By and large, it won’t get started for another week, but we’d thought we’d begin the process in surveying the new fall TV season, night by night this week.
“Lone Star” (Fox, 9 p.m., starts Sept. 20) – Broadcast TV takes a conceit from cable in presenting the antihero as hero. Dashing James Wolk is a man who follows his father (David Keith) into being the consummate con man in the oil game. Part of this involves having two girlfriends, a real one and an oil heiress in Houston. To work, audiences have to learn to like the two-timer with touches of “There Will Be Blood.” But as strong as the set-up seems to be, I’m wondering how long it can be played out. But “Prison Break” had that same problem and it worked out pretty well. With Eloise Mumford, Adrianne Palicki and Jon Voight.
“The Event” (NBC, 9 p.m., Sept. 20). With its plane crash, lost people and incessant time jumping, “The Event” tries a little too strongly to tread into the realm of “Lost,” part of which is not telling you what the heck is going on most of the time. Confusion is supposed to lead to intrigue. But we’re not buying. Despite a cast with presidential Blair Underwood, Laura Innes and Zeljko Ivanek, it has the cheesy feel of one of those NBC made for TV disaster flicks. It’s a minor show, then, that is the opposite of its title.
“Mike & Molly” (CBS, 9:30 p.m., Sept. 20). Perhaps the most promising network comedy of the season is this third (!) primetime offering from Chuck Lorre and company about a cop who meets a teacher and starts to date. It’s sort of sweet in a slow moving way, and yeah, the two leads look like escapees from “The Biggest Loser,” but that shouldn’t define the show. Instead, it’s a sharply written comedy with heart with a cast that looks like recognizable people for once. Billy Gardell is terrific in his role, specifically in the soliloquies; opposite him, the dimpled Melissa McCarthy is recognizable from “Gilmore Girls.”
“Chase” (NBC, 10 p.m., Sept. 20) is not the long awaited Vincent Chase docu-drama, but sort of Jerry Bruckheimer’s variation of the now-canceled “Cold Case.” This one is even more preposterous, only because lead Kelli Giddish is so tiny compared to the hulking federal crooks she tracks down as a U.S. Marshal. The cast includes Cole Hauser and Jesse Metcalfe and uses a whole lot of gloppy pathos in the pilot.
“Hawaii Five-O” (CBS, 10 p.m., Sept. 20) may actually be a worse cop option at that hour, despite the waves of crashing nostalgia in the use of the themesong and the character names in the new variation. But the tone is very different and the use of firepower ridiculously over the top. Scott Caan, who was OK last season in “Entourage,” is a little more annoying here, playing good cop/bad cop with Alex O’Loughlin. Seeing Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park will just make you miss the better shows they were a part of – “Lost” and “Battlestar Galactica.” It’s a kind of show that’s smug in the notion that it will catch on, and you may just hate it more when it does.
“Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m., starts Sept. 20), “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS, 8 p.m., Sept. 20), “House” (Fox, 8 p.m., Sept. 20), “Chuck” (NBC, 8 p.m., Sept. 20), “90120” (The CW, 8 p.m., Sept. 20), “Rules of Engagement” (CBS, 8:30 p.m., Sept. 20), “Two and a Half Men” (CBS, 9 p.m., Sept. 20), “Gossip Girl” (The CW, 9 p.m.), “Castle” (ABC, 10 p.m., Sept. 20).