TV Upfront

Ad Age Picks the Best and Worst TV Shows for Fall

Stick With 'X Factor' and 'Prime Suspect' but Skip the Grimm Stuff

By Published on .

"The X Factor" (Fox, Wednesday and Thursday): It looks like "American Idol," it features two judges from "Idol" and it's already a big hit overseas. Most new TV shows are a gamble, but advertisers think "X" truly marks the spot this fall.

'Prime Suspect'
'Prime Suspect' Credit: Patrick Harbron/NBC

"Prime Suspect" (NBC, Thursday): A remake of a popular British cop show, "Suspect" has a lot going for it. Maria Bello is recognized as an actress with integrity; the program looks to explore a bevy of hot-button issues; and it is the kind of high-quality drama NBC once routinely aired at 10 p.m.

"Suburgatory" (ABC, Wednesday): With a little luck, this clever drama about a teenage girl navigating between high-school cliques and an overprotective father could be another "Mean Girls."

HONORABLE MENTION: Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to TV in the intriguing CW drama "Ringer" and CBS has high hopes for female odd-couple comedy "2 Broke Girls."

HOW'D WE DO LAST YEAR? Awful. We thought Fox flop "Lone Star" would be a hit, and got suckered into believing in the power of Twitter with CBS's "$#*! My Dad Says." Only CW's "Nikita" is sticking around for another season.

"Charlie's Angels" (ABC, Thursday): If TV viewers really wanted more "Charlie's Angels," then Fox wouldn't have failed to revive the show in 1988 and 1989 and there would have been a third big-screen "CA" entry. This ABC remake looked soulless and tired.

'Once Upon a Time '
'Once Upon a Time ' Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

"Grimm" (NBC, Friday) and "Once Upon a Time " (ABC, Sunday): Does the world need two dramas about fairy-tale characters entering the real world? The premise of these two shows seem overly complex and best suited to comic-book fans, who might like more violence and flash than Hansel and Gretel.

"Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea" (NBC, mid-season): We know Chelsea Handler is wildly popular and works for NBC sibling network E!, but you can't build a sitcom on corporate synergy. This sitcom had a hangover, and a ready cure may not be available.

HOW'D WE DO LAST YEAR? Two for three. Fox's "Mixed Signals" and NBC's "Perfect Couples" were largely non-starters, while ABC's "Happy Endings" turned a tough-luck late-season start into a good launch. It will return next season.