CBS, ABC, NBC all launch new series tonight

Posted 9/25/17

By Kevin McDonough Not unlike its main character, "Young Sheldon" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) seems to be daring its audience to hate it. A prequel to "The Big Bang Theory" and narrated by Jim Parsons, …

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CBS, ABC, NBC all launch new series tonight

Posted

By Kevin McDonough

Not unlike its main character, "Young Sheldon" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) seems to be daring its audience to hate it. A prequel to "The Big Bang Theory" and narrated by Jim Parsons, "Sheldon" follows the impossibly precocious 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage) as he grows up in East Texas. Enrolled in high school five years before "normal" kids, he embarrasses his twin sister, Missy (Raegan Revord), and mortifies his would-be jock older brother (Montana Jordan).

"Sheldon" does a rather delicate dance trying to remain sympathetic to his sweet mother, Mary (Zoe Perry), and his decent dad (Lance Barber), even as the main character barely contains his disinterest in the holy deities of Texas — Jesus and football. Not to give too much away, but Sheldon's first day at high school does not go well.

• Also concerned with an autistic savant, the melodrama "The Good Doctor" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14) is as different from "Young Sheldon" as sugar and vinegar. Or is that saccharine?

Freddie Highmore stars as Shaun Murphy, hired as a surgeon at a California hospital much to the consternation of some of his peers. Shaun has clear issues with social interaction, but he has the ability to diagnose medical problems with lightning speed, a process illustrated by special effects similar to the annoying elements employed in the BBC's "Sherlock" adaptation.

When Shaun isn't saving lives with his computerlike mind, he's confronting his colleagues with tough questions about their emotional well-being. Richard Schiff ("The West Wing") plays the hospital president, saddled with impossibly noble speeches.

Flashbacks to the young doctor's difficult childhood pull out all the emotional stops. I certainly hope no bunnies were hurt in the making of the pilot. Based on a South Korean show, "Doctor" is all-American corn.

• You can't say "Me, Myself & I" (9:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) doesn't try out a novel premise. The sitcom looks at one man's life at three distinct stages. We meet Alex (Jack Dylan Grazer) in 1991, as a 14-year-old trying to fit in at a California high school after his single mother marries again; as a depressed, middle-aged divorced man (Bobby Moynihan) and as a retired man (John Larroquette) still filled with dreams in 2042.

That's a lot of story to pack into a 22-minute comedy. So don't go looking for deep character development. Young Alex's love interests are established in montages that would not tax the viewer of a Nickelodeon series. Very much a comedy for those with short attention spans.

• It's unfair to say that every scene in "The Brave" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14) is predictable. It's more like 80 percent. When we first see a noble doctor treating blind patients in Syria, you just know she's going to be kidnapped. Why? Because she's not gorgeous enough to be part of the main cast! When Capt. Adam Dalton (Mike Vogel) is first seen lecturing a colleague, I guessed he was addressing a child. It turned out to be his dog. Close!

The world of "The Brave" is divided into gung-ho heroes and snipers and impossibly pretty keyboard clickers back at Langley who tell the squad where to go. Anne Heche stars as a director at the tippy top of the intelligence universe. The depiction of Arab streets, or terrorist havens, has not changed much since the 2004 marionette Jerry Bruckheimer parody "Team America: World Police."

Action-packed, "The Brave" manages to be both instantly forgettable and utterly familiar at the same time.

TONIGHT'S SEASON DEBUTS

• Amy's answer on "The Big Bang Theory" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

"The Voice" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) enters season 13.

• A hasty wedding on "Kevin Can Wait" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

• Avoiding extinction on "Scorpion" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

• A winner emerges on "So You Think You Can Dance" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).

• Nixon takes command on "The Vietnam War" (8 p.m., PBS, TV-MA, check local listings).

• The Arizona Cardinals host the Dallas Cowboys in "Monday Night Football" (8:15 p.m., ESPN).

CULT CHOICE

A circus trapeze artist is hypnotized by a homicidal maniac in the 1943 thriller "The Dark Tower" (8 p.m., TCM).

SERIES NOTES

"Dancing With the Stars" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) * Lynda Carter appears on "Supergirl" (8 p.m., CW, r, TV-14) * Illusionists audition on "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" (9 p.m., CW, TV-PG).

LATE NIGHT

Kyle MacLachlan and Aisha Tyler appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) * Sterling K. Brown and Chance the Rapper are booked on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) * Jimmy Fallon welcomes Madonna, Camila Cabello and Young Thug on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) * Jeremy Piven, America Ferrera and Lior Suchard appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).

© 2017 United Feature Syndicate