It’s that time again, and the Fall TV schedule is packed this year. It somehow seems that there aren’t as many new shows hitting, but there are some big ones.

On the other hand, that’s a good sign for the popularity of returning shows, even if some of them may be pushing their luck at this point. Sticking with shows that work is great, but at some point we’re milking things, and don’t actually have fresh ideas to work into the routine. I’m oddly curious to see how some of these long-running series perform, especially with the cable networks throwing out a lot of great shows.

At any rate, there’s a lot going on, so let’s just jump into the mix.

Links in the schedule are to reviews, and this page will be updated as reviews become available. New shows are in blue.

Plus, in the toggles for each day you can catch trailers and/or clips for the new shows.

the-blacklist-tv

MONDAY

8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30

ABC

Dancing With the Stars

Castle

CBS

The Big Bang Theory

2 Broke Girls

Mom

NCIS: Los Angeles

NBC

The Voice

FOX

Sleepy Hollow

CW

The Originals

 

Monday opens with a pretty clear set of options. The reality shows don’t overlap especially, with fans knowing what they’re after. Beyond that, It’s Gotham vs. comedy to kick things off, with The Originals pulling some fans away from both. Gotham is a worthwhile show, at least strong enough to hold audiences for the spectacle alone for a few episodes. It’s fun, and it seems that it’s going to be a hit. It’s going to get a lot of viewers just on the hype, and it’s going to keep a lot of them. It has a strong pilot in terms of letting you know where you are, so if it grabs you, welcome to your new favorite.

When we get to 9:00, audiences are a bit stuck, and that might be great news for Scorpion and Jane the Virgin. Sleepy Hollow is doing good, and picked up a lot of attention, and fans, as the first season ended, but just because you aren’t still tuning into either of the reality shows, it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily heading there. That opens the door for Scorpions, which has a lot of potential, but no big names and a lot in common with several shows that didn’t make it very far. It’s also good news for The CW and Jane the Virgin, because the show is winning over a lot of critics, and it’s an interesting option for those who aren’t looking for sci-fi, or yet another show about a group of brains. I think Scorpions is one worth giving a shot, but this is a time slot that is up for grabs, and with no clear winner, this could be a slot with diluted numbers for everything, which isn’t great news for any new show.

Jane the Virgin, by the way, doesn’t kick off until mid-October.

10:00 is the realm of die-hard Castle fans (a show that had its moment, but has gone on too long), CBS hoping against hope, and everyone else watching The Blacklist. In mid-November this switches over to State of Affairs, which is poised to be the most hate-watched show in history, but has no other claim to viewers.

 

Scorpion Trailer

Gotham Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3MWXRT7GU8

Jane the Virgin Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgDz0s7xw8A

State of Affairs Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctBzanxYekg

 

Forever Review ABC
ABC/K.C. Bailey

TUESDAY

8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30

ABC

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

CBS

NCIS

Person of Interest

NBC

The Voice

About a Boy

Chicago Fire

FOX

New Girl

The Mindy Project

The CW

Supernatural

 

Tuesday is where the real fun begins this fall. At 8:00, you’re either a long-standing fan of NCIS, or you have some real decisions to make. Once we rule out The Voice, because if you’re looking for the results show, you don’t need any other info, the possibilities line up pretty well by genre.

ABC‘s Selfie and Manhattan Love Story get a huge break here, because they don’t actually have much competition. They weren’t getting NCIS viewers anyway, and no one is watching Utopia (with good reason), but FOX doesn’t seem to care. The Flash could do well here also, and looks pretty good. It has the potential to break out of CW numbers and make a real mark.

Selfie and Manhattan Love Story are both decent efforts, but are also the kind of shows that are going to face a kind of reckoning after three or four episodes, because they are going to have to figure out how to deal with their respective shticks. The recommendation here is to check out The Flash, if there’s any chance you’ll be interested, and give the comedies a chance.

At 9:00 we’re in trouble. The NCIS viewers get to stay put, but beyond that we’ve got four shows looking for a lot of the same viewers, and we’re throwing out the same genres. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t have the best numbers, and started out last season very rough, but ABC doesn’t care, because there is enough crossover marketing and licensing deals, apparently, to keep it worth putting out. New Girl and The Mindy Project have decent fanbases, and are solid shows, but there are new (and new-ish) comedies – Marry Me and About a Boy – to deal with now. And, don’t forget about Supernatural, which people apparently still watch.

The result looks good for S.H.I.E.L.D. and the combo of New Girl and The Mindy Project. They’re established, and have the hipster market sewn up, and though I like About a Boy quite a bit, Marry Me is a little too long on shtick, and has a pilot that doesn’t really tell you a lot, or sell you all that well.

At 10:00, there isn’t really anything interesting except Forever, which could be great. Person of Interest‘s only hope is that, now that things have gone completely different, it can spin all the way around from Jumping the Shark and land in what is essentially a completely new show. It isn’t likely. Chicago Fire isn’t likely to gain more viewers no matter what happens. Given that landscape, Forever should take off.

 

Selfie Trailer

Manhattan Love Story Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21llS2xvRTM

Forever Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaCTj9NNDSg

NCIS: New Orleans – First Look

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO1UepIr_Xw

Marry Me Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyIuHEfNmYM

The Flash Trailer

 

Red Band Society Review FOX

WEDNESDAY

8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30

ABC

The Middle

The Goldbergs

Modern Family

Nashville

CBS

Survivor

Criminal Minds

NBC

Law & Order: SVU

Chicago P.D.

FOX

Hell’s Kitchen

The CW

Arrow

The 100

 

Wednesday is the odd duck of the week. 8:00 puts viewers in a strange place. If you’re still watching Survivor or Hell’s Kitchen, you know where you are, and these show will probably never lose you. Arrow is what it is, and while it isn’t as good as when it started, it still has a lot of fans, and is at least still fun. The Middle was still solid last year, but it may be getting a little too long in the tooth, and I’m a fan. The Goldbergs was never good, but ABC has no other ideas at the moment. Meanwhile, The Mysteries of Laura is not only a crazy show, it’s in a strange slot, opening for “real” crime dramas. This hour is anyone’s game, but Laura is going to have a hard time pulling people away from a solid line of returning faves.

9:00 is also a tough place to move viewers, which is going to make life rough for Red Band Society, which has the potential to do very well. The two crime dramas are a lot of viewers’ old faves, but they are going to have to put out solid seasons to keep keeping people around. Modern Family is still the best comedy on television, but you’d imagine that has to end sometime. Black-ish is obnoxious and goofy, but it couldn’t ask for a better lead, and will probably live off of that for at least a while. Give Red Band a chance here, if you can drag yourself away from the others.

10:00 makes for a great spot for CBS‘ new show, Stalker. The very strange show with Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott looks pretty good, but it has the potential to either be a great, new twist on suspense television, or one of the dumbest shows ever. With only Nashville and Chicago P.D. up against it, it has a lot of people to reel in. Nashville is still fairly solid, and seems to be gaining fans, but Stalker could be a kind of by default hit in this slot.

 

The Mysteries of Laura – First Look

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs0GXxWDHPQ

Stalker – Inside Look

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SBQzuECSVw

Black-ish Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNqqjDv6_dU

Red Band Society Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPEI4CnAC4c

 

Gracepoint FOX David Tennant

THURSDAY

8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30

ABC

Grey’s Anatomy

Scandal

CBS

NFL Thursday Night Football

The Big Bang Theory

The Millers

Two and A Half Men

Elementary

NBC

The Biggest Loser

Parenthood

FOX

Bones

The CW

The Vampire Diaries

Reign

 

Thursday has the networks really laying things out in a comfortable fashion that makes for easy choices. If you like Shonda Rhimes, you know where you are. If you aren’t sure that you love everything she touches, stay far away from How to Get Away with Murder. CBS is sticking with its guns with the comedy entry to Elementary. That’s going to work pretty well, because the comedy fans aren’t really being pulled anywhere else, and there’s only one new show, The McCarthys, and that one has Laurie Metcalf and Tyler Ritter, and looks pretty good.

FOX and the CW are pretty clear about what they’re doing, and aren’t really hurting for fans. Bones has been on too long, but has rabid fans.

Gracepoint, in case you aren’t caught up with this one, is a 10-episode mystery which is based on the hugely popular (and awesome) Broadchurch. In a unique television move, David Tennant stars in Gracepoint, thus basically remaking his own show, but this one is going to end differently. It’s going to be the biggest thing around when it hits.

The Vampire Diaries has also been on too long, but it’s in the same place as Bones. People won’t stop watching, so what are you going to do? Reign is actually solidly made, and the first season was really good.

NBC, on the other, is all over the place. The Biggest Loser is going to do what it will, and probably only has the potential to lose so many viewers to the competition. Then we go comedy, and new comedy at that. This is a really tricky place, because Bad Judge is up against a powerhouse, and isn’t good anyway. Not only isn’t it very good, it’s bizarrely built from a movie that wasn’t good, and wasn’t popular to boot. Go figure. That leaves A to Z with a tricky lead-in, and another new comedy, and a good one, to go up against. A to Z is very likely to be one of the first tragic losses of the season. It’s really pretty good, but it’s in a rough spot, and it leans toward something of a high concept, which means even in a best case scenario it isn’t likely to shoot right out of the gates with huge numbers.

The 10:00 slot is almost like the networks just agreeing to a truce. No one watching Parenthood or Elementary is going anywhere, and they certainly aren’t going to be tempted by more Shonda Rhimes.

 

Gracepoint Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9IWvbbZPZc

The McCarthys – First Look

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYJ1Y9aa1rQ

Bad Judge – First Look

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1RHpP7QlwE

A to Z Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FKlRDYy_7o

How to Get Away with Murder – Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbSl-SPyHtg

 

Constantine NBC
Photo by: Quantrell Colbert/NBC

FRIDAY

8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30

ABC

Last Man Standing

Shark Tank

20/20

CBS

The Amazing Race

Hawaii 5-0

Blue Bloods

NBC

Dateline NBC

Grimm

FOX

Masterchef Junior

The CW

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Encore Performance)

America’s Next Top Model

 

Friday has long been the domain of shows that no one really believes in, but that’s been changing over the last couple of years, and now we actually get some interesting shows. Blue Bloods and Shark Tank return to the night that they have helped start to turn around, and you have to imagine that they are pretty safe. The only new shows are Constantine, Cristela, and more Utopia. Cristela probably has a chance to do well with this spot, especially with a lead from Last Man Standing. It looks good, although it’s hard to say if it has legs, but it hopefully will be able to survive for a while on Friday. If it can hang around, it’s the sort of show that may come into its own.

Constantine, which doesn’t start for a couple of weeks, is the big deal on Friday. If this one lives up to the potential, it could easily be one of the biggest hits of the season. It has a lot of hurdles to get over, but if the writing is solid, it’s going to be a good one. But, it’s a risky effort, which means it could crash and burn massively. The Friday slot is probably a great move, because it won’t need stellar ratings to get a chance to stick around long enough for viewers to get sucked in.

 

Constantine Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPE2oBnzROY

Cristela – First Look

 

SATURDAY

8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30

ABC

Saturday Night Football

CBS

Crimetime Saturday

NBC

Encore programming

FOX

Fox Sports Saturday (7:00-10:30p)

 

Mulaney FOX TV

SUNDAY

8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30

ABC

Once Upon a Time

Resurrection

Revenge

CBS

The Good Wife

NBC

NBC Sunday Night Football (8:20-11:30 p.m.)

FOX

The Simpsons

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Family Guy

 

Sunday is a very special day for the big networks, and has been for a couple of years now. It’s almost like the truce hour we saw earlier, only for the whole night. It’s nice that it’s Sunday, and everyone takes a moment to wonder if we can’t just all get along. FOX, which is moving on from Animation Domination to some animation, but basically comedy, says, Look, we’ll do comedy, CBS, you do your drama, and ABC, you do whatever the hell that is you’re doing over there. Well, and NBC has football. Are you planning on watching football on TV today? Well you’re in luck! By keeping an eye out on the TV guide, you’ll won’t miss a thing.

Madam Secretary, strange as this show seems, figures it can do the backward lead off of The Good Wife, and get the same viewers. On the other end, why not more in the CSI world?

FOX is pretty solid with what it has to offer, though you have to start to wonder if the animated shows are ever going to end. Mulaney is the only newcomer, and it has a chance, especially given this slot. It’s fun and irreverent, and has the added bonus of Martin Short.

ABC, oddly enough, may be in the most danger here, because though none of the shows are truly new, Resurrection is only from the spring, and went a bit off the rails at the end of the first season. It also has a potential rough spot with Once Upon a Time, even though people love it, and it is adding Frozen, which will kill initially. The problem is that the show doesn’t seem to have a solid direction anymore, and that just can’t last forever.

Still, it’s a day that offers no real room for recommendation, because everything is so clearly laid out.

 

Madam Secretary – First Look

Mulaney Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZSe7V02oLI

 

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Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.