Women Taking Over Primetime on New Fall TV Shows

VIDEO: The actress talks to Josh Elliot and Lara Spencer about projects old and new.

Although summer is winding down and the days are getting shorter, there are still things to be excited about. Such as fall TV shows. This fall there is a wide range of shows, from comedy to drama, to choose from, and many of them have powerful female leads. Whether they're cute and charming or kicking butt and taking control, these women are ones to watch. And viewers are guaranteed to recognize many of them.

Click through to see a list of women taking over fall primetime.

PHOTO: ABC's "666 Park Avenue" stars Rachael Taylor and is based on the book series by Gabriella Pierce.
666 Park Avenue

In ABC's steamy new drama, a young Midwestern couple, Jan Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable), are hired to manage The Drake, an apartment building for the uber-rich on Manhattan's Upper East Side, owned by the mysterious Gavin Doran (Terry O'Quinn) and his wife Olivia (Vanessa Williams). Van Veen and Martin are soon captivated by the lifestyles of the rich and famous but discover that the building's supernatural forces have a dark hold over the lives of the tenants.

In this devilish new drama, Taylor plays Van Veen as a naïve, small-town girl with big dreams who gets caught up in the demonic workings of The Drake. You'll recognize her as Dr. Lucy Fields from "Grey's Anatomy" or as Anne from the 2011 film "The Darkest Hour." She also briefly starred as Abby Sampson on "Charlie's Angels" which was cancelled after only four episodes.

"666 Park Avenue" premieres on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10/9c on ABC.

The Mindy Project

Imagine "The Office" star Mindy Kaling's New York Times best-selling novel "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)" as a television show and you get "The Mindy Project."

Kaling fans unite: the Emmy Award-nominated actress stars in, and writes, Fox's new comedy. It follows Mindy Lahiri, a politically incorrect, sarcastic woman desperately trying to make her personal life as successful as her career as an OB/GYN. Lahiri is unlucky in love but longing for that perfect romantic-comedy happy ending. Kaling is charming, biting and absolutely hilarious in this single-camera comedy.

The series premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9:30/8:30c on Fox.

Emily Owens, M.D.

In the CW's newest hospital drama, Mammie Gummer stars as Emily Owens, a brainy intern fresh out of medical school who has joined a Denver hospital, ready finally to be a grown up. But she quickly learns that the hospital is no different from high school with its cliques, bullies and rumors. Her high school nemesis Cassandra Kopelson (Aja Naomi King) is even a fellow intern, as is her med-school crush Will Collins (Justin Hartley). But when she finds a partner-in-crime in fellow intern Tyra Dupre (Kelly McCreary), Owens discovers she could still become a great doctor despite all the drama.

You may recognize Gummer from her guest-starring roles on "The Good Wife," "The Big C" and "Off the Map." You may also remember seeing her walk the red carpet next to Meryl Streep, her mom.

But when "Emily Owens, M.D." premieres this October, Gummer may just become a household name on her own.

"Emily Owens, M.D." premieres Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 9/8c.

The New Normal

Georgia King stars as Goldie, a waitress and single mom who has big dreams of law school. Eager to make a better life for her daughter, Goldie moves away from her small-minded mother and heads to Los Angeles. Desperate for money, Goldie becomes a surrogate for a gay couple, desperate for a child of their own. Goldie becomes the girl of their dreams in a mix of outrageous opinions, major decisions and of course, comedy.

King has an impressive resume to date. She just wrapped "Austenland," in which she stars alongside veterans JJ Feild, Keri Russell and Jennifer Coolidge. She's also appeared in popular films including "One Day," "The Duchess" and "Chalet Girl."

"The New Normal" premieres Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 9:30/8:30c on NBC.

PHOTO: ABC's "Nashville" stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.
ABC/Craig Sjodin

Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere star in ABC's musical drama following the country music industry. Britton plays Rayna James, a country superstar a little bit past her time. James' record label sets up a tour on which she opens for up-and-comer Juliette Barnes, played by Panettiere. A power struggle begins when the two country singers fight to be number one.

Britton is no stranger to TV. She's starred in many hit series including "Friday Night Lights," "American Horror Story" and "Spin City." Panettiere is also familiar with the screen, having starred in "Heroes," which went off the air in 2010.

"Nashville" premieres Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 10/9c on ABC.


No introductions are necessary for Lucy Liu, who is set to star in CBS' new drama "Elementary." Liu stars as Dr. Joan Watson, a once-powerful surgeon who lost a patient, and her license, three years ago.

Detective Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) escapes to Manhattan from London after a trip to rehab, where he is forced to live with Watson. But when Holmes informs her that he plans to resume his work as a police consultant in New York City, Watson is forced to tag along. With her craving to play investigator, Watson joins Holmes to create a powerful crime-stopping duo, though she also has to try to keep him grounded.

Although Liu may be more connected to the big screen, starring in films such as "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" and "Charlie's Angels," she's no stranger to TV. The actress has had a wide variety of TV roles, the most recent on the TNT drama "Southland."

"Elementary" premieres Thursday, Sept. 27 at 10/9c on CBS.

Ben & Kate

Newcomer Dakota Johnson stars as Kate Fox, a girl who always did the right thing, until she got pregnant in college and dropped out just before graduation. When she starts to get her life figured out, her brother Ben (Nat Faxon), who was never one to follow rules, moves in, determined to shake up her world.

This is the first headlining role for Johnson. She has had a number of supporting roles in films such as "The Social Network," "21 Jump Street" and "The Five-Year Engagement."

But "Ben & Kate" will be her first chance to prove herself as a star. And she has a good set of genes to help her out. Her mother is actress Melanie Griffith and her father is actor Don Johnson.

"Ben & Kate" premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8:30/7:30c on Fox.

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