For true TV fans, there's something exciting about the arrival of new network shows, an autumn ritual that will begin later this month. Some of those programs may start off with a bang — and keep popping all season long and beyond. Others might fizzle out and disappear before you even knew they existed. While it's hard to predict a show's fate, we've come up with a list of the most promising of this season's pilots to recommend as the best television for grownups.
See also: Fall TV for Grownups: 5 must-see shows.
666 Park Avenue
ABC, Sundays at 10 p.m., premieres Sept. 30
This haunted house story is set in a grand old Manhattan apartment building, where the tenants put down more than a simple deposit when they sign a lease. Lost fans will appreciate seeing Terry O'Quinn as the devilish landlord, and Vanessa Williams plays his equally scheming wife.
ABC, Thursdays at 8 p.m., premieres Sept. 27
The nuclear submarine USS Colorado goes rogue after its captain, played by the talented Andre Braugher, disobeys a confusing fire order, forcing the crew to take refuge — from their homeland and foreign enemies alike — on an exotic island. The twisty, tricky pilot is the new season's most gripping, and it promises a wild ride as captain and crew, including Robert Patrick and Bruce Davidson, try to clear their names. (Read an interview with Andre Braugher)
ABC, Fridays at 8:30 p.m. premieres Nov. 2
Reba McEntire returns to TV playing a newly single mom named Reba whose philandering country star husband is jettisoned in the pilot. She relocates her family — her two teenage kids and her mom (Lily Tomlin) — from Nashville to Malibu, where "even the ugly people" are beautiful. It's a retro sitcom, right down to the loud laugh track and a wacky neighbor trope, but there's something refreshing about how skillfully it's executed and the way it centers around a 50-something woman trying to restart a career. Tomlin is wonderful.
Next: A new twist on Sherlock Holmes. »