New Faces to Watch This Season on TV

New Faces This Fall TV Season
ESSENCE.COM Sep, 14, 2009

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NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS)
Premieres September 22
LL Cool J might be the new kid on the block in the “NCIS” franchise, but it’s Rocky Carroll who’ll be on double duty, starring as Director Leon Vance on both “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

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NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS)
Premieres September 22
Following his guest spot on “NCIS” last spring, LL returns in a spin-off. He plays the tough but charming special agent Sam Hanna. Whether disarming bombs or giving us that signature smile, he’s always ready for action.

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Community (NBC)
Premieres September 17
What happens when a group of misfits attempt to change their lives by enrolling in community college? Nothing but jokes. Costars Yvette Nicole Brown and Donald Glover steal the most laughs.

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“The Forgotten” (ABC)
Premieres September 22
Executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer knows crime drama; he’s produced “Without a Trace,” “Cold Case,” and “CSI.” On “The Forgotten,” costarring Rochelle Aytes, the show follows a group of dedicated civilian volunteers who try to solve unidentified victims.

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“V” (ABC)
Premieres November 3
Remember the 1980’s miniseries where humans and aliens attempted to live on earth in peace? Well, in 2009, the series and plot gets a reboot. Look for Morris Chestnut to reveal the “visitors’” true purpose.

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“Flash Forward” (ABC)
Premieres September 24
After a 2-minute-17-second global blackout, during which everyone gets a glimpse six months into their future, Vance and his FBI agents pick up the pieces before the next tragedy hits.

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“Trauma” (NBC)
Premieres September 28
Need high-energy medical drama, with a side of eye candy? Look no further than Derek Luke as a first responder paramedic on this promising drama.

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“The Cleveland Show” (Fox)
Premieres September 27
Sanaa Lathan, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Kevin Michael Richardson lend their voices to this “Family Guy” spin-off about a blended family that relocates back to their Virginia roots. Kanye West and Taraji P. Henson have guest appearances.

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“Brothers” (Fox)
Premieres October 2
True to his past life, former NFL player Strahan plays Mike Trainor, a recently retired NFL all-star. Penniless and ashamed, Strahan’s character goes to his parent’s home and has to eat crow when he reunites with his estranged paraplegic brother (Mitchell). Sure enough, the boys are still at each other’s throats, even after all these years later.

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“The Wanda Sykes” (Fox)
Premieres November 7
An Emmy Award-winning actress and all around hoot, comedian Wanda Sykes goes back to her late-night roots—she began her career writing for “The Chris Rock Show”—with her own talk show.

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“Glee” (Fox)
Premieres September 16
The underdogs have the last, uh, note, in this musical-infused comedy. Newcomer Amber Riley rightfully steals the spotlight as a larger-than-life diva.

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“Lie to Me” (Fox)
Returns September 28
Mekhi Phifer lands on a new TV drama, albeit switching from the ER doc to FBI agent, on a crime show where telling a little white lie could be a mistake.

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“The Vampire Diaries” (The CW)
Airs Thursdays
The latest incarnation of vampire lore takes a bite out of The CW, who launched their bloody series “The Vampire Diaries” last week, costarring Katerina Graham as a teenage psychic.

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“Pay It Off” (BET)
Premieres October 2
Who says getting out of debt has to hurt? On this game show, actress and comedian Kim Coles gives contestants a chance to get out of the red by focusing on their personal debt dilemmas.

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“Monica: Still Standing” (BET)
Premieres October 27
Grammy-winning singer Monica has had her share of drama, but this R&B princess and mom is hoping for a comeback. She lets her fans in on the bumpy ride on her new reality show.

By Nazenet Habtezghi and Cori Murray

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“The Mo’Nique Show” (BET)
Premieres October 5
Our favorite funny girl moves into the late-night arena, giving Letterman, Fallon and O’Brien a run for their jokes. The nightly hour-long part-talk, part-variety show is full of her usual ­unrestrained truth-telling that’s sure to keep us from flipping the channel.

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“Sherri” (Lifetime)
Premieres October 5
Shepherd takes a break from her gabfest on “The View” to star in a new sitcom that is loosely based on her own experience as a single mom, paralegal and actress who’s dealing with dating after a divorce. “The Cosby Show” alum Malcolm Jamal Warner also stars.

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The comedian celebrates his 49th birthday July 15.

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Director Mario Van Peebles is giving young Black men a wake-up call. In this tough-love documentary, he uncovers why our young men are lagging behind. He also empowers them to succeed with motivating messages from P. Diddy, Chris Rock, Dick Parsons and other Black male celebs.

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“First In” (BET)
Premieres September 30
Compton’s firefighters and paramedics get some much due respect when actor and singer Tyrese Gibson chronicles their professional and personal lives.

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