September 22, 2013

Fall TV Preview: The great, the pretty good and the soon-to-be-whacked

By CHUCK BARNEY, McClatchy Newspapers

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Fall tv shows
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This critic says “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” starring Andy Samberg, seated, and Andre Braugher, could be the best new comedy of the season.

Fox/McClatchy Newspapers

Fall tv shows
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Daniel Gillies, Joseph Morgan and Phoebe Tonkin in CW’s “Vampire Diaries” spinoff, “The Originals.”

McClatchy Newspapers

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"Trophy Wife" (9:30 p.m., ABC; Tuesday): A reformed party girl (Malin Akerman) marries an older man (Bradley Whitford), becoming his third spouse and a stepmom to three kids in a modern kind of family. Bottom line: With her infectious energy, Akerman is so funny and charming that we bet viewers will be wedded to this show.

"Lucky 7" (10 p.m., ABC; Tuesday): The lives of seven very different gas station employees are forever changed -- and maybe not all for the better -- when they strike it rich in the lottery. Bottom line: The snappy pilot had its charms, but we foresee lots of trite, money-can't-buy-you-happiness moralizing ahead.

"The Originals" (8 p.m., The CW; premieres at 9 p.m. Oct. 3, then moves to its regular time slot Oct. 8): Ready for some Klaus encounters? This moody "Vampire Diaries" spinoff transports the beloved villain (Joseph Morgan) and his hot half-siblings to New Orleans. Let the feeding begin. Bottom line: "VD" fans will want to sink their fangs into this one. 


"Back in the Game"  (8:30 p.m., ABC; Wednesday): A divorced single mother and former softball standout (Maggie Lawson) moves in with her gruff, beer-guzzling father (James Caan), who takes issue with how she parents -- and coaches -- her son. Bottom line: This amiable comedy, with touches of "The Bad News Bears," hits at least a solid double, if not a home run.

"Super Fun Night" (9:30 p.m., ABC; Oct. 2): Rebel Wilson (sans Aussie accent) plays a socially inept single woman who sets aside Friday nights to stay inside and hang with her pajama-clad besties. But that tradition is endangered when she scores a promotion at her law firm and gets invited to a trendy party by a hunky co-worker. Bottom line: Super fright night is more like it. This show is so painful and cringe-inducing that it's scary.

"Ironside" (10 p.m., NBC; Oct. 2): This blast from the past stars Blair Underwood as the detective-in-a-wheelchair made famous by Raymond Burr. However, his Ironside is more surly and sexy. Bottom line: Blair makes for a compelling lead in what is otherwise a standard procedural.

"The Tomorrow People" (9 p.m., The CW; Oct. 9): Remember "Heroes"? This sci-fi drama stars Robbie Amell (cousin of Stephen) as a teen who learns that he's part of a supersecret group of people who possess supernatural powers. Bottom line: Stale and overly familiar, "Tomorrow" feels very much like yesterday's superhero origin stories. 


"The Crazy Ones" (9 p.m., CBS; Thursday): Robin Williams returns to series television as a kooky genius who leads a Chicago advertising agency alongside his more uptight daughter (Sarah Michelle Gellar). Bottom line: We weren't crazy about the pilot, penned by David E. Kelley. But there are some good belly laughs here, and Williams has great chemistry with Gellar and co-star James Wolk. We're in.

"The Michael J. Fox Show" (9:30 p.m., NBC; premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday with two episodes): With a premise that mirrors his own real-life comeback story, Fox plays a news anchor who retired to focus on his health and family, which includes Betsy Brandt as his wife. Now, five years later, he's returning to work. Bottom line: Fox is as charming and funny as ever -- even when playing his Parkinson's for laughs.

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Fall tv shows
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Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar in the new CBS comedy “The Crazy Ones.”

McClatchy Newspapers


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