Throughout September and October, a new crop of shows are scheduled to launch and vie for your precious screen time. In addition to the returning staples such as The Big Bang Theory, This is US and The Walking Dead, over 30 new shows are appearing in the Fall TV lineup on broadcast, cable and streaming platforms such as Netflix. But which programs are worth a first look and which programs are worth overlooking? More importantly, which new primetime programs are worth spending a client’s hard earned budget.
The broadcast networks alone have nearly 20 shows debuting this fall. Read on as we breakdown the top critics’ choices of broadcast TV programs that will likely survive to see another season. Utilizing these reviews is one way to choose which new program lands on a recommended TV schedule. Typically these new shows are less expensive than the well-known, higher rated shows because the ratings have not been established.
Another factor in including new programming in a client’s TV schedule, aside from the critics’ reviews of and the networks’ ratings outlook, is the time-slot competition. Established programs already have a large audience and when new shows air across from a program that is already a ratings juggernaut, it’s hard to compete. For instance, Wisdom of the Crowd, scheduled to air on Sunday nights on CBS, is competing with Sunday Night Football. It’s likely that Sunday Night Football will win the night in the male target audience demographic.
Below, we breakdown some of the shows airing on broadcast TV that are receiving positive reviews from several critics such as TV Guide, TV Line and E!
The Vietnam War (PBS) — Premieres Sunday, Sept. 17 at 8/7c
Created by established documentarians Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, The Vietnam War, tells the story of the nearly 20-year conflict that killed some 58,000 Americans and 3 million Vietnamese. Told in 18 hours over 10 parts, Burns’ work introduces viewers to 79 people (including about 50 Americans and nearly 30 Vietnamese, including guerrillas and protestors) to create a whole new exploration of the war and the racial, economic and cultural forces that influenced it. Additionally, Trent Reznor composed the score to apply a modern day sound to the historical background.
Young Sheldon (CBS)– Premieres Monday Sept. 25 at 8:30/7:30c
Big Bang Theory’s spin-off, Young Sheldon, is a series about an outsider making his way in a hostile world. The new show actually diverges significantly from its source material. The only recognizable element, really, is Jim Parsons’ quirky narration. Most critics are comparing it to The Wonder Years and Doogie Howser, M.D.
Me, Myself and I (CBS) — Premieres Monday, Sept. 25 at 9:30/8:30c
This show features its main character, Alex Riley, at three stages of his life: as a 14-year-old who moves to L.A. in the early ’90s (played by Jack Dylan Grazer); as a recently-divorced 40-year-old in the present day (SNL alum Bobby Moynihan); and as a 65-year-old retiree in the year 2042 (John Larroquette). Some critics are calling this the best new comedy of the season.
The Mayor (ABC) — Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 9:30/8:30
The Mayor is a sitcom about a fictitious rapper, Courtney Rose, who runs for mayor of his hometown as a publicity stunt… and wins. Once elected, Mayor Rose takes on real community issues. With the help of his mother (Yvette Nicole Brown, Community) and friends, including Valentina (Glee’s Lea Michele), Courtney will have to overcome his fears if he wants to transform the struggling city he loves.
The Gifted (Fox) – Premieres Monday, Oct. 2 at 9/8c
This family adventure series hopes to appeal to both the younger and older end of the coved A18-49 demographic. The show tells the story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are disrupted when they discover that their children possess mutant powers not unlike Marvel’s X-Men. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins up with an underground network of mutants who are fighting to survive.