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How these got made, no one knows.
Fox, premiering Tuesday, Sept. 17
Seth MacFarlane’s live-action sitcom is already catching heat for a stereotypical depiction of an Asian woman in a schoolgirl outfit, but come on—there’s sooo much more here to hate. 1. The setup (cranky fathers move back in with their wisecracking 30-something sons) is straight out of TV Land. 2. So is the grating laugh track, which is completely at odds with not only the rest of Fox’s Tuesday night, but also the net’s entire lineup. 3. This is the type of desperate crap star Seth Green would (and probably will) mock mercilessly on his own Robot Chicken. 4. I have a suspicion that MacFarlane produced this on a dare.
NBC, premiering Wednesday, Oct. 2
So, there’s Blair Underwood as wheelchair-bound detective Robert T. Ironside, and … it’s another cop procedural, just with a recognizable brand name—to a certain generation, anyway (see, kids, Ironside was a 1967-75 NBC cop show starring Perry Mason). There’s no denying Underwood’s onscreen charisma, and his Ironside is far more of a badass than his predecessor, but I’d rather see a Columbo reboot starring Sam Rockwell, personally.
CBS, premiering Monday, Sept. 23
Can Chuck Lorre just retire already? He’s made a quadzillion dollars off Two & a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, both in perpetual reruns that prove hourly that the comedy doesn’t hold up, so let’s all take a break from each other, mm-kay? No, he had to crank out Mom, another disposable, canned-laughs yuck machine, starring Anna Faris as a recovering alcoholic mess of a single mom dealing with her kids, her wacky co-workers and her just-as-messy mom (Allison Janney), also a recovering alcoholic. It’s not that Faris and Janney aren’t good; it’s that the sitcom hackery around them is so far from even “meh.”
ABC, premiering Tuesday, Sept. 24
Seven gas-station employees become overnight millionaires when their lottery pool finally hits the right numbers; Lucky 7 juggles the stories of each winner—and one loser who, like a chump, squirreled away his dollars instead of buying tickets. Unfortunately, none of said stories are even slightly engaging, and all the soft-rock montages and touchy-feely monologues in the world aren’t going to change that.
Sean Saves the World
NBC, premiering Thursday, Oct. 3
Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes plays a gay single dad; Reno 911’s Thomas Lennon plays his boss; Alice’s Linda Lavin plays Sean’s mother. So, how did three such comic journeymen come to star in what looks like a parody of a sitcom? And a bad parody, at that—even the laugh track sounds noncommittal. Worst of all, NBC is using this as a lead-in to the astronomically superior Michael J. Fox Show—Sean ain’t saving shit.
The second-string replacement series that may show up in 2014—or sooner. Or, in some merciful cases, never.
The 100 (The CW) Drama
In the future, 100 pretty space kids are exiled to abandoned Earth to survive, maintain perfect hair and have pensive, dewy-eyed moments.
About a Boy (NBC) Comedy
Based on the 1998 novel/2002 movie, now starring David Walton (New Girl) as a single playboy who befriends an 11-year-old boy.
Bad Teacher (CBS) Comedy
Based, for some reason, on the 2011 movie, now starring Ari Graynor (For a Good Time, Call), who’s waaay funnier than Cameron Diaz.
Believe (NBC) Drama
A 10-year-old girl with telekinetic powers hits the road with an escaped—but innocent!—convict to help people and avoid The Man.
The Black Box (ABC) Drama
A world-famous neuroscientist (Kelly Reilly) treats patients and keeps secrets—like, of course, her own creeping mental illness.
Chicago PD (NBC) Drama
From Dick Wolf, the cop answer to Chicago Fire, which itself was the firefighter answer to Law & Order. In Chicago, if that wasn’t clear.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Fox) Docu-Series
Neil deGrasse Tyson follows up Carl Sagan’s 1980s science series on the home of educational programming … Fox?