Fall TV Thursdays: What to watch live? What to DVR?

No self-respecting TV lover should ever have to choose between a snarky (and often shirtless) Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries and a witty (and often shirtless) Jeff Winger on Community. And yet, here we are. For me, Thursday night’s TV lineup is the most difficult to navigate. There are just so many good shows from a variety of genres and they all fall into the same time slots. Not cool. Anyway, after a lot of second-guessing, I’ve finally settled on my viewing schedule for the next couple of months and, in effect, decided which TV boyfriend I’m breaking up with. It wasn’t pretty, but it had to be done.

8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
LIVE: The Vampire Diaries (CW): Damon Salvatore, you’ve got my heart viewership. As much as I adore Community, TVD’s twists and turns pretty much guarantee that I will be shoving people out of my way to get home in time for this series. (Premiered Sept. 14)
DVR: Community & Parks And Recreation (NBC): Just because I won’t be seeing Winger during Community’s regularly scheduled time slot this season, doesn’t mean we can’t play catch up later. Since the show is just half-an-hour, I plan to use the remainder of the time to get up to date on the equally dysfunctional (and hilarious) Parks & Rec gang. (Premieres tonight)

9 p.m. – 10 p.m.
LIVE: The Secret Circle (CW): While Bones has generally had my loyalty during this time slot, the series doesn’t return until November and I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be too wrapped up in Kevin Williamson’s latest drama to change my viewing schedule then. (Although, admittedly I won’t really know where my allegiances lie until they’re both on the air). (Premiered Sept. 14).
DVR: Bones (FOX): No surprise here. I’ve been waiting for months to get my dose of Seeley/Temperance banter, and while November is still quite far away, my DVR is already prepped in anticipation. Side note: While I’m waiting for Bones to come back on the air, I’ll probably use the extra slot in my DVR to record my other favorite Thursday night series, The Office, returning tonight. (Premieres Nov. 3)

10 p.m. – 11 p.m.
LIVE: Jersey Shore (MTV): So far this season, The Situation has managed to crash into a wall, and Snooki, a cop car. I can only imagine what happens next. (Premiered Aug. 4)
DVR: Prime Suspect (NBC): I’m planning to tune in mainly because I’m curious to know what Maria Bello’s character is hiding underneath that distinctive hat. (Premieres tonight)

Read more:
Fall TV Wednesdays: What to watch? What to DVR?
Fall TV Tuesdays: What to watch? What to DVR?
Fall TV Mondays: What to watch? What to DVR?

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
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  • George C

    8PM LIVE Community; DVR Big Bang Theory
    8:30 LIVE Parks and Recreation
    9PM LIVE Person of Interest; DVR The Office

    • Kate

      Thank you for doing this the right way! I don’t understand why people who like both shows would watch BBT live and DVR Community. If you help Community get better ratings you get to keep both shows.

  • Laura

    8 Live Community
    8:30 Live Parks and Rec
    8-9 DVR Vampire Diaries

    9 Live The Office
    9 DVR Person of Interest

  • Mike

    Its Always Sunny at 10, and its not even up for debate.

    • mae

      yup. and tonight they do the jersey shore. should be awesome.

      • Nik E

        Sunny for sure! I’ll watch it and have it DVRd!

    • pastafarian

      Thank you. This whole week of TV suggestions has been one big pile of cat food, with nary a whiff of glue in sight. Glad to see a sensible pick.

  • Caitie F

    8 Live: Community
    DVR: Big Bang Theory
    Then watch first Big Bang
    9:00 Live: Person of Interest
    DVR: The OFfice, Whitney

    • Aayush

      I think it would be an interesting topic for a whaoebtird Wednesday or a journal article intervals and paces as either LT or VO2max runs, and proper strategy for setting a pace for intervals whether they should be all out efforts, mile pace, 5K pace, etc.

  • Chaddogg

    This list makes no sense to me. At all.

    8-9 pm: Live: Parks and Rec/Community. DVR: Nothing. Unless you like VD, in which case, feel free. (Coincidentally, I REALLY wish FOX would put Bones here, rather than at 9 pm.)

    9-10 pm: Here it gets hard. LIVE: Bones when it comes back. DVR: Grey’s Anatomy. HULU/OnDemand: The Office and Person of Interest. 9-10 pm on Thursday is the biggest battlefield on television.

    10-11 pm: LIVE: The Mentalist. DVR: Prime Suspect. Anxious to see Maria Bello on this show….

  • scotteyb

    Live-Charlie’s Angles dvr Big Bang Theory
    Live-Grey’s Anatomy 2 hour premiere DVR Whitney

  • Bethany

    I don’t know how or why people watch Jersey Shore live. What a ridiculous TV show.

  • stephanie

    Are u crazy?
    Live: the big bang theory !
    Grey’s Anatomy

  • Rita

    (central time): 7:30 Parks & Rec Live; /// 8:00 Live Grey’s, DVR Person Of Interest ///Live 9:00 Prime Suspect. /// midnight DVR Project Runway /// Don’t know about Charlie’s Angels. If I need some eye candy (what are they wearing? Do they run in heels? And I might keep track of lines of dialog like the actresses did in the original series. And!! Is my 70-yr-old dad at home watching this slack-jawed & grateful? I don’t need that visual.)

    • Rita

      Oh, crap on things! I just saw Whitney Cummings on KathieLee&Hoda, and she was really fall-off-my-chair funny. Now I’m seeing the ads for her show in a new light — I’m getting her humor — and I want to watch her show. But my 8:00 cst is full. Replay on Friday at 7pm … next week I have to revisit my line-up; depends on whether Person of Interest hits the ground running.

    • Lauren

      Aha! I’m not the only one who figured out to late-night record Project Runway.
      I’m also recording It’s Always Sunny in the middle of the night.
      We’re watching the NBC 8-10 comedy block live. Recording Big Bang and I’m recording Grey’s and Private Practice (when it premieres) because I love my husband too much to make him watch them with me. I guess I’ll give Whitney a chance but we might end up watching Big Bang from earlier in the evening at 9:30.

      Ugh Thursday nights are so crazy! I wish Big Bang was still on Mondays, that made life a lot easier. And back in the day when Grey’s was on Sundays.

  • Zoe

    No interest in Person of Interest–really? That’s the reason why my 9 p.m. slot is so awful tonight: PoI, Secret Circle, and Office. (At least I don’t have to watch Whitney, though, so that helps.)

  • tomm

    No one should watch ‘Jersey S’ anymore, it rots brain cells. I saw 3-4 eps from season 1 and 2, that was enough. Same drunken crap over and over.

  • AMO

    8:00 Live Big Bang Theory (can’t believe this isn’t getting more props!)DVR: VD
    9:00 Live Persons of Interest, DVR Secret Circle (Bones will fit in somewhere, somehow)
    10:00: Live Mentalist, DVR Prime Suspect

  • Jill

    I rarely am able to watch any TV live, so it’s pretty much all DVR’d, anyway.

    At 10:00 p.m. my DVR has got to be set for The Mentalist and then whatever show USA Network will have on later in the fall of their original programming.

    And 9:00 p.m. is always saved for Grey’s Anatomy.

    And 8:00 p.m. is for The Big Bang Theory.

    And I was born in 1974, so I am definitely curious about this version of “Charlie’s Angels”

    • Melissa in CA

      I was born in 1974 too and I have NO interest whatsoever in this incarnation of Charlie’s Angels.

  • steve


  • tae

    Live community parks and rec office……of course Ron swanson would have it no other way I’m so sorry big bang but from what I’ve seen you have not won this geeks heart dvr greys anatomy and prime suspect as for Whitney if I catch it I’ll take a look but judging from the ads not feeling it

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