Which Fall TV Shows Will Survive
As the TV season kicks off, THR's chief television critic wagers his reputation on the scripted shows that will turn into this year's 2 Broke Girls and what will go the way of The Playboy Club.
Vegas (CBS) 3-1 - This period-piece drama starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis could be fall's biggest hit. Great performances. Bulletproof.
Elementary (CBS) 5-1 -- The modern take on Sherlock Holmes is extremely well done and perfect for CBS. It would be a real surprise if it fails.
Arrow (The CW) 8-1 -- Now here's a show that's going to work on The CW. A nice lead-in to Supernatural.
Nashville (ABC) 10-1 -- A compelling, different and well-done soap. Good reviews may give it the time it needs to set the hook -- if it works, it could be huge.
Revolution (NBC) 10-1 -- This is an appealing apocalypse series that might lure enough Hunger Games and mystery fans (provided some of the illogical elements are explained away convincingly). Plus, The Voice is a strong lead-in.
Chicago Fire (NBC) 10-1 -- It may be just a rote procedural, but there's action, it's set in Chicago, and there are fires. No challenges, just entertainment.
The Mindy Project (Fox) 15-1-- If the country falls for ex-Office star Mindy Kaling, this will be allowed to grow. If the audience is indifferent, Fox will have to either be patient or be cruel.
Ben and Kate (Fox) 15-1 -- The best network sitcom of the fall should be given a long leash by Fox.
Last Resort (ABC) 15-1 -- Leading off Thursday is a tall order for this series about a rogue submarine crew. It may be too dark for some, but it could be a dark horse. The pilot is compelling, the stars solid.
666 Park Avenue (ABC) 20-1 -- It's not a scary enough or different enough horror drama to last, plus Americans might not be interested in a show about the devil on Sunday nights.
Made in Jersey (CBS) 25-1 Ugh. This doesn't face much competition in its Friday slot, but the culture-clash drama about a girl at a N.Y. law firm is hammocked between two shows (CSI: NY and Blue Bloods) that are vastly different in tone. And it's not good.
Beauty and the Beast (The CW) 30-1 -- The network rarely cancels anything in season, but this bit of ridiculous corn dog will test the boundaries of even the youngest demo.
The Mob Doctor (Fox) 35-1 -- She's a doctor. And she works for the mob. But she's going to need a lot of meds and a lot of muscle to get renewed. Or even sampled.
Partners (CBS) 40-1 -- Not even being wedged between two hits on CBS will save this unfunny sitcom. It may not go quickly, but it'll go.
Animal Practice (NBC) 50-1 -- Kicking off Wednesdays with dubious sitcoms is, well, not a good strategy. Neither is working with animals. So despite a fine cast (Justin Kirk, Tyler Labine), there won't be enough monkeyshines to save this one.
Emily Owens, M.D. (The CW) 55-1 -- What are the odds that The CW cancels two shows in a season? Long. But this annoying doctors-acting-like-teens drama will be shunned by its target audience.
Go On (NBC) 60-1 -- On a Tuesday packed with comedies, this sitcom pales and doesn't get the balance right between schmaltz and sarcasm. Poor Matthew Perry might strike out again.
The New Normal (NBC) 60-1 -- Well, if Go On goes down as a lead-in, then New Normal will find itself in trouble. But hell, it has enough trouble already in that it's boring, obvious and desperate to be noticed. It won't be.
Guys With Kids (NBC) 75-1 -- Wow, NBC. Really? This is a skit. It's one joke -- hey, dads will raise their kids -- and that joke is lousy.
The Neighbors (ABC) 80-1 -- Brutally bad. Slotted on a great night. ABC needs to move it out of its posh Wednesday comedy neighborhood and kill it.
... SO HOW'D I DO LAST YEAR? THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE WHITNEY
Do we want tor revisit last season? Fine. You can't embarrass me. As I look back on the odds I put on fall 2011's shows, I realize I'm a terrible oddsmaker more than a terrible predictor of failure. I knew Pan Am had no future, but I laid odds of it getting canceled at 20-1. Shouldn't that have been 5-1 if I was so certain? I was mostly right about shows I thought would survive but missed on CBS' A Gifted Man (didn't like it but thought CBS would make it work); The CW's Secret Circle (didn't like it, but when does The CW cancel anything?); and Fox's Allen Gregory (hated it but thought Fox treated animation with kid gloves -- oops). But here's where I was wrong: I had NBC's Whitney down for sure death. Apparently, NBC will keep anything. I liked Grimm but didn't expect it to last. But I was most wrong on the subject of Revenge. I liked the pilot but thought it would get crushed at 10 p.m. Oh well.