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TV Preview: New Friends

Welcome back to our annual series that looks at the best and worst of the upcoming TV season.

TV Preview: New Friends

There are plenty of important things that happen each fall: kids going back to school, leaves changing colors, pumpkin spice flavored/scented/colored items hitting store shelves. But high up on that list is also the new fall TV season!

For the past couple of years, in our TV Preview series, Emily and I have taken a look at both new and returning TV shows (from the top networks—ABC, CBS, the CW, Fox and NBC) and voiced our opinions on whether watching them is worth it. And, well … we’re back to do it again!

In case you haven’t “met” her yet, let me introduce my co-pilot on this series: Emily is thankful she grew up in small town Texas or she might never have had the time to read every The Baby-sitters Club, Sweet Valley High and Judy Blume book published during her childhood. Now, she lives in Austin (oh, big city life), where she watches a lot of television (that mostly revolves around high school students), still makes mixtapes (full of sappy love songs and boy bands), and fantasizes about falling in love with a vampire (with a soul … not a sparkly one).

Now, without further ado, let’s get to know some new shows!

Name: Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris

About: A live one-hour show, complete with stunts, skits, pranks, audience interaction, musical numbers, giveaways and unlimited surprises.

Get to Know It: Sept. 15 on NBC

Known Associates: Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)


Emily—Bang. I don't need to DVR or next day stream it, but I'd totally watch if I was home and happened to be be flipping channels (does anyone do that anymore?). It looks fun, it'd be great in the background while I was cooking or cleaning, and I'm an NPH fan. This is basically the only version of a reality/game show I'd want to be on.

Mandy—Bang. Unless it’s a variety show starring Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon, I’m not sure I’m on board. And the whole “best ____ ever” has a lot to live up to. But I like NPH, so I’ll give him/it a shot.

Name: Blindspot

About: A beautiful woman, with no memories of her past, is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Her discovery sets off a vast and complex mystery that immediately ignites the attention of the FBI who begin to follow the road map on her body to reveal a larger conspiracy of crime while bringing her closer to discovering the truth about her identity.

Get to Know It: Sept. 21 on NBC

Known Associates: Jaimie Alexander (Thor), Sullivan Stapleton (300: Rise of an Empire), Audrey Esparza (Black Box), Rob Brown (Treme)


Emily—Bang. It feels like a fun ride of a show, and I'm intrigued by the trailer. But from what I've seen, I think I would love it as a 2 hour movie, just not sure how it'll play out over a 22 episode network season. The only network show that has kept me on the edge of my seat in suspense over the course of an entire season, not to mention multiple seasons, was 24, and that's in a league that's hard to compete with. But as far as the new shows' drama slate, this one grabs my attention the most.

Mandy—Bang. The whole “naked lady in Times Square” idea seems a bit sensational for sensational’s sake, but I’m a big fan of tattoos and mysteries, so I’ll admit to being immediately intrigued. As long as Jaimie gets to be a badass, because we know she can be one, rather than a damsel in distress, I’m definitely going to check this out.

Name: Life in Pieces

About: A comedy about one family told through the separate stories of its different family members.

Get to Know It: Sept. 21 on CBS

Known Associates: James Brolin (Marcus Welby, M.D.), Dianne Wiest (In Treatment), Colin Hanks (Fargo), Dan Bakkedahl (Veep), Angelique Cabral (Enlisted), Betsy Brandt (Parenthood), Thomas Sadoski (The Newsroom), Riley Bodenstab (Days of Our Lives), Zoe Lister Jones (New Girl), Susan Park (Fargo)


Emily—Bang. I'm going to be honest, I don't watch comedies on CBS, and I didn't have much reaction to the trailer, but I love this cast. With Parenthood gone, I need a big family show in my life, and besides Modern Family, there aren't many options. It might be pure hope-watching, but I'm going to give it a shot with the belief that all comedy pilots are rough, and it will find its stride. *Fingers crossed.*

Mandy—Bang. I’m not usually one for family dramedies, but this show looks sweet and silly, and thankfully not in a laugh-track backed kind of way.

Name: Minority Report

About: Picks up 10 years after the end of Pre-crime in DC, where one of the three Pre-cogs, Dash struggles to lead a “normal” human life, haunted as he is by visions of the future. But then Dash meets a detective who just may help him find a purpose to his gift.

Get to Know It: Sept. 21 on Fox

Known Associates: Wilmer Valderrama (That ‘70s Show), Rizwan Manji (Backstrom), Meagan Good (Mr. Robinson), Nick Zano (One Big Happy), Stark Sands (NYC 22)


Emily—Bang. Purely going off the fact that I really liked the movie and the players that are involved in the TV show, I think there's potential for a good show. The biggest deciding factor in question is how procedural is it going to be? If it's a case of the week show, I'm probably out, but if the overarching story and the relationships between the characters are compelling, I'll stick around.

Mandy—Bang. I really like the Minority Report movie, and I love the idea of this show telling what happens “after” rather than being a reboot. I’m not trusting Fox to do right by this show, because it’s Fox with a sci-fi show, but I’m willing to tune in to start.

Name: Limitless

About: Based on the 2011 feature film starring Bradley Cooper, the series follows Brian Finch as he discovers the power of the mysterious drug NZT, and is coerced into using his newfound abilities to solve weekly cases for the FBI.

Get to Know It: Sept. 22 on CBS

Known Associates: Bradley Cooper, Jake McDorman (Manhattan Love Story), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), HIll Harper (CSI: NY), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Law & Order: Criminal Intent)


Emily—Kill. I don't know if I can handle this and Minority Report, so I felt like I had to choose one. This one feels more stilted to me, and I'm not drawn in by the characters/actors. Plus, CBS doesn't have a great track record with me.

Mandy—Kill. I never saw Limitless, and I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on much. I also don’t understand how that movie, from what little I know, could become a crime procedural. Sorry Bradley Cooper, but I’m not feeling it.

Name: The Muppets

About: The Muppets return to primetime with a series that, for the first time ever, will explore the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, break-ups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires; a more adult Muppet show, for kids of all ages.

Get to Know It: Sept. 22 on ABC

Known Associates: The Muppets


Emily—Marry. Call it nostalgia, but I can't help but smile throughout every trailer or clip I watch of this show. It's light and bright, and I think going to have some great social commentary. I believe this show is going to add happiness to my life, and is there really anything more I can ask from a network show?

Mandy—Bang. I’m really unsure of the idea of a “more adult” Muppet show, and didn’t find the jokes in the trailer all that funny. (Also, Denise? NOPE.) But I do have fond memories of the Muppets from when I was little, so I have to give it a try, for nostalgia's sake.

Name: Scream Queens

About: An anthology horror-comedy series, the first season of which revolves around a college campus that is rocked by a series of murders.

Get to Know It: Sept. 22 on Fox

Known Associates: Jamie Lee Curtis (NCIS), Abigail Breslin (Zombieland), Oliver Hudson (Nashville), Emma Roberts (American Horror Story), Lea Michele (Glee), Skyler Samuels (The Nine Lives of Chloe King), Keke Palmer (90210), Ariana Grande (Victorious), Diego Boneta (90210), Nasim Pedrad (SNL), Nick Jonas (Jonas), Grace Phipps (The Vampire Diaries), Glen Powell (The Expendables 3), Niecy Nash (Reno 911)


Emily—Marry. American Horror Story is way too scary for me, but I think Ryan Murphy knows how to make a great TV show (hey, the first few seasons of Glee were super enjoyable). It's Mean Girls and Scream in a sorority house. AND it's a 15 episode anthology series, so we don't have to worry about "Can they keep up the same storyline over and over and over again with a new murderer?" It's marketing itself as a fun, campy show, and I think in this case that's exactly what we're going to get (and exactly what I want from it).

Mandy—Kill. After the first couple of seasons, I wasn’t a huge fan of Glee, and I’ve only watched the first season of American Horror Story, so I’m not really drawn in by a show that seems to mix the two (minus the singing … although there are an awful lot of actors/singers in the show, so you never know). I’d be willing to change my tune if it turns out to be great, though. And Jamie Lee Curtis’ involvement certainly made me choose Kill with some trepidation.

Name: Rosewood

About: This investigative series centers around the brilliant Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr., the top private pathologist in all of Miami. As owner of one of the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art independent labs in the country, he finds the secrets in bodies that others usually miss. Despite being constantly surrounded by death, Rosewood is obsessed with life and savors every moment. His eternal optimism will frustrate the cynical female detective he often works with, but she can’t argue with the results that his unique perspective provides.

Get to Know It: Sept. 23 on Fox

Known Associates: Morris Chestnut (Legends), Lorraine Toussaint (The Fosters), Anthony Michael Hall (The Dead Zone), Jaina Lee Ortiz (The Shop)


Emily—Kill. Just not my type of show. It's going to be great for what it is, but a medical/crime procedural is not on my priority list. I like Morris Chestnut a lot and find him extremely fun to watch, but even the best of the best can't keep me coming back for a case-of-the-week. However, if it is your cup of tea, I think this one will have a nice mix of comedy and drama that Fox does well.

Mandy—Kill. Even the promise of a whole lot of Shirtless News featuring Morris Chestnut isn’t enough to draw me into yet another “top of his/her field specialist teams up with a cop to solve crimes” show.

Name: The Player

About: The action-packed Las Vegas thriller follows a former military operative-turned-security expert who is drawn into a high-stakes game where an organization of wealthy individuals gamble on his ability to stop some of the biggest crimes imaginable from playing out.

Get to Know It: Sept. 24 on NBC

Known Associates: Wesley Snipes (Blade), Philip Winchester (Strike Back), Charity Wakefield (Close to the Enemy)


Emily—Kill. The premise sounds enticing as a log line, but this feels like the point is to draw you into the world, not necessarily the characters, and the characters and relationships are really what matter most to me. It's a just lot of action taking place in Las Vegas, and that does nothing for me.

Mandy—Bang. I didn’t know what to expect from this show before watching the trailer, but I have to admit that I’m intrigued, I just don’t see this show lasting very long. I do hope Wesley Snipes sees a resurgence from this, though.

Name: Blood & Oil

About: Billy and Cody Lefever dream of a new life beyond their working class roots and move to “The Bakken” in North Dakota, booming after the biggest oil discovery in American history. They’re soon pitted against a ruthless tycoon who forces them to bet big and put everything on the line, including their marriage.

Get to Know It: Sept. 27 on ABC

Known Associates: Don Johnson (Nash Bridges), Chase Crawford (Gossip Girl), Rebecca Rittenhouse (Red Band Society), Amber Valletta (Revenge), Scott Michael Foster (Greek), Miranda Rae Mayo (Pretty Little Liars), Delroy Lindo (Believe)


Emily—Kill. It feels so unintentionally cheesy. The voice over on the trailer is what seals the deal. I would be into a gritty drama about the oil industry (e.g., There Will Be Blood), but I just can't take Chase Crawford seriously. I couldn't get into the reboot of Dallas, and this seems to be ABC's take on that world. Now if Shonda Rhimes was overseeing it it might be a different story ...

Mandy—Kill. Much like I’m not a huge fan of family dramedies, I’m even less of a fan of family dramas, and this show promises a huge helping of drama. So, thanks, but no thanks. (Also, WHAT was that voiceover?)

Name: Quantico

About: A diverse group of recruits have arrived at the FBI Quantico Base for training. They are the best, the brightest and the most vetted, so it seems impossible that one of them is suspected of masterminding the biggest attack on New York City since 9/11.

Get to Know It: Sept. 27 on ABC

Known Associates: Dougray Scott (Hemlock Grove), Priyanka Chopra, Aunjanue Ellis (The Mentalist), Jake McLaughlin (Believe), Yasmine Al Massri (Crossbones), Johanna Braddy (UnREAL), Tate Ellington (The Mindy Project), Graham Rogers (Resident Advisors)


Emily—Bang. A soapy conspiracy show, I'm game to try it. Most of the cast in unknown to me, but in the 3 minute trailer, I already like watching them interact, and I'm into the mystery element of it. Who framed Alex Parrish? Or is she the terrorist? It has a bit of an Alias feel to it, and I think ABC does this type of show really well. Scandal, anyone?

Mandy—Bang? I was excited about the promise of a POC “main character” in a show until the whole bit about her being framed for being a terrorist. Really, ABC? However, I could be back on board if she turns out to be as much of a badass as it seems she’s going to be.

Name: Grandfathered

About: A longtime bachelor's life is upended when he discovers he's a father—and a grandfather.

Get to Know It: Sept. 29 on Fox

Known Associates: John Stamos (Full House), Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds), Josh Peck (Drake and Josh)


Emily—Bang. I find the premise endearing, and I think there's potential for a lot of heart in this show. Plus, I like John Stamos and Josh Peck enough to at least commit 22 minutes of my life.  We'll see what happens after that.

Mandy—Bang. I wasn’t sure where this trailer was going, but the last scene was so adorable that I just HAVE to give this show a chance now.

Name: The Grinder

About: Rob Lowe stars as beloved TV lawyer Dean Sanderson (aka "The Grinder"). When his long-running hit series comes to an end, he finds himself at a crossroads in life and decides to move back to his small hometown, thinking he has the experience to take over his family’s law firm.

Get to Know It: Sept. 29 on Fox

Known Associates: Rob Lowe (Parks & Rec), Fred Savage (The Wonder Years), William Devane (24: Live Another Day), Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), Natalie Morales (The Middleman), Mary Elizabeth Ellis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)


Emily—Bang. Fred Savage. Done. I think this show might take a bit to find its rhythm, but like Grandfathered, I think there's potential for good chemistry between the male leads and I'm willing to give it a 22 minute shot with very high hopes.

Mandy—Kill. Although the parts of this whole (i.e., the actors in this show) are promising, I’m not really digging the idea. There’s nothing that reaches out and grabs me about this one.

Name: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

About: Rachel Bloom stars as Rebecca, a successful, driven and possibly crazy young woman who impulsively gives up everything—her partnership at a prestigious law firm and her upscale apartment in Manhattan, included—in a desperate attempt to find love and happiness in that exotic hotbed of romance and adventure: West Covina, Calif.

Get to Know It: Oct. 12 on The CW

Known Associates: Rachel Bloom (Robot Chicken), Pete Gardner (Eagleheart)


Emily—Marry. A musical comedy-drama about a single woman who can't quite get over her high school sweetheart? Yes, please. Watching this trailer reminds me of watching the one for Jane the Virgin last year, and it completely delivered. I already want to live in this world … or maybe any world where people randomly bust out into song.

Mandy—Bang. This show doesn’t feel like your standard CW show, but as I pretty much watch or have watched everything on the CW, I feel like I have to watch this at least once. Also: I had no idea this show was a musical? I love musicals. (Side note: I have an irrational dislike of this show because I feel like it kicked The 100 off the fall season. I have no basis for that feeling, nor any proof, but I’m still going to be mad at it for a while.)

Name: Supergirl

About: Kara Zor-El escaped her home planet of Krypton amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she has concealed the powers she shares with her (ahem) "famous cousin." But now, at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.

Get to Know It: Oct. 26 on CBS

Known Associates: Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal), Mechad Brooks (Necessary Roughness), David Harewood (Homeland), Melissa Benoist (Glee), Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy)


Emily—Bang. I want to love this show. I want to want to marry it, but I'm holding back until I get a feel for what it's going to be. I absolutely feel we need a show about a female superhero, but all the other superhero TV shows as of late have disappointed. But that being said, I'm really excited to watch the pilot.

Mandy—Marry. I’m all about superhero shows, and this is the first one to be “led” by a woman. I would do as much as I could to stick with this show on those principles alone; thankfully, it also looks like it’s going to be a really fun show.

Name: Wicked City

About: Each season, Wicked City will follow a different case set in a different noteworthy era of LA history, starting with a murder case from 1982 centered on the rock and roll, cocaine-infused revelry of the Sunset Strip. Alliances are formed between detectives, reporters, drug dealers and club-goers to solve a serial murder case.

Get to Know It: Oct. 27 on ABC

Known Associates: Erika Christensen (Parenthood), Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory), Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl), Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story), Gabriel Luna (Matador), Anne Winters (The Fosters), Karolina Wydra (True Blood), Evan Ross (90210)


Emily—Kill. I don't want to watch a drama about serial killers. There are parts of the show that are very intriguing to me, but at the end of the day, cops hunting murderers, just not my thing.

Mandy—Bang. As much as I question why, I find shows like Criminal Minds fascinating, and this show has a bit of that feel. It goes a step further and delves into the mind of the sociopaths, however, which might be a little too far for me. We shall see.


Did any of these shows pique your interest? Are there any you’re definitely not going to bother with? Let’s discuss in the comments!

We’ll be back next week with our thoughts on some of our returning faves.

All “about” descriptions via TVLine.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.