TV CHEAT SHEET: Autumn's tube bounty
Denette Wilford says the new IT thriller Wisdom of the Crowd is must-see TV.
DENETTE WILFORD/ 24 HOURS
**WARNING: Some content may contain spoilers**
TOP 5 NEW SHOWS
Wisdom of the Crowd
Smack dab in the middle of CBS's wheelhouse is this suspense drama, tailor-made for the network's Sunday night lineup. Jeremy Piven stars as Jeffrey Tanner, a Silicon Valley giant who develops an information-sharing app that he hopes will help find his daughter's killer. He's backed by a brilliant tech team, led by Natalia Tena (yes, Tonks from the Harry Potter movies) and partners up with Richard T. Jones'skeptical cop. With crimes other than his daughter's murder getting solved, the stage is set for a weekly procedural. Could've been blah but Piven is perfection, playing a confident yet flawed man who thinks he has all the answers. Now, if the show could add about 75% more Monica Potter, who plays Tanner's ex-wife, that would make it even better.
Premieres: Sunday, October 1 on Global and CBS
Kevin Probably Saves the World
Jason Ritter stars as the title character who, after losing his job and girlfriend, then attempts to kill himself, crashes at his sister's home. But you know what else comes crashing? A meteor, which brings a celestial being who tells Kevin that he must save the world by finding 35 "righteous" souls. I know, a little nuts but Ritter will completely win you over as he flits between physical comedy and heartbreaking sadness, while Joanna Garcia Swisher as widowed sister Amy and Chloe East as her daughter Reese will also hit you in the feels. If the writers get this right, this could be something special.
Premieres: Tuesday, October 3 on CTV and ABC
A mom and dad (Amy Acker and Stephen Moyer) learn their kids (Natalie Alyn Lind and Percy Hines White) are mutants and they must go on the run from the government. I didn't have high hopes for this but, hot damn, this one is entertaining, not just the action, suspense and visual effects but you will care about this family. If you have to choose between the two Marvel network newbies, The Gifted is definitely the way to go.
Premieres: Tuesday, October 3 on CTV and Fox
After watching Ten Days in the Valley right before, I wasn't sure how I would feel about another show involving a missing kid. Shot in Montreal last fall, the six-part series centres on the Sullivan family, whose son goes missing on his 10th birthday. Anthony's grandfather Henry (Peter Coyote) is a former prosecutor and retired judge who begins his own investigation, while Anthony's newly divorced parents also hunt for clues - but long-buried secrets might derail the whole thing. Believable acting from this stellar cast makes The Disappearance gripping stuff.
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 1 on CTV
Ghosted Two strangers (Adam Scott and Craig Robinson) are plucked out of seemingly nowhere to work for a secret government agency that investigates the paranormal. Scott and Robinson have all kinds of chemistry, with bromance potential that could rival Adam and Blake. And with a Ghostbusters-meets-Scooby-Doo-meets-X-Files vibe going on, it's safe to say there's nothing like it on television.
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 1 on City and Fox
TOP RETURNING SHOWS
I think we're all curious to see what the eighth season is going to look like without Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Kono (Grace Park). Whatever happens, I'm guessing I'm probably not going to like it. But here's hoping they devote more time to mentioning their absence than Kevin Can Wait did with Erinn Hayes.
Premieres: Sunday, September 29 on Global and CBS
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Will & Grace may be returning after 11 years off the air but Curb's one-upping them. The HBO show first premiered in 2000 and has been on and off for the last 17 - but nothing has changed too much, which is just how we want it. Season 9 features the regular cast (Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Susie Essman and J.B. Smoove), along with Richard Lewis, Bob Einstein, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. And look for some big-name guest stars, from Elizabeth Banks and Bryan Cranston, to Lauren Graham and June Diane Raphael. WIth Larry working on a new venture and just as neurotic as ever, expect nothing. And everything
Premieres: Sunday, October 1 on HBO Canada
Last Man on Earth
Two words: Kristen. Wiig. The actress resurfaced in the Season 3 finale as bonkers bunker lady Pamela, who shot and killed Pat before he had a chance to off Tandy. The opener picks up right where we left off, as Pamela joins Tandy and the gang as they head to Mexico via uncharted waters, looking to escape the apocalyptic wasteland that the U.S. has become. Hmm, sounds scarily familiar.
Premieres: Sunday, October 1 on City and Fox
Lucifer Just because he got his wings back, doesn't make Lucifer angelic. In fact, it's quite the opposite as his newfound feathers makes him want to be even badder than before. We also meet the Lancaster Police Department's new lieutenant, Marcus Pierce, played by Tom Welling (marking his first return to television since Smallville went off the air in 2011), and his personality sets everyone off, making him the perfect foil for our favourite fallen angel.
Premieres: Sunday, October 1 on CTV; Monday, October 2 on Fox
I just realized this is the last time I'll be writing about this show's return as we enter its seventh and final season and now I'm sad. Shonda Rhimes already knew how she wanted to wrap up the story and Gladiators are in for the ride of their lives - which is saying a lot considering the show we're talking about. Shonda released a statement on her decision to end it in Season 7 and they'll be "going all out," leaving "nothing on the table," and "creating this world in celebration." She added: "We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our Scandal family: all together, white hats on, gladiators running full speed over a cliff." Buckle up.
Premieres: Thursday, October 5 on ABC
4 NEW SHOWS YOU'LL TRY ONCE ... AND ONLY ONCE
Centring on a royal family of super-powered beings who are forced to come to Earth to escape a coup, the show heavy on the exposition, dragging everything out needlessly. Its only saving grace is the giant dog that can teleport but other than that, spend your Friday nights watching something else. Anything else.
Premieres: Friday, September 29 on CTV and ABC
Ten Days in the Valley
Kyra Sedgwick returns to the small screen as a doting single mother whose daughter disappears one night. OK, that's how the promos have been making it seem, but in reality, Jane Sadler is an unsympathetic, drug-addicted, overworked TV producer whose daughter goes missing after she blacks out in the shed she works in behind their house. While there's no denying her love for her little girl, it's hard to feel anything for this woman and her shady and unsavoury links to potential suspects is a little much. I want to like Sedgwick's character so much but the writers make it pretty damn hard.
Premieres: Sunday, October 1 on CTV and ABC
Mark Feuerstein stars in this comedy based on his life, which finds him back in NYC living next door to his parents and brother after his cop show's cancellation and a brutal divorce. If you liked overbearing Marie Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond, then you're going to love Linda Lavin and Elliott Gould, who play the hovering parentals. Add in show-killers (albeit two of my personal favourites) David Walton and Liza Lapira, playing the brother and sister-in-law, and this will likely be evicted from the schedule.
Premieres: Monday, October 2 on Global and CBS
The premise is fun - wannabe rap star (Brandon Micheal Hall) runs for mayor of his hometown as a publicity stunt, then unexpected wins - but it felt rushed. The election results are in before the first commercial break and I would've loved to see more of what led Hall's character down this path, his past relationship with Lea Michele's Valentina, who winds up being his chief of staff, and more son and mom (played by Yvette Nicole Brown) time.
Premieres: Tuesday, Oct. 3 on CTV and ABC