New Girl — FOX
Not to be sexist, but your interest in New Girl may come down to the degree to which you find Zooey Deschenel charming or merely winsome. Her oddball character ? eccentric charmer moves in with three guys after she has a bad break-up — could grate, but I’m wishing the show the best.
Terra Nova — FOX
The big, expensive fantasy series may be the season’s grandest gamble. Sending people from the future into the past to save the world is a venerable sci-fi trope, but here’s hoping this series, with the always-terrific Stephen Lang (Avatar) prominent in the cast, becomes something special.
2 Broke Girls — CBS
The concept may sound a bit careworn — two young women, one wealthy/sheltered, one working-class/worldly — but in the hands of creator-comedian Whitney Cummings (who has her own NBC sitcom, Whitney) and producer Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City), it has the potential to be sharp-witted.
Prime Suspect — NBC
Maria Bello faces a difficult challenge: Taking over the role Helen Mirren defined from the 1990s onward. But Bello has the good sense to make the character of the brilliant, beleaguered police investigator her own, I’m sure. I’ll watch and root to see if she can be pulled off.
How to Be a Gentlemen — CBS
Casting Kevin Dillon, Dave Foley, Rhys Darby, and Mary Lynn Rajskub in a sitcom built around a polite man in an impolite world (he’s played by Davis Hornsby) is certainly novel and motley, and the clip makes the show look crisp.
Person of Interest — CBS
Any show backed by J.J. Abrams is bound to spark interest, but when you add Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson as the stars (as well as Oscar-nominated Taraji P. Henson in a prominent role), you’ve got an hour-long suspense series that generates ? well, suspense over just how much I’m guaranteed to enjoy it.
Up All Night — NBC
Christina Applegate and Will Arnett as new parents? It could have been all ironic and sarcastic; instead, from the clip that’s been released, it seems funny and as realistic about new parenthood as you’d like a network sitcom to be. Plus, Maya Rudolph as Applegate’s bossy boss. Great cast.
A Gifted Man — CBS
Yes, you could say the premise merely continues the CBS meme for ghost-themed series ? it’s about a doctor (Patrick Wilson) who can see his dead wife (Jennifer Ehle) ? but I was somewhat moved by the clip I saw, and even more sold when I saw who’d directed it: Jonathan Demme (go Netflix Something Wild immediately).
Ringer — CW
Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing twins, returning to TV in what looks like some kind of combination of a nighttime soap and a Brian De Palma movie? Count me in, at least for the first few weeks.
Pan Am — ABC
Of the two shows trying to break off a little of that Mad Men coolness (the other is NBC’s The Playboy Club), this one looks as though it could be more fun and sexy. The question is whether it will also be smart. I’m counting on the presence of Christina Ricci and director Thomas Schlamme to help the series from becoming campy schlock.