Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, September 24. All times are Eastern.
Castle (ABC, 10 p.m.): The TV season officially starts tonight, with the resumption of some of your “favorite” series, which are picking up from some big cliffhangers (or… not, as the case may be). The biggest of those cliffhangers is probably Castle, which returns to let you know what happened after Castle and Beckett had themselves a nice kiss. Our guess is that they probably had sex, but this is Castle, so it’s equally likely that one of them developed amnesia and forgot they were in love with the other or something. Phil Dyess-Nugent is going to solve this mystery by watching ABC’s screener.
Alphas (Syfy, 8 p.m.): Continuing with Syfy’s incredibly smart scheduling of this series, Alphas is now going to air the last half of its season right in the buzzsaw of fall premiére season, because that’s exactly where a show struggling in the ratings should be. Todd VanDerWerff will see you later, David Strathairn.
How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8 p.m.): In May’s finale, we learned the wedding Ted meets the mother at is Barney and Robin’s wedding. Which was the only answer that makes sense, because then you get why the show starts with him meeting Robin. Donna Bowman reviews the possibly final season premiére.
The L.A. Complex (The CW, 8 p.m.): With just two hours left in the season, The CW burns those two hours off tonight, in an extended finale, making them the only network getting out of the TV game this evening. Phil Dyess-Nugent is glad he had that Castle screener or he would have been up super late.
Switched At Birth (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): “Emmett meets a girl who’s a fellow motorcycle enthusiast.” Switched At Birth doesn’t need to worry about getting killed in the ratings by other networks’ premiéres, because it knows that it already has a season two pickup. Carrie Raisler is going to Wiki some art.
2 Broke Girls (CBS, 9 p.m.): And now, a play. Todd VanDerWerff: “I need someone to cover 2 Broke Girls. Pilot?” Pilot Viruet: “Do I have to?” TV: “Well, it got lots of readers last year, and I know you haven’t given up hope for it yet.” PV: “And it has Steven Weber.” TV: “Exactly. Plus, you’re new. Get to it!”
Revolution (NBC, 10 p.m.): Last week’s debut got huge ratings, the best since those long-running sci-fi sensations, V and FlashForward. Les Chappell is hoping that this show runs for 15 years like those two, and he’s hoping that Tracy Spiridakos shouts, “BECAUSE I WAS LOADED, OKAY?!” at some point.
The Inbetweeners (MTV, 10:30 p.m.): Jay decides to compete to be class clown, in keeping with a rich tradition in his family. We didn’t know that was the sort of title you could “win.” If she’d known that, Margaret Eby would have put much more work into her prop comedy skills in seventh grade.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The West Wing (11 a.m.): Now that Sam’s on his way out, the heat’s falling on his replacement, Will Bailey. Steve Heisler is working up a little softshoe routine during which he’ll perform “Won’t You Come Home, Will Bailey?” for the enjoyment of all you readers. Look for it on YouTube this afternoon.
Justice League (1 p.m.): Grodd, Sinestro, Clayface, and Giganta working together in the same secret society? Will wonders never cease?! That they’re joined by a panoply of other supervillains makes this the most supervillain-y episode ever. Oliver Sava has an evil plan to post this review five minutes late!
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Dancing With The Stars (ABC, 8 p.m.): Emmitt Smith and Bristol Palin are among the returning dancers in this show’s “all-star” season. Since the ratings slumped significantly last spring, this is the series’ best chance to return to its former dominance. We’re betting it doesn’t happen, but stranger things…
Partners (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Michael Urie, David Krumholtz, Brandon Routh, and Sophia Bush are wasted in a series that might have felt up-to-date in 1996. But in 2012, it feels like something written in 2002, then dusted off. Which it pretty much was! Todd VanDerWerff and Sonia Saraiya take a look.
Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, 10 p.m.): Don’t tell anybody, but when we’re really bored, we kind of like kicking back with this agreeably dopey police procedural, mostly just because Hawaii looks so darn purty on our HDTVs and because Scott Caan is often fun. If you agree, the third season starts tonight.
The Day Carl Sandburg Died (PBS, 10 p.m.): Even PBS is getting in on the premiére week festivities, with this installment of American Masters about the great American poet and, apparently, the day he died. We hope it’s something more interesting than, “And then, Carl Sandburg died. And it was really sad.”
Casino (AMC, 8 p.m.): Martin Scorsese swung for the fences with this story of gangsters in Las Vegas, and even if he didn’t quite hit it out of the park, the movie’s still got plenty of good points. If you’re insistent on not watching returning shows tonight, you could do worse than giving this a chance.
Flubber (Cinemax, 8:20 p.m.): If you had always hoped Disney might remake The Absent-Minded Professor with Robin Williams in the lead role, well, you’re in luck, because they did it all the way back in 1997, and it was exactly as hilarious as you’d expect it to be. By which we mean, not very hilarious at all.
Monday Night Football: Packers at Seahawks (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.): The NFC North featured all four teams at 1-1 going into this weekend, including the mighty Packers, who dropped one to the 49ers. One would expect them to have an easier time with the Seattle Seahawks, but who knows anything anymore?
ALSO RETURNING TONIGHT
Mike & Molly, season three (CBS, 9:30 p.m.)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Treme (Sunday): Keith Phipps returns to the streets of New Orleans for the next-to-last season and an enjoyable season premiére. Now we wait to find out how far David Simon and company can stretch the lump sum they’ve been handed for season four. Four episodes? Six episodes? Dare we hope for eight?