Sep 25

Comedy, drama, supernatural scares: Fall TV has it all

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Fall television season heats up with “Ben and Kate,” “The Mindy Project”

If Sunday’s Emmy Awards proved anything, it’s that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences favors the familiar.

Aside from a few fresh offerings, including “Homeland” and “Louie,” the list of winners was replete with past winners, such as “The Amazing Race” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Jon Cryer, who previously won a supporting actor Emmy for “Two and a Half Men,” picked up a lead actor award. Meanwhile, “Veep” star Julia Louis Dreyfus snagged her third acting Emmy, and “Breaking Bad” actor Aaron Paul and “Modern Family” co-stars Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet scored their second statuettes.

It just goes to show that television is a tricky business, one ruled by the fickle fancies of television viewers. With that in mind, here are the new television shows premiering this week.


“Partners” (CBS)
Premieres: 8:30 p.m. tonight

From the creators of “Will & Grace” comes this sweet-but-sassy sitcom about best friends and business partners Louis (Michael Urie) and Joe (David Krumholtz). Their bromance is put to the test when Joe proposes to his longtime girlfriend (Sophia Bush) and Louis starts dating a gorgeous male nurse (Brandon Routh). Yes, it’s all very fun but rather familiar.

“Ben and Kate” (Fox)
Premieres: 8:30 p.m. Tuesday

She’s an uptight single mom whose life revolves her five-year-old daughter, Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth). He’s an irresponsible slacker with a heart of gold. Together, they’re Ben (Nat Faxon) and Kate (Dakota Johnson), the kookiest pair of siblings to hit the small screen since “Modern Family.” Based on a real-life relationship, this sitcom has a cute, goofy vibe.

“Elementary” (CBS)
Premieres: 10 p.m. Tuesday

I’m getting a little sick of Sherlock Holmes. Don’t get me wrong — I love Benedict Cumberbatch’s brilliant television series “Sherlock” and Robert Downey Jr.’s “Sherlock Holmes” films are a lot of fun. But do we really need another take on the storied sleuth? In “Elementary,” Jonny Lee Miller is Sherlock, a recovering English addict every bit as brilliant and acerbic as the title misanthrope on “House.” His sidekick is Joan Watson, Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), a former surgeon turned “sober companion.” Unfortunately, their sparkling chemistry can’t save this oh-so-tired premise.

“The Mindy Project” (Fox)
Premieres: 9:30 p.m. Tuesday

“The Office” cutie Mindy Kaling is back as a smart, successful OBGYN whose personal life is a mess. An unabashed romantic who loves sequins, champagne and “When Harry Met Sally,” Mindy resolves to give up her party girl ways and get her life back on track. Now, if only she can keep from sleeping with every cute coworker who comes her way. Utterly charming.

“Vegas” (CBS)
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c

Not to be confused with casino dramedy “Las Vegas,” this period drama stars Dennis Quaid as Las Vegas Sheriff Ralph Lamb, a hard-nosed rancher who goes up against a powerful gangster (Michael Chiklis) in 1960s Sin City. If “Vegas” is a cross between “The Godfather” and “Rio Bravo,” as one executive producer puts it, wouldn’t this subject matter be better suited for the big screen?

“Animal Practice” (NBC)
Premieres: 8 p.m. Wednesday

When Dorothy Crane (Joanna Garcia-Swisher) takes over the title hospital, she clashes immediately with her ex-boyfriend, Dr. George Cole (“Weeds” star Justin Kirk),an irascible veterinarian who prefers the company of animals to that of their owners. “Animal Practice” has problems with pacing and tone — Does it want to be a medical drama? A quirky comedy? — but it’s difficult to deny the charm of Dr. Rizzo, aka Crystal the monkey.

“Guys With Kids” (NBC)
Premieres: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday

Late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon developed this sitcom about three pals (Jesse Bradford, Anthony Anderson and Zach Cregger) learning the ropes of parenting together. Depending on your tolerance for daddy jokes, I predict that “Guys with Kids” — much like previous bro shows “Last Man Standing” and “Man Up!” — will get pretty old, pretty fast.

“The Neighbors” (ABC)
Premieres: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday

When an ordinary New Jersey family (Lenny Venito, Jami Gertz, Isabella Cramp, Clara Mamet and Max Charles) moves into an affluent gated community, they notice something odd. Their new neighborhood is populated by extra-terrestrials. This science fiction-flavored sitcom may share some of the sillier aspects of “Third Rock From the Sun,” but it appears to lack that show’s subversive sense of humor.

“Last Resort” (ABC)
Premieres: 8 p.m. Thursday

After refusing an order to fire nuclear missiles at Pakistan, submarine Capt. Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and his crew (Scott Speedman, Autumn Reeser, Daisy Betts and Robert Patrick) are forced to go on the run — eventually finding sanctuary at a NATO base. In short, this is a deep-sea thriller for the Tom Clancy crowd.

“Made in Jersey” (CBS)
Premieres: 9 p.m. Friday

If you’re mourning the demise of “Jersey Shore,” don’t fret. There’s a new Jersey girl in town. When New Jersey attorney Martina Garretti (Brit Janet Montgomery) snags a job at a prestigious New York City law firm, she puts her street smarts to the test. Like Snooki, this chick’s got sass to spare.

“666 Park Avenue” (ABC)
Premieres: 10 p.m. Sunday

Remember the spooky apartment building in “Rosemary’s Baby?” It has a lot in common with the title high rise. Henry (Dave Annable) and Jane (Rachael Taylor) have been hired as resident managers of The Drake, an Upper East Side apartment building owned by Gavin Doran (Terry O’Quinn) and his wife (Vanessa Williams). There’s only one catch: All of the residents have all made deals with The Devil. This sexy supernatural drama” could become a new guilty pleasure.

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