Fall TV: superheroes, screams and Muppets
Over the next few weeks, television networks will roll out a diverse crop of new series. From superhero origin stories to a dark comedy about hunted sorority girls, there’s something for everyone this fall.
CW, Oct. 12, TBA
Girl meets boy. Boy dumps girl. Girl moves across the country 10 years later with the hope of rekindling their romance.
The premise is a bit of a stretch, but with actress Rachel Bloom in the lead, this musical comedy just might work. Less than a month before its premiere, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” has a serious lack of name recognition when compared with other new shows. However, the CW’s Golden Globe-winning breakout hit “Jane the Virgin” suffered much the same last year. As it did with Jane, word of mouth will likely either make or break this series.
ABC, Sept. 22, 8 p.m.
The devastating news first hit the Internet a few months ago: Yes, Kermit and Miss Piggy broke up.
Expect their rebound relationships, with a pig named Denise and singer Josh Groban, respectively, to be a main focus on the new documentary style sitcom. Cameras follow Muppet favorites like Fozzie Bear and Gonzo around as they live in the human world. Humorous situations ensue, like when Fozzie’s (human) girlfriend’s disapproving father asks if their potential children would go to the bathroom in the woods. An eavesdropping Fozzie deems this statement an offensive stereotype. Anticipation has been building all year for this more-adult take on the Muppets, and the show looks like it will deliver.
CBS, Oct. 26, 8:30 p.m.
“Glee’s” Melissa Benoist stars as Kara Zor-El, better known as Supergirl, in the latest TV offering from DC Comics. After choosing to renounce her powers and come to Earth as a young girl, Kara is a lowly assistant in New York City. That is, until the plane of her sister’s flight bursts into flames above the city. Within seconds, Kara guides the plane to a safe landing on the river, revealing her identity to the whole world.
Considering this pilot leaked onto the Internet back in May, nearly six months before its debut, it’s safe to say audiences are anxiously waiting for the show to begin. With its tributes to the Superman of the past and an impending superstar in Benoist, “Supergirl” is poised to take off in the ratings.
FOX, Sept. 29, 8 p.m.
Despite this show putting only a slightly original twist on a tired trope — wealthy, self-absorbed restaurant owner Jimmy Martino finds out he’s both a father and a grandfather — the nostalgia factor makes it stand out from the crowd.
“Full House” favorite John Stamos plays Martino, while an all-grown-up Josh Peck, of “Drake and Josh” fame, plays his son, Gerald. As if that doesn’t bring back enough memories, Stamos’ “Full House” co-stars Bob Saget and Dave Coulier will both have guest roles in early episodes. Historically, only a few new sitcoms each season attract enough viewers to warrant a renewal. Count on “Grandfathered” to live to see a second season.
FOX, Sept. 22, 8 p.m.
From “American Horror Story’s” Ryan Murphy, “Scream Queens” focuses on Kappa Kappa Tau, a sorority of mean girls forced by the university dean to accept any girl who wishes to become a member. Things soon take a bloody turn when a serial killer in a red devil costume starts stalking the sorority house. The series has an almost unfair advantage over other new shows, as it appeals directly to the young adult audience of “American Horror Story.” It even stars Emma Roberts, who appeared on two seasons of the horror anthology.
With each drop of information Murphy and cast members like Lea Michele and Nick Jonas provided on social media this summer, the premiere only becomes more highly anticipated. There is a chance the show could stumble under the pressure of high expectations from critics and fans, something Murphy experienced when he produced “Glee.” Still, don’t bet against “Scream Queens.”
ABC, Sept. 27, 10 p.m.
This thriller focuses on a group of young FBI trainees, one of whom likely executed the largest attack on the U.S. since 9/11. The diverse cast, led by Bollywood superstar Priyanka Chopra, reflects television’s movement away from the predominantly white casts of the past.
Airing on Sundays at 10 p.m., it will fit nicely into an intense night of television after “The Walking Dead” at 9 p.m. on AMC. This show has the good fortune of not airing at the same time as any popular series during the fall, but if the mystery of “whodunit?” isn’t addressed quickly, audiences could be driven away.
NBC, Sept. 24, 8 p.m.
The superhero hit returns with a mix of old characters, like Masi Oka’s Hiro Nakamura, and new ones for a limited run of 13 episodes. As the world around them crumbles into violence and despair, the evolved humans, those with special abilities, are hunted down because of their presumed role in a terrorist attack in Texas. These individuals, the heroes, need each other in order to harness their powers for good.
This new series likely will lure back some of the fans who abandoned the original during its four-season run. With its specific and devoted fan base, this might be the only show that can successfully stand up to ABC’s Thursday night triple whammy of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” in the ratings.