Premieres Sept. 20 at 9PM on FOX (Global TV in Canada)
Bob Allen (the impossibly charming, deceptively handsome Josh Wolk) is Don Draper in the Texas heat: when he’s not shacked up with his girlfriend (Eloise Mumford) and conning the small community they live in with a phony investment, he’s worming his way into his wife’s (Adrianne Palicki) family business to clean them out. Problem: he’s in love with both of them. Cast with moody, swooning ambiance by director Marc Webb, it’s like a high-concept cable series that perches itself atop a very slippery slope — but if it doesn’t fall victim to implausibility, it could be the richest, most poignant new hour of the season. Grade: B+
MIKE & MOLLY
Premieres Sept. 20 at 9:30PM on CBS (“A” Channel in Canada)
It remains to be seen if the same people who make Chuck Lorre’s other shows (TWO AND A HALF MEN and THE BIG BANG THEORY) the ratings hits they are will flock to this comedy about a school teacher (Molly; Melissa McCarthy) and police officer (Mike; Billy Gardell) who meet each other in Overeaters Anonymous. The two leads play off each other nicely and have genuine chemistry, but it’ll be especially perplexing to see this be a hit given how lazily this show goes for fat jokes (that Mike’s last name is Biggs is nearly unforgivable) and insipid pot gags. It’s lowbrow Apatow. Grade: C-
Premieres Sept. 20 at 10PM on CBS (Global TV in Canada)
Alex O’Laughlin is a star dammit! His third series for CBS is finally better than his limited thespian skill set, a reboot of the classic procedural by the same team that jumpstarted Star Trek. (He is easily out-shined by Scott Caan, who picks up the Danno role with caustic machismo.) Rich with a noticeably bigger budget and lush location shots, it is a testament of the steamrolling power of the CBS procedural machine that creates vastly entertaining mini action flicks that are so easy, you can’t help but enjoy them. Nostalgic but accessible, I foresee an explosive initial sampling. Grade: B+
Aleks Chan is a contributing writer to The TV Addict. He has seen every episode of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER four times, has once referred to his DVR as his “best friend,” and has only seen the pilot episode of THE SOPRANOS — and has no intention to apologize for it. He lives in Austin, Texas. His name is pronounced like Alex. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter (@alekstvaddict), or his own blog, Screen Reader.