Even though the summer sun and heat are scorching land and skin from sea to shining sea, true television fans know that relief is on its way. Sure, fall will bring a break to the outrageous temperatures and usher in another color explosion in our foliage, but the shorter days will also draw us back to our TV sets, where a brand new season awaits. When September rolls around this year, there will be a plethora of new series to sample, and, sprinkled among the fresh faces will be plenty of familiar stars making their return to (or debut on) the small screen. Here are some of the fan favorites set to embark on new television journeys this autumn:
Bill Pullman, "1600 Penn" (NBC)
Pullman is making the switch from the silver screen to the flat screen in your living room, but his role here is familiar territory for the veteran actor. Pullman plays the president in "1600 Penn," a reprisal of sorts since he was also commander in chief for 1996's "Independence Day."
Lucy Liu, "Elementary" (CBS)
You never know exactly what to expect from Lucy Liu, and "Elementary" should be no different in that regard. Liu picks up the mantle of a modern-day Dr. Watson in this Holmesian detective series.
Leah Remini, "The Family Tools" (ABC)
Remini returns to her blue-color family roots, the same genre where she made hay on "The King of Queens" a decade ago.
Kevin Bacon, "The Following" (Fox)
Kevin Bacon joins the growing fray of big-time movie stars scaling down their images, literally, to headline television series. Even though the trend is not brand new, it's still shocking to see someone with Bacon's resume slated for a regular TV gig.
Matthew Perry "Go On" (NBC)
Perry makes his long-awaited return to the sitcom world, and he surely hopes that his "Friends" will help his new show find success.
Brad Garrett, "How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life" (ABC)
Garrett is a longtime funny man who has found his niche on sitcoms, and this one has a name that might come close to matching the size of the star himself.
Reba McEntire, "Malibu Country" (ABC)
Generations of country music fans have adored McEntire for her singing ability. Now, ABC's new vehicle will give McEntire a shot at an even broader audience, and you can bet there will be plenty of musical interludes as her character attempts to build a singing career.
Mindy Kaling, "The Mindy Project" (Fox)
Kaling has ditched the cubicle farm of "The Office" for her own new digs on Fox. Even as her former series peters out, Kaling is looking to expand her appeal as the headliner in her new gig.
Alyssa Milano, "Mistresses" (ABC)
From cute-as-a-button child star to 21st Century sex symbol, Milano has already run an enviable gamut in the acting industry. Now she returns to the prime-time network space, where she made a name for herself in the 1980s.
Ellen Barkin, "The New Normal" (NBC)
Barkin was a borderline A-lister 20 years ago, and now she will get another shot at the prime-time limelight.
Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, "Vegas" (CBS)
"Vegas" may take the cake for the most former star power in a new series this fall, as both Chiklis and Quaid have carved huge careers in the movies and on television. It should be a dynamic combo.
Anthony Edwards, "Zero Hour" (ABC)
Edwards has been a pretty quiet bystander in Hollywood since leaving "ER" several years ago, so fans are eager to see what the veteran actor can bring to the table this time around. He has a lot to live up to, but his reputation should carry "Zero Hour" a long way.
Whether you like dramas, sitcoms, or reality, the new fall season holds plenty of flavor to suit your tastes. Likewise, the smorgasbord of well-know stars should bring comfort to even the most jaded of TV viewers when the temperatures begin to fall.