To be honest, the Fall 2012 season hasn’t been all that forthcoming with really great new TV. There have been a few shows with good potential, but we’ll need to see some improvement for many of them if they expect to make it to the big leagues with shows like E.R., Smallville, and F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Several of the coveted Top 10 spots have been taken by Spring and Summer premiering shows, but each of these shows have earned their spot – and we are happy to keep watching. Only time will tell if all – or any – of these shows will manage to stick around for a while. So, we present the Top NEW (first airing sometime in 2012) TV shows:
Though it didn’t quite make it to the top ten, Ben and Kate (FOX) (Premiered September 25, 2012) certainly deserves an honorable mention. This under-appreciated little show has done okay this first half of its season. Taking us on a fun trip along with Ben (Nat Faxon) – who has made his mission in life to make sure that his sister Kate (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) are shown the fun life has to offer – this is one show that has kept us coming back for more. Another great benefit of this show is the presence of the hilarious Brit Lucy Punch [of Dinner for Shmucks and Bad Teacher], who plays Kate’s best friend BJ. So far, Ben and Kate has managed to keep its head above water and bring on the comedy – though not everyone seems to agree. Here’s to hoping Ben and Kate can survive the season and make an even greater return next Fall. It will return for its eleventh episode on January 8, 2013.
The Mindy Project (FOX) – Premiered September 25, 2012
Oh, the comedic presence that is Mindy Kaling [you’ll probably most likely recognize her from her work on The Office]. I’ll admit, this show took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting much out of The Mindy Project – not least due to the fact that I thought it would basically be an expansion on her doctor role in No Strings Attached – but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to underestimate Mindy Kaling and the rest of the gang. The Mindy Project is a lot of fun to watch – in spite of it revolving around OB/GYN doctors. Unfortunately, the show’s ratings aren’t too steady – which is likely what prompted the recent announcement about casting changes. As seems to be a common theme this TV season, its renewal status isn’t guaranteed – though we’re hoping it will survive. The Mindy Project will be back on your TV’s with a new episode on January 8, 2013.
A TV show about ballet dancers introduced after the cancellation of a TV show about gymnasts [anyone else miss Make It or Break It?] may not have been the best of transitions – particularly for fans against the previous show’s cancellation – but not surprising for ABC Family’s standard line-up. They had to have something to replace the show and also try and retain the audience previously into MIOBI, and we have to say they did a pretty great job. Amy Sherman-Palladino and Lamar Damon’s new show Bunheads highlights a small-town ballet studio – along with all the fun, competition, and dramatics, that come with that territory. We are definitely fans of this new show, and look forward to seeing what they can come up with next. Unfortunately, ABC Family’s really strange TV schedule can be hard to follow, but you can catch the new episodes beginning January 7, 2013.
Chicago Fire (NBC) – Premiered October 10, 2012
Hot men in the big city – what more can a weeknight TV viewer ask for? But seriously, though many joked that this show’s initial appeal would probably more for lascivious reasons than any interest in the storyline, Chicago Fire has taken that in stride – and surely won over viewers there for more than just a good-looking cast. Chicago Fire – starring Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, and Monica Raymund – follows the lives of several firemen and paramedics living in Chicago, Illinois – and Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, and their crew of writers brought the drama and writing skills to the table. With the death of a fireman and guest appearance of Chicago’s current mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Fire let us know from the pilot episode that viewers could take the show and plot seriously. The new drama has been doing pretty well so far, and we anticipate good things when it returns from winter hiatus. You can look for the return of this new drama on January 2, 2013 with its eleventh episode: “God Has Spoken”.
The New Normal (NBC) – Premiered September 10, 2012
NBC had to be itching to bring on a show that could compete with ABC’s Modern Family. Thus we have The New Normal, a TV show about a gay couple who want a baby and the surrogate mother [and her family] who agrees to have one for them. While this show plays into every cliche you’ve ever thought about gay men and southerners – arguably not one of the best ways to go if you’re looking for long-term appeal – it is still a fun comedy with a great core cast, which includes Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, and BeBe Wood. Though it may have its negatives, but it’s still a pretty good comedy for the new season. New episodes are to begin airing again starting December 8, 2013.
Speaking of underrated shows, Canada’s supernatural medical drama Saving Hope slid under the radar as part of the summer programming. This show – starring Michael Shanks, Erica Durance, Daniel Gillies, and Huse Madhavji – put a spin on the traditional medical drama common to TV by having it’s chief of surgery [Charlie Harris, played by Michael Shanks] fall into a coma halfway through the pilot episode. Charlie Harris found himself wandering the hospital he worked at for years, still comatose and unable to communicate with anyone around him – including his fiance and co-worker – but that was just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, though the ratings skyrocketed in Canada, the US viewers weren’t quite as impressed [though that’s likely more due to a lack of commitment on NBC’s part than the show itself]. We fell in love with the Hope-Zion Hospital crew and, though CTV has renewed it for an extended second season, there is still no word on whether or not a US network will pick it up. No air date as yet, but summer is still months away.
The Newsroom (HBO) – Premiered June 24, 2012
This summer TV drama The Newsroom – designed to model a fictionalized news channel, whose episode stories also revolve around actual events that have taken place [for instance, the pilot episode covered the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill] – easily slid into one of the top slots. This show balances the drama with a bit of occasional humor – which helps keeps the show enjoyable and entertaining – as we follow the lives of the fictional news anchors, producers, and other employees at Atlantis Cable News (ACN). The fact that it’s “covering” real events also makes it more exciting for the viewers, and also helps to remind us of important events that have occurred over the last few years. As yet, there is no official premiere date for the second season, but you can look for it to be sometime in June 2013.
With viewers having such high expectations for Arrow, it was surprising so many were pleased with it – us included! Fortunately, this CW show – based on the DC Comics vigilante known as the Green Arrow – has been pretty well-received all around. I’m sure there were many sighs of relief over at The CW network – who, as we’ve seen, is generally more “miss” than “hit” with their pilot pick-ups. Stephen Amell stars as Oliver Queen who lives life as billionaire son and sole survivor of a shipwreck by day – and becomes the vigilante Green Arrow, using a bow and arrow to mete out justice, by night. Add to that the danger of the local detective [who also happens to be his former flame’s father] determined to find and stop the Green Arrow, and you’ve got the new action-adventure show that is Arrow. With a bit of a late hiatus return, Arrow will be back January 16, 2013.
Elementary (CBS) – Premiered September 17, 2012
Elementary began its run surrounded with allegations that it was going to be nothing more than a rip-off of BBC’s series Sherlock. However, with a modern take [separate from the BBC series Sherlock] on the classic Sherlock Holmes and his [now female] sidekick Watson, Elementary has certainly earned respect – and viewers – in its own right. Johnny Lee Miller stars as Sherlock Holmes, this time a recovering drug addict who returns to work for Scotland Yard investigating homicides. Along for the ride is Holmes’ sober sponsor Joan Watson (Lucy Liu). The great thing about this new show [in addition to the casting of a female Watson] is that the relationship between Holmes and Watson isn’t based on love or even possible love – at least for now, anyway – which is refreshing compared to so many other shows insisting on pushing their male and female leads into romantic relationships. Add that to the classic Sherlock Holmes mystery-solving stories, and you’ve got a great new TV show – which will return with a new episode January 3, 2013.
Nashville (ABC) – Premiered October 10, 2012
When I first heard about this show – I couldn’t help but compare it to Country Strong, the 2010 movie starring Gweneth Paltrow and Leighton Meester. Granted, the film was great in its own right, but I was skeptical about an entire TV show along similar lines. While it may [or may not] have inspired ABC’s new hit Nashville, this new show certainly has it’s own voice and appeal – with a fantastic cast in Connie Britton, the old and “washed out” former country singer, and Hayden Panettiere, the young and hip new “pop country” starlet set to take Britton’s character’s place in the country world. The two work well off each other and, along with the rest of the cast [and an even greater soundtrack of original country music tracks], have managed to make an enjoyable drama out of Nashville. Nashville returns from its winter hiatus on January 9, 2013.
Girls (HBO) – Premiered April 15, 2012
Lena Dunham captured our attention with her new show Girls [in which she also has a starring role]. Season 1 of Girls opened with Lena’s character Hannah having been cut off from her parents, now left to make her own way in the Big Apple [that’s New York City, for those who don’t know]. Girls has received much [well-deserved] praised for being the realest show for “girls” that we’ve seen on television. The gang’s hilarious [and sometimes cringe-worthy] drama – and fantastic, quote-worthy writing – keep us all coming back for more. Don’t miss the premiere of the second season, airing January 13, 2013 on HBO.