AIR DATE: MONDAY 9/21

Season six starts with a bold two-hour detour — no wild medical mystery here — that plays like a big-screen drama. It’s weeks after House (Hugh Laurie) admitted himself to a sanitarium to kick his Vicodin addiction for good, and he thinks he’s healed. A wise honcho (Andre Braugher) disagrees, however, forcing the misanthrope to bond with his fellow patients. It’s a bit indulgent but a beautifully rendered journey. (Fox, 8 P.M.)

--JOHN GRIFFITHS