The 2016 Fall Season: Thursdays

The New Fall Season

The New Fall Season

We are previewing the new network fall schedule day by day all week, and on Thursdays you can find examples of some of the best the season has to offer and some of the very worst. Our intent is to make it easier to step across this minefield. 

NEW SHOWS

Pitch“Pitch” (Fox, 9 p.m., tonight) stars the very convincing Kylie Bunbury as the first woman hired to pitch in Major League Baseball. As you may imagine, she faces some barriers, including fellow teammates who don’t think she can do it, including her catcher, a beefier Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Because it’s from Dan Fogelman, who was also behind this week’s new “This is Us,” there is also a completely unnecessary twist at the end of the pilot. Hope he doesn’t feel he has to put these things in all his episodes. But the baseball setting and storyline of forging a new path definitely make it a fall standout.

“Notorious” (ABC, 9 p.m., tonight) steals a Hitchcock title to tell the tale of a cable news producer and a celebrity lawyer in Los Angeles, starring two good looking faces from cable, Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata. But there’s not much to it, and makes a poor substitute for “Scandal” (blame Kerry Washington’s pregnancy). As such it’s been called the worst of the new fall shows.

“The Good Place” (NBC, 8:30 p.m., started Sept. 19) has more in common with Mike Schur’s earlier gem “Parks and Recreation” than it does his current “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and that might be because it has another diminutive blonde at its center. In this case, Kristen Bell plays a person who mistakenly gets into heaven. Ted Danson is the patient administrator. As with Shur’s other shows, the key may be in the ensemble. But definitely worth a look as it develops.

“The Great Indoors” (CBS, 8:30 p.m., Oct. 27) has a premise that might make you cringe — a Gen X editor returns to edit a magazine run by millennials — but the vehicle has both Joel McHale and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin’ himself) as well as some talented younger actors. “Survivor” seems to already be mining all the cliches about generations, but this one has already stirred controversy (proving: millennials are so touchy!).

“Pure Genius” (CBS, 10 p.m., Oct. 27) boasts Dermot Mulroney as a surgeon who joins forces with an annoying tech guy played by Augustus Prew to solve medical mysteries. It’s from Jason Katis of “Parenthood” fame, but with the usual CBS over-reliance on computer screens, boy can this get tiresome.

RETURNING SHOWS

“Rosewood” (Fox, 8 p.m., returns tonight), “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (The CW, 8 p.m., Oct. 13), “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 8 p.m., tonight), “Superstore” (NBC, 8 p.m.), tonight), “Chicago Med” (NBC 9 p.m., tonight), “Mom” (CBS, 9 p.m., Oct. 27), “Life in Pieces” (CBS, 9:30 p.m., Oct. 27) “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC, 10 p.m., tonight), “The Blacklist” (NBC, 10 p.m., tonight).

OF NOTE ON CABLE

“Better Things” (FX, 10 p.m., started Sept. 9). I’ve already sung the praises of this Pamela Adlon comedy, produced with her friend Louis C.K., about a single mother’s life as a part time actress in Hollywood. It’s got great performances from kids and a stridently different approach to life and comedy.

“Falling Water” (USA, 10 p.m., Oct. 12) stars Will Yun Lee, Lizzie roc here and David Ajala about bad dreams turning real, from Gale Anne Hurd, a producer of “The Walking Dead.”

 

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