For TV junkies, as summer winds down, the anticipation of fall sweeps starts to feel like the mid-December countdown to Christmas: it’s pilot season. Each September, all the new shows trying to solidify their spot in the primetime line-up get ready to battle it out. Some will make it. Others will not. Let the record show that I do try to give a few a try each season. Last year, I chose Go On, The New Normal, and Partners. I stopped watching all three long before they were each cancelled. Sitcoms especially have a rough go of it. I have to really laugh or love the characters to stick with a sitcom (New Girl) and it has to be consistent—I will not be watching Modern Family this year because the last time I laughed until I cried was when Phil got tased and destroyed the Joe DiMaggio baseball card in “Express Christmas.” That episode aired in December of 2011.
All the major networks rolled out their pilot trailers a couple months ago and I’ve compiled a list of five shows that I’ll likely try out. I chose them based on actors, showrunners, and whether or not I laughed in the 3-5 minute sneak peek. See what you make of them:
Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi are Eli and Warner, best friends and business partners who suddenly find themselves dealing with the same problem: their visiting dads (Peter Riegert and Martin Mull). What lured me in was the fact that it comes from executive producer Seth MacFarlane “and the minds behind Ted.” Not to mention I loooove seeing Seth Green on my TV screen—brings back fond memories of my all-time favorite werewolf. I’m not familiar with the work of the actors portraying their dads (unless you count Principal Kraft, which I don’t) and I’ve only seen Ribisi as Phoebe Buffay’s brother, so I think it will be interesting to watch them together. Plus, Brenda Song—does this mean she’s not with Winston anymore? Dads premieres Tuesday, September 17 on FOX.
Us & Them—FOX
Jason Ritter sure likes his Gilmore girls! In this American knock-off of Gavin & Stacey, Jason and Alexis Bledel play a pair of online daters who finally decide to meet in person. Even though he lives in New York and she lives in Pennsylvania, the hardest part of their budding romance actually turns out to be their interfering family and friends. I admittedly am only giving this a shot because I think Jason is adorable and his break-up with Sarah Braverman was one of the saddest part’s of Parenthood‘s fourth season. I like Alexis well enough, but I literally cringed at the phrase, “geez Louise,” so I have my reservations about this one. Us & Them premieres midseason on FOX, date TBA.
The Michael J. Fox Show—NBC
You were deprived as a child if listening to Michael J. Fox’s voice doesn’t take you back to that fearless trio of loyal pets who fought their way through the wilderness to find their owners—I bawl like a baby to this very day when Shadow hobbles up over that hill at the end. Anyway, I’ve never actually seen Michael act (I know, I know, no Back to the Future for me, I’m crazy) so that alone intrigues me a bit. Not to mention the fact that he’s fully embracing his Parkinson’s in an acting role. It looks funny and heart-warming and he plays a journalist, so on the list it goes. The Michael J. Fox Show airs Thursdays this fall on NBC.
Sean Saves the World—NBC
I will always love Sean Hayes. I know it’s incredibly cliché to love him just because I loved Jack McFarland, but I don’t care. I was so excited to see him on Smash last year. And now he gets his own show! He plays a single parent with a 14-year-old daughter and a boss (Thomas Lennon) from hell. To make matters worse, he’s got his mother breathing down his neck, judging his every move. Nice to see he made some friends at Smash though, as Megan Hilty also guest stars. The concept is pretty bland and the jokes will probably be trite, but hey, I always have to give my favorite actors a shot. Chalk it up to loyalty. Sean Saves the World premieres Thursday, October 3 on NBC.
The Crazy Ones—CBS
You don’t say no to Robin Williams. Repeat after me: You don’t say no to Robin Williams. Even if it looks horrible. Even if it looks stupid. Neither of these things applies to this, however, because I think it looks pretty good. Robin and Sarah Michelle Gellar (I LOVE YOU, BUFFY!!!) play father-daughter team Simon and Sydney Roberts. Together they run an ad agency and they’re about to lose their biggest client: McDonald’s. Who better to bring back that delicious family image than America’s Idol, Kelly Clarkson? Double bonus points: Kelly plays herself. And she sings for us. I always hesitate with CBS because I feel they are the weakest network (besides the CW, blegh) when it comes to turning out quality shows (with the exception of How I Met Your Mother). But the star quality is too high to ignore, so I’ll have to wait and see. The Crazy Ones airs this fall on CBS.
What do you think of the above shows? Will you try any?
What are you trying that didn’t make my list?