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2017 Fall TV Preview

September 17, 2017

The 69th (nice) Emmys were tonight, which means the new TV season is just around the corner. Let’s review this fall’s lineup of new network shows to see which might be the next big hit, and which might be the next “The Real O’Neals.” All shows are listed alphabetically by network, with the expected air date and time listed.

ABC

9JKL (Monday, 8:30/7:30)

OK, before I tell you what this one is about, try to guess its premise. How long did it take you to come up with three adjacent apartments on the 9th floor? If there’s anything audiences like about a comedy, it’s a challenge. This one explores a man who lives in an apartment (9K) between his parents (in 9J), and his brother and his family (in 9L). I understand if they make it to a second season, they’re moving to consecutive floors.

 

Alex, Inc. (TBD, midseason)

Zach Braff (“Scrubs”) returns to TV with this sitcom based on a podcast about a journalist and family man who starts his own business. Whew. So, he’s not a journalist, I guess.

 

The Crossing (TBD, midseason)

Set 250 years in the future, this gritty drama follows refugees from a war in America who seek shelter in a small town in…America. A conspiracy drives the narrative, and the conspiracy is about who thought it was OK to put BBQ chicken on pizza.

 

Deception (TBD, midseason)

This is a show about “a superstar magician” whose career is ruined. It was ruined when one of his tricks goes awry and a woman in the audience is trampled by a buffalo named “Chicken Wings.” I’m guessing. The important thing is, he ends up at the FBI, where he uses his skills to help trap criminals. Basically, it’s “The Mentalist” with magic instead of fake psychic powers.

 

For the People (TBD, midseason)

Do you remember “Boston Legal?” This is “Boston Legal,” except it’s set in NYC.

 

The Good Doctor (Monday 10/9)

Do you remember “Doogie Howser, M.D.?” This is “Doogie Howser, M.D,” except the doctor is a little bit older. And has autism.

 

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (Tuesday, 10/9)

Originally called “The Gospel of Kevin,” this drama centers on a man going through a mid-life crisis related to his series being the first one canceled for the season. I kid. Jason Ritter stars in the title role as a man tasked with saving the world. God is the one who has tasked him to do this. Joel Osteen is just untouchable right now, otherwise it probably would’ve been him.

 

Inhumans (Friday 9/8)

ABC takes a novel approach as it returns to the Marvel well by launching this series with two episodes that showed in movie theaters in early September, then wasn’t seen for another two weeks. The show runs for just eight episodes, and revolves around a royal family that lives, uh, on the moon with all its amenities, and end up fleeing due to a coup and end up in Hawaii. The main things are that it stars Serinda Swan, and a giant CGI dog.

 

The Mayor (Tuesday 9:30/8:30)

A rapper runs for mayor on a lark, but – get this – ends up being elected.

 

Roseanne (TBD, midseason)

Ugh. Here’s hoping John Goodman and Sarah Chalke are the saving graces of this relaunch of the 90s sitcom.

 

Splitting Up Together (TBD, midseason)

“The Office” alumna Jenna Fischer stars in this show about a couple whose relationship finds new life after divorcing. It’s apparently based on a Danish series, which is always a recipe for success.

 

Ten Days in the Valley (Sunday 10/9)

Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) stars in this short-run drama about a TV producer whose daughter disappears, just like in the TV show she produces. “Why didn’t I produce a TV show about chicken wings?” she wonders aloud in the pilot episode.

 

CBS

By the Book (TBD, midseason)

A man going through a midlife crisis decides to live according to the Bible. I believe this is a comedy, but not sure. Stars David Krumholtz (“Numbers”).

 

Instinct (TBD, midseason)

A former CIA employee (played by Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife”) helps the NYPD stop a serial killer on the loose. Although apparently not, because there’s a whole series about it, and if they actually caught the guy it would be, like, three episodes total.

 

Me, Myself, & I (Monday, 9:30/8:30)

Remember Urkel from “Family Matters?” He’s in this! So is Saturday Night Live alum Bobby Moynihan. He plays the present-day version of a man who’s played as a teenager by Jack Dylan Glazer, and a future version by John Larroquette. It’s not a show about time travel, just a story about a guy told from multiple perspectives. Unless they struggle in the ratings, in which case they’ll probably switch to being about time travel.

 

S.W.A.T. (Thursday 10/9)

“Criminal Minds” alumnus Shemar Moore stars in this drama based on the 2003 film by the same name. How many flies and mosquitoes will he be able to swat? Tune in to find out!

 

SEAL Team (Wednesday 9/8)

This team of highly trained circus seals has escaped and are hellbent on a journey of revenge. Kidding! It’s about a military team led by David Boreanz (“Bones,” “Angel”). Sometimes, they gots beef with each other, not just the enemy. They train like the dickens.

 

Wisdom of the Crowd (Sunday 8/7)

Oh, god. This is going to be terrible. People download an app to help solve crimes. Like “Person of Interest,” except out in the open, and it involves everyone instead of just three or four people trying to keep a secret. Are there points? Do I get points for finding criminals? Will I be Venmo’d money? Can I redeem the points for chicken wings?

 

Young Sheldon (Thursday 8:30/7:30)

Going to the “Big Bang Theory” well, Chuck Lorre produces this show about a pre-teen version of the character Sheldon Cooper as he grows up in Texas and attends high school as a nine-year old.

 

NBC

A.P. Bio (TBD, midseason)

Hooray! A show about a high school class most people loved!! This comedy stars Patton Oswalt as part of the story of a former Ivy-league professor who misses out on tenure (so, not a professor) and plots revenge by teaching high school. As one does.

 

The Brave (Monday, 10/9)

A show about military special ops. See, S.W.A.T, SEAL Team above.

 

Champions (TBD, midseason)

This comedy produced by and co-starring Mindy Kaling concerns an unambitious gym owner (stereotype much?) and his dimwitted brother. Their bro-lives go topsy-turvy when Kaling shows up with the gym owner’s bastard. So, “Three Men and a Baby,” expect “Two Men and a Pre-Teen.”

 

Good Girls (TBD, midseason)

Have no idea what this one is about, neither can I tell from the description if it is a drama or a comedy. It stars Retta (“Parks and Rec”), so maybe comedy?

 

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers (Thursday, 10/9)

If there’s anything an audience loves, it’s seeing a story rehashed over and over again. This mini-series covers the trial of Erik and Lyle Menedez, who killed their parents several decades ago. Mercifully, this show will last for only eight episodes.

 

Reverie (TBD, midseason)

Remember “Robocop?” This isn’t that. Instead, stars Sarah Shahi (“Person of Interest”), Dennis Haysbert (“24,” Allstate commercials), and Sendhil Ramamurthy (“Heroes”) in a show about a former detective brought back to work after a virtual reality program does some bad things.

 

Rise (TBD, midseason)

Remember “Glee?” This is “Glee,” with Josh Radnor (“How I Met Your Mother”).

 

Will & Grace (Thursday 8/7)

High hopes for the relaunch of this series following Will, Grace, Jack, Karen, and Rosario.

 

Fox

911 (TBD, midseason)

Drama starring Angela Basset as a supervisor of 911 dispatchers. Bold move not making this a comedy.

 

Ghosted (Sunday 8:30/7:30)

This comedy partners stars from two successful NBC sitcoms (“The Office,” “Parks and Rec”) as a team investigating paranormal or unexplained events, like when my wife empties the dishwasher without being asked. Ha! Just kidding. They look into ghosts, specters, that sort of thing.

 

The Gifted (Monday 9/8)

Based on Marvel’s characters, this show addresses a number of teenage mutants just discovering their powers as they are pursued by the government. It’s not clear whether Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy plays Professor X in this one.

 

LA to Vegas (TBD, midseason)

This Will Ferrell-produced comedy covers a flight from LA to Vegas on Friday night, and the return trip on Sunday morning. In between? Hijinks!

 

The Orville (Thursday 9/8)

Fox has a long history of canceling sci-fi dramas. This season, they wanted to see what it would be like to cancel a sci-fi comedy. Starring Seth Macfarlane (creator of “Family Guy”), the show lampoons space travel (ala Star Trek) as it follows the crew of the eponymously named ship across the galaxy.

 

The Resident (TBD, midseason)

A medical drama, in the vein of St. Elsewhere, ER, Grey’s Anatomy, etc. Nothing to see here. Unless you like that sort of thing.

 

CW

Black Lightning (TBD, midseason)

Just when he thought he was out of the superhero game, they pull him back in! Cress Williams stars as the titular character of this DC-based metahuman whose real name is Jefferson Pierce, a black man named after one white slave owner, and a white southern sympathizer. He returns to the vigilante life after his daughters are threatened. His superpower involves the ability to summon a broom and clean a room in a heartbeat. Just kidding, that’s Nanny McPhee. I think. Black Lightning uses lightning for both offense and defense.

 

Dynasty (Wednesday, 9/8)

Winner of this year’s “The Show No One Asked For” award, this rehashing of an old prime-time soap opera revolves around two wealthy families (the Carringtons and the Colbys) as they fight over…I don’t even know. Some crap. No one cares.

 

Life Sentence (TBD, midseason)

Hey, good news! The lead character in this show doesn’t have cancer as she thought she did!! Bad news: the lead character did and said some real messed up things when she thought she was going to die. Time to atone for eating all those chicken wings.

 

Valor (Monday 9/8)

Finally, another show about helicopter pilots! “Airwolf” broke the mold, and “Valor” is here to inherit its title as most unrelatable profession depicted on TV. This one is about military helicopter pilots in an elite division. The lead character, Capt. Jack Valor, flies his helicopter (also called “Valor”) on missions in Valor Valley. No way this one gets canceled.

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