by Julian Spivey
The fall network television schedule looks pretty weak when it comes to new shows debuting in the next 30 days. Almost every show added to each network’s schedule appears to be worse than the shows canceled last season to make room for them. Things are particularly bad on the comedy side of things as most of the new sitcoms look like they would’ve been better off airing in the ‘90s (and that’s definitely not a compliment).
Here are the five new network shows premiering this fall that look like they might stand out in a crowd of what mostly looks like stinkers …
5. “Scream Queens” (Fox) – Premieres: September 22 @ 7 pm
“Scream Queens” is the newest series from Ryan Murphy of “Glee” and “American Horror Story” fame who appears to have combined the popularity of those two series into something that looks like a comical horror series that is supposed to have a new storyline each season ala “American Horror Story.” The series’ first season will center around a sorority and murders surrounding that sorority and will star Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin and others. The quality of the show could easily be iffy, but it may be the closest thing to a surefire success from any new show this fall.
4. “Code Black” (CBS) – Premieres: September 30 @ 9 pm
Frankly I haven’t been interested in any medical dramas since the heyday of “ER.” This particular part of the drama genre seems completely played out and so ‘90s. It has also recently fallen by the wayside on network television but this fall there are two medical dramas: CBS’ “Code Black” and NBC’s “Chicago Med.” I don’t follow the other two members of NBC’s little ‘Chicago Trilogy’ and frankly find the idea of stocking the entire schedule with similar series from the same city to be uninteresting and lacking in originality so there’s no chance of me tuning into “Chicago Med.” “Code Black” honestly isn’t something I’d probably pay much attention to either, were it not for its lead Marcia Gay Harden, who has proven herself to be a strong actress time and time again. I’ll tune in for Harden and see where the storylines take me.
3. “Blood & Oil” (ABC) – Premieres: September 27 @ 8 pm
It’s a good thing ABC opted to change the title of this show from just “Oil” to “Blood & Oil” before it even began because we’ve seen in the past that a bad title can kill a show before it even gets out of the gate. It was one of the factor’s that likely killed the decent ABC sitcom “Trophy Wife” two years ago and hurt popular ABC sitcom “blackish” out of the gate last year. Let’s face it, “Oil” was a horrible title (“Blood & Oil” may not be a whole lot better) and would’ve made it hard to survive. This soap-ish looking series about an oil boom town in North Dakota could be something that plays very well at ABC or it could find survival hard if the demographic (likely mostly women) find the storyline or setting to be too boring. The 8 pm slot on Sunday night might also not be the greatest place to begin your run.
2. “Life in Pieces” (CBS) – Premieres: September 21 @ 7:30 pm
The 2015 fall television season looks to have the worst crop of new comedies potentially in the history of network television. There are only six new sitcoms debuting this fall and really only one of them looks halfway promising and that’s CBS’ “Life in Pieces” (although ABC’s “The Muppets” will probably be popular because it’s the freakin’ Muppets after all). There really isn’t anything about the trailer for “Life in Pieces” that makes me believe it’ll be a great show. I just really like some of the cast members like Thomas Sadoski, Colin Hanks, Betsy Brandt and James Brolin and that group makes me believe it could be a strong show. Also, the show premiering and airing directly after the most watched comedy on television “The Big Bang Theory” should ensure its survival to a second season regardless of quality.
1. “The Player” (NBC) – Premieres: September 24 @ 9 pm
NBC’s “The Player” is a new drama series mixing crime and Las Vegas where wealthy people gamble on whether or not a former military operative turned security expert can stop crimes before they happen. The series stars Philip Winchester and Wesley Snipes. Why is it number one on this list? Because it comes from the minds of the people who brought us “The Blacklist.” If “The Player” proves to be even half as good as “The Blacklist” it could become the best new series of the fall. The one problem it faces is it’ll be going up against CBS’s Thursday Night Football coverage for its first few months, which will absolutely obliterate it in the ratings.