Ranking the 10 Most Promising New Network Shows of the Fall, Based on the Trailer Previews
2. Blacklist (NBC, Mondays at 10 p.m.)
I am almost reluctant to put this at number two, because the trailer looks outstanding (even if it does give away the entire pilot). Yes, there is a certain procedural element to it -- they have to cross off a bad guy from the Black List each week -- but Spader sells this, and he sell it hard.
3. The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC, Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.)
I already love "The Michael J. Fox Show," mostly because I can't help but love Michael J. Fox. He makes a non-issue of the Parkinson's almost immediately by making fun of it, making it the butt of the joke, but not in a cruel way. It has a sweet vibe, it's self-effacing, and home-y. It could save the network, but the 9:30 Thursday slot is an odd one.
5. Rake (Fox, Thursdays at 9 at midseason)
The adaptation of the quirky Australian legal drama starring Greg Kinnear as a brilliant f*ckup actually looks nearly as good as Blacklist looks on NBC. I'm in. It looks much better than "The Following," though Fox is using the same roll-out strategy to launch "Rake" during the "Glee" hiatus at mid-season.
6. Us and Them
The "Gavin and Stacey" remake, with Alexis Bledel and Jason Ritter, has a Hall & Oates song playing over the trailer, so I cannot remain objective. Ritter's "panic dancing" pushed me over the edge, but more than anything, it's the quirky supporting cast that may make "Us and Them" the best new sitcom of next season.
7. The Crazy Ones (CBS, Thursdays at 9:00 p.m.)
This is old-school, beardless, 50-miles-a minute, schizophrenic Robin Williams, and honestly, I'm kind of looking forward to "Crazy Ones." I do have some nostalgic affection for that Robin Williams, before the family-movie beat dragged him into the comedy sewer. I think there's still something in the tank, and Sarah Michelle Gellar isn't so bad, either. Williams seems well-suited to this pilot, which is about a father and daughter working at an ad agency. He's manic, but tempered by the fact that he's on CBS. It reminds me of "Mork and Mindy" Robin Williams, and I'm OK with that.
8. Almost Human (Fox, Mondays at 8:00 p.m., late fall)
The J.J. Abrams sci-fi cop procedural, set in a future where humans partner with androids, looks promising, in part because of the cool visuals and a great cast that includes Karl Urban and Michael Ealy as a batsh*t robot. Ealy is always fantastic, but I love that he's also being used as comedic relif. There's certainly potential, but the procedural element is a bit of a turn off.
9. Brookyn Nine Nine (Fox, Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.)
It's weird seeing a Michael Schur sitcom that's NOT documentary style, and I wish I liked the preview more. Andre Braugher is fantastic (and it's nice seeing him in a comedic role), but Andy Samberg already feels like a detriment to the series. It's a sitcom, and sitcom pilots are typically mediocre, so I will certainly give it a lot of leeway to get its legs, based simply on the talent involved.
10. The Millers (CBS, Thursdays 8:30 p.m.)
The Will Arnett sitcom, from Greg Garcia ("Raising Hope"), gets the nice post-"Big Bang Theory" slot, and unfortunately, it's a multicamera, laugh track sitcom, and the jokes suit the format. But, it has Will Arnett, Margo Martindale, J.B. Smoove, and Beau Bridges, so I can't overlook it.
Two other sitcoms with break-out potential: The Goldbergs (with Patton Oswalt narrating a wacky 1980's "The Wonder Years," and "Super Fun Night," based only on the presence of Rebel Wilson).
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