It’s almost time for a new TV season to start, and with it comes a glut of new shows.After discounting all the things I knew I wouldn’t care about, I was still left with a fairly lengthy list of things I’m at least interested in checking out. I know they won’t all hold my interest, and even if they did, I REALLY know they won’t all hold the studios’ interests. But in a season that includes new dramas, comedies, a handful of reboots and an awful lot of time travel, it’ll be fun to see what sticks.
The following is my list, organized by premiere date rather than degree of interest. Trailers are included where possible.
The first reboot of the list. I think if this is a series that can avoid becoming another standard procedural, it could work. Martin Riggs is a character who comes with a lot of baggage that the movies pretty much unpacked by way of throwing everything across the room. They had to, because two hours just isn’t a lot of time. And it worked for the movies, but I would hope (and it looks like) a series could take its time and let Riggs unfold a little more naturally. Or it could end up being a disaster. And that’s really going to be the linchpin of this series, I think. Can Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans embody Riggs and Murtaugh without feeling like cheap knockoffs of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover? I think Wayans might be able to do it, but I don’t know enough about Crawford to judge. Premieres 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21 on FOX.
I didn’t know anything about this show, and wasn’t sure what to think about it until about a minute and a half into the trailer. It’s about a family who’s overbearing mom (Minnie Driver) keeps moving them from place to place trying to find the perfect school for her son with special needs, and initially seemed like it was maybe more exploitative than funny. And then Cedric Yarbrough appeared. And it got funny. Also, I like that an actual kid with disabilities was cast (Micah Fowler, who has cerebral palsy) instead of shoving an able-bodied person into a wheelchair. Premieres at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21 on ABC.
Wow. It’s like somebody watched that episode of The West Wing where the Secretary of Agriculture has to stay home from the State of the Union in case everybody else in the line of succession dies horribly and said “That’d make a great show!” And then cast Kiefer Sutherland to be as Bartlet as he can be while absolutely terrified because an enormous terrorist attack just happened and he’s the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (and because, you know, he probably didn’t get this speech). It looks great and like a much needed departure from Jack Bauer. Also, it amuses me that Kal Penn, who stopped acting for a little while to work at the Obama White House, plays a White House staffer in this. Of all of them, I think this is probably the show I’m most looking forward to. Premieres 9 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21, on ABC.
So, I’m a sucker for time travel, and I can’t tell if this is going to have present-day people chase somebody into the past and then stay there, or if there’s going to be time-hopping, but there’s definitely something mysterious going on here that looks worth checking out. I’m worried it might be a little high-concept for a general audience, and there are traces of an angsty love story I don’t care about in there, but we’ll see how it goes. Premieres 9 p.m., Monday, Oct. 3 on NBC.
I can’t even lie here: 2001’s Frequency starring Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel as a father and son communicating across 30 years via ham radio (saving lives, solving crimes and making trouble) is one of my favorite movies. So I’m primed to like this show. I’m a little irritated at the gender-swapping of the kid — not because “oh noes, they’re using a girl” but because in all other respects, it appears to be sticking to the same characters. Except John’s Raimy now, because girl power, I guess. I’d prefer a show that kept the spirit of the movie with new characters. But that’s not what we got, and I’ll probably still like this an awful lot, as long as it doesn’t turn into the average procedural. Premieres at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5 on The CW. There’s not a trailer for it yet that I could find.
I feel like this show about the first female Major League ball player would make a better movie than a series, but I’ll tune in for a few episodes. Premieres at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 22 on FOX.
I love Richard Dean Anderson, but most of my exposure to him was from Stargate SG-1, with only a smattering of MacGyver reruns here and there. So, while I’m sure there are people who can’t loosen their nostalgia goggles enough to accept this series (that a tiny part of me wonders if it isn’t meant to be an actual next generation thing), I’m kind of stoked for it. Premieres at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 on CBS.
The Great Indoors
I…don’t know what to think about this. Joel McHale plays an outdoorsy wildlife writer guy for a magazine and he gets pulled from his assignment to lead a newsroom full of millenials. And it looks like your standard sitcom with overblown stereotypes (suuuuuuure to piss off all the millenials) and a godforsaken laugh track, but…I laughed at the trailer? So I’ll probably try it. Premieres 7:30, Thursday, Oct. 27 on CBS.
Life in Pieces
This is one of those that I investigated on the strength of its cast, namely Colin Hanks, James Brolin and Diane Wiest. It kind of looks like it has the polish of Modern Family in its prime (minus the confessionals) but the heart of The Middle, which puts it right up my alley. Premieres 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27 on CBS.
Honestly, as I was scrolling through TVGuide.com’s list of shows this season, I had no idea what Riverdale was. I just saw Luke Perry’s face, went “That’s Luke Perry!” and clicked (and then later researched because the TVG page was useless) to find out more. It’s a live-action Archie that, from listening to Cole Sprouse talk passionately about it, holds pretty true to the feel of some of the more out-there Archie universes. Airs on The CW. No premiere date listed.
The story of an insurance adjuster in a world full of superheroes sounds like something Cracked, Funny or Die, or College Humor might do a series of shorts on. But it’s an actual sitcom coming to NBC. There’s a part of me that thinks the superhero market is getting too saturated for this to work, and a part of me that feels like all the shoutouts to big name DC heroes will get stale quick. But there’s another part that says all of that will be why it’ll be awesome. Premiering in 2017 on NBC.
Apparently, before I even knew this was a thing, it was a killed thing, and now a resurrected thing. It’s set to be an NBC 10-episode miniseries that puts “20-year-old Dorothy Gale and her K9 dog” smack in the middle of a war in Oz. If it can capture the magic of The Wizard of Oz and mix it with some more grownup stuff, it could be good. But if it ends up a watered down Game of Thrones knockoff with a thin coat of Oz paint, or like a rehash of Tin Man, I’m out. But I’m one of those rare Kansans who embraces The Wizard of Oz and all the Dorothy jokes that come with it, so I’m tentatively excited for this. Premiering in 2017 on NBC.
This will never last. But until it’s cancelled, I’ll probably really enjoy what looks like a much smarter Hot Tub Time Machine. It also looks like the Scrubs to Timeless’s ER and that’s always an interesting dichotomy to have week to week. Premiering in 2017 on FOX.
Time After Time
MORE TIME TRAVEL! This is simultaneously making me happy for the season and bitter that Journeyman never took off. This one follows HG Wells and Jack the Ripper into the 21st century and looks exciting, but it also might have that initial “quirky person works with by-the-book skeptic to solve crimes” that Life, Castle, Bones, Sleepy Hollow, etc., all had that I’m getting a little bored of. But I’m hopeful, overall. Premiering in 2017 on ABC.
Star Trek Discovery
Maybe it’s my disappointment in Star Trek Beyond or the void left by my Next Generation marathon that isn’t quite being filled by Deep Space Nine, but I’m surprisingly excited for this series. Especially after learning its going to take place in the “prime” timeline — ie a future with TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager as its past. Makes me wonder if uniforms will look anything like the ones “25 years in the future” on the TNG finale. It’d be neat if they kind of did, even if it just ended up being long enough for someone to say “Look guys! New uniforms are in!” before ditching them. The teaser that’s out now has a very militaristic/high action feel to it, even though it’s just the ship reveal, and I’m not sure what I think about that, especially with a name that implies more exploration than ass-kicking. Premiering in 2017 on CBS, then only on CBS All-Access.