How to compete with the much-hyped season premiere of "The Voice"?
The broadcast networks are going very different routes Monday. Fox has been teasing that the episode of "The Following,"at 9, will be especially chilling. Serial killer Joe (James Purefoy) sends two followers to kidnap his ex-wife, Claire (Natalie Zea). Yet the trailer suggests that our hero, Ryan (Kevin Bacon), may be ready for the villains. If you find "The Following" just too grim, you'll want to stay away from NBC's "Hannibal," which premieres next week. That serial-killer drama focuses on Hannibal Lecter.
Fox starts its Monday with a new episode of "Bones" at 8. The main plot: the death of an undercover police officer investigating ATM robberies. The offbeat drama serves up a lighter plot, too: Brennan (Emily Deschanel) has trouble being likable when filming a documentary to bolster the Jeffersonian. Being likable, however, has never been a problem for Deschanel.
CBS will counter with broad comedy from its sitcoms. Molly (Emmy-winner Melissa McCarthy) gets a very nasty sunburn when she goes on spring break with her sister on "Mike & Molly" at 9:30. Of course, sunburns may not be a laughing matter for you. (They never have been for me.).
Ted and Barney encounter future versions of themselves on "How I Met Your Mother" at 8 on CBS. Caroline is fired on "2 Broke Girls" at 9 on CBS. That wouldn't normally be a funny plot, either, but we'll see.
If you prefer unscripted comedy, there's always "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" at 9 on Bravo.
ABC rolls out the second performance episode of "Dancing With the Stars" at 8. D.L. Hughley was terrible last week; can he improve? Perhaps "Bachelor" star Sean Lowe will have a chance to answer reports that he's being a diva behind the scenes; executive producer Conrad Green has dismissed the reports. But you never know what will get people talking about a show, and "Dancing" needs all the attention as it takes on "The Voice."
"The Voice," at 8 on NBC, brings on new judges Shakira and Usher. The blind auditions begin on a show that NBC has sorely missed. No matter how the newcomers do, "The Voice" still has the powerful chemistry of Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
NBC then delivers "Revolution" at 10. The sci-fi drama about a world without electricity has been off the schedule since late November. NBC needs a strong return. The competition includes "Bates Motel" on A&E, fresh "Castle" on ABC and new "Hawaii Five-O" on CBS. Make no mistake: NBC's ratings will be the big story Tuesday morning.