Growing up, I usually watched whatever was popular at the time (Friends, Will & Grace) and tons of teen shows (Beverly Hills 90210, My So-Called Life, Dawson’s Creek), but I overlooked a lot of great stuff. Either I didn’t know about a show because the channel was underrated (Veronica Mars on UPN), or it seemed too “out there” or “sci-fi” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I’m always surprised by what I end up loving now, as I no longer have any restrictions on genre. Sometimes a show has potential and you need to give it a few episodes beyond the pilot to find its footing, or what looks great in the pilot quickly fizzles out as the series continues. You can usually tell right away if you click with the material or not, but try to keep an open mind…you never know what will become your new obsession!
NCIS (8/7c CBS)
NCIS: New Orleans (9/8c CBS)
Fresh Off the Boat (8:30/7:30c ABC)
*Scream Queens (8/7c FOX) Missing your Glee fix? Ryan Murphy’s new horror comedy hybrid looks like it has all his usual campy fun. I’m in–it’s one of my top picks of the night.
The Muppets (8/7c ABC) This is exactly what it sounds like: a show about the Muppets. It’s meant to be a cheeky, behind-the-scenes look at the gang, but it looks terribly boring to me. I’m sure die hard Muppet fans will be ecstatic, but I personally don’t think this one will last long. (The recent movies made a huge amount of money, so I could be wrong.)
Best Time Ever (10/9c NBC) New variety show with Neil Patrick Harris and assorted guest announcers–8 week run, but could be extended. The first episode was a bit of a cluster for me, but it’s a live show and I know they’re still working out the kinks. NPH is always a charming host and the first announcer was Reese Witherspoon, so it has potential if it gets less “network-y” and loses all the tie-ins to other NBC shows. First episode is here.
The Bastard Executioner (10/9c FX) This period piece has a seriously sexy lead (Lee Jones), and Kurt Sutter fans (Sons of Anarchy, The Shield) will enjoy his usual dark vibe. Also, Stephen Moyer! The season premiere was last week, but you can catch up on it here.
*Limitless (10/9c CBS) Based on the 2011 film with Bradley Cooper (sigh), the series will focus on a new character but promises some appearances from him. I really enjoyed the film and I’m curious to see how they can stretch the concept into a series, so this is my second pick of the night.