Yayyy!!! It’s Fall Premiere Week! If you’re new here, I’ll tell you now, I love TV. I love it more than food and sunshine put together. TV is my hobby. I also love magazines, and I currently subscribe to five- one weekly and four monthlies. That means that I get roughly 100 magazines a year. My absolute favorite, the one I practically wait by the mailbox for, is Entertainment Weekly’s Fall TV Preview* double issue. I’ve been getting my EWs on Saturdays lately, so I was thrilled when my bible arrived on Friday this year. A whole extra day to plan!
I have two DVRs, so I can record up to four shows at once. This is very necessary, as you’ll soon discover. I devour my Fall TV Preview with a pen, a highlighter and Post-it flags. Then, out comes the laptop so I can make my spreadsheets in Excel.
Here are the new shows that I’ll be watching this fall. Some of them, I’m really excited for. Some don’t look too promising, but I’ll give them a shot. I have a three-episode rule for new shows. The first episode is typically spent setting up the plot. The second is for getting to know the characters. The third is when they can finally get down to business. So, if a new show seems lame during the first two episodes, I stick it out until the third. There are plenty of shows that seemed dumb originally, that are now among my favorites (a good example would be “The Big Bang Theory”).
Most of these premiere within the next two weeks. You can get more information on the networks’ websites or EW.com, or, of course, buy your own Fall TV Preview.
666 Park AvenueSunday, 10pm, ABC Terry O’Quinn (John Locke from “Lost) and Vanessa Williams (“Ugly Betty” and “Desperate Housewives”) star as the owners of a mysterious (haunted?) apartment building. Awesome. I love them both, and I love spooky shit. I have high hopes for this one.
PartnersMonday, 8:30, CBS Michael Urie (Marc from “Ugly Betty”) and some other dude play a gay-straight duo who are best friends and business partners. I liked Michael on “Ugly Betty,” and I’ll watch just about any sitcom, as long as the premise isn’t about a fat idiot and his bitchy wife (“The King of Queens” did it best; stop trying).
The Mob DoctorMonday, 9pm, Fox Some doctor owes the mob, I guess for gambling or something, so she treats them on the D.L. This could be rad, or it could be “Gray’s Anatomy.” I’m not even sure I want to see it; I’ll need to see a commercial before I commit. Luckily, Fox is running a preview special tomorrow (at 1:30pm, how weird is that?), so I can make my final decision then.
RevolutionMonday, 10pm, NBC Electricity stops working, and the world has to adapt. As far as I know, there’s no bomb behind it (à la “Jericho”), no zombies (à la “The Walking Dead”), and no aliens (à la “Falling Skies”). Curious. I like all of those parenthetical shows, and the interesting thing about apocalypse-themed shows is that they tend to be more about how the characters overcome the little things, like the loss of electricity, than the actual problem that caused it. So perhaps we don’t need to know the cause in order to be entertained by the effect. Also, Gus from “Breaking Bad” (Giancarlo Esposito) is on it, and he is fantastic.
Ben & KateTuesday, 8:30, Fox Bachelor Ben moves in with his sister, single-mother Kate, to help raise her 5-year-old daughter, who I’m assuming is ridiculously precocious and dimpled. This sounds sort of cheesy, like “Full House” minus Joey, D.J. and Michelle. Well, I always hated Joey and Michelle, and D.J. I could take or leave, so maybe I’ll like it. Sometimes cheesy is good.
Go OnTuesday, 9pm, NBC I caught the preview of this show after the Olympics, and it looks good. I’ll watch any show with Matthew Perry (yes, I loved “Studio 60” and “Mr. Sunshine”). All of his characters are so similar, I feel like I know him in real life. He seems a lot like me. On his new project, he plays a recent widower forced to attend group therapy by his employer. Tyler James Williams of “Everybody Hates Chris” costars as a member of his support group. I missed him!
The New NormalTuesday, 9:30, NBC A single mom with a bigoted grandmother carries a baby for a gay couple. It’s an interesting new family dynamic for TV, and I think it will help red-staters to see that gay people are “just like us.” That is, if their affiliates carry it. NBC in Salt Lake City will not be carrying it, because they find the subject matter “inappropriate.” Ann Romney, get on that, would you? We know you like “Modern Family.”
The Mindy ProjectTuesday, 9:30, Fox Mindy Kalig stars as a successful OB/GYN whose personal life is somewhat sloppy. It sounds a little like “Dr. Ally McBeal” to me, but Mindy was great on “The Office,” so presumably she knows better than to cast a CGI dancing baby as her costar.
Animal PracticeWednesday, 8pm, NBC A cocky veterinarian with a spider monkey sidekick adjusts to his ex-girlfriend becoming his new boss. Yeah. I saw the preview episode, and it definitely has the potential to be incredibly dumb. The monkey is really over-the-top. But the show also features Tyler Labine (from “Reaper,” “Mad Love,” and the also-dumb “Sons of Tucson”). Tyler deserves a good show; I’m rooting for him.
Guys with KidsWednesday, 8:30, NBC Another show I’m not overly excited for. It’s about three dudes who have babies. That’s it. Based on the description and the promotional photo, it kind of reminds me of Jerry O’Connell’s “Carpoolers,” which lasted for half a season back in 2007-2008. It could be good, but…
The NeighborsWednesday, 8:30, ABC Remember Jami Gertz? She’s back, and her neighbors are aliens. And they’re named after iconic American athletes, for some reason. This will either be hilarious or a punchline in three weeks. I’m hoping hilarious.
American Horror Story: AsylumWednesday, 10pm, F/X I’m calling this a new show, because it has nothing to do with last season. It’s a new plot, new location, and new characters, although many are played by the same actors who were on last season. It’s set in an insane asylum in my home state of Massachusetts, back in the 1960s. It’s run by a doctor who may be a Nazi, and a nun who used to be a slut. There are ghosts and aliens and mutants. I absolutely cannot wait. Check out the teasers on their YouTube page.
ElementaryThursday, 10pm, CBS Jonny Lee Miller stars in this Sherlock Holmes update, set in America. Watson is now a female roommate/sober coach, played by Lucy Liu. I am not a Holmes fanatic; my only experience is that Robert Downey Jr. movie (which I liked), so I’m not pissed off that they’ve made changes. I like Jonny and Lucy, and I love crime dramas. This should be good.
Made in JerseyFriday, 9pm, CBS This last one, I’m really on the fence about. A woman from New Jersey works at a NYC law firm, and I guess her family is trashy, and her job is fancy? Hmm… I like the idea of the protagonist living in two different worlds simultaneously. It could be fun. However, Fox putting it on Friday right away is not a very strong vote of confidence.
I'll post again soon about the returning shows I'm excited for. What are you looking forward to this fall? Let me know!
*I assure you, this is not a paid promotion for Entertainment Weekly. However, if EW wants to throw me a few bucks (or a job), I would not say no.