While most publications are preparing their Top 10 lists for the year, the Daily TV staff is not. Why? Because honestly, there are not 10 quality new shows from this season. After HBO”s “Six Feet Under” wowed critics this summer, the networks were less than solid in their fall crops. Nonetheless, a few managed to follow last season”s hits like “Ed,” avoiding the chopping block that hit many shows within a few episodes (“Bob Patterson,” pick up the white courtesy phone). We have our own favorites from this fall we feel deserve acclaim (sorry “Wolf Lake” fans).
“Scrubs,” is easily the funniest new show of the year (if you don”t count “Inside Schwartz”s” unintentionally self-inflicted mockery). It is also one of the season”s most successful new shows. Witty, inventive and surprisingly touching, the medical comedy has maintained a healthy portion of its Tuesday night powerhouse lead-in “Frasier,” and it became the first new show to get a full season order. Besides, it”s much more entertaining than “that other hospital show on NBC.”
Christian Smith, Daily Arts Writer
“Do you wanna be the victim or the killer?” Every Monday night Jill Hennessy asks this trademark line in the new hit drama “Crossing Jordan.” Jordan works as a medical examiner obsessed with solving the crimes that cross her examination table. This new show surpassed expectations by using guest stars and suspenseful plotlines to grab audiences and keep them coming back for more. Plus, when a show goes all out and brings on Chris Noth (“Law & Order,” “Sex and the City”), it”s all right by me. Hennessy makes a great comeback after her departure from “Law & Order.” Her supporting cast has bizarre personalities that seem to work in a coroner”s office. They create just the right mix between serious drama and comic relief.
Melissa Gollob, Daily Arts Writer
Without taking anything away from other solid premieres, “Alias” is the most entertaining new show this season. It”s hard to avoid falling for Jennifer Garner”s double-agent Sydney Bristow. This year”s Jessica Alba, Garner is terrific as Sydney, working for the evil organization SD-6, which she is trying to defeat with the CIA. Though her cover is in danger, the multilingual, brilliant, sexy Sydney should be all right. So should the show, which is far better than its counterpart on FOX, “The X-Files,” and even the show it follows, “The Practice.”
Ryan Blay, Daily Arts Writer
From the creators of the excellent “New Batman-Superman Adventures” and “Batman Beyond,” “Justice League” has already proved to be a winner. The writing is very smart (Batman admitting he”s “not a people person” is classic), the animation meets Warner Bros.” high standards and despite the huge cast of protagonists (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl and Flash), none of the characters are ignored. “Justice League” is easily one of the best new primetime shows of the year.
Rohith Thumati, Daily Arts Writer
Kiefer Sutherland, who seems to have been restricted to supporting roles in films from “Dark City” to “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” has finally stepped back in the public eye with the critically acclaimed FOX thriller “24.” The mass praise is more than welcome as the action drama features one of the most inventive narrative structures in recent years, far more intriguing than the formulaic cop shows and clichd legal dramas flourishing on network television.
Jeff Dickerson, TV/New media editor
Compiled by Daily TV staff