Hump day seems up for grabs this coming season. After 13 years, Survivor is starting to show its age in Canada, leaving room open for others to finally knock it off the island.
For CBC, this may help sustain its No. 1 show, Dragon’s Den, as well as re-launch at 9 an-extended season of Republic of Doyle as a fall start up.
CTV has young viewers early with The Tomorrow People and Arrow and owns boomers at 10 with still crazy popular Criminal Minds. There’s little flow but some favourites on City, with Revolution leading into Modern Family and, later, Nashville. City’s also hopes to cash in with a Big Bang-like supper hour boost by double pumping Modern Family at 7.
The big get among the new shows is Michael J. Fox. His new comedy will open big, although Global loses the simulcast by pre-releasing this a day earlier than NBC.
Don’t be surprised if Global switches Fox to Thursdays once they get past those first three Glee episodes, especially the Cory Monteith salute. Until then, how Fox goes, so goes Global on this crowded night.
The Tomorrow People (7 p.m., CTV; 9 p.m., The CW. Premieres Oct. 9).
The folks at Warners Television and The CW seem determined to employ the entire Amell family. Stephen’s younger brother Robbie stars here as a teen (named Stephen!) who discovers he can zap himself across town and do other cool stunts. He’s one of the Tomorrow People! Trouble is, these bad guys are out to get he and his posse of super friends who all look like they stepped out of a Joe Fresh ad. Based on a cult ’70s series from Britain.
Back in the Game (8:30 p.m., ABC, Sept. 25; 9:30, Fridays on City starting Sept. 27).
I dunno, I must be getting soft in my old age. This is just a cheap Bad News Bears meets every other single mom spin off, but I didn’t mind it. James Caan helps. He plays a crusty, cantankerous curmudgeon, my kind of guy. His daughter, a divorced single mom (Maggie Lawson), returns home with kid in tow and Caan’s character winds up coaching the tyke’s hopeless baseball team. Caan could play this with his eyes closed and does half the time but it is still way better than the next sorry-ass show on the list….
Sean Saves the World (9 p.m., Global; Thursdays at 9 on NBC starting Oct. 2 and 3).
It stinks! Sean Hayes returns as a gay dad trying to raise a 14-year-old daughter. Hollywood has tried to foist these gay comedies on audiences the past couple of years as if it was 1971. Relying on sexual orientation for laffs is about as lazy as building a sitcom around race or religion. It gets old fast, as does this idea to have Hayes’ character hectored by an overbearing mother (Linda Lavin) and bullied by a tool of a boss (Thomas Lennon).
The Michael J. Fox Show (9:30 p.m., Global, Sept. 25; Thursday at 9:30 on NBC Sept. 26).
Fox has been hilarious the past couple of years guest starring on shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Rescue Me. Here he plays a news anchor returning to the big time of network TV after taking time off to deal with Parkinson’s. This is a perfect set up because we all know Fox has to cope with the very same challenge, so it allows us and him to get right down to it. That one element, however, did tend to overwhelm the pilot, which was not as funny as I had hoped. Fox says stay tuned, future stories will spend more time on the character’s job and family like any other sitcom. Another reason to watch will be to see if Fox can make this all work. He sounded pumped when I spoke with him at this summer’s press tour, suggesting his physical challenges will force him to find new ways to work his comedy chops. That, to me, makes this series really interesting.
Speaking of welcoming back old friends, Charles Grodin and Candice Bergen are joining the cast as Fox’s character’s parents. That can’t hurt.
Super Fun Night (9:30 p.m., ABC/City. Premieres Oct. 2).
It stinks! The hot mess of a pilot was horrifying. Rebel Wilson gets her clothes ripped off at one point and you just feel really embarrassed for the character–not what you’d be going for in a comedy. Not so super fun.
Ironside (10 p.m., NBC/Global. Premieres Oct. 2).
Blair Underwood (In Treatment) stars in this remake of the ’70s series. This Ironside is more Shaft than stationary and a lot sexier than Raymond Burr. Other than the wheelchair, there are few similarities to the original. This dude is surrounded by a crack investigative team, including Liev’s kid brother Pablo Schreiber. A well-produced pilot shows potential for anyone looking for a CSI on wheels.