A scene from The Michael J. Fox Show pilot. / NBC/Eric Liebowitz
The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC, Thursday, Sept. 26, 9 p.m. ET/PT before moving to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 3). Fox, one of numerous stars returning to episodic TV, plays a New York news anchor who left the business for five years to concentrate on family and health after being diagnosed with Parkinson's, a condition Fox has in real life. With his kids growing up, Fox's Mike Henry decides to go back to work.
"I feel this is a reflection of my experience. The way I look at life, the way i look at the reality of Parkinson's (is) that sometimes it's frustrating and sometimes it's funny," he says.
Other favorites from past sit-coms mounting new small-screen ventures include Robin Williams (CBS The Crazy Ones, Thursday, Sept. 26, 9 p.m. ET/PT) and Sean Hayes (NBC Sean Saves the World, Thursday, Oct. 3, 9 p.m. ET/PT).
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, Thursday, Sept. 24, 8 p.m. ET/PT). Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), surprisingly alive again after being killed on the big screen in The Avengers, leads a team of talented but not super-powered agents who investigate the abnormal happenings around the world. His agents' skills include combat, espionage, martial arts, engineering, biochemistry and computer hacking.
Avengers director Joss Whedon is an executive producer who directed the pilot.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT). Andy Samberg moves from midtown Manhattan's Saturday Night Live to one of New York's outer boroughs as a skilled but irreverent detective up against a tough new captain (Andre Braugher).
Samberg says it's important that his character, Jake Peralta, not be a bumbler.
"Otherwise, why do you care if he's not actually good at it?" he says.
Homeland (Showtime, Sunday, Sept. 29, 9 p.m. ET/PT). The landscape has changed - literally - after a terrorist bomb decimated the CIA at the end of season 2. Operative Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is off her meds and facing congressional scrutiny; Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) is temporarily leading the agency and no longer so compassionate toward Carrie. Disgraced congressman Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a hero turned villain at least in the public's eye, is in the wind.
"Saul and Carrie share an enormous, profound amount of guilt and responsibility for this devastating bomb that has happened, this," Danes days.
The Walking Dead (AMC, Sunday, Oct. 13, 9 p.m. ET/PT). As Season 4 opens, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his tribe of survivors are still at the prison, joined by some Woodbury residents and other new arrivals. They're about to face a new threat that executive producer Robert Kirkman says is "much more deadly and less manageable" than anything they have faced in a zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic world.