Amid the new shows on tonight (see the Fall TV Preview: Monday) one of the biggest events will be the return of “Two and a Half Men” (CBS, 9 p.m.), with one man down.
Charlie Sheen is gone, of course, due to his own misconduct. And replacing him in the cast of TV’s most popular comedy is another former movie star slumming on TV, Ashton Kutcher. He plays a wealthy internet genius who is unlucky in love and moves in with Jon Cryer’s character and his son (now actually pretty old for a “half”).
In the night’s coldest bit of counter-programming the “Roast of Charlie Sheen” (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.) assembles some of the lowest blows by a group that includes Steve-O, Harvey Levin, Mike Tyson and Jeffrey Ross, whose roast schtick enlivened Sheen’s failed tour earlier this year. The host is Seth MacFarlane and Sheen’s job is to mostly sit there and take it, which he’s fine to do. They think it’s such a big deal, they even schedule a “Roast of Charlie Sheen Pre-Show” (Comedy Central, 9:45 p.m.).
Because of the roast, and the fact that it repeats at 11:37 p.m., “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” are pre-empted tonight (and also because the two hosts and their staffs are flying back from the Emmys).
Another weird cast moves in for a season of “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m.), including the transgender Chaz Bono, Nancy Grace, Ricki Lake, Chynna Phillips, Carson Kressley, Kristin Cavallari and Ron Artest, who has changed his name to Metta World Peace. Can’t wait for Tom Bergeron to get his head around that.
It plays opposite another reality competition, trying out its first full fall season. “The Sing Off” (NBC, 8 p.m.), the contest for a cappella choirs, previously completed its run in Decembers. Joining the panel of judges, alongside Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman is Sara Bareilles, who used to actually be in an a cappella group. She replaces Nicole Scherzinger, who has moved on to judge on another singing competition debuting later this week, “The X Factor.” Nick Lachey continues as host.
Even comedies have cliffhangers these days, and when we last saw “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS, 8 p.m.), Barney was at a mysterious wedding nobody knew about. A second new episode is set for 8:30.
A finale comes for the ninth season of “Hell’s Kitchen” (Fox, 8 p.m.). It’s between Will Lustberg of Jersey City, Paul Niedermann of Davie, Fla., Tommy Stevens from Brewster, N.Y., and Elise Wims from Pittsburgh. Winner gets to work at Gordon Ramsey’s BLT Steak in New York .
The documentary “The Strange Story of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (HBO, midnight) examines the unusual military policy regarding gays and lesbians, from its inception in 1993 to its repeal just this year.
Has anybody seen “The Onion Movie” (G4, 10 p.m.)? It was produced by the satirical publication in 2003 but was released straight to video in 2008.
The first two hours of the five-hour miniseries “Mildred Pierce” (HBO Signature, 9 p.m.) that won Emmys for Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce Sunday, gets a showcase for those who missed it.
When it comes to “Supersize vs. Superskinny” (OWN, 10 p.m.), my money is on Supersize every time.
“Kathy Griffin’s Emmys Aftermath” (TV Guide Network, 8 p.m.) is a new approach to celebrity fashion bashing, along the lines of the great-grandmother of the genre, Joan Rivers, who continues on “Fashion Police” (E!, 10 p.m.) and will certainly have a thing or two to say about the Emmy fashions. Watch your back, Julianna Marguilies.
For the return of “Castle” (ABC, 10 p.m.), Beckett is still fighting for her life from the shooting in last season’s cliffhanger.
On the second season start of “Hawaii Five-0” (CBS, 10 pm.), McGarrett is still in prison, awaiting trial for the governor’s murder.
Cathy prepares for a trip to Italy on “The Big C” (Showtime, 10:30 p.m.).
Lace up your shoes for a night of ballet films, with “Dr. Coppelius” (TCM, 8 p.m.), “The Red Shoes” (9:45 p.m.), “Invitation to the Dance” (TCM, 12:45 a.m.), “The Unfinished Dance” (TCM, 2 a.m.) and “Ballerina” (TCM, 3:45 a.m.).
In Monday Night Football, it’s Rams at Giants (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.).
Regis and Kelly: Tom Selleck, Eddie Cibrian, Lawrence Zarian. The View: Jermaine Jackson, Emily Van Camp, cast of “Newsies.” Ellen DeGeneres: Harry Connick Jr. Wendy Williams: Charlie Sheen.
David Letterman: Ted Danson. Jay Leno: Simon Cowell, Natasha Leggero, Selena Gomez. Jimmy Kimmel: Dr. Phil McGraw, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson & Jon “Bones” Jones, Switchfoot. Jimmy Fallon: Bruce Springsteen (rerun). Craig Ferguson: Keith Olbermann, Kelly Macdonald. Tavis Smiley: Michael Moore. Conan O’Brien: Ryan Gosling, Nicole Scherzinger. Chelsea Handler: Anna Kendrick, Michael Yo, Chris Franjola, Jo Koy.