Fall TV begins in earnest this week: Jay Leno, The Beautiful Life, Community, SNL

Between you and me, it’s still officially Summer until the autumnal equinox on September 22. But for most of us in the U.S., we consider Labor Day to be the last day of Summer. And certainly the TV networks go along with that popular definition; new TV episodes and brand new TV series are starting to appear in the schedule. Fall TV is underway. Right on schedule, it’s even starting to rain.

I’m told there are 99 new shows this Fall (many more than last year, which was stunted by the after-effects of the writer’s strike of 2007). I’ll be curious to see how many of those 99 new shows make it. The one I’m anticipating the most is probably Flash Forward.

Last week, the first two new shows for Fall 2009 debuted:

(I guess you could count Glee as a new show as well, even though it first appeared last year.)

This week, Jay Leno’s new show starts tonight, and it’ll be fascinating to see if NBC’s gamble of scheduling a talk show in primetime from Monday to Friday pays off.

Also this week, on Wednesday, a new show from the CW will debut, The Beautiful Life, starring Mischa Barton.

On Thursday, you can check out NBC’s Community (with Chevy Chase) — a 30-minute comedy about a lawyer who has to return to law school.

Also on Thursday, a primetime version of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update starts on NBC.

Returning shows that start up again this week include:

TiVo’s Fall TV Schedule calendar is a big help. We’ve also put some work into a Fall TV Guru Guide to make it a bit easier to find the new and returning shows using your DVR.

You can also check out the Premiere Dates thread on the TiVoCommunity forum.

While the new shows appear, I’ll be posting here each Monday with a list.

Of the four new shows this week, I’ll definitely give Jay a chance, and have already set a Season Pass for SNL. I’m not hugely into fashion, so I’m not too sure about The Beautiful Life. But I’ll give Community a watch or two.

Finally, I know I’m biased, but the “Build Your Own Network” Game is fun and worth checking out. My own network isn’t doing so well yet…

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