This is the calm before the new-season storm. A week from now, only the most advanced devices will be able to handle the crush of new (and mostly returning-hit) programming airing on Thursdays, with expanded season openers of long-running faves ...

This is the calm before the new-season storm. A week from now, only the most advanced devices will be able to handle the crush of new (and mostly returning-hit) programming airing on Thursdays, with expanded season openers of long-running faves The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation and Grey's Anatomy among the draws.

By comparison, this is a much quieter Thursday, although NBC once had high hopes that the two-hour climax of the seemingly endless and haplessly muddled Million Second Quiz (8/7c) would be something to shout, instead of yawn, about. Instead, the peacock's more anticipated headliner is Valerie's Story - A Meredith Vieira Special (10/9c), an hour-long good-news report from the former Today co-anchor chronicling Valerie Harper's unusually public battle against terminal brain cancer.

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