Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Almost Here: New Fall Shows on TV

It doesn't feel like fall just yet, but that's not stopping the networks from launching their new fall shows. Next week!

NBC has already sneaked the premieres of two new shows: the Matthew Perry vehicle "Go On," about a support group where the lovely Laura Benanti helps stuck-in-a-rut folks (including Perry's character) move past their blocks, and "The New Normal," a sitcom from "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy, about a gay couple and the surrogate who's having a baby for them. Justin Bartha ("The Hangover") and Andrew Rannells ("The Book of Mormon") play the couple, with Georgia King as the single mom who's having their baby, Bebe Wood as her precocious daughter, and Ellen Barkin as her Type A, meddling mother. And, no, the show is not set in Normal, Illinois, which seems like a no-brainer. We are the new Normal, people!

Both those shows will be bowing on September 11th, with "Go On" at 8  and "New Normal" at 8:30 Central. If you'd like to see the "Go On" pilot now, without waiting till Tuesday, it's available on the NBC site here, while video for "New Normal," including its pilot, are here.

Next up is a sneak peek of "Guys with Kids" at 9 pm on the 12th on NBC. It's a show about, you guessed it, guys with kids, starring Anthony Anderson, Jesse Bradford and Zach Cregger as those guys. Anderson is a stay-at-home dad, Bradford is a single dad, and Cregger is a regular old dad. They call him "working dad" in the video preview. Jimmy Fallon exec-produced "Guys with Kids," and he says it's a show "about cool dads." Well, all righty then.

September 17th brings us "The Mob Doctor," involving a surgeon moonlighting for the mob, where there is apparently a great need for surgery on the sly, at 8 pm Central on Fox, and "Revolution," a dystopic futuristic drama about a world completely without power, at 9 on NBC.

"Partners" starts on September 24 at 7:30 pm on CBS, right after "How I Met Your Mother." The partners in the title are a pair of BFFs (Michael Urie and David Krumholtz) conflicted by Friend #1's boyfriend and Friend #2's girlfriend. It looks... Squicky. But you can judge for yourself by watching the preview video here.

Fox premieres "Ben and Kate" and "The Mindy Project" on Tuesday the 25th.

In "Ben and Kate," Nate Faxon is Ben, while Dakota Johnson (the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) is Kate. They're a mismatched brother and sister; she's practical and smart, while he's a goofball dreamer. What a crazy pair! Don't be surprised if a hot dog makes him lose control while she's all about Crêpes Suzette. Tune in Tuesday the 25th at 7:30 Central.

And then there's "The Mindy Project" at 8:30, after "New Girl." "The Mindy Project" stars Mindy Kaling, famous for being Kelly Kapoor (and writing and producing) on "The Office." It's a highly anticipated show, which is probably why it gets that post-"New Girl" slot. You'll need to buy Kaling as a doctor -- an OB/GYN -- who is as quirky and adorable as Zoey Deschanel. I'm not incredibly thrilled by this idea, but the "New Girl" fans may like it.

It's hard to believe there's room for yet another show with "Vegas" in the title, but CBS is rolling one out at 9 pm Central on the 25th. This new "Vegas" features Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis and is inspired by the true story of a cowboy turned sheriff battling the mob in Las Vegas in the 60s. It's not exactly what you would call high concept. But who knows? Maybe viewers are ready to turn back the clock to see Las Vegas, Old Style. You can see a video preview here.

The next night, "Animal Practice," which sort of looks like "House" with pets (Justin Kirk plays a veterinarian who likes animals but hates people) is followed by "Guys with Kids" (see above) in its regular slot. Those two are back to back on NBC at 7 and 7:30 pm on September 26.

They'll be joined by "Neighbors" on ABC at 8:30 Central. "Neighbors" is eccentric, that's for sure, as a family of regular old people move into a gated community filled with aliens. Aliens from the Planet Zabrvon. Who exude green goo out their ears. Jami Gertz is the mom of the earth family. I love Jami Gertz. But this sounds terrible. Sorry, Jami.

Thursday the 27th brings us "Last Resort" at 7 on ABC, with Andre Braugher as the captain of a submarine and Scott Speedman as his second-in-command. After some nuclear weapon shenanigans, the sub and its crew find themselves marooned on an island. Think "Gilligan's Island" meets "The Hunt for Red October."

That's followed by the newest iteration of Sherlock Holmes in "Elementary," this time with Jonny Lee Miller as the sleuth and Lucy Liu as his Dr. Watson. They're living and solving crimes in contemporary New York. Previews look very good, and I think I will be tuning in to see how it goes Thursday, September 27 at 9 pm Central.

"Made in Jersey" pops up on CBS in the No Man's Land known as Friday, with its premiere on the 28th at 8 Central. The plot sounds vaguely like "Legally Blonde" for brunettes, as a Jersey Girl tries to hold her own against snooty colleagues at a law firm in Manhattan. "Legally Blonde" meets "Working Girl," maybe.

ABC adds yet another intriguing show to an already packed Sunday, offering "666 Park Avenue," set in a spooky apartment building on New York's Upper East Side. Terry O'Quinn ("Lost") and Vanessa Williams ("Desperate Housewives" and "Ugly Betty") are the slinky, dark and dangerous owners of the place, while Dave Annable ("Brothers and Sisters") and Rachael Taylor ("Grey's Anatomy") are the sweet young couple who move in to be the new building managers. So... "Rosemary's Baby"? And a little "Dark Shadows"? It airs right after "Revenge" on ABC at 9 pm on Sundays.

That's it for new series in September, but there are also a ton of returning shows, plus, of course, October! Whew. It's not easy keeping up with TV, is it?


  1. I've seen the pilots for "Go On" (I'm apprehensive, but it definitely has some scenes that work great, and I love the cast -- beyond Matthew and Laura, there's Julie White and the Everybody Hates Chris guy, all grown up now; so I'm hopeful too) and "The New Normal" (I so wanted to love it, but it's pretty broad and smarmy, with Justin Bartha as the main exception for me; maybe they'll adjust it but I fear they don't see the need). I wonder if I dare check out "The Mindy Project." What I've heard worries me.

  2. I liked it okay -- Laura was fresh and great, and the Everybody Hates Chris was a good surprise -- but Matthew Perry is not a favorite for me.

    And unfortunately, I agree on "The New Normal" even though I'm rooting for it. And rooting for it to move production to Bloomington-Normal! Plus it avoids being as terrible (or stupid) as the one with the guys with babies or the one with Jami Gertz or the one with Michael Urie... The networks are looking for that Two and a Half Men target, it seems. Which... Yuck.

    But I did think the previews of "Elementary" were intriguing, Andre Braugher always elevates the material he's in, and I have a few returning favorites ("Once Upon a Time," "Happy Endings," "Park and Recreation") so it's not like my TV card isn't punched, anyway, whether I add new sitcoms or not. But I do want Laura Benanti to have a hit. A palpable hit!

  3. I amused myself last night looking up the TV season that began in 1982, which is exactly 30 years ago and also the year I moved to the state where I now live. These are the shows that debuted then, at least the ones that are remembered or otherwise otherwise interesting.

    Ripley's Believe It or Not! (lest we think it was all wonderful)
    Matt Houston (remember when Lee Horsley was a Thing?)
    Square Pegs
    Newhart (the Vermont Newhart show)
    Bring 'em Back Alive AND Tales of the Gold Monkey (the two Indiana Jones ripoffs, with Bruce Boxleitner and Stephen Collins respectively; though they lasted just the one season, I find that the latter is out on DVD!)
    St. Elsewhere (and HIll Street Blues was only one year old)
    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (the brothers including Richard Dean Anderson, Drake Hogestyn, Peter Horton, and RIver Phoenix)
    Filthy Rich (Delta Burke and Dixie Carter!)
    Tucker's Witch (remember? Tim Matheson marries witchy Catherine Hicks?)
    Family Ties
    It Takes Two (which I mention only because it was Richard Crenna married to Patty Duke, with Anthony Edwards and Helen Hunt as their teenaged children)
    The New Odd Couple (they're back and they're black!
    The Quest (aw, I liked this one: the remaining 4 heirs of a Mediterranean royal family have to pass a test each week to see who takes the throne)
    The Powers of Matthew Star (remember? Peter Barton and Lou Gossett?)
    Silver Spoons
    and.... Remington Steele.