(CBS multi-camera sitcom, premieres Sept. 24)
Starring: Michael Urie, David Krumholtz, Brandon Routh
Concept: Another gay-straight affair from the makers of “Will & Grace,” David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, this one is modeled on their own friendship. Architects Joe and Louis are codependent, and their lovers must deal with it.
Am I hooked? I wish these guys didn’t talk so fast! It’s as if the actors are delivering with a metronome. Instead of breezy comedy, it’s broad. And the gay cliches? Oh snap. Still, there’s wit and wisdom about friendship, and Routh is a kick as a romantic lug.
Alternate title: “The Gay Straight Alliance”
(NBC mythology adventure; Sept. 17)
Starring: Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito
Concept: From J.J. Abrams, this show gives us an Earth without electricity and a society that reverts to primitivism. In the post-apocalyptic near-future, a young woman whose father was involved in the blackout goes on a journey for answers.
Am I hooked? After the merely competent pilot, with its many forgettable characters, I was not as excited as I wanted to be. Am I eager to take on yet another complex, aimless back story? Kind of not. The enticement: Esposito, Gus from “Breaking Bad,” as a cool villain.
Alternate title: “You Better Free Your Mind Instead”
“The Mob Doctor”
(Fox procedural drama; Sept. 17)
Starring: Jordana Spiro, Zach Gilford
Concept: Spiro, from “My Boys” is a promising surgeon who has to pay a mob debt by making house calls to mobsters.
Am I hooked? Wow, does this ever not work. The preposterousness of Spiro’s mob connections undermines the medical drama. It’s a forced concept.
Alternate title: “Dr. Fuggedaboutit.”
(CBS period drama; Sept. 25)
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis
Concept: This 1960s-set series has rancher-turned-lawman Quaid going up against Chiklis’s gangster, vying for the heart of budding Las Vegas.
Am I hooked? Last season’s retro dramas, “The Playboy Club” and “Pan Am,” fell flat. This bland saga probably will too, despite the laconic intensity of Quaid and the presence of writer-producer Nicholas Pileggi. The gangster material is surprisingly stock. So far, it lacks spark and originality.
Alternate title: “Thin City”
Starring: Matthew Perry, Laura Benanti
Concept: After Perry’s cocky sportscaster loses his wife in a car accident, his boss will only let him return to work if he attends group therapy. There he meets endearing oddballs.
Am I hooked? I liked the pilot. The role gives more depth to Perry’s usual shtick, and the group has a “Community” feel. Let’s see what happens next.
Alternate title: “Grin Treatment”
“The New Normal”
(NBC sitcom; Sept. 11)
Starring: Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Ellen Barkin
Concept: A gay couple in Beverly Hills hire a single mother to be their surrogate, and they become intertwined with her, her 8-year-old daughter, and her Archie Bunker-like mother (Barkin). This one is from Ryan Murphy of “Glee.”
Am I hooked? I am, but Barkin needs to take it down a notch. The situation is promisingly fresh, the casting of Bartha and Rannells as a couple is perfect, and the writing has some wit and heart. Let’s hope Murphy doesn’t pull a “Glee” and get too obvious.
Alternate title: “Really Modern Family”
“The Mindy Project”
(Fox sitcom; Sept. 25)
Starring: Mindy Kaling
Concept: Her career as an OB/GYN is thriving. Her love life? Not so much. Mindy is hooked on romantic comedies and trying to turn her story into one, but reality gets in the way.
Am I hooked? I think so, but I need to see more. It’s a standard setup, but creator-writer-producer-star Kaling has a great self-aware and self-deprecating sensibility and lots of charm.
Alternate title: “Dr. Yes”
“Ben and Kate”
(Fox sitcom; Sept. 25)
Starring: Nat Faxon, Dakota Johnson
Concept: Faxon’s crazy Ben moves in with his sister, Kate, to help take care of her daughter. They cramp each other’s style.
Am I hooked? This has an appealing cast, including Maggie Jones as the wry little girl who understands her Uncle Ben. It’s a low-key premise that leaves room for character comedy. But the writers and Faxon need to stop straining for quirk.
Alternate title: “You Can Count on Me!”
“Emily Owens, M.D.”
(CW drama; Oct. 16)
Starring: Mamie Gummer, Michael Rady
Concept: For Gummer’s intern, hospital life in Denver is not unlike high school. She’s still the geek, tormented by a mean girl and nursing a crush on the cute guy.
Am I hooked? Gummer, Meryl Streep’s daughter, shined on “The Good Wife,” and she makes this familiar medical cliche-fest tolerable. I hope it doesn’t last, so she can find a better vehicle.
Alternate title: “Fifty Shades of ‘Grey’s’ ”
(ABC sitcom; preview on Sept. 23)
Starring: Lenny Venito, Jami Gertz
Concept: A family moves to a New Jersey gated community in which everyone is an alien who has a pro-athlete name, including Reggie Jackson and Larry Bird.
Am I hooked? I’m addicted to thinking about how bad this is and why ABC took it on. The aliens receive nourishment through their eyes, which means they’d starve if they watched this dumb “Coneheads” twist. It’s this year’s “Cavemen.”
Alternate title: “Hello Dearthlings”
(ABC nighttime soap; Oct. 10)
Starring: Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere
Concept: Backstabbing in the world of country music, with Britton as the aging legend with ticket-sales issues and Panettiere as the ambitious newcomer. The show has local political drama, songs, show biz jockeying, and family divisions.
Am I hooked? Yup. Britton is one of the most authentic actresses on TV, and she is perfect as a Faith Hill-esque diva. The show has more intimacy than most nighttime soaps, and the songs expand the genre.
Alternate title: “Smashville”
Starring: Justin Kirk, Tyler Labine
Concept: Kirk’s cranky veterinarian leads a staff of nitwits, flirts with his ex.
Am I hooked? Nope, unless miracles occur after the tired pilot. The animals are cute, though, especially the pet monkey.
Alternate title: “Dr. Laugh-little”
“Guys With Kids”
(NBC sitcom; preview on Sept. 12)
Starring: Anthony Anderson, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Tempestt Blesdoe
Concept: Three 30-something fathers in New York who deal with their children while acting like children.
Am I hooked? It’s about guys being guys. Jimmy Fallon produced this extremely unnecessary comedy.
Alternate title: “Baby Byawn”
(NBC procedural; Oct. 10)
Starring: Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney
Concept: Dick Wolf of “Law & Order” delivers the firefighters at Firehouse 51 and lots of action.
Am I hooked: The characters are so generic, you’ll forget them the minute the show ends. There are a lot of defined abs among these heroic muscle-bots, but where’s the excitement and drama?
Alternate title: “Rescue Us”
(CW superhero drama; Oct. 10)
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy
Concept: Wealthy playboy by day, vigilante by night. This moody telling of the Green Arrow has Amell returning from five years on a deserted island to clear his family name.
Am I hooked? I’m not a huge superhero fan, but I could see the promise here. Amell is broody if generic, and his “Count of Monte Cristo”-like journey has potential.
Alternate title: “Pout of Monte Cristo”
“The Last Resort”
(ABC military thriller; Sept. 27)
Starring: Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman
Concept: This new series, from Shawn Ryan of “The Shield,” has a renegade military submarine seceding from the United States after getting an order to nuke Pakistan.
Am I hooked? Yes. This is the most original and ambitious new show of the season. The pilot is way too stuffed with incident, but also with potential. Braugher is compelling as the sub commander who goes rogue, and the material blends global politics with personal politics. Where is this heading? I’d like to find out.
Alternate title: “Rock Das Boot”
(ABC procedural; Sept. 27)
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu
Concept: Another updating of Arthur Conan Doyle, this time with Miller’s wealthy Sherlock as a recovering addict and a consultant with the NYPD. His Watson is his “sober companion,” and a woman.
Am I hooked? No. The show isn’t nearly as tart and smart as PBS’s “Sherlock,” and the possibility of a Sherlock-Watson hookup is nauseating. But it has a playful edge, and Miller brings enough irony to recall the crabby Sherlock who just left the air: House.
Alternate title: “The Seven-Per-Cent Dilution”
“Beauty and the Beast”
(CW supernatural procedural; Oct. 11)
Starring: Kristin Kreuk, Jay Ryan
Concept: Kreuk from “Smallville” plays a cop who’s coming to terms with the murder of her mother years earlier. She befriends the protective hunk who turns beastly when his adrenaline spikes. They solve crimes.
Am I hooked? So totally not. It’s illogical, overwritten, and cheesily produced. And Kreuk is a crock as a cop.
Alternate title: “Banalville”
“Made in Jersey”
(CBS procedural; Sept. 28)
Starring: Janet Montgomery, Kyle
Concept: Martina, a street-smart Jersey girl from a big Italian family, tries to make it in a hoity-toity Manhattan law firm. It’s “Working Girl” and “Ugly Betty” via “Jersey Shore.”
Am I hooked? The New Jersey cliches — big hair, fake nails, heavy accents — are all in place. And it’s got predictable fish-out-of-water moves. But Montgomery, who is British, is likable enough to make the hour pass easily.
Alternate title: “Hair Spray”
(ABC multi-camera sitcom; Nov. 2)
Starring: Lily Tomlin, Reba McEntire
Concept: McEntire is a newly single mother who moves her family, including her sassy mother (Tomlin), from Nashville to SoCal. Fish-out-of-water high jinks ensue.
Am I hooked? I am fascinated by Reba the Orange Marvel and I have an enduring affection for Lily Tomlin. But you’d have to secure me to get me to sit through another episode. The lazy, cliched writing gives the multi-camera sitcom a worse reputation than it already has.
Alternate title: “None Ringydingy”
“666 Park Avenue”
(ABC supernatural drama; Sept. 30)
Starring: Terry O’Quinn, Vanessa Williams
Concept: An innocent couple (they’re Midwestern, of course) is hired to manage an Upper East Side apartment building owned by O’Quinn and Williams. Whoops: The residents have made a deal with the devil to have their fantasies come true.
Am I hooked? No, even with my love for Williams. This show has identity problems. It’s not campy, despite the title, and it’s not truly dramatic or terror-inducing either. That leaves it teetering on the cliff of pointlessness.
Alternate title: “Fantasy Island of Manhattan”
Grade: CMatthew Gilbert can be reached at
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