Fall TV Shows We Can't Wait to See
Upcoming Comedy in Prime Time
Queens (ABC). Rapper-singer Eve headlines a cast of 40-something females looking to make a big comeback with their hit hip-hop group from the 90s. Brandy, Nadine Velazquez, and Naturi Naughton co-star as fellow "queens" in the music-heavy comedy Queens.
The Big Leap (Fox). We've had about two decades of reality shows encroaching on scripted TV territory. The Big Leap turns the tables on that dynamic—it’s a scripted series about a reality dance show. Scott Foley (Scandal) and Teri Polo (Meet the Parents) star in the comedy about big aspirations.
Welcome to Flatch (Fox). Producer Paul Feig, the man behind The Office, Freaks and Geeks, and many more shows, puts an American spin on the hit British TV series This Country. Welcome to Flatch takes a fictional documentary crew to a small town where an optimistic preacher played by Seann William Scott (American Pie) navigates life among a group of local loonies.
Smallwood (CBS). What do you do when you get laid off from the automotive assembly line? Why, you decide to become a professional bowler, of course! That's the real-life tale of pro bowler Tom Smallwood, played by Pete Holmes (Crashing) in the TV version. Chi McBride (Hawaii Five-0) and Katie Lowes (Scandal) co-star in Smallwood.
New Drama That’s On Tap
The Thing About Pam (NBC). Why is Renée Zellweger doing network TV? With two Oscars to her name that's a fair question, and one that speaks to the quality of the TV project she took on. The Thing About Pam, a limited-run series, tells the true headline-making tale of the murder of Betsy Faria in 2011. Betsy's husband got convicted for the killing, but it was later revealed that Pam Hupp, Betsy's friend and a witness who helped put her husband away, was actually behind the crime.
Women of the Movement (ABC). From executive producer Jay-Z comes the true story of activist Mamie Till-Mobley, whose teenage son Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi in 1955. Adrienne Warren (Blue Bloods) heads up the Women of the Movement’s cast alongside Glynn Turman (Fargo), Tonya Pinkins (Enchanted), and Ray Fisher (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).
Ordinary Joe (NBC). James Wolk (Mad Men, Lone Star, Watchmen) stars as the titular Joe in this tale that follows three parallel paths in which small life choices lead Joe to become a nurse, a cop, and a musician in different lives. Think of Ordinary Joe as a small-screen version of Gwyneth Paltrow's alternate-lives movie Sliding Doors.
La Brea (NBC). Do you remember the old TV series Land of the Lost? Recall the opening song with "Marshall, Will and Holly....plunged them down...to the Land of the Lost!" Now imagine if that low-budget show from the 70s had today's big money and amazing special effects. You've got La Brea, with a sinkhole in LA opening up a portal to a primordial world below.
Fresh Takes on Old Favorites
The Wonder Years (ABC). Yes, that Wonder Years. But the reimagining of the classic coming-of-age TV comedy takes a major shift to tell the story of a Black family in 1960s Alabama. Don Cheadle serves in the iconic role of the narrator (done by actor Daniel Stern in the original that ran from 1988 to 1993). The trailer alone is likely to choke up nostalgic viewers.
NCIS: Hawaii (CBS). Ready for another NCIS? We've had a bunch of them since the 2003 debut of the original NCIS, TV's longest-running franchise. NCIS: Hawaii takes us to scenic Oahu and stars Vanessa Lachey, the first female to be in charge of a TV team of Naval Criminal Investigative Service crimefighters.
CSI: Vegas (CBS). When CBS has a hit formula they just keep it rolling. And so we're getting a Crime Scene Investigation in Sin City. And CSI: Vegas has some of the gang we originally met on the very first CSI that dropped way back in the year 2000. William Petersen as "Gil Grissom" and Jorja Fox as "Sara Sidle" will be solving crimes against the dazzling backdrop of the Las Vegas Strip.
Law and Order: For the Defense (NBC). Not to be outdone by CBS, NBC is launching another offering in its most popular franchise. Law and Order: For the Defense brings us to Chicago and inside the District Attorney’s office for a look at criminal cases from the point of view of the defense teams.
So far, the fall lineup looks pretty good. But you never know until you watch. You’ll have to tune in to decide what the best new TV shows are.
Written by William McCleary for Knockaround.