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Fall Lineup Has Two Icons Returning to Prime Time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    William Shatner talks about his return to television, but how well will he do going head-to-head with "30 Rock"? Plus, he explains his interesting comments about Betty White in Playboy magazine.

    The fall season's slate of new shows features, zombies, gangsters, spies, cheerleaders and a pair of TV icons, Tom Selleck and William Shatner.

    If these names can't carry a potent television audience, then we know these are wild television times.

    Twenty-two years after the CBS-classic "Magnum P.I." went off the air, Selleck and his legendary 'stache are back with a hour-long drama "Blue Bloods," in which he plays a New York City police commissioner and the key figure in a three-generation family of Irish cops.

    With stars such as Donnie Wahlberg and Bridget Moynahan playing parts in Selleck's crime-fighting family, expect the focus to be on character and story.

    "While there is a good deal of police work on the streets of New York, the show is about how much that work affects the family," Selleck tells PopcornBiz. "I think this show is very much character-driven. That's where my appetite is."

    "I don't think people get to see enough character-driven stuff on TV," he adds. "With reality shows and procedural cop shows, there isn't much of it around."

    Shatner's return to situation comedy comes in the form of the quirky "$#*! My Dad Says," where he'll play the cantankerous father-figure dealing with his son, who has moved back home with him.

    The show based on the famous Twitter account will allow Shatner to do what he does best -- ham it up. But it's not all joy for the consummate professional who is dealing with the ups and downs of a weekly studio audience.

    "There’s maybe 400 or 500 people in the audience, and sometimes you can’t remember the words," he tells us. "When you’re in film, you say, 'What was that?' But here it’s very embarrassing."

    It's never easy, even for Captain Kirk. Here's a list of the other most-prominent shows vying for your DVR time in the upcoming season.

    "The Event"
    NBC
    Blair Underwood plays the President in this highly anticipated conspiracy thriller that has been likened to a cross between "Lost " and "24." Jason Ritter is a man investigating the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend which sets political intrigue in motion. The show wowed audiences at Comic-Con this summer. Debuted Sept. 20; airs Mondays, 9 p.m. EDT.

    "The Walking Dead"
    AMC
    Easily the most buzzed-about show in the new season. What "Mad Men" did to cocktails, this zombie-filled drama will do to brain-eating. Based on Robert Kirkman's long-running comic book, the story follows a band of humans trying to survive in a sea of zombies. Debuts Oct. 31, 10 p.m. EDT.

    "$#*! My Dad Says"
    CBS
    William Shatner returns, playing the cantankerous, elderly father who finds himself living with his neurotic and unemployed son in the comedy famously based on the Twitter feed. Debuts Sept. 23, 8:30 p.m. EDT.

    "Boardwalk Empire"
    HBO
    Steve Buscemi plays a corrupt city treasurer Nucky Thompson (and bootlegger at night) in Atlantic City circa 1920. This 12-episode first season is the kind of sweeping series that cleans up at Emmy time. Debuted Sept. 19; airs Sundays, 9 p.m. EDT.

    "Undercovers"
    NBC
    JJ Abrams is back with a romantic action drama/comedy revolving around husband-wife caterers returning to their killer spy gig. Debuts Sept. 22, 8 p.m. EDT.

    "Blue Bloods"
    CBS
    Tom Selleck's heralded return as NYC police commissioner and head of a three-generation cop family, which also includes Donnie Wahlberg. New uniform for Selleck. Same "Magnum" 'stache. Heaven. Debuts Sept. 24, 10 p.m. EDT.

    "Body of Proof"
    ABC
    "Desperate Housewives" alum Dana Delany plays Dr. Megan Hunt, a brilliant neurosurgeon who finds a new career as a medical examiner after a devastating car accident. Debut TBA; Airs Fridays, 9 p.m. EDT.

    "Hawaii 5-0"
    CBS
    So long, Jack Lord. Detective Steve McGarrett returns in the form of Aussie actor Alex O'Loughlin, who fights crime on the beautiful island with a (gasp) girl in the gorgeous Grace Park. It's a new world, but the famous theme song remains the same. Debuted Sept. 20; airs Mondays, 10 p.m. EDT.

    "Nikita"
    CW
    Loosely based on the 1990 film classic "La Femme Nikita" we still get all the thrills and some serious eyefuls of star Maggie Q who plays a wasted youth who is trained to kill and then who rebels against the system. Killer. Debuted Sept. 9; airs Thursdays, 8 p.m. EDT.

    "Hellcats"
    CW
    "High School Muscial's Ashley Tisdale is the supremely serious and perpetually ab-showing head of a competitive cheerleading squad. Debuted Sept. 8; airs Wednesdays, 9 p.m. EDT.

    "Running Wilde"
    Fox
    "Arrested Development" star Will Arnett plays an oil company heir Stephen Wilde who's reunited with his childhood crush, an environmental activist played by Keri Russell. Debuts Sept. 21, 9:30 p.m. EDT.

    "Raising Hope"
    Fox
    A new comedy from "My Name is Earl" creator Greg Garcia. Lucas Neff, a 23-year-old pool boy, suddenly finds himself in charge of an infant child in a nutty household that includes grandma-from-hell Cloris Leachman. Debuts Sept. 21, 9 p.m. EDT.