Maggie Gyllenhaal's hit spy thriller The Honourable Woman, gritty western drama Strange Empire and sci-fi event series Ascension help kick off CBC Television's fall 2014 primetime lineup.

The public broadcaster unveiled its seasonal schedule Monday outlining when Canadians can expect to see five new shows and eleven returning CBC fan favourites.

Season kicks off in September

Stephen and Chris

CBC Television is kicking off its fall 2014 season with brand new episodes of its flagship daytime lifestyle series Steven and Chris, every Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. (2:30 NT) beginning Sept. 22. (CBC)

The season starts off with new episodes of CBC's flagship daytime lifestyle series Steven and Chris weekdays at 2 p.m. (2:30 NT) starting Sept. 22.

The mood gets dark when the sun goes down on Mondays. Armchair sleuths can get their Murdoch Mystery fix when the show returns to its 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) time slot. The edgy frontier drama Strange Empire follows, but in this western all the men have disappeared and the women are in charge.

Rick-Mercer-CBC

Catch The Rick Mercer Report on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) followed by This Hour Has 22 Minutes at 8:30 p.m. (9:00 NT) starting Oct. 7. (CBC)

​Jokes and drama Tuesdays

Comedy fans can count on one hour of laughs on Tuesdays with CBC favourites The Rick Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes returning with new episodes starting Oct. 7.

Maggie Gyllenhaall will bring her critically-acclaimed project The Honourable Woman at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT). The series makes its premiere on Monday Sept. 29 before settling into its Tuesday time slot.

The 1960s sci-fi drama Ascension, starring Battlestar Galactica actress Canadian Tricia Helfer ​and Cougar Town's Brian Van Holt joins CBC primetime Tuesdays starting Nov. 25.

Dragons' Den

Dragons' Den returns with new dragons: restaurant magnate Vikram Vij, and rock star of Canadian finance Michael Wekerle. (CBC)

New Dragons and refreshed favourites

Allan Hawco launches the final season of Republic of Doyle on Wednesdays starting Oct. 15. Then, it's deal time in the Dragon's Den featuring two new dragons: Vikram Vij and Michael Wekerle who are replacing Kevin O'Leary and Bruce Croxon. ​

Other shows returning this fall to CBC primetime: Doc Zonethe fifth estateHeartland, Marketplace, and The Nature of Things.

How smart are you?

The search for the nation's brightest kicks off on Sept. 28 with Canada's Smartest Person. Hosts Jessi Cruickshank and Jeff Douglas return each Sunday at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) for one-hour of high-impact television testing the intelligence of Canadians.

CBC Selects follows with the premiere of Australian legal drama Janet King beginning Oct. 5.

Visit FALLforCBC.ca for a full schedule and exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of CBC's fall prime-time series.​