September 06, 2010 12:00 PM

Keri Russell & Will Arnett


FOX, Tuesdays 9:30 p.m.

A spoiled oil magnate’s son (Arnett) crosses paths with his childhood sweetheart (Russell), who is now a rainforest-dwelling humanitarian. For her first series since Felicity, Russell, 34, is happy to parry with sitcom vet Arnett, 40. This time, “I’m not carrying the load,” she says. “I shove it all Will’s way!”

Michael Chiklis & Julie Benz


Chiklis, 47, and Benz, 38, are just normal parents trying to reconnect with their kids-until a plane crash during a family bonding trip leaves them each with supernatural powers. It’s familiar territory for Fantastic Four vet Chiklis, but he’s still psyched about it. “Jumping off a bridge and getting run over by a truck is not normal,” he says. “Who gets to do that at work?”

Jaime King & Mehcad Brooks

MY GENERATION ABC, Thursdays 8 p.m.

In this faux-documentary series, a crew revisits nine ambitious high school kids-including a once wannabe actress turned wife (King, 31) and a jock turned soldier (Brooks, 29)-as they reevaluate their dreams 10 years after graduation. Playing an Army Ranger fighting in Afghanistan is especially poignant for True Blood alum Brooks, both of whose grandfathers fought in World War II. “It’s a great responsibilty,” he says. “I can be a voice to a lot of people.”

Donnie Wahlberg & Tom Selleck

BLUE BLOODS CBS, Fridays 10 p.m.

“I’ve never played a dad to grown-ups,” says Selleck, 65, who stars as the patriarch in a family of New York City cops. “I’m certainly old enough! I thought, ‘It’s about time.'” For Wahlberg, 41, his onscreen father figure hits eerily close to home. “Tom has the same eyes as my dad, so I know when the jokes have gone a little too far,” says Wahlberg.”I would catch that glare, my old man’s glare!”

Boris Kodjoe & Gugu Mbatha-Raw

UNDERCOVERS NBC, Wednesdays 8 p.m.

Playing globetrotting married spies isn’t a stretch for Soul Food‘s Kodjoe, 37, and U.K. import Mbatha-Raw, 27. “We both grew up in Europe, so we had a certain cultural mentality that we shared,” Mbatha-Raw says. Adds the German-raised Kodjoe: “Yesterday I spoke German, English and Spanish in one scene. Later I’ll do Korean. It’s so much fun.” Their skin-baring scenes are less fun, but Mbatha-Raw takes it in stride: “If I’m going to be objectified, he is too!”

Alex O’Loughlin & Scott Caan

HAWAII FIVE-0 CBS, Mondays 10 p.m.

His Det. Steve McGarrett still says, “Book ’em, Danno,” to his partner (Caan), but Hawaii “is a reboot, not a remake,” of the hit ’70s cop series, says O’Loughlin, 33. Adds Caan, 34: “I don’t think about ‘old-new.’ Our goal is to make something good.” And to take advantage of their tropical locale. “I’ve been surfing since I was a kid,” says Caan, “so it’s pretty great.”

Maggie Q & Shane West

NIKITA CW, Thursdays 9 p.m.

Q’s arresting assassin (who was already the subject of two films and a USA series) declares war on the secret U.S. agency that created her, while her former friend (West) trains new recruits. “I’m similarly sassy, but I’m not a revenge person,” says Q, 31, who hopes her love of yoga rubs off on West, 32. “Shane has to stretch if he’s going to do fight sequences.”

Maura Tierney & Rob Morrow

THE WHOLE TRUTH ABC, Wednesdays 10 p.m.

A prosecutor (Tierney, 45) and a hotshot defense attorney (Morrow, 47) spar over high-profile cases. Compared to her ER medical lingo, “legal jargon is more heady and esoteric,” says Tierney, back at work after battling breast cancer last year. “I find this much harder.”

Blair Underwood & Jason Ritter

THE EVENT NBC, Mondays 9 p.m.

When his girlfriend vanishes, Ritter gets pulled into a mysterious conspiracy that also involves the President (Underwood, 46). Ritter, 30, who had to step up his exercise regimen for the show’s action scenes-“I have a Wii Fit, but there’s nothing like keeping moving”-says that was nothing compared to adjusting to Event’s early-bird shooting schedule: “My whole life I’ve been a night owl, and all of a sudden I have to be in bed by 9:30. I’m like, ‘Who am I?'”

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