10 new fall TV shows worthy of first-night look

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10 New TV shows worthy of a first night look
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10 new fall TV shows worthy of first-night look

"RED BAND SOCIETY" (Fox; premieres Sept. 17). A group of teenagers meet as patients in the pediatric ward of a Los Angeles hospital. Sure, a show that gathers kids to frolic, flirt and even face death sounds like "Glee" without the jazz hands. But what could have been an overglossed rendering of life's gravest moments instead comes with heart and a dose of authenticity that ground the good times.

 (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

"GOTHAM" (Fox; Sept. 22). In an industry where nothing is a sure thing, fall's most-awaited show by the most-desirable demo would seem to be a sure thing. "Gotham" turns out to be not only an "origin series" about Batman but also a humdinger of a noir crime thriller. Rolling back the clock to when Bruce Wayne was a youngster and his alter ego was years from being conceived, the series lays the groundwork for the Batman myth while introducing not-yet-Commissioner James Gordon (played by Ben McKenzie) as a rookie cop.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/FOX/FOX Collection/Getty Images)

"THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA" (NBC; Sept. 24). Debra Messing stars as a brilliant, rules-breaking NYPD homicide detective and harried single mother whose estranged detective-husband becomes her boss (awkward!). Messing ("Will & Grace") has an indisputable gift for comedy. Here she's arresting as a brassy, disheveled cop in a series that clearly wants to match the light-comedy tone of the long-ago "Columbo." `'Mysteries" has its cops-and-robbers element, but it's mostly helter-skelter fun.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) NUP_164677_1196.JPG

"BLACK-ISH" (ABC; Sept. 24). The versatile Anthony Anderson stars as Andre, a determined patriarch who sets out to restore (or is it establish?) a sense of cultural identity for his middle-class African-American family which, he worries, is ethnically unmoored. Andre's concern isn't shared by his biracial wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), or their four kids. But Andre frets about "keeping it real." This is a clever premise, whose black-centricity has plenty to say about the pros and cons of assimilation by any group. It's a lot of Deep Thoughts packed into a fluffy sitcom, but "black-ish" seems up to the challenge.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)

"HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER" (ABC; Sept. 25). A legendary attorney is fearless in the courtroom representing society's worst criminals. Then she's fearless in the classroom as she drills a no-holds-barred philosophy of law into her students - and she selects a group of her top students to work at her law firm, where they fall under her spell as they help tackle her toughest cases. "Murder" promises to be twisty, wicked, dark and fun. And it stars Viola Davis, who brings life to a character of endless calculations and mystery.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)

"MANHATTAN LOVE STORY" (ABC; Sept. 30). Girl meets guy in the Big Apple. She's new in town and full of romantic yearnings. He's a true Gothamite who lives the sporting life. And of course opposites attract. Meanwhile, the audience is privy to their innermost thoughts about dating and other pressing matters via the characters' voiceovers. This "Love Story," starring winsome Analeigh Tipton and wisecracking Jake McDorman, touches the heart and, more important, the funny bone.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)

"BAD JUDGE" (NBC; Oct. 2). Good judge, bad girl: That's the character Kate Walsh tackles on this new sitcom. Judge Rebecca Wright is unforgiving on the bench but an unapologetic party animal elsewhere. Walsh presides with little judicial restraint on a show you'll find guilty of selective raciness and plenty of laughs.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

"THE FLASH" (CW, Oct. 7). A young man named Barry Allen awakens from a coma after being struck by lightning, only to find he has the power of superspeed. Ipso facto, he becomes a superhero. It's more complicated, of course, but what really matters is: This version of a familiar comic-book stud feels refreshingly re-thought, and should satisfy fans as well as those who have never found their way into the Flash ethos. It stars Grant Gustin ("Glee," `'Arrow") who, in his grand unveiling as Barry's fleet-footed alter ego, eschews the familiar red long johns in favor of a different kind of uniform. Message: This is a new brand of Flash.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

 "JANE THE VIRGIN" (CW, Oct. 13). The one-line description of this series seems like a cruelty joke: Jane Villanueva, an effervescent young Miami woman with her eyes trained on the future and her knees clamped virtuously together, is mistakenly impregnated with a specimen meant for someone else. And to add a further twist, the specimen came from the owner of the luxury hotel that employs Jane as a waitress. The wonder of this series is that it feels fully plausible, authentic and delightful, unfolding in a multicultural world with the irresistible Gina Rodriguez in the title role. Time will tell if its grand ambitions outstrip its ability to deliver, but in the short term it succeeds in the thing a TV series rarely does: It keeps you guessing what will happen next.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

"MARRY ME" (NBC, Oct. 14). Jake and Annie are a modern version of George Burns and Gracie Allen. Annie is flighty. Jake is settled and eternally amused by Annie's zaniness. Except that, unlike George and Gracie, Jake and Annie aren't yet married, or even engaged - just dating for six-years-and-counting, with Annie more than ready for Jake to pop the question. On this slender premise hang the ample comic gifts of co-stars Ken Marino and Casey Wilson, not to mention those of series creator David Caspe, whose fast-paced, clever style was first displayed in his hilarious sitcom "Happy Endings," in which Wilson, now his real-life bride, starred.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

From left, Laurence Fishburne, Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, Executive producer Larry Wilmore and Creator/executive producer Kenya Barris speak onstage at the 'Black-ish'' panel at the Disney/ABC Television Group 2014 Summer TCA at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Dave Annable, left, and Octavia Spencer speak on stage during the "Red Band Society" panel at the The FOX 2014 Summer TCA held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, July 20, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
From left, Dave Annable, Octavia Spencer and Writer/Executive Producer Margaret Nagle speak on stage during the "Red Band Society" panel at the The FOX 2014 Summer TCA held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, July 20, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Astro, seated from left, Ciara Bravo, Nolan Sotillo, Griffin Gluck, Zoe Levin, Charlie Rowe, Wilson Cruz, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Dave Annable, Octavia Spencer and Writer/Executive Producer Margaret Nagle speak on stage during the "Red Band Society" panel at the The FOX 2014 Summer TCA held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, July 20, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Wilson Cruz, left, and Rebecca Rittenhouse speak on stage during the "Red Band Society" panel at the The FOX 2014 Summer TCA held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, July 20, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 20: Fox's 'Gotham' actress Jada Pinkett Smith poses for a portrait during Fox's 2014 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 20, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/FOX/FOX Collection/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 20: Fox's 'Gotham' actress Camren Bicondova poses for a portrait during Fox's 2014 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 20, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/FOX/FOX Collection/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 20: Fox's 'Gotham' actor Robin Lord Taylor poses for a portrait during Fox's 2014 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 20, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/FOX/FOX Collection/Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, July 2014 -- 'The Mysteries of Laura' Session -- Pictured: (l-r) Laz Alonso; Jeff Rake, Executive Producer; Debra Messing; McG, Executive Producer; Greg Berlanti, Executive Producer; Josh Lucas; Aaron Kaplan, Executive Producer; Janina Gavankar -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, July 2014 -- Pictured: 'The Mysteries of Laura' (l-r) Greg Berlanti, Executive Producer; Jeff Rake, Executive Producer; Laz Alonso, Debra Messing, Josh Lucas, Janina Gavankar; McG, Executive Producer; Aaron Kaplan, Executive Producer -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 13: NBC's 'The Mysteries of Laura' actress Debra Messing poses for a portrait during the NBCUniversal Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton on July 13, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) NUP_164677_1248.JPG
Laurence Fishburne, Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson onstage during the "Black-ish" panel at the Disney/ABC Television Group 2014 Summer TCA at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
BLACK-ISH - ABC's 'black-ish' stars Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow Johnson. (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)
BLACK-ISH - ABC's 'black-ish' stars Marcus Scribner as Andre Johnson, Jr. (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)
BLACK-ISH - ABC's 'black-ish' stars Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson. (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actress Liza Weil poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actress Karla Souza poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actor Omar Epps poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actor Billy Brown poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actor Charlie Weber poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder' actress Aja Naomi King poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: (L-R) ABC's 'Manhattan Love Story' actors Analeigh Tipton, Chloe Wepper and Jake McDorman pose for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: (L-R) ABC's 'Manhattan Love Story' actors Jade Catta-Preta, Jake McDorman, Analeigh Tipton, Nicolas Wright and Chloe Wepper pose for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 15: ABC's 'Manhattan Love Story' actress Analeigh Tipton poses for a portrait during ABC's 2014 TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ABC/ABC via Getty Images)
From left, Chloe Wepper, Nicolas Wright, Jade Catta-Preta, Jake McDorman, Analeigh Tipton , Creator/executive producer Jeff Lowell and Executive producer Robin Schwartz speak on stage during the 'Manhattan Love Story'' panel at the Disney/ABC Television Group 2014 Summer TCA at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, July 2014 -- 'Bad Judge' Session -- Pictured: (l-r) Chad Kultgen, Executive Producer, Anne Heche, Executive Producer, Kate Walsh, Tone Bell, Liz Brixius, Executive Producer, Kevin Messick, Executive Producer -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 13: NBC's 'Bad Judge' actor Tone Bell poses for a portrait during the NBCUniversal Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton on July 13, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) NUP_164677_0736.JPG
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 18: (Top L-R) Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment Geoff Johns, producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, and (Bottom L-R) actors Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanagh, Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, Candice Patton, and Rick Cosnett speak onstage at the 'The Flash' panel during the CW Network portion of the 2014 Summer Television Critics Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 18, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 18: - JULY 18: (L-R) Actors Tom Cavanagh;Grant Gustin, and Jesse L. Martin speak onstage at the 'The Flash' panel during the CW Network portion of the 2014 Summer Television Critics Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 18, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 18: (Top) Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment Geoff Johns and (Bottom L-R) actors Carlos Valdes and Danielle Panabaker speak onstage at the 'The Flash' panel during the CW Network portion of the 2014 Summer Television Critics Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 18, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 18: Actresses Andrea Navedo (L) and Gina Rodriguez speak onstage at the 'Jane The Virgin' panel during the CW Network portion of the 2014 Summer Television Critics Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 18, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 18: (Top L-R) Producers Ben Silverman and Jennie Snyder Urman and (Bottom L-R) actors Jaime Camil, Ivonne Coll, Andrea Navedo, Gina Rodriguez, Justin Baldoni, Yael Grobglas, and Brett Dier speak onstage at the 'Jane The Virgin' panel during the CW Network portion of the 2014 Summer Television Critics Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 18, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 18: (L-R) CW's 'Jane the Virgin' executive producer Jennie Snyder, actors Brett Dier, Justin Baldoni and Yael Grobglas pose for a portrait during the CW and Showtime's 2014 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 18, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 18: CW's 'Jane the Virgin' actresses Ivonne Coll (L) and Andrea Navedo pose for a portrait during the CW and Showtime's 2014 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 18, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, July 2014 -- 'Marry Me' Session -- Pictured: (l-r) David Caspe, Executive Producer, Tim Meadows, Sarah Wright, Ken Marino, Tymberlee Hill, Casey Wilson, John Gemberling, Casey Wilson, Seth Gordon, Executive Producer -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MARRY ME -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Casey Wilson as Annie -- (Photo by: Jeff Lipsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 13: Actors Ken Marino and Casey Wilson speak onstage at the 'Marry Me' panel during the NBCUniversal portion of the 2014 Summer Television Critics Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 13, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 13: NBC's 'Marry Me' actor Ken Marino poses for a portrait during the NBCUniversal Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton on July 13, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) NUP_164677_1062.JPG
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 13: NBC's 'Marry Me' actress Casey Wilson poses for a portrait during the NBCUniversal Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton on July 13, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) NUP_164677_1016.JPG
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By FRAZIER MOORE

NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a time-honored rite harking back to an era of black-and-white TVs and the trio of networks whose programs they delivered: the grand unveiling of new fall fare.

As part of the ritual, this latest fall crop is an occasion for handicapping the good and the misfires. Granted, it's a risky business to rate a new series' prospects on the basis of its pilot episode, which is typically the only thing critics have to go on. But even if it doesn't guarantee a great series will follow, a pilot must at least trigger interest at a level to get viewers to return the second week.

Click through the slides above to see 10 new series that might catch your fancy.
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