FALL 2017 TV PREVIEW

THE 'RISK' LIST

Every year we see the major networks try new high-concept ideas and every year we see audiences shoot them down. Here's a look at the new series that are not sure things to succeed and because of that you may want to hold them on the DVR until the picture get a little clearer.

The Orville

Thursday’s at 9:00pm (Fox) - PREVIEWING: September 10

Seth MacFarlane has had great success with thirty-minute animated programming but now he’s trying his hand at the sixty minute live-action variety and as usual he’ll topline the ensemble. This spoof on space series has a lot of factors that make it a wild-card in the fall season, not the least of which is MacFarlane has a hit-or-miss style - you either love it or hate it. The other question is even if you like his trademark humor, can audiences sit still for a full hour of it?

Note: The series will preview on Sunday 9/10 and Sunday 9/17 before moving to its regular Thursday night timeslot.

Me, Myself and I

Monday's at 9:30pm (CBS) - PREMIERING: September 25

CBS rarely goes high-concept on comedies but this year it is trying something different and it will be interesting to see how it resonates with audiences. Me, Myself and I follows the life of Alex Riley – as a kid, an adult and as a senior citizen, with three different actors playing the character at different ages. Former SNL cast member Bobby Moynihan and Night Court’s John Larroquette are the two big headliners with Family Matters’ Jaheel White also playing a prominent role as Moynihan’s friend and business partner.

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

Tuesday's at 10:00pm (CBS) - PREMIERING: September 26

Ryan Murphy is the king of ensemble anthologies and NBC is trying to try to mimic the success the Emmy winner had with FX’s American Crime Story with its own version. The network is partnering with Dick Wolf to use his iconic Law & Order brand to tell true-crime stories. First up is the Menendez brothers case which focused on the trial of two wealthy brothers accused of killing their parents.  While Crime Story worked, it also had a massive ensemble of big-name actors in the lead role – even with Emmy winner Edie Falco as the headliner this just seems like a watered-down version that NBC is forcing to try and work.

Inhumans/The Gifted

Friday's at 9:00pm (ABC)/Monday's at 9:00pm (FOX) - PREMIERING: September 29/October 2

Superheroes will continue to invade the small screen this fall with Marvel adding two more dramas to the mix. First ABC will look to find a counterpart to its long-running Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with Inhumans and then Fox is hoping to expand its success in the field with the addition of The Gifted. Inhumans, which is getting an IMAX-size preview, is the riskier of the two as early reviews are not positive. The series follows the adventures of a royal family super-humans, each with a different strange superpower, who have taken refuge in the States. Meanwhile The Gifted (which takes place in the X-Men universe) follows a similar fish-out-of-water vibe as a family must go on the run from the government when parents discover their children have mutant powers. Inhumans stars Anson Mount and Serinda Swan while Gifted is fronted by Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker and Coby Bell.

Wisdom of the Crowd

Sunday's at 10:00pm (CBS) - PREMIERING: October 1

Wisdom gets high marks for originality but the question is whether that will turn into viewership. The drama stars Jeremy Piven as a tech maven who, following the death of his daughter, invents a crowd-sourced app to battle crime. The problem here is less of the high-concept plot but the timeslot. as the series will air post-football on CBS Sundays. As many viewers are aware that means a NFL overrun delay will often come into play and audiences may get annoyed with the ever-changing start time – especially if they are looking to record it for later viewing.

10 Days In The Valley

Sunday’s at 10:00pm (ABC) PREMIERING: October 1

Kyra Sedgewick returns to TV with her first series post The Closer in this ten-part mystery. The drama centers on a Hollywood writer whose life goes into a tailspin when her young daughter disappears in the middle of the night. While Sedgewick is a proven force as a show lead, Sunday’s are a tough night to launch a show in general and the premise is very similar to the now-cancelled Secrets & Lies which also had a Sunday timeslot. 

9JKL

Monday's at 8:30pm (CBS) PREMIERING: October 2

This is one of those shows that was likely picked up with an eye on it having to get better over time. It is trying to be Everybody Loves Raymond 2.0 but early returns are that it misses the mark. Still this is CBS and laugh-track comedy is what it does best so could this series about a divorced actor returning home to live next door to his family work? Possibly, but be prepared for some brutal reviews.

Kevin (Probably) Saves The World

Tuesday’s at 10:00pm (ABC) - PREMIERING: October 3

Let’s just start with the obvious – this is a terrible title. Even its original moniker The Gospel Of Kevin was a better title, still bad but better. The problem is the series itself could actually be really good but the name could scare off viewers. Jason Ritter (Parenthood) stars as a self-absorbed loser who finds out he may be the key to saving the world. Again, stick with me as Ritter and co-stars JoAnn Garcia and Kimberly Hébert Gregory are talented and people will watch just for them. Still, this is not going to be an easy sell for the general public.

Valor

Monday's at 9:00pm (The CW) - PREMIERING: October 9

Let’s just start with the obvious – this is a terrible title. Even its original moniker The Gospel Of Kevin was a better title, still bad but better. The problem is the series itself could actually be really good but the name could scare off viewers. Jason Ritter (Parenthood) stars as a self-absorbed loser who finds out he may be the key to saving the world. Again, stick with me as Ritter and co-stars JoAnn Garcia and Kimberly Hébert Gregory are talented and people will watch just for them. Still, this is not going to be an easy sell for the general public.

Please reload

Image: NBC