Fall is an exciting time for television fans, what with the onslaught of new series. But, with so many shows making their debuts at the same time, it can be difficult to separate the cream from the crop. That’s why I’ve assembled a list of this fall’s best new shows. So, without further ado …
10. Running Wilde (Premieres Sept. 21)
Airing behind Fox’s other new comedy Raising Hope on Tuesday nights at 9:30, Running Wilde certainly has the pedigree for success. Developed by Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz and frequent collaborator Jim Vallely as a vehicle for Will Arnett, Running Wilde tells the story of a wealthy but selfish man who tries to woo his childhood sweetheart (Keri Russell) when she returns to town. Early reviews of the pilot have been mixed, but the creative team admitted their mistakes last month at Television Critics Association Press Tour and vowed to fix them before the show’s premiere.
9. Hawaii Five-0 (Premieres Sept. 20)
CBS is taking viewers back to Hawaii this fall in a remake of the beloved cop drama Hawaii Five-0. Developed by Star Trek scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the series will air on Monday nights at 10 p.m. Like its predecessor, this version of Hawaii Five-0 offers up a nice mix of comedy and action. The cast is filled with familiar faces including Alex O’Loughlin (Moonlight, Three Rivers), Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) and Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica), but its Scott Caan (Entourage) who steals the show.
8. The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (Premieres Oct. 1)
Created by comedian David Cross of Arrested Development fame, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret tells the story of an American who takes a job running the sales team at the London branch of his company. Unfortunately, when he arrives in London, Todd quickly discovers that he knows very little about British culture … or sales for that matter.
7. No Ordinary Family (Premieres Sept. 28)
Imagine if your family was suddenly endowed with super powers after a plane accident in the Amazon. That’s the crux of ABC’s No Ordinary Family, a dramedy from writers Greg Berlanti (Everwood, The Green Lantern) and Jon Feldman (Tru Calling, Dirty Sexy Money). The show’s pilot has drawn comparisons to Pixar’s The Incredibles and, while said comparisons are not without warrant, No Ordinary Family’s cast is so strong that it’s hard to imagine it not growing into something more. I just hope show-runner Ali Adler (Chuck) gives the criminally misused Autumn Reeser more to do in subsequent episodes.
6. Undercovers (Premieres Sept. 22)
From director J.J. Abrams and writer Josh Reims comes a new series about a married couple who return to the spy game after a brief attempt at living a normal life. Set to air Wednesday’s at 8pm on NBC, Undercovers has an incredibly sleek looking pilot and two incredibly charismatic leads in Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. For better or worse, Undercovers aims to be more procedural than Abrams previous work.
5. Boardwalk Empire (Premieres Sept. 19)
If you’ve somehow managed to evade the promotional blitz for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, I’d be surprised. Set in Atlantic City during the era of prohibition, Boardwalk Empire tells the story of Nucky Thompson, a political fixer and backroom dealer who is equal parts politician and gangster. The show, which will air Sunday nights at 9 p.m., is from Terence Winter, Emmy Award-winning writer of The Sopranos and Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese. Need I say more?
4. Terriers (Premiered Sept. 8)
Terriers is one of two shows on this list whose premiere date has come and gone. Fortunately, however, you can download the pilot on iTunes free of charge. The show follows two buddies who work as unlicensed private investigators to pay the bills. Early episodes of the show seem to indicate a nice mix of procedural and serial elements, making it a natural fit for FX. It also helps that real life friends and Terriers’ leads Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James have undeniable chemistry.
3. Nikita (Premiered Sept. 9)
One of only two new shows debuting on The CW this fall, Nikita is a high stakes action adventure show centered on Maggie Q’s titular Nikita. Like the 1990 film Le Femme Nikita, on which this show is loosely based, Nikita is recruited by a top-secret branch of the government known as Division. In this modern retelling, tragedy compells Nikita to leave Division, something they don’t take kindly too. The casting for Nikita nears perfection with Shane West, Aaron Stanford, Lyndsy Fonseca and Q all turning in nice performances. Nikita made its debut last week, but the first episode is available for streaming at CWTV.com.
2. Lone Star (Premieres Sept. 20)
Already being hailed by most critics as this fall’s best new show, Lone Star is definitely poised for success. The Texas based soap comes from relative newcomer Kyle Killen and (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb. Breakout star James Wolk plays Robert Allen, a con-man living two lives. In one he is a faithful husband and in the other a loyal boyfriend. Problems begin to arise when Allen realizes he loves both women and desires to deceive neither. Jon Voight and Adrianne Palicki also star in the drama.
1. My Generation (Premieres Sept. 23)
My Generation will be this fall’s most polarizing new series. The show, which already has critics divided, chronicles the lives of nine eclectic individuals in their late twenties. Originally part of a documentary project during their senior year of high school, the group agrees to go before the camera again 10 years later. Creator Noah Hawley uses the documentary format to tell a story that speaks to an entire generation. The pilot alone deals with several different events that rocked the world over the last ten years, and thus the characters we’re asked to follow. Though not a particularly upbeat show, My Generation had me hooked after the first few minutes.