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


EMILY OWENS, M.D.

Premieres Oct. 16
Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET
CW

Mamie Gummer from The Good Wife stars as a medical intern at a Denver hospital, baring her soul with internal monologues while trying to save lives, and make points and friends, in this new drama series.
David Bianculli: Part Ally McBeal, part Doogie Howser, M.D., this new series uses internal monologues and raw emotional vulnerabilities to present one of the best new characters, and shows, of the fall. Mamie Gummer, as Emily, is really, really good. Emily gets called a loser a lot – but she’s a winner all the way.

Diane Werts: One guess whose daughter Mamie Gummer is. She's got mom Meryl's mojo, too — funny, affecting and surprisingly real amid more CW romantic mush 'n' music for the 14-year-old girl in us all.
Bill Brioux: What if your first job as a doctor at a hospital was just like high school? OMG, right? ObGyn OMG!! Meryl Streep's look-a-like daughter, Mamie Gummer, raises this deal a notch, so if you're a 13-year-old girl and already bored with Grey's Anatomy, this show is for you.

Eric Gould: Meryl Streep daughter (and ringer) Mamie Gummer stars as Emily Owens, an interning surgeon who is the anti-House. She’s Ally McBeal-style insecure, complete with the ongoing, self-doubting internal dialogue. The show’s charming, but so lightweight it might escape notice.
Ed Martin: Mamie Gummer has excelled in a recurring role as a canny young attorney on The Good Wife. How unfortunate that nobody thought to create a spin-off for her built around that character. Instead, she’s playing an insecure intern in a medical drama that seems a bit short on heart, humanity and humor. What a waste.
 

MALIBU COUNTRY

Premieres Nov. 2
Fridays at 8:30 p.m. ET
ABC

Reba McEntire returns to sitcom TV, playing the wife of a country star who did her wrong. She packs up her family (including mama Lily Tomlin) and moves to Californee to resume her own music career. Costars include Sara Rue.
David Bianculli: The sitcom version of ABC’s Nashville, this plays as overly broad as a Disney Channel sitcom. But McEntire has never been less than likable, Tomlin is an effortless scene-stealer, and Sara Rue is another strong addition. And in this fictional sitcom land of Malibu, Reba and company live right down the beach from the guys of Two and a Half Men. Small TV world.

Diane Werts: Reba is a force of nature, a TV comedy natural, a shining example of double- and triple-take mastery. Lily Tomlin is an American treasure. And Sara Rue is somebody worth watching. Put them together in this show, and what do you have? A shining example of mediocrity reigning still in sitcomland.
Bill Brioux: Sorta like Reba's last show, only Botox-ier. Tomlin is always welcome, but the pilot played like warmed-over grits.

Eric Gould: As much as there is to love about Reba McIntire, there's probably less (a lot less) here than her last sitcom. Here, she's a cheated-upon fading country star starting over in Malibu with her two difficult teenage kids and sarcastic mother (Lily Tomlin). There’s even a new song rolled out for the premiere episode that has all the power of a laundry detergent jingle.
Ed Martin: Reba McEntire stars as a faded country star who relocates her family from Nashville to Los Angeles in an effort to revive her singing career, which is odd, seeing as how all the excitement in the country music business is in Nashville and all. The show is as funny as its concept is logical. Maybe co-star Lily Tomlin can salvage this bit of nothingness.

 

Already Premiered


GO ON

Sneak previewed Aug. 8;
premiered Sept. 11
Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET
NBC

Matthew Perry stars in this drama-tinged sitcom as a radio sports-talk host who enters a therapy group after his wife dies.

David Bianculli: Matthew Perry has surrounded himself with a good supporting cast here, and while this therapy-group sitcom is no Bob Newhart Show, it’s a series I expect will, like its patients, get healthier with time.

Ed Martin: I say go away! Just because half of Hollywood is in therapy doesn’t mean the rest of us will find anything of interest in a comedy about it, unless Dr. Bob Hartley is at its center. The second episode was even more inane than the first. Matthew Perry giving away cats on a street corner? He deserves better.
Bill Brioux: Perry shines opposite a cuckoo's nest supporting cast in a sitcom that is a lot warmer than Mr. Sunshine. Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) is all grown up as part of the group. Episode 2 found Perry trying too hard in a story about too many cats. Better was the sweet B-Ball finale. Go On will have to go slowly to find the funny.

Diane Werts: I know group therapy. I've been to group therapy. Group therapy is a friend of mine. And this, NBC, is not group therapy. Nice to see Matthew Perry again, but somebody please give this guy some remotely real comedy worth laughing along with.

Eric Gould: Let's hope it does – go on, that is. Matthew Perry brings grizzled wit and pathos as a sports radio talk-show host forced into group therapy while he grieves the sudden death of his wife.
 

ANIMAL PRACTICE

Sneak previewed Aug. 12;
premieres Sept. 26
Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET
NBC

Justin Kirk from Weeds stars in this sitcom as a veterinarian who connects more with his patients than their owners.
David Bianculli: This Practice doesn’t make perfect – not even close. In this frantic sitcom, the talented Justin Kirk is totally wasted. And not in a Weeds-type context.

Diane Werts: The monkey's the thing in a crazy vet's office where the humans are slap-happy. News flash: Saying lines faster does not make them funnier.
Bill Brioux: This series is like those monkey cards you give to friends on their birthday: good for one laugh.

Eric Gould: Has an enjoyable, off-beat tone, thanks to Justin Kirk, but therre are too many shrill sidekicks  — and I mean the rest of the cast, not the animals.

Ed Martin: The brightest star on any of NBC’s new fall series is Crystal, a sweet little monkey who masquerades as a tiny veterinarian in this lame comedy. Was the admittedly older-skewing Harry’s Law really so damaging to the network’s business that it had to jettisoned to help make room for shows like this one?
 


THE NEW NORMAL

Premiered Sept. 11
Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET
NBC

Co-creator Ryan Murphy of Glee presents this sitcom about two gay lovers (one played by Andrew Rannells of The Book of Mormon) who select a single mother (Georgia King) as their hired surrogate mom.

David Bianculli: Some good characters and actors (Ellen Barkin’s caustic grandmother is a standout), but this show starts out trying way too hard to be the new Modern Family. The old one’s just fine, thanks.

Diane Werts: Aiiiiieeeee! This season's uber-gay comedies are almost enough reason to go back into the closet and bar the door with a deadbolt. What the heck is Glee/Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy doing here? Everybody, please, take a chill pill.


Bill Brioux: Take the gay couple from Modern Family, have them hire a surrogate mother who already has an eight-year-old girl and throw in a bigoted, Sue Sylvester-like grandmother. Add NeNe Leakes of Real Housewives of Atlanta for some damn reason. With Ryan Murphy (Glee) stirring the pot, NBC thinks this is edgy and bold and can't miss. I found it off-putting and un-funny — which, this season, does seem to be the new normal. Ed Martin: This is the best of NBC’s new sitcoms. Too bad Ryan Murphy can’t dial things back a bit. In the first two episodes the vulgarities and slurs overwhelmed everything that were otherwise quite good about them. But there is no denying the outsize appeal of this cast or the giddy brazenness of its boisterous approach to subject matter that some befuddled folks still consider sensitive. Fingers crossed.

Eric Gould
: Guy meets guy meets girl, her daughter and bigot grandmother. Brings little more than Modern Family, but is often charming.
 

GUYS WITH KIDS

Premiered Sept. 12
Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET
NBC

Jimmy Fallon is an executive producer of this broad sitcom about buddies who try to juggle friendships and toddlers. Stars include Anthony Anderson.

David Bianculli: Guys without sense. Scenes without laughs. Show without a future.

Ed Martin: So here’s the thing: This empty comedy about three young men taking care of three infants isn’t nearly as appealing as the ABC Family series Baby Daddy, about three young men taking care of one infant. Perhaps the problem is the concept: Guys doesn’t seem to have one!
Bill Brioux: Paging Dr. Huxtable — sterilization! This one-note sitcom gets whiny and poopy pretty fast.

Diane Werts: Sweet dreams aren't made of this. NBC's supposed return to live-audience laughs is a pathetic punchline-fest that sets new standards in '80s overkill and cultural obliviousness. Men caring for their own kids — what a concept!
Eric Gould: Guys with Kids = vanilla sitcom and a waste of Whitest Kids U Know alumni Zach Kregger. Please find this guy a good show.
 

THE MOB DOCTOR

Premieres Sept. 17
Mondays at 9 p.m. ET
Fox


Jordana Spiro plays a medical resident who has unholy, and apparently inescapable, ties to organized crime figures, who rely on her, in this drama, to deal with issues largely, but not always, medical.
 David Bianculli: This series starts strong, then drowns in a whirlpool of increasingly preposterous absurdities. In terms of TV longevity, this should be a flash Mob.

Diane Werts: The pilot couldn't be more wacko — skilled surgeon lives double life as mafia medical go-to gal — but I'm a sucker for this cast: Jordana Spiro, Zach Gilford, William Forsythe, Zeljko Ivanek. If they manage to pare out some of the absurd threads crammed into the premiere hour, this could be an offer I can't refuse. At least it's not the same-old procedural/franchise.
Bill Brioux: The jokes write themselves: Take the cannoli, leave the scalpel. Take two bullets and call me in the morning. Mother of Mercy — is this the end of Rico's small intestine? Make me an offer for medical insurance coverage I can't refuse. Say hello to my little friend — the anesthesiologist...

Eric Gould: Heeyyy — whaddayou lookin' at?? Da mob? Da lady doc?? Is she a clown? How is she funny?? This is where Boardwalk Empire characters are afraid they’ll go when they’re rubbed out. (One does.)
Ed Martin: A winning young cast including Jordana Spiro, Zach Gilford, Jesse Lee Soffer and James Carpinello can’t save this overloaded story about an up-and-coming surgeon at one of Chicago’s top hospitals who saves her debt-ridden brother’s bacon by secretly playing doctor for the local mafia. The ridiculously over-written pilot should be a mandatory study for all aspiring script writers and development executives.
 

REVOLUTION

Premieres Sept. 17
Mondays at 10 p.m. ET
NBC

A mysterious event turns off all the power globally, and it never comes back on. The action resumes 15 years later, with Tracy Spiridakos as an arrow-wielding teenager searching for her lost uncle (Billy Burke). Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad plays a militia group leader, in a high-concept new drama from J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau and others.
David Bianculli: I wanted to like this – but halfway through, I was hoping my power would go off. It’s got elements of everything from The Walking Dead to James Burke’s Connections, but the logic lapses bother me: Why use 10 candles to light a room when one would do?

Diane Werts: Any sci-fi/fantasy show you've ever seen is represented here. The world's power goes off, and conspiracies reign rampant. Not only is the set-up complicated, but the acting, dialogue, plotting and sense of scope are sadly simplistic. Those seeking the latest Lost had best keep looking past this muddled mess.
Bill Brioux: With Jon Favreau (Iron Man) in the production mix, Revolution has the power pedigree. The pilot had its moments, but if my son and his buddies are any indication, nerds will pick it apart for brown outs in logic and credibility. Still, if you're looking for your Lost fix, this is as close as it gets this year.

Eric Gould: Meant to be a saga of a warrior-teen who battles with a bow and arrow after electricity disappears worldwide. This is the apocalypse prettified for prime time, and for that reason it is strictly lightweight. (But it's worth thinking about what happens when your iPad goes off for good. Do you really want to see bookstores gone forever?) For the real thing, see Cormac McCarthy's The Road.
 Ed Martin: In the tradition of Jericho, The Event and Flash Forward, this over-hyped world-in-crisis adventure will likely turn out to be the biggest disappointment of its season. A show in this genre needs to make sense on some level even when it asks us to believe the seemingly impossible — or else it needs a one-in-a-million cast that can make us accept just about anything. No luck here on either count.
 
 

PARTNERS

Premieres Sept. 24
Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET
CBS

Michael Urie from Ugly Betty and David Krumholtz play workers at an architecture firm who are long-time best friends, despite the fact that one is gay, the other straight. Inspired by Will & Grace TV producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, who are behind this new sitcom.
David Bianculli: The pilot struggles with too much jokiness, but Urie pops as a sitcom lead – and James Burrows, the best comedy director in TV history, is behind the camera. So give it time, and a chance.

Ed Martin: An uncomfortably laugh free pilot isn’t going to help CBS’ big new sitcom establish itself (especially when the rest of the comedies in CBS’ stable are so strong). It’s all about best friends and professional partners, one straight, the other gay. The basic problem here is that one of these two characters is so utterly freaking obnoxious and annoying that his pal’s seemingly limitless patience strains credulity.
Bill Brioux: Real life showrunners David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (Will & Grace) think their lives as life-long best friends and business partners — one gay, the other straight — would make a good sitcom. This isn't it. The actors all give it their best, but the pilot seemed very seen-it-before. Plus, for the first time ever, multi-camera director/Yoda Jim Burrows (Cheers, Friends) seems like yesterday's man. Diane Werts: OMG, it's so GAY! A straight guy and his extremely not-straight BFF/business partner try to pair up with significant others, while still being each other's raison d'etre. The only question in this cliche-fest: Why?
 

BEN AND KATE

Premieres Sept. 25
Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET
Fox

Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson star as brother and sister in this sitcom where there’s sibling support instead of sibling rivalry.
David Bianculli: This new comedy isn’t too bad, and may germinate into something pleasant and rather unusual. For now, though, it’s straining at the seams to be Fox’s Newer Girl – and one quirky New Girl is plenty.

Diane Werts: Call me crazy, but I absolutely buy Nat Faxon as a man-boy destined to upend his more-adult sister's life. Both he and Dakota Johnson can do warm, they can do wacky, they've got wide open possibilities in this franchise-free comedy.
Bill Brioux: There's a warmth to this show, thanks mainly to the appealing leads. It is based on creator Dana Fox's own relationship with her oddball brother, so it seems authentic. Could it be funnier? That would be yes, but it gets points for shooting part of the pilot at the Pasadena hotel where critics gather each winter. Ed Martin: With so many lousy new sitcoms springing up on network schedules, this lively effort about the relationship between an immature young man and his very responsible sister comes off as downright decent by comparison. It’s not especially funny, but it’s not without its charms, and in this fractured freshmen class that counts for something.
 

THE MINDY PROJECT

Premieres Sept. 25
Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET
Fox

Mindy Kaling is producing and starring in her own sitcom vehicle, playing a doctor who’s capable at work, but still a work in progress in her private life. Recurring supporting players include Bill Hader and Ed Helms.
David Bianculli: The premiere episode is too frantic, but there’s enough to like here to stay with for a while. Especially the supporting cast, who work well with Kaling.

Diane Werts: If you could put brain waves on film, you'd end up with this crazy salad of comedy about a young doctor who dreams of becoming Sandra Bullock, talks to Barbie dolls underwater, and lives life as "a high-risk situation." Kaling nails it as a smart 21st century thirtysomething who knows nothing and lives her id. (Or is that ego?)
Bill Brioux: While it wasn't perfect, the pilot had moments of fantasy and bursts of originality that makes it stand out from other sitcoms this year. Look for a couple of Saturday Night Live players among the supporting cast in the pilot. A good fit behind Fox's New Girl. Ed Martin: This is a great comedy for people who cannot get enough of Mindy Kaling, a popular supporting player on The Office; for everyone else, not so much. In fact, she’s really annoying here. Good thing her co-stars include the talented and appealing Chris Messina and Anna Camp.
 

VEGAS

Premieres Sept. 25
Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET
CBS

Dennis Quaid stars in this fact-based drama about formative Las Vegas, playing a tough, no-nonsense sheriff. Michael Chiklis plays the all-nonsense mobster planning to run things. Written by GoodFellas and Casino author Nicholas Pileggi.
David Bianculli: Dennis Quaid gives good glower, and Michael Chiklis is a flinty antagonist. It’s a little bit McCloud, a little bit Walking Tall – watch for the leads, and hope that Pileggi’s story catches up, and catches fire.

Diane Werts: You can put vintage clothes on it, and add accents, showgirls, motorcycle gangs and horse chases. But it's still just another CBS procedural. Dennis Quaid fits fine as a rancher turned reluctant sheriff, but Michael Chiklis' work on The Shield has earned his way past this piffle.
Ed Martin: CBS boldly takes a shot at one of those richly detailed period dramas that seem to elude broadcast success. It’s based on the real-life story of Ralph Lamb, a gruff rancher who became the sheriff of Clark County, Nevada, back in the ’60s, as gangsters were busily making the newly emergent Las Vegas their own. With Dennis Quaid making his series television debut as Lamb, and Michael Chiklis as his No. 1 nemesis, crime boss Vincent Savino, Vegas has more combustible star power than any other new series on any network. Bill Brioux: An old-fashioned, testosterone-driven hour featuring fisticuffs, fast women and cool cars. The stories and characters are as black and white as the hats and thar's no thinkin' required, pardner. Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix franchise) is along for the ride.
 

THE NEIGHBORS

Premieres Sept. 26
Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET
ABC

In this sitcom, Jami Gertz and Lenny Venito play a married couple with kids who move into a gated New Jersey suburban community, only to learn all the other residents are disguised aliens from outer space.
David Bianculli: This broad sitcom, essentially, is 3rd Rock from the Sun in reverse – a human family is surrounded by a neighborhood of aliens passing as human suburbanites. But reverse is the key gear when encountering this particular series. Back away, quickly.

Diane Werts: This one's just so weird, I'm willing to cut it some slack. Though I have no idea what they're trying to do, every minute offers some new touch of off-the-wall outrageousness. Here's hoping they have a point, any point, to make.
Bill Brioux: This series is so high concept just watching it will give you a nosebleed. Have to say, however, it made me laugh, especially the aliens, who move in unison and have American sports star names like Larry Bird and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Ed Martin: I only recently caught the 1993 movie Coneheads on Comedy Central. I had never seen it, but I had long heard that it was the worst comedy ever made about aliens living among us. Then I watched The Neighbors. Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtain can finally breathe a little easier.
Eric Gould: God help me, I laughed. The My Favorite Martian/Third Rock suburban sitcom is reversed where there's one normal family amongst an enclave of aliens. They're lead by a couple named “Larry Bird” and “Jackie Joyner-Kersee.” Guilty pleasures for leads Jami Gertz and Lenny Venito, who cuts a newer, softer Jackie Gleason.
 

LAST RESORT

Premieres Sept. 27
Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET
ABC

Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman star as submarine officers who defy orders, and take control of their U.S. submarine and, perhaps, world events. Co-created by Shawn Ryan of The Shield.
David Bianculli: It’s a very high-concept show, but one that could, in time, turn into a dramatic The Mouse that Roared. And any time Andre Braugher is acting, I’m watching.

Ed Martin: Armed with nuclear warheads, the crew of an American submarine takes over an island and threatens to make trouble when it appears that Washington has ordered an attack on Pakistan. Space prohibits further explanation, but the pilot is instantly engrossing and one of the few this season that left me hungry for more.
Bill Brioux: The pilot looked like a movie, with tons of action and effects. Shawn Ryan (The Shield) is a proven showrunner who has handled strong characters before. The challenge will be to keep this pricey sub drama afloat on a weekly TV budget, otherwise things could quickly lurch into Voyage to the Bottom of the Ratings.

Diane Werts: Andre Braugher armed with nukes — now THAT'S a series! His sub commander's quiet authority makes him a natural TV hero. Or IS he? That makes the series compelling.
Eric Gould: The first time ABC had a series about castaways forging their own civilization was in 1969 with The New People. Then came Lost. The next edition is Last Resort, starring the always fascinating Andre Braugher as a rogue U.S. sub captain who is forced to start his own island regime. It’s a Caine Mutiny, but with sane officers caught in a dangerous conspiracy. The pilot is wonderful, but it's unclear whether the story arc has legs. Or fins.
 

ELEMENTARY

Premieres Sept. 27
Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET
CBS

In this mystery drama series set in modern-day New York, Jonny Lee Miller play Sherlock Holmes, and Lucy Liu plays a distaff Dr. Watson. 
David Bianculli: Not as great as Sherlock, and not as much fun as The Mentalist. But it’s passable, and is a probable hit for CBS.

Diane Werts: Jonny Lee Miller makes an intriguingly itchy Sherlock Holmes, but Lucy Liu is wasted as his babysitter. Top cop Aidan Quinn can do better, too. Though the New York locations look fab, one has to wonder, with the continuing presence of the British Sherlock series on PBS' Masterpiece, why?
Bill Brioux: Miller makes for a very House-like Holmes, all condescending wit and better-than-thou deductions. Liu, however, sleepwalks through this pilot. Together they stick to the usual CBS crime-of-the-week brand. Ed Martin: The most promising new series of the season stars Jonny Lee Miller (from the fondly remembered Eli Stone) and Lucy Liu (fresh off a triumphant season-long guest role on Southland) as wildly reinvented variations of the classic characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, respectively. He’s fresh out of rehab, she’s his sobriety coach, and together they’re the most engaging crime-solvers to come along in years.
 

MADE IN JERSEY

Premieres Sept. 28
Fridays at 9 p.m. ET
CBS

Janet Montgomery stars as Martina Garretti, a feisty Jersey girl whose street smarts propel her quickly through the ranks at a tony New York law firm. Costars in this drama series include Kyle MacLachlan as her boss and Donna Murphy as her mother.
David Bianculli: The accents don’t fly, but this series might. It’s no Good Wife, and not even a Working Girl, but Janet Montgomery could pop quickly in the leading role. Cartoonish, but in a My Cousin Vinny way, not entirely unlikable.

Diane Werts: Working Girl comes to tubeland, as a Joisey goil takes her knowledge of hair products and manicures to Manhattan lawyer-land. Must CBS shoehorn its procedural compulsion into everything?
Bill Brioux: Fun to watch for the first ten or 15 minutes if only to see English lass Montgomery struggle with her Jersey accent. After a while, however, you just want J-WOW or The Situation to show up and mess with her tea and crumpets, ya know what I'm sayin'?

Eric Gould: Jersey Girl just might make it after all as a Manhattan litigator. “You're outta ordah...You're outta ordah!!...”
Ed Martin: A pretty young attorney from a working-class Italian family in New Jersey lands a gig at a snooty Manhattan law firm in a series that would be right at home on USA Network. With so many over-developed new series currently dropping from the sky like ducks during hunting season, maybe the sheer simplicity of this one will work to its benefit.
 


666 PARK AVENUE

Premieres Sept. 30
Sundays at 10 p.m. ET
ABC

Terry O’Quinn from Lost and Vanessa Williams from Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives play the (demonically?) powerful owners of a gothic New York apartment building. Rachael Taylor and Dave Annable play the newly hired managers, who just may have sold their souls for a room with a view in this new supernatural drama series.
David Bianculli: The supernatural overtones begin right away, when the young couple pulls up to the scary Drake apartment building on Park Avenue and find a parking space right out front. (Oooh, scary, boys and girls!) The pilot spends all its time establishing the characters and premise, but we’ll know, soon enough, whether this is Rosemary’s Baby creepy or The Devil’s Advocate campy.

Ed Martin: The only way this supposed supernatural thriller set in a haunted New York City apartment building will last is if it is consistently dramatic or scary or, ideally, both. Sadly, the pilot offers little drama and even less horror. Still, I’m always happy to watch Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams.
Bill Brioux: Plenty of room for anthology-style shenanigans as different tenants get terrorized every week. But, given ABC's standards and practices, kids used to Scary Movie-style thrills and gore will find this less frightening than Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair.

Diane Werts: The building is the star here, a super-sleek art deco address with one seriously evil elevator. But it's all nasty, what with Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa WIlliams as the seemingly satanic owners who've sucked a naive young couple into their wicked web. One devilish hour is fine. How will 22 play out?
Eric Gould: Yes, it's American Horror Story gone from single-family suburbs to the city when a young couple moves into a too-good-to-be-true apartment deal in Manhattan. Has the gloss of AHS, but none of the terror or craft. Stick with the FX brand.
 


ARROW

Premieres Oct. 10
Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET
CW

Stephen Amell reinterprets the Oliver Queen role introduced on the CW’s Smallville, but given a whole new backstory and tone here. Laurel Lance co-stars in the network’s newest comic-book drama series.
David Bianculli: Lots of angst, little action, no sense. This new DC Comics series doesn’t make me quiver – but I’m hardly its target audience.

Diane Werts: I dunno, I thought Birds of Prey did this better way back when, and it lasted about 17 seconds. But here's another comic book turned CW neo-noir: Pretty people go superhero to tidy up menacing metropolises (metropoli?). The pilot looks super-swell, which only makes me worry more about next week.
Bill Brioux: Amell is the real deal — even those stepladder chin-ups aren't faked. The action scenes are cool and the dialogue doesn't make you wince. Are we sure this is a CW show?

Eric Gould: Get out your Batman handbooks — wealthy kid with a dark past turns green-tinted ninja of the night. Adopts the obvious genre-du-jour (Revolution, Hunger Games) of vigilante archery.
Ed Martin: Not since the debut of Smallville in the fall of 2001 has a freshman superhero series ranked as one of the best of its class. That’s a judgment made off the pilot only, but it’s a good one. Stephen Amell plays the tortured title character. Watch him emerge as one of the top new stars of the season.
 

NASHVILLE

Premieres Oct. 10
Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET
ABC

Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere star as rival country singers (one a veteran icon, the other a sexy up-and-comer), in a drama series created by Callie Khouri of Thelma & Louise, with music overseen by T Bone Burnett of O Brother, Where Art Thou?
David Bianculli: A sparkling pilot with lots of promise, and with two female leads I couldn’t love more. When the first episode targets Auto-Tune artists as sounding like “feral cats,” you know this is one to watch for a while. And hear, too. Bill Brioux: Britton and Panettiere seize their roles and run with them in the pilot, which snaps with plenty of soap sizzle. You don't have to be a country music fan to enjoy this backstabbing showbiz story.

Diane Werts: If life's a country song, this one's pretty catchy. The lyrics are observantly sharp, the tune's emotionally moving. And everybody seems born to be playing his or her particular role. Go soap suds!
Ed Martin: Critics are tumbling over themselves in their haste to declare this the best new series of the season. Well, the pilot is indeed very nicely made, and series lead Connie Britton is one of the most exciting actresses working in television today, but the female audience this show will have to attract to survive may be turned off by the tiresome mature woman vs. pretty young bitch conflict at its center.
 

CHICAGO FIRE

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

Jesse Spencer of House, M.D. plays a Windy City firefighter in this new drama series from executive producer Dick Wolf.
David Bianculli: Eamonn Walker as the fire chief gives this new Dick Wolf series some dignity and gravitas. Little else does, though. It’s Rescue Me Lite.

Diane Werts: The cast of The Bachelor/ette seems to have wandered past the cameras filming this Windy City firehouse saga. That's all I can remember about it.
Bill Brioux: It just seems so seen-it-before, so Third Watch, and worse than that, dull. No sparks.

Ed Martin: Blazing infernos! Giant action sequences! Half-naked hunks! Sex! Fire! More sex! More fire! How can it be that so potentially explosive a mix of narrative elements has somehow been processed into the most boring new series of the season? It even drags on fast forward!
Eric Gould: The model-beautiful guys and gals in the Chicago firehouse are red hot. Unfortunately, the soapy script is ice cold.
 

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Premieres Oct. 11
Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET
CW

Kristin Kreuk, the original love interest on Smallville, returns to genre drama TV as an NYPD detective who is saved by a Jekyll-and-Hyde-type “creature” (Jay Ryan) whom she comes to trust, respect, etc. – and as beasts go, he’s easy on the eyes.
David Bianculli: Kristin Kreuk practically grew up along with the WB (and now CW) audience, and should command a loyal following for this reboot of the famous fable. Biggest change this time: the beast is a hunk. Welcome to the CW.

Diane Werts: Yow, what a body count — is love supposed to be this lethal? The Beast here is also The Hulk, only getting ugly when he's enraged. The poetic value of the ’80s fave is entirely omitted in favor of carnage and conspiracy, though Kristin Kreuk authenticates her adult bona fides.
Eric Gould: Tales as old as time ...not. CSI meets hunky and Hulk-y knock-off, this one with a smart-cracking lady detective who chastely teams with reluctant shape-changing avenger. And it has the same colorist and music director of Arrow.

Ed Martin: The smartly sexy Smallville star Kristin Kreuk belongs on series television, so her return here should be good news. Sadly, this unpleasant reworking of the ratings-challenged CBS fantasy series from the late-Eighties isn’t cause for celebration. It doesn’t even get the beast part right; the guy is supposed to look like a monster, but here he’s just a hunk with a scar or two.
Bill Brioux: Remember the original Beauty and the Beast series from the late ’80s? Ron Perlman from Sons of Anarchy played a big, cranky, furry-faced puddy-tat who lived in the sewers and freaked every time his precious lady love Catherine got in danger. This new beast, played by Jay Ryan, is a handsome dude with a scar who can somehow genetically change into a strong, speedy beast. He falls for a police detective played by Kristen Kreuk (Smallville). Kreuk has arresting good looks, but as a convincing cop she's Rookie blew. So bad it may only last six years on The CW.
 
       
    
       
       
 
 
 
 
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