Fall TV Preview: 10 (OK, 11) shows you should watch
September is just around the corner, which means that the Fall TV Premiere Season will be starting soon. There are a myriad of new shows premiering this fall, and there should be plenty of variety to satisfy even the pickiest of TV viewers.
Here are 10 of the new shows I'm most looking forward to:
"The Chair" on Starz - Sept. 6
From the team that brought us "Project Greenlight" on HBO, The Chair is a docuseries following two filmmakers who are given the challenge of producing a movie using the same source material. Anna Martemucci is an NYU graduate who followed the more traditional filmmaking path, and Shane Dawson is a YouTube star who has dreams of filmmaking. Any film geek will find this 10-part series interesting.
"Red Band Society" on FOX - Sept. 17
This comedy-drama follows a group of teenagers living together in a hospital's pediatric ward under the care of Nurse Jackson (played by the amazing Octavia Spencer). I loved "Scrubs," and while this show leans more dramatic than comedy, the two shows feel very similar in how they treat life in a hospital and ride that line between funny, heartfelt and dramatic moments.
"Madam Secretary" on CBS - Sept. 21
After the secretary of state disappears while flying over the Atlantic, Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni), an ex-CIA agent known for thinking outside the box, is asked by the president to serve as secretary of state. Show creator Barbara Hall clearly draws from her experience on Showtime's "Homefront," and I'm excited to see a different kind of White House drama focused on international affairs. It should also benefit from a 60 Minutes lead-in.
"Gotham" on FOX - Sept. 22
Set in Gotham City before Batman, "Gotham" follows the story of Commissioner Gordon and his rise through the GCPD. It's clear that Fox and "Gotham" distributor Warner Bros. wanted to keep the gritty version of Gotham City that the Christopher Nolan films made popular. Initial reviews have been positive, and the TV series format should serve the "Gotham" world well by allowing time for character development and multiple story arcs.
"Scorpion" on CBS - Sept. 22
I've seen a few previews for this dramatization of IT genius Walter O'Brien (played by Elyes Gabel from "Game of Thrones" and "Casualty") and so far it looks good. O'Brien hires a team of geniuses to work with him and they are eventually called on by Homeland Security to work with them to protect American interests. The hacking/nerdy dream-team is overdone in films and TV as it is, but from the clips I've seen, "Scorpion" feels fresh and has enough emotional moments to set it apart from the crowd.
"Bad Judge" on NBC - Oct. 2
Kate Walsh ("Private Practice") stars as Rebecca Wright, a "hard-living, sexually unapologetic woman who plays with the law, and whose life on the edge is constantly in the balance as she also happens to be a judge in the Criminal Court system." (IMDb). This comedy comes from the Funny or Die team of Will Ferell and Adam McKay and features their unflinching, raunchy humor.
"A to Z" NBC - Oct. 2
NBC is looking to fill the niche that CBS's "How I Met Your Mother" left by creating another romantic comedy in the same vein. Andrew and Zelda are two very different people destined to be with one another through a chance of fate. The series follows their relationship "from A to Z" and stars Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti.
"The Flash" on CW - Oct. 7
Yes, another superhero show. DC is keen on giving Marvel a run for its money and has put another one of its characters on the air. The same team that brought us "Arrow" on CW is developing "The Flash," and they have already tied in Barry Allen (The Flash) with some episodes in "Arrow" last season. After seeing the pilot, I felt like Grant Gustin might be too nerdy to play Barry Allen. Everything else looks great, and the team is not skimping on visuals and action. Look for more tie-ins with "Arrow," which will have its season 3 premiere the day after.
"Constantine" on NBC - Oct. 24
NBC is jumping into the comic world too, this time choosing the DC series "Hellblazer" by Alan Moore and Stephen R. Bissette for its source material. John Constantine (played by Matt Ryan from "The Tudors" and "Criminal Minds") is a dark magician who is out to protect humanity from the forces of hell. Like its fellow DC series on the air, Constantine is action-packed and doesn't skimp on production value to fit television. Fans of the comics or the character will flock to this show.
"Ascension" on SyFy - Nov. 24
SyFy finally returns to sci-fi! "Ascension," created by "Smallville's" Philip Levens, is a six-hour space opera that looks a lot like "Battlestar Galactica" in every good way possible. The U.S. government launches the Starship Ascension on a 100-year voyage in 1963 to colonize a new world. Fifty years into the mission, a woman is mysteriously murdered, which threatens the entire mission. Because this is a mini-series with a limited run, I'm expecting some hard-hitting drama from the very first episode.
Honorable Mention: "Thursday Night Football" on CBS - Sept. 11
In a big move by CBS to compete with ESPN, they scored the rights to "Thursday Night Football" for the first eight games of the season. That's big bucks for CBS advertising, and NFL fans will be pumped that they can catch those Thursday games without having to pick up NFL Network. It'll be simulcast alongside NFL Network's broadcast, and that channel will carry the last eight games starting Oct. 30.