My DISHPlayer DVR is jam-packed with this fall's new shows. I've been reasonably current with Prison Break, Bones, Vanished, Standoff, House and a few others. Current, that is, until this week. Suddenly, I'm 3 days behind on Monday shows and now I've got Smith and a few other things to catch-up on.

Now, the Fox lineup has been solid. I'm thoroughly enjoying sleep deprivation as I run through House, Prison Break, Bones, Vanished and Standoff. As of yesterday, ABC and CBS have stepped up with Boston Legal and The Unit, respectively. Yes, in addition to working 14+ hours a day, now I've got to weed through about 3 hours a day of action primetime...which still leaves me several hours for latenight weekend catch-up on the stuff that didn't rise to my weeknight priority. I wholeheartedly agree with Shawna's predictions for Bones and Justice. Neither will go the distance.

I'm adding the new Smith and CBS' returning NCIS to my roster as well as considering tossing in a CSI, probably the Miami installment. I know... I'm getting a late start on the CSI franchise as these geriatric CBS standards are pretty long in the tooth. That doesn't matter. I enjoyed some of the Miami version I happened on a couple of times in the past, so I'll give it a go.

Now as far as entertainment...

The Fox crowd is delivering great diversion with Prison Break and Vanished on Monday; House and Standoff on Tuesday and Bones and Justice on Wednesday. All of these shows are entertaining and will keep you busy for their hour slots, although you can cut that down to 40 minutes or so, per episode, with liberal skipping of commercials on the DVR. I love the Fox lineup, although, as previously indicated, I'm putting Justice, and Bones at the bottom of my list for the net.

CBS is strong on Tuesdays, crowding a couple great shows all on the same night with NCIS and one of my personal favorites, The Unit. These are solid shows, although Tuesdays are really a killer, with all the stuff to "consume". My first-watch (before my wife goes to sleep), is House. This is a classic and never lets us down. After she drifts off, I hit The Unit from CBS and Boston Legal from ABC, in that order. That leaves me playing NCIS on Wednesdays from the DVR, during the day, during work (don't tell anyone).

I haven't checked on Smith yet, since I've got it recorded and I've not had time to play it yet. Initial reviews from other sources claim it's getting off to a slow start. We'll see if it gets some momentum.

These days, with production budgets for high-concept, high-action television jumping, these weekly telepics have a lot to offer for the action movie enthusiast. Besides, we're seeing some of our favorite producers (Bruckheimer) show up in the credits, bringing their big-screen cred to the "box".

That said, this is thusfar shaping up to be one of the best fall seasons in recent years, provided that the network execs can leave their schedules intact and let the shows build their own audiences. The problem seems to be that net execs are wedded to ratings numbers from the past. The media environment is more fragmented than ever before. As a result, absolute viewership will be lower for these shows. That doesn't mean that a great show should be canceled... It means, rather, that net suits need to come up with new and better ways to monetize their shows. iTunes? Syndication to sites like MovieWeb? Hell-yeah. We're all up for that. Just let the good entertainment run.

Stay tuned for more great shows and great coverage of these shows as Shawna Benson (your regular TV JUNKIE) and I (on a more sporadic basis) keep you posted on all the latest and greates happenings in TV.

Cinemark Movie Club