Well, it’s almost that time of year again. Fall is right around the corner; and that means cardigans, apple cider, and best of all, brand new TV. Each year a flock of pilots come storming in to our TV screens. Some good, some bad (well, actually most really bad) but occasionally we find a gem in there that will soon become a classic show. We’re here to give you the lowdown on the top new shows to check out, which ones to avoid, and what’s in store for all your returning favorites.
Most promising: “A to Z” (airs Oct. 2)
This whimsical romantic comedy looks charming without being cheesy. Telling the story of hopeless romantic Andrew and a cynical Zelda, Andrew thinks that they are a match made in heaven, while the idea of becoming too serious freaks Zelda out, yet she still sees something special in him. For those who aren’t fully ready to let go of the fact that “How I Met Your Mother” will no longer be on the air, you can rejoice. Zelda is played by no other than the mother herself, the incredibly adorable Cristin Milioti. Andrew, played by “Drop Dead Diva” alum Ben Feldman, reminds us a bit of a more likable Ted, so we’re not ready complain about this show just yet.
Likely to fail: “The Mysteries of Laura” (Sept. 24)
Debra Messing, you deserve so much better than this. The show follows Messing as a single mom to two crazy boys, but plot twist, she’s actually a detective. It literally sounds like NBC took Olivia Benson out of SVU, gave her kids, and stripped her of her badassness.
While we love the idea of Messing making her return to TV, we wish it was in a way that would knock our socks off, not make us fall asleep. In a world of cop shows, this one is bound to get lost.
“Parenthood” and “Parks and Recreation” will both be starting their farewell seasons. “The Voice” also returns with Gwen Stefani and Pharrell to add to Blake and Adam’s unstoppable bromance. All our favorites about people who save the world are returning as well: “Law and Order: SVU,” “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD.”
Most promising: “How to Get Away with Murder” (Sept. 25)
It seems safe to say at this point that Shonda Rhimes might as well be promoted to the Queen of ABC. Everyone’s favorite creator of juicy, sexy dramas ( i.e. “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy) is back. This time, Rhimes’ new show teams up with Academy Award Nominated Actress and full time badass, Viola Davis. This intense new show follows Davis as a law school professor and successful defense lawyer who teaches her students far beyond the classroom, getting them sucked up into the intense and twisted world of criminal law. We may have watched the promo multiple times and still felt the shuttering effects. This one is going to be good, we can tell.
Likely to fail: “Cristela” (Oct. 10)
When will television networks finally realize that they don’t need a terrible sitcom that is destined for cancellation each season? This sitcom tells the story of Cristela, a wise-cracking, free-loading woman living off of her family while attempting to complete law school. The trailer is so cliche that we couldn’t even get excited about the fact that the mom from “Wizards of Waverly Place” is in it.
Queen Shonda will be getting her own night this year, with the return of her hits “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.” “Dancing with the Stars” has already announced its new cast for what seems like it’s bajillionith season. Other fan favorites such as “Revenge,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Modern Family” are also set to come back this fall.
Most promising: “Stalker” (Oct. 1)
For all of those “Nikita” fans, Maggie Q is back, bitches! In a show that is guaranteed to make sure you never forget to lock your doors or buy pepper spray again. Q, alongside hot-but-old-enough-to-be-your dad-Dylan McDermott, play detectives who specialize in dealing with the creepy, detail-oriented slimy stalkers. While McDermott’s character is new to the speciality, Q is an expert, who seems to have some stalker baggage of her own behind her. The trailer almost makes this show seem like a horror movie, but in the best way possible.
Likely to fail: “The McCarthys” (Sept. 25)
Again, CBS, you don’t need an awful, forgettable sitcom with an overused laugh track every year. “The McCarthys” tells the story of Ronny, a gay mama’s boy and also the black sheep of his hardcore Boston sports fan family. While there’s nothing wrong with using family as a dynamic, we can tell from the promo that the jokes are recycled and humorless. This show just doesn’t seem innovative enough to grab our attention amongst newer and more interesting pilot concepts.
The most overdue for cancellation television show ever, “Two and a Half Men” will finally be wrapping up in its final season. Comedy “The Big Bang Theory” will also be returning after a huge raise in the stars’ contracts. Other favorites such as “Criminal Minds,” “Two Broke Girls,” and “The Good Wife” are also set to appear on the schedule.
Most promising: “Gotham” (Sept. 22)
Batman prequel series? Yes please. Superhero nerds rejoice: we’re about to find out about all that crazy stuff that happened before Batman became, well, Batman. The show follows a young Detective Jim Gordon, on assignment to solve the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. As a young, dedicated detective, the show follows Gordon as he encounters why the city truly needs a hero in the first place. Considering Netflix already bought the rights, we can tell that this one is going to be a fan favorite for all those who love DC comics and everything Batman.
Likely to fail: “Utopia” (premiered Sept. 7)
When will reality television producers realize that the key to success isn’t by committing strange social experiments that involve completely toying with people’s lives? Fox’s crazy new social experiment has just began and follows a bunch of people who for some reason agreed to start a new society and have that all documented for the entire world to see. The network spends crazy amounts of money that could probably found two other new shows, which would most likely be a better use. If you’re into people developing heat stroke and taking their clothes off, this show might be for you. But for others, proceed with caution.
“Glee” will be wrapping up its final, and shortened season this spring, as “American Idol” will sing into its one millionth. All of everyone’s favorite Seth Macfarlane shows are back, as well as awesome girl power comedies “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project.”
Most promising: “The Flash” (Oct. 7)
Grant Gustin (“Glee’s” resident bad boy warbler, Sebastian) playing a superhero? We can’t resist. The spin-off to the network’s fellow hit “Arrow”, tells the story of the notorious hero, of an ordinary guy receiving extraordinary speed. The trailer is over five minutes, and builds the show up in the best way possible. Gustin seems perfect, giving a real Peter Parker vibe to Barry Allen which is believable and endearing. While the action seems as it will speak for itself.
Likely to fail: “Jane the Virgin” (Oct. 13)
A woman goes to the doctor and accidentally gets artificially inseminated. This isn’t the opening line to a weird-tasted joke, this is the actual plot to a new CW comedy. Jane, a devout christian, has spent most of her young adult life trying her best to abstain from sex. Yet, she ends up pregnant when the most unrealistic mistake happens at a routine visit. While the promo shows it will have its caring moments, the plot is just too crazy for us to get over it. We’ll pass.
The CW seems to be on a sci fi kick, with favorites “Arrow” and “Supernatural” returning for upcoming season premieres. The royalty hit “Reign” is set to return for a second season.
What will you be watching (or avoiding) this fall? Let us know @Speakeasymag!