The Fall TV season is fully upon us, with some shows having already debuted last week and more coming this week and all throughout September. There's so much stuff, it can be hard to decide what to watch. And some nights are so jam-packed with exciting must-see drama, comedy and adventure, that ol' DVR refuses to record any more before puking all over the floor. It might be hard to pin-point which new series you should be devoting your time and attention to. We probably won't even know for a few weeks whether something is truly worth investing in or not, as it sometimes takes a few episodes for any new series to find its footing and create a fan base before being canceled. And none of us want to give a few precious weeks over to something that is going to get the axe right away. Its not worth it!
So the networks and cable stations are doing everything they can to ensure an audience sticks with them and their programs. Some are taking the nostalgic route (The Goldbergs), others are reinvigorating actors from nostalgic eras (The Michael J. Fox Show), and some are attempting to take television into the realm of expensive CGI (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Whatever these creators of content are doing, they all want one thing...Your eyeballs on their programs, which is why we are breaking it all down here with "10 New Fall Series You Can't Miss." Hopefully this will help you decide what needs to be watched as this season gets off to a quick and powerful start.
1. The Blacklist
James Spader top-lines this show as an ex-government agent known for "brokering shadowy deals for criminals across the globe." Then he inexplicably surrenders to the FBI to help them entrap an even more wanted terrorist. The catch is that he will only talk with Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). What follows is a show that is both topical and entertaining. Filled with more twists and turns then The Da Vinci Code, The Blacklist has James Spader perfectly cast as the shadowy figure in the black hat. In a day and age where secrets are a commodity, this show manages to make us want to know everything while at the same time wishing we could pretend not to hear it. NBC brings out The Blacklist Monday, September 23 at 10/9c.
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Taking all the best elements of The Office and Reno 911!, Brooklyn Nine-Nine sees Andy Samberg playing an out of step police officer for the Brooklyn PD. He's not the only one however. Aided and abetted by the comically understated Andre Braugher and the always fun Terry Crews, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (which aired for the first time this past week), is either going to take the cop comedy mainstream or it won't. Our guess is that audiences, with all the terrible news going on in the world, are in the mood to laugh. Sending up all the conventions of buddy cops, middle management, and just about everything we're used to seeing in an episode of Cagney & Lacey, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a bit Cop Rock but all funny. This show airs Tuesdays, September 24 at 8:30/7:30c on Fox.
3. The Michael J. Fox Show
Michael J. Fox's time on Curb Your Enthusiasm was well spent, apparently. In his book "Lucky Man," the actor talked about seeing Seinfeld after being away from TV and realizing how much the medium had evolved from Family Ties. It seems like lightning has struck twice. On this show, Fox plays himself returning to TV. However, so far it seems like everything is on the table...Including the dreaded "P" (Parkinson's) word. Taking every day moments and then heightening them in Fox's world, it is going to be interesting to see how network TV handles a show that is clearly the son of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. Based on what we've seen so far, Fox may very well be on his way to another Emmy. Audiences should applaud him for that. NBC will debut this show with a special 1 hour episode on Thursday, September 26 at 9/8c.
4. Super Fun Night
What happens when three besties who have been hanging out every Friday Night with the motto "Always together! Always Inside," find themselves entering a world they have only dreamed about? This is the predicament that Kimmie (Rebel Wilson) and her two best pals find themselves in when Kimmie starts working with her idol, Felicity Vanderstone. Suddenly, Kimmie has to make a choice...Stick with her friends or attend parties with attorneys at trendy clubs? If you're Kimmie, you realize you don't have to make that decision...You just have to move your Super Fun Night to where the good times are happening. Featuring laughs aplenty and a fresh cast, ABC brings out this comic romp Wednesday, October 2nd at 9:30|8:30c.
5. Almost Human
What would the Fall television season be without J.J. Abrams? Almost Human takes a completely different and cerebral approach to the cop drama. John Kennex (Karl Urban) plays an officer who has been in a coma. He wakes up 17 months after one of the worst attacks on the police force in history. Making things worse is that he's lost one of his legs, and he has to work with an android (Michael Ealy). Set 35 years in the future, this show has the odd couple facing crimes that contemporary police procedurals can't even fathom. Set against this futuristic landscape, Almost Human shows how technology, whether we rely on it or not, is forever going to be an integral part of our existence. Fox will roll out Almost Human on Monday, November 4 at 8/7c.
6. The Goldbergs
Return to the 80s with The Goldbergs! Talk about taking nostalgia to the next level. This show hits on all cylinders as it reflects on the days when times were much simpler. 11-year old Adam (Sean Giambrone) is an aspiring filmmaker and he sets the lens of his video-camera on his family. Featuring Jeff Garlin and Wendi McLendon-Covey as his parents, this show has more "family" moments (ie. yelling) then you can shake a plate of borscht at. With siblings to deal with and a grandfather who's still trying to be a playboy (played perfectly by the legendary George Segal), The Goldbergs is perfect comfort food for your television soul. ABC has set its series premiere for Tuesday, September 24 at 9/8c.
7. Hello, Ladies
Ricky Gervais's funny pal, Stephen Merchant, takes over the reigns in this, his first starring turn. Merchant plays the role of Stuart. He's a web designer who has recently jettisoned his existence in England and is setting up new diggs in the US. And he's also looking to find the love of his life. If there is anybody that can handle all the douche baggery that goes along with the dating scene, Merchant is the guy. Playing somebody who is always trying a little harder than he should, Hello, Ladies should be to the single's scene what Entourage was to the world of Hollywood. The show premieres Sunday, September 29 at 10:30-11:00 ET/PT on HBO.
8. Masters of Sex
It's hard to not watch a show with a title like that, right? Centering on the pioneering exploits of sexual scientists William Masters and Virginia Johnson (Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan), this series puts a spotlight on the couple who made sex a not so dirty word. We see this couple espousing ideas, breaking stereotypes and turning sexual mores on their head at a time when this just wasn't done. Aided by the fact that the couple presenting it didn't look like freaks, their work would ultimately become critically acclaimed in a way that they could never have imagined. All of this serves the series well as Masters of Sex seems hell bent on taking advantage of just how "open" our society is now. This is must see TV and premieres Sunday, September 29 at 10PM ET/PT on Showtime.
9. Witches of East End
It is about time that witches were brought back into the fold. With everybody so intent on capturing people's interest in zombies and vampires, it is quite heartening to see that Melissa de la Cruz's best selling novel about a coven of witches, and the dirty lives they lead are getting their due on the small screen. Witches of East End centers around Joanna (Julia Ormond) and her two grown up daughters (Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Rachel Boston). The daughters have no idea of their witchery. All of this comes to a head as marriage looms for one and a long-lost sister makes her presence known to Joanna. Suddenly, it seems as if this eclectic group of witches might never get to know the truth about who they really are. Mixing various genres across highly compromising situations, the Witches of East End has something for everybody. It airs Sunday, October 6 at 10:00pm ET/PT on Lifetime.
10. Marvel's Agents of Shield
Disney has a lot riding on this show and because of that we are all benefitting. Saving the best for last, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. literally picks up where the smash hit Marvel's The Avengers left off. Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) returns as the master assembler of a select group of Agents who comprise the organization S.H.I.E.L.D. (short for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division). While creator Joss Whedon says the show was made long before the names Edward Snowden and NSA were known in every household, this show prides itself on questioning secrets and our needs for knowing and not knowing them. While some might see this as simply topical, in Whedon's capable hands it is both pop culture friendly and intelligent. The mouse house has bet big, the fruits of their labor are on the small screen and, thankfully, it is no secret that they are going to be on ours very soon as well. One can only imagine how this show might also tie in with The Avengers: Age of Ultron. This show airs Tuesday, September 24 at 8/7c on ABC.
What's your list? Are there any shows we missed? Do we have too many shows or too few, or did we get it just right?