Check out fall's new TV offerings

This fall, we're looking forward to making new friends and connecting with old ones - on TV, of course. They're funny, entertaining and they never ask for anything in return. When they annoy us, all we have to do is change the channel. Talk about a perfect relationship.

Of course, we don't make commitments easily, but here are a few new shows we plan to check out.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Mondays, 10 p.m.

Starts Sept. 18

This dramedy, one of two fall shows based on a "Saturday Night Live"-style show, may have the most riding on its success. It's creator Aaron Sorkin's follow-up to "The West Wing," a drama that both critics and audiences loved for years. Matthew Perry ("Friends") and "West Wing" alum Bradley Whitford play a comedy writing team brought in to revive a flailing late-night sketch show, and they have to deal with an upstart network executive (Amanda Peet). We're expecting a smart, witty take on the politics of network television. Plus, we've missed seeing Perry on TV and can't wait to see him dig into this meaty role.

Friday Night Lights

Tuesdays, 8 p.m.

Starts Oct. 3

Here in Gwinnett, we know there are few things more compelling than high school football. Apparently, they feel the same way in Texas. This football drama, like the movie of the same name, features the high school team in Odessa, Texas. But unlike the film, which portrayed Odessa's 1988 team, this show takes place in the present, tracking the players' lives both on and off the field.

The Nine

Wednesdays, 10 p.m.

Starts Oct. 4

Airing directly after "Lost," this show promises a lot of twists and turns and intersecting storylines of its own. The series depicts nine survivors of a bank robbery who were held hostage for 52 hours and details how each of them handle the experience. Of course, the real reason we're watching is for Scott Wolf. Between him and Matthew Fox on "Lost," this is probably about as close as we're ever going to get to a "Party of Five" reunion.

30 Rock

Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m.

Starts Oct. 11

It may not have the prestige of creator Aaron Sorkin, but there's no reason to discount Tina Fey's take on the "SNL" world. After all, this half-hour comedy boasts two SNL alums - Fey plays the head writer for a fictional sketch-comedy series and Tracy Morgan is a newcomer comedian. And there's no reason two shows about the same subject can't find loyal viewers - just think of "Scrubs" and "ER." Hopefully, "30 Rock" will be more raucous, screwball fun than the serious-minded "Studio 60."

Ugly Betty

Thursdays, 8 p.m.

Starts Sept 28

We've loved America Ferrera, the star of this show, since we saw her in "Real Women Have Curves." Honestly, we'd probably watch anything she was in, but this drama sounds particularly appealing. Based on a Colombian telenovela, the series follows Betty, a homely girl from Queens, as she begins a new job at a high-profile fashion magazine. As the title indicates, she's the least attractive person at the office. But if we know Ferrera, she'll find a way to push Betty straight to the top.

'Til Death

Thursdays, 8 p.m.

Starts Sept. 7

"Everybody Loves Raymond" may be gone from the airwaves, but Brad Garrett (who played Robert on the show) is back on TV with this sitcom, his own take on the ups and downs of married life. Garrett and Joely Fisher play an old married couple who realizes how boring things have become when a newlywed couple moves in next door. We're expecting many of the same "that's so true" laughs that kept us tuning in every week to "Raymond."

For a list of other promising new shows and returning favorites, see Page 4D.