This is my favorite time of the year to pick out "Best Bets" in TV Weekly, which runs in the Sunday News.
The Sept. 22 book is packed with new episodes from many of the top shows, as well as several new programs.
Local TV officials weighed in on what shows they believe will do well this year and any changes to their stations' syndicated lineup.
John Humphries, president and general manager at WGAL-TV 8, says there are no changes to the Lancaster station's syndicated lineup.
He saw the first episode of "The Blacklist" and said it is strong and compelling. The show, which airs at 10 p.m. Monday, stars James Spader, who plays a Hannibal Lecter-type character.
He is also looking forward to the "Michael J. Fox Show" (9 p.m. Thursday).
"I'm glad to see him back in comedy," Humphries says of Fox, who has Parkinson's disease. "It will be interesting to see how they look at his disability."
"Dracula" (10 p.m. Friday) is supposed to complement the fantasy drama "Grimm" (9 p.m. Friday).
Humphries also likes "Ironside" (10 p.m. Wednesday), which stars Blair Underwood in a remake of Raymond Burr's hit series from 1967-75.
He is hopeful for a successful season.
"In this business you have to be an optimist," Humphries says. "Every fall you start off with hope of finding a few shows that catch gold."
Arthur Hasson, vice president and general manager at WHP-TV CBS 21, says success breeds success. The nation's No.1 network has added several strong shows.
Of note are four new comedies: "The Crazy Ones," with Robin Williams (9 p.m. Thursday); "The Millers," with Will Arnett and Beau Bridges (8 p.m. Thursday); "We Are Men," with Jerry O'Connell and Tony Shalhoub (8 p.m. Monday); and "The Mom," starring Anna Faris and produced by Chuck Lorre of "Two and a Half Men" (9:30 p.m. Monday).
"This is perfect for TV," Hasson says of "The Mom." "A lot of women watch TV. The producer helps make the show. Generally, that's a big key."
He also says "Hostages" (10 p.m. Monday), produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, is a high-octane thriller.
Like the CBS summer hit "Under the Dome," "Hostages" is shot in a short period of time and holds the viewer's interest, he says.
In syndication, WHP will air "The Queen Latifah Show" at 3 p.m. weekdays. Will Smith is one of the producers of the talk show, which premiered Monday.
The stars the first week included Smith, Sharon Stone and Jamie Foxx.
Hasson, who runs MyTwentyOne 21.2, says the station will have sports Saturday this fall, focusing on ACC football and professional wrestling.
On WLYH-TV CW 15, Hasson says "The Originals," a vampire show set in New Orleans (8 p.m. Tuesday), and "Reign" (9 p.m. Thursday), which follows Mary, Queen of Scots during her teen years, are drawing positive reviews.
In syndication, "Community" will air at midnight on CW 15.
Joe Lewin, president and general manager at WHTM-TV ABC 27, says new in syndication at 10 a.m. is "bethenny" with host Bethenny Frankel from "The Real Housewives of New York City." It replaces Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show.
Local show "Good Day PA," featuring a variety of topics and guests, debuted Sept. 9 at 12:30 p.m.
Nationally, Lewin says he's glad Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is on at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
"If it is as successful as everyone says it should be, it gets the night started on a positive note," he says.
Bob Furlong, vice president and general manager at WPMT-TV Fox 43, says news at 4 p.m. is new. He saw an opening to gain viewers with the departure of Oprah Winfrey.
In syndication, Furlong notes that Arsenio Hall won his time period at 11 p.m. during the first week of his new show.
Furlong says "Modern Family" began airing in syndication on Fox 43 on Monday.
Nationally, he says Fox is going back to more edgy, risky shows.
Local connection: The U.S. version of sports car show "Top Gear," which airs on History, will rebroadcast an episode that focused on Lancaster County at 2 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Staff writer Eric Stark discusses trends and tidbits in broadcast media each week in the Sunday News. He can be reached at email@example.com.