This is the final installment of a night-by-night look at the new shows premiering on broadcast television this fall. Today we focus on Sunday night.
It isn’t easy for the other broadcast networks to compete opposite NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
CBS has done a decent job of it by going after the female audience.
And this season, it has a bigger advantage.
It has “God” on its side in one of the warmest, sweetest new series in years.
Let’s look at the two news shows premiering on Sundays this fall. They both have a religious element, but in different ways.
“God Friended Me,” 8 p.m., CBS: Brandon Hall stars as the 20-something son of a Harlem preacher and widower (played by Joe Morton of “Scandal”). He hasn’t talked to his dad in months and has a podcast in which he denies the existence of God. Then he is friended on a social network by God, who sets in motion events that make him question his views.
Along the way, he meets an online journalist (Violett Beane) who accidentally and potentially walks into one of the greatest stories ever told. Mile’s sister Ali (Javicia Leslie) is a doctoral psych student and bartender by night and his best friend, Rakesh (Suraj Sharma), has some hacking skills.
You’ll Like It If: You enjoyed the charismatic Hall in ABC’s “The Mayor” last season more than you did the show. You were a big fan of “Highway to Heaven” and “Touched by an Angel” and don’t think there are enough positive shows preaching moral values on TV.
You’ll Dislike It If: There really isn’t much to dislike. It is a very sweet show. OK, maybe you’ll hate it if you can’t stand sweetness and all the coincidences in the pilot.
Outlook: After “60 Minutes,” it should appeal to older viewers looking for something decent on Sunday night. 3 stars (out of four)
“Rel,” 9:30 p.m., Fox: Lil Rel Howery (“Uncle Drew,” “Get Out,” “The Carmichael Show”) stars in a multi-camera comedy as a separated successful, hardworking father and husband in Chicago whose life dramatically changes after he discovers his wife is having an affair with his favorite barber. To make matters worse, his son and daughter moved to Cleveland with their mother. Sinbad plays his recently widowed dad.
You’ll Like It If: You thought Rel’s comic turn as a great friend in the Jordan Peele movie “Get Out” was the best thing about the movie. And you enjoy watching him play different characters.
You’ll Dislike It If: You’re not a fan of the relatively salty language, a loud laugh track and jokes about dealing drugs.
Outlook: It is easy to embrace Howery, but this is an old-fashioned comedy with one repetitive joke. I can’t see it making much noise. 2 stars
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