Our 10 Most Anticipated New Shows for Fall 2011

Look, you're busy. Someone's gotta pick up the kids from soccer practice, your algebra homework was due yesterday, and/or your Fortune 500 company isn't going to run itself. Whatever your occupied little heiny has on its to-do list, you certainly don't have enough time to sift through all the new series fighting for your attention this season. That's where we come in handy (for once).

We've scoured the landscape of new arrivals and come up with the following list of new shows we're excited about. Some we've seen, some we haven't, some just sound cool. Take a look, then let us know which show's YOU are looking forward to in the comments.

Before you get upset that there aren't any mainstream sitcoms on this list, here's why: The new comedy offerings are pretty slim this season, and most of the networks' best stuff isn't premiering until 2012. If you're looking to laugh, keep on eye on NBC's Up All Night, which just missed making the cut; beyond that, you may be out of luck.

Boss Starz

10. Boss (Starz)
When it's on: Fridays starting October 21
Who's in it: Kelsey Grammer, Connie Nielsen, Kathleen Robertson, Hannah Ware, Jeff Hephner, Martin Donovan What it's about: The mayor of Chicago (Grammer) has always used any means necessary to get the job done, and has been very successful at it. But when he's suddenly afflicted by a degenerative brain disorder, egad! Trouble!
Why we're excited about it: We'll admit we still don't know much about this. But the early looks we got of it (all seven seconds or so) show a one-time comedy powerhouse Grammer completely transformed: gritty, tough, and, like, totally dramatic.

HBO Angry Boys Chris Lilley

9. Angry Boys (HBO)
When it's on: Mondays starting December 5
Who's in it: Chris Lilley
What it's about: One-man-cast Lilley plays six different characters— including a Japanese mom—in this comedy import from Australia about young men growing up in the modern age.
Why we're excited about it: Sadly, this is the only comedy to make our list. If you've seen Summer Heights High, Lilley's previous series, you know he'll go as far as he can for a laugh. We expect more satirical political incorrectness that's sure to make your mother gasp so hard your grandmother keels over.

Hell on Wheels AMC

8. Hell on Wheels (AMC)
When it's on: Sundays starting November 6
Who's it: Anson Mount, Common, Dominique McElligott, Colm Meaney, Ben Esler
What it's about: Set in the 1860s in a boom town near the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, this Western follows a former Confederate soldier who's looking for revenge on the men who killed his wife.
Why we're excited about it: AMC rarely disappoints (unless it's cutting our favorite shows' budgets), and this drama has the production value to convincingly teleport us back more than a century. Plus, it has trains! Choo-choo!

Prime Suspect NBC Maria Bello

7. Prime Suspect (NBC)
When it's on: Thursdays starting September 22
Who's in it: Maria Bello, Aidan Quinn, Kirk Acevedo, Joe Nieves, Brian O'Byrne, Damon Gupton
What it's about: A remake of the U.K.'s coveted series of the same name (which starred Helen Mirren), this police drama follows a tough female cop in New York.
Why we're excited about it: Early word is that the source material isn't insulted, which is something we've all feared. With that out of the way and the magnetic Bello in the lead role, this looks like a procedural with depth.

Ringer The CW Sarah Michelle Gellar

6. Ringer (CW)
When it's on: Tuesdays starting September 13
Who's in it: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nestor Carbonell, Ioan Gruffudd, Mike Colter, Tara Summers
What it's about: A woman who's on the run from the mob switches places with her well-off identical twin.
Why we're excited about it: This series was originally developed for CBS, so it's more than just another teen drama on The CW. The producers' main goal is to shock its viewers with outrageous, unexpected twists, and we're ready for the ride.

The X Factor Fox

5. The X Factor (Fox)
When it's on: Wednesdays and Thursdays starting September 21
Who's in it: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger, Cheryl Cole, Pepsi products
What it's about: Simon Cowell's U.K. singing contest comes to the U.S. The competition is open to both solo performers and groups, and there's no age restriction.
Why we're excited about it: Simon reunites with Paula at the judge's table! But really, we're curious to see how America handles yet another much-hyped singing show.

Person of Interest CBS Jim Caviezel

4. Person of Interest (CBS)
When it's on: Thursdays starting September 22
Who's in it: Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Taraji P. Henson
What it's about: A billionaire recruits the help of a former CIA agent to stop crimes before they happen.
Why we're excited about it: We've been missing Emerson since Lost went off the air, and Caviezel is a personal favorite. And given that the show was co-created by Jonathan Nolan (co-writer of Memento and The Dark Knight; Christopher's brother), it's going to come in heavier than most network television options. But the real draw is that Caviezel's character is a real badass and loves awesome guns.

American Horror Story FX

3. American Horror Story (FX)
When it's on: Wednesdays starting October 5
Who's in it: Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Jessica Lange, Frances Conroy, Denis O'Hare
What it's about: A couple on the rocks moves into a house that just may be haunted.
Why we're excited about it: This psycho-sexual thriller from the co-creator of Glee is going to generate a lot of talk once it finally premieres. An early screening drew both praise and ridicule thanks to grotesque and demented imagery and bizarre plotting. Why are we looking forward to it? Because it sounds different. Way different.

Homeland Showtime

2. Homeland (Showtime)
When it's on: Sundays starting October 2
Who's in it: Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morena Baccarin, David Harewood
What it's about: An FBI agent suspects that a recently released prisoner of war might actually be a terrorist sleeper agent.
Why we're excited about it: Ten years after the events of September 11, 2001, the threat of terrorism still has an impact on our everyday lives. This drama takes our nation's temperature on the subject. Are we unreasonably paranoid, or not taking the appropriate precautions? Plus, Damian Lewis is one heck of an actor.

Terra Nova Fox

1. Terra Nova (Fox)
When it's on: Mondays starting September 26
Who's in it: Jason O'Mara, Stephen Lang, Shelley Conn, Landon Liboiron, Naomi Scott, Allison Miller
What it's about: In the future, humans must restart civilization by traveling back in time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
Why we're excited about it: Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs! Consider us caught up in the hype.

The Runners-Up:
... Up All Night (NBC), which stars Christina Applegate and Will Arnett as new parents and Maya Rudolph as Applegate's boss.
... Enlightened (HBO), which stars Laura Dern as a former executive trying to navigate life after suffering a very public nervous breakdown.
... Pan Am (ABC), a 1960s period piece about the storied airline with an espionage twist. Christina Ricci stars.

Which new shows are you most looking forward to this fall?

Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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