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ABC may have found cure for 10 p.m. ails with 'The Good Doctor'

WKBW-TV (Channel 7) needs ABC to come up with a 10 p.m. hit to serve as a decent 11 p.m. news lead-in.

And the network is really trying to find one.

Three of its five new programs air at 10 p.m., one of which is co-created by a Western New Yorker.

Since it doesn't have a prime time sports franchise like NBC (Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football), Fox (The World Series) and CBS (Thursday Night Football), it is no surprise that ABC is premiering the most new fall series of any broadcast network.

The number of new programs still is surprisingly small, an indication that the network realizes how difficult it is to promote too many new series at once.

ABC's biggest problem may be getting viewers to find the popular returning series it has moved, including sending "Shark Tank" to Sunday, "Once Upon a Time" to Friday, "black-ish" to Tuesday and "American Housewife" to Wednesday after "Modern Family."

Now let's take a look at the new fall shows:

"The Good Doctor," 10 p.m. Monday: ABC is heavily promoting this series from "House" creator David Shore and actor Daniel Dae Kim ("Lost," "Hawaii Five-O") about a young, brilliant surgeon with autism. Call him Dr. "MacGyver" because he uses unusual methods and tools to save lives.

British actor Freddie Highmore ("Bates Motel") plays Dr. Shaun Murphy, Richard Schiff ("The West Wing") plays his chief administration supporter and Hill Harper leads the doctors who are skeptical of Dr. Murphy's ability to fulfill all parts of the job. "We should hire him because he is qualified and he is different," exclaims Schiff's character.

The lump-in-your throat pilot is just about as good as it gets – it is moving and life-affirming but a little preachy. It is hard not to root for Dr. Murphy and the series to succeed. But you do wonder where it can go from here in subsequent episodes. 4 stars out of 4

"The Mayor," 9:30 p.m. Tuesday: Any similarity between this series and President Trump's 2016 campaign is an obvious as the Buffalo Bills need for a No 1 receiver.

A young rapper (Brandon Micheal Hall) runs for mayor in a publicity stunt to advance his music career and somehow gets elected to a job he isn't qualified to hold. Lea Michele ("'Glee") is his chief of staff, who gives him index cards to understand the issues. His mother gets him to understand the power he has to help people. The clips in May looked more promising than the full half-hour pilot, which includes jokes about the Bravo network, Kellyanne Conway and Donna Brazile.

There are amusing moments, but this is essentially a one-joke series that may get old awfully fast so it is questionable whether it will get a second term. 2 and a half stars

"Kevin (Probably) Saves the World," 10 p.m. Tuesday: Co-created by Western New York native Michele Fazekas and writing partner Tara Butters ("Reaper," "Resurrection," "Marvel's Agent Carter"), it stars Jason Ritter ("Parenthood") as Michael Landon ("Highway to Heaven"). OK, not really. Not at the start anyway.

By his own admission, Kevin initially isn't a good person. He is a self-absorbed, suicidal brother and uncle who says things he can't control and has to learn to put other people before himself. His life is transformed when …. Well you probably can guess by the title.

The pilot takes some time to get off the ground but this series has its heart in the right place and it has Ritter, who is as likable as his late father John. 2 and a half stars

"Marvel's Inhumans," 9 p.m. Friday:  Another Marvel series?  This one based on the comic book series "explores the never-before-told epic adventure" of a royal family of Inhumans. The family escapes to Hawaii after it is "splintered by a military coup" in an attempt to save themselves and the Earth. I haven’t seen it. But I feel like I have.

"Ten Days in the Valley," 10 p.m. Sunday: Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer") stars in this show within a show. She is an "overworked television producer" (is there any other kind?) "of a controversial police show" who may win some writing awards, but won't win any Mother of the Year awards.

She has to cover up some of her faults and flaws after her daughter goes missing in the middle of the night while she is writing and drinking and pill-popping. The cast includes Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Erika Christensen, Josh Randall and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who all starred in TV hits. This looks like another one. It is original, suspenseful and it stars Kyra Sedgwick. What could go wrong? 3.5 stars

ABC also has several midseason shows ready, including a legal series, "For the People," from producer Shonda Rhimes before she goes off to make shows for Netflix. And, of course, there is "American Idol," with Katy Perry one of the judges. It is scheduled to premiere in 2018.

Here's a look at fall programming from other stations:

NBC's limited fall lineup relies on 'Will & Grace'

CBS follows its game plan with solid, traditional new shows

Fox's new shows have a ghost of a chance in Buffalo

email: apergament@buffnews.com

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