After seeing commercials for Dads and We Are Men, it didn’t seem there was much hope for this fall television season, but there are a few shows out there which feature female leads or strong female co-stars.
On Monday, Fox series Sleepy Hollow premiered with 10 million viewers, its most highest rated fall opener in seven seasons. The show is loosely based on Washington Irving’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” but brings the characters into present day. Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) wakes up in 2013’s Sleepy Hollow, where an officer with the local sheriff’s department, Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharle) is looking for the Headless Horsemen. Even though Crane is the main character in Irving’s story, Abbie has her own storyline here and it appears viewers are already interested. Mondays at 9, Fox.
Trophy Wife doesn’t exactly sound like the title of a show which will present women in a positive light, but since it is based on co-creator Sarah Haskins real-life experience marrying someone twenty years her senior, maybe it will prove its title wrong. Haskins has molded a loose version of herself into Kate, played by Malin Akerman, who marries Pete (Bradley Whitford) and has to find her place among his three kids and two ex-wives (Marcia Gay Harden and Michaela Watkins.) Premieres on ABC September 24 at 9:30 p.m.
Hostages, a new drama series on CBS, features Toni Collette as a prominent surgeon in Washington D.C. Ellen is preparing to perform surgery on the President of the United States when she and her family are taken hostage in their home by a rogue FBI agent. Tate Donovan plays her husband Brian and Dylan McDermott is the FBI agent. CBS plans to air all 15 episodes of the show in a row and critics have already cited concern about how a show with this concept can last more than one season. With the decision to make it a short season, it sounds like CBS might be embracing FX’s American Horror Story strategy, having different casts embody the show in different seasons. But of course, that all depends on how well the first season of Hostages will do. September 23 at 10 p.m. CBS
A show with a 360 degree mood change from Hostages is Mom, a new Chuck Lorre comedy (Cybill, Two and a Half Men). It stars Anna Faris as Christy and Allison Janney as her mother, Bonnie. Both are recovering addicts and both are single mothers. Janney has proven comedy chops (Drop Dead Gorgeous, Crystal in Mr. Sunshine) and while Faris has acted mostly in comedies, it’s a bit unclear whether she can headline a weekly show. But anything has to be better than Two and a Half Men, right? September 23 at 9:30 p.m. CBS
The Blacklist on NBC has mostly been advertised as a vehicle for James Spader, who plays evil dude Raymond Reddington. A criminal mastermind who turns himself into the FBI and then insists he will only speak with Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), a freshman profiler. They work together to bring down Reddington’s long list of criminals and terrorists plotting against the United States. Unfortunately, it’s up against CBS’ Hostages, so it looks like the two shows will be fighting it out for staying power. September 23 at 10 p.m. NBC
Another possibility looks to be Super Fun Night, a star vehicle for Rebel Wilson on ABC. ABC has put out some smart comedies the last couple seasons, (Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and Happy Endings), but they tend to get lost in the shuffle and get canceled. Wilson has adopted an American accent and strives for a Sex and the City lifestyle with her friends, but not without a few pratfalls along the way. October 2 at 9:30 p.m. ABC
Perhaps one of the most-hyped premieres of the fall is Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. featuring Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). Coulson will have a cavalcade of fellow agents behind him, including Melinda May (Ming Na-Wen from ER), as well as a couple younger female agents, Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Skye (Chloe Bennett), a computer hacker working for SHIELD. Fans of Marvel will keep this show alive for awhile, but it’s still unclear whether its hype will turn into a long-term hit. September 24 at 8 p.m. ABC
- Laura Brounstein: 10 Fall 2013 TV Shows Worth Watching (huffingtonpost.com)
- TV: Preview: All the shows you’ll stream in 2016: The A.V. Club’s “fall” “TV” “preview,” part 1 (avclub.com)