TONIGHT: Mindy one of three series premieres

The Mindy Project (above) is one of three new network shows airing tonight. The new and returning premieres are:

8 p.m.   Dancing with the Stars Results Show  (ABC, CTVTWO)

8 p.m.  NCIS  (CBS, Global)
8:30 p.m.  Ben and Kate  (Fox, City)  NEW
9 p.m.  NCIS: Los Angeles  (CBS, Global)
9 p.m.  New Girl  (Fox, City)
9:30 p.m. The Mindy Project  (Fox, City)  NEW
10 p.m.  Criminal Minds  (CTV) pre
10 p.m.  Private Practice  (ABC, City)
10 p.m.  Vegas  (CBS, Global)  NEW



Ben & Kate
Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8:30 p.m. on Fox and City
A brother (Nat Faxon, an Oscar-winner for co-writing The Descendants) and sister (Dakota Johnson, daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffiths), who are kind of an odd couple, find themselves living under one roof. She needs help making ends meet and raising her five-year-old daughter. He needs help raising himself.
There’s a warmth to this show, thanks mainly to the appealing leads. It is based on creator Dana Fox’s own relationship with her oddball brother, so it seems authentic. Could it be funnier? That would be yes, but points for shooting part of the pilot at the Pasadena hotel where critics gather each winter. Plus little Maggie Elizabeth Jones is a real scene-stealer as Kate’s daughter Maggie.
Pilot grade: **1/2 (out of four). Might have liked this more if I had any siblings. There is a sweetness to it, but at the same time, the brother is such an idiot.


The Mindy Project
Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9:30 on Fox and City
Midy Kaling from The Office plays a 30-ish woman doctor whose personal life is on life support.
While it wasn’t perfect, the pilot had moments of fantasy and bursts of originality that makes it stand out from other sitcoms this year. I love the scene tonight when tipsy Mindy rides her bike into a swimming pool and has an underwater conversation with Barbie. Look for a couple of Saturday Night Live players among the supporting cast in the pilot (although, unfortunately, they aren’t part of the series after that.) A good fit behind Fox’s New Girl.
Pilot grade: *** (out of four). One of my favourite new shows just for being a little daring and different in a very seen-it-before season.


Vegas
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 10 p.m., CBS, Global.
It is 1960, Las Vegas, and one man, Sheriff Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid), is cowboy enough to stand up to the the mob bosses running the strip–including Chicago gangster Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis).
An old fashion, testosterone-driven hour featuring fisticuffs, fast women and cool cars. The stories and characters are as black and white as the hats and thar’s no thinkin’ required, pardner. B.C. native Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix franchise) is along for the ride. Quaid’s character is based on a real guy who patrolled the strip in the ’60s.
Pilot grade: *** (out of four). Good for what it is, an hour of old fashioned TV entertainment. The strong leads makes you think there is more to it than that.

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