Trophy Wife | ABC | Tuesdays @ 9:30 [premieres September 24] | Following memorable turns on the laugh-out-loud satires Childrens Hospital and Burning Love (catch up with these web series if you haven’t already), it was only a matter of time before Malin Åkerman landed a leading role. Here Åkerman plays former party girl Kate who suddenly must deal with Peter’s (Bradley Whitford) family drama when the two get married on a whim after meeting at a karaoke bar. The show gets off to a slow start, but could blossom into a hit as long as Åkerman showcases the subtle, awkward humor she’s best at.
The Getaway | Esquire Network | Wednesdays @ 9 [premieres September 25] | Executive produced by renowned chef and travel expert Anthony Bourdain, this show follows the same structure as his previous ventures (No Reservations and The Layover), but with a slight twist: a different celebrity tour guide each week. Watch Joel McHale drink with the locals in Dublin, Aziz Ansari pig out in Hong Kong, and Aisha Tyler shopping and hanging with Chris O’Dowd in London, among others. This open-ended travel diary has a perfect blend of variety and familiarity, and will be a solid flagship show for the promising new network.
The Michael J. Fox Show | NBC | Thursdays @ 9 [premieres September 26] | Thirteen years after his departure from Spin City, Fox is returning to television, essentially playing himself in a safe-bet sitcom that NBC hopes can restore some of its long-lost Thursday night glory. Fox’s Mike Henry returns to the job he quit five years ago after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s and must balance his family and career. If it sounds like a generic premise, that’s because it is. But a strong supporting cast, featuring The Wire’s wisecracking Wendell Pierce and Betsy Brandt as Fox’s wife, who gets to showcase the comedic chops she rarely deployed playing Marie on Breaking Bad, help make this mass-appeal comedy worth checking out.
CRINGE COMEDY Merchant in 'Hello Ladies.'
Hello Ladies | HBO | Sundays @ 10 [premieres September 29] | From The [British] Office’s Stephen Merchant comes HBO’s latest attempt at cringe comedy. Merchant plays Stuart, a lanky web designer looking for love after moving to LA from London. “He’s just a loser in England who’s a loser here, but even more out of his depth, because his Britishness is even more pronounced and awkward,” says Merchant of his character. HBO’s comedies have been hit or miss lately, but this show has big potential, especially given its Eastbound & Down lead-in.
Almost Human | FOX | Mondays @ 9 [premieres November 4] | Yet another mind-bending sci-fi pilot from J.J. Abrams and Fringe disciple J.H. Wyman, Almost Human introduces us to an LAPD precinct that teams up to fight crime with highly evolved androids 35 years in the future. This intriguing premise has Abrams’s familiar fingerprints all over it, but he hasn’t had a small screen hit since Lost, and now that he’s Hollywood’s most sought-after sci-fi director, likely won’t have time to make this show one either.