It's a big week for new shows, and the season's just getting started so I hope you saved the fall preview guide my colleague Robert Lloyd so wittily and thoughtfully compiled for Sunday's Calendar. Here are a few premieres you won't want to miss.
It's a heady blend of character study and high-octane procedural -- each episode will, presumably, see Red helping Keen thwart another attack or capture another villain -- but honestly, they had me at James Spader. Radiating a kind of furious patience, he chews through scenes and scenery with epicurean delight, and then delicately wipes his mouth with the sleeve of whoever is standing next to him. The set up is promising, the writing is clever enough and Boone hits her marks like a pro. But Spader? He's having a blast, and ensuring that we do the same.
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." I defy anyone to think of a more awkward and irritating title for a television show but I guess they couldn't officially call it "That Avengers Show," if only because there are no actual Avengers in it. (Television may be in its Golden Age, but Downey's salary alone would sink a series.) Instead, Joss Whedon has constructed something that is not so much a sequel to the last "Avengers" movie as it is a parallel track to that sequel. As the Avengers do whatever it is they do when not being summoned by Nick Fury, beloved second-in-command Agent Coulson (
Although the films might lead one to believe that there are already plenty of heroes to go around, Coulson is still attempting to harness the superpowered for good before they either self-destruct or find less trustworthy captains. So a bit like SyFy's
"The Crazy Ones" and "The Michael J. Fox Show."
Neither show has a killer pilot -- "The Crazy Ones" is bogged down by a guest appearance by Kelly Clarkson and "The Michael J. Fox Show," even at an hour, simply has too much preliminary exposition, but both revolve around men who clearly know what they're doing in front of a camera and, more important, both have stellar supporting casts, including the above-mentioned actors as well as James Wouk in "The Crazy Ones" and Katie Finneran in "The Michael J. Fox Show." ABC, Thursdays, 9 p.m.; NBC, Thursdays, 9:30 p.m.
"The Hollow Crown." Four of Shakespeare's "history plays" -- “Richard II,” “Henry IV, Part 1,” “Henry IV, Part 2” and “Henry V" -- get a the full-bore cinematic treatment on location, with hordes of extras and heavyweight but highly accessible stars, including Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Rory Kinnear and
[For the Record, 10:18 a.m. PDT Sept. 19: An earlier version of this post said