Fall TV Awards: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

By JARETT WIESELMAN

September 16, 2013

Let's face it, there are a lot of shows -- both new and returning -- to try and shoehorn into your life. Which of them you'll let into your most sacred place (the DVR season pass list) is a personal decision, but we're here to help inform these Sophie's small screen choices!

RELATED - Fall TV Premiere Date Calendar!

In an attempt to give you as much information as possible about fall's offerings, we're kicking it old school. Literally! ETonline is making like your high school yearbook editor and doling out TV Show Superlatives! What's the best? What's the worst? Who's got the best hair? Read on to find out!

5 Most Anticipated Returning Shows

Arrow
This sophomore series quickly found its groove in season one, easily establishing itself as TV's most cinematic action series. Along the way Arrow bumped two awesome additions -- Emily Bett Rickards and Colton Haynes -- up to series regulars, but simultaneously proved no character (RIP Tommy), or city, is truly safe.

How I Met Your Mother
For its final season, HIMYM has a lot of loose ends to tie up: Barney and Robin will marry (right?), Marshall will dole out two final slaps, Ted will meet “the mother” and, in doing so, finally let his kids take a much-needed bathroom break.

American Horror Story: Coven
After tackling ghosts and more human horrors in seasons one and two, AHS is set to conjure up its most magical year yet as Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe and Patti LuPone breathe life into the season of the witch!

Scandal
While other shows are content to have game changing seasons, Scandal has continually delivered so many game-changing episodes, the world is effectively rug-less given how many times Shonda Rhimes has pulled it out from under fans.

The Good Wife
Network TV's best drama is poised for another banner year as it relies heavily on its enviable roster of lead, recurring and guest actors as the cracks in Lockhart/Gardner become Grand Canyon-sized and Alicia defects to join Cary's new firm.

Most Likely To Succeed: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
No explanation is really required, but it bodes incredibly well that S.H.I.E.L.D., which was considered a slam-dunk before anyone actually saw it, is also a fun, exciting and engaging twist on the hour-long procedural.

Best Comeback: Revenge
After the biggest sophomore slump in recent memory, a re-focused Revenge kicks off season three with a new showrunner, a new mission for Emily, new allies, new foes and that old spark that made season one so delicious!

Most Likely To Be Canceled First: Betrayal
Is Betrayal the worst new fall show? No. Far from it, in fact. But the worst doesn't always die first! A lack of stars, a beyond-bland title and a less-than-compelling premise should solidify Sundays at 10 p.m. as ABC’s Death Slot (RIP 666 Park Avenue, Red Widow).

Worst Title: Trophy Wife
And the Cougar Town award for Most Misleading Title goes to ABC's Trophy Wife since the leading lady is no money-hungry, status-seeking, label-lusting mom-ster.

Most Difficult Night: Thursday
The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation, The X Factor, Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, The Vampire Diaries, The Millers, Welcome To The Family, The Crazy Ones, Sean Saves The World, Glee, Grey's Anatomy, Reign, Two and a Half Men, The Michael J. Fox Show, Elementary, Parenthood and Scandal all compete for your attention over the course of three overwhelming hours.

Hottest New Stars: Tom Mison from Sleepy Hollow and Megan Boone from The Blacklist.

Worst New Show: Super Fun Night
Unfunny, unfocused and unbelievable given how smart, savvy and sublime Rebel Wilson (who stars and executive produces with Conan O'Brien) normally is.

10 Best New Shows

Sleepy Hollow
Pitch: Ichabod Crane is transported to modern day, along with his Headless adversary, and teams up with a cop to end The Horseman's bloody rampage.
Why It Works: Supernatural elements abound -- Ichabod's long-dead wife speaks to him from a spirit world, which he can also enter -- and a deeper mythology (think National Treasure) promise this fun, lively and campy series will be more than meets the eye.
Premieres September 16 at 9 p.m. on Fox.

The Michael J. Fox Show
Pitch: Mike Henry, a beloved TV reporter, returns to work after focusing on his health and family for five years.
Why It Works: Michael J. Fox is TV gold, elevating everything he touches. This spectacularly conceived comedy not only provides the perfect platform for Fox, but also for the divine TV family he's surrounded by.
Premieres September 26 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

Hostages
Pitch: Disgruntled FBI agent kidnaps family of President's doctor and demands she kill The Commander-in-Chief mid-operation.
Why It Works: The cat and mouse interplay between Dylan McDermott and Toni Collette is instantly captivating, while the pilot hints the kidnappers may have underestimated this secret-rich family.
Premieres September 23 at 10 p.m. on CBS.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Pitch: Workplace comedy set inside Brooklyn's less-than-stellar 99th Precinct.
Why It Works: EP Mike Schur (Parks and Recreation) has blended proven comedy hit makers (Andy Samberg, Joe Lo Truglio) with incredible rising talents (Chelsea Peretti, Stephanie Beatriz) and the unexpectedly hilarious Andre Braugher for, what could be, the funniest cop show ever made.
Premieres September 17 at 8:30 p.m. on Fox.

Reign
Pitch: The untold "true" story of Mary Queen of Scots as she arrives in France.
Why It Works: Taking some liberties with history (and music; more Mumford in period pieces please!) works incredibly well for Reign, which plays like Game of Thrones meets Gossip Girl. Intrigue abounds in the boundary pushing pilot (you'll know what I mean when you see it), and star Adelaide Kane is the latest talent The CW tapped at exactly the right moment!
Premieres: October 17 at 9 p.m. on The CW.

The Crazy Ones
Pitch: The inner workings of an ad agency run by a father and daughter.
Why It Works: Robin Williams tones down his "Robin Williams-ness" just enough to make his manic energy perfectly palatable for weekly consumption and Sarah Michelle Gellar is wonderful as she flaunts her funny bone. But it's James Wolk who is the biggest surprise here. After back-to-back-to-back dramas, the Lone Star, Political Animals and Mad Men star proves to be the deftest at improv, giving Williams a run for his money in the pilot!
Premieres September 26 at 9 p.m. on CBS.

The Blacklist
Pitch: Career criminal Raymond "Red" Reddington surrenders to The F.B.I. and promises to help them catch the underworld's worst -- but will only speak to one woman: newly installed F.B.I. profiler Elizabeth Keen.
Why It Works: James Spader doesn't just chew scenery, he devours it, and watching is a helluva lot of fun. But more than that, the show's pacing is lightning fast, the storytelling is incredibly layered and the mystery is only beginning to unfold.
Premieres September 23 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

Trophy Wife
Pitch: 20-something gets more than she bargained for after marrying a twice-divorced man with three kids.
Why It Works: First, as previously stated, Malin Akerman's character is no "trophy wife," so watching this good-natured wife adjust to her new role as mom is rife for comedy. And the supporting cast -- Michaela Watkins in particular -- is dazzling.
Premieres September 24 at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.

Almost Human
Pitch: In 2048, every cop is partnered with an emotionless robot -- except for John Kennex (Karl Urban), whose apathy for androids after one cost him his leg leads the powers that be to pair him up with an earlier model, who has free will -- and a lot of opinions.
Why It Works: After running Fox's fantastic Fringe, I would follow J.H. Wyman anywhere -- especially when it's another show that asks us to question our relationship with technology. Also, Michael Ealy's performance as the android in question is so spectacular, it sells the entire conceit.
Premieres November 4 on Fox.

Masters of Sex
Pitch: Chronicles how Dr. Williams Masters and Virginia Johnson chronicled -- and spurred on -- the sexual revolution of the 1950's.
Why it Works: The sterling cast, led by Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, and insightful storytelling strike an exquisite balance between a period piece and contemporary morality tale.
Premieres September 29 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

For more on Fall's new and returning shows, click here!

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