The fall TV season is upon us, and from what I’ve been able to view so far, there’s not a lot of shows to love.
The good news is there’s a lot of TV starpower on the scene: Robin Williams, Michael J. Fox, James Spader, Andre Braugher, James Caan, Sean Hayes, Dylan McDermott and Toni Collette, for example.
The bad news is most of the shows don’t quite match up to the quality of the stars.
Hopefully, especially with the comedies, there will be some improvement as they go along.
Michael J . Fox is incredible, of course, but “The Michael J. Fox Show” is not so much. After watching several of the new comedies for this season, “The Michael J. Fox Show” is similar to most of them - the humor is just missing.
“Welcome to the Family,” “Mom,” “We Are Men,” “Sean Saves the World,” “Trophy Wife” – nice tries, but no laughs here.
CBS’s “The Crazy Ones” with Robin Williams has potential, but the main exception to the rule is “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
Andre Braugher plays straight man (in a gay role) to Andy Samberg’s goofy but intelligent Det. Jake Peralta in this ensemble police comedy created and written by Dan Goor (“Parks and Recreation,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”) and Michael Schur (“Parks and Recreation,” “The Office.”)
Braugher and Samberg are a fabulously quirky combination, and the stellar foundation Goor and Schur provide make this show a keeper. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” debuts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, on Fox.
In addition, “The Millers” will probably be a hit as it has been placed in the excellent time slot of 7:30 p.m. Thursdays on CBS, right after “The Big Bang Theory.” The show’s stars, Will Arnett, Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale, are hilarious, despite an enormous amount of fart jokes in the pilot.
On the drama side, “The Blacklist” is the best I’ve seen. James Spader is in top form as “Raymond ’Red’ Reddington,an ex-government agent/Most Wanted fugitive who turns himself in to the FBI and offers to assist in apprehending a “blacklist” of predominant criminals – under the stipulation that he works only with Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone), a rookie FBI profiler.
Brisk pacing and healthy doses of action, suspense and intrigue also contribute to “The Blacklist” being a favorite. “The Blacklist” premieres at 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, on NBC.
The only other series I’m adding to my new fall show must-see list is “Sleepy Hollow.”
This modern-day version of the classic story is simply pure spooky fun.
Tom Mison plays a time-traveling Ichabod Crane with a deft touch of sincerity, and Nicole Beharie also delivers a grounding performance as the town’s Lt. Abbie Mills. Their pairing gives the mystery-adventure drama just the amount of believability it needs.
Plenty of surprises and scary moments are included in the pilot, and I look forward to following this show.
“Sleepy Hollow” debuts at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, on Fox.
Another drama that’s worth a look is “Hostages,” due to its stars, Dylan McDermott, Toni Collette and Tate Donovan.
The series centers on the family of Collette’s Dr. Ellen Sanders being held hostage in order to force her to kill the President during surgery.
McDermott plays rogue FBI Agent Duncan Carlisle, the man guiding Dr. Sanders into the assassination and holding her family hostage in their home.
The drawback is this show borders on the preposterous, but the acting makes it worth giving a chance. “Hostages” premieres at 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23 on CBS.
– Melissa Hayer
Follow me on Twitter: @MelissaHayer