Another new TV season means another giant batch of new shows to consider adding to the DVR. But relax. You don’t have to watch all the fresh offerings to figure out what looks great and what’s not so hot. We’ve done all the work and watched all the pilots – some fantastic, some not worth mentioning – so you can just sit back and enjoy what looks to be the highest quality of the freshman bunch.
You want drama? “Last Resort” has it. Plenty of it. In fact, the pilot for this is so jam-packed with action, mystery and intrigue that you’ll be on the edge of your seat for the entire hour. The thrilling military drama follows the crew of the USS Colorado, the most powerful nuclear sub ever built, and how the men and women aboard end up being hunted by its own country after the captain refuses to follow some sketchy orders to nuke Pakistan. The show stars Andre Braugher as Captain Marcus Chaplin and Scott Speedman as executive officer Sam Kendal. Premieres Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. on ABC
‘The Mindy Project’
“The Office” fans already know Mindy Kaling is a funny lady, and now she’s proving it to all the other TV viewers out there with her own sitcom, which she created and wrote. Kaling stars as Mindy Lahiri, a smart OB/GYN who has terrible, terrible taste in men. She’s a bit Bridget Jones-like, with her own version of Daniel Cleaver in fellow doctor Jeremy Reed (Ed Weeks), her cute English friend with benefits. The jokes are sharp and not exactly PC – in other words, they’re honestly funny. Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.
‘666 Park Avenue’
If you love “American Horror Story,” check out this creepy new show starring Terry O’Quinn as the devilish Gavin Doran, the owner of the swank – and supernatural -- Manhattan apartment building that is the show’s title. Strange things happen in the gorgeous abode where Gavin grants the greatest desires of his residents – but at a very steep price. Vanessa Williams co-stars as his wife, Olivia, and Rachel Taylor and Dave Annable play the young couple Gavin wants to dig his claws into. Premieres Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. on ABC.
Let’s go back to “American Horror Story” for a second. Remember how amazing Connie Britton was as wronged wife Vivien? Well, the actress is at it again with her top-notch acting, this time as wronged country star Rayna James in a drama about the vicious music industry, and the country genre in particular. Rayna is struggling to revive her career, while rising starlet Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) doesn’t want to just inherit the country music crown from Rayna, she works to destroy her predecessor. Panettiere pulls off the role of the petulant, bratty, not-so-talented young songstress, which is no small feat considering how easily the part could have devolved into a hot mess, but she’s able to convince viewers to love to hate her. Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 10 p.m. on ABC.
Itching for a head-scratching mystery along the likes of “Lost”? Check out executive producer J.J. Abrams’ latest offering in which every bit of electricity suddenly disappears from the world, confounding scientists and plunging Earth into a new dark age. The post-apocalyptic drama is set in modern day Chicago, 15 years after the lights went out for good, and the country is run by what appears to be a ruthless militia. The show stars Tracy Spiridakos, Billy Burke, David Lyons, Giancarlo Esposito and Elizabeth Mitchell. Premieres Monday, Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. on NBC.
Who doesn’t love a good detective story? Especially if the beloved creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, one Sherlock Holmes, is at the center of it? Jonny Lee Miller stars as the latest interpretation of the brilliant sleuth, now a recovering addict living in New York and lending his crime-solving expertise to the NYPD. Of course, no version of any Sherlock tale is complete without his trusty companion Watson, who in this version is played by Lucy Liu. (Yes, Watson is a woman now.) Watson doesn’t start off as Holmes’ sidekick, but as his sober coach. She tags along as Miller’s lovably kooky version of the detective dazzles the police with his abilities. Premieres Thursday, Sept. 27 at 10 p.m. on CBS.
“Friends” star Matthew Perry is back as another lovable guy, this time sports-radio host Ryan King, who is struggling to deal with the death of his wife. Doesn’t sound funny, does it? It is, we promise. Ryan just wants to get back to work and bury his grief, but his boss Steven (John Cho), insists he goes to grief counseling to deal with his loss first, and that’s where the laughter comes in. Sure, the support group offers giggles thanks to its odd bunch, but also some very touching moments. Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 9 p.m. on NBC.
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