The 2017 Fall Season: Mondays

The New Fall Season

The New Fall Season

Though new shows roll out virtually every day of the year, the fall TV season remains a time honored way to bring out a batch of new broadcast shows. Overall, it’s not a great crop. But it certainly will be a familiar one, with variations and revivals of proven hits and well-worn roads to past genre hits. A golden age of TV? You’d hardly guess there is one, judging from broadcast networks, who are clearly happy with just raking in their usual number of viewers if they can keep with mediocre fare? Why try harder? We’ll be taking a look at the new fall season, night by night, starting Monday, where the number of new comedies are matched only by new military shows. 

NEW SHOWS

Young_Sheldon_Trailer_Screenshot_600_by_400“Young Sheldon” (CBS, 8:30 p.m., starts tonight). The only guaranteed hit of the season is likely to be the pint-sized origin story of Jim Parsons’ eccentric character on “The Big Bang Theory,” mostly because it stars the talented Iain Armitage, who was the standout on “Big Little Lies.” He’s a brainy 9-year-old who has been promoted to high school and insists on wearing a bow tie. There is a problem that he is a little too annoying, too judgmental on his fellow student and  feels too superior to everybody. The tone is a little different than the mother show in that it is not filmed in front of an audience, but it brings along Parsons as narrator to make the connection. A more genius move is having Zoe Perry, the real life daughter of Laurie Metcalfe (who has appeared on “Big Bang” as Sheldon’s mother), play mom here. Lance Barber of “The Comeback” is almost as good at the dad. But for me, as in every Chuck Lorre comedy, the same problem: No laughs.

“Me, Myself & I” (CBS, 9:30 p.m., tonight). The “This Is Us” syndrome hits comedies, looking at one character at three stages of his life — as a 14 year old, as a 40 year old, and a 65-year-old. That and Bobby Moynihan, the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, appears as the middle ager about a third of the time. He’s an inventor, supposedly, with roots in the youth character (Jack Dylan Grazer), in scenes that play out like any of the sweeter Disney sitcoms. John Larroquette doesn’t seem any more suited to be the elder person than Moynihan does in his role — and there is a big cheat in the pilot that his teenage crush has only aged half as fast as he has. The process of the show shoulders out the natural humor (especially in a 22 minute comedy); not sure how much they can wring out of this concept.

“The Gifted” (Fox, 9 p.m., Oct. 2). What looks like one of the more interesting family series of the fall is actually another well disguised Marvel origin story, in which concerned parents (Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker) pull up stakes and go on the run when they learn the government is coming after their children with special powers. They join an underground community of mutants who have their own special powers (and are awaiting their big screen Marvel debuts, no doubt). Like the best of the Marvel adaptations, it entertains most when it is hiding the superhero stuff. From Bryan Singer (“X-Men”) and Matt Nix (“Burn Notice”), it’s a glossy, good looking show.

“Valor” (The CW, 8 p.m., Oct. 9). One of at least three new military-based shows this fall, this one concentrates on Army helicopter pilots, some of whom happen to be women. There’s lots of rescue missions, lots of “Go! Go! Go!” in the dialog. But also some soapier romantic interlude among characters as well. The focus is on Christina Ochoa, on a night that will close out with “Supergirl.” It also stars Matt Barr and Charlie Barnett. It’s sort of a new direction a CW series.

“The Brave” (NBC, 10 p.m., tonight). Another strong woman heads the second new military saga of the night, with Anne Heche starring as the head of the command center of a Special Operations force, battling in hot spots all over the world. With Mike Vogel, Sofia Pernas and Demetrius Grosse. The pilot was by-the-books action fare and it appears the show will focus less on personal lives of the soldiers or ongoing drama. It’s from Dean Georgaris, better known for writing a “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” sequel and “Payback.”

“The Good Doctor” (ABC, 10 p.m., tonight). If it seems too much like “House,” the highly-eccentric medical mystery solver, it’s probably because it’s from the same writer. But this time, instead of being a pill-addicted misanthrope, the doctor is a young man on the autism scale. It seems fraught with all kinds of notions about savants (if not bringing to mind the heyday of “Doogie Howser”). But it stars Freddie Highmore, who did a good job as young Norman in “Bates Motel.”  And it has Richard Schiff, shouting out his praises.  Co-produced by Daniel Dae Kim, it’s actually based on a South Korean series with the same name.

RETURNING SHOWS

“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS, 8 p.m., tonight), “The Voice” (NBC, 8 p.m., tonight), “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m., started Sept. 18), “Supergirl” (The CW, 8 p.m., Oct. 9), “Lucifer” (Fox, 8 p.m., Oct. 2), “9JKL” (CBS, 8:30 p.m., Oct. 2), “Kevin Can Wait” (CBS, 9 p.m., tonight), “Superior Donuts” (CBS, 9:30 p.m., Oct. 30),  “Scorpion” (CBS, 10 p.m., tonight).

OF NOTE ON CABLE

“The Opposition with Jordan Klepper” (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m., tonight). The post “Daily Show” slot that had been filled with the too-quickly canceled “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” returns to a more “Colbert Report” style with Klepper, the former “Daily Show” correspondent, taking on the persona of an alt-right conspiracy monger, with his own gang of correspondents and “citizen journalists.”

“The Halcyon” (Ovation, 10 p.m., Oct. 2). An eight-part British import about life in a five-star London hotel circa 1940s, with Steven Mackintosh, Olivia Williams and Hermione Cornfield. Whether it will be the next “Downton Abby” is yet to be determined.

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