Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris premiers 9/15 at 10/9c on NBC
Premise: A variety show. Variety shows haven’t been around in a long time. Magic, skits, etc.
Star Power: 7.5 Neil Patrick Harris is one of the best hosts in the game right now, does the Oscars and the Tonys.
Ratings Prediction: I have no idea what America’s appetite for a variety show is. They haven’t been around in a while. The last one I can truly think of (besides the next review) is The Smothers Brothers. Which was what, the ‘70s? There could be a very good reason for that. But, if it is going to succeed, it is going to succeed with NPH. It also has a massive advantage in premiering the week before “premier week.” The real test will be if it can hold its ratings once new shows start and returning shows come back. 60% chance of renewal
The Muppets premiers 9/22 at 8/7c on ABC
Premise: Speaking of variety shows, this doesn’t look like the variety show I grew up with. At least the trailer didn’t. The trailer looked like it will be a rip-off of other comedies (e.g. The Office and Modern Family). If that’s the case it would be very disappointing.
Star Power: 9.0 The Muppets! Who doesn’t love the Muppets? Every red-blooded American loves the Muppets. If you don’t, go back to Soviet Russia, you commie pig. *ouch!* *Miss Piggy stop hitting me* *I’ll fix it.* Go back to Soviet Russia, you commie frog. *Better?* *Not still bitter about your break up with Kermit, are you?*
Ratings Prediction: This doesn’t appear to be a strong night. Outside of an aging NCIS, there isn’t a lot of competition. Everyone will tune into The Muppets, but if it isn’t what they remember, the ratings could turn south. 70% chance of renewal.
Scream Queens premiers 9/22 at 9/8c on FOX
Premise: Haunted sorority house? Murders are occurring in a sorority, one 20 years ago, another this year. The sorority in question is already in trouble with the “Dean Wormer” character (played by Jamie Lee Curtis), who is forcing them to accept whomever applies. The leader in the clubhouse for worst-looking new show. Words cannot describe how wretched this looks.
Star Power: 8.0 Jaime Lee Curtis, Ariana Grande, Lead girl from Glee, another guy who you recognize immediately, but don’t know his name (he was in Nashville)
Ratings Prediction: FOX has been having trouble finding hits in recent years. It looks unique enough that people might want to tune in, but if they watch the trailer, they will probably run away screaming (Ha! See what I did there?) 20% Chance of renewal.
Limitless premiers 9/22 at 10/9c on CBS
Premise: A pill (NZT) makes a man the smartest person in the world – able to remember everything he ever learned; do complex calculations in seconds. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this – Alphas did it. It also sounds a little like the movie Lucy. It looks like this might be based on a movie of the same name – I haven’t seen it yet though.
Star Power: 8.0 Bradley Cooper (probably just a few cameo type appearance rather than a starring role, but still, Bradley Cooper), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Jake McDorman (Greek), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter)
Ratings Prediction: This has the hallmarks of a successful show. Strong cast, interesting premise – both inventive and can be turned into a weekly procedural (he’ll probably start working for the FBI). No real competition (Chicago Fire and Wicked City [see below]). However, people quickly turn away from something they don’t understand (can happen easily here). Fewer and fewer people are watching TV live at 10/9c; if you get over a 2.0 in the timeslot you are working miracles. 70% chance of renewal.
Grandfathered premiers 9/29 at 8/7c on FOX
Premise: A successful restaurant owner finds out he has a son. And a granddaughter! The rest practically writes itself doesn’t it? You can see all kinds of crazy hijinks here in this sitcom.
Star Power: 6.0 John Stamos
Ratings Prediction: Remember that I said comedies are struggling. I also said FOX is struggling. Put the two together and it is an uphill road for this sitcom. Even if it is a well-done comedy, it might struggle to find footing. I actually did laugh at the trailer a couple times – a good sign, but the cards seem stacked against it. 50% chance of renewal
The Grinder premiers 9/29 at 8:30/7:30c on FOX
Premise: A man who played a TV lawyer for 8 years, starts being a lawyer. His brother is a lawyer and his father is a lawyer so he thinks he can be a lawyer too. Without going to law school.
Star Power: 7.5 Rob Lowe, Fred Savage
Ratings Prediction: Everything I just said about Grandfathered applies here. It doesn’t look as funny, but Rob Lowe and Fred Savage are a bigger draw than John Stamos. 40% chance of renewal.
Wicked City premiers 10/27 at 10/9c on ABC
Premise: Police try to catch a necrophiliac serial killer. Sounds super doesn’t it?
Star Power 5.0 Erika Christensen
Ratings Prediction: Premiering late. Super dark subject matter. This could be the next Dexter. Probably not. 25% chance of renewal
Chicago Med premiers 11/10 at 9/8c on NBC
Premise: A spinoff of Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. Those shows are so soapy, you don’t swear for a week after watching them. I can’t imagine this will be different.
Star Power: 5.5 Laurie Holden (Walking Dead), Oliver Platt
Ratings Prediction: As a spinoff, they have the potential to crossover with the other shows. There is a danger of fatigue from these shows. It’s likely that if you watch Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, you will watch this. If you don’t watch those shows, you probably won’t watch this one. Given the success of the other two shows, this one probably survives as well. 70% chance of renewal.
A massive night for new television, with eight new shows premiering. Everything from family entertainment (Best Time Ever w/NPH, The Muppets) to dark, dreadful looking shows (Scream Queens, Wicked City) to a spinoff (Chicago Med) that will probably do just fine. The comedies have a chance on such a weak night. Limitless looks like the most intriguing new show of the night – I might need to watch the movie first (if it is based on the movie).