The broadcast networks have almost 30 shows debuting this fall, including a futuristic tale from the Fringe team, a new Michael J. Fox sitcom and Marvel-ous adventures for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.
Next up on our list….
THE SHOW | NBC’s Sean Saves the World (Thursdays at 9/8c; premieres Oct. 3)
THE COMPETITION | ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Fox’s Glee, CBS’ The Crazy Ones (new) and The CW’s Reign (new)
THE CAST | Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), Linda Lavin (Alice), Megan Hilty (Smash), Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!), Echo Kellum (Ben and Kate) and Samantha Isler
THE SET-UP | Hayes stars as Sean, a divorced gay dad whose teen daughter (played by Isler) comes to live with him just as the online retailer he manages is dealing with a demanding new boss (Lennon). “Helping” Sean with the transition is his sassy mother (Lavin), while Hilty and Kellum play his coworkers.
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THE FIRST IMPRESSION | It’s tricky (and perhaps unfair) to make a call on this one, having not yet had a chance to see the reshot pilot that costars Hilty instead of Weeds‘ Lindsay Sloane. But first impressions are first impressions, and the original pilot was often sitcommy in its plotting (see: the washroom “escape” in the trailer below), with some of the supporting performances (including Lennon’s unrealistically demanding boss man) reading a bit OTT. Lavin brings her Emmy-nominated chops to the role of the caustic, quippy mom/grandmother, yet is at times weighed down by TV’s go-to trope of the Overt Sexually Awakened Elder. Kellum, meanwhile, is a standout as Sean’s desperate-to-stay-employed yes-man colleague.
RELATED | More First Impressions: ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D., Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, CBS’ Mom, ABC’s Wonderland, NBC’s The Blacklist, The CW’s Reign, ABC’s Trophy Wife, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, CBS’ Hostages, NBC’s Ironside, ABC’s Super Fun Night, The CW’s The Tomorrow People, Fox’s Almost Human, CBS’ The Crazy Ones
THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | As alluded to above, I’m highly curious to see what added energy Hilty brings to Sean, as well as what other noodling might have been done as they reshot those large swaths of the pilot. NBC is surely glad to have landed Hayes’ new showcase (he’s also an EP), and surely will shuffle it around (as easily as swapping it with Michael J. Fox at 9:30) if it struggles against vets Grey’s and Glee — especially since Parks and Rec, while excellent, won’t exactly provide a boffo lead-in.