Fall TV Preview
Best Worst New TV Shows

Best & Worst New Shows: The TVLine Staff Share Its Picks... and Passes

Throughout September and October, more than 40 new shows will be dangled in front of your DVR. What’s worth sampling, and what’s ripe for skipping?

RELATED Fall TV 2016: Your Handy Calendar of 120+ Premiere Dates

To be sure, TVLine has endeavored to guide you in recent months with First Impressions, full-on reviews, sneak peeks and other forms of “Rev up your remote!” content, sometimes you just want to hear what’s worth sampling and what’s ripe for skipping

To that end, each TVLine editor forged ahead and cut to the chase, bingeing on scads of shiny new screeners to suggest three freshman shows that are at the top of the class and one that is (perhaps) fated to flunk.

You already voted on which new shows you are most looking forward to. Now see what we have to say, then share your game plan for the about-to-explode new TV season.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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76 Comments
  1. TheloNaGrapso says:

    Two shows that have already premiered and after 2 episodes are off my DVR for good in the “watch” categories. Typical with the agenda critics on here follow.

  2. :-) says:

    All the bad reviews on the Notorious have me nervous. I was looking forward to it. Pitch Conviction Lethal Weapon Atlanta and designated Survivor are at the top of my list. Glad to see they are liked.

    • Steven says:

      I’ve seen Notorious and it tries too hard to be twisty and “scandalous” but it comes off as trying too hard and the twists are easily predictable, but it’s certainly not a bad way to spend an hour if you take it for what it is.

  3. c-mo says:

    Yay! None of the shows I was looking forward to are listed as “skip”!!! I’m even more happy that “This Is Us” and “The Good Place” were chosen by more than one person as a “watch”. Thanks for always helping us make good choices (sorry for the parenting cliche).

  4. Maria says:

    Ted, Kiefer, and Hugh all in one pic…my favorites!

  5. Jared says:

    I only plan on watching The CW series(Frequency and No Tomorrow)
    Timeless and This is Us on NBC and possibly check out Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist.

    • flutiefan says:

      i had never even heard of the CW’s fall offerings. are they advertising? maybe i don’t watch that channel enough?

      in any case, loved the Frequency movie.

  6. Courtney says:

    Happy to see This Is Us and The Good Place listed each 3 times. I’m definitely looking forward to those…I’m also excited for Divorce, Atlanta, Queen Sugar,Goliath, and Chance. Interesting that Westworld wasn’t mentioned at all.

    • Stacy says:

      My fall watch list: / Lethal Weapon / Designated Survivor / This is Us / Timeless / The Good Place /

      My obvious skips: / MacGyver / Conviction /

      It’s nice to know my instincts about Conviction were right on the money. Also, I’m thrilled KB’s ‘The Good Place’ is getting good reviews. I was really worried it was going to suck, and I love KB & Ted Danson.

      • Ally Oop says:

        My instincts were the same about both Conviction and Notorious: trying too hard.

        • Leanne says:

          most premier next week. How have they been seen. I an anxious for Notorious as I like the actors. Sorry to see bad reviews. Loved Piper on Covert Affairs so I am glad she is back. Most shows premier this week. I have seen only the previews. Cant determine on previews

    • Stacy says:

      Sorry: I reloaded the page and this still posted as a response instead of a new comment!

  7. Kevin K says:

    WATCH: Designated Survivor, This Is Us and Timeless. SKIP: MacGyver (sorry CBS no need for paper clips and chewing gums).

    • Kevin K says:

      Also two new comedies to watch – The Good Place and Speechless.

    • DJ Doena says:

      If it actually were paper clips and chewing gums. But it appears as if this new MacGyver’s “no gun” policy is simply circumvented by having another character (the black dude IIRC) to be the “wet man”.

    • Stacy says:

      Hey, I’d be on board for MacGyver… except I saw the promo. And I am not on board with *this* MacGyver.

      • Kevin K says:

        Should definitely watch the first two episodes of MacGyver even though Episode 2 features Amy Acker best known as Root from POI and after that I’m done. No complaining

  8. April says:

    NOTHING against the new Fall shows but every year I skip the Fall and tune in to the mid-seasons. Just better to me. Although This Is Us and The Good Place look interesting.

    • Stacy says:

      I’ve heard “This is Us” features a bit of a twist, so if you don’t like your surprises spoiled you may want to check it out sooner.

  9. DJ Doena says:

    I just watched the trailer for “this is us” (never heard of it until today) but I’m still not sure what it’s going to be about. But it has Oliver Queen and Peter Petrelli in it, so that’s a plus.

  10. Larc says:

    No mention of Bull, Michael Weatherly’s new vehicle? The more trailers I see for it, the worse it looks.

  11. Louise says:

    Last night they were filming ‘No Tomorrow’ at the restaurant next to my building so there was nowhere to park when I came home from work. I was super irritated to be displaced by some thing I had never heard of. Now I find out Galavant might have been there! Too funny.

  12. Steven says:

    I have to disagree with Kim Roots about Timeless. I saw it at the Paley Center last weekend and found it really enjoyable. I’m usually not into time travel shows because they become too confusing, but I found this pretty easy to follow and the chemistry is pretty great. There’s a part where they make up aliases for themselves and the entire audience was howling!

  13. kmw says:

    I will give Designated Survivor and This is Us a try, they both sound terrific

  14. Kay says:

    This is the first Pilot season I’ve been excited for in years. This Is Us, The Good Place, and Speechless all look amazing!

  15. Rahajicho says:

    Loving all the Parenthood references in the This Is Us reviews, glad to see it wasn’t just the trailer that inspired the comparison.

  16. Cas says:

    This is Us and The Good Place. Can’t wait!

  17. mooshki says:

    Sounds like ‘Man With a Plan’ is the frontrunner for first canceled.

    • Kevin K says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Hope Great Indoors should get a big boost for a Big Bang lead-in just like what Life in Pieces did last year.

      • Courtney says:

        The only question I have for new comedies with the Big Bang lead-in is: can they sustain the numbers for success without that lead-in? Look what happened to ‘The Millers’ a few years ago when it was moved from having Big Bang as a lead-in. Yanked & cancelled within a few episodes. So, I honestly don’t have much hope for ‘Life in Pieces’ or ‘The Great Indoors’. Couldn’t get into ‘Life in Pieces’, and I did give it a try, but it wasn’t all that funny to me & ‘The Great Indoors’ didn’t grab me based on the previews.

  18. JC1 says:

    I’m still way behind on at least half of my returning shows, so I’m not all that interested in adding new shows to my watchlist. The one new show I do want to catch is Frequency, assuming CW doesn’t lock down access to their episodes now that they’ve pulled them off Hulu. I also have not seen the movie, and the trailer was intriguing.
    .
    I’m mildly interested in Timeless and Designated Survivor, but at the moment, not enough to add them to my already overstuffed TV schedule.

    • Kevin K says:

      The 10 pm Monday night time slot should be a little tougher this Fall but I have a feeling that both Scorpion (CBS) and Timeless (NBC) will go back and forth to see which one comes out on top putting Conviction in third place (still feeling sad about Castle ending after eight seasons).

  19. Joey Padron says:

    I’ll watch The Good Place and This Is Us. I’ll check out Pitch and Designated Survivor.

  20. bluji says:

    Happy to see Frequency and No Tomorrow both up there, because they caught my attention in the spring and I was still wondering if they’re worth it. No way TVLine could be wrong on that! ^_^

  21. Leanne says:

    Watch is Designator Survivor. This is US and Good Place look interesting. Like Ted so its a win win. Time will tell once its on. Of course Blacklist and Blindspot. They were two of best on last year.

  22. Rachel says:

    I guess I’ll have to check out the good place even though I had no intention to. I like Kristen Bell but it just doesn’t look funny to me.

  23. KLD1967 says:

    Too bad that mainstream TV still can’t create a decent vehicle for Matt LeBlanc after how fantastic he’s been in Episodes.

  24. T H says:

    I got to see the Frequency pilot at Comic Con, and I was coming at it from the opposite angle as Michael – I’ve not only seen the movie, it’s a favorite of mine. I’m happy to say that I still had the same reaction – I loved the pilot, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the series!

  25. M3rc_Nate says:

    I really feel like Pitch will start off strong but then start to decline due to the nature of the story. I think the best format for a show about the first female pitcher in the MLB should be a mini-series or be limited to 2 seasons, 3 max.

    Also I feel like the potential of “Designated Survivor” is tremendous, as is the casting of the lead, but the fact that it is on network TV likely means it will be what we have seen before and limited in the scope and realistic potential it could have. I imagine that show on HBO, given the seriousness of a say “Homeland” and it could be great. I imagine this giant awesome conspiracy arc as to who attacked and kill the President and everyone at the State of Address speech, and I imagine some hardcore, realistic, gritty arcs with this new guy as President having to make hard calls, etc. It could be great. But on network TV the odds are 1 in a 1,000,000 that it will be.

  26. megalion says:

    Oops…. can’t watch a show with a rapist on it.

    From Marlee Matlin’s memoir (my source), William Hurt was physically abusive, including raping her. He was her Co star in the Oscar winning movie: Children of a Lesser God.

  27. Matt C. says:

    So happy to hear all the great buzz for “The Good Place”. As a longtime Kristen Bell fan, I hope this show is a big success for her, and I can’t wait to watch!

  28. Jamie says:

    Too many shows that I like have been cancelled too early in recent years (RIP The Grinder!), so it’s good to hear so much love for the three shows I was actually thinking about picking up – Atlanta, The Good Place, and This Is Us. I have been looking for my Parenthood replacement so I can get my weekly cry going again.

  29. Ally Oop says:

    Here’s the 15 new shows I’ll be checking out this fall in order of the shows I’m most excited for (by December I’ll probably have kept only a handful of these):
    Frontier (History)
    Designated Survivor (ABC)
    This is Us (NBC)
    Frequency (CW)
    No Tomorrow (CW)
    Kim’s Convenience (CBC)
    The Good Place (NBC)
    Incorporated (Showcase)
    Traveler (Showcase)
    Second Jen (CityTV)
    Timeless (NBC)
    Shoot the Messenger (CBC)
    Westworld (HBO)
    Pitch (FOX)
    Pure Genius (CBS)

    *I’ve already seen Atlanta and I really like it.

  30. danoregon says:

    That Kevin James show looks terrible. It will probably run for 12 years.

  31. tahonia2 says:

    And I don’t see any buzz about Bull….is it because it’s in the “can’t lose” cradle and content really doesn’t matter? or is it just not quality?

  32. norman says:

    Now is a good time to bring back The LA .Complex it was a very good show i don’t know why it was cancelled in the first place this generation our generation need shows we can identify with but until that happens i guess we have no choice but to continue changing the channel.

  33. …. With CASTLE gone, the only TV show l watched, am back to watching the news
    and documentaries only again ……. I’m fine with it !!!!!

  34. Susan Kendzior says:

    Finally, a show with heart and no guns or car crashes….

  35. Fido says:

    So far: yays -> Designated Survivor, Notorious, Pitch
    mehs -> Lethal Weapon, Bull, The Good Place, Hooten and the Lady, Macgyver.

  36. chris says:

    no one has mentioned foxes son of zorn wich is really the only bad show i have seen this season and even thats not the absolutew worst i liked macguiver myself

  37. curtlyon19 says:

    seriously disagree with your view of Notorious, out of all these its the most fun and entertaining of the lot
    Pitch has no buzz so might never get around to watching my DVR of it

  38. What the fork man? Are you shirting mg me?

  39. lisasride says:

    Pitch is by far the best new show this season. Fantastic!

  40. melaniedhi says:

    – Designated Survivor is gold. Loving it! Really hope it makes it’s way to TV Line Hot shows!
    – On Notorious, the first episode was fine, just fine, enough to lead me to the second episode, which I hated. Not gonna lose more time on that.
    – And This is Us, I missed the first episode, but the second one got me into it.
    – If Timeless can survive, I’ll give a go. But I just can’t get myself into another time travelling show likely disappointing.
    – As for Conviction, as much as I want to see Hayley back on my screen, the trailer just killed all interest I could have had in this show.

    • Leanne says:

      like designated survivor, Notorious, this is Us is really good, don’t care much for good place tho I like danson and bell very much however I haven’t given it up yet, speechless, not sure yet. Like Minnie Driver but liked last comedy she was in, not to thrilled on this one. So far I like timeless. Of course some returning shows such as Blacklist, HTGAWM is getting boring and love the Chicago and NCIS franchse