CHANCE (Hulu): I’ve seen the first four episodes of this dark, noir-ish thriller and I’m still not quite sure what the point of the whole thing is. But Hugh Laurie and Gretchen Mol make such an intriguing pair that it hardly matters. (Tuesday, Oct. 19)
FREQUENCY (The CW): Because I’ve never seen the movie on which the series is based, I was able to experience the time-tripping pilot’s every surprise and turn with fresh eyes. The biggest twist? I can’t wait for Episode 2. (Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 9/8c)
THE GOOD PLACE (NBC): Nothing against House of Lies, but it’s nice to have Kristen Bell back on TV in a series I’m excited to sit down and watch every week. (Previews Monday, Sept. 19 at 10/9c, before moving to Thursdays at 8:30)
NOTORIOUS (ABC): Shonda Rhimes was wise to insist her #TGIT stamp be kept off this poor man’s Scandal. The pilot was all sound, fury and chaos, signifying nothing but the headache I was left with when it finally ended.
MATT WEBB MITOVICH SAYS…
DESIGNATED SURVIVOR (ABC): A compelling premise and a solid cast led by Kiefer Sutherland easily gets my vote. Plus, just as Jed Bartlet offered an antidote to the Bill Clinton scandal, this could be a nice escape from election season’s ugly wrap-up. (Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 10/9c)
PITCH (Fox): Would being Major League Baseball’s first female pitcher be an empowering heaven or a very public hell? Breakout star Kylie Bunbury takes the mound to explore just that in this fresh drama. (Thursday, Sept. 22 at 9/8c)
GOLIATH (Amazon): Billy Bob Thornton is a disgraced legal eagle who stumbles upon the chance to sober up and take town a corporate titan (played by William Hurt and a half-dozen too many character tics), but an icy-hot Molly Parker is the real draw. (Friday, Oct. 14; all 10 episodes)
AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE (ABC): Hailing from Fairfield County, I wanted to love this Katy Mixon-fronted send-up of Westport’s wispy WASP culture. But hit-or-miss casting and a not-especially-clever meanness left me disappointed.
KIM ROOTS SAYS…
THIS IS US (NBC): If you like to cry because your heart is so full of feeeeeeeelings, this ensemble drama will be your jam. Bonus: The way the series handles one character’s obesity feels genuine, not jokey. (Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10/9c)
ATLANTA (FX): Donald Glover has a smart, funny, touching, pointed — and most importantly, never-before-seen-on-TV — approach to race and class in America. Well worth your time. (Airs Tuesdays at 10/9c)
LETHAL WEAPON (Fox): This wasn’t made for me (a 30-something woman), and yet the chemistry between Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford sucked me in from the first giant explosion. Maybe I’m not getting too old for this ish. (Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 8/7c)
TIMELESS (NBC): Maybe it’s just that it feels like every show is time-traveling now (see also: Outlander, Legends of Tomorrow, 12 Monkeys, etc.), but the mission that the series’ crusaders are on felt a little flat to me in the premiere. Been there, done that… then hopped in a sci-fi contraption, gone back and done it again!
ANDY SWIFT SAYS…
THE GOOD PLACE (NBC): Not only is this feel-good Kristen Bell comedy a feast for the eyes (so colorful!), but its overwhelming creativity also makes it a breath of fresh air in a world congested by reboots. (Previews Monday, Sept. 19 at 10/9c, before moving to Thursdays at 8:30)
THIS IS US (NBC): Arguably too relatable at times, it's every bit the Parenthood successor you were hoping it would be — but with a little somethin’ extra. (Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10/9c)
QUEEN SUGAR (OWN): The characters may be flawed, but the show itself — with its masterful direction and powerful performances — comes pretty close to flawless. It's family drama at its finest. (Airs Wednesdays at 10/9c)
MAN WITH A PLAN (CBS): The energy is so low in Matt LeBlanc's joke-free sitcom, you could tell me the entire cast is being propped up Weekend at Bernie's-style, and I would believe you.
DAVE NEMETZ SAYS…
DIVORCE (HBO): No, it’s not Sex and the City, but SJP’s comeback vehicle has its own wickedly funny charm, thanks to creator Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe). (Sunday, Oct. 9 at 10/9c)
ATLANTA (FX): The wildly talented Donald Glover gives us a fresh, cinematic look at the modern black experience. File this alongside Louie in the “funny/smart/sad” category. (Airs Tuesdays at 10/9c)
THIS IS US (NBC): A warm, humane family drama to fill that gaping Parenthood void in your life (and revitalize Kleenex sales). (Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10/9c)
MAN WITH A PLAN (CBS): Frankly, all three new CBS comedies are terrible, but Matt LeBlanc’s generic hapless-dad sitcom is the most blatantly phoned-in. Jenna Fischer ran far, far away — and so should you.
VLADA GELMAN SAYS…
NO TOMORROW (The CW): The immensely delightful and clever rom-com, starring irresistible charmers Tori Anderson and Joshua Sasse, is yet another dramedy win for The CW. (Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 9/8c)
SPEECHLESS (ABC): A welcome addition to ABC’s family comedy oeuvre, the Minnie Driver-led laffer about a clan with a special-needs child is full of both heart and humor. (Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 8:30/7:30c)
THE GOOD PLACE (NBC): With Parks and Rec creator Mike Schur at the helm, fan fave Kristen Bell in a hilarious against-type role and an extremely creative concept, the NBC comedy is off to a very good place. (Previews Monday, Sept. 19 at 10/9c, before moving to Thursdays at 8:30)
CONVICTION (ABC): Sorry, Hayley Atwell. You’re fabulous — too fabulous for this generic procedural that tries so hard to be shocking, but just comes off as shockingly derivative.