Fox and The CW announce their fall schedules

Today Fox and The CW announced their fall lineups, and one of the first things you might notice (due to its marked absence) is that Veronica Mars didn’t make the cut. The CW hasn’t included the low-rated but critically celebrated drama in their fall lineup. Remember when Veronica investigated the case of the gay cheerleader? R.I.P., Ms. Mars?

Among Fox‘s new fall lineup is one series that I am highly anticipating, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, starring Lena Headey (Imagine Me & You) in the title role that Linda Hamilton made famous.

According to the press release, here’s what you can expect:

At the end of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” Sarah vanquished the liquid metal Terminator sent from the future to kill her teenage son, John. Sarah and John now find themselves alone in a very dangerous, complicated world. Fugitives from the law, they are confronted with the reality that still more enemies from the future, and the present, could attack at any moment. THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES reveals what happens when SARAH (Lena Headey, “The Brothers Grimm,” “300”) stops running and goes on the offensive against an ever-evolving technological enemy bent on destroying her life, and perhaps the world. Her son, 15-year-old JOHN CONNOR (Thomas Dekker, “Heroes”), knows that he may be the future savior of mankind, but is not yet ready to take on the mantle of leadership that he’s told is his destiny. John finds himself inextricably drawn to CAMERON (Summer Glau, “Serenity,” “The Unit”), an enigmatic and otherworldly student at his high school, who soon proves to be much more than his confidante – she assumes the role of Sarah and John’s fearless protector. On their trail are not only threats from the future, but an intelligent and tough FBI agent, JAMES ELLISON (Richard T. Jones, “Judging Amy”), who soon becomes a powerful ally.

I’m psyched that Summer Glau is on this show; here’s a shot of the entire cast:

And one last photo of Lena:

TVSquad has a sneak peek into the script if you want spoilers. The series doesn’t premiere until January 2008.

Another new Fox series to keep an eye on is The Return of Jezebel James, created by Gilmore Girls’ Amy Sherman-Palladino and starring Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose, who played Claire on Six Feet Under.

Posey plays children’s book editor Sarah, who asks her younger sister, Coco (Ambrose) to carry a baby for her because she can’t get pregnant. Coco apparently isn’t such a big fan of her sister at the beginning, but she’s willing to give it a try. Just for the hell of it, here’s another photo of Parker Posey:

Fox’s other new shows include:

Back to You: A comedy about a news anchor (Kelsey Grammer) who returns from L.A. to his first gig in Pittsburgh with his original co-host (Patricia Heaton).

K-ville: A cop drama set in New Orleans post-Katrina. There is only one woman in the regular cast of the show, and Fox’s press release describes her as “tough-as-nails GINGER “LOVE TAP” LeBEAU (Tawny Cypress, “Heroes”), the only female on the squad, who gives as good as she gets.” Oh, jeez. Could you get any more original?!

The Rules for Starting Over: Three men and a woman (Rashida Jones of The Office) deal with life post-divorce. Not sure how Jones’ Office job is going to conflict with this one, but in my opinion, she should stick with The Office.

New Amsterdam: An immortal police officer must search for his true love in New York. He’s not immortal because he’s a vampire; he’s immortal because he saved the life of an American Indian girl way back in 1642, and she cast “an ancient spell that conferred immortality upon him.” Sadly, the spell-weaver is dead, so we’re stuck with the guy.

Canterbury’s Law: Julianna Margulies plays “a rebellious female defense attorney who’s willing to bend the law in order to protect the wrongfully accused.” I just want to say: Couldn’t she just have been a “rebellious defense attorney”? Why do we have to emphasize that she’s “female”? Stereotype alert!

Fox’s new reality shows include The Search for the Next Great American Band (American Idol for, um, bands), Nashville (a reality series set in the country music world) and Kitchen Nightmares (in which Gordon Ramsay of Hell’s Kitchen is mean to even more people).

The CW‘s fall lineup continues its UPN/WB mashup ways, renewing Smallville and America’s Next Top Model, and significantly revamping One Tree Hill, which will now be set four year in the future after the characters have graduated from college. Following this girl-friendly lineup is Gossip Girl, based on the book series by Cecily von Ziegesar about an exclusive Manhattan prep school, and starring Blake Lively (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). Here’s a shot of the cast:

I’d hope for another Popular, but since Gossip Girl is created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, we might be getting The O.C. in Manhattan. Here’s a photo of three more of the cast, Nan Zhang as Katy, Leighton Meester as Blair and Nicole Fiscella as Isabel:

Joining these series will be Reaper, a comedic drama about a 21-year-old who learns that his parents have sold his soul to the devil (and now he has to be the devil’s bounty hunter); Aliens in America, about a Pakistani exchange student in small-town Wisconsin; and Running Wild, shot in South Africa, about a veterinarian and his family after they relocate to a game reserve. In the reality genre, CW has picked up The Farmer Takes a Wife, which is essentially The Bachelor set on a farm (I wonder if the women will have to milk cows?), and Crowned, a mother-daughter beauty contest.