Ready For Fall: 30 New TV Shows at a Glance
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Ready For Fall: 30 New TV Shows at a Glance

By Sarah Carlson | TV Reviews | September 11, 2013 | Comments ()


The Fall TV season is finally here, with most new series beginning to premiere next week. There may be 30 new shows listed below, but the overlap of premises is impressive, especially among the major networks. We’ve got your moving-back-in-with-the-parents cases; spin-offs, fairy tales, vampires, period pieces and adaptations of novels; several TV stars of the ’90s looking to land comebacks; several movie stars taking comfort in the thriving TV game; and a Lifetime series about witches. Not all of these shows will survive the year — maybe not even the month — but there’s plenty debuting this season that appears worth a try. So, set your DVRs as you so please.

Fall TV 2013:

Sleepy Hollow
Fox, Monday, Sept. 16, 9/8C
The cast: Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie
The gist: Washington Irving’s tale is brought to the present, along with lead character Ichabod Crane, frozen in time for 250 years. He returns to Sleepy Hollow to help the sheriff fight the town’s general evilness, including the Headless Horseman.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Fox, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 8/7C
The cast: Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Joe Lo Truglio, Melissa Fumero
The gist: Samberg is an immature police detective; Braugher is his by-the-books captain. Hijinks! From Parks and Recreation’s Dan Goor and Michael Schur.

Fox, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 8/7C
The cast: Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, Peter Riegert, Martin Mull
The gist: Two video game developers aren’t pleased when their fathers move in with them. So, it’s Sh*t My Dad Says, brought to you by Seth MaFarlane.


The Blacklist
NBC, Monday, Sept. 23, 10/9C
The cast: James Spader, Megan Boone
The gist: One of the FBI’s most-wanted fugitives offers to help the bureau track down other elusive criminals, but he’ll only work with a rookie agent for reasons she’s not yet sure of. Spader is always solid, and although the previews give away much of the pilot’s plot, the series looks promising.

CBS, Monday, Sept. 23, 10/9C
The cast: Toni Collette, Dylan McDermott, Tate Donovan
The gist: An FBI agent-turned-terrorist kidnaps a surgeon and her family the night before she is to operate on the president of the United States. He threatens their lives if she doesn’t kill the president. Collette’s presence definitely raises my hopes for the series, despite its CBS home.

CBS, Monday, Sept. 23, 9/8C
The cast: Anna Farris, Allison Janney
The gist: A single mom (and recovering alcoholic) moves to Napa Valley, Calif., to begin a new chapter in life and try not to clash with her mother. This is another Chuck Lorre vehicle, so proceed with caution.

The Goldbergs
ABC, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 9/8C
The cast: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jeff Garlin, Sean Giambrone
The gist: It’s the ’80s, and this family is crazy! They even wear matching sweaters! The 11-year-old son is there to film it all, standing in for creator and childhood-rememberer Adam F. Goldberg.

Lucky 7
ABC, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 10/9C
The cast: Stephen Louis Grush, Matt Long, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Summer Bishil, Anastasia Phillips, Lorraine Bruce, Luis Antonio Ramos
The gist: The lives of seven employees of a Queens gas station change dramatically once they win the lottery. Adaptation of the British series The Syndicate.


Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
ABC, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 8/7C
The cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge
The gist: Agent Coulson lives! And he’s got a team of secret agents in this Avengers spin-off via Joss Whedon, which, who are we kidding, you’re all going to watch.

Trophy Wife
ABC, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 9/8C
The cast: Malin Akerman, Bradley Whitford, Marcia Gay Harden, Michaela Watkins
The gist: Former partier Kate marries Brad after they meet at karaoke, and with Brad comes three crazy kids and two ex-wives. The presence of Whitford and Harden (who has been fabulous on The Newsroom this season) is reassuring, but the premise isn’t.

Back in the Game
ABC, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 8/7C
The cast: Maggie Lawson, James Caan
The gist: A divorced single mother and former all-star softball player moves in with her estranged father (and ex-baseball player). So you see, the title has more than one meaning.

The Crazy Ones
CBS, Thursday, Sept. 26, 9/8C
The cast: Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar
The gist: An eccentric father runs an advertising agency with his more serious daughter. From David E. Kelley, this marks Williams’ first return to TV since Mork & Mindy and Gellar’s return since the short-lived Ringer.


The Michael J. Fox Show
NBC, Thursday, Sept. 26, 9/8C
The cast: Michael J. Fox, Betsy Brandt
The gist: The always lovable Fox returns to network TV with a character not unlike himself: A retired news anchor, who left to focus on his health (Parkinson’s) and his family, returns to work after five years. No way is this show not sweet.

The Millers
CBS, Thursday, Sept. 26, 8/7C<
The cast: Will Arnett, Beau Bridges, Margo Martindale
The gist: A news reporter informs his parents he’s getting divorced, which spurs his dad to leave his mom and the mom to move in with the son. The only way this could be good is if Margo pulls a Mags Bennett and shares some of her Apple Pie with her family …

ABC, Sunday, Sept. 29, 10/9C
The cast: Hannah Ware, Stuart Townsend, Chris J. Johnson
The gist: In the vein of Revenge, the soap promises affairs, legal battles and possibly murder.


Hello Ladies
HBO, Sunday, Sept. 29, 10/9C
The cast: Stephen Merchant
The gist: The Office co-creator Merchant enlists Office writer-producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky to make us all uncomfortable watching Merchant play Stuart, an awkward English designer who moves to L.A. and lacks the first notion of how to successfully interact with women.

Masters of Sex
Showtime, Sunday, Sept. 29, 10/9C
The cast: Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan
The gist: A look at real-life researchers Williams Masters and Virginia Johnson, who were pioneers in studying sex, from humans’ sexual responses to sexual disorders. Based on the book by Thomas Maier.

We Are Men
CBS, Monday, Sept. 30, 8/7C
The cast: Chris Smith, Jerry O’Connell, Tony Shalhoub, Kal Penn
The gist: After Carter (Smith) is left at the altar, he moves to a short-term apartment complex and befriends three bachelors. One has been divorced twice, one has been divorced four times and one cheated on his wife and is trying to win her back. Lovely.

NBC, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 10/9C
The cast: Blair Underwood, Brent Sexton, Pablo Schreiber, Spencer Grammer, Neal Bledsoe, Kenneth Choi
The gist: A remake of the 1970s series and yet another police procedural. Ironside is a tough New York cop who, after being shot in the back during a chase, has to use a wheelchair.


Super Fun Night
ABC, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 9/8C
The cast: Rebel Wilson, Lauren Ash, Liza Lapira
The gist: Three friends try to maintain their traditional “Friday Fun Night” in the face of adulthood and changing responsibilities. Created by Rebel Wilson and Conan O’Brien.

The Originals
CW, Thursday, Oct. 3, 9/8C
The cast: Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt, Charles Michael Davis, Phoebe Tonkin
The gist: A spin-off of The Vampire Diaries, the Original vampires from that tale have left Mystic Falls and set up camp in New Orleans.

Sean Saves the World
NBC, Thursday, Oct. 3, 9/8C
The cast: Sean Hayes, Sami Isler, Linda Lavin, Thomas Lennon
The gist: Career-oriented, divorced and gay, Hayes is a dad trying to win over his 14-year-old daughter, who has just moved in with him. We’ll see just how Just Jack things get.

Welcome to the Family
NBC, Thursday, Oct. 3, 8/7C
The cast: Mike O’Malley, Mary McCormack, Ricardo Chavira, Justina Machado
The gist: A white girl falls in love with a Latino boy, and their respective families have to come together to, you know, survive in this crazy time of 2013?


Witches of East End
Lifetime, Sunday, Oct. 6, 10/9C
The cast: Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rachel Boston, Eric Winter
The gist: Joanna Beauchamp has to break the news to her daughters that they’re immortal witches with some serious untapped powers. Inspired by the novel by Melissa de la Cruz. You had me at Lifetime + witches.

The Tomorrow People
CW, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 9/8C
The cast: Robbie Amell, Peyton List, Luke Mitchell, Aaron Yoo
The gist: A group of teens represent the next stage in human evolution with their abilities to hear voices and teleport, among other special powers.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
ABC, Thursday, Oct. 10, 8/7C
The cast: Sophie Lowe, John Lithgow, Michael Socha, Barbara Hershey, Naveen Andrews, Peter Gadiot
The gist: A spin-off of Once Upon a Time based on Alice and her Wonderland adventures, among other memorable characters.

CW, Thursday, Oct. 17, 9/8C
The cast: Adelaide Kane, Toby Regbo, Megan Follows, Rossif Sutherland
The gist: The tale of Mary, Queen of Scots, comes to the small screen and surely takes detours from history.


NBC, Friday, Oct. 25, 10/9C
The cast: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jessia de Gouw
The gist: Bram Stoker’s tale is told yet again, this time with Dracula hanging around Victorian London, posing as an American entrepreneur. There’s a romance on his horizon, naturally

Almost Human
Fox, Monday, Nov. 4, 8/7C
The cast: Karl Urban, Michael Ealy
The gist: Futuristic crime drama in which LAPD officers are paired with highly evolved androids. From J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman (Fringe).

Fox, Friday, Nov. 8, 9/8C
The cast: Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell, Parker Young
The gist: Three brothers in the armed services all assigned to the same base for soldiers not deployed overseas.

Sarah Carlson is a TV Critic for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio. You can find her on Twitter.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Ben

    I read about half of this article completely confused until I realized that the show that goes with the picture is under the picture not above it.

  • clancys_daddy

    There is no Ironside without Raymond Burr. So go away, now.

  • googergieger

    Welp looks like I'm going to be doing a lot of leaf raking this fall.

    *has very little knowledge about fall*

  • Carrie

    The following shows I think will make it pass the first round:

    The Michael J. Fox Show
    Ironside (sound cool in the promo)
    Sleepy Hollow (filmed in my hometown)
    Back in the Game (TV version of the Bad News Bears)

    Shows not going to the first round (by one or two eps):
    Lucky 7 (it's be done before)

    Blacklist (Hannibal sucked, why bother with this one)

    The rest we'll have to see in the wildcard round. I miss Game of Thrones, I need a fix. Will these shows be the one?

  • ed newman

    I am going to be a bit optimistic and contrarian. I think there are a bunch of shows here that deserve a sampling:

    SHIELD (of course)
    Sleepy Hollow (love me some sci fi so it's worth one episode+Robert's comment below)
    Brooklyn 9 9 (I will always give Michael Schur a chance)
    Blacklist (good buzz + Spader)
    Hostages (Collette)
    The Crazy Ones (reluctantly. Because you never know when Kelley will get his mojo back)
    The Michael J Fox Show (Fox always deserves a chance)
    Hello Ladies (Merchant + HBO)
    Masters of Sex (Caplan and Sheen + boobies!)
    Almost Human (Urban+ Abrams. I know some hate Abrams here but Alias, Lost and Fringe were all great for some parts of their runs)

    Plus, if there are any good reviews on the Mike O'Malley show, Trophy Wife, Lucky 7, or Super Fun Night then I will be trying them too.

    Seems like that's more than a typical season. Granted most will suck, but at least there are a lot with some reason to give them a look.

  • SVR

    I cannot for the life of me figure out why you didn't leap at the chance to post a picture of Karl Urban for the "Almost Human" entry. I mean...Karl Urban.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Stephen Merchant being socially-awkward with women was one of the highlights of Extras. I look forward to not being able to watch this on HBO unless we get the cable package that will also let us watch Outlander on Starz.

  • Wigamer

    I've always wondered if Stephen Merchant was the reason The Office was so good. I have hated everything else Ricky Gervais has ever done.

  • emmalita

    The first and second series of An Idiot Abroad are hilarious. But there's a lot more Karl Pilkington than Ricky Gervais.

  • Mrs. Julien

    We just rewatched the Bowie Extras episode in the club where he is trying to talk a woman into bed and ends by suggesting she can walk home and keep the 15 quid he's given her for cab fare as "sweet, sweet profit". We were laughing hysterically once again.

    Merchant and Gervais are fremdschamen savants.

  • emmalita

    I know it will likely be terrible, but I have this intense compulsion to watch Almost Human. It might be Karl Urban. It might be the Sci-fi unlikely buddy cop premise. I don't know. I'm going to give it a try.

  • alannaofdoom

    I also feel this compulsion, and I can state with certainty that it is entirely due to the presence of Karl Urban. I regret nothing.

  • emmalita

    If it completely sucks we can always get drunk and sing, "regrets, I've had a few....."

  • Mrs. Julien

    I see Jonathan Rhys Meyers is becoming well-entrenched in the Historical Ridiculousness genre.

  • sjfromsj

    I will be very excited if they cancel Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Dads swiftly. I suffered through those spots this summer while watching So You Think You Can Dance on demand because FOX is evil and doesn't cut out commercials or let you fast forward during their recorded shows. I just want to watch real talent and entertainment, not the same 3 show promos every 10 minutes.

  • weetiger3

    Most of these shows are so high-concept they've doomed themselves to failure. Regardless of how good it may be, how will they sustain Hostages over the course of a full season, let alone beyond the 1st?

  • koko temur

    So, Shield, Masters of sex, The Micheal J Fox show, yes? Everything else is either tertible or has no chance of survival. Or both.

    There is also very positive buzz for the trophy wife, btw. I will try to check it out.

  • BlackRabbit

    Sadly, I did not read the comma there until the second go-round. SHIELD: MASTERS OF SEX would get me to tune in, I'll admit.

  • stella

    Godamn Allison Janney and Anna Farris. Fine.

  • mats19

    That lifetime series with Julia Ormond + Witches.... I'm going to watch the HELL out of that with a giant bottle of wine.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Is that What'shisface from Whatchamahoosie in the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. photo with Clark Gregg?

  • emmalita

    It's Whedon stable member J. August Richards.

  • Mrs. Julien

    And this is why I love Pajiba. I thought he was from Angel, but I knew one of the pajiberate would get it on the obfuscatory clue.

    I also love Pajiba because I can use words like "obfuscatory" and no one will make fun of me. That I know of. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

  • emmalita

    I feel that law school really shrank my vocabulary. Since hanging out on Pajiba my vocabulary has begun to expand again. My BFF commented just yesterday that she appreciated that I was using words that she had to look up. :)

  • bastich

    Not sure. Are you thinking about the original BBC series of "Whatchamahoosie", or the American remake?

  • Mrs. Julien

    The one that was a spinoff from the TV show based on the movie.

  • bastich

    Was it "Whatchamahoosie Loves Chachi"?

  • Mrs. Julien

    I'm glad Andre Braugher is getting work, but one can't help but wish that an actor of his caliber was getting good work.

  • Pawesl

    With a show like Hostages I just have to wonder how they plan on making it last longer than 5 episodes. Its the same problem that happened with Last Resort last year. At some point she will either kill the president then what? If she kills him they can probably make it work. If she doesnt the show is done.

    Nearly all of these seem like rehashes of things we have already seen before or are currently on already. I would say maybe 10 will make it to a second season and only 5 will get a third.

  • ZizoAH

    I always though about that too. The only reason I'm seeing this is because of Tony Collette. It probably would've worked better as a mini-series.

  • koko temur

    Dude. 5 maybe will get to finish the season... Do you remember any of the network shows who premiered last fall? Hannibal and mindy project are the only survivors i can think of.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    "Dracula": it's basically "The Tudors" only this time he's just an immortal supernatural being that loves playing with and then killing beautiful women. Sidekick becomes the next Thor.

  • Anna von Beav

    I'm totally in for that.

    Because Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

  • AngelenoEwok

    Does anyone know where I can get pajamas like the one Rebel is wearing in that picture? I'm asking for a friend.

  • Uriah_Creep

    Is your "friend" also an ewok?

  • buell

    Lane Bryant

  • Zombietroy


  • Robert

    I was in a focus group about that Sleepy Hollow show. We're talking American Horror Story level of fuckery without any of crying masturbation and ass slapping. It's...something all right.

  • LexieW

    Wow, and here I thought it would be the first one to get cancelled, easy.

  • Robert

    It probably will be. The focus group was them trying to figure out what angle they could actually market the show from. None of them made sense because the show is a big old salad of horror and time traveling cliches.

  • IngridToday

    There are so many shows with the 'fish out of water' plot and people fighting supernatural things in the modern era, that I would have been more interested in Sleepy Hollow if they kept it a period show.

  • LexieW

    Agreed. A period version I would totally have watched.

  • mats19

    Your description while probably meant to make me not want to watch the show has instead piqued my interest so much more now. If only the network knew that things like big salad of horror and time traveling is right up alot of (maybe just me) peoples corners.

  • simplysarah's worth watching?

  • Tinkerville

    Holy hell, these all sound so generic and awful. Of the entire list maybe one or two actually sound interesting. I'll worship at the altar of SHIELD, watch Masters of Sex for the cast, and check out Sleepy Hollow since I'm a sucker for campiness. But man.. this is depressing.

  • Zombietroy

    Dood, where is the GoTesque, "lost book of swords", "Belgariad", Xanth wtf ever...

    I'd even settle for the Alvin Maker books....

  • dizzylucy

    The fact that there's actually shows called "Mom" and "Dads" does not bode well.
    After watching Mike O'Malley just kill it on Justified last season, I'm heartbroken to see him saddled with something that sounds like that Rob Schneider show in reverse. Someone at FX give him a starring role as a badass, pronto.
    Even Brooklyn Nine-Nine, with it's P&R pedigree, looks pretty bad based on the commercials.

  • Tinkerville

    I went back and counted four-- FOUR! series about adults suddenly having to live with their parents again. I'm sure they'll all be high-larious with the parents spouting racist jokes that the leads pretend to be embarrassed by. Cue laugh track.

    And I love that the networks always fall back on the cop procedurals but think they can just dress them up differently by having the leads have such a "progressive" quirk or twist. It's every procedural you've ever seen, but look! He's in a wheelchair! And the depressing thing is it'll probably be on for seven seasons.

  • dizzylucy

    I noticed that too. I guess they think because it's a situation many people hit by the economy found themselves faced with, audiences would relate? To me it just sounds like an excuse for lame jokes about old people and young whippersnappers.

  • Fredo

    So to recap:

    CBS: Oatmeal TV AKA The same thing brought to you by the same people.
    Fox: Crazy! Kooky! Hijinks! Zany! Cancelled!
    ABC: We saw what worked elsewhere and hope you'll like it here.
    NBC: You liked Hannibal? We gonna give you as many possible Hannibals as we can!
    The CW: Our demographic is teens. So we gonna give 'em perfect-looking twenty-somethings that pretend to be teens. Also something mystical.

    And of this list of 30, here's my list of survivors:
    - Agents of SHIELD: gets big number, gets instantly renewed, loses a few midstream, but finishes strong.
    - Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Because Samberg draws the kids in.
    - Michael J Fox Show: because we all love Michael J Fox, dammit!
    - Almost Human: moved 3 times before March. Lands on Friday nights.
    - Trophy Wife: for the scene where Harden seduces Akerman. (You know you just imagined it).

  • Zombietroy

    First of all Hannibal was AWESOME sauce...Two, CW = the old Fox circa 90210. Third, Cmon, can we get a REAL fantasy show on "real" TV?

  • NateMan

    You gotta admit, though; CW knows their audience. And they pander to it brilliantly. Which I appreciate, since I enjoy their popcorn drama and action quite a bit.

  • dizzylucy

    Is it wrong to hope I get to see Margo smashing Will Arnett's hand with a hammer? And I LIKE Will Arnett.

  • emmalita

    I like all three of those actors. I really want the Millers to work.

  • Uriah_Creep

    I REALLY dread the dialogue they're going to put in Margo's mouth. I find the previews stunningly bad.

  • emmalita

    Oh no! I've avoided the previews so that I can maintain my ignorant bliss. Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale deserve ALL the good things.

  • Uriah_Creep

    They certainly do. Unfortunately, this won't be it. Not that I can blame either one for wanting a steady income, but DAMN... they could do so much better.

  • emmalita

    Let's stage a coup and give them the show they deserve!

  • Uriah_Creep

    You're on. I'll get the Murdertank keys from Dustin and we'll go to Hollywood and show those disposable executives what we think. Cross-border Yankee-Beaver cooperation, baby!

  • ZizoAH

    We should guess which shows will make it and which won't, and then come back on Spring to see how we did.

  • Miss Jane

    I'm developing a contest for the office now, basing it on fantasy baseball: Pick the 10 shows that will still be on the air by the end of November sweeps and the winner has the most gross rating points. No repeat or "special" eps and just regular timeslot are included. $10 to enter, winner gets roughly 75% of the total pot, 2nd place gets most of the remainder and the last place gets their $10 bucks back.

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