2015 Fall Television Preview

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by A.C. Hall

It’s no longer 100 degrees outside, so that must mean that it’s almost fall in Texas.  Along with the (slightly) cooler weather, fall brings with it a fresh season of television.  As always, an avalanche of new shows are debuting across all networks, but which of those shows are actually worth checking out?  Below are the ones that seem to be getting the most buzz.  blindspot

Blindspot (NBC, Debuts 9/21)
At first glance, this show looks destined to be a hit.  It’s part The Blacklist and part Person of Interest.  The show revolves around a woman who is discovered in New York City.  She has no memory, but her body is covered in mysterious tattoos, all of which point toward crime and a massive conspiracy.  This mysterious woman (played by the great actress Jamie Alexander) works with the FBI, using her tattoos as clues as they try to get to the bottom of her situation and the conspiracy that is hinted at all over her body.
One thing that makes this show stand out in a major way is the involvement of producer Greg Berlanti.  He’s the man responsible for hit shows like Arrow and The Flash, as well as many older favorites such as Everwood and Brothers and Sisters.  Berlanti has shown an uncanny ability to make a wide variety of shows work, and if he can bring that touch to Blindspot, it might just be one of the highlights of the upcoming TV season.

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The Grinder (Fox, Debuts 9/29)
Rob Lowe is a delightful actor.  After a long stint on the quirky sitcom Parks and Recreation, Lowe is starring in his own show this year.  Lowe plays an actor who has just wrapped up a long run as the star of a popular lawyer show.  Without much else going on in his life, Lowe decides to take everything he learned in the years of playing a lawyer on television and try to help his little brother (Fred Savage) who has a struggling real law practice.
The premise is ridiculous, but Lowe is the exact kind of actor who can pull off a show like this.  Add in the return of Fred Savage, who hasn’t been very visible since the iconic show The Wonder Years, and you’ve got what could be a delightful new show.

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Heroes Reborn (NBC, Debuts 9/24)
No show was ever as universally beloved and then as universally despised as Heroes.  During its four season run from 2007 to 2010, the show went from critical darling to critical failure.  With the super hero nature of the show, it seems fitting that it’s coming back to life this year in the form of Heroes Reborn.
Picking up some time after the original series, Reborn sees a world where those with powers are being hunted.  Most of them are in hiding, but the series will tell their stories as some rise up and come together for the good of all mankind.  Bringing back some of the old characters seems very risky, but perhaps the mix of old and new will be a winning formula as Heroes Reborn looks to bring this franchise back to a place of prominence.

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The Player (NBC, Debuts 9/24)
Over the top premises can sometimes work wonderfully on television, and The Player may be one such show.  Starring Philip Winchester and Wesley Snipes, this high octane show tells the story of a former military operative who works as a security expert.  When this man falls in with Snipes, he’s pulled into a high stakes game of life and death that sees wealthy people bet on his ability to stop dangerous crimes.  This odd plot point gives the show a touch of The Hunger Games as the operative works to stop crimes while wealthy weirdos vote on or against him.
Snipes could really use a hit, and it seems like he’s really leaning into this show and putting a lot of effort into it.  Action based television shows don’t always succeed, but with such an interesting and odd premise, The Player just might be able to carve out a place for itself this fall.
Into the Badlands (AMC, Debuts 11/15)
While the debut for this one is still a few months away, the show itself is definitely worth mentioning.  As AMC has established itself as a powerhouse network with shows like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, anything new they release demands attention. Into the Badlands is a unique looking show, as it’s billed as a martial arts drama.  This first installment is only six parts long and tells the story of a motorcycle riding, sword wielding warrior who has to navigate the badlands that are ruled by ruthless and brutal warlords.  It’s unlike anything else currently on television, and should be worth checking out when it debuts in November.

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Supergirl (CBS, Debuts 10/26)
Superhero television shows have done great business for networks like The CW, and CBS is hoping to get in on the action with Supergirl.  This show will tell the story of Supergirl, who is the cousin of Superman.  There’s a clear effort being made by this show to have a lighter tone, with the workplace struggles of Supergirl’s secret identity taking up as much screen time as her work as a superhero.  It’s hard to tell how good this show is going to be from the trailers, but the title alone is going to get it a lot of viewers for the premiere.  Whether or not those viewers stick around is another story.

Notable Cancellations
It’s not all good news and new shows this Fall.  Some viewers may look for their old favorite shows and find that they’re no longer airing.  The Fox network canceled three shows about police detectives, as both Backstrom and Battle Creek got axed after just one season and The Following was canceled after two seasons.  The original CSI will not be returning, but it will live on through spin off shows such as CSI: Cyber.  NBC favorites Parenthood and Parks and Recreation wrapped up their runs last season, so don’t expect to see those back on the schedule this fall.
If you enjoyed a sitcom last year and don’t see it on your guide this year, that’s because almost all new sitcoms from last season have been canceled.  It’s becoming very rare for a new sitcom to last beyond its first season.

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