Fall TV time is our favorite unofficial holiday season here at bazaar HQ. It is like watching previews at a theater – everything is good in the beginning. Then, after a couple months, we get to see who is good enough to have staying power and keep us laughing, or crying, or laugh/crying. This season however, there is simply too much good stuff to mention. We had to cut out quite a few to make our highlights list here and even get rid of some that may turn out to be interesting. A to Z sounded good in its documentation of an entire relationship, as did the Flash for its comic book knowhow, but there were other similarly themed better models. The new Grace Point sounds amazing and is based off the UK drama Broad Church that many of us already love. NCIS New Orleans sounds like a good twist on a current TV staple, but do we really need another one of these? Even Utopia, a reality show that has people starting a new society, sounded amazing but was ultimately cut for space.
So these represent the best of the best out of the gate. The ones that look like they have the best chance for staying power as of press time. Choose wisely!
Black-ish / ABC
Created by and starring comedian Anthony Anderson, Black-ish explores one man’s efforts to establish a cultural identity for his family after he discovers his children don’t have one. Anderson stars as man-of-the-house Dre, and Tracee Ellis Ross plays his biracial wife Rainbow; they’ve got their hands full working and raising kids Zoey, Andre (who prefers to be called Andy and really, really wants a bar mitzvah despite the fact they’re not Jewish), and twins Jack and Diane. Hannibal’s Laurence Fishburne appears as Dre’s father, Pops, and wears velour tracksuits, because he’s Laurence freaking Fishburne.
Bad Judge / NBC
Another October arrival: This single-camera comedy stars Kate Walsh (Fargo) as Rebecca Wright, one of L.A.’s most respected criminal court judges. But here’s the (overused and kind-of-boring) catch: While Rebecca totally and completely has it together in her work life, her personal life is the exact definition of a hot mess. She’s flaky, she sleeps around without a care in the world, and she parties like she’s still in college (so we’re guessing she has the world’s worst hangovers). She does drive a sweet van, though!
Forever / ABC
Ioan Gruffudd stars as New York City medical examiner Henry Morgan, who harbors an unusual secret – he can’t die. Working alongside his new partner, Det. Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza), Morgan studies the dead in an effort to discover the mystery of his own immortality. Also, the ladies in the crowd might want to take note: When Morgan dies (and he dies semi-often for some reason), he always comes back naked. Judd Hirsch, Donnie Keshawarz, and Joel David Moore also star.
Madam Secretary / CBS
Tea Leoni plays a former CIA agent whose former boss, now the president of the United States (Keith Carradine), asks her to take on the role of Secretary of State after an accident claims the life of the office’s previous occupant. Using her no-nonsense, unconventional attitude toward politics, she shakes things up in Washington, D.C. while also juggling her home life as a wife and a mother. Tim Daly and Bebe Neuwirth also star.
Marry Me / NBC
Happy Endings’ David Caspe is the writer behind this rom-com about a couple (played by Ken Marino and Caspe’s real-life wife Casey Wilson) who are well on their way to tying the knot. There’s just one problem: They can’t get the marriage proposal right! Is it a sign that they aren’t supposed to be together? Or do they need to just stop screwing up their overly inventive attempts to get engaged? Sarah Wright and John Gemberling also star.
Gotham / Fox
Described as the origin story of future Gotham police commissioner Jim Gordon, Gotham is Fox’s effort to get in on TV’s comic-book craze. Southland and The O.C. alum Ben McKenzie stars as Gordon, a fresh-faced police detective whose life begins to change when he and his partner, the brash Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), start investigating the murder of the parents of none other than a young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). However, the noir crime drama isn’t just about Gordon’s rise through the ranks of Gotham City’s PD; it also promises to tell the origin stories of several DC Comics’ villains, including Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), and the Riddler (Cory Michael Smith).
Manhattan Love Story / ABC
This new comedy uses the power of voiceover to broadcast the internal monologues of a New York City dude (Jake McDorman) and a Midwestern transplant chick (Analeigh Tipton) as they navigate an awkward first date and subsequent budding romance. What you’ll learn early on from the voices in their heads is that guys like getting frisky and women like their purses; but as the series – and their relationship progresses, we expect things will get a bit more complicated than that.
Mulaney / FOX
What’s the deal with this show? Stand-up comic and former SNL writer John Mulaney does his best Jerry Seinfeld impression as a comedian who lives and works in New York City and whose pals (Nasim Pedrad and Seaton Smith) and wacky neighbor (Elliot Gould) like to butt into his life. But John will have a more regular gig than Jerry ever did: He writes jokes for a game-show host and comedian played by Martin Short. Yada, yada, yada…
Scorpion / CBS
Based on the experiences of real-world genius Walter O’Brien, Scorpion is about a bunch of nerds who form a team to solve some of the world’s most complex problems (It’s like if the Justice League of America traded their superpowers for supersmarts, computer wizardry and hacking skills). And to give the show a Big Bang Theory-esque twist, Katharine McPhee plays the diner waitress who glues them all together. Elyes Gabel, Robert Patrick, and Eddie Kaye Thomas also star.
Selfie / ABC
Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) drops her adorable Scottish accent to star in this modern spin on Pygmalion that takes place in today’s social media-driven world. Gillan’s Eliza Dooley is obsessed with becoming Internet famous, but her constant Instagramming and Facebooking has left her devoid of any real friends – not to mention the social skills required to make any. Desperate for a fix, Eliza hires marketer Henry Higenbottam (John Cho) to help her rebuild her image and put down her damn phone for once.
This list of the best of the newest Television Series is brought to you via the help of the insiders at tvguide.com.