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August 29, 2013

TV HARVEST

In spirit of tradition, fall yields a bounty of new shows

(Continued)

CBS’ “Hostages” puts Toni Collette in the middle of a political conspiracy: She plays a surgeon ordered to assassinate her patient, the ailing President of the United States, to save her family held captive.

Possibly the season’s most surefire hit is NBC’s “The Blacklist,” which stars James Spader as one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives who surrenders to the FBI with a mysterious offer: to help them catch the terrorists he used to enable.

THEY CAN GO HOME AGAIN

Moving back home is an all-too-common trope in several new comedies.

ABC’s “Back in the Game” finds sexy Maggie Lawson as a former all-star softball player who, post-marriage, returns with her son to move in with her irascible father, himself a washed-up baseball player (played by James Caan).

“Family Guy” mastermind Seth MacFarlane’s live-action Fox comedy “Dads” focuses on two best friends and business partners whose fathers move back in. Its raunchy humor has already ruffled critics’ feathers (and elicited a promise from the show’s creators to give it the necessary tweaks), but its problems are more fundamental: It isn’t funny.

On CBS’ grim-in-spite-of-itself “Mom,” newly sober single mom Christy is suddenly inflicted with the return of her formerly estranged mom (Allison Janney), who, to say the least, didn’t serve as much of a parental example: “While other mothers were cooking dinner,” Christy reminds her, “you were cooking meth.”

On NBC’s “Sean Saves the World,” Sean Hayes plays a divorced dad with an overbearing mom (played by Linda Lavin) and a weekends-only 14-year-old daughter who moves in with him full-time, complicating his life.

On CBS’ “The Millers,” Will Arnett stars as a recently divorced local TV news reporter whose outspoken mother moves in with him while his dad moves in with his sister.

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