The CW ventures into historical drama, at least in name. The main character in "Reign" is factual, but the weekly exploits of young Mary, Queen of Scots, are definitely fiction.
Historical in television terms is "Ironside" with Blair Underwood playing the brilliant wheelchair-bound detective a la the late Raymond Burr.
"The Goldbergs" on ABC is like visiting the wacky but real family of creator Adam Goldberg back in the 1980s, he told TV critics. The same network's "Lucky 7" follows a group of New Yorkers who work at the same gas station and see their lives change after they win the lottery.
Sean Hayes (producer of "Grimm" and "Hollywood Game Night") plays a gay father of a teen (played by Tulsa's Samantha Isler) in the comedy "Sean Saves the World." Linda Lavin plays his mother.
In ABC's "Back in the Game," a daughter moves in with her irascible father (is there any other kind in a TV comedy?).
In Fox's "Dads," two best friends find their homes invaded by their fathers, and a newly single mother is faced with the return of her unmotherly estranged parent in "Mom" on CBS. The same home invasion happens to a recently divorced TV reporter in "The Millers" on CBS.
Cops and crime
"Betrayal" on ABC is a prime-time soap opera about murder, adultery and a powerful family turning on itself.
Toni Collette graces the TV screen as a surgeon assigned to operate on the president being told by a rogue agent and his henchmen holding her family hostage to kill the man during the surgery in CBS' "Hostages."
James Spader returns as a former most wanted fugitive who offers to help the FBI catch a terrorist in "The Blacklist" on NBC.
In the cop comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher team up as a childish detective and his new captain who don't mesh. No surprise there.
Three divorced men become friends and offer dating advice to a young man left at the altar in CBS' "We Are Men."
And, in "Trophy Wife" on ABC, a lovely third wife becomes mother to a family filled with step-children and ex-wives.
Aussie comic actress Rebel Wilson ("Bridesmaids") is a lawyer who hangs out with her two best friends and tries to get in with the cool crowd in "Super Fun Night."
And, in "Welcome to the Family," a college-bound smart kid finds his hopes going down the drain after he impregnates his air-headed girlfriend.
There are plenty more shows coming your way between now and May, but this gives you an idea that yes, it's once again a lackluster season with little to tweet or Facebook home about -- "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "The Black List" and, hopefully, "Sean Saves the World" with the young Tulsa-native actress, being the possible exceptions here.
Most promising poll
As Television Critics Association members voted to determine which new series of the freshman class show the most promise. In the first poll by the organization, the members were asked to place votes in the following four categories: best show overall, best new comedy, best new drama and the most promising break-out star.
Here are the results:
ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." was selected the most promising new series of the fall 2013 TV season with Showtime's "Masters of Sex" and NBC's "The Blacklist" selected as No. 2 and No. 3 overall.
Among the comedies, Fox's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" was far-and-away the top choice. It received more than twice as many mentions as the No. 2 (CBS' "Mom") and No. 3 (ABC's "Trophy Wife") choices combined.
In tight competition for the most promising new drama, "The Blacklist" edged out "Masters of Sex" and CBS' "Hostages."
Asked who will be the next break-out star, Tom Mison of Fox's "Sleepy Hollow" topped the list, with Rebel Wilson (ABC's "Super Fun Night") and Lizzy Caplan (Showtime's "Masters of Sex") close behind.
Rita Sherrow is a longtime member of the TCA.
Rita Sherrow 918-581-8360
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Original headline: 26 new TV shows debut this fall - check out an overview
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