From teen vampires and police rookies to the return of a familiar news crew, we round up all that's new this fall
The new fall TV season is nearly upon us, and we're previewing the upcoming network series heading your way in the weeks to come. Below, we offer details on 22 debuts. Next week, we look at returning series and new shows on specialty channels and streaming services.
Dates, times and shows subject to change. Check your weekly listings.
1. Rel – Sundays, 9:30 p.m., City & Fox | Grade: C+
FoxSTARRING: Lil Rel Howery, Sinbad, Jessica "Jess Hilarious" Moore, Jordan L. Jones
Based on the standup comedy
of Lil Rel Howery, this sitcom finds the Get Out star playing a Chicago husband and father who discovers his wife has been cheating on him—with his barber, no less! Suddenly single, Rel finds himself starting over, dipping back into the dating pool as he looks for love—and a new barber—while trying to avoid the dubious advice of his father (Sinbad, making his return to the fox network 25 years after the debut of The Sinbad Show).
THEY SAY: “I look at shows like Family Ties—do you remember when Michael J. Fox had that great episode where Alex’s friend got killed by a drunk driver? There’s something beautiful about stuff like that, and that’s some of the stuff I want to explore,” says Howery of where he intends to take the show. “Hopefully the audience won’t feel weird about it... I’m going to try to do my best to do whatever I’ve always loved about sitcoms, about television, within my show.”
I SAY: Howery, Sinbad, Moore and Carmichael are all very funny people, yet the lacklustre pilot could have used more laughs. However, the optimist in me is hopeful the show will find its footing and live up to its comedy potential.
PREMIERE: September 30 (Special preview Sunday, September 9th at 6 p.m. & 8 p.m. on Fox and 8 p.m. on City)
2. Charmed – Sundays, 9 p.m., The CW | Grade: B
The CWSTARRING: Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffery, Madeleine Mantock, Rupert Evans, Ser’Darius Blain, Charlie Gillespie, Ellen Tamaki
In this reboot of the supernatural series that ran from 1998 until 2006, Diaz, Mantock and Vancouver native Jeffery star as a trio of Latina sisters (one of whom was previously unknown to the other two) who, after the death of their mother, discover they’re
all powerful witches. With the sage advice of “whitelighter” Harry Greenwood (Evans), the sisters grow into their destiny as the Charmed Ones, tasked with protecting humanity
from the nefarious demons that
walk among us.
THEY SAY: “You’re tapping into an incredibly passionate fanbase, and that’s important,” explains Executive Producer Jennie Snyder Urman. “Beyond that, we are using a lot of their central mythologies: whitelighters, the Book of Shadows, the power of three, the feeling that at its core this is a story about a love story between three sisters . . . the core of the show, I think, remains the same.”
I SAY: If the pilot is any indication, the show does a great job of staying faithful to its predecessor’s mythology while updating things for a new generation of fans. People who loved Charmed will find plenty to like with this reboot, but it’s also been crafted as an easy entrance point for those who never saw the original.
PREMIERE: October 14
3. Dancing With the Stars: Juniors – Sundays, 8 p.m., Global & ABC
STARRING: Frankie Muniz, Jordan Fisher
Malcolm in the Middle star Muniz and Hamilton actor fisher (both former DWtS competitors) have been tapped to host this spinoff that features celebrity kids hitting the floor in a dance competition.
THEY SAY: “It’s Dancing With the Stars as you know it,” said Fisher in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “It’s people you are familiar with and that you love. It’s a stage that you’re familiar with, that you love, but it’s [all] brand new. It’s
the same show—it’s the same feeling
of sitting down and watching people compete in something that they’ve never done before.”
I SAY: Having not seen any footage yet, I’ll reserve judgment. That being said, let’s hope this kid-centric spinoff fares better than the ill-fated American Idol Junior (which you probably don’t even remember, but was — take my word for it — very, very terrible).
PREMIERE: October 7
4. The Alec Baldwin Show – Sundays, 10 p.m., CTV & ABC
ABCSTARRING: Alec Baldwin
The former 30 Rock star hosts his second talk show, following his short-lived 2013 effort for MSNBC, Up Late With Alec Baldwin. This
new version—much like Baldwin’s long-running NPR podcast, Here’s the Thing—will see him interview an array of celebrity guests, running the gamut from comedians to actors to politicians and other newsmakers.
THEY SAY: “It’s longer, and it’s not a pre-produced segment on
the couch of a talk show—which
is nearly always promotional,” Baldwin explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “The watch word for me is ‘origins.’ I like to talk to people about their origins. How did they grow up, and how were they primed for this kind of work? How did Jerry Seinfeld become Jerry Seinfeld? I think that’s inspiring for artists and performers.”
I SAY: A special preview episode was aired after this year’s oscars, and delivered an interesting hour of deep conversation with Seinfeld and SNL’s Kate McKinnon as inaugural guests. Baldwin proved to be engaging and charming; if successful, the show could spearhead a new era of longer-form TV interviews.
PREMIERE: October 14
5. God Friended Me – Sundays, 8 p.m., CTV & CBS | Grade: D
STARRING: Brandon Michael Hall, Violett Beane, Suraj Sharma, Javicia Leslie, Joe Morton
Hall (last seen in ABC’s The Mayor) stars as Miles Finer, an outspoken atheist who is forced to confront his lack of faith when he receives a social-media friend request from the Almighty. Eventually accepting the request, he follows signs that lead him to a journalist (Beane), with the pair investigating God’s friend suggestions and inadvertently helping others in need. While Miles remains skeptical, he decides to play along with what he sees as an elaborate hoax—for now...
THEY SAY: “It’s incredibly important to us that we’re not a show that is preachy or judgmental,” explains exec producer Steven Lilien. “We’re not here to take sides. We’re here to show all different points of view. It’s an inclusive show, a respectful show. Whether you believe or not believe, our message is more about believing in each other.”
I SAY: Following the failure of last season’s faith-based bomb Living Biblically, CBS is taking another shot at capturing churchgoing TV viewers. Unfortunately, as well-intentioned as God Friended Me may be, it’s also heavy-handed and dull. If you tune in, expect to find yourself checking your own social media for friend requests out of sheer boredom.
PREMIERE: September 30 (8 p.m. on CTV; special time of 8:30 p.m. on CBS)
6. The Neighborhood – Mondays, 8 p.m., CBS & Global | Grade: C-
STARRING: Cedric the Entertainer, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs, Sheaun McKinney, Tichina Arnold, Marcel Spears, Hank Greenspan, Christian Camargo
When a friendly, earnest white couple from the Midwest (New Girl’s Greenfield
and 2 Broke Girls’ Behrs) moves into a predominantly black neighbourhood, longtime resident Calvin Butler (Cedric the Entertainer) becomes miffed, thinking they’ll disrupt the culture of the block. While Calvin does his best to give his new neighbours the cold shoulder, his long-suffering wife (Arnold) does what she can to smooth things over.
THEY SAY: “This is a show about C- people. This is a show about
families, about neighbours,
about friendship, those universal themes and
relationships that we all
know and are familiar
with,” says exec producer
Jim Reynolds. “I think the
premise gives us an additional
layer to get into some discussions that, frankly, I think a lot of people would like to be having more, in a safe space.”
I SAY: Remember George Jefferson? The creators of this show sure do, and Cedric the Entertainer’s character resembles a tribute to/carbon copy of Sherman Hemsley from The Jeffersons.
PREMIERE: October 1
7. Magnum P.I. – Mondays, 9 p.m., CTV & CBS | Grade: C
CBSSTARRING: Jay Hernandez, Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill
One of the biggest hits of the 1980s is rebooted for a new TV generation, with Hernandez (Scandal) tapped to fill the shoes of Tom Selleck. Yes, there’s a red Ferrari (but no moustache!), and this modern-
day Magnum is a former Navy SEAL who pals around with his fellow ex-SEALs (and Afghanistan PoWs) Rick (Happy Endings’ Knighton) and TC (Hill). As in the original, Magnum and his crew work for mysterious novelist Robin Masters, whose Hawaii mansion is looked after by prim Brit Juliet Higgins (Weeks).
THEY SAY: “We’re trying to introduce the show to a new audience,” explains Lenkov. “The spirit of the [original show] still exists. There’s a lot of similarities, but we’re just updating this thing.” Adds Hernandez: “The younger demographic has this vague, almost innate awareness of Magnum P.I. and the cars and the locale of Hawaii, but they don’t know it so well that they’re sort of married to certain things. So it’s going to be great to bring this to a whole new generation of people.”
I SAY: While the pilot was heavy on exposition and even heavier on spectacular stunts, action sequences, car chases and the like, those of us who remember the original recall that the single-biggest factor in Magnum’s success was Selleck’s easygoing charm. And while Hernandez is somewhat charming, he’s not Selleck-level charming; when the least interesting character in Magnum P.I. is Magnum himself, I’d call that a problem.
PREMIERE: September 24
8. Happy Together – Mondays, 8:30 p.m., Global & CBS | Grade: C+
CBSSTARRING: Damon Wayans, Jr., Amber Stevens West, Felix Mallard, Stephnie Weir, Chris Parnell
An accountant (Wayans, Jr.) and his wife (West) open their home to his client, world-famous pop star Cooper James (Mallard), when he needs to hide out from the media. The young celeb becomes enamoured of their boring suburban lifestyle, and sticks around.
THEY SAY: “Fundamentally, you’re looking at a couple in their mid-30s who feel their life is maybe getting a bit boring, a bit stale,” says Winston. “They’re losing their youth, and they are seeing in front of them this young, dynamic, cool epitome of youth and excitement. I think that’s fundamentally what this show is about.”
I SAY: While the pilot was somewhat predictable, the goofball chemistry between Wayans and West looks pretty solid; time will tell whether the show finds its footing in future episodes.
PREMIERE: October 1
9. Manifest – Mondays, 10 p.m., City & NBC | Grade: C
STARRING: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, J. R. Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Jack Messina, Parveen Kaur
A jet airliner takes off from Jamaica in 2013 and hits a brief patch of unexpected turbulence. When the plane lands in New York, the passengers are stunned
to discover it’s now 2018. As you’d expect,
being lost in time for
all those years proves
strange and disconcerting for everyone involved as they struggle to return relationships to normal (which is not so easy) while trying to unravel the mystery of what happened in the sky.
THEY SAY: “The tantalizing element is this event mystery about a plane that disappears and returns,” explains showrunner Jeff Rake, adding that the show is also “about a family that’s torn apart and brought back together again, and the question of whether you can ever put the pieces of your life and your relationships back together again... As much as my show is inspired by [previous] event mysteries, it’s also inspired by This Is Us.”
I SAY: There have been a lot of shows over the years that have strived to recreate the success of Lost, and this is the latest to take a big swing and strike out; unfortunately, the relationship drama detracts from the real meat of the show, the underlying mystery—which is shuttled to the back burner. Plus, the notion that a plane full of people who’ve been missing for years and suddenly return, only to be briefly interviewed and then returned to their lives—as opposed to being quarantined and tested by scientists in an Area 51-style top-secret government facility—is beyond absurd.
PREMIERE: September 24
10. The Conners – Tuesdays, 8 p.m., ABC
STARRING: John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Alicia Goranson, Michael Fishman, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara, Jayden Rey
ABC’s Roseanne reboot was last season’s highest-rated network series—until it all came crashing down thanks to one horribly racist tweet courtesy of Roseanne Barr. After initially cancelling the series, ABC decided on a Barr-free resurrection with a sans-Roseanne spinoff that will continue the story of the Conner clan. While not definitely confirming the Roseanne character will bite the dust, Goodman declared in an interview that he expects Dan to “be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead.”
THEY SAY: “We have received a tremendous amount of support from
fans of our show, and it’s clear that these characters not only have a place in our hearts, but in the hearts and homes of our audience,” reads a joint statement from the show’s stars. “We all came back last season because we wanted to tell stories about the challenges facing a working-class family today. We are so happy to have the opportunity to return with the cast and crew to continue to share those stories through love and laughter.”
I SAY: While my hopes for the Roseanne reboot were not high, I found myself enjoying the revival far more than anticipated. While there were no episodes of The Conners available to review, I’ll go out on a limb and predict the quality sustains—although whether that holds true for the ratings is another story altogether.
PREMIERE: October 16
11. The Kids Are Alright – Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m., CTV2 & ABC | Grade: B
STARRING: Michael Cudlitz, Mary McCormack, Sam Straley, Caleb Foote, Sawyer Barth, Christopher Paul Richards, Jack Gore, Andy Walken, Santino Barnard
This single-camera family sitcom
is set in 1972, which a voiceover informs us was “an awesome time to be a kid. Bike helmets hadn’t been invented yet. Or car seatbelts. Or even normal adult supervision.” Meet the Clearys (Cudlitz, The Walking Dead and McCormack, Falling Water), a working-class Irish-Catholic couple who took that Bible verse about going forth and multiplying and really ran with it, resulting in their raising eight rambunctious boys in a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house.
THEY SAY: “I viewed this as people living
in 1972 who are more at home in the ’60s or even the ’50s . . . The outside world is more colourful and more diverse and more kind of challenging, and they’re trying to hold onto these values that they’ve had for 20 years within this house,” explains Doyle. “And the outside world kind of keeps creeping in under the door and over the transom.”
I SAY: There’s a lot to like in this fresh, funny comedy that takes the 1970s nostalgia and pours it on thick. But good luck trying to tell all those kids apart...
PREMIERE: October 16
12. FBI – Tuesdays, 9 p.m., Global & CBS | Grade: B-
CBSSTARRING: Missy Peregrym, Zeeko Zaki, Jeremy Sisto, Sela Ward, Eboneé Noel
Law & Order/Chicago Fire creator Dick Wolf serves up another by-the-book procedural, this one following a pair of FBI agents in New York City (Rookie Blue’s Peregrym and Zaki, NCIS: LA) as they investigate tough cases ranging from terrorism to organized crime to counterintelligence in order to keep America safe.
THEY SAY: “The opportunity to do this show has sort of fulfilled a dream for me. My uncle was an FBI agent back in the ’50s and ’60s, and I grew up not only really sort of idolizing my uncle, but having a very, very warm feeling about all the agents I met back there,” says Wolf. “These are cases that police departments can’t handle. And needless to say, these guys are a terrific representation of the troops on the ground in New York.”
I SAY: A couple years ago, FBI would have been seen as just another run-of-the-mill Dick Wolf procedural; in light of Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian collusion and the president’s unhinged tweeting, FBI will debut to a U.S. viewing audience in which approximately 40 per cent of America believes FBI agents are not law-enforcing d heroes, but partisan hacks working as tools of the Deep State to prevent a courageous PoTUS from Making America Great Again. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how the show is greeted by the public.
PREMIERE: September 25
13. The Rookie – Tuesdays, 10 p.m., CTV & ABC | Grade: B+
ABCSTARRING: Nathan Fillion, Alyssa Diaz, Richard T. Jones, Titus Makin, Jr., Mercedes Mason, Melissa O’Neil, Afton Williamson, Eric Winter
Castle star Fillion returns to ABC as John Nolan, a 40-year-old guy who has a life-changing experience that leads him to pursue his dream of becoming a cop. After six months in the academy, Nolan hits the streets as the LAPD’s oldest rookie, defying the skepticism of higher-ups and fellow officers who see him as a walking midlife crisis with a badge.
THEY SAY: “What Nathan would tell you is that he was drawn to the humanity of this character, and the fact that he happens to be in law enforcement was a value add,” explains Executive Producer Alexi Hawley. “But the idea of playing a character who is at a crossroads in his life and is willing to sort of throw everything aside and change his entire life without knowing how it’s going to work out was kind of a great jumping-off point for a character.”
I SAY: Were there cliché moments and plot twists you could see coming from a mile away? You bet! Yet the premise is solid, and places Fillion in a role that is simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar. It’s pretty much a lock that Castle fans will be curious enough to tune in, making The Rookie the season’s closest thing to a surefire hit.
PREMIERE: October 16
14. New Amsterdam – Tuesdays, 10 p.m., Global & NBC | Grade: B+
STARRING: Ryan Eggold, Freema Agyeman, Janet Montgomery, Jocko Sims, Anupam Kher, Tyler Labine
Enigmatic Dr. Max Goodwin (Eggold, The Blacklist) begins his new job as medical director of New York City’s famed Bellevue Hospital, the oldest hospital in the U.S., where some of the world’s most unique and extraordinary cases are treated on a daily basis.
THEY SAY: “Not taking ‘no’ for an answer, Dr. Goodwin must disrupt the status
quo and prove he will stop at nothing to breathe new life into this understaffed, underfunded and underappreciated hospital—the only one in the world capable of treating Ebola patients, prisoners from Rikers and the President of the United States under one roof—and return it to the glory that put it on the map,” reads the show’s logline.
I SAY: A high-octane medical drama that hearkens back to ER, NBC had enough faith in New Amsterdam to order a full season in advance of the premiere. On the flip side, there are already a lot of medical dramas on network TV (The Good Doctor, Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago Med, The Resident, etc.), thus decreasing the odds that people will want to add one more to their already-packed viewing schedules.
PREMIERE: September 25
15. All American – Wednesdays, 9 p.m., The CW | Grade: C
STARRING: Daniel Ezra, Taye Diggs, Samantha Logan, Bre-Z, Greta Onieogou, Monet Mazur, Michael Evans Behling, Cody Christian, Karimah Westbrook
Spencer James (Ezra, Prime Suspect 1973) is a rising high- school football star from South Central Los Angeles who is recruited by the coach of Beverly Hills High (Diggs, Private Practice), forcing him to navigate two worlds: the rough-and-tumble streets of the neighbourhood in which he lives and the affluence of his Beverly Hills school, where he struggles to fit in with his wealthy new classmates.
THEY SAY: “We really
tried to maintain the two worlds aspect,” says exec producer April blair. “It’s definitely not The O.C. model where we take Spencer out of both places.”
I SAY: Clearly striving for a Friday Night Lights vibe with a premise akin to that of The O.C., All American winds up missing the mark, stranded squarely in middling teen drama territory.
PREMIERE: October 10
16. Single Parents – Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m., City & ABC | Grade: B
ABCSTARRING: Taran Killam, Leighton Meester, Brad Garrett, Kimrie Lewis, Jake Choi, Marlow Barkley, Tyler Wladis, Devin Trey Campbell, Grace Hazelett, Sadie Hazelett
New Girl creator Elizabeth Meriwether presents her latest ensemble comedy, featuring a disparate group of stressed-out parents connected by the fact that they’re each sans-spouse. As the character played by former Gossip Girl star Meester declares, “We just try to survive until the time in the day when it’s appropriate to open wine.”
THEY SAY: “We like that idea that the people you’re friends with because of your kids aren’t necessarily the people that you would be friends with if you could choose your friends,” explains Meriwether. Adds Everybody Loves Raymond vet Garrett: “You’re thrown into a social group according to who your kids hang out with. And you don’t necessarily have a lot in common with the adults that you happen to be on a soccer team with or the birthday parties or any of that.”
I SAY: Killam’s character—a guy who’s so involved with his child’s life that he’s lost touch with his own—seemed a little one-note (and a lot annoying), but hopefully that will change. The show’s secret weapon, however, is Garrett, who uses his impeccable comic timing to riff out one zinger after another, keeping the funny flowing like a one-man joke machine.
PREMIERE: September 26
17. A Million Little Things – Wednesdays, 10 p.m., City & ABC | Grade: C
STARRING: David Giuntoli, Ron Livingston, Romany Malco, Allison Miller, Christina Moses, Christina Ochoa, James Roday, Stephanie Szostak, Grace Park
A trio of Boston men struggle to make sense of the apparent suicide of a member of their tight-knit group of friends (Office Space star Livingston, with his deceased character appearing posthumously via flashbacks). As the men mourn their loss, the unexpected death proves to be the wake-up call they need to take charge of their own lives.
THEY SAY: “I think all of us, for different reasons, are not living the version of life that we thought we’d be living,” says series creator DJ Nash. “I wanted to do
a show about a group of people who are all stuck in life... so while there are some sad topics on our show, we feel our show is unbelievably optimistic because it’s all about looking to tomorrow.”
I SAY: Your interest level will depend on how much you enjoy listening to men sitting around talking about their feelings. I predict this one will be a tough sell for viewers, who will C likely find a million little things they’d rather do than watch this show.
18. Legacies – Thursdays, 9 p.m., The CW
The CWSTARRING: Danielle Rose Russell, Jenny Boyd, Kaylee Bryant, Quincy Fouse, Aria Shahghasemi, Matt Davis
A spinoff of The Originals, Legacies follows the next generation of vampires, witches, werewolves and other supernatural beings as they attend the Salvatore School for
the Young and Gifted. Students include: vampire/werewolf hybrid Hope Mikaelson (Russell), the 17-year-old daughter of The Originals’ Klaus; Alaric Saltzman’s twins, Lizzie (boyd) and Josie (bryant); political scion MG (Fouse); and mysterious Landon Kirby (Shahghasemi). The question remains: will these supernatural teens become the heroes they hope to be—or the villains they were born to be?
THEY SAY: “It’s really cool to see this young cast of really brilliant young actors who
are playing these really exciting, cool parts and dealing with their powers and dealing with their desires, just dealing with the world that teenagers do,” says seasoned co-star Davis, who reprises his Vampire Diaries/Originals role as Alaric Saltzman. “And I think that’s what’s great about this show, you’re going to have the supernatural elements, you’re going to have the action and you’re going to have the drama, but you’re also going to have this window into these kids’ lives, who are just teenagers with extreme problems.”
I SAY: While a pilot wasn’t available to view in time for this preview, it’s a safe bet that fans of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals will find plenty to bite into.
PREMIERE: October 25
19. Murphy Brown – Thursdays, 9:30 p.m., City & CBS
STARRING: Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto, Grant Shaud, Jake McDorman, Tyne Daly, Nik Dodani
The FYI team is back together, 20 years after the final episode aired, as Murphy (Bergen), Corky (Ford) and Frank (Regalbuto) are hired to launch a new morning show, with Miles (Shaud) producing. Dodani plays a new member of the crew, a millennial charged with managing the show’s social media, while Murphy’s son Avery (now played by McDorman) has followed in his mom’s footsteps to become a journalist—but works for the right-leaning Wolf Network. Cagney and Lacey vet Daly plays the sister of gruff tavern-owner Phil (Pat Corley, who passed away in 2006), now running her late brother’s watering hole.
THEY SAY: “Our show always lived in the real world and was based in Washington, D.C., and we’ve always been a political show with something to say, but I’m focusing the show really through the prism of the press,” says series creator Diane English. “The First Amendment and free press is under attack like I’ve never seen before, and I don’t think anybody’s ever seen before. The press is not the enemy of the people, and these guys, our characters, are the press. So we deal with that a lot.”
I SAY: While an episode wasn’t available to view prior to this preview, as a big fan of the original show, I can’t wait to see how Murphy Brown tackles the era of trump.
PREMIERE: September 27
20. I Feel Bad – Thursdays, 9:30 p.m., Global & NBC | Grade: B+
GlobalSTARRING: Sarayu Blue, Paul Adelstein, Aisling Bea, Zach Cherry, Johnny Pemberton, James Buckley, Brian George, Madhur Jaffrey
The myth of having it all explodes hilariously in this new comedy following Indian-American working mother Emet (blue), who juggles her responsibilities to her career, husband (Adelstein) and kids, and her traditional Indian parents (George and Jaffrey) while trying not to feel like a failure at everything.
THEY SAY: “She’s complicated, and sometimes she feels bad that she doesn’t feel bad,” says creator Aseem Batra of Blue’s character. “I think that’s part of being an empowered woman, is, like, ‘I guess I don’t feel that bad right now and I want to take care of myself before my kids.’ And so the title
is tongue-in-cheek at times, and we are trying
to empower her by letting her feel things that, on a lot of TV shows, you are told, ‘No, women don’t get to be that way.’”
I SAY: A wry and witty comedy that offers a fresh take on the family sitcom, I Feel Bad felt good to watch. Whether it will be able to cut through the typical fall TV clutter and connect with audiences, however, is a bet I wouldn’t take.
PREMIERE: October 4 (Special preview Wednesday, September 19th on Global)
21. Last Man Standing – Fridays, 8 p.m., Fox
STARRING: Tim Allen, Nancy Travis, Jonathan Adams, Amanda Fuller, Christoph Sanders, Jordan Masterson
Cancelled by ABC in 2017 after a six-season run, this Tim Allen-led sitcom has been resurrected a year later by Fox. While fans may notice a few cast changes, the core of the show will remain the same, with Allen reprising the role of Boyd Baxter, a married father of three daughters who bristles at anything resembling political correctness.
THEY SAY: “Particularly this year, at this time, what we’re seeing a lot of people in America dealing with thiis inside their own families . . . there’s a lot of dissention,” explains showrunner Matt berry. “A lot of people are taking different points of view, and there’s been a lot of fracturing that’s going on inside families. And so one of the reasons that this show is so relevant right now is that this is a show about a family that stays together no matter what, that you’re allowed to dissent in this family. You’re allowed to disagree in this family. but ultimately, at the end of the day, that can’t separate us as a family.”
I SAY: Not being a viewer of the original, I remain ambivalent about the show’s return. but for those who liked Last Man Standing, the revival promises to dole out more of what fans loved in the first place.
PREMIERE: September 28
22. The Cool Kids – Fridays, 8:30 p.m., Fox | Grade: B+
FoxSTARRING: David Alan Grieg, Martin Mull, Leslie Jordan, Vicki Lawrence
A trio of aging men living in a retirement community — Grier (In Living Color), Mull (Roseanne) and Jordan (Will & Grace) — consider themselves to be the “cool kids” in the place, and are fiercely protective of the spare seat at their dinner table that’s opened up after their friend’s death. Before they can assign the seat to a person of their choosing, a new arrival (Carol Burnett Show alum Lawrence) usurps the spot, and winds up fitting right in.
THEY SAY: “Even though it’s about old people, you have an aging gay man, you have
an aging African-American,
you have an aging straight
white hippie, and you have a
woman of a certain age, but
it’s not really about that,” says
Jordan. “It’s about friendship.
It’s about bonding together and doing these outrageous things. And most importantly, it’s silly.”
I SAY: In fact, The Cool Kids is proudly “silly,” and the comic talent of the show’s stars is undeniable. Given Day’s involvement, the top-shelf cast and a premise that hasn’t really been successfully tapped since The Golden Girls, this is easily one of the season’s best new network comedies.
PREMIERE: September 28