Starring: Octavia Spencer (“Mom”), Dave Annable (“666 Park Avenue”), Astro (“The X Factor”), Ciara Bravo (“Big Time Rush”), Griffin Gluck (“Back in the Game”), Zoe Levin (“The Way, Way Back”), Rebecca Rittenhouse, Charlie Rowe and Nolan Sotillo (“Prom”)
Genre: One-hour drama
Premiere Date: Wednesday, September 17, 9 p.m., Fox
Direct Competition: “Criminal Minds” (CBS), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC), “Modern Family”/”Black-ish” (ABC), “The 100? (CW)
Premise (in 140 characters or less): A group of adolescents find solace in unlikely camaraderie as they live through life-threatening diagnoses in a teen-pediatric ward.
Initial Reaction: All the feels!
Conclusion: I was unlikely to keep watching “Modern Family” this season, and I’ve already made my feelings about “Black-ish” as clear as I can. Latter day “SVU” is void of depth or intrigue, and “Criminal Minds” is, and always will be, torture porn. That makes it easy to fit “Red Band Society” on my weekly viewing docket, and fortunately, the pilot showcases the potential for a great series. A hospital drama that puts the patients front and center, with those patients being teenaged, is something we haven’t seen on American television before, at least to my knowledge. That in and of itself buys “Red Band Society” a spot on my DVR at the start of the fall season, all the while knowing how unrealistic everything about this show may be. It’s fresh, it’s inventive, and I haven’t seen the show it’s most compared to, “Glee” (yay me, right?). The lack of realism can be overlooked, at least for now, thanks to a wonderful ensemble led by Octavia Spencer, who’s fresh off a recurring role on CBS’ “Mom.”
Watch Live, DVR or Skip?: Watch it.