It’s time for my third annual installment of this laboriously titled NPI feature! And, man, was compiling this year’s list difficult. Not only is this fall season following an unusually impressive summer in TV, with Breaking Bad, Louie, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Pretty Little Liars, and Rivals all airing solid to great seasons, but the shows premiering over the next few weeks do not look especially promising. After all, does Whitney Cummings really need two new shows? As usual, some old favorites are off the list, either due to a decline in quality (Dexter) or senescence (Friday Night Lights). In their place, though, are shows I am not at all confident in labeling “exciting.” Anyway, with all that hedging out of the way, on with the list:
10) Hope Solo on Dancing With The Stars Premiered September 19 on ABC
For normal people, who don’t have the same crush on Hope Solo that I do, this probably isn’t that exciting. And while I won’t be watching DWTS, I will be looking up Hope’s performances on YouTube…
9) Allen Gregory Premieres October 30 on FOX
In January, Bob’s Burgers broke the Seth MacFarlane stranglehold on Fox’s Sunday night animation bloc, adding a new style of animation and a new sense of humor to the night. Allen Gregory, created by Jonah Hill, attempts to do the same and the trailer does show promise for something different.
8. Terra Nova Premieres September 26 on Fox
The incredibly hyped, incredibly expensive, incredibly delayed pilot from Steven Spielberg finally gets a premiere this fall. And it’s got kind of Land of the Lost vibe!
7) Up All Night Premiered September 14 on NBC
I will forever be excited about Will Arnett projects, even if he is no longer playing a variation of Gob Bluth. In fact, moving beyond that character actually bodes well for this show.
6) Hell on Wheels Premieres November 6 on AMC
After The Killing, I’m less inclined to give AMC shows the benefit of the doubt, but this Western looks intriguing. As long as they tell us who killed Rosie Larsen…
5) It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Premiered September 15 on FX
It’s Always Sunny is such a hit-or-miss comedy, with such high highs and weird lows, that I’ve never been a regular viewer. But this sudden weight gain by Mac has my curiosity piqued.
4) Homeland Premieres October 2 on Showtime
From the same executive producer and general sense of fear that brought us 24 comes another show about terrorism. This one appears to be less about moles and explosions and more about ambiguity and paranoia.
3) The Walking Dead Premieres October 16 on AMC
With all the turmoil surrounding the production of this show’s second season, it’ll be interesting to see if it can sustain the hit status it had last year. But there was certainly enough to like in the first season to be excited for season two.
2) Boardwalk Empire Premieres September 25 on HBO
The first season of Boardwalk Empire ended up justifying the most of the hype. It juggled different cities and about a dozen great acting performances, all while ending in such a way that suggested it was only a preface to a confrontational season two.
1) The Thursday 8PM Comedy Hour on NBC Premieres September 22
Community and Parks and Recreation, the two funniest and most underappreciated shows currently on TV, will now air back-to-back in NBC’s Thursday lineup. It appears NBC is settling for the meager ratings each show brings in, content to have the funniest hour of television any network can boast. Each show was on fire at the end of last season, and kicks off its new year with some very promising guests stars.