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Fall premiere week: Sept. 20

Courtney Cox on

Courtney Cox on "Cougar Town." (Undated) Credit: Getty Images

NBC's announcement Friday of new season launches completes the annual guessing game: We now know the new season will begin Sept. 20, and so that is the week when TV is about to go insaaaaannnne.

All four broadcast networks will launch virtually every series -- new and returning -- that week, which will mean an enormous amount of promotional firepower directed at viewers who will have to figure out exactly what to watch when, where and how -- with emphasis on the latter as millions of DVRs across the nation are fiddled with.

There's some risk in a one-week fall blowout, and it doesn't need to be spelled out, but I will anyway -- with high-profile newcomers (like "The Event") trying to gain traction in a crowded field, chances for immediate impact are blunted if not eliminated. While we've seen late September launch weeks in recent years, the networks have attempted to salt some series launches in earlier or later to get them out of the crossfire. That won't happen this year. It's sink or swim for everyone, immediately.

Why this massive one week rollout? I think one possible reason are advertiser needs -- they too have rollouts for products and campaigns, and they've bought commerical time in new shows, not repeats.

Plus, CBS was the first to lay out launch plans and rather than let the total viewer leader establish an early season lead, I would imagine the others wanted to get some numbers on the board quickly too.

I've posted just NBC and ABC's schedules below -- for brevity's sake. Will get up CBS and Fox shortly. But you get the idea.  The tsunami is coming.

Monday, Sept. 20
8-9 p.m. "Chuck"
9-10 p.m. "The Event"
10-11 p.m. "Chase"

Tuesday, Sept. 21
8-10 p.m. "The Biggest Loser"
10-11 p.m. "Parenthood"

Wednesday, Sept. 22
8-9 p.m. "Undercovers"
9-10 p.m. "Law & Order: Special Victims"

10-11 p.m. "Law & Order: Los Angeles"

Thursday, Sept. 23
8-8:30 p.m. "Community"
8:30-9 p.m. "30 Rock"
9-9:30 p.m. "The Office"
9:30-10 p.m. "Outsourced"
10-11 p.m. "The Apprentice"

Friday, Sept. 24
8-9 p.m. "School Pride"
9-10 p.m. "Dateline"
10-11 p.m. "Outlaw"

Saturday, Sept. 25
8-9 p.m. "Law & Order: Los Angeles" (Repeat)
9-10 p.m. "Chase" (Repeat)
10-11 p.m. "Law & Order: SVU" (Repeat)

Thursday, Sept. 9
8-11:30 p.m. "NFL Kickoff" - Minnesota Vikings & New Orleans Saints

Sunday, Sept. 12 (regular day and time)
7-8:15 p.m. "Football Night in America"
8:15-11:30 p.m. "Sunday Night Football" - Dallas Cowboys & Washington Redskins 

Monday, Sept. 20
8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Castle”

Tuesday, Sept. 21
8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars” (special performance show night and time)
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Detroit 1-8-7”

Wednesday, Sept. 22
8:00-8:30 p.m. “The Middle”
8:30-9:00 p.m. “Better With You” (formerly “Better Together”)
9:00-9:30 p.m. “Modern Family”
9:30-10:00 p.m. “Cougar Town”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “The Whole Truth”

Thursday, Sept. 23
8:00-9:00 p.m. “My Generation”
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Private Practice”

Friday, Sept. 24
10:00 p.m. 20/20

Sunday, Sept. 26
7:00-8:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8:00-9:00 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Desperate Housewives”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Brothers & Sisters”

Tuesday, Sept. 28
8:00-9:00 p.m. “No Ordinary Family”
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars The Results Show”


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