It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, I’m not talking about Christmas, it’s the glorious return of television after the fall hiatus! While our favorite shows are returning, lest we forget there is a whole new crop of shows just dying to be kept alive by network execs.
In television history, this time of year determines who will have a job at the end of the season and who will not. Some are bad, some are great, some are bad but go on for multiple seasons (Two and a Half Men), some are great but only live on for half a season (RIP Ben and Kate).
But have no fear. We are here to help guide you to the land of good television. Who knows if these shows will be the last ones standing, but at least you’ll waste your time on good shows instead of the bad ones. Do you have any favorites that are missing from this list?
Premieres: Monday, September 23rd – NBC – 10pm
Starring: James Spader (Boston Legal, The Office, all around 80s icon), Diego Klattenhoff (Uncle Mike from Homeland, Shane Omen from Mean Girls)
Plot: James Spader plays Red Reddington, one of the FBI’s most wanted. He surprisingly turns himself in and offers to help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, but he’ll only work with new FBI profiler Liz Keen, played by Megan Boone. This terrorist guy isn’t the only criminal Red can help put behind bars, he has a massive list – a ‘blacklist’ if you will – of other wanted politicians, mobsters, spies and terrorists, but will only help the FBI if Liz continues as his partner.
Why You Should Give It a Shot: Out of all the network shows debuting this fall, The Blacklist tested better than all other 125 NBC drama pilots in the past decade. Better than ER? So this has to be good. Or the pilot, at least.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Premieres: Tuesday, September 24th – ABC – 8pm
Starring: Clark Gregg (duh, Agent Coulson), Ming-Na Wen (ER, the greatest Disney classic Mulan)
Plot: You may remember Agent Coulson from the Marvel superhero movie franchise, and now he’s getting his on show. Coulson puts together a task force to investigate the growing number of people with superpowers, and that’s pretty much it.
Why You Should Give It a Shot: Because it’s supposed to be the biggest new show this season, and you don’t want to be the guy who has nothing to say around the watercooler the following day. Do people still go to watercoolers?
Masters of Sex
Premieres: Sunday, September 29th – Showtime – 10pm
Starring: Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon, Wesley Snipes on 30 Rock, ex-boyfriend of Rachel McAdams), Lizzy Caplan (Party Down, Cloverfield, ex-costar of Rachel McAdams)
Plot: Set in the 1950s, this drama centers around William Masters (Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Caplan) as they take on the risque study of researching the medical side of sex.
Why You Should Give It a Shot: This is the only non-network show on the list, but it seems too good to leave it off. Shows that push the button are always poised to be good TV, but with a cast like this and the perfect mix of drama and comedy, this is definitely one to look out for come awards season.
Premieres: Tuesday, September 24th – ABC – 9:30pm
Starring: Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, often the center of my dreams), Malin Ackerman (Couples Retreat, Rock of Ages), Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River, season two resident lawyer on The Newsroom), Michaela Watkins (former SNL cast member)
Plot: Bradley Whitford is on his third wife – the young, reformed party girl Kate (Ackerman). She is thrown into an unconventional family, which includes his first ex-wife Diane (Harden), the hardass doctor with whom he has two teenage kids, and second ex-wife Jackie, a granola/hippie mom with whom he adopted a spunky Asian kid.
Why You Should Give It a Shot: Because Bradley Whitford needs to be on a TV series that is successful again. Also it’s funny. Don’t trust me? (rude) You can watch the pilot on Hulu before it comes on the small screen!
Brooklyn Nine Nine
Premieres: Tuesday, September 17th – FOX- 8:30pm
Starring: Andy Samberg (SNL, Celeste and Jesse Forever, often has Dick in a Box), Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street), Chelsea Peretti (former Parks & Rec writer, stand up comic, Twitter life ruiner)
Plot: A police workplace comedy featuring carefree cop Jake Peralta (Samberg) who has to work under a new no nonsense boss in Captain Ray Holt (Braugher).
Why You Should Give It a Shot: A show created by Parks and Rec mastermind and The Office’s Mose, Michael Schur and another Parks writer Dan Goor, it’s sure to have a few LOL moments. Basically Schur’s TV forte is getting former SNL cast members and making them stars of their own comedies. It helps that he used to write for SNL too.
Super Fun Night
Premieres: Wednesday, October 2nd – ABC – 9:30pm
Starring: Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect, all-around hilarious lady), Liz Lapira (Crazy Stupid Love, Don’t Trust The B-, Traffic Light aka shows only I watched)
Plot: Kimmie Boubier (Wilson) is a junior attorney who has had a standing date every Friday with her best friends for the past 13 years. Their motto is “Always together! Always inside!”, which makes me feel like we’re soulmates. But now because of a cute British co-worker and networking opportunities, Kimmie feels the need to actually go out and meet people for once.
Why You Should Give It a Shot: Rebel Wilson. Executive produced by Conan O’Brien. Theoretically this show should be a hit.