2013 Fall TV Preview: Our Comprehensive Guide to the Season's New and Returning Shows

  • Publish Date: August 28, 2013
  • Comments: ↓ 3 user comments

CBSCBS: New fall shows

NEW The Crazy Ones Watch trailer
Comedy | Thursdays at 9p starting September 26

What they said about the pilot:

"I don't really need to watch 'The Robin Williams Funny Voices Variety Half-Hour,' so I'll probably give this an episode or two to settle before deciding."

—Daniel Fienberg, HitFix


"Crazy Ones is hardly a groundbreaking piece of comedy, [but] it looks like it could have appeal for the network's viewers."

—Mitch Salem, ShowBuzzDaily

Mork and Buffy? Robin Williams returns to series television for the first time since departing his breakout sitcom in 1982, starring alongside former vampire slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar (last seen in Ringer, though there's no need to remember that). The two stars play odd-couple father-daughter ad agency executives—he's the brilliant but crazy one, she's the organized and practical one—in a single-camera workplace comedy from David E. Kelley, the veteran producer of hourlong dramas (Ally McBeal, Boston Legal) who is returning to the shorter sitcom format for the first time since Doogie Howser, M.D. Also starring are James Wolk (recently seen playing a different advertising executive, Bob Benson, on Mad Men) and Hamish Linklater (The New Adventures of Old Christine), while Kelly Clarkson guests in the opener. Critics were generally bullish on the pilot, though many warned that Williams is in especially manic form here, so your mileage may vary.

NEW Hostages Watch trailer
Drama | Mondays at 10p starting September 23

What they said about the pilot:

"Collette, Donovan, and McDermott are very good, and this could develop into something twisty and taut. I'm just not sure it's there yet."

—Jace Lacob, The Daily Beast

It looks like another case of an interesting premise that could turn problematic when stretched into an ongoing series, though producers insist that it can run for many seasons. At any rate, Hostages is a rare serialized drama for CBS, though the network is hedging its bet by ordering a short (15-episode) season, which will conclude in January. Based on an idea for an Israeli series that was never actually made, this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced conspiracy thriller centers on a Washington D.C. surgeon (Toni Collette, an Emmy winner for United States of Tara) who is selected to operate on the president, only to have her husband (Tate Donovan, Damages) and children taken hostage immediately thereafter. She is then told to kill the president during surgery if she wants to keep her family alive. Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story) and Rhys Coiro (Entourage) also star for series creator Jeffrey Nachmanoff, who has written for Homeland (and also penned the script for The Day After Tomorrow). Critics were mixed on the pilot, with several pointing out that it was just The Mob Doctor with better talent in front of the camera.

NEW The Millers Watch trailer
Comedy | Thursdays at 8:30p starting October 3

What they said about the pilot:

"A waste of a phenomenal cast."

—Laura Prudom, Huffington Post

The good news is that Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Up All Night) and Emmy winner Margo Martindale (Justified, The Americans) have work. The bad news is that it's in The Millers, which doesn't look likely to be the most sophisticated comedy on the CBS schedule (let's just say the pilot is filled with fart jokes). Still, the series—not to be confused with the similarly titled but unrelated movie now in theaters—comes from Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl, Raising Hope), and also stars Beau Bridges and JB Smoove. (Happy Endings' Eliza Coupe will also recur, beginning with the fourth episode.) Arnett plays a newly divorced news reporter whose feuding parents follow his lead and separate. To his dismay, his mother (Martindale) moves in with him, while his father (Bridges) crashes with his sister and her husband (played by Glee's Jayma Mays and Nelson Franklin). Critics universally disliked the pilot, though it has since undergone some writing and casting changes.

NEW Mom Watch trailer
Comedy | Mondays at 9:30p starting September 23

What they said about the pilot:

"The combination of Anna Faris and Allison Janney is as delicious as that sounds on paper, but when they aren't sharing scenes with each other—as they weren't for the first half of the pilot—the show slums in groan-joke territory."

—Kevin Fallon, The Daily Beast

Another year, another Chuck Lorre series on CBS. The creator of hits such as Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, and The Big Bang Theory returns with a sitcom that stars Anna Faris (Scary Movie) in her first regular TV role as recovering alcoholic and single mother who tries to rebuild her life as a waitress in Napa Valley, where she moves in with her mom (Allison Janney, The West Wing). The strong cast also includes French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun), Nate Corddry (Harry's Law), and Matt Jones (Breaking Bad's Badger), while Justin Long will join the series after the premiere as a love interest for Faris' character. Critics found themselves liking the pilot a lot more than they were expecting (though also finding it to be just as raunchy as they were expecting).

NEW We Are Men Watch trailer
Comedy | Mondays at 8:30p starting September 30

What they said about the pilot:

"Boring. It just didn't gel. This could be CBS's first casualty of the season."

—Chris Harnick, Huffington Post

Relative newcomer Christopher Nicholas Smith (Paranormal Activity 3) stars as a younger man who seeks advice from his older neighbors—all recently single—after ending a relationship and moving into a short-term rental complex. Those neighbors? Tony Shalhoub (Monk), Kal Penn (House), and Jerry O'Connell (The Defenders). The sitcom was created by Rob Greenberg, a producer on How I Met Your Mother. Among critics, this was easily the least liked pilot of CBS's new fall shows—a few compared it to a middle-aged, less glitzy Entourage—and reviewers also felt that Smith failed to hold his own against his better known co-stars.

More new and returning CBS shows this season

2 Broke Girls Mondays at 9p starting September 23
The comedy's third season will find the girls a bit less broke when their cupcake business begins to take off.

NEW Bad Teacher Day/time tbd (2014)
A late pickup by CBS this year, this midseason comedy will find Ari Graynor taking over the Cameron Diaz role from the 2011 movie of the same name. Kristin Davis, Ryan Hansen, Sara Gilbert, and David Alan Grier are also expected to star.

The Big Bang Theory Thursdays at 8p starting September 26
Bob Newhart and Regina King will return as a guest stars for several episodes of the comedy's 7th season, which kicks off with back-to-back episodes on September 26th.

Blue Bloods Fridays at 10p starting September 27
Bebe Neuwirth will have a multi-episode guest arc on the drama's fourth season, while other guests will include Ali Wentworth and Marc Blucas.

Criminal Minds Wednesdays at 9p starting September 25
Esai Morales will have a recurring role in the drama's ninth season, while guests will include Camryn Manheim, David Anders, and Eva LaRue.

CSI Wednesdays at 10p starting September 25
The final CSI standing will broadcast its 14th season this year, including its landmark 300th episode (which will find departed regular Marg Helgenberger returning as a guest star). Ted Danson will once again be at the helm of the Vegas CSI unit, and his former Cheers co-star John Ratzenberger will guest on an upcoming episode. Expect star George Eads to be missing from multiple episodes as a result of an on-set dispute with one of the show's writers.

Elementary Thursdays at 10p starting September 26
The Sherlock Holmes procedural will head to London for its second season premiere, in which Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) will begin a recurring role as Holmes brother, Mycroft. Upcoming guests will include Jeremy Jordan (Smash) and Lynn Collins (True Blood).

NEW Extant tbd summer 2014
This Steven Spielberg-produced sci-fi series was recently ordered as a summer complement to Under the Dome. The story revolves around a female astronaut who returns home after spending a year in space.

NEW Friends with Better Lives Day/time tbd (2014)
James Van Der Beek's (Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23) latest attempt at sitcom fame stars the Beek and Kevin Connolly (Entourage) as part of a group of six friends (naturally) who covet each other's lives; the former's a successful gynecologist (whose ex-wife just cheated on him), while the latter plays a happily married dad who longs for the days of less responsibility. Critics haven't seen the pilot.

The Good Wife Sundays at 9p starting September 29
CBS's most critically acclaimed drama returns for a fifth season that will see Zach Grenier bumped up to series regular, while Ben Rappaport will join the cast on a recurring basis. Guest stars will include Jeffrey Tambor, plus returnees America Ferrera, Carrie Preston, and Gary Cole.

Hawaii Five-0 Fridays at 9p starting September 27
The drama's fourth season finds it on a new night: Fridays, rather than its traditional Mondays. Guests this season will include a trio of Lost vets—Henry Ian Cusick, Jorge Garcia, and the returning Terry O'Quinn—plus Melanie Griffith, Nick Jonas, Chi McBride (who will recur), Tim Daly, Carol Burnett, and Rebecca De Mornay.

How I Met Your Mother Mondays at 8p starting September 23
The mother (Cristin Milioti, now a series regular) has been met, and the comedy's ninth and final season will take place entirely over the course of Barney and Robin's wedding weekend. Expect many past guest stars to return, including John Lithgow, Tim Gunn, and Wayne Brady, while newcomers this year will include Sherri Shepherd, Ellie Kemper, and Roger Bart.

NEW Intelligence Mondays at 10p starting February 24, 2014 Watch trailer
In this action-filled procedural, Lost's Josh Holloway stars as the key agent of U.S. Cyber Command, a new government agency. He has been enhanced with a microchip implanted in his brain that allows him to view the entire electromagnetic spectrum and connect to the internet, among other things. (Sure, it seems like they could have just given him an iPhone and saved a few million dollars, but where's the fun in that.) Marg Helgenberger (CSI), Meghan Ory (who is leaving Once Upon a Time), and Michael Rady (The Mentalist, Melrose Place) also star. Some critics found the pilot serviceable; others deemed it too hokey.

The Mentalist Sundays at 10p starting September 29
Season 6 will see series veterans Amanda Righetti and Owain Yeoman departing the show, while two new cast members will be added at some point to replace them. One of those might be Rockmond Dunbar (Sons of Anarchy), who will begin midseason as a recurring guest and could become a regular. Before that, the ongoing mystery of Red John's identity will finally have a resolution this fall.

Mike & Molly Day/time tbd (early 2014)
Showrunner Mark Roberts has departed the series he created after three seasons, leaving season 4 in the hands of producer Al Higgins. CBS has ordered a full, 22-episode season, but it won't begin until early 2014, in a time slot that's still undetermined.

NCIS Tuesdays at 8p starting September 24
The hit drama's 11th season will be short one regular: after the season-opening two-parter, Cote de Pablo will depart the series—likely for good, though producers are not killing off her character, Ziva. Eventually, a new cast member will be added to fill the void; before then, Big Bang Theory's Margo Harshman will appear in a recurring role.

NCIS: Los Angeles Tuesdays at 9p starting September 24
The spin-off will celebrate its 100th episode during the upcoming fifth season.

Person of Interest Tuesdays at 10p starting September 24
Amy Acker (who plays the hacker Root) and Sarah Shahi (who plays government operative Samantha Shaw) will be elevated to series regulars for the drama's third season, which sees the show airing on a new night and time.

NEW Reckless Day/time tbd (2014)
This "sultry" (their word) legal drama is set in Charleston, S.C., where "a gorgeous Yankee litigator [Anna Wood] and a charming Southern attorney [Cam Gigandet] must hide their intense mutual attraction as a police sex scandal threatens to tear the city apart." In other words, it's a soap. Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is among the producers, and also directed the pilot, which has not yet been seen by critics.

Survivor Wednesdays at 8p starting September 18
This "Blood vs. Water" edition features returning contestants competing with (and against) their loved ones.

Two and a Half Men Thursdays at 9:30p starting September 26
There are more changes in store for the aging sitcom, now entering its 11th season. The series is shifting back to 9:30pm on Thursdays, and it is losing half a man: Angus T. Jones will no longer be part of the regular cast (though he may recur from time to time), with the actor deciding to pursue college instead. Filling the void will be new cast member Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia), who will play the long-lost lesbian daughter of Charlie (the departed Charlie Sheen). Lynda Carter will appear as a guest.

Under the Dome Day/time tbd (summer 2014)
A second season of the summer hit has been ordered for next year. By then, it may even be possible for Time Warner Cable customers to watch the show.

More shows ...

Continue to the next page for programs airing on The CW.

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Comments (3)

  • JoshLabron  

    I didn't see anything that panned the end of Nashville...!

  • cristane  

    Awesome as usual, thanks!

  • LamontRaymond  

    Brilliant, thank you!

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