My colleague Ed Martin, in his commentaries this week, asked "Will ABC's delightful Pushing Daisies live up to its strong summer buzz? Is NBC's charming Chuck a keeper? Does CBS' daringly different Viva Laughlin stand a chance? Has Fox found a comedy winner in Back to You? And what about Reaper? Could this new supernatural comedy-thriller on The CW be the surprise hit of the fall season?"&#160;Coming off a summer with stand-out series on Lifetime, TNT, ESPN, Showtime, HBO, FX, and AMC, viewer expectations for the broadcast network Fall season are high, but most critics have been especially cautious in forecasting new season successes. The competition for viewers is more intense than ever; last year the five broadcast networks lost nearly ten percent of their audiences compared to the prior year's season. This year, unless the networks are able to launch several new hits, there will almost inevitably be further erosion. &#160;Generously quoting and giving full credit to Ed Martin (www.mediavillage.com), following are the programs that have generated the most pre-season buzz. &#160;NBC's Chuck (Monday, 9 PM), about a good-natured geek who becomes a reluctant secret agent after he unwittingly downloads the secrets of multiple government agencies into his brain, is already one of the most talked about new series of the fall season. It has a strong lead in young actor Zachary Levi, critics like it, and tens of thousands of genre fans were clamoring for it at the recent Comic-Con in San Diego. Most importantly, Chuck should prove a very compatible lead-in to Heroes.The new ABC comedy Samantha Who? (ABC, Monday 9:30 PM), a sophisticated showcase for the talents of comic actress Christina Applegate, is also an early favorite with critics. Samantha will have a nice lead-in from Dancing with the Stars, because it is highly unlikely that the Dancing audience will click over to the second half of Heroes or to the male-oriented CBS comedy Rules of Engagement at 9:30 p.m. &#160;The supernatural comedy-thriller Reaper, (CW Tuesday 9 PM) from director Kevin Smith, was universally praised by critics during the TCA tour and is poised to emerge as one of the biggest new hits of the fall season, especially in the demographic groups drawn to its lead-in.&#160;Kid Nation, (CBS, Wednesday 8 PM) a study of children left alone to build their own society and create their own laws without adult influences, looks to be highly controversial, and for that reason alone it could draw a crowd. But it may also prove off-putting to parents (not to mention teachers).&#160;The sublime Pushing Daisies (ABC, Wednesday 8 PM) is widely regarded by critics as the best new series of the fall season, but it is so unique and unusual that it may have trouble finding a mainstream audience.&#160;Back to You (Fox, Wednesday, 8 PM) has star-power to spare, with Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton and Fred Willard heading its cast, but its pilot script wasn't especially strong. It's not a sure bet, especially as paired with returning under-performer 'Til Death, starring Brad Garrett and Joely Fisher. Still, no other network has so many veteran sitcom superstars and multiple Emmy-winners clustered in one hour.&#160;Three high profile new series will go head to head Wednesday at 9 p.m. -- NBC's Bionic Woman, ABC's Private Practice (a spin-off of Grey's Anatomy) and The CW's Gossip Girl. The Heroes audience (and other sci-fi fans) will likely embrace Bionic Woman, and teen girls are going to love (or love to hate) Gossip Girl (which is based on a series of best-selling teen-targeted novels). Private Practice has a strong cast, but the back-door pilot ABC ran last May (as an extended episode of Grey's Anatomy) was so disappointing that it turned critics off to this show. Viewers grumbled a bit, too. But ABC has designated Private a top priority. Perhaps executive producer Shonda Rhimes will turn it around and surprise us.&#160;Opposite scripted dramas on the other four networks, Fox should do okay with the reality series Kitchen Nightmares starring Gordon Ramsay, the mad chef of its summer success Hell's Kitchen.&#160;On Friday night, Fox is going the reality route with the music competition show The Search for the Next Great American Band, which does not sound promising, and Nashville, which could be one of the significant unscripted success stories of the fall. Nashville follows young country music hopefuls as they struggle to make it in the title city, and it's from the producers of the red-hot MTV series Laguna Beach and The Hills.&#160;CBS is trying a bold new programming experiment with Viva Laughlin (Sunday 8 PM), a drama with musical sequences that will occupy the prime 8-9 p.m. hour. It's an acquired taste at best, but if women like the show it may have a chance as an alternative to football on NBC and the aging Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC. Still, if Laughlin stumbles it will hurt CBS on this crucial night, so don't expect the network to be patient if this strange show under-performs. Again, thanks to Ed Martin for these insights.&#160;Thoughts - Comments?