Every fall, the major TV networks premiere a slew of new shows, many of which won’t survive to see a second season – if they even survive to the end of this season. This fall, the major five networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and The CW) are premiering 21 new comedies and dramas. What shows will you want to check out? Which ones will you want to avoid? We’re taking a look at all 21 new programs and giving you our honest, unfiltered opinions.
666 Park Avenue
Sundays at 10pm (ABC)
What’s It About? An innocent Midwestern couple become the resident managers of The Drake, an affluent Upper East Side apartment building where the residents have all made deals with the devil to get their deepest desires met.
Who’s Involved? A lot of ABC alums, led by Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters) and Rachael Taylor (Charlie’s Angels). Terry O’Quinn (Lost) and Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives) also star as The Drake’s owners.
How Will It Do? Sunday nights are competitive, but 666 caps a night of similarly-themed programming for ABC that begins with Once Upon a Time and Revenge. It should hold onto a good chunk of Revenge’s audience.
Does It Look Good? The cast is appealing, and the concept is both dark and soapy. It could go either way.
Mondays at 8:30pm (CBS)
What’s It About? Two best friends – Louis is gay, while Joe is straight – find their relationship tested when Joe proposes to his girlfriend.
Who’s Involved? This one comes from David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the creators of Will & Grace. The cast includes Michael Urie, David Krumholtz, Sophia Bush, and Brandon Routh.
How Will It Do? CBS’ Monday night sitcoms generally do rather well. It follows How I Met Your Mother, which is still growing in audience as it enters its eighth season.
Does It Look Good? If you enjoyed Will & Grace, you should enjoy this. Hopefully it sticks more to the early days of W&G, though.
The Mob Doctor
Mondays at 9pm (FOX)
What’s It About? Dr. Grace Devlin is a surgeon with ties to the mob. The title really gives this one away.
Who’s Involved? Jordana Spiro is the main star of the show, though it includes some impressive supporting players, including William Forsythe, Zach Gilford and Zeljko Ivanek.
How Will It Do? It’s up against Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and CBS’ comedy block. It doesn’t look pretty.
Does It Look Good? FOX should look for a replacement organ—er, program. Stat.
Mondays at 10pm (NBC)
What’s It About? In a post-apocalyptic world where electricity doesn’t exist, a group of survivors try to figure out what happened to the technology.
Who’s Involved? The show comes from the combined minds of J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural). Stars include Billy Burke, Elizabeth Mitchell and Giancarlo Esposito.
How Will It Do? It’s getting the plum post-Voicetimeslot. That’s as good of a bet as any on NBC’s schedule, even if Castle and Hawaii 5-0 will likely do better.
Does It Look Good? With the creative talent in front of and behind the camera, it’s promising.
Ben and Kate
Tuesdays at 8:30pm (FOX)
What’s It About? Ben moves in with his sister, Kate, to take care of her daughter Maddie.
Who’s Involved? Nat Faxon, who won an Oscar for writing The Descendents, stars as Ben.
How Will It Do? It’s going against Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and NCIS. If it pulls in decent numbers in fourth place, though, it may survive the season.
Does It Look Good? Critics are loving this one. It looks like a key piece of FOX’s new comedy block.
Emily Owens, M.D.
Tuesdays at 9pm (CW)
What’s It About? Emily is a med school graduate navigating hospital life, which seems eerily similar to the craziness of high school.
Who’s Involved? Mamie Gummer stars. You may have heard of her mother, a little known actress who goes by Meryl Streep. She’s supposed to be a big deal or something…
How Will It Do? CW ratings normally don’t have to compare to the other four main networks. If it can pull in 1.5 million people or more, it should do well.
Does It Look Good? Surprisingly, yes. It should be worth a viewing or two, at least.
Tuesdays at 9pm (NBC)
What’s It About? Ryan King is a sportscaster who turns to a rather eclectic support group after his wife dies.
Who’s Involved? Matthew Perry takes the lead on this one.
How Will It Do? It’s immediately following The Voice, and the pilot had a special airing during the Olympics. If it doesn’t lose too much of its Voice lead-in, it should do fine.
Does It Look Good? There’s some potential here. Perry is great, as always, though this unfortunately keeps him from doing more regular appearances on The Good Wife.
The New Normal
Tuesdays at 8:30pm (FOX)
What’s It About? Goldie, a single mom, wants to start a new life for herself and her daughter, Shania. She ends up being the surrogate for Bryan and David, who want to start their own family.
Who’s Involved? Justin Bartha (The Hangover) and Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon) play David and Bryan, respectively. Ellen Barkin also stars as Goldie’s…offensive mother. Oh, and NeNe Leakes is also starring.
How Will It Do? It has the (dis)honor of being the first new show of the season to be boycotted and banned, thanks to One Million Moms and Utah, respectively. There are three sitcoms airing in this slot, so as long as it doesn’t come in last, it should be fine.
Does It Look Good? Potentially, maybe. Ryan Murphy’s shows – Glee, American Horror Story,Nip/Tuck – tend to do well in their first season before spiraling out of control. But really, NeNe Leakes again? Stop hiring her, Ryan Murphy. Just stop.
The Mindy Project
Tuesdays at 9:30pm (FOX)
What’s It About? Mindy is a single woman with a blossoming career as an OBGYN, but a much less impressive love life. She’s also a shameless lover of romantic comedies.
Who’s Involved? Mindy Kaling is both star and creator of this show. Chris Messina, who’s been everywhere on TV the past few years (including Damages and The Newsroom), also stars.
How Will It Do? It follows New Girl, and it’s quite possibly the best pairing of shows this season. It’ll compete against The New Normal, but it looks like Mindy has the edge.
Does It Look Good? Yes. Kaling was one of the best bit players of The Office, and this will give her a chance to truly shine. Judge for yourself, though – the pilot’s streaming on Hulu now.
Tuesdays at 8:30pm (FOX)
What’s It About? Set in the 1960s, Vegas is based on the true story of Sheriff Ralph Lamb, who goes up against a powerful gangster to bring order to the city.
Who’s Involved? In the biggest casting coup of the fall, Dennis Quaid makes his TV series debut here as Lamb. Michael Chiklis, Jason O’Mara, and Carrie-Anne Moss are among his costars.
How Will It Do? It follows CBS’ NCIS programs, so the lead-ins are good. At the same time, though, dramas that deviate from CBS’ procedural format tend to do poorly. It’s a tossup.
Does It Look Good? The creative talent is certainly promising. It’s got cops, mobsters, and a western vibe all rolled into one package. If done right, it could be very good. However, if we learned anything last year, it is that period dramas don’t perform well on network television (hello,Pan Am and The Playboy Club).
Wednesdays at 8pm (NBC)
What’s It About? A veterinarian prefers his four-legged patients over their two-legged owners. Think House for pets.
Who’s Involved? Justin Kirk headlines, but promos have focused heavily on Crystal the Monkey (The Hangover, Community), who gets regular cast billing.
How Will It Do? Probably poorly. The program had a sneak peek on NBC in the middle of the closing ceremonies, which didn’t go over well with Olympic fans. Plus, it’s up against Survivor andThe X Factor.
Does It Look Good? Not even a little bit. It looks like a waste of Justin Kirk’s talent.
Wednesdays at 8pm (CW)
What’s It About? Oliver Queen is a wealthy playboy by day. By night, though, he’s crime-fighter Green Arrow.
Who’s Involved? Stephen Arnell stars as Green Arrow in a take that’s very different from the character’s role on Smallville.
How Will It Do? Again, CW standards come into play. Buzz for the show is promising, though, so that helps.
Does It Look Good? Yes. It’s a darker, grittier take on the character. It looks very promising.
Guys with Kids
Wednesdays at 8:30pm (NBC)
What’s It About? Three dads who live in the same apartment building learn how to parent together.
Who’s Involved? Anthony Anderson and Jesse Bradford are among the dads, while the moms include Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Tempestt Bledsoe.
How Will It Do? With a weak lead-in and a competitive time slot, it’ll probably bomb.
Does It Look Good? It makes time-slot companion Animal Practice look good.
Wednesdays at 8:30pm (ABC)
What’s It About? A family moves into a gated community – one that’s populated by aliens.
Who’s Involved? Lenny Venito and Jami Gertz star. Google will be your friend here.
How Will It Do? It’s a competitive time slot, but it’s bookended by The Middle, which does well with little promotion, and Modern Family, the #1 comedy on television.
Does It Look Good? What is it with Wednesday nights and new comedies this year? Skip it. Aliens are not going to be the new Vampires or Werewolves.
Wednesdays at 10pm (NBC)
What’s It About? This procedural focuses on Chicago’s Firehouse 51 and the lives of its firefighters.
Who’s Involved? Dick Wolf of Law & Order fame created the show, which stars Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, and David Eisenberg.
How Will It Do? Hard to tell. It’s following Law & Order: SVU, which tends to do poorly when it’s not on at 10pm. It’s also up against CSI, which may have faded in recent years, but still does well.
Does It Look Good? If you like procedurals, particularly the Dick Wolf kind, you may enjoy this. It’s got a talented cast, though, so it could work.
Wednesdays at 10pm (ABC)
What’s It About? Rayna James is a 40-something country singer with fading popularity. The solution? Her record company wants her to open for teen sensation Juliette Barnes.
Who’s Involved? The always-impressive Connie Britton stars as Rayna, with Hayden Panettiere co-starring as Juliette. The show comes from Callie Khouri, the writer of Thelma and Louise. Plus, there’s a good bit of original music courtesy of producer T-Bone Burnett and songwriters that include The Civil Wars.
How Will It Do? ABC wisely swapped timeslots for The Neighbors and Suburgatory after the fall schedule was initially announced, which should help keep viewers around. Plus, the only real competition is CSI. It has a strong chance of doing well.
Does It Look Good? It’s the strongest new show on ABC this fall, and it looks like one of the best new shows, period.
Thursdays at 8pm (ABC)
What’s It About? A submarine crew defies an order to fire nuclear weapons, then declare themselves the world’s smallest nuclear nation at a NATO base.
Who’s Involved? Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman star, while Shawn Ryan serves as creator.
How Will It Do? The 8pm slot is a bit of a death trap for ABC. The only show that’s done well there in the last decade was Ugly Betty. Plus, it’s a bit off-brand for ABC. Not promising.
Does It Look Good? Yes. The concept sounds weird, but go with it. It looks amazing.
Beauty and the Beast
Thursdays at 9pm (CW)
What’s It About? Detective Catherine Chandler strikes up a romance with Vincent Keller, a doctor who went MIA in Afghanistan in 2002.
Who’s Involved? Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan star in this reboot of the Linda Hamilton/Ron Perlman starrer from 1987.
How Will It Do? Kreuk is CW royalty, thanks to her time as Lana on Smallville. It’s also following The Vampire Diaries, The CW’s biggest hit. It should do well.
Does It Look Good? It has some potential. While promos have Ryan’s “Beast” looking rather sexy, future episodes promise to show an actual beastly side to the character.
Thursdays at 10pm (CBS)
What’s It About? In this particular adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes is an NYPD consultant, while Watson is his companion and a former surgeon. Also, Watson’s a woman in this version.
Who’s Involved? Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu star as Holmes and Watson.
How Will It Do? Sherlock Holmes is all the rage these days, and it’s on CBS. It should do rather well.
Does It Look Good? Yes. If you’re a fan of BBC’s Sherlock, note that it’s not a remake of that program – it’s just another adaptation of the classic character.
Fridays at 8:30pm (ABC)
What’s It About? Reba splits from her two-timing husband and moves from Nashville to Malibu to start a new life.
Who’s Involved? Reba McEntire, obviously. The show also stars Lily Tomlin as Reba’s mother and Sara Rue as Reba’s new neighbor.
How Will It Do? It’s paired up with Last Man Standing as another attempt by ABC to reboot their TGIF identity. With Friday nights generally being weak ratings nights, only being a complete bomb will kill it.
Does It Look Good? Not especially. Reba’s not a great actress, but she can be funny, and Lily Tomlin looks amusing. It may not be a total waste of time, but it doesn’t look like appointment TV, either.
Made in Jersey
Fridays at 8:30pm (ABC)
What’s It About? Martina Garretti is an attorney from New Jersey trying to make it at a Manhattan law firm.
Who’s Involved? British import Janet Montgomery stars as Jersey-bred Garretti. Interesting choice. The supporting cast includes Kyle MacLachlan, Stephanie March and Donna Murphy.
How Will It Do? CBS generally does well Friday nights, and this one’s bookended by CSI: NY andBlue Bloods. Then again, CBS has the luxury of cancelling shows with ratings other networks would kill to have, so it needs to do very well.
Does It Look Good? Meh. It’s filled with Jersey stereotypes and implausible breakthroughs for Garretti. Newcomer Montgomery does well in the role, though.