Well, the bad news is that summer is winding down. The good news? The Fall TV season is coming! I’m a huge TV nerd, so this is always an exciting time of year for me. Even if there’s nothing new that appeals to you, there’s always the Deathwatch of the Terrible Shows to entertain you.
But Deathwatch comes later. For now, let’s take a look at the geeky offerings on the 5 networks starting in September. I’ve decided to go night-by-night this year. We’ll start with Monday. Look for future installments covering the rest of the week as we get into the new month.
Onward and upward!
The Big Bang Theory fans will finally be able to find out what happened to Sheldon as he headed off to ‘live off the land’ (via malls, of course!). They’ll also see Penny take a job with Bernadette’s company and turn the tables on Leonard in the income department.
Of course, the big news about ‘Bang’ this summer didn’t involve Sheldon’s road trip or even Jim Parson’s big Emmy win. It involved reality intruding into our entertainment. After the comforting news in March that the series had been renewed for this and two additional seasons, we all got a reminder of the reality of being a TV fan as the cast went through difficult salary negotiations at the end of summer. Said deal-making ended up delaying production until contracts were finally signed with the trio of Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and Johnny Galecki — all will reportedly earn about $1 million per episode plus additional backend money. Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg also renegotiated for somewhere around half that amount, according to various internet ‘sources’.
Gotham, though, is clearly the must-see new addition for geeks like me. I mean, a pre-Batman series all about the city that will spawn him and some of the most famous DC villains of all? Who wouldn’t be excited?
The only problem is that the reviews coming in seem to be a mixed bag. Early reviews a couple of months ago were glowing. Great series, fun for all, lots of promise. However, since the screening at Comic-Con in July, the more recent reviews have been a lot harsher. Disappointing, overfull of in-jokes, bad production values. It’s hard to know what the truth is about this show.
I’m not the most hard-core of Batman fans, so I suspect I’ll be a lot more lenient on it than some of my fellow comic nerds. And pilots can be a tricky lot. Sometimes, they’re the best part of a mediocre series. And other times, it takes several episodes for a series to really grow into its own boots. If the pilot is as weak as some reviews indicate, I’m hoping that Gotham falls into the latter category. Still on my Must Watch List.
Gotham starts September 29.
Aside from Gotham, the only new entry for Mondays on my Must Watch List will be Scorpion. Based on real-life Irish genius Walter O’Brien, it follows a group of super-smart experts as they race around stopping bombs, saving planes, and otherwise protecting the free world for dullards like you and me. Based on the promotional material released so far, the series seems pretty engaging to me. Lead Elyes Gabel, who plays O’Brien himself, is likeable, as are his team of misfits. The show is giving me a super-intelligent, high-octane Leverage feel. And given my love for that team dynamic, that’s not a bad thing.
Giving Scorpion its steepest competition will be Sleepy Hollow, which returns for its second year following a surprise hit debut. In addition to bringing back Crane’s daddy, look for a couple of moms to make appearances. The new season will also explore trust issues between Ichabod and Abbie, as well as their relationship.
Rounding out the night, Castle starts its seventh season on September 29. Given that last season ended on a huge cliffhanger, it’s been a long summer for Castle fans. “Driven” will begin right where the season finale left off, but will eventually involve a time jump.
And, even though it looked pretty grim for the groom in the last episode, it sounds like Rick’s crash causes more mysteries than injuries. He will spend a significant arc investigating what happened himself. Creator Andrew Marlowe said to TV Guide that this will be Castle’s year for digging up secrets from his past: “Why does he do what does? Why is he interested in murder? What has gone on in his past? These are rich questions we haven’t really explored.”