Fall Preview:  That Old Familiar Feeling

By TV / Video Download Archives
Cover image for  article: Fall Preview:  That Old Familiar Feeling

As the broadcast networks continue releasing clips from and information about their 2019-20 freshmen series, MediaVillage looks at what to expect in their fall and mid-season lineups.  (Note: The comments below are not reviews.)  There are eleven new shows centered on those reliable broadcast staples, cops and lawyers.  Family life follows, with a combined ten comedies and dramas.  Starting over after losing it all isn’t a new theme, but it’s a proven draw that has inspired four new comedies and four new dramas.  Four new genre/sci-fi/supernatural series are on the way, and there will be plenty of annoying parents and in-laws, too.

Will any of this pull viewers away from streaming services? That’s the question of the year. For now, here’s the list of new network offerings that hope to find an audience in 2019-20. Those marked with an asterisk are scheduled for midseason.


All Rise -- Drama following newly appointed Los Angeles Judge Lola Carmichael (Simone Missick) and the prosecutors, public defenders, bailiffs, clerks and cops that surrounds her. Think: Ally McRise (Monday, September 23, 9 p.m.)

Bob Hearts Abishola -- Billy Gardell and Folake Olowofoyeku lead this comedy about a Nigerian immigrant nurse who finds herself the (unreciprocated) object of affection from a businessman after he suffers a heart attack. Think: The Nurse Stalker (Monday, September 23, 8 p.m.)

*Broke -- When an outrageously wealthy trust fund baby (Jaime Camil) is cut off by his father, he must move with his wife (Natasha Leggero) into the home of her estranged sister (Pauley Perrette), forcing the two siblings to reconnect. Think: 2 Broke Relatives

Carol's Second Act -- Retired from teaching and having raised two children, Carol Chambers (Patricia Heaton) pursues her dream of becoming a doctor. Think: What the Heck? (Thursday, September 26, 9:30 p.m.)

Evil (pictured above) -- Science vs. religion and the origins of evil are explored when a skeptical female forensic psychologist (Katja Herbers) joins a priest-in-training (Mike Colter) and a carpenter (Aasif Mandvi) to investigate miracles, demonic possessions and unexplained phenomena. Think: The Exorcist Meets The X-Files (Thursday, September 26, 10 p.m.)

*FBI: Most Wanted -- Criminals on the FBI’s most wanted list are targeted by the Special Task Force in this spin-off of F.B.I. starring Julian McMahon. Think: Law & Order: SUVs

*Tommy -- Edie Falco stars as a former high-ranking NYPD officer who becomes the first female Los Angeles Chief of Police, where she uses a mix of hardball tactics and honesty to navigate family, social, political and national security issues. Think: “Soprano” Squad

The Unicorn (pictured below) -- Aided by his friends and family, a widower (Walton Goggins) with two daughters attempts to enter the dating pool where he is pursued as an elusive, hot commodity. Think: 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Widowed Dad (Thursday, September 26, 8:30 p.m.)

The CW

Batwoman (pictured at top) -- Ruby Rose stars as Kate Kane (a.k.a. the title character), a lesbian and highly trained street fighter intent on keeping Gotham City safe from a criminal resurgence while dealing with personal challenges. Think: The B-Word (Sunday, October 6, 8 p.m.)

*Katy Keene -- Lucy Hale leads this musical-dramedy, a Riverdale spinoff that follows the lives and loves of four iconic Archie Comics characters chasing their dreams of making it big in New York City. Think: Smash Meets the Carrie Diaries

Nancy Drew (pictured below) -- Eighteen-year-old Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) puts college on hold due to a family tragedy. Soon she’s embroiled in a ghostly murder investigation. Think: Veronica Mars Attacks (Wednesday, October 9, 9 p.m.)


Almost Family -- A woman discovers her fertility doctor father (Timothy Hutton) used his own sperm to help conceive hundreds of offspring, all of them potential insta-sibs. Think: Sisters -- the Australian show this was adapted from, not the soapy NBC primetime drama from the ‘90s. (Wednesday, October 2, 9 p.m.)

Bless the Harts (pictured below) -- Animated series featuring the voices of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jillian Bell and Ike Barinholtz about a broke and struggling Southern family. Think:King of the Harts (Sunday, September 29, 8:30 p.m.)

*Deputy -- Gritty cop drama blending classic Wild West action with modern-day L.A vibes in which a career lawman who doesn’t suffer fools or pull punches is suddenly appointed Los Angeles County Sheriff. Stephen Dorff stars. Think: Justified 2: The West Coast

*Duncanville -- An animated series focusing on 15-year-old Duncan, his friends, family, and Annie, his high-strung mother -- featuring the voice talents of Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones. Think: Modern Familyville

*Filthy Rich -- The patriarch (Gerald McRaney) of a popular Christian television network dies, leaving his wife (Kim Cattrall) to run the business and deal with the three illegitimate children he had that she never knew existed. Think: PTL and the City

*The Great North -- Yet another animated series, this time about the Alaska-based Tobin family, where single dad Beef does his best to keep his family close. Think:Man in Trees

*neXt -- Thriller about a Silicon Valley pioneer (John Slattery) who teams up with a cybercrime agent after discovering a rogue A.I. he created. Think: I, Renegade Robot

*9-1-1: Lone Star -- Rob Lowe stars as a New York City cop who, along with his son, relocates to Austin.  There, he must balance saving lives while solving his own problems. Think:BizarroMcCloud

*Outmatched -- Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson topline this comedy about a South Jersey-based blue-collar couple raising four kids, three of whom are certified geniuses. Think: Jersey Shore: Family Edition

Prodigal Son -- Tom Payne stars as the son of a serial killer who works as a criminal psychologist and is hot on the trail of a copycat killer. He’s also dealing with serious like father-like son issues, amplified when he sleeps. Think: Hannibal Dexter(Monday, September 23, 9 p.m.)


Bluff City Law (pictured below) -- Sydney Strait (Caitlin McGee) used to work for her celebrated lawyer father (Jimmy Smits) in Memphis, but their tenuous relationship came to an end and they haven’t spoken in years. When her mother passes, Sydney finds herself back at the firm wanting to change the world and let bygones be bygones. Think: The Grinder, with an actual lawyer. (Monday, September 23, 10 p.m.)

*Council of Dads -- Scott, a father of four, finds his life derailed after a cancer diagnosis. Wanting his kids to have good role models, he calls on trusted friends -- Anthony (his oldest friend), Oliver (his AA sponsor) and another Oliver (best friend to Scott’s wife Robin) to support his family should the unthinkable happen. Sarah Wayne Callies, Tom Everett Scott, Clive Standen and J. August Richards star. Think: A Million Little Friends

*Indebted-- Life takes an unexpected turn for Dave (Adam Pally) and Rebecca (Abby Elliott) when his parents, played by Steven Weber and Fran Drescher, turn up broke and homeless. After moving in, family boundaries expand, contract and self-destruct. Think: Schitt’s Parents

*The Kenan Show -- Kenan Thompson plays super dad to two girls, while working and navigating a meddling, and often inappropriate, father-in-law. Think: Everybody Loves Kenan

*Lincoln -- Former NYPD detective and forensic genius Lincoln Rhyme (Russell Hornsby) meets Amelia Sachs (Arielle Kebbel), a gifted profiler. Inspired by the best-selling book The Bone Collector, together they track a serial killer. Think: Bones Meets the Profiler

Perfect Harmony -- When former Princeton music professor Arthur Cochran (Bradley Whitford) discovers an “out-of-tune” choir, its members are ripe to help each other reinvent and rediscover themselves.  Anna Camp also stars. Think: Glee Grows Up (Thursday, September 26, 8:30 p.m.)


Sunnyside (pictured above) -- Disgraced New York City councilman Garrett Modi (Kal Penn) moves in with his sister and contemplates where his life went wrong. However, after a diverse group of American citizen hopefuls hire him to help them, he sees a chance for redemption. Think:The Good Place U.S.A.(Thursday, September 26, 9:30 p.m.)

*Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist -- After her terrific turn in the Netflix thriller What If? Jane Levy returns to NBC as Zoey Clarke, a whip-smart computer coder who starts hearing the thoughts of those around her in song.  Think: My Crazy Ex-Computer ProgrammerorMs. Eli Stone


*The Baker and the Beauty -- Adapted from the Israeli series of the same name, Daniel Garcia (Victor Rasuk) works at the family bakery. His life seems well-planned until a chance encounter with international superstar Noa Hamilton (Nathalie Kelley) sees sparks fly and family tempers flare. Think: The Baker and the Beauty(streaming on Amazon Prime)

Emergence -- Thriller about a police chief (Allison Tolman) who gives refuge to a young girl found at the site of a mysterious plane crash. With no memory of the incident, the investigation into the girl’s identity leads to a larger conspiracy. Think: Stranger Things: Eleven(Tuesdays, 10 p.m.)

*For Life-- Nicholas Pinnock stars as an innocent prisoner turned lawyer who, while fighting to overturn his own life sentence, fights for the freedom of other inmates. Think:Law & Order:Prison Break

mixed-ish -- Arica Himmel stars as a young version of Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross) in a prequel to black-ishset during the ‘80s. The show explores her experience growing up in a mixed-race family from a hippie commune to the suburbs. Think:young-ish (Tuesdays, 9 p.m.), not to be confused with Freeform’s grown-ish

Stumptown (pictured above) -- Cobie Smulders stars as Dex, a sharp-witted army veteran turned P.I., complete with a complicated love life, gambling debt and a brother to take care of. While an adept P.I., she’s often in the firing line of criminals and rarely in alliance with the cops. Think: Magnum Cavalier(Wednesdays, 10 p.m.).

*United We Fall -- Family sitcom with Christina Vidal and Will Sasso as parents of two young kids living with his judgmental mother (Jane Curtin). Think: Mama’s Modern Family

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