Winter TV Roundup, Week 1


Did you enjoy that break from new shows? Just kidding, there wasn't one. The winter TV season literally kicked off on January 1. As always, I review the pilot and second episodes of new scripted shows from the winter. Don't see a new show listed below? It hasn't aired yet... (this is week one).

Monday Nights:
Beyond, Mondays at 9 p.m. on Freeform (Premiered January 2)
About: "Beyond" is the latest new bingeable series, and it comes from Freeform. The series debuted with the first two of its 10 episodes on Monday night. Now the whole season is available to tear through on streaming services (the Freeform App and Hulu). The series centers on a young man, Holden (Burkely Duffield), who was in a coma for 12 years. He wakes up and is in remarkable shape as he tries to resume his life. But he soon discovers he came back changed, and now he's the target of those out to get him. That sounds complicated and boring, but the pilot was surprisingly engaging. I thought the second episode was even better, building the characters, story and world. This show was engaging and made me curious where it's going. It also feels like something a little different for Freeform, a network whose previous scripted series haven't been my favorites. It will be interesting to see, too, if this show builds an audience each Monday since the whole series is already available to binge.
Pilot Grade: C+
Second Episode: B-

Tuesday Nights:
The Mick, Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on FOX (Premiered January 1)
About: This series moves into its regular timeslot behind "New Girl" tonight, but it got a special premier on Sunday night after football. It drew a decent audience in that plum slot, but I'll be curious to see how many people follow the series to its permanent home. I'm guessing not a ton.  Kaitlin Olson stars as a self-centered, purposeless woman who goes to visit her wealthy sister and ends up having to stay as guardian to her three pampered niece and nephews. It's a fish-out-of-water story, and hilarity ensues. Except it doesn't, really. The pilot was uneven and not that interesting. There's some potential here, but it wasn't well developed in the opening half hour. That, of course, sometimes happens due to the nature of pilots and comedy. Tonight's second episode will be more telling. For now, this feels like a miss.
Pilot Grade: C

Saturday Nights:
Ransom, Saturdays at 8 p.m. on CBS (Premiered January 1)
About: This series, about a team of hostage negotiators, premiered on Sunday behind football but will now move to a permanent Saturday night home. That doesn't bode well for what the network thinks of the series. In fact, for the next two weeks, the show will be competing with NFL playoff games. That doesn't bode well for its ratings chances. It was an in-expensive foreign co-production, and CBS decided to burn it off on a night where not much new appears. Despite all those red flags, I actually enjoyed the pilot episode. The characters feel a little cliched, but the performances worked and the story was engaging. It will be interesting to see where this goes, or if anyone watches it on Saturday night.
Pilot Grade: C+

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