Fall TV Preview

The Fall TV season is upon us. It's a glorious time of year. Below I'll offer five shows I'm excited to see and three I think are early cancellation candidates. Time to get pumped! Shows appear in the order of their debut.

Five to Look Forward To:
Speechless, Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC (Premiers September 21)
About: This wasn't a show that I was high on when I read the premise. It's easy to dismiss. Until you see some footage. Minnie Driver is one of the leads, and this is a series about a family that's funny, brash and doesn't take any guff. I have laughed every time I've seen the trailers, and I think this could end up being the comedy hit of the fall.

Designated Survivor, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC (Premiers September 21)
About: I've been all in on this show since May's upfront presentation, and the trailers I've seen since have done nothing to diminish my enthusiasm for it. Kiefer Sutherland stars as a low-level Cabinet Member who's left behind during the State of the Union Address and suddenly becomes the leader of the free world. ABC looks to have knocked it out of the park this fall, and this is a big reason why.

Luke Cage, streaming on Netflix (Premiers September 30)
About: Netflix has benefitted greatly from a partnership with Marvel, and they've done the shows very well. The latest in the Defenders series is "Luke Cage." The character debuted last fall on "Jessica Jones" but now gets his own series. The trailer looks strong, and I'm excited to see how this continues to build the world.

Westworld, Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO (Premiers October 2)
About: This is based on a Michael Crichton film, which of course is enough to hook me. But it was adapted by Jonathan Nolan ("Person of Interest) and comes from producer JJ Abrams. The trailer is cool, moody and engrossing. HBO has been working on this for a long time, and there's plenty of pressure for it to be a hit. For my part, I just can't wait to see what it develops into.

Timeless, Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC (Premiers October 3)
About: It's a weak looking slate of network shows this fall. A lot of them are eye rollers, but this one intrigues me. NBC needs a new hit, and this has potential. It's a show about a group of people who travel back through time to prevent a villain from changing history. It's a high concept that could be fascinating, especially seeing people revisit classic events and times in our history and viewing them through a modern lens.

Three Likely to Flop:
The Exorcist, Fridays at 9 p.m. on FOX (Premiers September 23)
About: "The Exorcist" is a classic film, and probably always will be. The idea of bringing horror shows to TV is worthy, because cheap horror films continue to be a hit in theaters. But this show looks like a train wreck. I don't see how it works as a series long-term. It's gonna be a brutal fall for FOX, and this is exhibit A.

MacGyver, Fridays at 8 p.m. on CBS (Premiers September 23)
About: Really, a "MacGyver" re-make? Ugh. I think this speaks for itself, but the fact that they reportedly completely re-shot the pilot is also a brutal sign.

The Great Indoors, Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS (Premiers October 27)
About: CBS has a completely uninspiring slate of shows. Any of its comedies could flop out of the box. But I'm going with "The Great Indoors" as the first out, despite a "Big Bang Theory" lead in. I just fail to see the appeal.


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