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The most fun of any fall show, this reboot may feature Alex O'Laughlin as its Jack Lord, but it's the costars — Grace Park, Daniel Dae Kim, and especially Scott Caan — who provide the real sparks.
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Invasion? Explosion? Government plot? Aliens? Jason Ritter? I'm only sure about that last one: He's the star. And Blair Underwood is playing POTUS. This may be exciting, or it may be FlashForward; stay tuned.
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Mike and Molly
For this sitcom to work, it has to move beyond fat jokes fast...which it does by the end of the James Burrows-directed pilot. From the man who gave you The Big Bang Theory, this could be a big fat mass hit.
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Editor's note: Lone Star was the first new TV show of the fall season to be canceled
One charmer (James Wolk) is married to two women and is trying to divest himself of his scam-artist dad (David Keith) while being charmed by his new boss (Jon Voight). Sound like a nighttime soap? Yup, and a good 'un.
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No Ordinary Family
Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz head up a squabbling clan that acquires superpowers. Kinda the Fantastic Four crossed with Heroes. But with Greg Berlanti (Everwood, Brothers & Sisters) behind it, this could become an emotionally rich superhero show.
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I like Michael Imperioli a lot, I like cop shows, but somehow this doesn't quite click. Remember the short-lived Jeremy Renner cop show The Unusuals? 1-8-7, complete with squad cars full of eccentric cops, is a little like that, only not as sharply written.
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The season's best new network sitcom is also its most raucous. From the creator of My Name Is Earl, an unsentimental look at young parenting, with a couple of veteran actresses stealing laughs: Martha Plimpton and Cloris Leachman.
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Will Arnett and Keri Russell star as mismatched romantics — he's a spoiled rich man; she's a radical do-gooder — in a sitcom from Arrested Development's Mitch Hurwitz. Sounds like it should be laugh-a-minute, right? Instead, it's a charming, wobbly thing that could go either way.
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You've been yearning for a weekly, in-depth look at the sorts of cheerleaders who populated Bring It On? Consider this bit of pop anthropology The CW's latest time-waster — er, gift to you.
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A very attractive married couple (Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Boris Kodjoe) run a catering business and do espionage work on the side. Or vice versa. Either way, this hour-long romance-adventure from producer J.J. Abrams will have to get faster, more suspenseful, and funnier if it wants to attract an audience.
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Law & Order: LA
NBC hasn't sent out a pilot. Cause for worry? Naw. The latest franchise from producer Dick Wolf, starring Skeet Ulrich, is guaranteed automatic tune-in by curious L&O fans (i.e., most of America watches at least one of the offshoots), as well as Jericho fans jonesing for a Skeet fix.
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Better With You
Following the romantic tribulations of three very different couples, this sitcom benefits from sharp women ranging from Joanna Garcia to Debra Jo Rupp. Writers include a Friends vet, Shanna Goldberg-Meehan, and the jokes sometimes have as much snap as Garcia's and Rupp's deliveries of them. One to keep an eye on.
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The Whole Truth
Oh, how I wish Maura Tierney and Rob Morrow had a better vehicle than this law show that tries for an original twist: Both sides, prosecution and defense, are given equal weight, but don't find out who committed the crime until after the verdict. The pilot was a dry husk; it also starred Joely Richardson in Tierney's role in the pilot screened for TV critics, so here's hoping they rewrote big chunks when they reshot it with Tierney.
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Jerry O'Connell and Jim Belushi star as Vegas lawyers. They're slick, they needle each other, and, I have to admit, they're likable, in a goofball sorta way. Which, since that's the vibe the show is going for, makes it a success. Please note: Possibly the first time EW has said something positive about a Jim Belushi vehicle.
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My nomination for the worst new show of the season. A faux documentary following a group of college pals 10 years after they graduate. Spoiler alert: They all grow up to be miserable whiners.
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$#*! My Dad Says
Even William Shatner, that master of transcending whatever he happens to be cast in, has his work cut out for him starring as a grumpy dad in this Internet-spawned sitcom. It's as though the role was written as ''Archie Bunker crossed with Fred Sanford'' when what we really want is Denny Crane.
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People are complaining that this sitcom about an American overseeing a company in India is full of cheap, shameful stereotypes, but if it was on FX or Comedy Central instead of NBC, many of those same people would be saying it's daring, testing the edges of poor taste. Watch and see if you don't agree.
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Maggie Q makes for a fine, slinky spy, but I am not convinced that she's getting as much support in the way of clever plots and dialogue as she's getting from her non-stop bikini tops and evening gowns.
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Tom Selleck as a veteran cop, heading up a family full of officers of the law, and a lawyer. If multigenerational sagas combined with crime drama are appealing to you, CBS' Blue Bloods does it well. The problem for the series may prove to be its network: If this show was on cable, it could be a lot more gritty-realistic. And I'd kinda like to hear Tom Selleck curse someone out who deserved it.
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More like Ouch-law: Jimmy Smits as a Supreme Court justice who doffs his robes to return to being a trial lawyer. Why? Because he wants to be an agent of change, a force for good, a crusader. Unfortunately, his character is also an egomaniacal bore.
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The vast majority of TV critics nationwide will tell you this is a generic cop show. I'll tell you it could become a guilty pleasure for me: an overblown Jerry Bruckheimer cops-running-after-bad-guys series with a likably spunky star in Kelli Giddish, who looks good hoisting a big gun.