The commercial broadcast networks have announced their plans for next season. Be afraid.

There’s a beast in New York City. A very scary building. A rogue submarine with nukes. A serial killer, a global power outage, Hannibal Lecter and various mobsters.

On the plus side, we can expect help from a comic-book hero and Sherlock Holmes. And, when they’re not making us nervous, the networks hope to make us laugh.

That’s a somewhat sketchy overview of the new TV season on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW. Each presented its programming plans earlier this month to begin luring advertisers — and to start intriguing audiences. Clips of some new shows went online almost immediately, and more than one announcement came with listings of Facebook pages and Twitter hashtags for series.

Now, with cable often offering its own popular shows and with summer full of network series, the fall broadcast season may seem largely irrelevant to you. But it still remains the place where the biggest TV hits debut, and where many people go for fun as summer gives way to autumn’s chill and winter snow.

It’s very early in a process that usually leads to name, casting and schedule changes before shows hit the air in the fall. Still, there is some guarded enthusiasm — for, say, “Last Resort,” the nuclear-submarine saga, or “The Mindy Project,” a new comedy from “The Office” writer-actress Mindy Kaling, or Matthew Perry’s latest comedy, “Go On.”

For now, let’s look at each weeknight and what the networks are up to — and up against — in the fall.


From 8 to 10 p.m., it will be a reality-competition faceoff, with ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” against NBC’s “The Voice.” CBS during that time will stick with comedy: “How I Met Your Mother,” the new “Partners” (two best friends, one gay and one not, each have recent romances), “2 Broke Girls” and “Mike & Molly.” (“Two and a Half Men” moves to Thursday.) Fox, which programs only 8 to 10 p.m., brings back “Bones” in tandem with “Mob Doctor,” about a surgeon (“My Boys’” Jordana Spiro) who is paying off her brother’s gambling debt with work for a crime boss. The CW, also 8 to 10 only, will have “90210” followed by the final season of “Gossip Girl.”

At 10 p.m., ABC keeps “Castle” and CBS, “Hawaii Five-0,” while NBC premieres “Revolution,” set in America 15 years after the world has lost all electrical power.


There will be eight comedies spread across four networks on this night, with the 9 p.m. hour holding six of them: “Happy Endings” and “Don’t Trust the B____ in Apartment 23” on ABC; “New Girl” and the new “Mindy Project” (Kaling as a doctor with tricky personal and professional lives), and two new shows — “Go On” and “The New Normal” on NBC. Matthew Perry plays a sportscaster dealing with the death of his wife in “Go On,” while “Normal” involves two gay men who want to have a baby, and the woman who is their surrogate. The other two comedies, on Fox in the 8 p.m. hour, are the returning “Raising Hope” and the new “Ben and Kate,” about very different, adult siblings sharing a home. (“Glee” heads to Thursdays.)

Also on Tuesday: “NCIS,” NCIS: Los Angeles” and the new drama “Vegas” (lawman Dennis Quaid vs. mobster Michael Chiklis), all on CBS; “Hart of Dixie” and new comedy-drama “Emily Owens, M.D.,” on The CW; results shows for “DWTS” and “The Voice” and, in the 10 p.m. hour, “Private Practice” on ABC and “Parenthood” on NBC.


Six more comedies, with ABC keeping a four-comedy block of “The Middle,” “Suburgatory,” “Modern Family” and the new “The Neighbors” (family moves into housing development where everyone else is extraterrestrial); it completes the night with new drama “Nashville,” about the clash between a country-music veteran (Connie Britton) and a rising star (Hayden Panettiere). (“Revenge” moves to Sunday.) The other two comedies are NBC’s in the 8 p.m. hour: “Animal Practice” (veterinarian’s ex starts running the animal hospital where he works) and “Guys With Kids” (new dads). NBC finishes the night with “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and the new “Chicago Fire,” from “Law & Order” maestro Dick Wolf.

Fox fills its two hours with “The X Factor.” CBS stands pat with “Survivor,” “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” The CW will offer “Arrow,” a new drama inspired by the Green Arrow comic books, and the returning “Supernatural.”


ABC will try to make inroads in a very competitive 8 p.m. hour, with “Last Resort,” a new drama about a nuclear-submarine crew forced into conflict with pretty much the entire rest of the world; Andre Braugher stars. The network will follow it with “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.”

If you’ve been intrigued by the modern-dress “Sherlock” on PBS, then maybe you’ll consider “Elementary,” with a modern Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) in New York; it’s CBS’ 10 p.m. offering, following returners “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Person of Interest.” (“The Mentalist” moves to Sunday.)

NBC has a familiar lineup with “30 Rock” (in its final season), “Up All Night,” “The Office,” “Parks & Recreation,” followed by “Rock Center With Brian Williams.” (“Community” and “Whitney” move to Friday.) Fox has the “X Factor” results show followed by “Glee.” The CW plans “Vampire Diaries” and the new “Beauty and the Beast,” derived from the ’80s TV series of the same name.


There is only one new network series on the night, “Made in Jersey,” about a working-class lawyer in a fancy Manhattan firm; CBS is using it on an all-New York night, bracketed by “CSI: NY” and “Blue Bloods.” The CW has “America’s Next Top Model” and “Nikita”; Fox will show “Touch” and “Fringe” (in its last season), and NBC will go with “Whitney,” “Community,” “Grimm” and “Dateline NBC.”

ABC will start the fall with “Shark Tank,” “Primetime: What Would You Do?” and “20/20,” but adjust that in November to be comedies “Last Man Standing,” the new “Malibu Country” (Reba McEntire as a newly divorced country singer), “Shark Tank” and “20/20.”


The CW does not program Saturday and other networks barely do. ABC will fill it with college football, Fox will use it for sports (bringing back “Cops” at midseason), NBC has reruns and CBS has two hours of reruns followed by “48 Hours Mystery.”


The night where prime time begins at 7 p.m. has changes but only one new show: “666 Park Avenue,” an ABC drama about the spooky doings at a fancy address. It completes the network’s lineup of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Once Upon a Time” and the transplanted “Revenge.” CBS has “60 Minutes,” “The Amazing Race,” “The Good Wife” and the moved “Mentalist.” NBC will have NFL football, and Fox will follow football coverage with animated series, including “The Cleveland Show,” “The Simpsons,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Family Guy” and “American Dad.” The CW does not program Sunday.

So that gives you a taste of what the early fall will hold, at least until shows start to collapse in the ratings. And there is plenty planned for later in the season, from The CW’s “Sex and the City” prequel with a 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw to the ABC comedy “How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)” to CBS’ twentysomething-sitcom “Friend Me” to Fox’s serial-killer drama “The Following” and NBC’s “Hannibal,” about the evil Dr. Lecter. It will be another busy TV year.