Howimetyourmother_cast_240_003_2 There are so many new shows premiering this week. Really this is our week of weeks. But I don’t want to forget the returning shows.

So let’s talk about “How I Met Your Mother which is back Monday at 8 p.m. on CBS. I’m ready to declare this show the second funniest sitcom on network TV (after “The Office,” of course).  Now in its third season, “How I Met Your Mother” is benefiting from a totally cohesive cast that delightfully plays off each other. More than ever I really believe that this is a group of friends you could know. The writing easily welcomes in new viewers but still has inside jokes for loyal fans (stay to the very end of the third season premiere, it sets up a joke that will pay off in November). “HIMYM” faces a standard sitcom challenge — what do you do when you’ve put star crossed characters together and a unique challenge — what do you do when you’ve committed to a certain premise in your title. The show runners have smartly decided to break up Robin and Ted and seem dedicated to keeping it that way. It’s a wise decision because this is a comedy that doesn’t need the back and forth a la Ross and Rachel. Especially because we know the pair doesn’t end up together. We get a peak at the “mother” in the season premiere and another clue to the series’ ongoing mystery. Add in Barney’s great one liners, Ted’s breakup beard, some hilarious dialogue and guest stars Mandy Moore and Enrique Igelsias and I didn’t want the episode to end. This is usually a four star show for me, but I’m upgrading the third season premiere to five star status.

I wish I could tell you more about “Heroes” (Monday, NBC, 9 p.m.) but NBC did not send out the second season for advanced review. So I’ll have much more to say about it on Wednesday. I just didn’t want you to think I had forgotten about the show.

“House” returns Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Fox. And I think you know my central complaint with this series has always been that the disease of the week can get a little repetitive. It’s this disease, no it’s this one, no seriously it’s this medical malady. That’s why I really liked the episode last season when a patient died. Similarly, there’s a great twist in the season premiere that I didn’t see coming and proves that the show isn’t as predictable as I’ve accused it of being. And it was a brave decision to have House’s team quit on him. It’s a plot point that could have gone either way — especially because we know that Omar Epps, Jesse Spencer, and Jennifer Morrison are all returning to the show. But it’s hilarious to see House interact with a new team of doctors (that starts next week) and the whole situation provides great fodder for the Wilson/House relationship. Four stars.

Clarification

Since I received so much email about this last week, I wanted to let you know that “Burn Notice” will be back next summer for a second season. I was bemoaning the fact that the series wouldn’t return until next summer but left out the crucial word “until.” My very bad. I so wish spell check could flag missing words.

Okay that’s really all for today. I’ll be back on Wednesday to talk about “Dirty Sexy Money,” “Private Practice,” “Bionic Woman,” “Life,” “CSI,” “The Office,” “Ugly Betty,” and “Big Shots.” Also on Wednesday I’ll have “Where Have I Seen Them Before?” Talk to you then. Write me at amytvgal@zap2it.com or post your comments below.

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal

Posted by:Amy Amatangelo