Sight unseen

By JOYCE MILLMAN  |  September 11, 2008

The network of Gossip Girl and Top Model goes uncharacteristically manly with IN HARM’S WAY (Sundays at 6:30 pm; September 21), a reality show from the producers of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs. Speaking of dirty jobs: STYLISTA (Wednesdays at 9 pm; October 29) is a reality show in which competitors vie, The Devil Wears Prada–style, for an editorial-assistant position at Elle.

From J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost), the sci-fi/action series FRINGE (Tuesdays at 8 pm), which has already premiered, is Fox’s lone new fall drama. We’ll have to wait till January for DOLLHOUSE, from Buffy mastermind Joss Whedon.

SONS OF ANARCHY (Wednesdays at 10 pm) has already premiered. It’s another skewed FX premise: the young, conflicted leader of a motorcycle gang contends with the corruptive influences of the gang’s founders — his mom and stepfather. Think Hamlet on hogs.

Slumping HBO has high hopes for TRUE BLOOD (Sundays at 9 pm), which premiered last week. It’s an adaptation of author Charlaine Harris’s “Southern Vampire Mysteries” series, in which vampires (who drink synthetic blood and try to fit into society) are second-class citizens in a small Louisiana town. Anna Paquin stars as Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress with the hots for a sexy bad-boy vamp. Alan Ball (Six Feet Under) is the creator. Comedy duo Matt Lucas and David Walliams bring the loopy characters from their long-running British sketch series (seen on BBC America) Little Britain to LITTLE BRITAIN USA (Sundays at 10 pm; September 28). Because Americans have a hard time, you know, understanding English.

KNIGHT RIDER (Wednesdays at 8 pm; September 24) is back with a new star and an even more high-tech KITT, but unless we’re talking the Hoff and a hybrid, count me out. Molly Shannon and Selma Blair play the dysfunctional mother and daughter on KATH & KIM (Thursdays at 8:30 pm; October 9), a remake of a hit Australian sit-com. Christian Slater stars in the Jekyll & Hyde action drama MY OWN WORST ENEMY (Mondays at 10 pm; October 13), in which a suburban dad and a covert operative share the same body. Returning: HEROES (Mondays at 8 pm; September 22), THE OFFICE (Thursdays at 9 pm; September 25), and 30 ROCK (Thursdays at 9:30 pm; October 30). And do yourself a favor and watch the layered crime drama LIFE (Mondays at 10 pm; September 29), which got lost in the writers’-strike shuffle last season.

And more . . .
PROJECT RUNWAY moves from Bravo to Lifetime in November (date to be announced). The movie channel Starz launches the original series CRASH (Fridays at 10 pm; October 17), an ensemble drama headed by Dennis Hopper and “inspired by” the 2006 Best Picture Oscar winner. The Sundance Channel affirms what fans of Declan MacManus already know: the man has the gift of gab. SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH . . .  (Wednesdays at 9 pm; December 3) is a talk show with music. Guests lined up for one-on-one chats include Elton John and Bill Clinton. I bet Elvis does a great Carnac, too.

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