Heard) gets her paws dirty by accidentally killing a crime boss. Resident good-guy-in-rogue’s-clothing Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian) comes to her rescue. One great line: “You’re the only man I know puts his hand up a girl’s skirt looking for a dictionary.”