It’s time to dust off your remote and make room on your DVR, because the 2010 Fall television season is upon us. With over 20 new TV series premiering this month, figuring out what to watch may be a tad overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve watched almost every new premiere and have put together a comprehensive guide of all the new shows, their premiere dates and, for those interested, a mini-review to let you know whether or not each series might be worth your time.
Included in the bunch are Kurtzman and Orci’s Hawaii Five-0 remake for CBS, J.J. Abrams’ spy drama Undercovers for NBC and the long-awaited superhero drama from ABC, No Ordinary Family. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to see NBC’s Outsourced (take that as a sign) and the series premiere of Law & Order: Los Angeles isn’t available yet. While our mini-review for Chase also isn’t available at this time, this post will be updated when the premiere arrives (any day now).
In case the mini-reviews aren’t enough to help you decide whether or not you should watch a series, we’ve also included three indicators; green, yellow and red, that also represent our feelings on each show.
Green – Watch it!
Yellow – DVR it!
Red – Skip it! (seriously)
We cover the new shows from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, The CW and FX. We start out with ABC directly below, but if you want to jump to the new shows for a particular network, click on the links below:
- New 2010 TV shows on CBS
- New 2010 TV shows on The CW
- New 2010 TV shows on NBC
- New 2010 TV shows on Fox
- New 2010 TV shows on FX
Better with You
Premieres: Wednesday, September 22, 8:30pm
Plot (courtesy of ABC): Maddie and Ben have been dating for nine years. They know each other inside and out, a relationship marked by contentment and affection, seeing their commitment to one another as a “valid life choice,” something they proclaim often – and often loudly. Maddie’s younger sister, Mia, has been dating Casey for seven weeks. With a shared c’est la vie attitude, Mia and Casey are smitten with each other, and thrilled to explore the oh-so-many things they don’t know about each other yet. But when they announce they’re getting married and having a baby, it’s news that throws Maddie for a loop. Surprisingly, the girls’ parents, Vicky and Joel, couldn’t be more pleased. Married 35 years, they have recently adopted a carpe diem sort of philosophy, rather like Mia’s, cptfc maybe because they’re getting older and lost a good portion of their savings when the economy tanked. With three very different relationships tightly intertwined in one family, will it be free thinkers vs. over-thinkers, or will each couple begin to see things a little bit differently?
Mini Review: Better With You is the text-book network sitcom. While the pilot is mildly entertaining and the premise is (somewhat) unique, this series could struggle to find an audience amongst ABC’s strong Wednesday-night comedy line-up. If you feel that this is a series you might enjoy, better start watching now, because I don’t see it lasting longer than two seasons, at most.
Body of Proof
Premieres: Fridays, 9:00-10:00 p.m., ET (no published premiere date yet)
Plot (courtesy of ABC): Dr. Megan Hunt was in a class of her own, a brilliant neurosurgeon at the top of her game. But her world is turned upside down when a devastating car accident puts an end to her time in the operating room. Megan resumes her career as a medical examiner, determined to solve the puzzle of who or what killed the victims. Her instincts are sharp, but she’s developed a reputation for graying the lines of where her job ends and where the police department’s begins. It turns out her career isn’t the only thing that will need to be rebuilt; Megan’s family has taken a backseat to her ambition, and now she’s discovering there’s a lot of work to do when it comes to dissecting her relationships with the living.
Mini Review: Like House, Bones and Lie To Me, Body of Proof is a unique take on the modern-day procedural. While the pilot is mainly focused on backstory and getting the audience “in-the-loop,” this series has the potential to be something great.
Premieres: Tuesday, September 21, 10:00pm
Plot (courtesy of ABC): What does it take to be a detective in one of America’s toughest cities? Follow one homicide unit as Detroit’s finest unearth the crisis and revelation, heartbreak and heroism of these inner city cops in this series shot entirely in Detroit, Michigan. There’s the damaged but driven Detective Louis Fitch, a wily homicide vet who is the most respected — and most misunderstood — man in the division; Detective Damon Washington, Fitch’s new partner, who finds the first day on the job is a trial by fire, complicated by the imminent birth of his first child; Detective Ariana Sanchez, sexy, edgy and beautiful, who has emerged from a rough background to become a rising star in the department; narcotics undercover cop John Stone, a streetwise smooth talker, clever and quick with a smile made for the movies, who is teamed with Sanchez — a combustible pairing rife with conflict and sexual tension; Sergeant Jesse Longford, a 30-year veteran and sage of the department struggling with his impending retirement from the force and the city he loves, who, together with his partner, Detective Vikram Mahajan — a fully Americanized son of Indian immigrants — form an amusing mismatch of experience and enthusiasm, intellect and instinct, old school and new world, but whose combined skills have never encountered a case that couldn’t be cleared; and all are headed by Lieutenant Maureen Mason, a strong-willed single mom struggling to balance home and work. The unit works with the primary medical examiner, Dr. Abbey Ward, who has an unusual hobby in her off-hours – roller derby.
Mini Review: At times, the documentary style of Detroit 1-8-7 adds refreshing and intriguing elements that prevent this series from becoming another run-of-the-mill police procedural. Unfortunately, that same documentary style also hurts Detroit 1-8-7 when awkward looks into the camera and the numerous, annoying title cards instantly take the viewer out of the story. That being said, there’s no doubt that if you watch the series premiere, you’ll be tuning in the next week.
Premieres: Thursday, September 23, 8:00pm
Plot (courtesy of ABC): What a difference ten years can make. In 2000, a documentary crew follows a disparate group of high schoolers from Greenbelt High School in Austin, TX as they prepare for graduation, then revisits these former classmates ten years later as they return home to rediscover that just because they’re not where they planned doesn’t mean they’re not right where they need to be. These students couldn’t wait to graduate and head out into the real world. But the world they were entering got very real very fast. As these classmates return home to revisit their old hopes for their future, they’ll discover that, even if you don’t get exactly what you thought you wanted out of life, it’s not too late to get what you need.
Mini Review: While My Generation is an extremely ambitious television series, it struggles to provide a realistic story in which all of the characters are reunited. Of course, by the time that plot completely unfolds, viewers will already be annoyed with the main characters, bored with their individuals storylines and nauseated by the forced “documentary” look.
No Ordinary Family
Premieres: Tuesday, September 28, 8:00pm
Plot (courtesy of ABC): The Powells are about to go from ordinary to extraordinary. After 16 years of marriage, Jim and Stephanie’s relationship lacks the spark it once had, and their family life now consists of balancing work and their two children, leaving little time for family bonding. During a family vacation set up by Jim in an attempt to reconnect, their plane crashes into the Amazon River. But this is where the fun starts for the Powells, as they soon discover that something’s not quite right. Each of them now possesses unique and distinct superpowers. But saving and savoring their family life will be equally important, as they try to find purpose for their new powers and embark on a journey to find out what defines and unifies them. The Powells are a totally relatable family who happen to be a little bit amazing.
Mini Review: With an extremely talented cast, entertaining story-arc and and realistic character development, No Ordinary Family and ABC accomplished what NBC and Heroes haven’t been able to do for the past 3 years – produce an entertaining superhero drama that will have viewers tuning in week after week.
The Whole Truth
Premieres: Wednesday, September 22, 10:00pm
Plot (courtesy of ABC): With a unique alternative narrative structure that chronicles the way a case is built from the perspectives of both the defense and prosecution, “The Whole Truth” shows each side equally and keeps its audience guessing, shifting allegiances of guilt or innocence until the very final scene. Kathryn Peale, the product of a New England background and a sheriff father, is a deputy bureau chief in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Jimmy Brogan, born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen and a friend of Kathryn’s since their days at Yale Law School, is one of New York’s rising criminal attorney stars. These two evenly matched legal masters will square off each week as the central characters of the series.
Mini Review: The Whole Truth is an entertaining legal drama that is very reminiscence of the short-lived Fox drama Justice. Unfortunately, the freshman series doesn’t bring anything new to the television legal drama… which could be its down-fall.
Premieres: Friday, September 24, 10:00pm
Plot (courtesy of CBS): Blue Bloods is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Frank Reagan is the New York Chief of Police and patriarch of the Reagan brood, which he heads as diplomatically as he does the force, even when dealing with the politics that plagued his unapologetically bold father, Henry, during his stint as Chief. A source of pride and concern for Frank is his eldest son Danny, a seasoned detective, family man and Iraqi War vet who on occasion uses dubious tactics to solve cases. The sole Reagan woman in the family, Erin, is a N.Y. Assistant D.A. and newly single parent, who also serves as the legal compass for her siblings and father. Jamie is the youngest Reagan, fresh out of Harvard Law and the family’s “golden boy.” However, unable to deny the family tradition, Jamie decided to give up a lucrative future in law and is now a newly minted cop, a career change seemingly supported by his beautiful girlfriend, Sydney Davenport, a first year lawyer. Jamie’s life takes an abrupt turn, however, when he’s asked to become part of a clandestine police investigation even his father knows nothing about, and one that could impact the family’s legacy.
Mini Review: With so many talented folks working behind-the-scenes on this series and such a talented cast on-screen, I really expected more from Blue Bloods than what is shown in the pilot. While the pilot was enjoyable, I had higher expectations.
Premieres: Wednesday, September 22, 10:00 pm
Plot (courtesy of CBS): THE DEFENDERS stars Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell in a comedic drama about two colorful Las Vegas defense attorneys who go all-in when it comes to representing their clients. Nick and Pete are the local go-to guys with an eclectic client list who are still looking to hit their own jackpot. Leading the law firm of Morelli & Kaczmarek are Nick Morelli (Belushi), an earnest, hard-charging attorney who represents his clients to the best of his ability, no matter how big or small the case, and his partner, Pete Kaczmarek (O’Connell), whose passion for the law is matched only by his love of fast cars, beautiful women and expensive clothes. Joining them in their growing law practice is new associate Lisa Tyler (Jurnee Smollett), an enthusiastic young attorney looking to put her exotic dancing days behind her; and their young assistant, Sophie (Tanya Fischer), a spunky and sweet ingenue who is eager to please her bosses. As Lady Luck shines on their legal careers, the partners have their hands full when it comes to their personal lives. While Pete is busy cruising the Vegas Strip for his latest romantic conquest, Nick is focused on repairing his fractured marriage to his estranged wife, Jessica (Gillian Vigman), while remaining present in the life of their young son. No matter the offense, Nick and Pete aim to prove that when the stakes are high they’re willing to bet the house on the clients they defend in Sin City.
Mini Review: The Defenders brings an entertaining and comedic twist to the typical legal drama. Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell play off of each other perfectly. While The Defenders might hook viewers with its humor, this series is as suspenseful as some of television’s best dramas.
Premieres: Monday, September 20, 10:00pm
Plot (courtesy of CBS): HAWAII FIVE-0 is a contemporary take on the classic series about a new elite federalized task force whose mission is to wipe out the crime that washes up on the Islands’ sun-drenched beaches. Detective Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), a decorated Naval officer turned cop, returns to Oahu to investigate his father’s murder and stays after Hawaii’s governor persuades him to head up the new team: his rules, her backing, no red tape and full blanket immunity to hunt down the biggest “game” in town. Joining McGarrett is Detective Danny “Danno” Williams (Scott Caan), a newly relocated ex-New Jersey cop who prefers skyscrapers to the coastline but is committed to keeping the Islands safe for his 8-year-old daughter; and Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim), an ex-Honolulu Police Detective wrongly accused of corruption and relegated to a federal security patrol, who is also a former protege of McGarrett’s father. Chin’s cousin, Kono (Grace Park), is a beautiful and fearless native, fresh out of the academy and eager to establish herself among the department’s elite. McGarrett vows to bring closure to his father’s case while the state’s brash new FIVE-0 unit, who may spar and jest among themselves, is determined to eliminate the seedy elements from the 50th state.
Mini Review: Hawaii Five-0 has more to prove than any other new television series. Thankfully, Kurtzman and Orci’s remake of this television classic supersedes all expectations. Not only does it bring something new to the tired police procedural, but at times you’ll swear that you’re watching a film. While Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park and Alex O’Loughlin have been touted as the show’s stars, it is Scott Caan who brings it all together and makes this series work.
Mike & Molly
Premieres: Monday, September 20, 9:30pm
Plot (courtesy of CBS):MIKE & MOLLY is a comedy from Chuck Lorre (“Two and a Half Men,” and “The Big Bang Theory”) about a working class Chicago couple who find love at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. Officer Mike Biggs (Billy Gardell) is a good-hearted cop who sincerely wants to lose weight. Mike’s partner, Officer Carl McMillan (Reno Wilson), is a thin, fast-talking wise-guy, who despite his teasing encourages Mike on his road to slimness and romance. While speaking at an O.A. meeting, Mike meets Molly Flynn (Melissa McCarthy), an instantly likeable fourth-grade teacher with a healthy sense of humor about her curves. For Molly, focusing on smart choices isn’t easy because she lives with her sexy older sister, Victoria (Katy Mixon), and their mother, Joyce (Swoosie Kurtz), both of whom flaunt their healthy appetites and slender figures. Mike also faces temptation at the diner he and Carl frequent, where they’ve become friends with the Senegalese waiter, Samuel (Nyambi Nyambi), who finds trying to eat less a foreign concept. For Mike and Molly, thanks to their mutual love of pie and the desire to resist it, finding each other may have been worth the “weight.”
Mini Review: Mike & Molly is a charming sitcom with likable characters and enough laughs to keep you entertained through-out. Unfortunately, by the end of the pilot, you start to feel as if the writers are more interested in seeing how many fat jokes they can cram into 30 minutes than developing the part of the series that works, Mike & Molly’s relationship.
$#*! My Dad Says
Premieres: Thursday, September 23, 8:30pm
Plot (courtesy of CBS): $#*! MY DAD SAYS, based on the popular Twitter feed by Justin Halpern, stars Emmy Award winner William Shatner as Ed Goodson, a forthright and opinionated dad who relishes expressing his unsolicited and often wildly politically incorrect observations to anyone within earshot. Nobody is immune from Ed’s rants, including his sons, Henry, a struggling writer-turned-unpaid blogger; and Vince (Will Sasso), the meek half of his husband/wife real estate duo with domineering Kathleen (Nicole Sullivan). When Henry finds he can no longer afford to pay rent to his pretty roommate — and secret admirer — Sam (Stephanie Lemelin), Ed reveals a soft spot and invites Henry to move in with him. Henry agrees, knowing that the verbal assault will not abate and now there will be no escape. Describing their father/son relationship is tricky – but Ed will easily come up with a few choice words.
Mini Review: $#*! My Dad Says is CBS’s experiment in adapting a popular Twitter feed into a sitcom. Unfortunately, not every experiment is a success. Someone should have told the writers that television doesn’t have the same 140 character limit for the $#*! the dad says that Twitter does. If you’re even remotely interested in this series, read the Twitter feed – it’ll save you time and you won’t have listen to the horrible “set-ups” to the father’s forced “punchlines.”
Premieres: Wednesday, September 8, 9:00pm
Plot (courtesy of The CW): HELLCATS is a coming-of-age story about Marti Perkins, a young, pre-law student at Lancer University in Memphis, Tennessee. Marti is cool, hip and alt, but her world flips upside down, literally and figuratively, when she loses her scholarship, and realizes the only way she can stay in school is by reigniting her dormant teen gymnastic skills to win a place on Lancer’s legendary cheerleading team, The Hellcats. Against her every instinct, Marti goes for it and makes the squad, and is thrust into a world of camaraderie, backstabbing and the intersection of sports, backroom academia and big money. Marti’s new roommate, Savannah Monroe, a petite, peppy Texan, is among the diverse cast of athletes, undergrads, family and friends, all set on the sprawling campus of a powerhouse college football program in the deep South.
Mini Review: While Hellcats isn’t for everyone, this series is much more than just cheerleaders jumping around. The strong characters, interesting sub-plots and entertaining choreography will surely keep the intended audience of this series entertained. That being said, if you ever find yourself watching Hellcats, don’t be surprised if you come away a fan.
Premieres: Thursday, September 9, 9:00pm
Plot (courtesy of The CW): When she was a deeply troubled teenager, Nikita was rescued from death row by a secret U.S. agency known only as Division, who faked her execution and told her she was being given a second chance to start a new life and serve her country. What they didn’t tell her was that she was being trained as a spy and assassin. Ultimately, Nikita was betrayed and her dreams shattered by the only people she thought she could trust. Now, after three years in hiding, Nikita is seeking retribution and making it clear to her former bosses that she will stop at nothing to expose and destroy their covert operation. For the time being, however, Division continues to recruit and train other young people, erasing all evidence of their former lives and turning them into cold and efficient killers. One of these new recruits, Alex, is just beginning to understand what lies ahead for her and why the legendary Nikita made the desperate decision to run.
Mini Review: With numerous iterations of La Femme Nikita to compare it to, the solid execution of this series serves to set itself apart from its predecessors. Unfortunately, some viewers might not make it through the pilot’s split-storyline and awkward telling of Nikita’s back-story.
Chase (have not seen)
Premieres: Monday, September 20, 10:00pm
Plot (courtesy of NBC): “Chase” is a fast-paced drama from Emmy Award-winning executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer (“CSI” franchise, “The Amazing Race,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) and executive producer Jennifer Johnson (“Cold Case”) that drops viewers smack into the middle of a game of cat-and-mouse as a team of U.S. marshals hunts down America’s most dangerous fugitives. Kelli Giddish (“Past Life”) stars as U.S. Marshal Annie Frost, a cowboy boot-wearing deputy whose sharp mind and unique Texas upbringing help her track down the violent criminals on the run.
Premieres: Monday, September 20, 9:00pm
Plot (courtesy of NBC): “The Event” is an emotional, high-octane conspiracy thriller that follows Sean Walker (Jason Ritter, “The Class”), an Everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his fiancee, Leila (Sarah Roemer, “Disturbia”), and unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history. Sean’s quest will send ripples through the lives of an eclectic band of strangers, including: newly elected U.S. President Martinez (Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood, “Dirty Sexy Money”); Sophia (Emmy Award nominee Laura Innes, “ER”), who is the leader of a mysterious group of detainees; and Sean’s shadowy father-in-law (Scott Patterson, “Gilmore Girls”). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind.
Mini Review: The Event may very well be the series to replace Lost in the hearts of viewers. While the pilot leaves many questions unanswered, there are enough reveals to know that we won’t need to wait six seasons to understand what’s going on.
Law & Order: Los Angeles (have not seen)
Premieres: Wednesday, September 29, 10:00pm
Plot (courtesy of NBC): The new “Law & Order: Los Angeles” is a procedural crime drama that will follow the theme and storylines similar to the “Law & Order”-brand series on the streets of Los Angeles.
Premieres: Friday, September 17, 10:00pm
Plot (courtesy of NBC): “Outlaw” is a new drama from executive producer John Eisendrath (“Alias,” “Felicity,” “Playmakers”). Cyrus Garza (Smits) is a U.S. Supreme Court justice who abruptly quits the high-level position. A playboy and a gambler, Garza had always adhered to a strict interpretation of the law until he realized the system he believed in was flawed. Now that he’s quit the bench and returned to private practice, he’s determined to represent “the little guy” and use his inside knowledge of the justice system to take on today’s biggest legal cases — and he’s making plenty of powerful people unhappy along the way.
Mini Review: While Outlaw could be labeled as just another legal procedural, Jimmy Smits, along with an extremely talented ensemble, prove that no matter how stale the genre may be, if done correctly, it’s still thoroughly entertaining. Outlaw is one of the more solid, completely realized, new series of the season.
Outsourced (have not seen)
Premieres: Thursday, September 23, 9:30pm
Plot (courtesy of NBC): “Outsourced” is a comedy where the Midwest meets the exotic East in a hilarious culture clash. The series centers on the all-American company Mid America Novelties that sells whoopee cushions, foam fingers and wallets made of bacon — and whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India. Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport, off-Broadway’s “The Gingerbread House”) is the new company’s manager who learns that he’s being transferred to India to run the operation. Overwhelmed, Todd discovers that his new staff needs a crash course in all things American if they are to understand the U.S. product line and ramp up sales from halfway around the world. But as strange as America seems to his eclectic sales team, Todd soon realizes that figuring out India will be more than a full-time job.
Premieres: Wednesday, September 22, 8:00pm
Plot (courtesy of NBC): Acclaimed writer/producer/director J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek,” “Fringe,” “Lost,” “Alias”) serves as co-writer, executive producer – and also directs – his first direction of a TV series pilot since “Lost” in “Undercovers” with executive producer/writer Josh Reims (“Brothers and Sisters”). “Undercovers” is a sexy, fun, action-packed spy drama that proves once and for all that marriage is still the world’s most dangerous partnership. Outwardly, Steven Bloom (Boris Kodjoe, “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion,” “Soul Food,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife”) and his wife, Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, “Doctor Who,” “Bonekickers”), are a typical married couple who own a small catering company in Los Angeles and are helped by Samantha’s easily frazzled younger sister, Lizzy (Jessica Parker Kennedy, “Smallville”). Secretly, the duo were two of the CIA’s best spies until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired. When fellow spy and friend Nash (Carter MacIntyre, “American Heiress”) goes missing while on the trail of a Russian arms dealer, the Blooms are reinstated by boss Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney, “Deadwood”) to locate and rescue Nash. The pair is thrust back into the world of espionage as they follow leads that span the globe — and Steven and Samantha realize that this supercharged, undercover lifestyle provides the excitement and romance that their marriage has been missing.
Mini Review: While Undercovers is entertaining, it feels as if we’ve seen this type of series before – not only on television, but specifically from J.J. Abrams (read: Alias). For those that tune in, you won’t see any groundbreaking television or sub-plots hinting that there’s something “larger” going other than what’s being shown – what you see is what you get.
Premieres: Monday, September 20, 9:00pm
Plot (courtesy of Fox): From Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, the creators of “Party of Five”; Marc Webb, the director of “(500) Days of Summer”; and creator Kyle Killen, comes LONESTAR, a provocative soap set against the backdrop of big Texas oil. ROBERT/BOB ALLEN (newcomer James Wolk) is a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas. He’s juggling two identities and two women in two very different worlds – all under one mountain of lies. As “Bob,” he lives in Houston and is married to CAT (Adrianne Palicki, “Friday Night Lights”), the beautiful daughter of CLINT (Jon Voight, 24, “Midnight Cowboy”), the patriarch of an ultra-wealthy Texas oil family. More than 400 miles away in the suburban west Texas town of Midland, he’s “Robert,” living a second life with his sweet, naive girlfriend, LINDSAY (Eloise Mumford, “Mercy,” “Law & Order: SVU”). In Midland, he plays the perfect boyfriend while secretly bilking local investors of their savings. In Houston, he’s a devoted husband, charming Cat and her family to cement his position in the rich family business he aims to clean out. Bob has lived both lives successfully for years without arousing any suspicions…so far. While one brother-in-law, DREW (Bryce Johnson, “Popular,” “The Mentalist”), admires Bob, his other brother-in-law, TRAMMELL (Mark Deklin, “Nip/Tuck,” “Desperate Housewives”), is suspicious of his motives. Bob begins to fear his secret lives may unravel. With the cons closing in on him, Bob is divided by his love for two women; his loyalty to his father and mentor, JOHN (David Keith, “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “The Class”); and his respect for his father-in-law, Clint. Now as he tries to hold his two lives together, while fending off angry investors and the suspicions of those around him, Bob puts it all on the line hoping he can beat the odds, leave the schemes behind and keep two separate relationships afloat.
Mini Review: Lone Star is Fox’s response to all of the great cable programming on its sisters channel, FX. With a talented cast, intriguing story and a wonderfully executed pilot, this is one series that will have you hooked within the first 5 minutes.
Premieres: Tuesday, September 21, 9:00pm
Plot (courtesy of Fox):RAISING HOPE is a new single-camera family comedy from Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia (“My Name Is Earl”) that follows the Chance family as they find themselves adding an unexpected new member into their already terribly flawed household. At 23 years old, JIMMY CHANCE (Lucas Neff, “The Beast”) is going nowhere in life. He skims pools for a living, parties every night and still lives at home with his family, including his MAW MAW (guest star Academy Award and Emmy Award winner Cloris Leachman); his mother, VIRGINIA (Martha Plimpton, “How to Make It in America”); his father, BURT (Garret Dillahunt, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Damages”); and his cousin, MIKE (Skyler Stone, “The Mentalist,” “Dollhouse”). Jimmy’s life takes a drastic turn when a chance romantic encounter with LUCY (guest star Bijou Phillips, “Choke,” “Almost Famous”) goes awry once he discovers she is a wanted felon. Months later, when Jimmy pays a visit to the local prison, he discovers Lucy gave birth to their baby, who he is now charged with raising. At home with his new daughter, Jimmy’s family is less than enthusiastic about a new addition to the household. His parents, who had him when they were 15, never knew anything about raising a child and have no interest in trying again. If Jimmy can work up the nerve to ask her out on a date, he might get some help from SABRINA (Shannon Woodward, “The Riches,” “ER”), a sardonic checkout clerk he met at the supermarket. Cousin Mike is only concerned about how the baby is going to affect their social life, and out-of-touch Maw Maw is no help either. But Jimmy is determined to take care of his baby – whom Virginia thinks they should name HOPE. With very few useful skills but their hearts in the right place, will the Chance family be successful when they step into the unpredictable and immensely challenging world of parenting?
Mini Review: Raising Hope is the best new comedy of the season. While this series is completely politically incorrect and hilarious, it also has one important element that will allow Raising Hope to succeed where other comedies have failed – it has heart.
Premieres: Tuesdays, September 21, 9:30pm
Plot (courtesy of Fox): From the Emmy Award-winning creator and the star of the critically acclaimed FOX series “Arrested Development” comes RUNNING WILDE, a romantic comedy starring Will Arnett (“Arrested Development,” “30 Rock”) as STEVE WILDE, a filthy-rich, immature playboy trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart, EMMY KADUBIC (Keri Russell, “Waitress,” “Felicity”), the uber-liberal humanitarian who got away – all told through the perspective of a 12-year-old girl. Steve Wilde has never performed a selfless act. But why should he – he’s rich! The son of an oil tycoon, Steve hasn’t had to work a day in his life and has always gotten everything he’s wanted – with one exception: the love of Emmy. The daughter of a former Wilde housekeeper, Emmy is an earnest do-gooder who has spent her adult life trying to save the world. And though Emmy is content living with an indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest, her 12-year-old daughter, PUDDLE (Stefania Owen, “The Lovely Bones”), just wants to be a normal kid experiencing her adolescence in a normal place. And she would speak up except for the fact that she hasn’t spoken in years. When Wilde Oil’s expansion in the rainforest threatens her adopted tribe, Emmy decides to attend Steve’s self-thrown “Humanitarian of the Year” award ceremony in hopes of convincing him to help her cause…and also maybe because she still has a thing for Steve. But same-old Steve is unwilling to help because fighting Wilde Oil (a/k/a Dad) means putting his meal ticket in jeopardy. Rather than run the risk of letting Emmy slip away again, Steve pulls out all the stops to win her heart. To do so, he enlists the only other people in his life who can help: MIGO SALAZAR (Joe Nunez, “Superbad,” “Prison Break”), Steve’s employee/sidekick/errand-boy, and GERTIE STELLVERTRETTER (Jayne Houdyshell, “Law & Order”), Steve’s nanny-turned-head-of-security as well as the biggest protector of Steve…and her own job. Despite having everything he ever wanted, Steve knows he can’t buy love and happiness, which falls in sharp contrast to Emmy, who has nothing but love and happiness. So with Emmy committed to doing good for nothing, and Steve being a good for nothing, will this hopelessly mismatched pair ever be able to reconcile their differences?
Mini Review: Running Wilde is annoying, convoluted and, for the most part, not funny. Of course, if you’ve seen any of the previews, you already knew that.
Premieres: Wednesday, September 8, 10:00pm
Plot (courtesy of FX):Terriers, from creator/executive producer Ted Griffin (Ocean’s Eleven) and executive producer Shawn Ryan (The Shield), is a comedic drama starring Donal Logue (The Tao of Steve, Damages) and Michael Raymond-James (True Blood). It centers on “Hank Dolworth” (Logue), an ex-cop who partners with his best friend “Britt Pollack” (Raymond-James) to launch an unlicensed private investigation business. The duo, both struggling with maturity issues, solve crimes while avoiding danger and responsibility.
Mini Review: Terriers is practically perfect in every way. The story, characters and dialogue are not only extremely engaging, but completely realistic and believable. For those that tune in, you will not be disappointed.
Hopefully, you’ll now have a better sense of what shows you’ll be watching this season. Of course, even if we didn’t care much for a particular series, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t enjoy it. Unless you’re talking about Running Wilde, then you defiantly won’t enjoy it.
Keep an eye on Screen Rant as we’ll have complete reviews for the majority the new series when they premiere.
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