Football season is upon us once more, and while my pint glass runneth over with excitement, I can understand that non-sports fans probably aren’t enthused about seeing big green fields and big angry men taking over their televisions. Thursday Night Football used to be solely an NFL Network gig, but this year CBS is hemorrhaging money to air eight weeks of primetime contests, starting September 11.

It’s a smart move, as NFL ratings are more guaranteed than our rights as U.S. citizens, but there are many millions of Americans who want something else from their Thursday evenings. So here are five things you could be watching instead of Thursday Night Football. And while these next two aren’t list options, know that you can always watch DVR broadcasts of Sundays games that night, or you can catch up on watching someone else playing Madden 15. The world is your pigskin oyster. None of these shows are starting this week, so you might be tempted to watch tonight's special edition of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, featuring the Green Bay Packers taking on the Seattle Seahawks. Give in to your temptations. Love the football.

The Shonda Rhimes Empire
Taking advantage of the still-present gender gap in sports viewing, ABC is packing its schedule with Shonda Rhimes-created fare to sway female audiences. (And male audiences that just can’t get enough of Kerry Washington’s behavior.) Starting September 25, the network will be debuting Grey’s Anatomy’s Season 11, which is expected to feature a major arc for Geena Davis, followed by Scandal’s Season 4, where we’ll get to see just where Olivia Pope went after the Season 3 finale. And then there’s the series premiere of the Viola Davis' crime drama How to Get Away with Murder. The NFL can’t compete with the death rate on these shows, although the drama is sometimes comparable. Take comfort i knowing once you put Grey’s Anatomy on, you don't have to touch your remote control again until the game is nearly finished.

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