Fall TV Guide: Our Favorite Shows Returning in September

From Grey's Anatomy to Parks and Recreation, check out the shows we can't wait to watch this month

Summer's almost done, and yes, that's a bummer.

But the changing season also means that your favorite shows are back with new episodes. Is there a certain series you've been missing?

This month, you'll have the chance to get reaquainted with many favorites -- with dramas from Grey's Anatomy to Parenthood and with comedies from Glee to Modern Family. Get ready to fill up that DVR!

The Big Bang Theory

Big Bang Theory TV Preview

Courtesy of CBS

Premieres: Sept. 26 at 8 pm on CBS

Where we left off: Bidding adieu to Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Leonard (Johnny Galecki) left for a research expedition at sea. And Lucy (Kate Miccuci) text-dumped Raj (Kunal Nayyar).

Why we can't wait: Producers say Penny and Sheldon will grow closer. As for Raj and Lucy's relationship, don't count it out yet! "[The] door was intentionally left wide open [for Kate to return,]" says exec producer Steven Molaro. "Raj said at the end of Season 6, 'I pushed it too hard. I need to give her some space.' And he's still heartbroken about Lucy and sort of picking up the pieces and trying to move forward... But I love those characters together."

Dancing with the Stars

Dancing with the Stars Fall Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept. 16 at 8 pm on ABC

Where we left off: Kellie Pickler bested NFL star Jacoby Jones and Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman to claim the Mirror Ball Trophy for her very own.

Why we can't wait: With the network shrinking the show from two nights down to one, Season 17 really ought to be more killer, less filler. Also: producers have assembled one of the most interesting celeb rosters in years. Viewers can tune in to see bonafide stars like Leah Remini and Amber Riley; or to watch the ailing Valerie Harper defy her scary cancer prognosis; or just to gape at Snooki fist pumping her way through the Cha Cha.



Glee TV Preview

Courtesy of FOX

Premieres: Sept. 26 at 9 pm on FOX

Where we left off: Brittany (Heather Morris) was off to MIT, and Blaine (Darren Criss) was poised to propose to Kurt (Chris Colfer). After breaking up early in the season, Rachel (Lea Michele) and Finn (Cory Monteith) seemed to be headed back together again. The last time Rachel spoke to him, he was offering her loving advice about her Funny Girl audition. (In the finale, she nailed it.) In July, three months after the finale aired, Glee's cast and crew were stunned by the unexpected, tragic death of Monteith.

Why we can't wait: After two Beatles-themed episodes written before Monteith's death, a memorial episode—in which Finn dies—will attempt to give grieving fans some closure. “This episode is about a celebration of that character’s life," exec producer Ryan Murphy told Deadline. "It's a very heartfelt look at how young people grieve. After that, we’re going to take two weeks or three weeks down to get our heads together."



Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: September 26 at 9 pm on ABC

Where we left off: Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) gave birth; Cristina (Sandra Oh) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) broke up (again); and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) cheated on Callie (Sara Ramirez). And amidst a terrible storm, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) was last seen in the hospital basement, face down in a pool of water, presumably dead.

Why we can't wait: The Season 9 storm will culminate in a Season 10 mudslide. (Surely Grey's has run out of natural disasters by now?!) Though the promo implies that Chief Webber has left this world, creator Shonda Rhimes might have accidentally exposed the truth (he's alive!) when she posted and then deleted a WhoSay photo of the cast (including Pickens Jr.), at a table read for the upcoming 200th episode. As for Arizona's infidelity, "Callie is enraged, pain, anger, hurt, devastation ... and she's not afraid to show it," Ramirez says.



Homeland TV Preview

Courtesy of Showtime

Premieres: Sept 29 at 9 pm on Showtime

Where we left off: During a memorial service for the vice president at CIA headquarters, a bomb inside Brody's (Damian Lewis) car exploded and killed nearly all the attendees. Carrie (Claire Danes) helped Brody escape the country, and then returned to Saul's (Mandy Patankin) side to rebuild the CIA.

Why we can't wait: More Carrie/Saul battles to come! Those CIA members who survived are questioned in a congressional hearing. While defending himself, Saul refers to an "unstable case worker" on his team, which deeply hurts Carrie. This doesn't seem like a good time for our bipolar heroine to go off her meds, but, alas, she does anyway. As for Brody, he doesn't turn up until the third episode, and naturally, Carrie's "questioning herself at every turn," executive producer Alex Gansa told TV Guide. "She's going to begin to question whether or not [Brody's] actually as innocent and she may have thought." Hmmm. That sounds familiar.



How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother TV Preview

Courtesy of CBS

Premieres: Sept. 23 at 8 pm on CBS

Where we left off: We saw the girl with the yellow umbrella  , a.k.a. Ted's (Josh Radnor) future wife (Cristin Milioti), and she's not Robin (Cobie Smulders). Of course, Ted doesn't know this, so the poor guy's still hung up on Robin—who is now engaged to Barney (Neil Patrick Harris). Next up: the gang will attend Barney and Robin's wedding.

Why we can't wait: The longest wedding weekend in the world will slowly unfold over the course of the show's final season. Each of Ted's friends will meet The Mother before he does. But when he does, presumably in the finale, on a train platform after the wedding, this nine-season-long story will (hopefully) come to a satisfying ending!


Modern Family

Modern Family TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept. 25 at 9 pm on ABC

Where we left off: The "family" got bigger with the birth of Jay (Ed O'Neil) and Gloria's (Sophia Vergara) son, Joe. Sadly, no one considered giving the irritating Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) away and calling it even.

Why we can't wait: Who doesn't love a wedding? The premiere will feature a ceremony between uptight Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and dramatic Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), in the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. We're guessing that Mitch will ask Cam to be his husband, and Cam will answer like everyone else in the promo.



Nashville TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept. 25 at 10 pm on ABC

Where we left off: Deacon (Charles Esten) isn't just Rayna's (Connie Britton) longtime songwriting partner and bandleader, he's also the father of her oldest daughter. When he found this out, he got drunk and fought with Rayna, and the pair ended up in a serious car accident. Deacon's niece Scarlett (Clare Bowen) mulled over a wedding proposal from Gunnar (Sam Palladio), but she still had eyes for Avery (Jonathan Jackson). And Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) grieved the loss of her mother.

Why we can't wait: Season 2 starts off with Rayna in a coma and Deacon facing jail time. But eventually, viewers will be "starting to see Connie [Britton] really drive the plot," said ABC president Paul Lee. "And the rivalry with her and Hayden [Panettiere] will really come to a head." Meanwhile, Deacon will come to terms with fatherhood. "I don't think Deacon ever thought of himself as father material and as the season goes on we'll see him grapple with why he feels that way and whether or not he's right," creator Callie Khouri told TV Guide.


New Girl

New Girl TV Preview

Courtesy of FOX

Premieres: Sept. 20 at 8:30 p.m. on FOX

Where we left off: Cece (Hannah Simone) and Shivrang's (Satya Bhabha) wedding ended in…Cece admitting she really wanted Schmidt (Max Greenfield). Faced with a choice between Cece and Elizabeth (Merritt Wever), Schmidt turned and ran. Also: Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Zooey Deschanel) broke up and got back together, winningly.

Why we can't wait: More Nick and Zooey cuteness! The couple will attempt to take a trip to Mexico, but Nick's forgotten passport will derail them. And later we'll meet Jess' sister! Fingers crossed she's played by the other Deschanel, Emily. (And fingers also crossed that she'll be nicer than Jess' dad.)


Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept. 29 at 8 pm on ABC

Where we left off: Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) was kidnapped, and the Charmings, Rumpelstiltsken, Captain Hook and the Evil Queen set sail for Neverland to retrieve him.

Why we can't wait: "We're going to explain pretty quickly how, as we showed in the finale, [Henry's kidnappers] Greg and Tamara were unwittingly working for Peter Pan, and how that all connects," exec producer Adam Horowitz told TV Guide. In this promo clip, Peter Pan appears to be a dark and fearsome character. Also new this season: the Little Mermaid!



Parenthood TV Preview

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Sept. 26 at 10 pm on NBC

Where we left off: Kristina (Monica Potter) is cancer-free! Crosby (Dax Shepard) and Jasmine (Joy Bryant) are expecting! Amber (Mae Whitman) and Ryan (Matt Lauria) got back together! Oh, and despite a season with two romantic interests, Sarah (Lauren Graham) still ended up alone.

Why we can't wait: Based on this promo, which features the return of her old boss, Hank (Ray Romano), Sarah may just land a man after all. And maybe two: Drop Dead Diva's Josh Stamberg will play a recurring character described as "a charming and fun addition to Sarah's building." And Ryan and Amber will have their bond tested when Amber meets a cute musician (Tyson Ritter). Sigh.


Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation TV Preview

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Sept. 26 at 8 pm on NBC

Where we left off: Despite the fact that Pawnee raccoon attacks have decreased during the year that Leslie (Amy Poehler) has been in office, some Pawneeans still formed a committee to recall her. As the season concluded, the recall vote hung in the balance. Also: Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) apparently fathered a baby.

Why we can't wait: Leslie (and, no doubt, lots of  viewers) will be sorry to see Ann (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe) leave Pawnee after the 13th episode, but a Ron-as-a-dad storyline is certainly worth tuning in for! The gang will kick off the season with a trip to London, where Leslie will accept an award. Oh, and someone's getting married in the upcoming 100th episode, but his/her identity is still under wraps!



Revenge TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept. 29 at 9 pm on ABC

Where we left off: After Jack's brother Declan died, Emily (Emily VanCamp) revealed her true identity to Jack (Nick Wechsler); and Victoria's (Madeleine Stowe) long lost, grown son Patrick (Justin Hartley) arrived on her doorstep.

Why we can't wait: The action picks up five months later. "The first episode back…is a fantastic episode starting with a magnificent hook," ABC chief Paul Lee told critics at the TCA summer press tour. He's right about the hook: the premiere starts with a flash forwarded scene of Emily-as-bride, getting shot right off of a boat! Who's she marrying? Who shoots her? Is she dead? The show will spend Season 3 filling in the blanks!



Survivor TV Preview

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Sept. 25 at 8 pm on NBC

Where we left off: After a whole season without electricity, Miles (Billy Burke), Aaron (Zak Orth) and Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) reached the Tower and managed to turn on the power. But Randall, a government official they'd mistaken for a good guy, quickly used the electricity to shoot nuclear missiles at Atlanta and Philadelphia. Then he shot himself before they could find out the truth: He may have been acting on orders from the president of the United States.

Why we can't wait: Turns out Randall was a member of The Patriots, a new group of bad guys gunning for world domination. Yep, based on this sneak peek of Season 2, the government itself now appears to be a bunch of evildoers.



Survivor TV Preview

Courtesy of CBS

Premieres: Sept. 18 at 8 pm on CBS

Where we left off: Shy, nerdy grad student John Cochran surprised everyone (including himself) by winning the million-dollar prize for Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites.

Why we can't wait: The 27th edition, Survivor: Blood vs. Water, brings yet a new twist: In the Phillipines, a tribe of returning competitors will play against a tribe comprised of their loved ones or family members. Meet the contestants here!


The Good Wife

The Good Wife TV Preview

Courtesy of CBS

Premieres: Sept. 29 at 9 pm on CBS

Where we left off: Alicia (Juliana Margulies) and Cary (Matt Czuchry) secretly agreed to leave the firm and start their own legal venture. "She knows that if she stays at Lockhart/Gardner, there is no way that she and Will are not going to end up together," says Margulies. And we can't have that happen! (Even if that deceitful jerk Peter (Chris Noth) totally deserves it.)

Why we can't wait: "Her choosing to leave with Cary and start her own firm creates a bloodbath at Lockhart/Gardner," Margulies says. "It's going to be a really tumultuous time, I think...You're going to be on a whirlwind and then there's going to be an explosion. It's going to rock everyone's world on the show." On the bright side, producers have also hinted that there's some Season 5 romance in store for Diane, Eli, and Kalinda.


The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project TV Preview

Courtesy of FOX

Premieres: Sept. 17 at 9:30 pm on FOX

Where we left off: In a grand gesture of almost-love, Mindy (Mindy Kaling) cut her hair and traipsed off to "an AIDs-ravaged country [Haiti] with my boyfriend of three months."

Why we can't wait: James Franco in the premiere! He plays the doc who filled in for Mindy during her trip, and as this promo suggests, he will try to "outcute the cutest person in the office." Also look for more characters, guest stars (including Kris Humphries as himself), and the requisite sexual tension with Danny (Chris Messina) that makes this show oh-so delightful.


The Voice

The Voice TV Preview

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Sept. 23 at 8 pm on NBC

Where we left off: Danielle Bradbery became the latest winner to not go on to palpable fame. More memorably, Shakira and Usher held their own as replacement judges while Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green took the season off.

Why we can't wait: Aguilera and Green are back for Season 5. In other words, expect the return of over-the-top outfits and weird pet animals and a generally crazy vibe that only these two can bring.


Two and a Half Men

Two And A Half Men TV Preview

Courtesy of CBS

Premieres: Sept. 26 at 9:30 pm on CBS

Where we left off: Walden (Ashton Kutcher) hooked up with his girlfriend's hot grandmother (Marilu Henner), and Jake (Angus T. Jones) bonded with Alan (Jon Cryer) before shipping off to Japan.

Why we can't wait: So far, the reportedly college-bound Jones shows no signs of returning for another season, but Men's irreverent humor will go on without him. Enter Charlie's (Charlie Sheen) long-lost, gay daughter, Jenny Harper (Amber Tamblyn). "I think it would be great to have a voice on the show from a different perspective," creator Chuck Lorre told reporters at the TCA press tour.  "The show has had enough testosterone to last a lifetime." Oh, really? Ya think?


X Factor

X Factor TV Preview

Courtesy of FOX

Premieres: Sept. 11 at 8 pm on FOX

Where we left off: Country singer Tate Stevens won Season 2—a.k.a. the season that Britney Spears was judge, and it didn't help the ratings one bit.

Why we can't wait: Simon Cowell has hired new judges Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland in his third attempt to eclipse American Idol and The Voice in the ratings. At the Season 3 premiere party, Cowell said, "The fun this year is, are we going to find the next [star]?" Instead of the usual, nice-enough singer who no one remembers a month later? Yes, that would be fun!


Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.


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