by Julian Spivey
The 2013 fall television season frankly seems a little weaker than the last few seasons, but there is still a handful of new series that look really interesting. The two most popular new series will likely be the ABC duo of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” piggy-backing off of the immensely popular comic book/superhero genre in film, and “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland,” a spinoff of the fairytale drama “Once Upon a Time.” These two shows may draw the biggest audiences, at least at first, but neither have me all that exciting as I’m not a comic book fanboy, nor do I believe “Once Upon a Time” needs a spinoff, is ready for a spinoff, or is interesting enough to have a spinoff (though I do watch the original series).
Here are the five new shows that I’m most anticipating for the upcoming season:
1. “The Blacklist” (NBC)
Alright, I guess I’m going to start off by showing some obvious bias. As soon as I found out that James Spader was returning to television I instantly knew that his show – whatever it was, even if it was just him blowing up balloon animals for 30 minutes – was going to top my future list of most anticipated new fall shows. Spader is one of the best in the business when it comes to television acting, his three Emmy Awards for his work on “Boston Legal” and “The Practice” prove as much. In NBC’s crime drama “The Blacklist” Spader gets to play the meaty role of a criminal mastermind who turns himself into the FBI so that he can bring down people just like him. The trailer for the show is the most intriguing of any show premiering this fall. Expect a delectable performance from the always delicious James Spader.
2. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (Fox)
Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is my most anticipated new sitcom of the season for many reasons. 1) Andy Samberg in a sitcom is certainly going to be interesting. I’m frankly surprised to see him on a television comedy just one year after leaving “Saturday Night Live” – are things that bad off for him? 2) Andre Braugher is one of television’s finest actors and it’ll be fun seeing him do comedy after so many truly fantastic dramatic roles. Here he seems to almost be mocking many of those former dramatic roles. 3) A workplace comedy featuring cops is unique (even though Fox did it nicely with the short-lived “The Good Guys” just a few years ago.) There are, of course, a ton of cop shows on television, but none of them will be as funny as this one … at least without trying. Here’s to hoping that “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” joins “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project” to form the funniest night on television.
3. “The Crazy Ones” (CBS)
The CBS sitcom “The Crazy Ones” is another television series that I’ve been looking forward to seeing since the moment I heard who was going to be in it – Robin Williams in his first TV series since “Mork & Mindy” ended in 1982. I’ve seen the promos for this show and honestly until I just looked it up had absolutely no clue what this show was about – it’s a workplace comedy about copywriters. However, I do know that anything featuring Robin Williams is going to be must-see TV. I just wonder what we’re going to get from Williams, a guy who’s so wild and wacky that it seems a sitcom would be hard to really capture everything that’s so funny about him. We shall see how this works out. The supporting cast featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Wolk gives “The Crazy Ones” one of the better sitcom casts on television.
4. “Trophy Wife” (ABC)
You got me. For the third time on my list of most anticipated new fall television shows I’ve included a show on my list simply because it features one of my all-time favorite television actors. This time it’s Emmy-winner Bradley Whitford, who I’ve vowed to watch in absolutely everything he does since his wonderful performance on “The West Wing.” Whitford has shown he’s great at both drama and comedy and it’ll be nice to see him once again show off his comedic chops after the short-lived Fox buddy-comedy “The Good Guys” a few years back. “Trophy Wife,” which I hope is better than its title and looks like it will be, is about a twice divorced dad (Whitford) who marries a woman 20 years younger than him (Malin Ackerman) while also having to deal with his very much still involved exes (Marcia Gay Harden and Michaela Watkins). It’s a plot that is sure to be ripe with great hilarious moments and the show is in the hands of a greatly talented bunch. My only fear is that the show could be in danger of cancellation almost immediately as it’s sandwiched between fellow newcomers “The Goldbergs” and “Lucky 7” – one a comedy and one a drama – that frankly don’t look all too great.
5. “Hostages” (CBS)
I honestly hadn’t even planned on watching “Hostages” until I saw a promo for the show very recently, despite its talented cast that includes Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott. I kind of assumed it would be just another CBS procedural drama, which I already watch enough of. The promo swayed me and now has me believing this could be one of the two best new dramas of the season (along with “The Blacklist”). Collette plays a surgeon tasked with operating on the President of the United States. McDermott leads a team of terrorists who threaten to kill Collette’s family if she doesn’t kill the President during his surgery. The only issue facing “Hostages” is that the idea plays more like a movie than a television series, but if the creators and writers can do this up right it could prove to be very good.