At some point before each show’s premiere date, a version designated “reviewable” will be furnished to critics.
This doesn’t necessarily help. For a critic to make a sweeping assessment of any TV series’ potential on the basis of a lone episode, or even two or three, is as reasonable as writing a tell-all biography of someone after meeting at a speed-dating event.
So there’s a possibility that CBS’ “The Crazy Ones” will ultimately reveal itself to be hilarious, and not one of the lamest new comedies on the schedule (as an initial viewing might suggest). A comedy set at an advertising agency, it brings back Robin Williams to TV sitcoms after “Mork & Mindy” 40 years ago (which TV’s most-sought-after viewers, as well as many present-day network execs, aren’t old enough to remember).
“The Crazy Ones” isn’t really a comedy. It’s a mystery: Who thought it, and bringing back Williams as its star, was a good idea?
NBC (whose motto could be borrowed from a cable network hit, “The Walking Dead”) has brought back another sitcom veteran with what seems like happier results: Michael J. Fox in a self-named comedy. Addressing the real-life health problems (and triumphs) of this breakout star of “Family Ties” in the 1980s, “The Michael J. Fox Show” strikes a fresh, funny tone amid the flood of new comedies.
NBC has further relied on its once-stellar past by reviving the successful cop show “Ironside,” this time with Blair Underwood, not Raymond Burr, as the intrepid detective in the wheelchair.
Fantasy is fueling many new shows.
NBC’s “Dracula” stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers in a reimagining of the vampire as a proto-environmentalist. In his guise as a 19th-Century American industrialist, Dracula wants to develop cheap, alternative energy in defiance of his enemy, Big Oil.