For TV lovers, fall means one thing and one thing alone – new television shows. According to TV Guide, there are no less than 25 new shows premiering on network TV this fall, even more if you include cable series, so you are bound to find something you love. From cops and robbers to Playboy bunnies, it’s an exciting time to be a couch potato.
Networks are going on Mad Men damage control this fall with the new dramas The Playboy Club and Pan Am, both of which hearken back to the glamour and drama of the 1960s. NBC is first up with their new drama The Playboy Club. The show, which stars Eddie Cibrian, Amanda Heard and Wes Ramsey, takes a provocative look at the first of the famed Playboy nightclubs, as well as the exploits of its workers. Taking place against the backdrop of 1963 Chicago, the show is said to be full of scandal, and it’s delivering before it even airs. The Parents Television Council, which admits to not actually having seen the pilot, condemned The Playboy Club, calling it a "blatant attempt to obliterate any remaining standards of broadcast decency" while KSL-TV, a Salt Lake City NBC affiliate, announced its decision not to carry the series.
A bit less scandalous is ABC’s Pan Am, starring film actress Christina Ricci in a rare television role. Created by former ER writer Jack Orman, the show, which also takes place in 1963, will focus on the trials and tribulations of pilots and flight attendants. Think Mad Men meets Catch Me if You Can.
ABC has a Charlie’s Angels remake in the works, and NBC has three new cop shows in the pipeline including Awake, a sci-fi show about a cop whose wife and son die in a car accident, but with whom he still lives in an alternate reality. Oh, and he solves crimes in his sleep because, well, why not? Long story short, it’s much better than it sounds on paper. Next is Grimm, which centers on the last living relative of the Brothers Grimm. This time, instead of solving crimes in his sleep, our hero solves fairytale crimes. It stars David C. Giuntoli, best known for appearing on a season of MTV’s now-defunct trash-tastic reality show Road Rules. Once again, this show is absolutely, without a doubt, better than it sounds.
Finally, NBC rolls out Prime Suspect, an American adaptation of the classic BBC series of the same name. The original version starred Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren as an aging and relatively dowdy detective. In NBC’s adaptation, the gorgeous, 30-something Maria Bello fills the role. Time magazine voted the original series one of its "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME.” Will the remake live up? Time will tell.
Not to be left out, CBS is offering two of its own procedural cop shows: Unforgettable and Person of Interest. Unforgettable focuses on an NYPD detective turned nursing home volunteer turned consultant who remembers every little detail of even the most mundane of days, sometimes to her own detriment. With a strong lead in Without a Trace’s Poppy Montgomery and Nip/Tuck’s Dylan Walsh, this could be one to watch. Finally, Person of Interest follows a presumed-dead CIA agent, played by The Passion of the Christ’s Jim Caviezel who connects with a mysterious billionaire, played by Lost’s Michael Emerson. The two fight crime with the help of a machine that predicts who will be involved in a violent crime.
This year’s sitcom lineup seems to be inspired by one funny lady in particular – comedian, author and TV host Chelsea Handler. Love her or hate her, the fall comedy roster is stacked with regulars from her famous round table, and even the funny lady herself. From NBC to ABC and back to her home at E!, Chelsea is everywhere this fall.
First up is NBC’s adaptation of Handler’s New York Times bestseller Are You There Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea. That ’70s Show’s Laura Prepon will star as the hard-living Chelsea while Chelsea herself will play the character based on her more conservative, straight-laced sister.
Up next is Whitney. With 30 Rock in its last season, it appears NBC is hoping to turn Chelsea Lately regular Whitney Cummings into the new Tina Fey. Also joining the NBC family are Natasha Leggero andMo Mandel on Hank Azaria’s Free Agents. Over at ABC, Arden Myrin joins Suburgatory, and John Caparulo will be seen on the midseason replacement series Work It.
This fall’s new shows run the gambit. Whether you enjoy comedy, drama, sci-fi or romance, it’s all coming to a TV screen near you.