Fall/Winter TV's Best New Bets: NBC

"The Blacklist"

When one of the FBI’s most wanted men, Raymond Reddington (James Spader), turns himself in, he announces his full co-operation with authorities, under the terms that he will only communicate with Special Agent, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). Reddington’s leverage is a self-compiled “Blacklist” containing a list of criminals that the government doesn’t even know exists.

James Spader is always a welcomed sight and as a sinister lead, it is a role well within his wheelhouse. There is definitely a procedural aspect to the show and those can fare as so-so if not starring a central character worth enduring the countless crimes with. Spader’s Reddington could prove to be just the ticket. See It or Free It?

Premiere Date: September 23, 2013 – Airs Mondays @ 10 p.m.

"The Michael J. Fox Show"

The lovely and iconic Michael J. Fox returns to TV and to the hearts of people everywhere (he never left). Despite the title of the show, Fox is not playing himself. He is playing the character Mike Henry with whom he shares some real-life similarities, mainly that of suffering with Parkinson’s disease.

The show follows Mike Henry’s journey as he returns to the workforce after taking five years away to deal with his illness and his family. The promos indicate that the show is going to steer away from the downtrodden moments. Instead, focusing on the lighter times of a challenging situation. Fox has a chance to lift the curtain of his Parkinson's and remind people of the man behind it, a fighter.

Premiere Date: September 26, 2013 – Airs Thursdays @ 9:30 p.m.

"Welcome to the Family"

Cultures clash as two American families melt their families together, after their daughter and son get married. Differing cultures finding common ground has always been great fodder for comedy i.e. “I Love Lucy”, “Dharma & Greg” etc.

Ricardo Chavira plays the father of the son in the relationship. Chavira, who stole every scene he was in on “Desperate Housewives”, has comedic skills to spare, all the while, giving major heart to his roles. This an asset that his co-star Mike O’Malley (“Glee”) also shares. Seeing the two of them play off one another has the makings for a great comedic duo.

Premiere Date: October 3, 2013 – Airs Thursdays @ 8:30 p.m. 

"Crossbones"

A historical series surrounding the life of Edward Teach, better known as “Blackbeard”.  The man who never wanted to be forgotten by history books, would be pleased to know that all these years later, the fascination around his life, is still just as tangible as ever. Starring the amazing John Malkovich in the lead role, it is a promising and ambitious series.

How well it does on network TV is difficult to predict. While, cable has had major success with period pieces, the networks have had far less. It is respectable that NBC is taking such a gamble, especially after the failure of “Crusoe” a few years ago. It will also have to overcome comparisons to Starz series, “Black Sails”.

Premiere Date: Mid-season 2014

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