This season’s first casualty was the CW’s legal dramedy “Made in Jersey,” which was canceled after just two episodes. Here’s a look at how some of the other new shows are doing.
“Revolution,” (10 p.m. Monday, NBC)
Should you watch? This show takes place 15 years after a big blackout left the world in the dark. Interesting premise, sometimes shaky execution. And some of the characters’ actions can be a little infuriating. Last week, for example, when the group attempted to rescue Charlie’s brother, Danny, big sis blew the element of surprise not once but twice. And Nora decided to plant a bomb on the train she knew would be carrying Danny just because. Uncle Miles (Billy Burke) had to save the day…repeatedly. Yet at the end of the day, who is the one who was treated like a bad guy? Yep, Miles. Again. It’s a wonder he stays with the group. Still, I find myself intrigued by characters on the periphery, notably Giancarlo Esposito as Capt. Tom Neville and Elizabeth Mitchell as captive mom Rachel Matheson
Should you worry? Maybe you should worry if the show will find its dramatic footing, but as far as ratings, it’s in the clear… for the season at least.
“Ben and Kate” (8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Fox)
Should you watch? Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson (the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) are sweet as the title characters. The happy-go-lucky Ben has a tendency to mess things up for his single mom sister Kate, and seems to be growing up (slowly) right alongside his niece (the adorable Maggie Elizabeth Jones). The relationships feel genuine, not easy for a new sitcom to accomplish so quickly, and Lucy Punch as Kate’s friend steals every scene she’s in.
Should you worry? Nope. It’s already been picked up for a full season.
“The Mindy Project” (9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Fox)
Should you watch? I really wanted to love this comedy. Mindy Kaling of “The Office” is a doctor whose life is a mess. In the pilot, the main character is introduced when she gets drunk and ends up in a pool. I found myself wishing she had it just a little bit more together. But there are funny moments, and because I like Kaling, it’s worth giving it a shot.
Should you worry? Fox gave “The Mindy Project” a full order, so it will be on at least through spring.
“The Neighbors” (8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Fox)
Should you watch? A human family moves into a development that has been taken over by aliens. After a recent episode, my daughter, who is easy to please when it comes to TV, turned to me and asked, “Was that good?” I’ll answer that question for you now: No, it’s not. It just isn’t very funny, and with such a strong batch of comedies on the air now, it’s not worth checking out.
Should you worry? If you, unlike me, are a fan, then you should worry. It’s doing only so-so in the ratings. If you aren’t a fan, then you can be hopeful that it will be yanked to make room for something better.
“Animal Practice” (8 p.m. Wednesday, NBC)
Should you watch? Justin Kirk stars as a vet who works at a clinic run by his ex (played by JoAnna Garcia Swisher). More importantly, this is the show that stars Crystal the monkey. I have to give it points for originality… at least it’s not another show about cops or doctors. Really, though the monkey is the best (sometimes only) reason to watch the show.
Should you worry? Luckily, Crystal has an extensive resume that includes “Hangover 2” and a recurring role on “Community,” because “Animal Practice” looks like it will be closing soon.
Update: NBC just announced it will be taking “Animal Practice” off the air to make room for… “Whitney.” Ugh. Suddenly, I miss Crystal.
“Nashville” (10 p.m. Wednesday, ABC)
Should you watch? Heck yeah. It stars Connie Britton, after all. You need more reason than that? This drama is about the cutthroat world of country music, with Britton as a legend whose concerts are no longer selling out, and Hayden Panetierre as an auto-tuned upstart who is the new face of the industry. There’s a lot going on, maybe too much at times. But any great drama needs its layers, and this show hopefully just needs time to grow. The stars do their own singing, and they’re serviceable. This show isn’t “Glee” or “Smash” though – the music is secondary to the drama, not the other way around.
Should you worry? Last week, I would’ve said no. It debuted strong. But viewership for the second episode plunged. Still, it’s a critical hit and still pulling good numbers, so it’s safe…for now.
“Elementary” (10 p.m. Thursday, CBS)
Should you watch? If you’ve watched “The Mentalist” or “Castle” (or any number of shows like them), you know the drill: A play-by-the-rules beauty (in this case, Joan Watson, played by Lucy Liu) butts heads with a brilliant but impossible-to-control sleuth (Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes). But just because elements of this crime drama feel familiar, it doesn’t mean the modern take on the iconic detective isn’t worth watching. The chemistry between the leads works, and each has enough damage (naturally) to fuel the conflict and mystery for quite some time.
Should you worry? “Elementary” is doing well in the ratings, and procedurals are usually a safe bet for renewal, as long as it continues to hold on to its viewers.
“Last Resort” (8 p.m. Thursday, ABC)
Should you watch? The drama about a submarine crew in exile after refusing an order to blow up Pakistan is Event TV. Its landscapes are lush, its plot high-concept, its dialogue sharp and, most importantly, its acting is strong. Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman, Autumn Reeser, Robert Patrick…all do a fantastic job. There’s tension, mystery, and the potential for romance. Like I said, Event TV.
Should you worry? Unfortunately, “Last Resort” is taking on water. But like the scrappy crew of the Colorado, I hold out hope that things will get better.
A quick recap of how other new shows are doing:
I predicted “The Mob Doctor” (9 p.m. Monday, Fox) would be the first show to be canceled, but so far it’s hanging in there. Still, it’s in trouble and probably won’t last much longer.
Other shows that are in trouble include “Partners,” (8:30 p.m. Monday, CBS) and “666 Park Avenue” (10 p.m. Sunday, ABC).
“Emily Owens M.D.” (9 p.m. Tuesday, CW) had a low debut last week, but it also had the misfortune to debut on the same night as the presidential debate.
“Vegas” (10 p.m. Tuesday, CBS) and “Guys With Kids” (8:30 p.m. Wednesday, NBC) are doing so-so, but probably aren’t in immediate danger. “Arrow” (8 p.m. Wednesday, CW), “Chicago Fire” (10 p.m. Wednesday, NBC) and “Beauty and the Beast” (9 p.m. Thursday, CW) are likely to stick around for a while. And “The New Normal” ( 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, NBC) and “Go On” ( 9 p.m. Tuesday, NBC) were picked up for a full season.
– Heather Chavez