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COMMENTARY

Fox doesn't even have an 'Almost' hit among new shows

Alan Pergament

This is last of a series of articles reviewing the new shows of the prime time broadcast season that starts Monday 

With NFL games on Thursday and the World Series in October, Fox usually doesn’t premiere many programs in the fall because of scheduling issues.

Here is a brief look at the three new series on its agenda before more shows premiere in midseason.

“Prodigal Son,” 9 p.m. Monday:  Tom Payne (“The Walking Dead”) stars in this creepy drama about the son of a convicted serial killer (played by Michael Sheen) who becomes a somewhat strange profiler for the New York Police Department. Bellamy Young (“Scandal”) and Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Lou Diamond Phillips (“Longmire,” “Stand and Deliver”) are among the co-stars.

You’ll Like It If: You’re a fan of dark movies like “Silence of the Lambs” and can embrace a lead character who deals with a terror of a father, has night terrors and a dry sense of humor.

You’ll Hate It If: You don’t like feeling uncomfortable watching a show about the minds of evil people.

Outlook: It’s a well-made pilot, but it is more suitable as a movie than a weekly series in which a serial killer helps his damaged son solve crimes in order to bond with him. 2½ stars out of 4     

“Almost Family,” 9 p.m. Wednesday: A drama from producer Jason Katims (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”) and writer Annie Weisman (“About A Boy,” “Desperate Housewives”) about a trio of 20something females learning they are related because a fertility doctor used his own sperm to father hundreds of children for his clients. Timothy Hutton plays the bad doctor. Brittany Snow (“American Dreams,” the “Pitch Perfect” movies) plays his daughter, who learns she has two new sisters, played by Megalyn Echikunwoke and Emily Osment, and tries to bond with them to create a new kind of family.

You’ll Like It If: You can get past the contrived premise and all the coincidences that occur and enjoy Katims’ attempt to give the series deeper meaning.

You’ll Hate It If: You can’t get past the contrived premise.

Outlook: “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood” are two of my all-time favorite shows because they seemed to be based on real families. So, I really wanted to like this series. However, the pilot is cliché-ridden and hard to embrace. It was my biggest disappointment of the new season. However, I will give it a few more episodes to see if Katims can make it work as well as his previous shows after the pilot explains the premise. 2 stars    

“Bless the Harts,” 8:30 p.m. Sunday: An animated series created by Emmy Award-winner Emily Spivey  (“The Last Man on Earth,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Saturday Night Live”), about a financially struggling family from North Carolina. Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids,” “Saturday Night Live”), Maya Rudolph (“The Good Place,” “Bridesmaids”) and Mary Steenburgen (“The Last Man on Earth,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) are among the voices.

You’ll Like It If:  You enjoy animated shows that name-drop celebrities and have fun at the expense of struggling Southerners.

You’ll Hate It If: Your love of animated shows starts and ends with “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy.”

Outlook: I didn’t find the big names voicing the characters – or the theme of the pilot – recognizable. 2 stars

email: apergament@buffnews.com

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