TV Upfront

Ad Age's Annual Upfront Picks and Pans

Our TV Editor on What's Hot and What's Not This Upcoming Season

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WHAT'S HOT

"Nashville" (ABC, Wednesdays at 10 p.m.): This country-music soap features Connie Britton of "Friday Night Lights" as an aging country star struggling to keep a young upstart (Hayden Panettiere) from taking her place. The writer is Callie Khouri, who created "Thelma & Louise." The two female leads actually sing. Look for songs from the show to appear on iTunes.

CBS's 'Partners'
CBS's 'Partners'
"Partners" (CBS, Mondays at 8:30 p.m.): This sitcom about an unlikely "bromance" may not feature the most distinctive of themes, but you can't deny CBS's ability to launch top-rated comedies on Monday nights ("Mike & Molly," "2 Broke Girls").

"The Following" (Fox, Mondays, midseason): Executives at the News Corp. network see this show as its new "24," the spy serial that had action fans riveted. Kevin Bacon stars as an aging former FBI agent taking on a cult of serial killers. With only 15 episodes, this series will air without any repeats.

HONORABLE MENTION: Andre Braugher leads a rogue submarine crew in "The Last Resort" on ABC; a lovable monkey is a member of the cast on NBC'S "Animal Practice"; Fox's "Ben and Kate" could be the next "New Girl"; and young actress Mamie Gummer (Meryl Streep's daughter) plays a plucky new doctor on the CW's "Emily Owens, M.D."

HOW'D WE DO LAST YEAR? Two out of three. We picked both Fox's "The X Factor" and ABC's "Suburgatory" as possible successes -- and both are back on the prime-time grid next season. But we also cheered for NBC's remake of "Prime Suspect," which couldn't get arrested.

WHAT'S NOT

"Mob Doctor" (Fox, Mondays at 9 P.M.) and "Do No Harm" (NBC, Sundays at 10 P.M. after the football season). We're not certain audiences will buy into these doctors-in-trouble dramas. One features a talented physician who owes a debt to the mob (it's all there in the title!), while the other focuses on another who wrestles with a hidden and ruthless second personality.

NBC's 'Animal Practice'
NBC's 'Animal Practice'
"The Family Tools" (ABC, Tuesdays at 8:30 P.M, starting in January). With so many new sitcoms on the grid for this coming season, some are bound to get lost in the shuffle. This entry centers on an underachieving son who must take over his father's handyman business. Look for lots of physical humor, like a nail gun aimed at a bare foot.

"Save Me" (NBC, midseason). No one seems to be taking seriously this off-kilter sitcom starring Anne Heche as a woman who thinks she can commune with God after almost choking on a sandwich.

HOW'D WE DO LAST YEAR? Two out of four. We smartly guessed "Charlie's Angels" on ABC and "Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea" on NBC would get the ax, but we totally goofed on both NBC's "Grimm" and ABC's "Once Upon A Time ," which play upon viewers' current desire for fantasy and fairy tales.

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