Saturday, September 14, 2013

2013 Fall TV Preview

by Spider-Dan  


Ah, Fall, the season of football, crunchy leaves and of course, new television. This year is jam-packed with new shows to add to your constantly growing queue (or is that just me?). It is the time in which the major network channels force-feed us their new pilots, as they desperately attempt to be the most-watched network, the most-watched night or even just the most-watched time slot. Whatever the case may be, network TV will launch a slew of new shows, and with it will come some gold, some surprises and some that are destined for cancellation.

Before I begin, let's take a moment of silence for all of the shows that ended or were cancelled in the 2012-2013 TV season...

The following is a list of the notable fall premieres for network and cable television. (Cable TV does not operate on the same schedule as network TV, so you will see cable premieres sporadically placed throughout the year, depending on their networks broadcasting schedule.)

I'll break this down into two parts. New shows and returning shows, in order of their premiere dates.


This season is loaded up with new shows, especially over at NBC as they try to totally revamp their network schedule. This is a promising year for new shows, definitely the most excited I've been for an upcoming season in years. There looks to be some that will be instant favorites and some that make me question how their pilot was ever picked up. So, let's explore what this Fall season has to offer.

'Sleepy Hollow'
Premiering Monday September 16 at 9:00PM on FOX

This version of the classic Washington Irving tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", takes our protagonist, Ichabod Crane, out of 18th Century Sleepy Hollow and into the present day (through some type of time travel wormhole, I'm assuming). This is sure to be the most interesting take on the legend to date, as it certainly seems en route to be a genre-jumping, mish-mosh of classic story elements combined with contemporary styles and, well, supernatural science fiction, of course? Created by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the team that brought you 'Fringe' and 'Star Trek Into Darkness', look for 'Sleepy Hollow' to be a big hit, or a complete dud.

'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'
Premering Tuesday September 17 at 8:30PM on FOX

Starring Andy Samberg (Aaandy Sayhaimburggg, the correct pro-nun-ci-a-tion - Thanks Bill Hader ('Roast of James Franco' those of you missing the reference)) and Andre Braugher as an unlikely pairing of cops in a Brooklyn precinct. Samberg ('Saturday Night Live') will play the childish and nonsensical cop under the supervision of Braugher ('Last Resort') the gay police captain who has no patience for his antics. Also starring Terry Crews ('Arrested Development', 'The Expendables'),  Jo Lo Truglio ('Superbad', 'Role Models') and a couple of sexy police chicks. In the vain of hits like 'The Office', 'Parks and Recreation' and 'Modern Family', ''Brooklyn Nine-Nine' will be a documentary-style sitcom, mixed with police procedural elements. Although the concept is one that is used frequently, we have never seen it in a precinct, and can anyone remember the last time there was a cop comedy? 'CHiPS"? I have high hopes for this one, let's not forget 'Parks and Rec' sucked in it's first season but went on to become one of the funniest shows currently on TV. Here's to hoping 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' hits its stride straight from the pilot.

Premiering Tuesday September 17 at 8:00PM on FOX

In this newest creation from the mind of Seth Mcfarlane ('Family Guy', 'Ted') we see him team up with long-time friend and collaborator, Seth Green ('Family Guy', 'Robot Chicken') and Giovanni Ribisi ('Boiler Room', 'Gone in 60 Seconds') for his first swing at non-animated television. The show centers around the two video game developers whose father's both decide to move in. Expect tons of cliche Dad/Son awkward moments mixed in with hit-or-miss pop culture references (as with all Mcfarlane humor). The show has been buzzing in the news for its edgy content that already has some peoples panties in a knot. I have no idea how this one will be received. I know I'll be watching, but will the rest of America?

'The Blacklist'
Premiering Monday September 23 at 10:00PM on NBC

Ah, James Spader, the newly announced Ultron in 'Avengers 2: Age of Ultron'. This guy is an actor. He has such an entrancing voice and hypnotic delivery which is perfect for his role as criminal mastermind, Raymond "Red" Reddington, who turns himself in to the FBI to help catch other like-minded "villains" for reasons yet unknown (one can assume there is more to this plan than becoming one of the "good guys"). With a story-of-the-week premise, I'm hoping there will be enough serialized elements to keep me invested on a weekly basis. 'The Blacklist' looks to be NBC's new juggernaut, airing after 'The Voice' for that big lead-in. Will it live up to everything NBC has been investing in it, or will it flop like all of the other network failures in recent years? The idea is cool and Spader is the man, but can the story be enough to make this show last more than one season? Time will tell.

Premiering Monday September 23 at 10:00PM on CBS

Well, I can tell you already that I will be watching the pilot episode and that's probably it, although I may be pleasantly surprised and keep tuning in with this one (more on this when I bring you my thoughts on all the new shows after a few episodes have aired). This is not my type of show, but I did tell you I would announce ALL of the NEW shows premiering this season. So here's 'Hostages' starring Toni Collette ('United States of Tara') whose family gets a group of kidnappers, led by a rogue FBI Agent played by the very cool Dylan Mcdermott ('American Horror Story', 'The Practice'). Collette, a doctor, is set to operate on the President, but Mcdermott has other plans for her. I'm not crazy about CBS dramas, but this one does have a much more serialized structure to it, so who knows, maybe I'll like it. If you are a fan of convoluted thrillers, this is definitely one of the more promising shows this season.

Premiering Monday September 23 at 9:30PM on CBS

Anna Farris ('Scary Movie', 'The House Bunny') makes her television debut as a mom in 'Mom'. This is your typical sitcom about a single mother learning to deal with having to raise two children alone with the help of her own mother, Allison Janney ('The West Wing'), while also battling sobriety after her former alcoholic lifestyle. From creator Chuck Lorre ('The Big Bang Theory', 'Two and a Half Men', '2 Broke Girls', all currently airing on CBS), 'Mom' might be a success on CBS, but I'm not sold on this one, yet.

'The Goldbergs'
Premiering Tuesday September 24 at 9:00PM on ABC

ABC takes you back to the 1980's in this ode to 'The Wonder Years'. 'The Goldbergs' will undoubtedly be an 80's pop-culture heavy sitcom that looks to deliver a lot of laughs with nostalgic references in a historical look at an era that is defined by it's own name, "The 80's". The beauty of these retro shows is that despite the time and place, the characters are dealing with the same social and familial issues that we deal with today, which keeps it fresh and current. I am high on this show and I really hope it lives up to its premise.

'Lucky 7'
Premiering Tuesday September 24 at 10:00PM on ABC

I'm not thrilled about this show, I'm not sure it fits my style, but again, a good pilot could go a long way. This is the story of 7 gas station employees who win the lottery, big. With new-found fortune also comes new-found horrors in this character-centric thriller.

'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'
Premiering Tuesday September 24 at 8:00 on ABC

The Fall's best new show before it even airs. This is clearly the most anticipated premiere and I can't imagine it faltering. Get ready to have your DVR set to record for the foreseeable future as Marvel brings its cinematic universe to the small screen. Starring Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, back from the dead after the events of 'The Avengers' (Sorry for breaking my spoiler rules, but if you didn't see 'The Avengers' you have no business being on a site like this). This is a big budget, action packed drama that will see the agents of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, go up against super-powered enemies and acquire some new friends along the way. The pilot is directed by 'The Avengers' very own Joss Whedon, so expect an extravagant movie-like first episode. With a pantheon of characters, look to see some of your lesser-known favorites to show up on your TV sets (Iron Fist and Luke Cage, I'm looking at you). It is confirmed that the show will be in direct canon to the Marvel cinematic world, so it is possible we may catch a glimpse of Mjolnir, Cap's Shield and maybe even Tony Stark himself, as Disney capitalizes on its Marvel acquisition bringing it to its also owned ABC network. Here's to being optimistic this show is everything we could hope for and more.

'Trophy Wife'
Premiering Tuesday September 24 at 9:30PM on ABC

I don't know how I feel about this show. I'm definitely not excited, but I'm not sure how it'll be. I like Bradley Whitford ('The West Wing', 'Billy Madison') who plays a much older divorced man with kids and an ex-wife that is still very much involved in his life, and his 20-years-his-younger new 'Trophy Wife'. I get the "crazy" family dynamic they are going for to make it fit with modern times, but, meh. We'll see about this one.

'Back in the Game'
Premiering Wednesday September 25 at 8:30PM on ABC

Oh, this poor show. Ladies and Gents, feast your eyes upon this seasons first show to bite the dust. By the time you read this, it may have already been cancelled. Not to say it's going to be terrible, but I just don't see this show getting the ratings to survive the bear. A show about a young boys little league team whose softball playing mother is daughter to has-been ball player, Terry "The Cannon" Gannon, played by the loveable James Caan ('The Godfather', 'Vegas'). I don't know, this just doesn't sound like it will work, but I said that about ABC's 'The Neighbors' last year, and that turned out to be pretty funny in the end, so you never know. 

'The Crazy Ones'
Premiering Thursday September 26 at 9:00PM on CBS 

This show marks some of the biggest television news of the season with the return of Robin Williams to TV. After leaving 'Mork and Mindy' Robin has gone on to have a very impressive career as a star of the silver screen. He makes his return in this very non-CBS-styled sitcom about a marketing executive and his co-executive daughter played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. If you like Robin Williams humor, I'm sure this show will not let you down. I expect it to be filled with his signature famous speedy delivery, voices and mannerisms. Sarah Michelle Gellar, whose Buffy character will forever live on as one of the most iconic television characters of all-time, also returns to TV (not including the failed CW 'Ringer') which is also most welcomed. I think if these two can develop the right chemistry between them, this could be the biggest freshman comedy of the season.

'The Michael J. Fox Show'
Premiering Thursday September 26 at 9:00PM on NBC

Speaking of returns to TV, let's also welcome back Michael J. Fox. We all know about the actors struggles with Parkinson's Disease and his adamant activism in the search for a cure, it is the reason why he left showbiz in the first place. A star of many hit-80's movies ('Back to the Future', 'Teen Wolf') and the long-running TV show 'Family Ties', Michael J. Fox left acting while starring on the successful 'Spin City' (a role that Charlie Sheen would take over) due to the difficulties with his disease. So, much like his own life, this show will feature a fictionalized version of himself as a news anchor who comes back to TV after being away for many years building a family and fighting his disease. It is very meta, but also completely mainstream because everyone loves Michael J. Fox. Betsy Brandt, Marie of 'Breaking Bad', also stars as Fox's wife (let's hope she doesn't make us hate her again). This looks to be NBC's new flagship Thursday night comedy, and we all hope this show is as good as it is realistic.

Premiering Sunday September 29 at 10:00PM on ABC

I will not be watching this premiere. I am not a fan of soapy-thrillers that are geared towards women ('Revenge', 'Scandal', 'Mistresses'). I mean, don't get me wrong, they definitely deserve their place on TV to entertain that type of audience, but I am not part of that demographic. So, that said, expect the same exact story lines as the rest of them, with different characters and settings.

'Hello Ladies'
Premiering Sunday September 29 at 10:30PM on HBO

The newest comedy from powerhouse premium channel HBO is centered around an awkward British main character played by Steven Merchant (Co-Creator of the original 'The Office') as a recently single web designer who attempts the American dating world. As with most HBO shows, I'm sure this will be a big success, with a lot of "I've totally been there before" laughs and hilarious and awkward one night stands.

'Masters of Sex'
Premiering Sunday September 29 at 10:00PM on Showtime

In this 'Mad Men' fashioned period drama about sex, Showtime looks to captivate us with the "true" story of the birth of the Sexual Revolution. Starring Michael Sheen ('Frost/Nixon', 'The Queen') as Dr. William H. Masters and Lizzy Caplan ('Party Down', 'Mean Girls') as Virginia Johnson, the famed "couple" who studied the human sexual response system. Expect lots of nudity and lots of sex. Like, all the time. The whole show is going to be about sex. Every episode. So, yea, it's basically going to be well dramatized porn.

'We Are Men'
Premiering Monday September 30 at 8:30PM on CBS

This is a fun cast featuring Tony Shaloub ('Monk), Kal Penn ('Harold and Kumar') Jerry O'Connell ('Stand By Me', 'Joe's Apartment') and newcomer Chris Smith who plays a groom that gets dumped at the alter. Struggling with that life changing blow, Smith's character finds comfort in his new-found friends, three divorced men at completely different stages of their lives. I hope the writing does this show justice, because I really like the idea. I'm sure it will be filled with cliche divorcee humor, especially geared towards their ex-wives, but it's always nice to have some spoon-fed humor in your TV diet.

Premiering Wednesday October 2 at 10:00PM on NBC

Your standard police procedural with the twist that the main character is in a wheelchair, so he's coping with his lifestyle change as a handicapped cop. Seriously, these are the shows that I don't understand how they make it to air, let alone become ratings monsters. Also, I'm pretty sure 'American Dad' covered this with "Wheels and the Leg Man".

'Super Fun Night'
Premiering Wednesday October 2 at 9:30PM on ABC

What is this obsession with Rebel Wilson? I don't entirely get it. Her "I'm ugly and fat, but I don't care" mentality is what drives this upcoming show. Staying at home is how Wilson's character and her friends spend their weekends, until Wilson gets a promotion and decides its time to get wild on the weekends. In a show meant to showcase that it doesn't matter what you look like, or who you are, anybody can go out and have a 'Super Fun Night'. I get the goodhearted message it's conveying. Although executive produced by Conan O'Brien, a favorite, I just don't think it's going to be that funny. I guess we'll find out.

'The Millers'
Premiering Thursday October 3 at 8:30PM on CBS

Gotta' love Will Arnett. He has come out with some dud television shows in recent years with 'Running Wylde' and the highly publicized behind the scenes drama at 'Up All Night', so now he attempts a series with CBS ('Wylde' on Fox, 'Night' on NBC). Arnett plays the straight man in this sitcom about a recently divorced reporter whose recently separated mother moves in with him. Add his father into the mix and it's that wacky family dynamic that people seem to love nowadays. It will be interesting to see how Arnett can go from playing the big personality of beloved character GOB from 'Arrested Development' to the "everyman".

'The Originals'
Premiering Thursday October 3 at 9:00PM on CW

Considering I don't know much about the mythos of 'The Vampire Diaries', I don't have too much to say about this new spin-off. I will not be watching the premiere, because I do not watch its launching pad series. I can expect it to be very similar and attract the same type of viewership, though.

'Sean Saves the World'
Premiering Thursday October 3 at 9:00PM on NBC

Featuring Sean Hayes of 'Will & Grace' as a divorced gay father (lots of divorced characters this season, really gunning for that 50% of all marriages demo) whose daughter moves in with him permanently. Cue gay jokes aplenty as he struggles with the difficulties of being a divorced and single gay man, with a daughter, balancing work, dating and parenthood. Who wants to make a bet Megan Mullally will make an appearance?

'Welcome to the Family'
Premiering Thursday October 3 at 8:30PM on NBC

Can we say "forced attempt at showing the cultural diversity of the American melting pot"? In this era of putting new-age families together on situational TV comedies (a la 'Modern Family', 'The New Normal', all of the aforementioned divorcee shows) comes this take on a bi-cultural family. A Latino and Caucasian family are forced to integrate when their teen children get pregnant and decide to get married. It's a show that will focus on clashing family dynamics and the hardships that come with being a teen parent and a parent-of-a-teen parent.

'Witches of East End'
Premiering Sunday October 6 at 10:00PM on Lifetime

Lifetime steps away from original movies about rape and domestic abuse and brings us their very first original series based on the book of the same name. This will be about women who are not yet aware of their witching powers and their exploits in discovering and learning how to use them. I'm sure if you like lifetime original movies, you'll love this.

'The Tomorrow People'
Premiering Wednesday October 9 at 9:00PM on CW

Starring Robbie Amell, cousin to Stephen Amell, the titular character to its lead-in show 'Arrow', R. Amell plays a high school student who develops super-powers and is always on the lookout for a mysterious group that is after 'Tomorrow People' like himself. A remake of a 70's British show, the CW takes on another hero genre drama to coincide with the much darker 'Arrow'. Expect 'The Tomorrow People' to be more like the CW classic 'Smallville' with a significant focus on everyday teen dramas, it is the CW after all, guys.

'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland'
 Premiering Thursday October 10 at 8:00PM on ABC

'Once Upon a Time' is one of the better shows on network TV right now, and with above-average ratings, this spin-off pitch was a good risk to take. We know from 'Once Upon a Time' that there are multiple "fairytale" worlds in the 'Once' universe, especially Wonderland, a world we've been to on a few occasions. This show is interesting, in that, it is developed as a one-and-done season show, in the vain of  'American Horror Story'. Could we possibly see a new 'Once' series in a different realm every year? If the ratings are there, I'd say it's a definite possibility. This story will feature an adult Alice, escaped from a mental institution and finding her way back down the rabbit hole to be with her true love. It's a love story with crazy visuals and exciting adventures, including a fight with Naveen Andrews (Sayid of 'Lost') as Jafar. I'm excited to follow Alice on her new trip and see what kind of psychedelic mischief she gets into this time.

Premiering Thursday October 17 at 9:00PM on CW

The teen-drama of the famous Mary, Queen of Scots will feature a mix of history, soapy plot lines and a bit of 'Game of Thrones'. Not sure if this one will catch on with the CW audience as I don't remember history being a favorite subject among high school girls.

Premiering Friday October 25 at 10:00PM on NBC

Poor NBC, you missed the trend by 1 or 2 years, sorry, but, vampires are just not that cool anymore. Although centered on the most famous (and still best) vampire, Dracula, the vampire craze has worn out and attempting to make this show work on the tail-end of that fad is not going to be an easy task. Premiering in the Friday night death slot, NBC clearly does not have much confidence in this modern-set take on the character starring Johnathan Rhys-Meyers ('The Tudors'). Hoping to keep some viewers, from its genre lead-in 'Grimm', 'Dracula' is destined to get bitten by the cancellation bear.

'Almost Human'
Premiering Monday November 4 at 8:00PM on FOX

This is definitely in my top 5 for most anticipated new shows. From genius executive producer J.J. fucking Abrams ('Lost', 'Star Trek', 'STAR WARS') comes his newest television pet project, 'Almost Human'. Although Abrams is pretty hit-or-miss with TV (more miss than hit) when he hits, he hits big ('Lost', 'Alias'). Starring Bones of 'Star Trek', Karl Urban, JJ takes us into the year 2048, where every cop must have a vulcan-like robotic partner. However, the tech-adverse Urban, is partnered with an older model who is capable of synthetic feelings (Michael Ealy). In this sci-fi heavy, action-packed buddy cop show, it attempts to reverse the trope that our future holds a battle against machines, and instead shows us in a partnership.

Premiering Saturday November 23 at 10:00PM on BBCAmerica

This upcoming British TV show is based off of all aspects of Greek mythology set in the ancient city of Atlantis, the greatest in all the world, before it fell into the sea. Featuring characters such as Jason, Hercules and Medusa, the BBC looks to fill the void 'Merlin' left behind.

'Mob City' 
Premiering Wednesday December 4 on TNT

From original 'Walking Dead' show runner, Frank Darabount, comes a gangster drama set in 1930s-40s L.A. It is a modern noir about mobsters and cops with Jon Bernthal (Shane from 'The Walking Dead') and Milo Ventimiglia (good ol' Peter Petrelli from 'Heroes'). Turner owned cable stations have been producing much better original television in recent years, and I expect this to be one of its best.


The following is a list of returning shows I am current with. Consider them my "spotlight" shows. (I'm sorry 'Supernatural' maybe I'll be caught up by 2014...)

Season 2 Tuesdays at 10:30PM on Comedy Central

'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'
Season 9 Wednesday's at 10:00PM on FXX

'The League'
Season 5 Wednesday's at 10:30PM on FXX


'Boardwalk Empire'
Season 4 Sundays at 9:00PM on HBO

'Sons of Anarchy'
Season 6 Tuesday's at 10:00PM on FX

'New Girl'
Season 3 Premiering Tuesday September 17 at 9:00PM on FOX

Season 3 brings the return of Coach!

'Key and Peele'
Season 3 Premiering Wednesday September 18 at 10:30PM on Comedy Central

'The Neighbors'
Season 2 Premiering Friday September 20 8:30PM on ABC


'How I Met Your Mother'
The Final Season Premiering Monday September 23 at 8:00PM on CBS

This 9th and final season will take place entirely over the course of the wedding weekend.

'The Middle'
Season 5 Premiering Wednesday September 25 at 8:00PM on ABC


'Modern Family'
Season 5 Premiering Wednesday September 25 at 9:00PM on ABC


Season 2 Premiering Wednesday September 25 at 8:00PM on NBC

'South Park'
Season 17 Premiering Wednesday September 25 at 10:00PM on Comedy Central

'The Big Bang Theory'
Season 7 Premiering Thursday September 26 at 8:00PM on CBS

Season 5 Premiering Thursday September 26 at 9:00PM on FOX

This is a somber season for the hit show as they mourn the loss of star Cory Monteith.

'Parks and Recreation'
Season 6 Premiering Thursday September 26 at 8:00PM on NBC

'Two and a Half Men'
Season 11 Premiering Thursday September 26 at 9:30PM on CBS 

The "half-man" is gone as Angus T. Jones is the latest original cast member to depart the show.

'Saturday Night Live'
Season 39 Premiering Saturday September 28 at 11:35PM on NBC

Big cast revamp as the show lost Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Fred Armisen and will also lose head writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers when he replaces Jimmy Fallon on 'Late Night' in 2014.

'American Dad'
Season 9 Premiering Sunday September 29 at 9:30PM on FOX


'Eastbound and Down'
Season 4 Premiering Sunday September 29 at 10:00PM on HBO

'Family Guy'
Season 12 Premiering Sunday September 29 at 9:00PM on FOX


Season 3 Premiering Sunday September 29 at 9:00PM on Showtime

'Once Upon a Time'
Season 3 Premiering Sunday September 29 at 8:00PM on ABC

'American Horror Story: Coven'
"Season" 3 Premiering Wednesday October 9 at 10:00PM on FX

Season 2 Premiering Wednesday October 9 at 8:00PM on CW

Let's welcome The Flash this season!

'The Walking Dead'
Season 4 Premiering Sunday October 13 at 9:00PM on AMC


'Raising Hope'
Season 4 Premiering Friday November 8 at 9:00PM on FOX

'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Special:
"The Day of the Doctor"
Premiering Saturday November 23 at 9:00 on BBC America

For a complete list of returning premiere dates, that I did not cover, click HERE)

So there you have it, my take on ALL the newest shows premiering this Fall, and some notable returning highlights. What are you most excited for? What's peaking your interest? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook! Here's looking forward to all the new (hopefully) great TV ahead!

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