Fall season rolls around every year, and with it, you get a lot of new television shows. I know how hard it is to pick what to watch, so I’m giving you a list of the 15 new shows that I think will make it, or at least, shows we should keep an eye on. This isn’t all of the shows premiering this fall, but it is the fifteen that I personally will be watching. I’ll let you know how they turn out, and hopefully you’ll find a few, or even just one, that you enjoy.
Terra Nova (FOX) – Premieres Sept. 26th @ 8:00 PM
60 Minutes (2hr. premiere)
Created by: Kelly Marcel & Craig Silverstein
This is one of the most highly anticipated and most expensive TV shows of this season. The basic premise is that humanity has polluted the world to the point where you need masks to breathe outside, and overpopulated to where the United States has to control the birth rate, in 2149. Luckily, a few ‘time fractures’ have been found, allowing certain groups to go back in time 85 million years to try and save humanity.
Terra Nova focuses on the Shannon family, Mom, Dad, and three kids, all with their own respective issues to deal with. They plan to start over on Terra Nova, which has a few issues of its own, including rebel groups and dinosaurs. The actors include Stephen Lang as the commander of the Terra Nova camp (you may remember him as the baddie from Avatar), and Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars) as the patriarch of the Shannon family.
It’s clear that this is a show that will be ripe with action and family drama. Personally, this is one of the shows I’m most excited for, if only because the early reviews have been extremely positive, and because the support from the network has been huge. But then again, I’m also a sucker for action-y, family-angst dramas. Hopefully it’s as good as I think it will be.
2 Broke Girls (CBS) – Premieres Sept. 19th @ 9:30 (moves to reg. time slot (8:30PM) on 9/26/11)
Created by: Whitney Cummings & Michael Patrick King
Most people would recognize Kat Dennings if they saw Thor this summer. She was Natalie Portman’s wise-cracking sidekick. But the other star of this new comedy, Beth Behrs, is pretty fresh-faced. That doesn’t mean their chemistry is lacking, however. As co-workers at a cheesy diner, Dennings and Behrs play girls from opposite sides of the track (Dennings as a street-smart waitress and Behrs as an ex-heiress) that have one thing in common: They’re both flat broke. You may have guessed it from the title. As sitcoms go, it stands out because it’s not just girls looking cute. It is girls looking cute while making crass jokes that are traditionally reserved for male characters. I’m excited by this premise, and I hope that it lives up to the hype.
The Playboy Club (NBC) – Premieres Sept. 19th @ 10:00 PM
Created by: Chad Hodge
Possibly one of the more controversial shows to hit the networks this year, The Playboy Club is also one of the two 60’s-era shows that are premiering this fall. This show promises a murder cover-up along with its scantily clad women, and increasing tension, both sexual and (something) between the lead female, novice bunny Maureen (Amber Heard), and businessman Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian). Hopefully, the series will show that it’s not just about women shaking their tails and trying to get noticed by men. With any luck the bunnies will eventually evolve (if they are not already) into women who have control over their own sexuality and sexual liberation. If that happens, this could turn out to be one of the smartest shows this fall. We’ll just have to see.
Last Man Standing (ABC) – Premieres Oct. 11th @ 8:00PM
Created by: Jack Burditt
Tim Allen returns to television after quite a hiatus in this comedy that centers on a father who is surrounded by women. He must fight to keep his masculinity intact as he raises his three daughters, along with his wife, played by Nancy Travis. This is familiar territory for Allen, and while he managed to keep Home Improvement going for several years on purely his charm, the television audience has changed since the early 90s. I believe that ABC is hoping to bring back some of the glory of the family sitcom, and there’s no one better suited to head that up than Tim Allen.
New Girl (FOX) – Premieres Sept. 20th @ 9:00PM
Created by: Elizabeth Meriwether
If you’re a frequent purveyor of iTunes’s free music/TV shows that are offered every Tuesday, then you may have already gotten to see the first episode of this new comedy. Starring Zooey Deschanel (500 Days of Summer), this comedy revolves around a young woman who moves into a new apartment with three male roommates after a disastrous breakup. This was pretty funny. I laughed quite a bit. I liked all the characters, even Jess (the girl in question), who acted like a five-year old quite a bit. And she was just so incredibly awkward that it was hilarious. But she managed to bring some good advice into the men’s lives and they managed to cheer her up following the breakup. The only African-American character, played by Damon Wayans Jr., is replaced after this episode by another African-American character, because of Wayans’ commitment to another show, Happy Endings, which is equally, if not more funny than New Girl. But I think this comedy will find its own path, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.
Ringer (CW) – Premieres Sept. 13th @9:00PM
Created by: Eric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder
Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to television in her first starring role since Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and she plays twins. Bridget is a former addict on the run from the mob/FBI, while Siobhan (pronounced She-von) is a socialite who hasn’t seen her twin in years. When the two meet up, Siobhan mysteriously disappears, leaving Bridget to take her place, navigating a husband, a lover, and others, including people who want to kill Siobhan. While this was originally presented to CBS, the CW picked it up, where I hope it finds a good audience. I think it’s going to be a very intriguing show, because it’s a lot different from anything else out there, and especially because it’s different from anything on the CW. So I’m hoping it will gain a following, because I’m definitely going to be watching. And if you like smart dramas with pretty good-looking people (It is on the CW), then you’ll like this one too.
Ringer premiered this past Tuesday, and so I was able to watch it. My first thoughts were that Gellar plays both sides of the coin very well. Bridget is a frazzled and easily-played pawn (or so it seems), while Siobhan is a colder, more maternal figure. As far as the storyline went, it wasn’t dizzyingly hard to follow. But it did twist and turn seductively and satisfyingly, setting itself up to be the new soap-opera noir. And ended up with a twist that made me want to come back next week. If you missed the premiere, it should be up on the CW.com within a few days.
Up All Night (NBC) – Premieres Sept. 14th @ 8:00PM
Created by: Emma Spivey
There are a lot of comedies about raising kids, and Up All Night joins the ranks, with a young couple raising their first child. The couple, played by Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, has to deal with much more than just dirty diapers and crying babies. They also have to deal with her crazy, over-demanding boss, played by Maya Rudolph. All of these actors are comedy gold, so putting them together seems like the smart thing to do. I just hope they all click and fit into place instead of clashing. The promo had a few good laughs, and hopefully the show will as well.
Suburgatory (ABC) – Premieres Sept. 28th @ 8:30PM
Created by: Emily Kapnek
Suburgatory tells the story of a sixteen year old, played by Jane Levy, who is moved to the suburbs from downtown Manhattan by her father, played by Jeremy Sisto. This looks pretty interesting, and not just because I’m quite fond of Sisto. It’s also because there aren’t as many father-daughter duos out there on the big five right now, so it will be nice to see that kind of relationship magnified. Besides that, the promo was hilarious, and I love fish-out-of water comedies. Plus it joins a host of other proven-great comedies on Wednesday nights, like Modern Family, The Middle, and Happy Endings, so I can’t see how this one can go wrong.
Revenge (ABC) – Premieres Sept. 21st @ 10:00PM
Created by: Mike Kelly
A modern-day retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo, Emily Van Camp stars as a young woman whose father was ripped away from her as a child. When she realizes that her childhood neighbors in the Hamptons are to blame, she plots an elaborate scheme of revenge on all of the people involved. Twists and turns are promised, and so are answers, which is something viewers always like to hear. I love a good revenge story, and this one looks like it might be a hit. But it could just as likely be way too melodramatic for my tastes.
Person of Interest (CBS) – Premieres Sept. 22nd
Created by: Jonathan Nolan
Jesus and Ben Linus teaming up to fight crime? Sounds like the best show ever, right? Of course, it isn’t really Jesus or Ben. It’s their portrayers, Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson. Emerson plays a secretive businessman/millionaire who teams up with ex-operative Caviezel to fight crime, using cutting edge technology. The technology is so cutting edge that they can predict who will perform a crime. Therefore, the mission isn’t to find the criminals and punish them, but to find them and prevent them from committing the crime in the first place. This project has some serious weight behind it. Executive producers include J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan, both names you probably should recognize (Abrams directed the latest Star Trek movie and also created LOST, while Nolan co-wrote the script for The Dark Knight, which was directed by his brother, Christopher). I’m extremely excited for this show, because I feel like it will be different than a lot of other crime-stopper shows out there. I just hope that it doesn’t become too complicated or twisted, because I feel like that is a definite possibility.
The Secret Circle (CW) – Premieres Sept. 15th @ 9:00PM
Created by: Andrew Miller
If you watch the Vampire Diaries, it’s my prediction that you’ll enjoy The Secret Circle, which focuses on witches instead of vampires, but is still executively produced by the same people as the Vampire Diaries. The source material also comes from the same place: Author L.J Smith’s books of the same name for young adults were the basis for both television shows. In The Secret Circle, 16-year-old Cassie (Britt Robertson) moves to her grandmother’s home in small-town Washington after her mother’s death. Once there, she finds out that she, and several other young, good-looking teenagers (it is the CW), are witches. I am pretty sure I’m going to like this show. It’s not just because I’m a fan of CW supernatural shows (which I am. I’m not ashamed to admit it). It’s also because I like the actors, and I know that Kevin Williamson, exec producer, knows how to twist and turn a TV show to keep me coming back. So if this show can hold onto its Vampire Diaries lead-in (it happens to be one of CW’s most popular shows), it should do alright.
Prime Suspect (NBC) – Premieres Sept. 22nd @ 10:00PM
Created by: Lynda La Plant and Alexandra Cunningham
Another import from across the pond, this cop drama (which starred Helen Mirren in the UK version) comes to the small screen with Maria Bello at the front of the cast. She plays Jane Timoney, a NYC cop who has to deal with daily criticism from her male colleagues and the criminals they have to try and put away. Unlike the original, this show will have a case per show, as opposed to a long running case for the whole series, and each time that Jane works on a case, she will have to continually try to win some respect from her counterparts, respect she most likely already deserves and shouldn’t have to beg for. This is another of those shows where the female lead is ready to kick some ass, and I think that Bello is one of the few females this season that will be able to do that convincingly.
Once Upon a Time (ABC) – Premieres Oct. 23rd @ 8:00PM
Created by: Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
The more promising fairy-tale drama, Once Upon a Time comes from some of the producers of LOST, and according to some of the stars, the storytelling is very similar. So if you liked LOST (I did), you’re going to like this one. It stars Jessica Morrison (House) as Emma, a young woman who comes to a small Maine town and soon realizes that a group of fairy-tale characters have been stuck there, and don’t remember any of their fairy-tale lives. Emma may be Snow White’s long-lost daughter, and she may also hold the key to breaking the curse. I love this idea, and I’m really excited for this show. It’s been getting really good reviews, and I’m hoping that it does really well.
Allen Gregory (FOX) – Premieres Oct. 30th @ 8:30PM
Created by: Jonah Hill
Joining Fox’s Sunday night ‘Animation Domination’, Allen Gregory tells the story of a precocious seven-year old, the titular Allen Gregory (voiced by Hill), who is forced to attend public school after one of his two fathers makes a bad investment. This looks funny, and hopefully it will breathe new life into Animation Domination, which should truthfully be called McFarlane Domination. It’ll be good to have a new show, and it’s so far from the other four ‘animation domination’ shows (which are all about traditional families in kooky situations), that it should definitely find an audience.
Pan Am (ABC) – Premieres Sept. 25th @ 10:00PM
Created by: Jack Orman
The other 1960’s era show on the big five this season is also the one that is getting much more favorable buzz. It follows the lives of four flight attendants in 1963, working for Pan Am, one of the biggest airlines at the time. Unlike The Playboy Club, this show is based on several women’s real-life experience, which gives it more of a realistic vibe. I’m excited for this show because Christina Ricci is one of the stars; I like airports and I love flying, so this really appeals to me. Besides that, who doesn’t love a little drama with their Sunday nights?