2013 Fall TV Preview: Thursday

Thursday is pretty much the end of the line as far as the television week goes, and is the night that networks often schedule what they think will be their powerhouse shows. But if you look down, you'll see a good indication of why I think the upcoming Fall season is pretty lackluster. There's a new show I'm legitimately looking forward to, a returning show I like, and a show I'm probably checking in on to see if it's a trainwreck. That's it. Well, if nothing else, an unexciting season of television will be a good opportunity for me to whittle down the back catalog on Netflix. Hooray!


The Michael J. Fox Show (September 26, NBC, 8PM): Michael J. Fox has always been a big draw, whether it was for his original star-making turns, or his recent guest appearances. This will be the first show he's anchored since his Parkinson's diagnosis, and I'm curious to know how it'll go. Fox will portray a news anchor who returns to work after learning to manage his disease, and from what I've read about the show, it strikes a good tonal balance between the realities of living with Parkinson's and still being a comedy. I don't know that I can promise regular viewing, but it's not airing against anything else I'll be watching, so it's certainly on my radar.

The Crazy Ones (September 26, CBS, 8PM): An ad exec (Robin Williams) runs a firm in Chicago with his daughter (Sarah Michelle Gellar). Wackiness ensues. David E. Kelley is producing, and it costars James Wolk and Hamish Linklater. I don't know how to feel about this show. It's certainly got the strangest makeup of any new show this season, so it's impossible to predict how it'll land. It could be a total disaster, but part of me is intensely anxious to see what it's all about.

The Millers (October 3, CBS, 7:30PM): Will Arnett is recently divorced, and his dating life hits a snag when his overbearing mother (Margo Martindale) moves in. It sounds a little schlocky, but the executive producer is Greg Garcia, who's definitely built up some goodwill from Raising Hope.

Welcome to the Family (October 3, NBC, 7:30PM): A sitcom about two Los Angeles families that are thrown together after their high school teens get knocked up and married. This sounds equally schlocky as The Millers, but without the saving grace of a strong cast and a reliable producer. I'll probably skip it.

Sean Saves the World (October 3, NBC, 8PM): Listen, I like Sean Hayes. I want good things to happen to him. And I'm all about gay representation on TV. I just wish everything I've seen and read of this show wasn't so grating. Hayes plays a divorced gay dad who takes over the rearing of his teenage daughter. He's got the requisite wacky family, and I feel like the situation that this show lays out could genuinely be mined for laughs. But I haven't stumbled across one yet. The trailer I saw was painful.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (October 10, ABC, 7PM): I'm still working my way through the original show, and don't really have the time or inclination to pick up this spinoff, which follows Alice's adventures from a psych ward back down the rabbit hole. If it's anywhere near as insane as the original recipe Once Upon a Time, maybe I'll watch it someday, but as far as fall television watching goes, I'll leave this one for the diehard fans.

Reign (October 17, CW, 8PM): "It's like Gossip Girl, Game of Thrones, and Felicity in a blender," according to the executive producer of this show, which follows Mary, Queen of Scots as a teenager. It sounds pretty shitty.


Parks and Recreation (September 26, NBC, 7PM): After an enjoyable Season 5, we're in for a lot of change this year. Leslie is up for a recall from city council, and both Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones will be leaving the show. Upheaval in shows that I like is never good news, but hey, maybe this means more storylines for Retta!


This section is to quickly mention the returning shows that I've never seen, but that are on my radar to catch up with someday, if I ever get the opportunity:

Elementary: Season 2, September 26, CBS, 9PM

Parenthood: Season 5, September 26, NBC, 9PM

Scandal: Season 3, October 3, ABC, 9PM


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