"What am I going to watch tonight?" Come the start of fall TV this month, that question gets infinitely more complicated. New shows will duke it out with returning favorites for TiVo space, and some of my favorites will go head-to-head. A gal can only watch one thing at once, so here are the toughest tradeoffs of my fall TV schedule so far — and how I plan to solve them.
No. 5: "Chuck" vs. "How I Met Your Mother" & "Aliens in America" (Mondays, 8-9 p.m.) — "Chuck," one of my favorite new shows, is battling against the underappreciated comedy "How I Met Your Mother," which I've pledged to watch this season, and "Aliens in America," one of the most intriguing new shows. Which has more pull: My goofy TV crush on Zachary Levi, or my curiosity about where "Aliens" will go? Solution: Zach wins, at least so far. I'll watch "Chuck" live and TiVo the other two.
No. 4: "Reaper" vs. "House" (Tuesdays, 9-10 p.m.) — Cranky doctors, or the cranky devil? This one's a tough call. "House" had one of the better cliffhangers of the season last year, ending with House's entire team gone; "Reaper" was one of the most fun pilots I watched. I'll watch them both, but which comes first? Solution: At the start of the season, "House" comes first, but once things get back to normal at PPH, I might switch over to "Reaper."
For the rest of my tradeoffs, just read more
No. 3: "Private Practice" vs. "Gossip Girl" (Wednesday, 9-10 p.m.) — This fall, Wednesday TV in general is the best thing going, with ABC's killer lineup of "Pushing Daisies," "Private Practice," and "Dirty Sexy Money," plus "America's Next Top Model" on the CW and the possibly-could-be-good "Bionic Woman" on NBC. Of all the tough choices that night, the worst is at 9 p.m., with these two sudsy shows airing simultaneously. Do I want to watch young women who sleep with the wrong guys, or older women who sleep with the wrong guys? Solution: I'm curious to see if "Private Practice" is fabulous or a flop, so I'll watch that live at first; Josh Schwartz's newest teen heartthrobs will just have to wait.
No. 2: NBC Thursday vs. ABC Thursday (Thursdays, 8-10 p.m.) — So many TV favorites, so little time. Which takes precedence: ABC's dramedies, or NBC's comedies? Meredith Grey or Michael Scott? This was hard enough last year, but now that "The Office" and "Grey's" are airing at the same time — and especially with "The Office" being an hour long at the start of the season — it's much, much worse. Solution: I think I'll kick off my lineup with "30 Rock," then flip to "Ugly Betty," stay glued to ABC for "Grey's," and finish my night off right with "The Office."
No. 1: Friday TV vs. my life (Friday nights) — In the past, this was a no-brainer: Nothing good was on on Fridays! But this year, the networks have decided to make things difficult. "Friday Night Lights" is on Fridays now, along with Fox's music-centric lineup of "The Next Great American Band" and "Nashville," ABC's "Men in Trees," and CBS' "Moonlight." Dude, when am I supposed to watch movies? Solution: My life wins — a girl's got to step back from the TV every now and then, right? Besides, I think "FNL" goes well with Saturday morning brunch.