Last week, I spent a lot of time watching trailers and promos for the upcoming TV season, and I made huge list of things I’m going to try out, but really, it mostly all looks kind of lackluster. There are a handful of shows I really care about and am excited for, and most of the rest are only on the list because I like people who are in them. And apparently Disney, parent of ABC, owns my soul. I hope they keep it on a shelf next to Marvel and Lucasfilm.
The TV Guide website has a grid that puts ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and The CW programming head-to-head each day so you can better weep over a mass of shows that all happen at the same time (this is only a problem for me for a half hour on Thursday). It also has an alphabetized list that includes cable and premium channels and premiere dates. And lastly, there’s a calendar of premiere dates, so you can better appreciate just how crowded Thursday, Sept. 26, and Sunday, Sept. 29, are. For real.
I don’t know what y’all are planning to watch (or at least give a shot) but here’s my “If I had all the time in the world” schedule. It includes links to trailers and promos for most new shows on the list. All times are central time.
WHAT I’M GOING TO WATCH
7 p.m.: Once Upon a Time: Team Fairy Tale goes to Neverland with Pirate Pretty, and Peter Pan might be a bad guy? That’s really all the convincing I need. Premieres Sept. 29 on ABC
8:30 p.m.: Mom — Anna Faris plays a single mom who reconnects with her own mom (Allison Janney) when they run into each other at an AA meeting. Hilarity allegedly ensues. It probably won’t stay on my schedule, but it’s Allison Janney, Nate Corrdry and French Stewart, too, so that might be enough to make me forget, for at least half a season, that it’s a Chuck Lorre show. Preview. Premieres Sept. 23 on CBS
9 p.m.: Sleepy Hollow — Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman both wake up 250 years after their death. I don’t see how you make more than one season out of this, and I question whether it will make it to a full season at all, but I’m reasonably enthused. I’m a sucker for man-out-of-time stories and supernatural elements, which this seems to have in spades along with some witty banter. I’m trying not to think about the aspect that reminds me of Zero Hour. Premieres Sept. 16 on Fox. Trailer.
9 p.m.: Castle – This season is bringing some changes what with Detective Becket’s job offer from the FBI and marriage proposal from Castle. Plus a Ryan baby. To be honest, it’s a fun show that I still like, but after five years, I’m mostly just here for the Ryan baby at this point. Premieres Sept 23 on ABC
7 p.m.: Dads — Two best friends (Seth Green and Giovani Ribisi) have to deal when their dads (Martin Mull and Peter Riegert) move in with them. It doesn’t look like it’ll be much better than Guys With Kids was last season, and it already has people up in arms and calling it racist, but I love Seth Green and Giovani Ribisi, so I’m giving it a chance to prove me wrong. It’s also a Seth MacFarlane thing though, which doesn’t mean particularly good things to me, but may appeal to other people. Premieres Sept. 17 on FOX. Trailer.
7 p.m.: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D — I can’t wait for this to be a thing that’s on my TV. The Marvel cinematic universe hits the TV with this Joss Whedon show about a SHIELD team led by Agent Coulson, who is somehow still alive, or perhaps alive again. Premieres Sept. 24 on ABC. Trailer
7:30 p.m.: Brooklyn Nine-Nine — A cop-show comedy starring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher? In. Premieres Sept. 17 on FOX. Trailer.
8:30 p.m.: Trophy Wife — Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) plays a twice (or thrice?)-divorced dad who marries a younger woman who not only has to get along with his kids but his kids’ mothers. It doesn’t look like there’s a whole lot of substance to it right now, but if it can acquire some, it might have a shot. But right now, I’m just trying it for Whitford, because I support TWW alums. Premieres Sept. 24 on ABC. Trailer.
7 p.m.: The Middle — This sitcom that’s kind of like a more light-hearted Roseanne with more likeable characters and fewer “issue episodes” is heading into its fifth season, and I like it as much now as I did when I started watching it (halfway through season one). Premieres Sept 25 on ABC.
7:30 p.m.: Back in the Game – New sitcom about a single mom who after a messy divorce moves in with her grumpy dad (James Caan) and ends up coaching a ragtag youth baseball team. It’s another one of those that I’m not 100 percent sure about, but it’s sandwiched between other shows I like and looks like it could maybe be cute enough to give a chance. Premieres Sept. 25 on ABC. Trailer.
8 p.m.: Modern Family — Huge ensemble cast and only one character I’m not fond of. Also, as most of the kids were actually about the ages of their characters (11/12) when the show started in 2009, it’s been neat watching them grow up. Premieres Sept. 25 on ABC.
8 p.m.: The Tomorrow People — So, I can already imagine the Internet uproar that will stem from constantly talking about how the main character is “crazy” for appearing to be schizophrenic and then only get louder when mental illness is really the beginning of super-special mutant powers. But I think it looks interesting. Sort of an X-Men meets Push (starring Chris Evans after he was Johnny Storm but before he was Captain America). Also, Mark Pellegrino looks like a fun baddie. Premieres Oct. 9 on The CW. Trailer
9 p.m.: Ironside -- Before looking up the trailer for this, all I knew about it was that it was a cop show. And I’m picky about my crime procedurals. So I watched the three-minute trailer and at first it seemed pretty standard, and I thought I might give it a pass. Then I realized the lead character was a black man in a wheelchair and I was so impressed by characteristics that are sadly infrequent when separated and downright unique combined. I wanted to show some support for a show willing to acknowledge that not all lead characters have to be white and able-bodied. But as the trailer went on, it started to look really good to me. Blair Underwood seems to have a wit that stops just shy of bitter and is surrounded by an ensemble cast of characters that so far seem fairly archetypal but not unpleasant. And, you know, I’ve seen three minutes. There’s probably room to grow. Premieres Oct. 2 on NBC. Trailer
7 p.m.: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland — Visually, this looks interesting, and while I’m not sure how much energy I have for two shows that jump all around in time, OUaT redeemed itself enough that I’ll give its spinoff a try. Premieres Oct. 10 on ABC. Trailer.
7:30 p.m.: The Millers -- Will Arnett plays a divorcee whose mom moves in with him after she and his dad split up (dad moving in with his sister). Also starring Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale as the parents. It’s a Greg Garcia show, and I like Raising Hope (and Arnett, Bridges and Martindale) enough to add this to my sitcom lineup, even though I have some reservations based on the promo. Premieres Sept. 26 on CBS
7:30 p.m.: Welcome to the Family — Two families brought together when their just-graduated kids get pregnant and (apparently) married. Starring Mike O’Malley and other people who aren’t Mike O’Malley. Premieres Oct. 3 on NBC. Trailer.
8 p.m.: The Crazy Ones – This show is already catching a lot of flak, but it’s Robin Williams! And Sarah Michelle Gellar! And they’re father/daughter ad execs! What’s not to like? (I’m afraid I’ll find out.) Premieres Sept. 26 on CBS. Promo.
8 p.m.: Sean Saves The World – The preview looks like it can’t quite decide if it wants to be a work comedy or a family comedy, and I think it takes a really strong show to pull that off. And I’m not sure this is that show. But after years of seeing Sean Hayes be flamboyant Jack on Will & Grace, it’s neat seeing him play the other end of the (still gay) spectrum now with bonus a teen daughter. We’ll see. Premieres Oct. 3 on NBC. Trailer.
8:30 p.m.: The Michael J. Fox Show -- SO EXCITED! Not only is it Michael J. Fox on my TV again, it’s also set (partially) in the broadcast news world, which is just a favorite setting of mine. And it might just be the MJF love talking, but I think this IS a show that can handle the home/work dual focus. Trailer.
8 p.m.: Grimm — Grimm has, I think, moved beyond a point where I can explain it in a couple sentences. But I love it. Premieres Oct. 25 on NBC. There’s not a season three promo yet, but here’s a fun cast interview (that you might be wary of if you’re living under a rock like I was and had missed a giant spoiler that was apparently plastered all over TV Guide at some point this year). Also, here’s a season one promo, which does a great job of setting up the concept, though lacks the big mythology stuff that’s been built.
WHAT JUST MISSED THE CUT
The 100 (CW), midseason — For 97 years, humankind has lived in a giant space station just above a nuclear-ravaged Earth. To keep population manageable and to see if Earth is livable, they send 100 teen petty criminals to the surface, where it looks like it could get very Lord of the Flies. And there’s political drama going on up on the space station still. And it turns out the kids on the surface “aren’t alone.” I think it wants to be Revolution meets Battlestar Galactica or something, but it’s really just going to be another Cult. See a trailer here.
We Are Men (CBS) premeries Sept. 30 — Here’s the thing, I like Tony Shalhoub, Kal Penn and Jerry O’Connell, but this show about a bunch of divorced womanizers living at an apartment complex who take a recently left-at-the-altar guy under their wings just looks mostly bad. And I can give “looks kind of bad” a try for a cast that I like, but not mostly bad. Here’s a trailer.
The Blacklist (NBC) premieres Sept. 23 — James Spader is some kind of criminal mastermind Silence of the Lambs-ing his way around with a shiny new female profiler (Megan Boone) from the FBI who, let’s be real, is probably his daughter. He looks intriguing and she looks pretty awesome, but I’m just not sure I want to spend time on it. But I hadn’t even heard of it until I started putting this list together, so I don’t know. Maybe a few more commercials from now I’ll bump it up to the schedule, but right now? I just don’t care quite enough. Trailer.
NOT A GOOD YEAR FOR VAMPIRES
I don’t care in the slightest about Dracula (premiering 9 p.m., Oct. 25 on NBC) or The Originals (premiering 8 p.m., Oct. 3 on The CW before taking the 7 p.m. timeslot, apparently). In Dracula’s case, I just typically don’t like period pieces at all. I don’t watch Downton Abbey, I didn’t watch The Tudors, and this is from the people who did both. If that appeals to you, hooray! I hope you love it. Here’s a trailer. In the case of The Originals, it’s apparently a Vampire Diaries spinoff, and there’s a grand total of one character who seems interesting to me. And the rest mostly seems tedious. Trailer here.