We’re looking at the new fall schedule all week, night by night. Here’s what up for Tuesdays – though no new shows start tonight.
“Ben and Kate” (Fox, 8:30 p.m., starts Sept. 25). What would seem to be just another variation of a not very successful feature comedy trend – the annoying brother who busts in and makes life uncomfortable – actually turns into one of the most amusing new network comedies of the season, thanks to the casting of and the freedom they have to make comedy out of little things (like one inexplicably funny scene in the premiere in which Ben tries to make a K-turn). Like “The New Normal,” there’s a precocious child at its center and the storylines are said to be accurate representations of show creator Dana Fox and her own unpredictable brother.
“Go On” (NBC, 9 p.m., Sept. 11) the latest vehicle for Matthew Perry has a whiff of desperation and a tired premise: The therapy group of harmless, one-dimensional kooks. Perry, playing a sports radio host, is forced to go to therapy after his wife dies. We preferred “The Bob Newhart Show.”
“Emily Owens, M.D.” (The CW, 9 p.m., Oct. 16) Mamie Gummer is a charmer in this series about a young doctor who narrates her days in a self-depricating manner. The problems are predictable but the star, who has the looks of her mother, Meryl Streep, tends to shine.
“The Mindy Project” (Fox, 9:30 p.m., Sept. 25) has the promise of being the big breakout new network comedy of the season. But at least in the premise the story of Mindy Kaling as a doctor who is too attentive to her love life isn’t in any hurry to get to some urgent comedy material. There are funny scenes, though, and the notion that she will soon reach the kind of comedy tone she once had on “The Office.” Until then, she’s the most credible doctor in any new TV series.
“The New Normal” (NBC, 9:30 p.m., Sept. 11) is one of a couple new comedies presenting gay couples as if they were cutting edge. This makes the shows seem needlessly out of date. In this one, Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha play a couple who want to have a family and make arrangements with a single mother to be surrogate. Because this is a sitcom, she’s got a precocious child and a bigoted mother (Ellen Barkin). Like most Ryan Murphy series, it begins with a certain amount of energy, but will almost certainly go downhill in the manner of “Glee,” “Nip/Tuck” and “American Horror Story.”
“Vegas” (CBS, 10 p.m., Sept. 25) is set in the 60s, but avoids the period touches of “Pan Am” or “The Playboy Club” other than the porkpie hat used by mobster Michael Chiklis. Dennis Quaid plays a frontier sheriff who tries to straighten out the early days of Sin City and in his Stetson and Western jacket looks like the second coming of “McCloud” for those old enough to get that reference. From one episode, though, it doesn’t look like a whole lot of it sets it apart from the very many similar shows set in the town.
“Dancing with the Stars” results show (ABC, 8 p.m., returns Sept 25), “NCIS” (CBS, 8 p.m., Sept. 25), “Raising Hope” (Fox, 8 p.m., Oct. 2), “Hart of Dixie” (The CW, 8 p.m., Oct.2), “Happy Endings” (ABC, 9 p.m., Oct. 23), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS, 9 p.m., Sept. 25), “New Girl” (Fox, 9 p.m., Sept. 25), “Don’t Trust the B___ in Apt. 23” (ABC, 9:30 p.m., Oct. 23), “Private Practice” (ABC, 10 p.m., Sept. 25), “Parenthood” (NBC, 10 p.m., Sept. 11).