The Mindy Project
TUES. 9:30 p.m. FOX
STARRING: MINDY KALING, CHRIS MESSINA, ED WEEKS
As Mindy Lahiri, Kaling, 33, plays a successful OB/GYN who's romantically challenged. (Turns out trying to re-create romantic comedies she's memorized might not be the best approach to dating.) In real life Kaling, who is single, has much simpler taste in mates. "I tend to fall for two types: the superfunny ... and then blond men like Chris Pine," she says. "I have a 9-year-old's taste in guys."
TUES. 10 p.m. CBS
STARRING: DENNIS QUAID, MICHAEL CHIKLIS, CARRIE-ANNE MOSS
"It seemed like an opportunity to play an interesting guy over a long period of time," says Quaid, 58, who stars as real-life Sin City sheriff Ralph Lamb. Quaid will face off with Chiklis's Chicago gangster in 1960s Las Vegas, a time period the actor has depicted before in films like Frequency: "The '60s suits me well."
TUES. 9 p.m. NBC
STARRING: MATTHEW PERRY, LAURA BENANTI
Matthew Perry looked to his own past issues to play group therapy member Ryan King, a sportscaster who desperately tries to remain unaffected by the sudden loss of his wife. "I have a history of talking about my problems in circles," says Perry, 43. "I can relate to this guy and the masking of things in funny ways that people do."
Emily Owens, M.D.
TUES. 9 p.m. CW
STARRING: MAMIE GUMMER
"The hardest thing is maintaining her level of optimism," Gummer, 29, says of playing the new doctor. "I'm more cynical." But after already playing an M.D. on ABC's Off the Map
, sounding like one has gotten easier: "I just say things with authority even though I don't know anything."
THURS. 8 p.m. ABC
STARRING: ANDRE BRAUGHER, SCOTT SPEEDMAN
When Capt. Marcus Chaplin (Braugher, above) defies orders to fire nuclear weapons at Pakistan, his submarine and crew become the U.S.A.'s target. "Ninety-nine percent of these guys would have fired because that's their job," says Speedman, 37. "These guys say no, and we'll deal with the consequences."
THURS. 10 p.m. CBS
STARRING: JONNY LEE MILLER, LUCY LIU
, AIDAN QUINN
"I love that they made Watson a woman!" says Liu, 43, who plays the sober companion to a modernized Sherlock Holmes (Miller). "Initially I was highly suspicious," Miller, 39, says of the reimagined story of the iconic detective. "But this take is very different. I couldn't pass it up."
The New Normal
TUES. 9:30 p.m. NBC
STARRING: JUSTIN BARTHA, ANDREW RANNELLS, ELLEN BARKIN
The comedy, which focuses on a gay couple (Bartha and Rannells), their surrogate (Georgia King) and their power struggles with her homophobic mother (Barkin), "hits a lot of complicated issues head-on," says Rannells, 34. "But ultimately the message is, a family is a family and love is love."
WED. 10 p.m. ABC
STARRING: CONNIE BRITTON, HAYDEN PANETTIERE
No way would American Horror Story
alum Britton, 45, let a little singing scare her away from the role of aging country star Rayna James, who clashes with up-and-comer Juliette Barnes (Panettiere). "When something feels like a leap of faith, it's probably something I should be doing," says Britton.
Ben and Kate
TUES. 8:30 p.m. FOX
STARRING: DAKOTA JOHNSON, NAT FAXON, MAGGIE JONES
When Ben Fox (Faxon) moves in with little sister Kate (Johnson) to help raise her 5-year-old daughter Maddie (Jones), he shakes up their overly organized world. In real life Johnson, 22, is also used to troublemaking siblings. "I have four brothers and two sisters," she says. "It's complete chaos."
WED. 8 p.m. CW
STARRING: STEPHEN AMELL, KATIE CASSIDY
When it came to playing the show's titular superhero Green Arrow, Amell, 31, says he was nervous about more than just looking good in the iconic hood. "Comic book fans are a tough nut to crack," he says. Luckily he got a warm welcome. "A 5-year-old saw me in costume. When I saw the look on his face, I thought, 'Oh, wow.'"
MON. 10 p.m. NBC
STARRING: TRACY SPIRIDAKOS, GIANCARLO ESPOSITO
In a world with no electrical power, "would you be your best self or would you be a criminal?" asks Esposito, 54, who plays hard-as-nails militia head Capt. Tom Neville. In the face of martial law, teen rebel Charlie (Spiridakos, above) embarks on a quest to reunite her family-and find the source of the blackout.
MON. 8:30 p.m. CBS
STARRING: MICHAEL URIE, DAVID KRUMHOLTZ, SOPHIA BUSH, BRANDON ROUTH
"The tongue twisters [the writers] come up with are brilliantly creative," says Ugly Betty's Urie, 32, who plays the gay half of a platonic bromance based on real-life friends David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the creators of Will & Grace. "It's nice to have my inspiration, Max, on-set."
666 Park Avenue
SUN. 10 p.m. ABC
STARRING: TERRY O'QUINN, Vanessa Williams
, DAVE ANNABLE
Life at the Manhattan high-rise is "somewhere between Dynasty
and The Twilight Zone
," says Lost alum O'Quinn, 60, who plays "a sinister guy." (That street number does signify something, after all.)