Best New Dramas – Tie
A MILLION LITTLE THINGS, Wednesday 10-11p, Drama This series is about a group of friends with a very strong bond. As strong as that bond is, after one in the group commits suicide, much is brought into question. They are there for each other, but are they being open and honest? Are they happy? And why did the man who seemed to be the glue holding the bond together commit suicide? What else is being kept hidden? COMMENTS: We loved this show. My first thought was, who is going to watch a drama about male best friends? But it is so much more than that. There is drama and plots twists and angst, but it’s not a soap opera – no offense to soap operas! A Million Little Things is more than enough to fill the hole from Designated Survivor and may become an actual destination program.
NEW AMSTERDAM, Tuesday 10-11p, Drama Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in America, this unique medical drama follows the brilliant and charming Dr. Max Goodwin, the institution’s newest medical director, who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care. How can he help? The doctors and staff have heard this question before. Dr. Goodwin must disrupt the status quo and prove he will stop at nothing to breathe new life into this understaffed, underfunded, and underappreciated hospital – the only hospital in the world capable of treating Ebola patients, prisoners from Rikers and the President of the United States – and return it to the outstanding hospital that first put it on the map. COMMENTS: This show received the other plum spot in the NBC lineup – post This Is Us – a vote of confidence for this medical drama.
Best “New” Comedy
MURPHY BROWN, Thursday 9:30-10p, Comedy 20 years after signing off, the FYI crew returns to television! Murphy’s son is grown and working at a competitive network. COMMENTS: Candice Bergen and other original cast members reprise their roles from the Emmy-winning comedy. Even without a 2018 pilot to view, our Harmelin reviewers agree this is the best comedy of the season. Given today’s political climate, there should be plenty of material for the writers. With the success Murphy Brown had in its ten seasons, and the nice ratings that Will & Grace and Roseanne enjoyed with their returns, there is no reason to think this show won’t be a hit series.
Best Mid-Season Drama
THE VILLAGE Welcome to The Village, an apartment building in Brooklyn that appears like any other from the outside, but is quite unique inside. The people who reside here have built a bonded family of friends and neighbors. Sarah’s a nurse and single mom raising a creative teen; Gabe’s a young law student who just got a much older and unexpected roommate; Ava must secure the future of her young, U.S. born son when ICE comes knocking; Nick’s a veteran who’s just returned from war; and the heart and soul of the building, Ron and Patricia, have captivating tales all their own. These are the hopeful, heartwarming and challenging stories of life that prove family is everything, even if it’s the one you make with the people around you.
Worse New Comedies – Tie
HAPPY TOGETHER, Monday 8:30-9p, Comedy Jake (Damon Wayans Jr., Happy Endings) and Claire (Amber Stevens West, Ghosted) enjoy their routine married life until one of Jake’s famous clients knocks on their door and shows them a night on the town. Perhaps their life is a little too routine and much too ordinary. COMMENTS: Another disappointing comedy for the network. There are some funny moments, but overall not too many laughs. Our fall preview staff agreed this comedy was more suited for ABC or the Disney Channel as Happy Together is just a little too goofy for CBS and is unlikely to last a full season.
THE COOL KIDS, Friday 8:30-9p, Comedy From executive producer Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) The Cool Kids is a comedy about a rag-tag group of friends living in a retirement community who are willing to break every rule to have fun. COMMENTS: The Cool Kids will follow Last Man Standing (newly acquired from ABC) on Friday nights. Despite this being a potential good pairing on a relaxing Friday night of comedy, The Cool Kids misses the mark. The cast is loaded with comedic veterans who have made households laugh for years, but its just not enough to keep viewers intrigued week to week. The all-star lineup includes David Alan Grier (In Living Color), Martin Mull (Roseanne), Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace) and Vicki Lawrence (Mama’s Family).
Worst New Drama
THE ROOKIE, Tuesday 10-11p, Drama Nathan Fillion takes on a new role at ABC, starring as a rookie police officer in LA. Based on a true story, 40-year old John Nolan decides, after being asked what he really wanted to with his life, to become a cop. Amid concerns that however good his intentions are and regardless of how good his work ethic is, he will make mistakes because, well, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. John’s training officer is a seasoned, ambitious cop and together with her, the other two rookies and their training officers, they will face a lot of action. COMMENTS: The Rookie is a gamble that could go either way. Fillion was a considerable success in Castle. He probably has enough fans to carry this new show, but the show itself was good, not great. I found it to be G-rated compared to today’s crime dramas, but I don’t think that’s a bad prototype. Between Fillion, a good cast and writing that made it seem plausible, The Rookie has a shot. But its future is also resting on what ABC is expecting from it.
ALL AMERICAN, Wednesday 9-10p, Drama The series, created by April Blair (Reign), is inspired by the life of pro football player Spencer Paysinger. Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) is a high school football star from South Central LA who is recruited by Billy Baker (Taye Diggs, Private Practice, Good Wife) to play for Beverly Hills High. Coach Baker grew up in South Central and attended Spencer’s old high school. Baker understands Spencer on a level most cannot at Beverly Hills High, and this bond leads Baker to fight for Spencer and push him to succeed. As Spencer attempts to navigate his new surroundings, his old world and new world begin to collide. COMMENTS: My initial thought was to look for similarities between this new series and the 2008 reboot of Beverly Hills 90210. But after further inspection, this series has a more edgy feel sure to attract younger viewers because of its thought-provoking script and its inspiring back story. With Riverdale as a lead-in, this high school themed night sets All American up for success.