I’m a longtime fan of the following actors — Jimmy Smits, Julianna Margulies, Hugh Jackman, Kelsey Grammer, Michael Vartan, Anthony Anderson, Kate Walsh, Jean Smart and Julie White — all of whom have new shows this fall. And that’s why it’s so disappointing that I don’t like any of their new shows. I was determined to enjoy all of them, I promise.
At least Grammer’s sitcom “Back to You,” Anderson’s “K-Ville” and laffer “Samantha Who?” (on which Smart has a supporting role) showed enough promise to entice me to check out at least one more episode.
The big misfires were Smits’ “Cane,” Margulies’ “Canterbury’s Law,” Vartan’s “Big Shots,” Walsh’s “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff “Private Practice,” “Cavemen” (White has a supporting role) and “Viva Laughlin,” on which Jackman serves as exec producer and guest star. (In fairness, the reshot pilot of “Private Practice” has been better receieved than the inane “backdoor” episode of “Grey’s” that aired in May.)
And while they might not have been my thing, all of the above-mentioned shows had at least one supporter among our Season Pass panel, save “Canterbury’s Law,” which has thumbs down across the board so far.
It’s easy to be flip when shows turn out to be clunkers, but it’s a reminder of just how serendipitous it is when all the elements come together on a pilot: development, casting, staffing, timeslot, marketing and the factor that cannot be controlled — audience support.
I wish the best for the actors involved and it’ll be interesting to see how their shows fare. And what do I know anyway? Last year I discounted “Heroes” and pegged “The Class” as a surefire winner.
— Kathy Lyford