There appear to be slim pickings among the rest of the new shows debuting by the end of October. If most of these are not gone by Halloween, it is only because the networks have nothing better to offer.
Rosewood (FOX, Wednesdays at 7 p.m., premieres September 23) stars Morris Chestnut as Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, yet another really smart pathologist paired with a cynical detective. At least they are in Miami, so the weather should be nice. But the good doctor is dying, so that is a downer. Chestnut has been a strong presence on shows like V, American Horror Story, Nurse Jackie, and Legends, but Rosewood is up against Arrow, Survivor, and The Mysteries of Laura. That does not bode well.
Heroes Reborn (NBC, Thursdays 7 p.m., premieres September 24) is a mini-series sequel, not a reboot, with a few of the original heroes (Masi Oka) and a new bunch of people dealing with extraordinary abilities. Expect all 13 episodes to air because NBC needs something until Thursday Night Football is over. But if it does not come up with something remotely close to “save the cheerleader, save the world” in Episode 1, people will not come back for Episode 2. Especially since Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, and The Vampire Diaries are all in the same time slot.
The Player (NBC, Thursdays 9 p.m., premieres September 24) is American Sniper meets Vega$, when an ex-sniper becomes a security expert in Sin City. This is smart counter-programming come November. Once football goes away, The Player will allow viewers to disengage their brains up against the intellectually challenging How to Get Away with Murder and Elementary.
Blood & Oil (ABC, Sundays 8 p.m., premieres September 27) follows a young couple who move to North Dakota to make their fortune, only to find Don Johnson as a would-be J.R. Ewing, and not much else. It is, after all, North Dakota. This is counter-programming against The Good Wife and Sunday Night Football, which means the target is women who want soap opera sexscapades rather than smart writing or the NFL.
Quantico (ABC, Tuesdays 9 p.m., premieres September 27) is set at the FBI’s training school, where one of the freshmen is a terrorist. This freshman class is far and away the hottest class of FBI agents ever. Think Homeland crossed with Sexy Little Liars, and double on the sexy. It has a good slot, opposite CSI: Cyber and the end of Sunday Night Football, but having glamorous women fight the War on Terror just strikes me as wrong.
Code Black (CBS, Wednesdays 9 p.m., premieres September 30) stars Marcia Gay Harden in a medical drama in the most notorious ER that is not in Chicago or on NBC. Supposedly based on a documentary, which means cases will be ripped from the headlines (as opposed to the “believe it or not” cases on Grey’s Anatomy). Harden can carry a series, but it will come down to her staff, who are probably young and sexy enough to work for the FBI.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW, Mondays 7 p.m., premieres October 12) stars Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch, who gives up her partnership at a prestigious law firm and her snazzy Manhattan apartment to find happiness in West Covina. The attraction here has to be Bloom, because it is not West Covina. This is the most doomed show on the list because it is opposite Gotham, Big Bang Theory, The Voice, and Dancing with the Stars.
Supergirl (CBS, Mondays 7 p.m., premieres October 26) stars Melissa Benoist (Glee) as Superman’s cousin. Instead of the Man of Steel, this one has Calista Flockhart, which is an interesting trade-off, but comic book fans are not going to choose this over Gotham. The best it can hope for is to fight for survival on DVRs.
Wicked City (ABC, Tuesdays 9 p.m., premieres October 26) is a crime drama anthology in Los Angeles, with an uneasy alliance of police detectives, journalists, drug dealers, and club-goers trying to nail a Bonnie and Clyde-like duo on a killing spree on Sunset Strip. This is another 10-episode “season,” which should guarantee they air the whole thing. Right now, it looks like the best of the bunch.
In terms of new shows that have already begun off the beaten path of the broadcast networks, TNT’s Public Morals, created by and starring Ed Burns, has gotten off to a good start with its period piece about cops in 1960s New York City. I loved the earnest sarcasm Burns displayed in telling his son how proud he is that the kid turned out to be an asshole. Burns is totally in his element.
On Netflix, Narcos wallows in the story of cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel. Things move fast, both in terms of the story and the editing, and most of the characters in Colombia tend to speak Spanish, so there are a lot of subtitles to read.
That was also true of Deutschland 83, which had the best running gag of the summer, as our East German “hero” is sent to spy on NATO in West Germany and confronted with the wonders of floppy disks, Walkmen, and decaffeinated coffee. This German import also had the second-best running gag, with paranoid Soviets and East Germans taking Reagan’s Cold War rhetoric seriously and convincing themselves the United States is about to launch nuclear Armageddon. Those were the days.