Good TV used to be an oxymoron. For many years, hour long shows were filled with situations that just didn't reflect what the viewing public wanted. Half hour shows weren't much better but at least they were funny. TV was seen as a graveyard. The place that actors went when their careers stalled. No serious director worked in this medium. Ever.
Then Reality TV happened and TV seemed to reach it lowest ebb yet. Whether it was couples searching for "true" love, or people getting $100 (after taxes!) for doing gross and disgusting things, it was one bad show after another. So you had bad episodic TV, bad half-hour TV and just awful Reality TV. Then something interesting happened...Cable TV and a little HBO show called The Sopranos.
Filled with real characters, violence, well written dialogue, and just about everything else that grabs viewers, The Sopranos showed that TV could be better than good, it could be art. The sea change for good television was slow in the coming, and for a good many years it was just HBO and Showtime providing this kind of content. Coming at a premium that many didn't want to pay, TV was still stuck in places like the Jersey Shore or with characters like My Antonio.
The turning point was with a show called Breaking Bad. This "little" show about a nebbish character named Walter White took everybody by surprise. The plot was perfectly simple. Facing money problems and a recent diagnosis of cancer, White, a chemistry teacher, starts up a drug trade that made him the biggest meth dealer in the US and beyond. This show captivated viewers and woke the bean counters up to the fact that viewers actually wanted to see good TV.
As we move into the fall phase of 2015's television line-up, TV watchers can rejoice in just how good television has become. Whether you are watching cable, regular TV, or even internet programming, there is something for everybody now. Name actors and directors are abandoning the big screen for the small one. Making this even more exciting, is that this programming is actually good. It's enough to get one extremely pumped, which is why we have prepared "The 11 Most Promising TV Shows of the 2015 Fall Season." Things are so good, we thought you could use a list to help guide some of your viewing choices.
Melissa Benoist plays the iconic role of Supergirl in this TV show that already seems to be levels above the movie from 1984. With a cast that features such iconic 1990s names as Dean Cain and Calista Flockhart, this show appears to be firmly rooted in the present while tipping its hat to the past. With deep pockets behind it, this superhero adaptation also seems to be benefitting from todays golden age of Superhero movies. Also helping this show is how well Melissa Benoist seems to straddle the worlds of Supergirl/Kara Danvers/Linda Danvers. In a day and age where everybody wants to create a brand, Supergirl has anticipating how it is going to BE. Supergirl premieres Monday, October 26th on CBS before moving to Thursdays later in the fall.
What's not to like about a show featuring a sorority and a homicidal maniac? The two seem to have gone hand in hand ever since Roger Corman made them hip in the exploitation realm years ago. This show centers on the 20 year "celebration" of a sorority pledge that had dire consequences. And, as you guessed it, scary things start happening in the present that are eerily similar to the past. With a solid cast featuring Emma Roberts, Abigail Breslin, Ariana Grande and the Scream Queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queensseems more like an event than a TV show. Something tells us that despite a killers wishes, this show, and these characters will keep going. Scream Queens debuts September 22 on Fox.
Making a TV show out of a surprise hit movie can be a dicey proposition. However, the concept of Limitless is so rich, so open for story development that we think this show will deliver. The movie followed a man (Bradley Cooper) who took a pill that allowed him to access all of his brainpower. The TV show continues this but in a serialized format. By taking this concept and making a show, one can only imagine where there are going to take things. What will they have this character do? Will things wrap up nicely at the season finale or will we be left waiting in pain by a cliffhanger? Also, this show features the return of Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter and who isn't excited about that? In this day and age of disposable media, Limitless is another example of just how good good TV can be. Limitless premieres September 22 on CBS.
With the 2011 movie doing $165 million worldwide, why not bring back the famous TV show from yesteryear. Making this even better? Gone is the variety show format it seems (not that that was bad), and it's been switched out for a 2015, Reality TV-type show. As we already mentioned, Reality TV is on the wane and what better way to send it up than to "Muppetize" it? Who doesn't want to know more about the personal lives of Kermit and Miss Piggy? Who doesn't want to see Fozzie and Animal behind the scenes? With actors such as Topher Grace and Elizabeth Banks involved in this, how can The Muppets not be a show on the "must see TV" list? Everything old is new again but, with The Muppets, it seems like everything old gets better when it's reinvented. The Muppets premieres September 22 on ABC.
With a TV show adaptation of the great 1980s film, I think it is clear that that decade is back. And what better way for it to happen than with an updating of this now classic tale. Mike Epps takes over the iconic role played by John Candy. We see him as a "man-child" who has to take care of his brother's children. This merging of a 1980s idea with 2015 scruples, seems destined to be filled solid laughs and strong storylines. Mike Epps, like John Candy before him, does comedy effortlessly and this should more than be on display here. We're told that this new version of the show (they actually tried to do another TV version in 1990), "cannot be more different" than the movie that came before. Look, we loved the movie but this update has us anticipating something incredible! Uncle Buck does not have a set premiere date yet, but is coming soon to ABC.
If you liked the 2002 movie then you are going to love this 2015 take. It starts 10 years later in Washington, DC. A PreCog is trying to live a normal life yet "suffers from visions of the future." The original Minority Report was based on a story by the always interesting Philip K. Dick. Making this show even more poignant is how many of Philip K. Dick's insights into the future ended up being fairly spot on. In today's digital age of constant updates, public shaming and seemingly rampant disconnectedness, Minority Report truly serves as a mirror into our society. By examining crime and our reliance on technology to help us battle it, this futuristic show seems more timely than ever. Minority Report premieres September 21 on Fox.
Take Memento and throw in The Bourne films and you have Blindspot. The intriguing Jaimie Alexander stars as Jane Doe. She is discovered in Time Square, New York and has absolutely NO memory of how she got there. And, she is covered with tattoos. Alright, this is either the greatest set-up in the history of television, or the writers will write themselves into a corner, have long episodes that lead nowhere, and eventually explain everything about Jane Doe while explaining nothing. We are betting (actually hoping... praying!) that this show lives up to the hype, because by all accounts this seems like one of the more interesting TV offerings in years! Anticipation? Palpable. Blindspot premieres September 21 on NBC.
Okay, this show had us interested when Rob Lowe was involved. They really sealed the deal with the addition of Fred Savage. Rob Lowe plays Dean Sanderson, a former lawyer on TV who returns to his hometown. When the family law firm needs someone to run it, Rob Lowe's character jumps at this opportunity even though (aside from his TV work) he isn't remotely qualified. Fred Savage assists him in this endeavor. How can you not root for a show like this? Rob Lowe has always been in good movies and TV. Fred Savage could have retired after The Wonder Years and we would still be interested in The Grinder. On the face of it, the premise doesn't seem like it's going to have a lot of legs. And with a different cast, maybe it wouldn't. However, with Lowe and Savage together, we're betting that this thing gets a positive verdict in the court of public opinion. The Grinder premieres September 29 on Fox.
Satan lives in Los Angeles. Okay, we might be reaching here but there is something about this idea that seems uniquely perfect. People have often said that Los Angeles is a city without a soul. One can only imagine how Satan might take advantage of a situation like this. Honestly, a show about the evilest entity helping humanity by bringing out its deepest desires and thoughts can't be any worse than Temptation Island, can it? Lucifer doesn't have a set premiere date yet, but will show up soon on Fox.
Wesley Snipes comes to TV in this stylized show that looks at the world of security in Las Vegas. While Wesley Snipes may share the screen with Philip Winchester, for many, he is the main attraction here. Playing the role of Johnson, a pit boss, Wesley Snipes is exactly the kind of actor that television needs. The man is a wild card that appears to follow his bliss from project to project. That he has chosen The Player to showcase his skills, seems to indicate that there is a lot beneath the surface of this show. Time will tell how audiences respond, but something tells us that there is good reason for the anticipation. The Player premieres September 24 on NBC.
This show could be called CSI: Miami (but COOLER!). The venerable Morris Chestnut stares as Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. He is a pathologist who finds out secrets of the dead using their bodies. Working out ofa state of the art laboratory, Rosewood isn't afraid to go into the field to get to the bottom of something. Like Quincy before him, Rosewood is a man apart who always seems to be one step ahead of the bad (and the good) guys. Everybody loves a good forensics procedural, and Rosewood seems singularly unique in how deftly the main character is able to assess the various situations that come his way. Add to this the sexual tension with Detective Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz), mixed with Michael Mann-esque action, and Rosewood seems destined to be on many people's radars this fall. Rosewood premieres September 23 on Fox.
Did our list cover what you want to see? What shows are you anticipating? Did we miss any? Were we totally off the mark on some? Are you not even watching regular TV and just getting your fix off YouTube and Netflix? However you get your TV, let us know what you think about the 2015 fall season?