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And here are the bottom five new series on the list.
The Mob Doctor - 4.24
Airs: Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.
Not only does the show come across as a throwaway pitch randomly pairing two popular TV genres but Fox didn’t even have the creativity or the care to come up with a title to hide the fact. The Mob Doctor - at best - sounds like the name of an SNL sketch and at worst something developed during an intense bout of Whose Line is It Anyway?. Quick, shout out characters commonly seen on television... Mobsters! Doctors! Mob Doctors! Beyond the terribly unimaginative title lies what looks to be an even more terribly executed show.
Don’t believe me, watch the first episode and see the mob boss order a hit using a bouquet of flowers clearly not concerned with how many people could have seen ‘KILL HIM’ scrawled on the dangling card. And it’s sad to see William Forsythe reduced from recurring as a real gangster on Boardwalk Empire to what seems to be a glorified cameo with all his scenes set on a driveway. With star power like the girl from My Boys (Jordana Spiro) and Michael Rappaport, The Mob Doctor may be the lone one-hour drama in its Monday night time slot, however, the popular reality shows, not to mention Monday Night Football, should leave few eyes for the new series.
The Neighbors - 3.74
Airs: Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.
With its post-Modern Family time slot, The Neighbors should have an advantage over other series, however its goofy premise may not fit the tone set by the other three family-focused comedies on ABC's Wednesday night line-up. Created by Dan Fogelman, The Neighbors stars Jami Gertz and Lenny Venito, and follows a typical suburban family that moves into a gated community, which they soon learn is populated by aliens.
TV has a shortage of sci-fi comedies these days, and as a fan of science fiction, I'd say that's a shame. But with memories of shows like ALF, Out of This World and Small Wonder - with 3rd Rock from the Sun probably being the most recent successful American sitcom with an alien twist, The Neighbors could either be a comeback for the genre or a dated-feeling sitcom about suburban aliens. We're banking on the latter. The only comedy airing against it on network TV is NBC's Guys with Kids, but even with minimal genre competition and a prime time slot, we're thinking this one will have trouble finding an audience.
Animal Practice - 3.3
Airs: Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.
Other than Justin Kirk, we're not sure what Animal Practice has going for it. It’s possible that enough people will find the monkey cute enough to give this show a go – at first – but it’s a gimmick that will get old in a hurry. We don’t see anything to indicate that Justin Kirk will be given decent scripts to work with; animal jokes are easier, and we suspect they’ll take the easy way. NBC has been struggling in the comedy department pretty much since Friends went off the air, coincidentally the last, or maybe only, time a monkey actually worked on a sitcom. Although they may have some potential with other new comedies they’re introducing this fall, it's doubtful Animal Practice is going to do the network any favors in their goal to regain the glory days of must-see TV.
If we're wrong and Animal Practice succeeds, it will be another sad nail in the coffin of smart comedy. But in spite of the number of people actually watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, we still have some faith in television viewers, and predict that Animal Practice will be the one finding itself in an early grave instead.
666 Park Avenue - 3.1
Airs: Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.
ABC’s 666 Park Avenue doesn’t premiere for another few weeks, but the show already has two huge problems. First, the subject matter is positively bizarre. That might be attract a few million extra curious viewers who wouldn’t normally tune into ABC, but there’s also a high percentage of people who would never consider watching a show about an apartment manager who might be the Devil. To succeed on network television, a program needs to cast a wide net. This one overtly does not.
Second, 666 Park Avenue is positioned opposite Sunday Night Football and The Mentalist. Is there a worse time slot on television? Both of those programs regularly do eight figures and have extremely devoted fanbases. We can’t imagine many straying to pick this new offering up, even if it does have the dude from Lost. Its only hope is to generate great buzz early on and use that word of mouth to convince potential viewers they need to get in on “is he the devil?” water cooler conversations. We're not confident that’ll happen, but at least that’s a possible route to success.
Emily Owens, M.D. - 2.94
Airs: Tuesdays at 9/8c on the CW.
Emily Owens, M.D.’s problems begin with its mouthful of a title and continues through a cast that is less than star-studded and faces some pretty intense competition. When Emily Owens, Md. first airs on October 16, it will be going up against shows with earlier premiere dates and much more star power. You would think the CW’s upcoming show might be able to find a way to stand out, due to it’s focus on a female character; however, the show will air up against female-centric comedies, New Girl and The Mindy Project on Fox, and Don’t Trust The B---- in Apartment 23 on ABC. Honestly, nothing about this timeslot looks good; NBC is also busting out its highly touted new comedies Go On and The New Normal during the 9 o'clock hour and CBS has the highly watched NCIS: LA airing as the show’s only hour-long competition.
The one thing Emily Owens, M.D. has going for it is that it will air on the CW, a network notorious for letting lower rated shows stick around for at least a couple of seasons. We don’t expect this one to make much of a mark on anyone’s radar, but it may not be destined for immediate cancellation, either.
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