Your guide to Thursday TV this fall

Cristin Milioti and Ben Feldman in A to Z

Cristin Milioti and Ben Feldman in A to Z

Well, folks, it was a good run but the 2-hour block of NBC comedy is officially dead. Other than that, Thursday looks surprisingly similar to previous years, with a few new shows filling familiar roles in the network schedules (Shonda Rhimes has once again taken over ABC's full schedule, CBS has produced another sitcom to fill out its 2-hour comedy block, etc.). Chances are, if you're excited about a Thursday premiere, it's for something you've been watching for a few years now.

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MUST-SEE

Reign (8pm on CW, premieres October 2)
I don't believe in guilty pleasures, because I don't feel guilty about enjoying things I like, but I'm fairly certain that most people would classify my adoration of this show as a such. I don't care that it's not historically accurate (believe it or not, most historical films aren't either), I love it because it appeals to the 14-year-old girl inside me. Watching Adelaide Kane's version of Mary, Queen of Scots morph from a wide-eyed, lovesick teenager into a ruthless queen has been deliciously entertaining. And, since the show follows the CW model of not caring how fast it's burning through story, the first season saw Mary's will-they/won't-they relationship with the man we know she marries (it's a little historically accurate) quickly move into a loving marriage and then into a more complex pairing between a couple that is forced place the well-being of their of respective nations above their love for each other. Given that the accelerated timing of the series puts poor Francis desperately close to his real-life expiration date, I'm dying to see if the show has the stones to uproot Mary and her ladies and move the show's setting from France to Scotland soon. Though, if so, I hope they contrive a reason for Megan Follows to visit a lot, because my Anne of Green Gables loyalty to her knows no bounds.

Parenthood (9pm on NBC, premieres September 25)
The Bravermans have hovered on the cancelation bubble for years now, but its sixth season will officially be the last. Jason Katims delivered an outstanding final season and episode of the equally poignant Friday Night Lights, so I fully expect even more tears than an average episode of Parenthood and that every last member of this wild and crazy extended family will get a fitting end.

CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC

The Big Bang Theory (7pm on CBS, moves from its Monday slot on October 30)
See the Monday edition of this blog series.

Scandal (8pm on ABC, premieres September 25)
I adored Scandal from the beginning but last year was a bit of a bumpy and has my confidence wavering. For one, I don't ever want hear "B613" again. The fictional clandestine agency took up way too much story real estate last year and it kept Olivia far too distant from the Associates of Pope & Associates, who didn't fare very well in her absence. I want to be in love with this show again, but there's a lot of mess to clean up for me to get back there.

A to Z (8:30pm on NBC, premieres October 2)
The premise of this rom-sitcom, which starts with will-be couple Andrew (Ben Feldman) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti) meeting and purports to tell the full story of their relationship, is a bit tenuous and overly cutesy with Katey Sagal narrating the ins and outs of it for no discernable reason. But casting can go a long way and Feldman and Milioti are so gosh darn adorable that I can't help but want to see them be cute together for a least a few more episodes before I throw in the towel. Plus, with the fabulous Lenora Crichlow on board, this already has the most promising supporting cast of the four rom-com pilots premiering this season.