The Week in DVR: More Neil Patrick Harris! Plus, Hitchock, Gangs of New York, and Grey’s Anatomy Returns

Monday: How I Met Your Mother
Is Monday night the new Thursday night? Tonight brings the season premiere of House, a new Gossip Girl, a two-hour Heroes (yep, that show is still on the air) and the launching of the CBS Monday night comedy block, which includes the series premiere of Jenna Elfman’s Accidentally on Purpose. Phew! Us? We’ll be watching Gossip Girl at 9 p.m., natch [Ed note: But some of us will be watching House]. But before that, we’ll definitely tune in to the season premiere of How I Met Your Mother. We aren’t even sure whether to call the comedy a cult hit anymore—after all, tonight marks the start of season five—but it still feels like less people watch this than they should (this despite the fact that every person we know counts it as one of their favorites.) Come on, folks! What are you waiting for? [CBS, 8 p.m.]

Tuesday: North by Northwest
Our favorite Alfred Hitchcock film manages to be his most accessible. You know the story, but in brief: Everyman extraordinaire Cary Grant gets mistaken for a spy and away we go; cue a cross country chase that culminates on Mount Rushmore. What we’re always amazed by whenever we watch North by Northwest is how it manages to be so thoroughly modern. Whereas some old movies don’t hold up, this one feels like it could be released today and become a huge hit. [TCM, 8 p.m.]

Wednesday: Mercy
Apparently 2009 is the Year of the Nurse. Who knew? We have yet to see Mercy, but from the promos it feels like the new series will to slot itself somewhere in between the darkness of Nurse Jackie and the treacle of HawthoRNe. Nurse Veronica Callahan (Taylor Schilling) has just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq and—wouldn’t you know it—she’s the only person at Mercy Hospital that actually knows what they’re doing! We can’t say we’re all that interested in Mercy, but that it features Michelle Trachtenberg—as the naïve young nurse—makes us take notice. Still, truth be told, we hope Mercy gets canceled, just so Ms. Trachtenberg can become a full-time cast member on Gossip Girl before the year is out. Georgina Sparks forever! [NBC, 8 p.m.]

Thursday: Grey’s Anatomy
Speaking of bad doctor soap operas: Grey’s Anatomy is back! The show you love to hate returns with a two-hour season premiere that will feature the official death of George O’Malley (T.R. Knight, probably happy for the first time in three years) and the recovery of Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl, probably still hating every second she has to spend working on Grey’s). With Ellen Pompeo pregnant, and, Ms. Heigl and Patrick Dempsey taking off for episodes at a time to star in movies, expect this season to be a transitional one. Whether Grey’s can become the next ER—forever regenerating its sprawling cast—rests solely on what happens this year. [ABC, 9 p.m.]

Friday: Gangs of New York
The most disappointing news of the fall? That Paramount shifted the Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio thriller Shutter Island from its October release date to February. Boo! Now where are we supposed to get our Scorsese/DiCaprio fix? We’ll just have to settle for Gangs of New York instead, which isn’t as good as The Departed and isn’t as bad as The Aviator in the Scorsese/DiCaprio oeuvre. Them aside, the real star here is Daniel Day-Lewis (would you expect anything less?). As the villain, aptly named Bill the Butcher, Mr. Day-Lewis does Daniel Plainview-before-Daniel Plainview, stomping and chomping scenery like a Method Godzilla; he’s brilliant, even if the movie never actually reaches that height. [IFC, 2:45 a.m.]


The Week in DVR: More Neil Patrick Harris! Plus, Hitchock, Gangs of New York, and Grey’s Anatomy Returns