This fall season has a vanilla taste.
There's nothing to really savor in the crop of new network series, many of them premiering next week. On the other hand, very few of them will make you wince when you sample them for the first time.
Among the better new options: Fox's "Raising Hope," a red-neck comedy about a young man who finds direction when a baby comes into his life; NBC's "The Event," a complicated thriller about a global conspiracy; ABC's "No Ordinary Family," a tame drama featuring a family with superpowers; CW's "Nikita" (8 p.m. Thursday, already premiered), which chronicles the adventures of a former secret agent; and CBS's "Blue Bloods," with Tom Selleck as the head of a family of law enforcers.
Many returning favorites launch new episodes, too. Of those, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," back at 7 p.m. Monday, is a much-anticipated returning network show, with a cast that includes Bristol Palin, David Hasselhoff and The Situation from "Jersey Shore."
"Survivor," now seen 7 p.m. Wednesday, has launched its 21st cycle and includes football icon Jimmy Johnson as a player.
"Glee" - perhaps the most acclaimed series of the past season - starts its second season 8 p.m. Tuesday. The glee club picks itself up and dusts itself off after losing regionals. John Stamos joins the cast. A Britney Spears tribute episode is set in the next couple of weeks.
And what's a fall season without at least one Betty White appearance? The former "Golden Girls" actress turns up as a loony professor on the season opener of "Community," seen 7 p.m. Thursday.
Here's a look at some offerings for the week of Sept. 19-25 (listings subject to change). Unless otherwise indicated, these are new series premiering.
"Boardwalk Empire" (6 p.m., HBO). This period piece, set in the 1920s, deals with the power struggles in Atlantic City, N.J., during Prohibition. Steve Buscemi stars.
"Lone Star" (8 p.m., Fox). A con artist (James Wolk) tries playing two sides of the fence in this soap set in Texas.
"The Event" (8 p.m., NBC). A global conspiracy involving space aliens accidentally takes in an unassuming young man (Jason Ritter) and his girlfriend.
"Mike and Molly" (8:30 p.m., CBS). Two overweight people meet through a support-group meeting and start a sweet romance.
"Hawaii 5-O" (9 p.m., CBS). This remake of the cop show that ran on the same network from 1968 to 1980 is packed with gunplay, testosterone and sexiness.
"Chase" (9 p.m., NBC). A U.S. marshal (Kelli Giddish) with a shady father accepts that her job is a cat-and-mouse game.
"Raising Hope" (8 p.m., Fox). A young man (Garret Dillahunt) without direction becomes a single father. Cloris Leachman co-stars as his grandmother.
"Running Wilde" (8:30 p.m., Fox). A stupid billionaire (Will Arnett) falls for an idealistic environmentalist who wants to reject him but is drawn to him anyway.
"Detroit 1-8-7" (9 p.m., ABC). Homicide detectives deal with the beat on the mean streets of Detroit.
"Undercovers" (7 p.m., NBC). A sexy married couple quit their jobs as secret agents but decide to go back to work.
"Better With You" (7:30 p.m., ABC). An impulsive couple get hitched and cause friends and family to sit up and take notice of their own relationships.
"Cougar Town" (8:30 p.m., ABC). Jules (Courtney Cox) bonds with her new psychiatrist (Jennifer Aniston) in the second-season opener.
"The Defenders" (9 p.m., CBS). Based on actual lawyers in Las Vegas, two attorneys (Jerry O'Connell and Jim Belushi) take cases no one else wants.
"The Whole Truth" (9 p.m., ABC). In a "Law & Order"-type twist, this legal drama sees the stories from the perspective of the defense and the prosecution.
"30 Rock" (7:30 p.m., NBC). Liz (Tina Fey) has problems with her love interest, Carol (Matt Damon), in the fifth-season premiere. Yes, Carol is a dude.
"$#*! My Dad Says" (7:30 p.m., CBS). A wayward bachelor tries to make sense of his highly opinionated dad (William Shatner).
"My Generation" (7 p.m., ABC). In this faux-documentary, the lives of old classmates are updated 10 years later, and the outcome is mired in soapy drama.
"Outsourced" (8:30 p.m. NBC). A young man transfers to India to head up a novelty firm, but finds he is a fish out of water.
"Blue Bloods" (9 p.m., CBS). A family of New York law keepers is at odds over how justice should be served.