By: Tonya Pendleton
It’s Fall season premiere week, and that means some new and old school shows are gearing up for the rat race. With everything else competing for your attention, handicapping the fall season can be a challenge. But we’ve done the work for you. If you don’t watch anything else this fall, we recommend you watch these five shows, all premiering this week or next.
“THE EVENT,” starring Blair Underwood (NBC)
Premiered Monday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m.
We predict that this will become President Barack Obama’s favorite show, as Underwood gets a leading role as the president of the United States (Wonder if he reached out to Obama for any tips?). As you may remember, Underwood is not the first black man to play POTUS in a major show (Dennis Haysbert did so in “24”), but he’s the first to do so since an actual Black president is in the White House. The show is among the most mysterious of the new fall schedule, which is good news and bad. NBC hasn’t done these shows so well (“Heroes,” anyone?), but maybe they’ve learned from their mistakes.
“UNDERCOVERS,” starring Boris Kodjoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (NBC)
Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.
What’s not to love? Boris Kodjoe and newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw are both eye candy, and J.J. Abrams (“Alias”) has already had huge success in this kind of show. You should have already set your DVR for this one. It’s about two married undercover agents – think “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” meets “Hart to Hart.” Yeah, it’s sounds like a winner. And it’s the only show on TV – aside from reality programming – with two Black leads.
“THE GOOD WIFE,” with Michael Ealy (CBS)
Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 9 p.m.
If Nielsen ratings are any indication, plenty of you are already watching this legal drama, set in Chicago. Emmy-winner Juliana Margulies plays Alicia Florick, whose hubby, played by Chris Noth of “Sex and the City” fame, is a disgraced former state’s attorney who, at the end of last season, was trying to get his job back. Enter Michael Ealy as Attorney Derrick Bond, and you have a very good reason to watch this show every week if you’re not already doing so.
“LAW AND ORDER: LOS ANGELES,” starring Terrence Howard, Wanda DeJesus (NBC)
Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 10 p.m.
The latest in the “Law and Order” ratings juggernaut will attempt to take the place of the long-running show set in New York City. We don’t see how it can, as that show was a gritty, slice-of-life look at crime in the big city, but L.A. should provide an interesting wealth of “snatched-from-the-headlines” stories. Expect the procedural format you’re used to, as well as the famed sound that changes scenes. Howard and De Jesus will be among the cast members. If you know anything about Howard, he tends to elevate whatever material he’s given, so this should be a good look for him.
“BOARDWALK EMPIRE,” starring Steve Buscemi (HBO)
Premiered Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m; repeats Monday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. Check your local listings.
The quirky Buscemi as a gangster? Okay, it’s new look for him, but the acclaimed actor always shines in the variety of roles he’s played. Michael K. Williams as a gangster? Well, his stats were made official by his turn as Omar on “The Wire.” If Williams is there with guns blazing, we’re there. And HBO might as well just add the tagline “We do gangsters.” The story of Atlantic City in the Prohibition years, it’s sure to be a winner.