The 2016 Fall TV Season: Mondays

The New Fall Season

The New Fall Season

The day after the Emmys means the new fall season is here, although you wouldn’t necessarily know it from the schedule. Networks are probably wise to roll out their fall schedules slowly, to prevent expensive new shows to be lost in the crush. Still, there’s just one new network show in its own time slot tonight (one that doesn’t, in fact, look new at all). Another that is previewing tonight will have its regular time slot on another night. 

At a time when there is a lot to be excited about for new shows on streaming services and cable stalwarts like FX and HBO, there isn’t all that much to anticipate at the networks.

Still, we’ll be taking a look all week at the autumnal outlook from broadcasters and beyond.

NEW SHOWS

CBS 'Kevin Can Wait' Panel at the TCA Summer Press Tour, Day 14, Los Angeles, USA - 10 Aug 2016“Kevin Can Wait” (CBS, 8:30 p.m., starts tonight) seems designed to be mistaken for Kevin James last long running sitcom, “King of Queens,” with the portly former mall cop back in a domestic sitcom with an unaccountably beautiful wife (this time, Erinn Hayes, who has some proven comedy chops from Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital”). Unfortunately the concept is that James is a recently retired cop who has to spend time with his family and kids, which include a daughter who has moved back into the house, already an overused concept. The pilot is workmanlike but nothing new. It seems to have been cynically made for people who might be waiting for Jerry Stiller to enter a scene.

“Timeless” (NBC, 10 p.m., starts Oct. 3). Time travel is big on TV this season, and why not? Sherman and Peabody could have told you that going to a different important point in history each episode was a good way for a show to change each week and to reset. Few have been done with the big budget of this one, a sci-fi potboiler that involves chasing a villain through different events, starting with the crash of the Hindenburg. Oh the humanity. Of course, a history professor is the wrong person to be plucked out of class to run the secret time-hopping team. But the fact it’s Abigail Spencer, who is so good in “Rectify” eases the jolt. Also part of the team, a too-handsome swashbuckling agent (Matt Lanter) and a scientist played by Malcolm Barrett, who brings up racial disparities in different eras. The hand of Shawn Ryan of “The Shield” fame is not immediately discernible amid the network gloss and general unbelievability of the events.

“Conviction” (ABC, 10 p.m., Oct. 3). A slight twist on police procedurals stars Hayley Atwell, the former Agent Carter, as the head of a unit looking to free the wrongly convicted. Also: She’s a former First Daughter and had to take the job due to blackmail, to keep her from being busted for cocaine and embarrassing her mother, who is running for the Senate. Shawn Ashmore, Eddie Cahill, Bess Armstrong, Merrin Dungey and Manny Montana round out the cast. Haven’t seen it yet.

“Man With a Plan” (CBS, 8:30 p.m., Oct. 24) is another comedy starring a familiar face. Matt LeBlanc of “Friends” and “Joey” (as well as cable’s “Episodes”), returns to broadcast TV as a dad who raises the kids while mom (Liza Snyder) goes to work. The format is so tired, they didn’t make screeners available because frankly we’ve seen it so many times before.

RETURNING SHOWS

“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS, 8 p.m., returns tonight), “Gotham” (Fox, 8 p.m., tonight), “The Voice” (NBC, 8 p.m., tonight), “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m., started last week), “Jane the Virgin” (The CW, starts Oct 17), “Scorpion” (CBS, 9 p.m., Oct. 3), “Lucifer” (Fox, 9 p.m., tonight), “2 Broke Girls” (CBS, 9 p.m., Oct. 10), “The Odd Couple” (CBS, 9:30 p.m., Oct. 17),  “Supergirl” (The CW, 9 p.m., Oct. 10).

OF NOTE ON CABLE

“Mary + Jane” (MTV, 10 p.m., started Sept. 5) stars Scout Durwood and Jessica Rothe as unexpected (and as it turns out, quite unbelievable) pot dealers in this new scripted show, produced in part by Snoop Dogg and from a writing team responsible for “Can’t Hardly Wait.” Doesn’t compare well with HBO’s much better “High Maintenance.”

“Loosely Exactly Nicole” (MTV, 10:30 p.m., Sept. 5) stars the exuberant Nicole Byer as a young woman who is struggling in Hollywood. It’s the only comedy led by an African-American woman on TV, at least until Issa Rae’s “Insecure” arrives on HBO.

 

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