The New Fall TV Season: Mondays

Fall TV 2015

Fall TV 2015

The year-round nature of television, dominance of cable and streaming services in providing quality new shows  and the increasing likelihood to have entire seasons binged in single weekends all conspire to make the broadcast networks’  big fall TV season rollout seem more quaint by the year.

And yet its still notable that the once prevailing free TV networks all begin seasons pretty much the same time each fall. And though cable and streaming services are picking up the awards, the new season still usually comes the day after the Emmy Awards.

The rollout may take a few weeks, so as to not have some shows buried in the hype, but we can safely say the new TV season is here. We’ll take a day-by-day look at the new shows all week, starting today, a day that contains the best new show of the season, but not for another month.


Blindspot-NBC“Blindspot” (NBC, 10 p.m., starts tonight). This action thriller begins with a bizarre premise: That a bag left in Times Square would contain a woman naked except for a  complicated set of tattoos meant to tease a specific FBI agent she did not know. The ploy, seemingly borrowed from “Prison Break” tattoo map, provides an excuse to bare a lot of skin of the striking actress Jaimie Alexander. The rest of the show is unspectacular network action though. With Sullivan Stapleton.


“Minority Report” (Fox, 9 p.m. tonight). One of a couple movie reboots this season, this one remakes the futuristic Tom Cruise movie about people who can see crime before it happens. There’s a gender reversal, though, with Meagan Good as the police investigator and Stark Sands as the troubled young man who gets the visions. It’s amusing to see what’s happened in the future D.C. — the Nationals are still around and the NFL team has been renamed the Redclouds. But the reliance on computer screens and post-production dazzle dazzle is subterfuge for its general lack of content.

“Life in Pieces” (CBS, 8:30 p.m. tonight). Though its Emmys winning streak ended Sunday, “Modern Family” remains one of TV’s strongest comedies, and this careful attempt to replicate its format shows how hard it can be. There are some welcome faces in the family though, including Dianne Wiest, James Brolin, Betsy Brandt, Dan Bakkedahl and Colin Hanks and some amusing moments. But they can’t get the tone right, moving for the vulgar  almost reflexively.

“Supergirl” (CBS, 8:30 p.m., starts Oct. 26). There’s lots of hope for this fall entry, if only because it replicates the superhero obsession of the big screen. Newcomer Melissa Benoist fits the suit adequately, adding sweetness and some naiveté as she adjusts to using superpowers she hadn’t used in a dozen years. Calista Flockhart is her boss, Mehcad Brooks is quite a different Jimmy Olsen. Greg Berlanti, who has had an assured hand on “the Flash” and “Arrow” mixing action and fun, is behind this too.

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (The CW, 8 p.m., Oct. 12). Here’s my favorite new show of the fall, a completely original comedy about a successful woman who gets a little too obsessed with an old camp crush, causing her to move out to California. Rachel Bloom singlehandedly makes this work with her comic chops and penchant for sudden, big musical numbers. But she’s got a great cast behind her too and a grown up sensibility that makes its Showtime origins show. You’ll have to wait three weeks for this one.


“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS, 8 p.m., returns tonight), “Gotham” (Fox, 8 p.m., tonight), “The Voice” (8 p.m., tonight), “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m., started last week), “Scorpion” (CBS, 9 p.m., tonight), “Jane the Virgin” (The CW, 9 p.m., Oct. 12), “Castle” (ABC, 10 p.m.), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS, 10 p.m., tonight).


“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central, 11 p.m., starts Sept. 28). The new guy takes over the desk with style and cool. Since he’s got much of the same writing and producing staff with him, it can’t be that much different than when Jon Stewart was at the helm, can it? And with the wealth of crazy things going on the world, they won’t be lacking for material any time soon.

“Fargo” (FX, 10 p.m., Oct 12). The one show to watch this fall, if you’re only going to watch one, I would say is the second season of this great hit, reset a few decades back to the 1970s and featuring an entirely new cast from the stellar first season. But what a cast: Kristen Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Jean Smart, Ted Danson, Jesse Plemons among them. And a similar theme: Ordinary people stumbling into terrible situations with big time small town mobsters all around.



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