Tony Danza, 67, makes his big TV comeback in a police show with a difference. It’s a family-friendly dramedy about an NYPD cop, who got the boot for not following rules and now lives with his son (singer/actor Josh Groban), a current NYPD detective, who always follows the rules. READ TONY DANZA INTERVIEW
PHOTO BY: Karen Neal/CBS
Magnum, P.I.(CBS, Sept. 24)
Original Magnum, Hawaiian Private Investigator Tom Selleck, told AARP that he made the character less like James Bond, more like laid-back Jim Rockford, and proud of being a Vietnam vet. New Magnum Jay Hernandez (above, right) is a proud Afghanistan vet, but more like the lead-foot heroes of producer/director Justin Lin’s car-crash epics Fast 5 and 6. Sidekick Higgins is no longer an older Brit muttering “Oh my God!” but a sarcastic young ex-MI6 agent (Perdita Weeks). New Magnum is faster and flashier, but can it be as charming? Perhaps, but no mustache will enhance Magnum's smile this time.
PHOTO BY: Michael Parmelee/CBS
FBI (CBS, Sept. 25)
Few TV producers please as many grownup viewers as Law & Order creator Dick Wolf, whose latest procedural features not cops but the New York office of the FBI. The promising cast includes Law & Order veterans Jeremy Sisto and Missy Peregrym (above, right) and Sela Ward, 62, of CSI: NY. Mobsters and terrorists beware: the FBI is watching. And so shall we.
PHOTO BY: Robert Tractenberg/CBS
Murphy Brown (CBS, Sept. 27)
Candice Bergen, 72, and practically everyone else who’s still alive from the 1988-98 cast of TV’s favorite show about an irascible TV newswoman is back, promising more pointed topical political humor, and a parade of odd new secretaries for Murphy who won’t last long. This time, she’s on a morning show, and she’s rivalrous with her journalist son Avery (Jake McDorman), the token liberal on the Wolf Network.
PHOTO BY: Patrick McElhenney/FOX
The Cool Kids(Fox, Sept. 28)
Partly inspired by The Golden Girls, this comedy set in a retirement community — a breakthrough show for the 50-plus audience on youth-oriented Fox — tries to avoid “we’re old” jokes. It’s about three highly vital guys (David Alan Grier, 62, Leslie Jordan, 63, and Roseanne’s Martin Mull, 75) whose social prominence is threatened by a brash interloper (Vicki Lawrence, 69, the Carol Burnett sidekick who played the legendary elder Mama). Mull told the TV Critics Association, “This is not a show about old people. We’re very young people with older skin.”
PHOTO BY: FOX
Last Man Standing (Fox, Sept. 28)
After ABC killed his show about one kind of archetypal American family, Tim Allen sold it to Fox and wrote Hillary pantsuit jokes for it — until Trump forced a rewrite. But Trump won’t be mentioned on the show, which isn’t intended to be as pointedly political as Roseanne, but more about the life of a conservative, church-respecting businessman, Mike Baxter, and his family. His character’s dad (Robert Forster, 77, who’s sensational in the new Alzheimer’s film What They Had) gets killed off this season, and a Chinese exchange student teen moves in with the Baxters.
PHOTO BY: Bill Inoshita/CBS
The Neighborhood(CBS, Oct. 1)
Cedric the Entertainer, 54, is somebody you need to know. He’s as Emmy-worthy as Tracy Morgan in The Last O.G., as Oscar-worthy as Ethan Hawke in First Reformed, and now the star and an executive producer of this comedy from the creative team behind The Big Bang Theory. Cedric plays a curmudgeon who sees his friendly new neighbors from the Midwest (Max Greenfield and Beth Behrs) as intruders gentrifying his black Los Angeles neighborhood.
PHOTO BY: Adam Rose/ABC
The Conners (ABC, Oct. 16)
Can Roseanne’s show still be a No. 1 hit without Roseanne, just the rest of the Conner family (John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, etc.)? As the fired Roseanne sniped, “It is going to be interesting to see a bunch of really privileged people who grew up in Hollywood writing for the working class.” But she wasn’t as central a creative force in the revival as she was in the original show — those “privileged” writers were — and we expect good things with promised storylines about unexpected pregnancy, financial woes and aging in working-class America.
PHOTO BY: Eric McCandless/ABC
The Rookie (ABC, Oct. 16)
Nathan Fillion, 47, has slimmed down since he played famous mystery writer Rick Castle on Castle, and it's no wonder. Now he’s playing a more athletic character, the oldest rookie officer on the LAPD, one of the few departments that will accept older candidates. And his character is inspired by a real guy who defied age stereotypes and became an officer. This rookie may not outrun youngsters, but his wisdom and sense of humor may prevail.
PHOTO BY: Tony Rivetti/ABC
The Kids Are Alright(ABC, Oct. 16)
Everybody thinks producer Tim Doyle was thinking of The Wonder Years when he created this family sitcom set in 1972, but he really based it on his own Irish Catholic upbringing in a family of eight boys and 50 cousins. The attention-seeking character Timmy (Jack Gore) is based on him, and the parents (Michael Cudlitz, 53, and Mary McCormack, 49) on his own. It’s a family affected by social change, but rooted in the church and their own backyard, where it’s basically still the ‘50s.
PHOTO BY: Jessica Brooks
Homecoming(Amazon, Nov. 2)
Except for playing herself on Murphy Brown and a few other guest spots, this psychological thriller directed by Sam Esmail, the creator of Mr. Robot, is Julia Roberts’ first TV show, which will get a prestigious world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September. She’s a caseworker at a secret facility that helps soldiers adjust to civilian life — or are deeper mysteries being concealed? The eight half-hour episodes are rife with Hitchcockian tension, long tracking shots and cliffhanger endings.
PHOTO BY: Mike Yarish/Netflix
The Kominsky Method(Netflix, Nov. 16)
This comedy about a fading movie star (Michael Douglas, 73) and his agent (Alan Arkin, 84) coping with aging in age-denying Hollywood is an interesting collision of styles. Douglas and Arkin, who’ve never worked together, are Oscar winners whose very different gifts could strike new sparks for both. Arkin (Argo, Little Miss Sunshine) may bring out Douglas’ subversive side. Creator Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory) has said the show “has to be funny, otherwise it’s heartbreaking."
PHOTO BY: Jonathan Olley/AMC/Ink Factory
The Little Drummer Girl (AMC, Nov. 19-21)
One of the shows generating the most buzz this fall is this AMC/BBC-produced miniseries of John le Carré’s classic spy thriller. On vacation in 1970s Athens, a passionate, gorgeous actress (Florence Pugh) meets an undercover Israeli agent (Big Little Lies Emmy winner Alexander Skarsgård), and suddenly she’s a double agent for a scary spy mastermind (Michael Shannon). The six episodes air two hours per night, three nights in a row.