Fall TV Guide 2013: The New Shows to Watch in September!

From The Michael J. Fox Show to The Crazy Ones, see our guide of what to check out this month

What do the networks have on tap for the upcoming TV season?

Lots of shows about grown children moving in with their irritating parents, some sudsy dramas, and a couple of really strong sitcoms.

Plus, tons of big-name celebrities are taking a stab at the small screen again: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robin Williams, Michael J. Fox, James Caan and Toni Collette -- just to name a few.

Here's what's to expect from the new premieres this month...

Back in the Game

Back in the Game TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept. 25 at 8: 30 p.m. ET on ABC

What it's about: A single mom and former high school softball player (Psych's Maggie Lawson) moves in with her grouchy father (James Caan). Soon she finds herself coaching her son's Little League team of Bad News Bears-like misfits, with dad's crabby help.

Why we can’t wait: The promo's montage of hapless Little League boys is completely endearing. Plus: "Lawson is totally charming…as a frazzled single mom and in her element as a ball player," while "Caan is Caan — warmly grizzly with a thuggish underbelly, and thus perfect in the role," says TV Line.

 

Betrayal

Betrayal TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept. 29 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC

What it's about: Already-married boy (Stuart Townsend) meets already-married girl (Hannah Ware), and sparks fly. But this sudsy nighttime soap gets complicated fast when the lover and the husband, both lawyers, find themselves on opposite sides of a high profile murder case. 

Why we can’t wait: While the show's received poor to mixed reviews, the Huffington Post points out that "it feels just soapy, just scandalous enough to find an audience."

 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine TV Preview

Courtesy of FOX

Premieres: Sept. 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX

What it's about: Adorable doofus Andy Samberg plays the sort of maverick New York City cop you'd see in a prime time police drama—if he was giving said cop the Saturday Night Live spoof treatment. He's unconventional and effective, but he's also juvenile, immature and maddening to be around. But it's not just him. When a new police captain (Andre Braugher) arrives, he's faced a whole precinct full of good but wacky detectives. 

Why we can’t wait: Sandberg sets the light-hearted tone for the show's slate of silly, likable characters. Sure, Brooklyn Nine-Nine doesn't reinvent the wheel, but that didn't keep TVLine from calling it "the fall's best new comedy."

 

Dads

Dads TV Preview

Courtesy of FOX

Premieres: Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX

What it's about: Seth MacFarlane, best known for his animated shows American Dad! and The Cleveland Show, has brought his course humor to a live action sitcom about two friends/roommates (Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi) whose obnoxious fathers (Peter Riegert and Martin Mull) move in with them.

Why we can’t wait: We can, actually. Life so far has been just fine without this promo's dumb gags about sexy Chinese schoolgirls and old men who won't pick up the check.

 

 

Hello Ladies

Hello Ladies TV Preview

Courtesy of HBO

Premieres: Sept. 29 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO

What it's about: A nice but socially insecure guy with romantic troubles. 

Why we can’t wait: Well, because the guy is played by Stephen Merchant, a.k.a. Ricky Gervais'writing partner and co-creator of the U.K. version of The Office. "Everything we've seen from Stephen Merchant's upcoming new comedy series Hello Ladies indicates a decidedly awkward brand of humor," says Cinemablend. And that's just the brand of humor we like from him.

 

Hostages

Hostages

Courtesy of CBS

Premieres: Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS

What it's about: In this 15-episode thriller from Jerry Bruckheimer, a prominent surgeon (Toni Collette) is tasked with operating on the President. Just before the surgery, she is taken hostage, along with her husband (Tate Donavan) and teenaged kids. The ringleader, a rogue FBI agent (Dylan McDermott), gives her an ultimatum: Make sure POTUS doesn't survive, or they will kill her family. 

Why we can’t wait: Bruckheimer's known for CBS police procedurals like CSI, Cold Case and Without a Trace. He's not usually in the business of suspenseful cliff hangers and tension that builds from week to week. That novelty, and the quality of the actors involved, makes this one worth watching.

 

 

Lucky 7

Lucky Seven TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept. 24 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC

What it's about: Five gas station employees in Queens pool their money and win the lottery. Hurray! The sudden influx of cash will solve all sorts of problems. One of them can finally afford a house for his family. Another can finally retire. Another can get out of debt. They'll live happily ever after! Except…that's not what happens.

Why we can’t wait: This ensemble drama is based on a British hit with the same intriguing premise. On the whole, TV critics are cautiously optimistic about the U.S. version. “I certainly don't think that ‘Lucky 7’ is great drama," wrote Daniel Fienberg at Hitfix. "But relative to most of the season's pilots, it's populated with semi-likable characters played by actors who aren't predictable Central Casting retreads and, most importantly, the pilot moves like lightning."

 

 

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC

What it's about: ABC's marquee new series is a television spin-off of The Avengers, the 2012 blockbuster movie.

Why we can’t wait: For one thing, cult hit-maker Joss Whedon—the creative genius who also wrote and directed The Avengers—is at the helm, so the comic-to-TV transition will be done right. And when it comes to visual effects, the $12 million poured into the premiere won't hurt, either.

 

 

Masters of Sex

Masters of Sex TV Preview

Courtesy of Showtime

Premieres: Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime

What it's about: This 50's-era drama is based on real-life scientists Virginia Johnson and William H Masters (Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen), who devoted their professional lives to researching, ahem, human sexuality. Oh, and their own, clandestine affair further informed their work!

Why we can’t wait: Critics love it, with some even hailing 'Sex' the best new series of the fall. The spicy subject matter may not be for everyone, but as one reviewer put it, "behind the racy material and all the laughs, there's a fascinating exploration of two intriguing characters."

 

 

Moms

Moms TV Preview

Courtesy of CBS

Premieres: Sept. 23 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS

What it's about: Scary Movie's Anna Faris anchors Chuck Lorre's newest sitcom, about a newly sober single mom struggling with a teenage daughter and a boyfriend who also happens to be her married boss (Nate Corddry).  Enter her overbearing, trouble-making mother (Allison Janney), and she's got some real sitcom hurdles to overcome

Why we can’t wait: Lorre obviously has an impressive track record with The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly. Zap2it says that Mom is "firmly in line with what audiences have come to expect from a Lorre multi-camera comedy, however the material certainly appears to be elevated by its more-than-game cast." And who doesn't love Allison Janney?

 

 

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow TV Preview

Courtesy of FOX

Premieres: Sept. 16 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX

What it's about: The Headless Horseman (the villain of Washington Irving's 1820 short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), has time traveled 250 years to the present day. And he's still killing people. Luckily, that story's hero, military officer Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), has arrived in 2013 as well, and he's helping a local police detective named Abbie (Nicole Beharie) to thwart him.

Why we can’t wait: Yes, the show demands some serious suspension of disbelief, but TV Line says it's done right, as a "rollicking, doesn’t-take-itself-too-seriously tale of a fish out of water and his frighteningly formidable foe." And Abbie's reaction to the headless menace—more irritated than shocked—is quite amusing.

 

 

The Blacklist

Blacklisted TV Preview

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC

What it's about: The FBI's most wanted criminal (the deliciously sly James Spader) inexplicably turns himself in, and offers to help the bureau track down other criminals—on the condition he works only with a novice psychological profiler (Megan Boone), who hasn't even started her first day at work yet.

Why we can’t wait: "I always enjoy playing characters that make trouble," Spader told the Huffington Post. And we enjoy watching him do it.

 

 

The Crazy Ones

The Crazy Ones TV Preview

Courtesy of CBS

Premieres: Sept 26 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS

What it's about: In this workplace comedy set in an ad agency, a manic, creative type (Robin Williams) wows clients with his out-of-the-box thinking. Meanwhile, his Type-A daughter (Sarah Michelle Gellar) tries to channel his nutty energy into actual campaigns.

Why we can’t wait: We're psyched for the return of both these beloved actors, for one thing. Also: NewMediaMetrics, a brand strategy company that predicts how well new TV shows will perform (with 80% accuracy), calls The Crazy Ones the new fall show that's most likely to succeed

 

 

The Goldbergs

The Goldbergs TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept 24 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC

What it's about: This sitcom about a loud, dysfunctional American family in the 80's is like the Wonder Years, but much less earnest. And with much more yelling.

Why we can’t wait: Eighties music! Eighties fashion! And a cast that includes George Segal as the grandpa and Jeff Garlin as the dad! What's not to love? Well, except maybe the yelling. "When it becomes annoying, I'll be the first to notice and I'll stop," says Garlin. "But yelling is funny." If he says so.

 

 

The Michael J. Fox Show

The Michael J. Fox Show TV Preview

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC

What it's about: A popular TV anchorman (Fox), sidelined by Parkinson's disease, decides to go back to work. His wife (Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt) and kids are thrilled to get him out of the house. (Perhaps not unlike the loved ones of the guy it's loosely based on.)

Why we can’t wait: Which is the best new comedy coming to TV this fall? "Michael J. Fox wins," declares Willa Paskin of Salon. She's just one of many critics lining up to praise the show's offbeat and often irreverent humor. "We both know that NBC's gonna show me in slow motion with lame, uplifting music in the background," he tells his producer. Yep, they do, but his sly observations about life with a disability—usually a taboo subject in comedy—grant you permission to laugh with him.

 

 

The New Atlanta

The New Atlanta TV Preview

Courtesy of Bravo

Premieres: Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo

What it's about: Bravo says it's a docuseries about Atlanta's "trailblazing young professionals," a "rising elite" in the fashion, music and event planning industries. We say it's a 20-something, coed version of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Why we can’t wait: If there's one thing Bravo knows, it's how to people its shows with fit-throwing crazies. With names like Africa, Tribble and Vawn, and a promo promising a stalker/boyfriend-stealing plotline, this characters ought to fit right into Andy Cohen's outrageous roster of flamboyant personalities on Watch What Happens Live.

 

 

Trophy Wife

Trophy Wife TV Preview

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Sept. 24 at 9: 30 p.m. ET on ABC

What it's about: A comedic look at blended family life from the point of view of the pretty, 20-years-younger third wife (Malin Akerman).

Why we can’t wait: TV critics are fairly optimistic about this show, which many point out doesn't deserve a title with such negative connotations. This Modern Family-esque sitcom—which also incorporates a sarcastic husband (Bradley Whitford), two ex-wives (Marcia Gay Harden and Michaela Watkins) and three teenaged stepchildren—gives "us many reasons to respect and root for Kate," writes Hitfix. In other words, you're going to like this trophy wife.

 

 

We Are Men

We Are Men

Courtesy of ABC

We Are Men

Premieres: Sept. 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS

What it's about: When Carter (Chris Smith) gets left at the alter, he moves into a short-term apartment complex, where he meets three other losers in love (Jerry O'Connell, Monk's Tony Shalhoub and House's Kal Penn).

Why we can’t wait: O'Connell, Shalhoub and Penn are all likable actors. Truth is, though, this show based roughly on creator Rob Greenberg's own experience after getting divorced is getting awful reviews. One Huffington Post's reviewer even predicted: "There's a 99.9% chance you'll find the content offensive."


Jennifer Graham Kizer is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Google+.

 

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