The New Fall Season: Mondays


2011 FALL TV PREVIEW

Broadcast networks roll out their new (and returning) shows tonight as the fall TV season officially begins. Here’s the first in a nightly look at what they’ll have to offer.

NEW SHOWS

“2 Broke Girls” (CBS, 8:30 p.m., starts tonight) has a sassy wit about it and an all-woman attitude that is still rare to prime time. Michael Patrick King guides the writing with Whitney Cummings as a smarter working girl story. That it’s led by Kat Dennings (of “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”) adds a degree of hipness, but her costar Beth Behrs, as an heiress gone broke who has to work at the diner, may have the better comic chops.

“The Playboy Club” (NBC, 10 p.m., starts tonight). One of a couple 60s dress up dramas on network TV this fall (they figure: Hey we can get old costumes too – maybe we an snare the “Mad Men” cache and acclaim), the producers don’t rely on just the setting and character studies to move the plot, so they throw in a murder and weekly intrigue into the workings of a Playboy Club, circa 1960s. You can’t hide bad acting in bunny suits and this show has a load of it. It makes me miss “Las Vegas” and I hated that show.

“Terra Nova” (Fox, 8 p.m., starts Sept. 26) has gotten a lot of buzz and a few delays, which is what a Steven Spielberg production credit and a lot of computer generated animation will get you these days. It’s the story of a family from the pollution-choked future, who must travel back to prehistoric days if they have any chance to save the planet.

Heavily retooled as artists continue to work on the dinosaurs, it’s now largely a family drama, where the daughter is starting to date and the sulky son doesn’t get along with the dad. Pretty bad domestic dynamics dominate the show, until there’s a bit of a run with dinosaurs, which we’ve all seen before, with a lot more wonder and a lot less cynicism about the time of “Jurassic Park.” A lackluster cast and a wan subplot about bad guys on the island doesn’t add up to much hope for the high cost saga. Though you know what they say about kids: They love their dinosaurs.

“Hart of Dixie” (The CW, 9 p.m., Sept. 26) can’t get past its absurd casting: Rachel Bilson, with the same juvenile approach she used on “The O.C.” pretending to be a brilliant surgeon, forced to go to small town South (ew! You can almost hear her say). There he meets all kinds of handsome dudes and their catty Southern belle fiancés for a cliché convention. Really ridiculous.

RETURNING SHOWS

“Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m. tonight), “The Sing-Off” (NBC, 8 p.m., tonight), “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS, 8 p.m., tonight), “Gossip Girl” (The CW, 8 p.m., Sept. 26), “Two and a Half Men” (CBS, 9 p.m., tonight), “Mike & Molly” (CBS, 9:30 p.m., Sept. 26), “Castle” (ABC, 10 p.m., tonight), “Hawaii Five-0” (CBS, 10 p.m., tonight).

Here’s what’s going on TuesdaysWednesdays, ThursdaysFridays and Sundays.

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