Ranking My Anticipation Level for 20 of This Week's TV Season and Series Premieres
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Ranking My Anticipation Level for 20 of This Week's TV Season and Series Premieres

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | September 24, 2012 | Comments ()


20. The Neighbors (Wednesday) -- This suburban comedy featuring alien neighbors may be the worst new comedy of the season, and potentially the quickest to be cancelled. I give it two episodes.


19. Guys with Kids (Wednesday) -- Seen it. Hated it. Don't bother. Same tired gender stereotypes applied to a gender-reversed situation.

18. Partners (Monday) -- A gay guy, his best friend, and their significant others in a CBS sitcom that looks like it will basically recycle a bunch of gay stereotypes. It takes more than gay characters to make a show progressive; you also need to treat them like people instead of stock characters.

17. Elementary (Thursday) -- CBS jumps into the contemporary "Sherlock Holmes" arena with a procedural that Benedict Cumberbatch is not too happy about. Neither am I.


16. The Amazing Race (Sunday) -- The show has won the Emmy for best reality show nine out of the past 10 years, and yet, it has barely progressed since its second season. At least "Survivor" changes up the twists every once in a while. "The Amazing Race" depends entirely on casting, and the last few seasons have not been cast particularly well. It's simply not very much fun anymore.

15. 666 Park Avenue (Sunday) -- Terry O'Quinn plays a landlord Satan who takes the souls of the tenants once their lease expires in another soapy ABC drama that may be initially intriguing but will undoubtedly spin wildly out of control by the sixth episode. On a Sunday night crammed with great shows, "666 Park Avenue" will have to be exceptional to land a regular spot on most of our DVRs. I doubt it has exceptional in it.


14. Castle (Monday) -- So, Beckett and Castle are finally together, and this season, we'll see if they can survive the Moonlighting curse. Regardless, they need to do a much better job with their investigations, which have become predictable and mundane.

13. Animal Practice (Wednesday) -- Review forthcoming, although I will say, the Justin Kirk as Gregory House in a veterinarian's clinic is not a bad show, but like NBC's "Go On," it is not inspiring, either. If you were to blurb my thoughts for the poster, they would be, "It is watchable!" ... Dustin Rowles, Pajiba.com

12. Modern Family (Wednesday) -- Will "Modern Family" get its mojo back now that Gloria is pregnant, or will the show continue to follow its predictable comedic formula of inoffensive but mildy amusing humor? It's worked for the show so far, so why change, right?


11. Scandal (Thursday) -- I'm a little embarrassed about it, but I ended up loving Kerry Washington's sudsy political scandal drama which managed to be just restrained enough in its first season not to completely jump the rails. Its success will depend on whether the romantic relationship between Olivia and the President can continue to anchor the show, and how much screen time Joshua Malina gets the season.

10. Vegas (Tuesday) -- I am highly dubious of a Western sets in 1960s Vegas, but so far, the reviews I've read of the Dennis Quaid series have been fairly strong. I'm going in with an open mind.


9. Fringe (Friday) -- Gotta admit, after catching up on season four over the summer, that I'm seriously stoked about the final 13, Observer-centered episodes of "Fringe." It's something of another reset, but with an end point in mind, hopefully the writers can maintain a tight grip on the proceedings.

8. Dexter (Sunday) -- The last couple of seasons have been mostly dreadful, but now that Debra knows about Dexter's secret, the series' long plot can begin to move forward toward an end point two seasons away. I would really like to see a return to form for the Showtime drama.


7. How I Met Your Mother (Monday) -- No deal has yet been struck to extend the sitcom past this season, so everyone is going in with the assumption that "HIMYM" will end end May. That means, hopefully, that the writers can start wrapping up story lines instead of introducing new ones. The sitcom has been uneven for the last few years, but the good episodes are still really good.

6. Last Resort (Thursday) -- Everyone is going gaga over Shawn Ryans' new drama -- review forthcoming -- and I'd love to see it succeed (and by everyone, I mean, people I follow on Twitter (Note: I follow Shawn Ryan on Twitter)). The time slot -- Thursdays at 8 on ABC -- is not a favorable one, and Shawn Ryan's shows have a tendency to get early cancellations. However, I'm cautiously optimistic that a submarine drama starring Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman can turn around ABC's Thursday night fortunes.


5. Ben and Kate (Tuesday) -- "The Mindy Project" is getting most of the press among freshman sitcoms this fall, but "Ben and Kate" features a strong and likable cast (Lucy Punch, Dakota Johnson) and another non-traditional family premise. It may ultimately out-quirk New Girl, but it's a new sitcom with which I have high hopes.

4. New Girl (Tuesday) -- "New Girl" took some getting used to last season, and it didn't really find its legs until Dermot Mulroney showed up, but it quickly became one of the most endearing, earnest, and fun sitcoms on the networks by season's end. I expect it will continue that trend, at least until season four.


3. The Mindy Project (Tuesday) -- It looks like basically every romantic comedy you've ever seen all mashed up in a doctor's office, but it also looks immensely charming and the perfect companion to "The New Girl." How can you go wrong with Mindy Kaling and the always wonderful Chris Messina? I'm sure there's a way, but I'm going to trust Mindy Kalin that she's found the perfect balance.

2. The Good Wife (Sunday) -- Along with "Parenthood," "The Good Wife" is the best drama on network television, and one of the most consistently enjoyable, gripping, and entertaining. It will also continue to be the best cast drama on network TV, as well, bringing back some recurring guests (Michael J. Fox, Carrie Preston) and adding some new ones, like Maura Tierney, Nathan Lane, and Kristen Chenowith.


1. Homeland (Sunday) -- I still think that "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" were more deserving of the Emmy, but there's no denying that "Homeland" is one of the best shows on television, and one of the few capable of truly throwing us for a loop without throwing us off the loop. Brilliantly acted and excellently plotted, "Homeland" may prove in its second season why it deserves as Best Drama Emmy.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • MEL C.

    I will watch anything with SCOTT SPEEDMAN!

  • kirbyjay

    How about New Girl without the girl? Sometimes ZD is the weakest part of the show. Also, a little more Winston would be nice. Right now he's the token black guy and they give him very little to do. His girlfriend was so generic I can't even remember her. His mama was funny last night, how about adding her to the show?

  • logan

    huge mistake by Modern Family making Vergara prego. She's the only attractive female on the show and now she's pregnant. Good thinking.

  • All I know is NBC deserves a giant kick in the sack for premiering Parks and Rec, The Office and SNL a week earlier than everything else on TV with zero promotion. That really has nothing to do with this article though, so Castle, Last Resort and The Mindy Project - yay. Also my wife said to me the other night "Can we find the show with the monkey and set the DVR for it? You don't have to watch it."

  • blacksred

    I really wish CBS would move The Good Wife to ANY OTHER DAY GODDAMN FOOTBALL doesnt run it over! I do not like the Amazing Race and I hate being forced to watch it in fast forward because I have no clue when the show actually starts and I have to block up precious DVR space to record 3 hours of tv for the 1 good hour I actually WANT to see.

  • Quatermain

    The stoic manner with which you bear up under such adversity will no doubt serve as a model to generations of children yet unborn.

  • blacksred

    thank you for admiring my strength. Some Sundays are better than others.

  • zeke_the_pig

    What is Cumberbatch NOT not too happy about?

  • Quatermain

    I know this site has a massive hard-on for Cumberbatch, but y'all might want to ease up a bit re: Elementary, especially as it has yet to broadcast a single episode. I'm not saying you have to like it, I'm just saying maybe give it a fair shake. I'm sure the world is big enough for two Sherlock Holmes adaptations.
    As for Last Resort, I want to like it, just based on the previews and what-not, but these kind of shows have a tendency to turn their episodes into political sopaboxes and their characters into political caricatures. I don't mind politics in my TV shows as well as it's subtle and well done. I don't like getting preached at by my TV, though. It's unnecessary for the people who agree with you and insulting for the one's who don't.

  • Kylie

    It appears to be true... I am still the only Grey's Anatomy lover actively reading this site.

    How can you not like a show about a bunch of unlikable doctors who have really crappy things happen to them every other month? God, I love that show

  • Rebecca Hachmyer

    You are not alone.

  • F. Robert

    I saw the pilots for Mindy Project and Ben and Kate on a flight to DC. Mindy Project has potential, I like (most of) the supporting cast. Ben and Kate was kind of bland but I'd give it another shot.

  • Ley

    Dermot Mulroney also brought out the best from Jake Johnson ("I think I understand hunting!").

    For me, the show actually got going when Lizzy Caplan came along. Really helped flesh out the Jess character.

  • "Bad in Bed" is what clinched the deal for me, although everything from "The Landlord" on was great.

  • special snowflake

    Ditto on 'The Neighbors', it's going to suck spectacularly, and right here is the first I've even heard of it - if it's on ABC it's a lock.
    I've read a couple of one-line items about 'Vegas', but didn't know it was a western set in the 60's; that makes me want to watch it, Randy Quaid is always cool in a cowboy hat.
    '666 Park Avenue'? Yes yes yes exactly what that up there said.
    I resisted 'The Good Wife' for so long but I keep hearing more people talking about it; maybe I better catch up.
    I'd be pumped for the next 'Homeland' season if I thought they could outdo the first one.

  • dizzylucy

    Dennis Quaid. Perhaps unfortunately - if Randy Quaid were in it, you know it would be worth tuning in to see that mess.
    I'm going to give it a shot and see.

  • Mr_Zito

    How is it possible that Dexter is still on??? When I saw the first season, I thought that was it. When I saw the second one, I thought "ok, they are going to explore every aspect of this, there may be one or two more seasons." Then on season 3 it became clear how formulaic it could be, and how it could go on forever. Now, with Debra knowing, I have no idea how they plan on keeping it up, and unfortunately it's not the positive and optimistic "what they will come up with next to keep him going" that we had with every season of The Shield, or the one we used to have with Sons of Anarchy... because seasons 3 and 5 have showed us how low they can go to keep the premise untouched. I expected Debra to reach new levels of stupidity and be more annoying than never this season.

  • emmelemm

    That picture... of Julianna Margulies... ohmahgah HOT!

  • lowercase_ryan

    any residual hotness from that pic was thrown out the window when she wore that dress last night.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    If a woman loses her residual hotness with a single sartorial misstep, there would be 0 hot women remaining.

    (also: I didn't think her dress was bad - I liked it. It just didn't go with her very severe hair)

  • Xtacle Steve

    CBS copying another show's idea, but without any of the fun or intelligence so we're left with another dull procedural for the over sixty crowd? Someone better call the mentalist.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I watch The Amazing Race for the locations. For me, there can be nothing cooler than spending a month running all over the damn globe. Surprisingly, for every ugly instance of someone yelling at a cabbie that they should speak American, there are 10 moments of sincere cultural learning and appreciation for the experience. That's why I will always watch it.

  • TheEmpress


  • tamatha_uhmelmahaye

    Last time I checked, Dustin was not a fan. Clearly, he's mistaken, but there ya go.

  • Groundloop

    Is the Moonlighting curse male pattern baldness? Because Captain Tightpants with a comb over simply will not do!

  • TheOtherOne

    No Mentalist? But it's got Emmanuelle Chriqui and Bradley Whitford...

    How the @!#% how this show been on 5 years? Only on CBS.

  • Three_nineteen

    How is Bradley Whitford on The Mentalist? Did his first character have a twin or something?

  • BWeaves

    I hope "Castle" starts with Castle and Beckett broken up and deciding they make better platonic friends.

  • Blake

    Hell yes to Homeland and Fringe! New Girl probably.

    Elementary maybe (only for Lucy Liu). I think it and Sherlock can coexist especially since we're a long way away from season 3 of Sherlock. And as long as it doesn't end up being a straight procedural then I'm game (plus House is gone). A BIG maybe for Last Resort (only for Andre Braugher).

    All the previews for Dexter look like they are going to play Debra's discovery stupid so I will probably pass on it along with all the others listed (Sorry Locke).

  • michaelceratops

    Dustin.... there's no such thing as the Moonlighting Curse!


  • kirbyjay

    Ugh..don't remind me. The top 3 shows with the worst final seasons ever
    1. Moonlighting
    2. Roseanne
    3. That 70's Show

  • tamatha_uhmelmahaye

    Thank you! I was trying to remember where I read that just last week! It's such a great argument about why the "Moonlighting Curse" is completely false.

  • Idle Primate

    that was an interesting read. i don't even ever remember them together on that show and assumed it must have died right after it happened. obviously i just stopped watching the show . ..and reviewing the years, their getting together coincides with my no longer having a television.

  • JenVegas

    Damnit, I need more TVs just for this week so I can record at least the premiers and watch them to decide if they get a permanent spot. Although 666 being on Sunday nights already is dead in the water as far as my schedule goes. Maybe it will be on Hulu.

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