7 Must-See Fall TV Shows

By Josef Adalian

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1. SLEEPY HOLLOW

It’s Once Upon a Time for dudes on Fox as a resurrected Ichabod Crane finds himself in the 21st century fighting the Headless Horseman and other mystical bad guys with the help of a small-town detective. Crazy? Absolutely. Ridiculously fun? That too. 2. THE CRAZY ONES

Robin Williams returns to TV as an advertising guru, starring alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar and Mad Men’s James Wolk in a half-hour CBS comedy-drama from David E. Kelley. It may go downhill after the premiere, but for now, set your DVR. 3. HOSTAGES

The premise of this CBS drama is every bit as cheesy as you’d expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer production: A secretly evil FBI agent (Dylan McDermott) threatens to kill the family of a doctor (Toni Collette) unless she finds a way to murder the president during surgery. But writer-director Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Homeland, Chicago Fire) fills almost every minute of this thriller with unexpected tension and intelligent twists, while McDermott is awesome to behold as a sort of Jack Bauer from the dark side. 4. MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW

Fox riffs on his own life, playing a husband–dad–TV anchor with Parkinson’s who returns to work after a long absence. Amazingly, this NBC show is never maudlin—just funny and sweet and a great showcase for Fox’s comic chops.

5. THE BLACKLIST

James Spader is at his smarmy best as a criminal genius who suddenly wants to help the feds collar bad guys, or at least those on his personal shit list. Figuring out his motives (and why he demands to be partnered with a rookie FBI agent) makes this NBC show more than the standard procedural. 6. THE GOLDBERGS

ABC, the network that gave us The Wonder Years and Happy Days, once again finds humor in the past, traveling back to the 1980s for a sweet and funny family comedy. While the show is sometimes as loud as the decade’s fashions, Jeff Garlin and Wendi McLendon-Covey are perfect as overbearing parents. 7. RAKE

Former talk-show host (Later) turned movie actor Greg Kinnear returns to TV on Fox as a very smart but deeply, deeply flawed attorney with addictions to gambling, hookers and who knows what else. Produced by Peter Tolan (Rescue Me), Rake has a twisted humor. Thanks to Kinnear, it’s much more than a pale imitation of House. THREE TO AVOID SUPER FUN NIGHT

Talented Rebel Wilson is completely wasted in a shockingly lame ABC non-comedy about geeky girls who just want to have fun but don’t know how. The opposite of Pitch Perfect. WE ARE MEN

Four guys living in an apartment complex bursting with hot single women should be in paradise, but everyone on this CBS show comes off as bitter or mean. We were bored. WELCOME TO THE FAMILY

When a college-bound Latino teen knocks up his not-so-smart white girlfriend, two very different families try to deal with what comes next, on NBC. Hilarity does not come next.


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