TV THIS WEEK: Rebels premieres, The Strain's finale, and more!

Star Wars Rebels 5

It's another big week of TV, including the premiere of Disney's first Star Wars series.

Yes, this week we finally get a full hour of Star Wars Rebels, and we can't wait to see how the Rebellion ignites. Plus, The Vampire Diaries returns for its sixth season, Phineas and Ferb do LostLegend of Korra's final season is here, and a battle is at hand on The Strain.

Check out the week in TV below. What's on your watchlist?

Highlights of the Week

Phineas and Ferb (DisneyXD) Monday, 7:30 p.m. - "Lost In Danville" and "The Inator Method"

Lost special! - It's the 10th anniversary of Lost, and while you've probably already read all of the retrospectives and interviews to mark the occasion, you might want to stick around and see how Phineas and Ferb are remembering the show. Tonight the beloved animated series will pay homage to the island with a special episode plotted by Lost writer Damon Lindelof and co-starring Lost actor Terry O'Quinn as a mad scientist. We don't know just how much Lost flavor the episode will end up featuring, but things kick off with a mysterious capsule landing in the backyard that's packed with chaos for Danville. If you just can't get enough Lost, and you like the particular brand of animated insanity Phineas and Ferb brings, you might want to check this one out. It might even make that Lost series finale a little less confounding. Check out a preview below.

The Vampire Diaries (The CW) Thursday, 8 p.m. - "I'll Remember"

Season premiere! - Though you might not always be wild about the delivery method, it's hard to argue The CW's position as a haven for genre programming. What began with shows like Buffy progressed to Smallville and Supernatural, and now here we are with everything from The Originals to The 100 on the network. Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries are the elders of The CW lineup these days, and while the former has established itself as a stalwart presence with a dedicated fanbase that simply won't let it go (and we're not calling that a bad thing), the latter has been the network's almost unshakeable ratings darling for five years now. As The Vampire Diaries enters its sixth season, though, things are changing around it. Last season its ratings supremacy on The CW was challenged and often surpassed by Arrow, a show that looks poised to grow, and incoming series like The Flash also look like potential hits that could push The Vampire Diaries out of the spotlight. What I'm getting at here is this: We're about to find out if The Vampire Diaries is going to be the next Supernatural or not, whether it's going to evolve into a steady presence that'll just keep going and going, or whether it's about to fade away. As season six begins, Elena begins her sophomore year and finds out what Stefan's been up to. Check out a preview below.

Star Wars Rebels (Disney) Friday, 9 p.m. - "Spark of Rebellion"

Series premiere! - The moment has finally arrived. After months of previews, a well-received Comic-Con screening and loads of anticipation, the first new Star Wars saga of the Disney era is here. Set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New HopeRebels promises us a chance to see how the Empire consolidated its power and how the Rebel Alliance formed, but it also offers us our first glimpse at the ambitious overall game plan for Star Wars that Disney's been laying out since it purchased Lucasfilm. We've heard from numerous sources that the company's pursuing an "it's all connected" philosophy, and we've even heard from executive producer Simon Kinberg that new elements of the Star Wars universe that will eventually play a role in Episode VII could appear in this animated series for the first time. It'll be fun to watch for details like that as they appear, but the most important concern at the moment is whether Rebels will be good. It's certainly got all the ingredients to be, including members of the creative team that brought us the very successful Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, and designs based heavily on original Star Wars concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. Now we just have to wait and see if the show delivers on all that promise, especially given some concerns about its apparently lighter tone that have been floating around since the first footage appeared online. This Friday, meet the rebels on board a ship called Ghost, and see how the Rebellion is sparked. Check out a preview below, and remember, this is the premiere special, but the series won't pick up again until it hits its regular DisneyXD timeslot on Oct. 13. 

Legend of Korra ( Friday - "After All These Years"

Season premiere! - Just a few months ago, the future of Legend of Korra  was painfully uncertain. The show was pulled from its regular timeslot on Nickelodeon, at first without explanation, and even when news came that the rest of season three would stream online (where the show's always had a bigger audience anyway), we still didn't know what would happen to the fourth and final planned "book" in the series. Luckily, we didn't have to wait long to get good news. Just a few weeks ago, the show's creative team revealed that Book Four is already done, that it's called "Balance," and that the episodes would begin arriving on in October. This Friday the end of Korra begins, and fans will indeed get the whole story as the creators intended. It's a happy ending not just for Korra fans, but for everyone who happens to love a TV series that can't seem to get enough traction via traditional viewing methods. Check out a preview for Book Four below.

The Strain (FX) Sunday, 10 p.m. - "The Master"

Season finale! - The Strain rapidly went from being one of the most anticipated shows of the summer to one of the most successful, and a second season was quickly promised. In the weeks since, the show's slipped a bit with its ratings (though not much) and had a few hit-and-miss moments, but it's remained a cable drama success story, and now it's time to wrap up the first season. We've talked here before about the rise of new horror shows on TV through things like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story, and we've also talked about where the limit might be to that growth. Over the summer, we got three new horror shows on cable: Penny Dreadful on Showtime, Salem on WGN America, and The Strain. All three did well enough to earn renewals, and The Strain did well enough to be one of the biggest new shows of the year. There's an appetite for this kind of long-form horror storytelling, to be sure, and it hasn't died down yet. Next Monday we begin the long wait for season two, but this week we see if our fearless vampire killers can finally defeat the Master. Check out a preview below.

And now, for the rest of the week ...

Monday, September 29

Phineas and Ferb (DisneyXD) 7:30 p.m. - "Lost In Danville" and "The Inator Method"

See above.

Gotham (FOX) 8 p.m. - "Selina Kyle"

A child-trafficking ring is investigated, and one of the victims is Selina Kyle. Elsewhere, Penguin blazes a bloody trail back to Gotham.

Sleepy Hollow (FOX) 9 p.m. - "The Kindred"

Ichabod and Abbie hatch a desperate plan to rescue Katrina from the Headless Horseman that involves a Frankenstein-type monster created by Benjamin Franklin. Meanwhile, Frank's revelation about his encounter with a demon gets him in more trouble, and Jenny clashes with the new sheriff.

Scorpion (CBS) 9 p.m. - "Single Point of Failure"

The governor calls on Team Scorpion when his daughter is mysteriously "bio-hacked" with a deadly virus and has only 24 hours to live. Meanwhile, the case takes on a deeper significance for Walter after he receives a letter regarding his sister.

Tuesday, September 30

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) 9 p.m. - "Heavy Is the Head"

Coulson makes a desperate move to save his team as multiple enemies close in. Meanwhile, a doctor harbors secrets that could threaten one of the agents.

Person of Interest (CBS) 10 p.m. - "Nautilus"

Finch's resolve to avoid dealing with new numbers is tested when Reese reveals that the latest person of interest is a brilliant college student involved in a dangerous scavenger hunt, but taking action may put Finch at risk of detection by Samaritan.

Forever (ABC) 10 p.m. - "The Fountain of Youth"

Henry and Jo investigate a series of deaths that were caused by an expensive anti-aging potion.

Face Off (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "Teacher's Pets"

The remaining artists are tasked with taking classic high-school stereotypes and turning them into fun mythical fantasy characters.

Selfie (ABC) 8 p.m. - "Pilot"

Karen Gillan alert! - (Note: We won't be talking about this show every week, but given how many of you are Gillan fans, we thought we'd mention it at least once.) A self-obsessed pharmaceutical sales rep who is megapopular on social media needs help making friends and being liked in real life, and so she turns to a marketing genius for tutelage in the series premiere of this modern take on "My Fair Lady." 

Wednesday, October 1

Another quiet Wednesday, but it won't be that way next week.

Thursday, October 2

Haven (Syfy) 8 p.m. - Much Ado About Mara"

Dwight, who's now leading the Guard, and Nathan are conflicted over what to do about Mara. Dwight wants her to end the troubles at any cost, but Nathan is convinced that Audrey is still in there.

Teen Titans Go! (TOON) 6 p.m. - "Friendship"

When Control Freak imprisons the Titans in a Pretty Pretty Pegasus world, the Titans decide to use violence to escape, while Raven decides to use friendship and happiness.

Steven Universe (TOON) 6:30 p.m. - "House Guest"

After injuring his leg, Greg comes to live with Steven and unintentionally interferes with Steven’s powers.

Gracepoint (FOX) 9 p.m. - "Episode 1"

David Tennant alert! - (Here's another show we won't cover every week, but we wanted to mention it because ... David Tennant.) In the season premiere of this murder-mystery series, a boy is found dead on the beach of an oceanside town, where a detective who has been overlooked for the police-chief position finds herself teamed on the case with her testy new boss.

The Vampire Diaries (The CW) 8 p.m. - "I'll Remember"

Read about this episode in the Highlights section.

Friday, October 3

Star Wars Rebels (Disney) 9 p.m. - "Spark of Rebellion"

Read about this episode in the Highlights section.

Legend of Korra ( - "After All These Years"

Read about this episode in the Highlights section.

Z Nation (Syfy) 10 p.m. - "Full Metal Zombie"

What's worse than a zombie? An army of zombies (as in, literally a zombie army). Plus: 10K's mysterious past revealed.

Saturday, October 4

Doctor Who (BBC America) 9 p.m. - "Kill the Moon"

In the near future, the Doctor and Clara find themselves on a space shuttle making a suicide mission to the moon.

Intruders (BBC America) 10 p.m. - "The Crossing Place"

Jack makes a last attempt to bring Amy home after making a gruesome discovery in his backyard. Meanwhile, Rose remains haunted by a tragedy, and Gary realizes how to expose the corruption behind Qui Reverti, but it will require a great sacrifice.

Gravity Falls (Disney) 9 p.m. - "Little Gift Shop of Horrors"

In three separate mysterious tales, Stan is cursed by a Witch, Waddles accidentally eats a bowl of brain-enhancing jelly and builds a machine that allows him to speak for the first time, and Mabel faces her fear of Claymotion.

Sunday, October 5

Once Upon a Time (ABC) 8 p.m. - "White Out" 

Storybrooke continues to deal with the presence of Queen Elsa.

Resurrection (ABC) 9 p.m. - "Echoes"

Bellamy and Sheriff Fred fear that Caleb may have returned to Arcadia when they hear reports that someone is living in his old hunting shack. At the same time, Bellamy struggles with the knowledge that he is one of the returned and has difficulty following the orders of his mysterious boss. Meanwhile, Janine tries to save her marriage to Pastor Tom by moving back home, and Margaret Langston is none too happy to learn what has become of the family business.

The Strain (FX) Sunday, 10 p.m. - "The Master"

Read about this episode in our Highlights section.

Witches of East End (Lifetime) 10 p.m. - "For Whom the Spell Tolls"

Season finale! - Season two ends with Joanna trying to escape from Tarkoff, while Freya and Wendy race to find a way back to the present. As for Ingrid, she learns some shocking news about herself from King Nikolaus, and Dash's dark past closes in on him.

Manhattan (WGN) 10 p.m. - "Tangier"

A development overseas invigorates the hunt for a spy on the Hill.

(Episode synopses via TV Guide)

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