New shows are always a gamble. But you can improve your odds by checking out BuddyTV’s rankings of the best and the worst of the new fall TV programs. Click here for premiere dates.

#21 The New Normal

Network: NBC

Timeslot: Tuesday, 9:30pm

Preachy, abrasive and only rarely funny, this comedy from Ryan Murphy deals with a young woman who becomes a surrogate for a gay couple. Important social issues and an excellent cast are wasted in this sub-par program.

The New Normal

#20 Beauty and the Beast

Network: The CW

Timeslot: Thursday, 9pm

This remake of a 1980s crime drama is pretty (Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan are beautiful) but ultimately stale. With absolutely zero chemistry between the leads and a somewhat less-than-monstrous Beast, there just isn’t much point.

Beauty and the Beast

#19 Animal Practice

Network: NBC

Timeslot: Wednesday, 8pm

The monkey is the best part. The people aren’t really worth the effort.

Animal Practice

#18 Made in Jersey

Network: CBS

Timeslot: Friday, 9pm

Made in Jersey is the story of a street-smart Jersey girl who happens to be a lawyer in a snooty Manhattan firm. Think about every stereotype you know about lawyers and New Jersey people, and you pretty much have this show covered.

Made in Jersey

#17 Ben and Kate

Network: FOX

Timeslot: Tuesday, 8:30pm

Sometimes, a TV show is a mystery. Ben and Kate is well-made and features likable characters in believable plots. But we didn’t laugh. Future episodes may change this, but the pilot was a bit of a dud.

Ben and Kate

#16 Partners

Network: CBS

Timeslot: Monday, 8:30pm

Decent enough but utterly forgettable, this sitcom focuses on two lifetime friends — one gay and one straight — as they try to have serious relationships with anyone other than each other.


#15 Chicago Fire

Network: NBC

Timeslot: Wednesday, 10pm

The actors are pretty, and there is a spark of something in the pilot. But that spark gets smothered under convoluted plots and way too many characters.

#14 The Mob Doctor

Network: FOX

Timeslot: Monday, 9pm

The Mob Doctor has an intriguing concept — a high-end surgeon indebted to the mob has to balance morality and survival. The pilot doesn’t quite meet the promise, however, leaving us with a decent but bland medical/crime drama.

The Mob Doctor

#13 Malibu Country

Network: ABC

Timeslot: Friday, 8:30pm

If you like broad sitcoms, laugh tracks, pot jokes or Reba McIntyre, you will like Malibu Country just fine. Otherwise, don’t bother.

Malibu Country

#12 Guys with Kids

Network: NBC

Timeslot: Wednesday, 8:30pm

Surprisingly sweet and amusing, this is the rare multi-camera sitcom capable of generating laughs. Guys with Kids is, despite the title, essentially a look at the headaches and weirdness of parenting.

Guys with Kids

#11 Emily Owens, M.D.

Network: The CW

Timeslot: Tuesday, 9pm

Mamie Gummer is intensely likable in the title role of this cheerful medical soap. Other than an irritating voiceover, everything about this show counts as light and likable, actually. We can only hope for substance in the future.

Emily Owens, M.D.

#10 Vegas

Network: CBS

Timeslot: Tuesday, 10pm

CBS’ oddest choice would be right at home on AMC — big stars (Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis play the leads), moral ambiguity and a glance into history all factor. The resulting show has quality, as long as the network doesn’t turn it into a straight procedural after the pilot.

#9 Nashville

Network: ABC

Timeslot: Wednesday, 10pm

Battling country music stars are at the center of this well-cast and intriguing soap. There are a few too many plots (especially with regard to city politics), but stars like Connie Britton and some excellent music make up for it.

#8 Elementary

Network: CBS

Timeslot: Thursday, 10pm

Do we really need another reboot of Sherlock Holmes? If we do, then CBS’ offering is a valid choice. Jonny Lee Miller is an appropriately eccentric Holmes while Lucy Liu is intriguing in the part of Watson. Just don’t compare it to Sherlock…


#7 The Neighbors

Network: ABC

Timeslot: Wednesday, 9:30pm

This show is absurd. A normal family moves into a housing development filled with clueless aliens. We’re talking about green slime, inexplicable English accents and more randomness worthy of Monty Python. If you can accept all that, you will laugh. A lot.

#6 Revolution

Network: NBC

Timeslot: Monday, 10pm

This sci-fi tale of a future with no electricity is the biggest gamble of the season. The pilot is entertaining, and there is a story to tell. But years of high-concept thrillers make us wary of Revolution’s future.

#5 The Mindy Project

Network: FOX

Timeslot: Tuesday, 9:30pm

Early on in the show, Mindy describes her life in terms of romantic comedies. That fits. The main character is a likable, intelligent, successful woman who just happens to be hopeless when it comes to men. Paired with New Girl, this could definitely work.

#4 666 Park Avenue

Network: ABC

Timeslot: Sunday, 10pm

666 Park Avenue is not perfect. The horror themes are occasionally hokey and often recognizable. But an excellent cast (Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams make the best probably-evil couple ever) and a strong sense of fun keep this haunted-apartment drama moving.

666 Park Avenue

#3 Last Resort

Network: ABC

Timeslot: Thursday, 8pm

High tension and excellent acting are the hallmarks of this pilot. Set mostly on a submarine and on a tropical island, we get to experience isolation and paranoia along with a sub crew that narrowly escapes attack by the US government. It’s hard to tell where Lost Resort is going, but we plan to find out.

#2 Go On

Network: NBC

Timeslot: Tuesday, 9pm

A comedy about death is more than a little tricky. Fortunately, Go On figures it out. Matthew Perry is just sarcastic enough to make his grieving widower character sympathetic but never sweet. And the crowd of damaged misfits surrounding him are weirdly excellent as well.

#1 Arrow

Network: The CW

Timeslot: Wednesday, 8pm

Come for the abs, stay for a strong story, excellent cast and exciting superhero action. Arrow is dark, enjoyable and one of the best comic adaptations in recent years.


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