Fox: New fall shows
Almost Human Watch trailer
Drama/Sci-Fi | Mondays at 8p starting November 4
"The pilot doesn't quite live up to the lofty expectations. It's a mish-mash of things we've seen before and questions we've asked before, borrowing ideas from Alien Nation, RoboCop, and Blade Runner. "
—Tim Surette, TV.com
"The characters aren't compelling, and nothing feels original."
—Maggie Pehanick, PopSugar
The first of two J.J. Abrams-produced series debuting this season comes from the creative team behind the departed Fringe, most notably creator J.H. Wyman. The year is 2048, and every Los Angeles police officer is paired with a robot partner, though the androids look just like humans, so don't expect a bunch of Cylons cruising down the 405. The mostly human-looking cast includes Karl Urban (Star Trek), Michael Ealy (Common Law), Lili Taylor (Six Feet Under), Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights), Mackenzie Crook (Game of Thrones, The Office), and Michael Irby (The Unit). The reaction from sci-fi fans at Comic-Con seemed fairly positive, while critics have been decidedly less enthusiastic so far, though nobody is writing the show off yet. (Note also the pilot has undergone some revisions since it was last screened). The show will be one of the last new series to debut this fall, with Fox holding it back until after the World Series.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Watch trailer
Comedy | Tuesdays at 8:30p starting September 17
"The fall's best new comedy. Is it doing anything revolutionary? Not really. But as a big Barney Miller fan, I think it successfully serves up the rare cop shop comedy, filled with LOLs and boasting a vivid, diverse ensemble devoid of any clunkers."
—Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine
"There's enough that's working here to make this one of the few bright spots on the schedule next season."
—Jace Lacob, The Daily Beast
Easily the best of fall's new sitcoms—on paper, at least—this cop comedy comes from Parks & Recreation co-creator Michael Schur and one of that show's writer-producers, Dan Goor, while 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are also on board. There's also a stellar cast that includes Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live), Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street), Joe Lo Truglio (Reno 911!), comedian Chelsea Peretti (another former Parks & Rec writer), and Terry Crews. The workplace comedy follows a group of police detectives in New York's 191st Precinct, with goof-off Samberg forced to adapt to his tough new by-the-book boss (Braugher, who is already earning raves for his performance in the pilot). Expect the show to be a magnet for celebrity cameos; Andy Richter, Kid Cudi, Fred Armisen, and Dean Winters (Tina Fey's ex Dennis on 30 Rock) are among the guests already booked for early episodes.
Dads Watch trailer
Comedy | Tuesdays at 8p starting September 17
"Even ABC's egregious Work It seems like a work of art compared with this horrific trainwreck of a comedy pilot, which so embraces its casual racism that it seems like it was underwritten by bigots living in the 1950s. There is one word for it: vile."
—Jace Lacob, The Daily Beast
Already the subject of protests before airing a single episode, Dads is the first live-action Fox sitcom from animation dominator Seth MacFarlane, who is producing the show created by his Ted co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi star as a pair of successful video game developers whose somewhat stable lives are upended when their fathers (Martin Mull, Peter Riegert) move in with them. Don't count the Media Action Network for Asian Americans as fans; that watchdog group has demanded reshoots of "racist" scenes in the premiere, a request that Fox promptly rejected. Critics also noted rampant racial (and other) insensitivity in the pilot episode, though they were more taken aback by the show's extreme awfulness; it's easily the most hated pilot of the year.
Enlisted Watch trailer
Comedy | Fridays at 9:30p starting November 8
"This comedy is well cast and made me smile quite a few times. If we're lucky, it'll develop into a sitcom version of 'Stripes.'"
—Maureen Ryan, Huffington Post
This single-camera comedy comes from Cougar Town co-creator Kevin Biegel, who loosely based it on his own life. Enlisted finds three very different brothers working together at a small Army base in Florida. Geoff Stults (The Finder) plays the natural leader, who is assigned to the base's Rear Detachment (composed of the misfits who aren't good enough to be sent overseas to the front lines) as punishment after a fight with a superior officer. Chris Lowell (Veronica Mars) is the smart but cynical middle brother, and Parker Young (who is departing Suburgatory) is the overenthusiastic youngest sibling. Though unsophisticated and goofy—and a bit lacking in laughs—the pilot drew mostly positive comments from critics, with some feeling the show has potential.
Sleepy Hollow Watch trailer
Drama/Fantasy | Mondays at 9p starting September 16
"If you're familiar with director Len Wiseman... you'll know exactly what to expect from anything he touches: high gloss production design, lots of slow motion action and a seriously convoluted plot."
—Scott A. Gray, Exclaim
Certainly the weirdest of Fox's new shows, this supernatural thriller—based very loosely on Washington Irving's 19th century story—comes from writer/producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Transformers) and director Len Wiseman (best known for the Underworld film franchise). Relatively unknown English actor Tom Mison stars as Ichabod Crane, a Revolutionary War soldier who somehow time travels to a Starbucks-filled, present-day Sleepy Hollow, New York, though even now he is haunted by a headless horseman, who happens to be the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Oh, and he is also wrongly indicted for the murder of a police officer. And is a Freemason. And sees the ghost of his dead wife. If all that seems silly, far-fetched, and overly complicated on paper, well, that's what critics thought of the pilot, too.
More new and returning Fox shows this season
24 Day/time tbd (May 2014)
Jack Bauer is a tough man to kill, indeed. After going off the air—presumably, for good—in 2010 with its season 8 finale, 24 will return next summer as a limited "event" series, with its usual 24 hours worth of plot developments and phone conversations compressed into 12 hours of airtime. Not only will stars Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub return, but key behind-the-camera talent is back as well, including much of the original writing staff, executive producer Howard Gordon (who, of course, is also a co-creator of Homeland), and frequent 24 director Jon Cassar.
American Dad! Sundays at 9:30p starting September 29
With The Cleveland Show gone, Fox will be down to two Seth MacFarlane animated shows this season, and next year it'll be one: this is American Dad!'s final year on the network, though new episodes will continue to be produced and will air on TBS beginning in the fall of 2014. Guests this season include Alan Thicke, Zooey Deschanel, Mark Cuban, Ellie Kemper, and Stanley Tucci.
American Idol Day/time tbd (January 2014)
Randy Jackson is leaving after 12 seasons. Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj are leaving after one. Original executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick have been forced out. Jennifer Lopez is back. Jackson might not be leaving after all, though he may a mentor rather than judge. Kanye West was reportedly invited to join but turned the show down. There certainly is plenty of drama and excitement surrounding American Idol as it nears its 13th season; too bad it's all off screen. New producers (and MTV Video Music Award vets) Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager have promised to "freshen things up" in an attempt to reverse the show's ongoing ratings slide; they'll need to start by finding two more judges (with the rumored contender Dr. Luke saying no to the show just this week) to join Lopez and the returning Karl Urban. THR is reporting this week that the prolonged judge search could impact the start of production, which could potentially cause a later-than-normal start to the season.
Bob's Burgers Sundays at 8:30p starting September 29
The acclaimed show's fourth season will feature Molly Shannon, Bobcat Goldthwait, Rachel Dratch, Jordan Peele, Matt Walsh, and Will Forte in addition to returning guests like Aziz Ansari, Megan Mullally, and Tim Meadows.
Bones Mondays at 8p starting September 16
Freddie Prinze Jr. and John Ratzenberger will guest in a ninth season that will include Booth and Brennan's wedding. Note that after starting the season on Mondays, the series will shift to Fridays at 8p beginning November 8th.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Day/time tbd (Spring 2014) Watch trailer
Hosted by astrophysicist/writer/podcaster Neil deGrasse Tyson, this update of Carl Sagan's legendary astronomy documentary series comes from an unlikely producer: Seth MacFarlane. (Star Trek veteran Brannon Braga will also produce and direct). The 13-part miniseries will air on the National Geographic Channel in addition to Fox.
Family Guy Sundays at 9p starting September 29
Guests on the animated comedy's 12th season include Bryan Cranston, Lauren Bacall, Peter Dinklage, Conan O'Brien, Liam Neeson, Two and a Half Men's Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer, Dennis Farina, Jeff Daniels, and Adam Levine.
The Following Day/time tbd (Early 2014)
Expect a January return for Fox's Kevin Bacon-starring thriller. Season 2 will also return James Purefoy (who may not be as dead as he last appeared), while adding Connie Nielsen (Boss) and Jessica Stroup (90210) to the regular cast and Keith Carradine, Sam Underwood (both, Dexter alumni), Valerie Cruz (Homeland), and James McDaniel (NYPD Blue) in recurring roles.
Gang Related Day/time tbd (May 2014) Watch trailer
Like The Shield, this Brian Grazer-produced crime procedural also centers on an elite L.A.P.D. task force charged with suppressing gang activity but sometimes falling on the wrong side of the law themselves. Here, though, the morally-challenged cop (Ramon Rodriguez, Charlie's Angels) is operating alone: he's actually a gang member who has been working in law enforcement for a decade and now finds his loyalties torn between both sides. Lost's Terry O'Quinn and Wu-Tang Clan's RZA also star for creator Chris Morgan (screenwriter of three Fast & Furious movies). Critics seemed to like the pilot, but Fox is keeping the show shelved until May, when it may be paired with 24.
Glee Thursdays at 9p starting September 26
Originally set to debut earlier in September, Glee's fifth season has been delayed to allow time for cast and crew to deal with the death of star Cory Monteith. (His character, Finn, will be written off the show in episode three, following a more lighthearted two-part Beatles tribute to start the season). Five of last year's new additions have been elevated to series regulars, while longtime regulars like Heather Morris, Mark Salling, and Amber Riley will see their roles reduced or dropped entirely. Newcomers will include Adam Lambert and Demi Lovato. Note that Glee has already been renewed for another season beyond this one, though that sixth season will likely be the show's last.
Masterchef Junior Fridays at 8p starting September 27
This cooking competition spin-off from Gordon Ramsay's MasterChef borrows the format but features younger contestants. Make that much younger: the "chefs" will range in age from eight to 13, presumably making it easier for Ramsay to relate to them.
The Mindy Project Tuesdays at 9:30p starting September 17
Upcoming guests on the comedy's second season include Adam Pally, Glenn Howerton, Timothy Olyphant, James Franco, Chloe Sevigny, and Bill Hader.
Murder Police Day/time tbd (2014)
This animated cop comedy comes from one of the producers of Family Guy (David A. Goodman) and animator Jason Ruiz, who also heads the voice cast. Joining him are the voices of Jane Lynch, Will Sasso, Chi McBride, and Phil LaMarr (Futurama). Let's just say they're not the best cops in the world.
New Girl Tuesdays at 9p starting September 17
Damon Wayans Jr., who was in the original pilot episode (but had to leave the series when, at the time, Happy Endings was unexpectedly renewed), will return to New Girl for at least four episodes this third season, while Apt. 23's Dreama Walker will also guest.
Raising Hope Fridays at 9p starting November 8
Series creator Greg Garcia will no longer be part of the show as it enters its fourth season and moves to Friday nights. Jeffrey Tambor will guest on an early episode.
Rake Day/time tbd (Early 2014) Watch trailer
Rake looks to fill the void left by House, though this time the misanthropic protagonist is a lawyer, not a doctor. Greg Kinnear takes his first regular series television starring role (he also hosted Talk Soup and Later in the 1990s and received an Emmy nomination for The Kennedys miniseries) as a brilliant but self-destructive criminal defense attorney with a reputation for speaking his mind too freely and ongoing problems with gambling, the IRS, a prostitute, and an ex-wife. The dramedy is based on an acclaimed Australian series (whose creator, Peter Duncan, is also on board here as a producer), and the pilot was directed by Sam Raimi. Miranda Otto and John Ortiz (Luck) also star. The unfocused pilot didn't exactly wow critics, though many feel the show has potential.
Short-Com Comedy Hour Day/time tbd (2014)
This tentatively titled (and still uncast) variety series will blend comedy sketches with music and filmed pieces.
The Simpsons Sundays at 8p starting September 29
Guests during the show's 25th (!) season include Zach Galifianakis, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Elizabeth Moss, Daniel Radcliffe, Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Aaron Sorkin, Harlan Ellison, and Stan Lee, while a script written by a then-unknown Judd Apatow on spec more than two decades ago will finally get produced. A Futurama/Simpsons crossover episode—in which Bender comes back from the future to kill Bart—is also in production; you'll either see it as the final Simpsons episode of the season in May or as the first episode of next season.
Surviving Jack Day/time tbd (2014)Watch trailer
Justin Halpern, creator of the short-lived $#*! My Dad Says, tries once again to adapt his own material, though this time it's a memoir (I Suck at Girls) rather than a Twitter feed, which should presumably provide for slightly more in-depth storylines. (It also helps that Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence is on board as executive producer.) Christopher Meloni (True Blood, Law & Order: SVU), Connor Buckley (Deception), and Oscar Nunez (The Office) star in this period comedy about a stay-at-home father raising his teenage son during the 1990s. Critics see potential here, though not everyone liked the pilot.
Us & Them Day/time tbd (Spring 2014) Watch trailer
Adapted from the acclaimed British comedy Gavin & Stacey (after two previous failed attempts), this single-camera comedy stars Jason Ritter (Parenthood) and Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) as a new couple who attempt to make a long-distance romance work after meeting online, while also overcoming their eccentric families' numerous differences. Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle), Michael Ian Black, Kerri Kenney (Reno 911!), Dustin Ybarra, and Kurt Fuller also star. Critics found the pilot messy and inferior to the original series. The show will likely debut in April.
Wayward Pines Day/time tbd (Summer 2014)
Decisively defeated by movies, director M. Night Shyamalan is retreating to the small screen with this summer "event" series based on Blake Crouch's best-selling novel Pines. Already being described by the network as Shyamalan's Twin Peaks (comment withheld), the series will focus on a Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) who begins an investigation in a seemingly idyllic Idaho small town that begins revealing a much more sinister side. The good news is that Shyamalan is not writing the series (Playboy Club's Chad Hodge has that responsibility), and the excellent cast includes Melissa Leo, Toby Jones, Terrence Howard, Carla Gugino, and Shannyn Sossamon.
The X Factor Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8p starting September 11/12
Like its older cousin Idol, X Factor itself is undergoing some tinkering as it heads into season three. Some of the changes seem financially motivated; there will be fewer big production numbers in early weeks, while the winner will receive $1 million instead of $5 million. At the judges table, L.A. Reid and Britney Spears are out (as is co-host Khloe Kardashian), while Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio will join as new judges/mentors.
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