University at Buffalo graduate Gary Vider makes his final case tonight to become the first comedian to win “America’s Got Talent” in the NBC reality show’s performance finale.
It isn’t the only reason tonight to watch Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate..
After the two-hour “AGT” ends at 10 p.m., NBC also kicks off the new broadcast TV season with the first new show premiere, “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris.”
So it also is the best time ever for me to start my annually rounds of what each broadcast network has in store for the season.
I’ll start with NBC, which had only one fall hit last season – “The Mysteries of Laura” – and it was almost canceled because its audience is older than advertisers prefer.
Since NBC fills several hours of prime time with “Sunday Night Football” and “The Voice,” it doesn’t need that many new fall series.
I haven’t seen Harris’ show because it is live. But I’m rooting for him to revive the variety format. I also haven’t seen “Heroes Reborn.” It is the long-awaited reboot of “Heroes,” the 2006 series about ordinary people with extraordinary abilities that became a huge hit before it became too complicated and crashed and burned.
Here is a quick look at the new NBC series that will air in the 2015-16 season that I have seen.
“Blindspot,” 10 p.m. Monday: A beautiful woman (Jaimie Alexander) is found in Times Square in New York City covered in tattoos that help her recover memories from her past and stop terrorist activities that have reached the attention of the FBI and a handsome agent (Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton of (“300: Rise of an Empire”). Marianne Jean-Baptiste of “Without a Trace”) is one of the co-stars in this series from prolific executive producer Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Mysteries of Laura,” “The Flash.”)
You’ll Like It If: You are fans of conspiracy theories, kick-butt female characters and fast- action scenes.
You’ll Hate It If: You wish the clunky dialogue was much better written to go along with the compelling suspenseful scenes.
Outlook: I have no trouble seeing why Alexander was chosen for the lead – she is very attractive. Stapleton is a man’s man, too. I liked the pilot even though it seems better suited to be a movie than a series because it is going to require viewers to have a great memory of what has happened in every episode. 3 stars
“The Player,” 10 p.m. Thursday: Montana native Philip Winchester (Cinemax’s “Strike Back”), a dead ringer for Nate Filion of “Castle,” stars in this complicated, high-tech series set in Las Vegas from the executive producers of “The Blacklist.” Winchester plays a security expert out for revenge who is drawn into a deadly game played by mega-rich people looking for cheap thrills. Wesley Snipes – who is pretty much wasted in the pilot -- and Charity Wakefield (“Wolf Hall”) co-star as the people who predict how big crimes will play and pay out.
You’ll Like It If: You enjoy playing video games, high-speed chases and gun play.
You’ll Hate It If: You don’t want to work so hard for enjoyment.
Outlook: Following “The Blacklist,” it is a long shot opposite the second season of ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder." It also is the kind of complicated series that could fizzle out after a few episodes. I wouldn’t bet on success. 2 stars
“Truth Be Told,” 8:30 p.m. Friday: Truth be told, the original title was “People Are Talking.” Mark-Paul Gosselaar (“NYPD Blue”) plays a married college ethics professor who is best friends with a married African-American stand-up comic who lives next door. They are so close that they can easily discuss racial stereotypes, jealousy matters and the value of John Mayer music.
You’ll Like It If: You’re such a fan of Gosselaar that you’ll even tolerate him singing the Alicia Keys portion of the hit song “Empire State of Mind” she did with Jay-Z. It my mind, that was funny. The pilot script has sweet and mildly racy moments.
You’ll Hate It If: There is not much to hate, though it has been critically-slammed elsewhere. It has its heart in the right place as it advocates racial harmony.
Outlook: Truth be told, I pretty much hated all the new comedies. I liked this one better than I expected but I can’t see it making much noise on a Friday night. 2 and a half stars
“Heartbreaker”: NBC has several mid-season series planned after the NFL season ends, but this is the only one I have seen. It is NBC's third medical series, joining “The Night Shift” and a new Dick Wolf series on the horizon, “Chicago Med.”
In “Heartbreaker,” Melissa George (“The Good Wife,” “The Slap”) plays a superwoman innovative surgeon with a couple of children and a complicated romantic life. She can do it all – save lives on an airplane in the hospital, beat the medical system and even beat her boyfriend (Dave Annable) on the basketball court. She is almost perfect – except for the nasty habit of accidentally spitting on people.
You’ll Like It If: You can’t keep your eyes off George and sympathize with her character for dealing with all the demanding men in her life.
You’ll Hate It If: You’re overwhelmed by all the drama that one person has to deal with and feel like you’ve seen this all before.
Outlook: It was delayed until mid-season by George’s real-life pregnancy, which could give the writers a little time to repair a pilot that has so much drama that at times makes it feel like an unintentional comedy. 2 stars