Every fall, television networks unleash a plethora of new shows in pursuit of ratings and critical acclaim. Last year’s “New Girl,” “American Horror Story” and “Homeland” were all big hits for NBC, FX and Showtime respectively. The many new shows premiering this September and October will attempt to recreate that magic.
On Sept. 11, NBC will debut its new comedy, “The New Normal.” Ryan Murphy, the man behind many well-liked shows including “Glee” and “Nip/Tuck” (2003-2010), created this family comedy that centers on a gay couple and their surrogate mother. Sharp wit and an atypical family dynamic give this comedy the potential to be both hilarious and a conversation starter.
Fox’s “Ben and Kate” also promises to be a smash family comedy. Premiering on Sept. 25, this quirky half-hour show looks to mix both laughs and heart. The show is about two very different siblings, free spirited man-child Ben (Nat Faxon) and the hardworking Kate (Dakota Johnson). The comedy looks to match the tone of Fox’s hit show “New Girl,” which would make “Ben and Kate” an excellent potential companion piece.
“The Mindy Project” is another new Fox comedy being released this fall. Mindy Kaling, former writer and star of the American version of “The Office,” is this rom-com’s creator, producer and star. Premiering on Sept. 25, “The Mindy Project” concerns a female doctor struggling to maintain her career aspirations and romantic dreams. “Mindy” continues last year’s trend of comedies by and starring female comedians.
Matthew Perry is another former sitcom star returning to network television. On Sept. 11, his new comedy-drama “Go On” will air on NBC. The show attempts to find humor and pathos from stories about group therapy. The pilot episode previewed this summer to great reviews.
“Go On” isn’t NBC’s only new show; the network is also premiering “Chicago Fire” on Oct. 10. “Chicago Fire” is produced by “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf and follows the lives of Chicago firefighters and their families. The drama features former “House” (2004-2012) star Jesse Spencer and former “Sex and the City” (1998-2004) actor David Eigenberg as two of the firefighters.
Science fiction fans will most likely love NBC’s “Revolution.” Premiering on Sept. 17, the pilot episode is directed by the acclaimed director of “Iron Man” (2010) and follows a small group trying to survive in a future without electricity. The show appeals to the diehard fans that made “Heroes” (2006-2010) and “Lost” (2004-2010) such big hits, and is even produced by “Lost” creator J.J. Abrams.
CW’s “Arrow” is also trying to gain a strong science fiction following. Airing on Oct. 10, “Arrow” is based on the DC comic book character The Green Arrow. The serial drama will combine fantasy, action and science fiction elements. Considering the enormous success of summer hits “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” it seems likely that “Arrow” will find success on the small screen.
CBS’s “Elementary,” which premieres Sept. 27, looks to present a modern twist on classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries. The show will take place in America, and Dr. Watson (Lucy Liu) has been changed to a female character. It’s been just over two years since the BBC did a modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes with the critically acclaimed “Sherlock” series, so viewers will certainly be tempted to see how the two shows compare.
CBS is also premiering “Vegas” this fall. Airing on Sept. 25, “Vegas” is a western set in 1960s-era Las Vegas that focuses on a policeman’s interactions with a newly arrived mobster. Film star Dennis Quaid and Emmy-winner Michael Chiklis star in this period piece. Historical dramas such as “Mad Men” and “Boardwalk Empire” have been critical darlings, and “Vegas” looks to join them with its high-caliber cast.
Finally, “666 Park Avenue” is a promising ABC drama beginning this fall. Based on Gabriella Pierce’s novels, the show follows a Manhattan couple whose neighbors might be possessed by a demon. HBO struck gold when it adapted books into its hits “True Blood” and “Game of Thrones.” ABC is hoping for similar success.
Only time will tell which of these shows will find an audience and which will be canceled, though strong casts and creators make this line-up quite promising.