TV’s fall lineup not-so-prime but still a few new standouts




Maybe you’re wondering where is THIS fall’s “This Is Us”?

As if you could forget, this affectionate, time-shifting family drama landed on NBC’s Fall 2016 schedule as an instantly popular and critical sensation. And a potential game changer for network programming.

But that will have to wait.

“It would be this (upcoming 2018-19) development season that would be more impacted,” explained Dana Walden, CEO of Fox Television Group.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s family shows (and) shows that play with time,” Walden said.

As examples of new fall shows ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey hopes will similarly tug at viewers’ heartstrings while commandeering their eyeballs, she mentioned “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” and “The Good Doctor.”

Maybe. “Kevin” is a fantasy drama starring Jason Ritter as a self-centered, despairing wretch who is visited by a “celestial” who gives him an assignment: get over himself and save the world. Shades of “Touched By an Angel on a Highway to Heaven”? At least this “Kevin” isn’t “Kevin Can Wait.” And it’s sweet. With that caveat, check it out. It premieres Oct. 3.

The title character of “The Good Doctor” is a brilliant young surgeon whose autism and savant syndrome impair his ability to personally connect with patients and fellow doctors. The show, which comes from “House” creator David Shore as another medical drama led by a brilliant but problematic doctor, is familiar medicine. But star Freddie Highmore is splendid. Premiering Sept. 25, it’s worth checking out.

So is ABC’s “Ten Days in the Valley,” a mystery thriller that boasts Kyra Sedgwick as its star and a 10-episode format that should keep the storytelling brisk. Sedgwick plays a single mother and overworked TV producer whose life begins to overlap with the cop drama she produces when her daughter disappears. No one, including this frantic mom, is free of suspicion. It premieres Oct. 1.

ABC’s “The Mayor” is charming, funny and uplifting. Young rapper Courtney Rose is trying to jump-start his career, so he runs for mayor of his hometown as a publicity stunt. When, to his shock, he wins the election, he decides to face the music and be the best mayor he can. Lea Michele plays his friend and, as Courtney, Brandon Micheal Hall could be the season’s breakout star. Premiering Oct. 3.