WELCOME! Here's the place to find out which new fall shows are coming next, and what we here at TV WORTH WATCHING think of them. Check back often, because we're adding, expanding and even revising opinions as more episodes become available. And this year, you can add your own opinions, too, so weigh in at the comment section below as you see the shows yourselves! (Previously premiered shows have moved to the bottom of the page.) -DB.

Premiering Soon (For Already Premiered, scroll to bottom)

 

DRACULA

Premieres Oct. 25
Fridays at 10 p.m. ET
NBC

Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays the newest media incarnation of Dracula, this time presenting him as an American entrepreneur in disguise.
Bill Brioux: What kind of entertainment does Dracula like? Something in a jugular vein! Jonathan Rhys Meyers (above) plays a McDreamy vampire in this tale set in London after midnight. I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know if this Dracula sucks, but since it's buried on Fridays, I figure it is no Big Fang Theory. Stick with Dracula: Dead and Loving It! Ed Martin: There’s not enough new here to draw very much attention, and aren’t we at vampire overload anyway? I hate to chase Jonathan Rhys Meyers away from broadcast television, but Dracula will probably be staked. Donna J. Plesh: The original, and still best, vampire. It’s on my must-watch list.
 

ALMOST HUMAN

Premieres Nov. 4
Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET
Fox

From Fringe cohorts J.J. Abrams and Joel Wyman comes this sci-fi drama, in which Karl Urban and Michael Ealy play, respectively, a stubborn and dedicated cop and his newly assigned android partner.
Ed Martin: The latest futuristic science-fiction-action-thriller from J.J. Abrams stars Karl Urban as a cop who wakes up from a 17-year coma to find himself newly partnered with a battle-ready android, played by Michael Ealy, who didn’t become as big a star as he deserved to be after two seasons on the Showtime series Sleeper Cell. The pilot is extremely busy but rather flat, and Urban and Ealy don’t have as much chemistry as they should. But the premise is solid, and it has Minka Kelly and Lily Taylor in its cast, so this may be one to watch. Eric Gould: As middling as last year's Revolution was, Almost Human shows what J.J. Abrams Bad Robot Productions company can achieve when they put their mind to it. AH is a standard cop-conspiracy thriller, and not as trippy as their recently completed Fringe. But it's a very slick and compelling look at the near future when society is inextricably bound with digital technology... and virtually indistinguishable androids.  
 

ENLISTED

Premieres Nov. 8
Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. ET
Fox

Geoff Stults, Parker Young and Chris Lowell play brothers assigned to the same Army base in Florida. It’s a sitcom.
Ed Martin: The pilot is very pleasant, but the series will likely have to be a lot funnier to survive. On the plus side, it has three very appealing leads in Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell and Parker Young, and their chemistry as siblings feels very natural right from the start. Eric Gould: Rote sitcom with three brothers stuck in a stateside Army base. Apparently, someone misses Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and hasn't read why Rod Serling hated Hogan's Heroes.  
 




Already Premiered

 

SLEEPY HOLLOW

Premieres Sept. 16
Mondays at 9 p.m. ET
Fox

Tom Mison plays Ichabod Crane, revived for this drama in present-day Sleepy Hollow, in this wildly rewritten expansion of the Washington Irving short story. Nicole Beharie plays the lieutenant who teams with Crane in search of the Headless Horsemen… and other advance scouts for the Apocalypse.

David Bianculli: A reworking of the Washington Irving story, bringing Ichabod Crane and his Headless Horseman adversary into the present day, to the confusion of all who encounter either of them. There are some playful moments that make this endurable, and Tom Mason and Nicole Beharie work well together, in a Moonlighting Lite sort of way. But still – Ichabod and company, in this new Fox series, are up against not only the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but, by being the first new show to premiere this season, the Kickoff Curse, as explained in Bianculli’s Blog.
Ed Martin: The pilot is much better than one might expect, but the narrow mythology, which finds two present day detectives working with a revived Ichabod Crane to battle the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the small title town, suggests limited flexibility in moving the story forward. (Wouldn’t the military just move in and take the Horsemen out?) In other words, this feels like one of those shows powered by producers who will make it up as it goes along, which means that if it lasts more than one season it is going to feel awfully forced. Still, the pilot is very well done, and Tom Mison (as Ichabod) and Abbie Mills (as a cop who is no stranger to the supernatural) make an appealing pair as heroic duos go, so maybe Sleepy Hollow will surprise us. Eric Gould: Fox follows the ABC lead of bringing fairy tale characters into modern day, asking the question, "What would happen if Ichabod Crane appeared in the 21st century?" He would wonder if there is a law requiring so many Starbucks.
 

DADS

Premieres Sept. 17
Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET
Fox

Seth MacFarlane is behind this new live-action sitcom, which stars Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi as old pals and videogame designers whose respective dads – Peter Riegert and Martin Mull – show up and move in.
David Bianculli:Seth MacFarlane, creating Family Guy and the movie Ted, struck gold. Hosting the Oscars, and with this new live-action sitcom, not so much. The actors in this show are funny, but this show, at least its pilot, is not.

Eric Gould: Seth Green tones it way down from Robot Chicken for a run in a Seth MacFarlane sitcom that tones it way down from Family Guy – although the pilot pitches some irreverent Hitler jokes. The Dads themselves are sitcom stick-figures, and for now, it doesn't feel like a must-see.
Ed Martin: The fall season’s most controversial new series is a sadly unremarkable affair that wastes the considerable talents of its four leads. There is great potential here for a funny and reflective comedy about fathers and sons and the generational conflicts inherent in their relationships, but there is no evidence in the laugh-challenged pilot that Dads is that show. Asian Americans will find much to object to here, as will anyone with an intellect.  
 

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE

Premieres Sept. 17
Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET
Fox

Andy Samberg plays a flippant but effective New York detective in this sitcom with no laugh track, and Andre Braugher plays his new commanding officer.
David Bianculli: It’s so much fun to see Braugher play a comedy role: his deadpan, dramatic delivery makes his tossaway, but very funny, lines seem that much more potent. And there’s a solid supporting cast, too, making this one of the year’s more promising comedies, propelled by SNL veteran Samberg, the show’s latest Ready for Prime Time Player.

Eric Gould: Big squad-room laffs with Andy Samberg as a wise-cracking detective and usual tough-guy Andre Braugher doing the straight work. The strong ensemble cast looks to be having a great time with the material... and so are we. Thumbs up.
Ed Martin: Andy Samberg is way more appealing here than in any of his movies. Andre Braugher shows off a surprising gift for masterful comic timing and hilarious deadpan delivery. Terry Crews (of Everybody Hates Chris) is back on broadcast television. Those are only three of the many reasons why this looks to be the best new sitcom of the fall. Also, it’s the only pilot for a new comedy series that left me anxious to see more.

Donna J. Plesh: This comedy about cops is not Barney Miller, but it shows promise. And it stars Andre Braugher – reason enough to watch, along with funny guy Andy Samberg.
Bill Brioux: My favorite new sitcom. SNL grad Andy Samberg plays a smart-alacky detective who books crooks like crazy but won't wear a tie. Andre Braugher plays the squad room's new captain, who plans to force the kid to grow up. The ensemble is terrific, bringing back memories of Barney Miller, with always gold Terry Crews (Idiocracy) a stand out as a gun-shy Sergeant. Braugher steals every scene he's in by playing it much straighter than the character. Samberg's cheeky shtick may grate occasionally, but I found the pilot so watchable I screened it three times.
 

MOM

Premieres Sept. 23
Mondays at 9:30 p.m. ET
CBS

Anna Faris plays a young mother in recovery for substance abuse, with a teen daughter at home and a long-distant mom (Allison Janney) suddenly reappearing to make life even more comically complicated.
David Bianculli: Chuck Lorre presents another broad, old-fashioned sitcom – and probably generates another hit. Watching Janney play comedy is a delight, and Faris more than holds her own. Starts out solidly.

Eric Gould: Anna Faris can clearly carry rom-coms and, now, her own network sitcom. She kicks off the series as a struggling single mom who's a waitress, having a breakdown as she serves a room full of customers, weeping all the way through describing the specials.
Ed Martin: Here’s another great role for Allison Janney, who has never looked better, by the way. Is there nothing this supremely talented actress can’t do? Her co-star Anna Faris also shines in what will likely be one of the few new comedy hits of the season, given that it’s the latest from the currently unstoppable Chuck Lorre.

Donna J. Plesh: Allison Janney is one of the stars and that is reason enough to watch this comedy.
Bill Brioux: Chuck Lorre has made a billion dollars crafting these broad American comedies. This one has a talented cast (including Nate Corddry and a not very recognizable French Stewart from 3rd Rock from the Sun), but the pilot seemed to lack the "Penny" character who might make me care about either of these cartoon moms.
 

HOSTAGES

Premieres Sept. 23
Mondays at 10 p.m. ET
CBS


Toni Collette from United States of Tara settles on one dramatic role here, playing a successful surgeon who is assigned to operate on the President – which makes her the target of a group, let by Dylan McDermott, that takes her family hostage and makes a demand: either the President dies, or her family does.
David Bianculli: Decent idea for a movie, puzzling idea for a 15-episode series. And in the pilot, neither the characters nor the plot twists seem to make much sense. Unlike its antagonists, Hostages is not very captivating.

Eric Gould: Great performances by Toni Colette and Dylan McDermott, but a season-long arc around the assassination of the President goes incredibly convoluted from the start. CBS is guaranteeing that the plot is solved in the first year.
Ed Martin: Arguably the best broadcast pilot of the fall season. Swiftly constructed, characters smartly defined, and then the perpetual twists and turns begin. This could be one of the best mini-series of the year, unless CBS renews it for another half-season next year, in which case I’m not sure what I’ll make of it. Series leads Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott are both as engaging as they come. Bill Brioux: This is one of those very good pilots that you could get behind if it was a TV-movie or a miniseries. But a series? At the end of the first hour, something happens to delay the inevitable. Will this happen again the week after? The week after that? Hostages will build to a season finale in January, which is a long time to hold viewers hostage. It's from executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, so it looks like money.
 

THE BLACKLIST

Premieres Sept. 23
Mondays at 10 p.m. ET
NBC

James Spader returns to series TV as the charismatic, enigmatic villain of this new drama series – a notorious criminal who offers his services to help federal investigators solve cases, but only if he gets to work with rookie profiler Megan Boone.
David Bianculli: Silence of the Lambs inspiring a weekly TV drama? It already has – NBC’s Hannibal. But this may turn out to be the superior version. Here as on Boston Legal, Spader is about a compelling as TV characters get. Ed Martin: James Spader fans (and they are legion) will not be able to resist this riveting new thriller. He plays scary-smart master criminal Raymond “Red” Reddington with the same wicked wit and wisdom that he brought to his portrayal of Atty. Alan Shore on Boston Legal, and his performance is always mesmerizing, even when the story sags. Among his talented co-stars, Diego Klattenhoff, fresh off Homeland, is a standout. How long until this guy gets his own series? Bill Brioux: The most promising new network drama this fall stars James Spader at his oily best. He plays one bad-ass criminal mastermind, who willingly surrenders to the FBI yet still manages to set the agenda. His deal: he's out to get even with other evil geniuses. In one of this series' many Silence of the Lambs hooks, he'll only speak directly to one agent, an FBI rookie (Megan Boone). Newly shorn Spader is terrific, although this series could use a guest visit or two from his old Boston Legal pal Bill Shatner.
 

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

Premieres Sept. 24
Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET
ABC

Clark Gregg, whose character appeared (and died) in The Avengers movie, reprises the same role, somehow, in this new action series, as the secret-agent bureaucrat who assembles a team of oddball, gifted government operatives. Ming-Na Wen co-stars; Joss Whedon is at the creative helm.
David Bianculli: When it comes to TV, you had me at Joss Whedon. Even his misfires are more interesting than most writer-producers’ successes, and it’ll be interesting to see whether this new effort emerges as more Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Dollhouse. Either way, I’m there.

Donna J. Plesh: Fans of the film Avengers and other superheroes will love it. But not me. Still, it just might knock long-running CBS hit NCIS off its ratings perch, especially now that fan favorite Cote de Pablo (Ziva) is leaving the show after the first two episodes.
Bill Brioux: The bureaucrats from the summer action superhero blockbusters The Avengers, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk and Iron Man get their own series. Here's what I liked about the pilot: plenty of action and special effects and a fun, surprisingly humorous script. You can feel Josh Whedon's finger prints on this, along with his younger brother Jed. Clark Gregg gets to strut a little as Agent Coulson (stick around to see his cool car take off at the end). Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, and, occasionally, film holdover Cobie Smulders round out the cast. The 8 o'clock time slot is perfect and should help attract a younger audience.
The challenge: answering plenty of questions. Can you do this kind of big-budget action hour every week without The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, etc? Would anybody have watched Agents of Batman in the '60s if it was just about Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara?
Ed Martin: The most eagerly anticipated new broadcast series of the fall gets off to a surprisingly slow start in a pilot best described as restrained. There are numerous references to the Marvel universe that will excite fans young and old, and Clark Gregg resumes the popular role of Agent Coulson from the Marvel movies. But there is no wow factor, which may surprise fans of Comic-Con god Joss Whedon. On the upside, the pilot doesn’t set the bar so high that future episodes can’t hope to hold up. Maybe that was Whedon’s master plan all along.
 

THE GOLDBERGS

Premieres Sept. 24
Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET
ABC

Adam F. Goldberg created This ’80s Show, a broadly based comic look at his own upbringing. Jeff Garlin from Curb Your Enthusiasm and Wendi McLendon-Covey from Reno 911! are the parents, George Segal is the gruffy grandpa, and they all live under the same roof as the couple’s three kids, one of whom is a portrayal of young Adam. 
Bill Brioux: It doesn't stink, but the TCA press tour session was way funnier than the pilot, usually a bad sign. This family sitcom is produced by a guy named Goldberg and he's based it on his own upbringing. Uptight dad Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm) steals scenes left and right, even from George Segal, who plays "Pops." Ed Martin: This should have been a sweetly sentimental, nostalgic treat about a suburban family in the Eighties. But too many of the characters are so self-centered and obnoxious that their escapades become annoying not only to each other but to the viewer as well. Sadly, The Goldbergs is a well-intentioned but unremarkable misfire. Eric Gould: Great idea: Sitcom set in the Eighties about a loud, presumably Jewish family – i.e., the Costanzas from Seinfeld meets The Wonder Years. It is a great idea. Just not a great show. Wendi McLendon-Covey is the surprising draw here, and Garlin is, as surprisingly, flat.
 

TROPHY WIFE

Premieres Sept. 24
Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET
ABC

In this new ABC sitcom, Bradley Whitford from The West Wing plays a guy with two ex-wives (Marcia Gay Harden, Michaela Watkins) who marries for a third time – this time to young, very attractive Malin Ackerman.
Ed Martin: Watch for the scene with the dead hamsters and then you’ll know why I turned the pilot off half-way through. I can’t imagine who would want to sit through this humorless thing, but a gaggle of television critics who specialize in making niche shows into long-lasting underperformers have already taken it to their collective bosom. I’d like it to be the first comedy cancellation of the season (ahead even of Dads) but I can’t shake the feeling that ABC will keep it around a while. Bill Brioux: This spirited young woman (Malin Akerman from Suburgatory) marries this older dude (The West Wing's Bradley Whitford). He's been married twice before, to edgy ex-wives played by Michaela Watkins and Marcia Gay Harden. He also has three grown kids. Hilarity ensues. Based on the real life experiences of executive producer Emily Halpern (The Unit), who is clearly still working things out. Eric Gould: Great cast, underwhelming result. A young-ish third wife of an otherwise unassuming Dad has to deal with two exes – one tough and one loopy – and the step-kids who are slow to accept his new bride.
 

LUCKY 7

Premieres Sept. 24
Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET
ABC

Based on a British drama called The Syndicate, this new series follows the lives of seven gas station employees in Queens, and how those lives changed after their pooled ticket won the lottery.
Donna Plesh: Lucky 7 is not going to be so lucky and is likely to be one of the first new shows canceled. Who cares about a show about people winning the lottery? NBC tried it in 2006 with Windfall — remember??? Ed Martin: An unappealing cast in unappealing roles flounder through an unappealing storyline in the show that gets my vote as the most unappealing new broadcast series of the fall. I imagine the audience that tunes in at the top expecting some sort of satisfying story about wish fulfillment will fall away in ever increasing segments at each quarter hour. Gawd, how many great pilots were passed over in favor of this thing? Or was this really one of the best of the bunch? Bill Brioux: The pilot sets up a required amount of tension. There's the fellow employee who forgot to play that week – D'oh! – and thus missed out on a fortune; the dum-dum who tried to rob his own store right before the win, etc. But a series about this? This isn't even a movie, it's a commercial! They'll be lucky to get to seven episodes.
 

BACK IN THE GAME

Premieres Sept. 25
Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET
ABC

Maggie Lawson plays a divorced single mom who is forced to return home to live with her estranged dad, who’s played by James Caan. When her son fails to make the local little league, she volunteers to coach her own baseball team – with dad in tow.
Eric Gould: Maybe the surprise of the sitcom lot, despite its retread Bad News Bears-ish formula of a grumpy old Granddad who's a former ball player – he joins his divorced daughter to coach a little-league gang of misfits. James Caan takes it about as lowbrow as it can go, but the crude has roots in smarts. Ed Martin: At one point in the pilot a child declares that a certain vehicle smells like “a hot van full of monkey ass.” That’s an expression one would only hear in a writers room and never in the real world. Yes, this is one of those shows. The only thing it has going for it is a sensational performance by James Caan portraying a character that should offend overly protective parents everywhere. Gotta love that. Bill Brioux: I dunno, I must be getting soft in my old age. This is just a cheap Bad News Bears meets every other single mom spin off, but I didn't mind it. James Caan helps. He plays a crusty, cantankerous curmudgeon, my kind of guy. His daughter, a divorced single mom (Maggie Lawson), returns home with kid in tow and Caan's character winds up coaching the tyke's hopeless baseball team. Caan could play this with his eyes closed, and does, half the time, but it is still way better than some other sorry-ass shows on this list....
 

THE CRAZY ONES
Premieres Sept. 26
Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET
CBS

Another beloved actor returns to sitcoms: This time it’s Robin Williams, playing a former whiz-kid ad exec running an agency with his daughter, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. David E. Kelley is the creator.
David Bianculli: There’s too much talent in front and behind the camera not to give this one a try, to see how it develops. And in the premiere, it finds a clever use for Kelly Clarkson, which is a first for TV since Season 1 of American Idol.

Eric Gould: What happens when you tie one half of Robin Williams to a script and let him improvise with the other? A generic sitcom with some wildly funny improv moments, and some really bad ones with James Wolk.
Ed Martin:  I’m not sure how one builds a sitcom pilot around the legendary Robin Williams without bringing the “funny,” as they say in the grammar-demolishing corridors of the television business. Crazy boasts what may be the most tantalizing cast of any new sitcom this fall, including Williams, Sarah Michele Gellar, James Wolk and, in the pilot, guest star Kelly Clarkson. If only it had writers to match.

Donna J. Plesh: Robin Williams is the star, and that’s reason enough to watch this comedy.
Bill Brioux: The pilot is one big infomercial for a well-known hamburger chain, which left me a tad McQueasy. A lot of folks will want to spend 30 minutes a week with likable Williams, but I hope future episodes get a little edgier than the pilot. It seemed very paint-by-numbers. Plus, guest star Kelly Clarkson was more winning than Gellar in the episode, and made me wish she was playing the daughter – not a good sign.
 

THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW

Premieres Sept. 26 @ 9 p.m.
Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET
NBC

Beloved actor Michael J. Fox returns to sitcom TV, playing a local TV news reporter back at work after five years with Parkinson’s disease. Co-stars include Betsy Brandt from Breaking Bad as his wife. 
Ed Martin: This is the fall season’s most important new show. I can’t give Michael J. Fox enough props for putting Parkinson’s disease at the center of the comedy spotlight, and encouraging people to respectfully chuckle at something from which they were once encouraged to turn away. Hopefully, future episodes will be even better than the pilot, which is more amusing than most of the fall’s freshmen comedies, but not funny enough to make it a sure bet. And by the way, how fortunate is Betsy Brandt (here playing Fox’s wife)? Her current series, Breaking Bad, is coming to an end just as her new series begins, and both are projects of uncommonly high quality. Bill Brioux: Fox has been hilarious the past couple of years guest starring on shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Rescue Me. Here he plays a news anchor returning to the big time of network TV after taking time off to deal with Parkinson's. That one element, however, did tend to overwhelm the pilot, which was not as funny as I had hoped. Fox says stay tuned, future stories will spend more time on the character's job and family like any other sitcom. Another reason to watch will be to see if Fox can make this all work. He sounded pumped when I spoke with him at this summer's press tour, suggesting his physical challenges will force him to find new ways to work his comedy chops. That, to me, makes this series really interesting.  
 

MASTERCHEF JUNIOR

Premieres Sept. 27, Friday, 9 p.m. ET 
Fridays at 8 p.m. ET
Fox

Gordon Ramsey tones down his language, and his attitude, while shepherding 8-to-13-year-olds through their competitive cooking-show paces.
Bill Brioux: Now can somebody just get the kids to do the dishes? David Bianculli: On the surface, it sounds like a recipe mixing oil and water: the short-tempered, sharp-tongued Gordon Ramsay mentoring and judging a bunch of kids, ages 8 to 13, and putting them through their paces in the kitchen. But remember, a lot of Ramsay’s act is just that – and he’s also a father, and once hosted a holiday show in which he demonstrated how much he delighted in sharing counter space with young ones. So give this a chance… for the joy of it. And for the joy of cooking.  
 

BETRAYAL

Premieres Sept. 29
Sundays at 10 p.m. ET
ABC

In this new drama series, Hannah Ware and Stuart Townsend play married people who are very much in love – but not with their spouses.
Bill Brioux: Revenge, Betrayal – I’m already getting these shows mixed up. This limited run series finds a frustrated wife (Hannah Ware) getting involved with a lawyer who is going up against her husband in a high profile murder case. In other words, she dropped her briefs before her husband did! Stuart Townsend, James Cromwell and Henry Thomas (the kid from E.T.!) round out the cast. Ed Martin: Other than the hint of very steamy sex that may push the envelope for broadcast, there is absolutely nothing about the pilot that would encourage even the most die-hard soap fan to tune in for more. Betrayal wants to be the new Revenge, but it’s not even as much fun as Deception. Ed Bark:  Adapted from the Dutch series Overspel (adultery), Betrayal is consistently overwrought. But this is the ABC way, and the network has wrung multiple seasons out of both Revenge and Scandal. So why stop when the going’s good? The premiere episode briskly and soapily sets up all of its domino effects while also laboring with a stilted script.

Donna J. Plesh:
I love prime-time soap opera-type dramas like Revenge, but this one is not up to the potboiler standards of either ABC’s Revenge or Scandal
 

WE ARE MEN

Premieres Sept. 30
Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET
CBS

In this sitcom, Chris Smith plays a jilted groom who moves into the same apartment house as divorced guys Jerry O’Connell, Tony Shalhoub and Kal Penn, who take
David Bianculli: We Are Men are terrible.

Eric Gould: Paint-by-the-numbers sitcom with inappropriate and often clueless divorced bachelors of all ages living in a singles apartment complex. Tony Shaloub can obviously carry the weight, if asked.
Ed Martin: Not to be difficult, but I think the success of this show will somehow go with the American viewing public’s appetite for watching Jerry O’Connell parade around in an assortment of bikini swimsuits. The rest of the appealing cast, including Tony Shalhoub, Kal Penn and winning newcomer Chris Smith, is given much less showy material. It’s not as bad as other critics might have you believe, but it’s not a slam dunk, either. Bill Brioux: This years’ Neighbors, in that this is a show so high in concept and lame in title it's hard to take seriously, yet I'll check out a second episode just because these actors look like they're having a hell of a good time.
 

SUPER FUN NIGHT

Premieres Oct. 2
Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET
ABC

Rebel Wilson stars in her own sitcom creation, playing a woman determined to enliven her Friday nights, with two equally misfit co-conspirators (Lauren Ash, Liza Lapira) along for the super fun.
Bill Brioux: It stinks! The hot mess of a pilot was horrifying. Rebel Wilson gets her clothes ripped off at one point and you just feel really embarrassed for the character – not what you'd be going for in a comedy. Not so super fun. Ed Martin: People either like Rebel Wilson or they don’t, which means that if they like her they’ll want to give this show a chance, and if they don’t they’ll ignore it altogether. In other words, there is nothing of note here except her. The pilot is not without amusing moments, but everything about it is so heavy handed it becomes exhaustive just getting to the end. Donna J. Plesh: I loved star Rebel Wilson in the big screen Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, but this lame comedy is not showcase for all of her many talents.
 

IRONSIDE

Premieres Oct. 2
Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET
NBC

Blair Underwood stars in a reboot of the old Raymond Burr series, in which he played a detective in a wheelchair.
Eric Gould: He's young, reckless, edgy – and an amateur hockey coach. Just like the middle-aged, portly and cerebral Raymond Burr original from the Sixties. Not. By-the-numbers murder investigations, although this is a surprise, very good-looking directorial effort from thirtysomething's Peter Horton. Ed Martin: I’m not sure this is the worst new drama series of the season – there are at least two freshmen over at ABC that could challenge it for that distinction. But it’s pretty terrible nevertheless. Can’t NBC do better than to remake its own legendary shows? Series lead Blair Underwood deserves so much better than a Raymond Burr retread. Bill Brioux: This Ironside is more Shaft than stationary, and a lot sexier than Raymond Burr. Other than the wheelchair, there are few similarities to the original. This dude is surrounded by a crack investigative team, including Liev's kid brother, Pablo Schreiber. A well-produced pilot shows potential for anyone looking for a CSI on wheels.
 

THE MILLERS

Premieres Oct. 3
Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET
CBS

Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale play the at-odds parents of just-divorced son Will Arnett. Greg Garcia is the creator of this new sitcom.
Ed Martin: Technically, Will Arnett is the star draw here, but Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges steal the spotlight in the latest smart sitcom from the criminally underappreciated Greg Garcia. I could have done without an ongoing gag in the pilot that finds Ms. Martindale’s character continually passing gas of the silent but deadly variety, but in every other way the hilarious and heartfelt Millers is a breath of fresh air. Bill Brioux: It stinks, at first, but gets better as the pilot goes on. Will Arnett stars in what seems like his 16th fall sitcom in a row as a cocky news reporter who splits from his wife. Good idea, say his parents, played by Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale. They split up too, and mom moves in with sonny boy. Hilarity ensues, although it takes a while, and it is Martindale who finds the funny. If you're looking for Arnett's career, it's in the banana stand. Eric Gould: Funniest inappropriate scene of the year between Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale, in an otherwise paint-by-the-numbers network sitcom. Poor Will Arnett deserves another daring cable comedy.
 

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY

Premieres Oct. 3
Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET
NBC

Mike O’Malley and Mary McCormack are among the stars of this new sitcom about a very extended family.
Bill Brioux: A high school junior gets impregnated by a classmate and when their parents from different backgrounds find out, hilarity ensues. Quality cast keeps things keen for 22 minutes, including Mike O'Malley, Mary McCormack and Ricardo A. Chavira. Ed Martin: An under the radar effort in every way, Welcome is nevertheless one of the most appealing new comedies of the season, with humor, heart and charm to spare. It’s a show that isn’t afraid to acknowledge certain racial tensions of our times and perhaps dismantle them – something we haven’t seen in earnest since the era of All in the Family, Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons. Eric Gould: Cross-cultural collision when two kids reveal to their American and Latino families that they're pregnant on the day of high school graduation. Charmingly avoids the gross-outs and insults, and tries to do it all on wit and timing. Add the return of Mary McCormack.
 

SEAN SAVES THE WORLD

Premieres Oct. 3
Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET
NBC

Sean Hayes of Will & Grace returns to sitcoms, once again playing a gay man – but this time he’s a single dad, raising his teen daughter after he acknowledges his sexual identity and his wife leaves him. Co-stars include Megan Hilty and Linda Lavin.
Bill Brioux: It stinks! Sean Hayes returns as a gay dad trying to raise a 14-year-old daughter. Hollywood has tried to foist these gay comedies on audiences the past couple of years as if it was 1971. Relying on sexual orientation for laffs is about as lazy as building a sitcom around race or religion. It gets old fast, as does this idea to have Hayes' character hectored by an overbearing mother (Linda Lavin) and bullied by a tool of a boss (Thomas Lennon). Ed Martin:There is a parrot at the center of the few funny moments in the pilot, which is otherwise uncomfortably laugh-free. Hard to believe that series lead Sean Hayes won two Emmys for his comedic performance on Will & Grace and is one of the executive producers of one of television’s most appealing sitcoms, Hot in Cleveland.  
 

THE ORIGINALS

Premieres Oct. 3, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET
Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET
CW

This spinoff of The Vampire Diaries offers more of the same, only in New Orleans, with Joseph Morgan, Charles Michael Davis and Phoebe Tonkin all making the trip to the Big Easy.
David Bianculli: Vampire Diaries fans will suck it up, so to speak, but as a stand-alone fantasy drama, this new series plays too much like another trip to the Twilight zone: werewolves vs. vampires, with witches thrown in for distraction. Bill Brioux: This is about pale, pouty teen vampires and yet it’s called The Originals. Don't make me watch it.

Ed Martin: This pre-sold commodity feels somewhat pre-chewed, but it is nevertheless The CW’s best shot at a freshman success. It’s a spin-off from The Vampire Diaries, and at least it’s the real deal in that it features characters viewers have come to know over several seasons on that show. If The CW’s not particularly picky audience hasn’t already had enough of hot sun-proof vampires it should do just fine.
Eric Gould: True Blood meets The Smothers Brothers... and sister. Actually, there's no comedy in this Vampire Diaries spinoff, but maybe a worthwhile time to be had if you haven't had your fill of vampires. Oldest brother vampire returns to New Orleans in a very bad mood to take back what's his.
 

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE

Premieres Oct. 9
Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET
CW

A new version of a Seventies sci-fi teen series, this drama stars Robbie Amell and Peyton List as two super-powered youngsters starting to learn about their abilities and responsibilities. 
Bill Brioux: The folks at Warners Television and the CW seem determined to employ the entire Amell family. Stephen's younger brother Robbie stars here as a teen (named Stephen!) who discovers he can zap himself across town and do other cool stunts. He's one of the Tomorrow People! Trouble is, these bad guys are out to get him and his posse of super friends, who all look like they stepped out of a Joe Fresh ad. Ed Martin: Fans of the original series will appreciate the attention to familiarity here (Tim!). But there isn’t much to engage anyone who isn’t already fond of the mythology, which can’t help but invite comparisons to Marvel’s mightiest franchise, The X-Men. Eric Gould: Supernatural mishigas about a genetically mutated group of super humans who go around transporting themselves at will by telekinesis. Government conspiracy surrounds them. Strictly for the kids.
 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND

Premieres Oct. 10
Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET
ABC

Once Upon a Time, there was a spinoff to that ABC fantasy series – and this is it, starring Sophie Lowe as Alice, and with such co-stars as John Lithgow and Naveen Andrews.
Ed Bark: The newcomer does not deploy The Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” to add an extra edge... It’s beautifully appointed, though, and will look great on big-screen high definition TV sets. Let the “re-imagining” begin.

Ed Martin:
Only fans of Once Upon a Time, the series from which it has been sprung, will show any interest in it. Given that Time is hardly a smash hit, that would seem to compromise any chances of success that Wonderland might have.
Donna J. Plesh: Yet another airy-tale based drama that’s not worth watching. Can’t writers come up with a good drama that’s not in any way, shape or form tied to a fairy tale? Bill Brioux: Once Upon a Time meets Alice in Wonderland. Sophie Lowe stars as a new Alice who breaks out of a mental institution with the help of the White Rabbit (John Lithgow). What are they smoking these days over at Disney?
 

REIGN

Premieres Oct. 17
Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET
CW

Adelaide Kade stars as a young Mary, Queen of Scots, in this new CW costume drama series that’s heavier on the teen angst than it is on the history.
Eric Gould: Lavish and pricey 16th-century costume drama about Mary Queen of Scots a la Downton Abbey, but with the model-pretty CW usuals. Ladies in waiting playing dress-up as if it were prom night and Nostradamus glowering in the wings. Ed Martin: Remember the opening moments of the classic Monty Python sketch about the penguin on top of the television set, which begins with John Cleese and Graham Chapman as two old women listening to an episode of the radio drama The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots? (“You are Mary, Queen of Scots?” “I am.” Smash! Crash! Crunch! “Oh!” “Eek!” Crunch! Smash! “Ow!” Crash!) Or how about that great episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show when Lou Grant arranged for a skeptical Mary Richards to talk on the phone with the First Lady? (“Hi Mary, this is Betty Ford.” “Hi Betty, this is Mary, Queen of Scots.”) Sorry, my mind kept wandering to such things while trying to make it through the pilot for Reign, an attempt by The CW to make a youth-ensemble drama (about the teenaged Mary Stuart) that isn’t focused on beautiful vampires or gorgeous millennials. I’ll give the network credit for trying. Bill Brioux: Reign shoots in Toronto, in and around Casa Loma. Shouldn't it shoot in Vancouver? Get it? Rain? Anyway, what if Mary Queen of Scots, at 15, was on Gossip Girl? Totally! This weird mashup of Knights and period drama and modern music (Mumford & Sons are on the soundtrack) and semi-modern dress is different, at least. Could be a new twist on an old tale, or a Jimmy Kimmel prank. Look for Megan Follows as a cranky queen.
 
       
 
 
 
 
 
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5 Comments
 
 
Noel
Yikes. So far, even the supposedly better ones aren't so hot. Thanking my stars for "Last Tango in Halifax."
Oct 7, 2013   |  Reply
 
 
Gary P
"Agents of SHIELD", "Alphas" 2.0? We'll see.
"Goldbergs", strong start. No laugh track necessary.
"Lucky 7", not loving it.
Sep 25, 2013   |  Reply
 
Gary P
Oh, how could I forget "Trophy Wife" - easy.
Sep 25, 2013
 
 
 
Sally W.
I missed half of "Agents of SHIELD" - but liked it so far (Joss Whedon is the draw). "The Goldbergs" was not that funny, and is making me feel very sad about my 1980's childhood...
Sep 24, 2013   |  Reply
 
 
Gary P
"Mom" needs to drop that annoying laugh track to keep me watching.
"Hostages", meh.
"Blacklist", I'm in.
"Dads", RIP.
Sep 24, 2013   |  Reply
 
 
Eileen
I watched "Dads" only to see why every critic I read hated it. Words fail me! How could the amazingly talented Martin Mull sink so low? Even more awful than the scripted jokes/insults, was the laugh track. It made this highly unwatchable show even more unwatchable -- if that's possible. Horrible. Who could have greenlighted this junk?
Sep 20, 2013   |  Reply
 
 
 
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