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Five New Shows Matt Zoller Seitz Really Wants to See

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Ellen Barkin as Jane, Andrew Rannells as Bryan, Georgia King as Goldie, Bebe Wood as Shania, and Justin Bartha as David in The New Normal.  

1. Revolution
J.J. Abrams created this epic sci-fi adventure, set in a postapocalyptic world that soldiers on despite the sudden, mysterious absence of all forms of electrical power, batteries included, and has to deal with widespread squalor and roving bands of warlords, one of whom is played by Breaking Bad’s icy-cool Giancarlo Esposito. Sept. 17 at 10 p.m., NBC.

2. The Mindy Project
Mindy Kaling of The Office is the creator-star of this new series about a workaholic doctor who has a chaotic, comic love life. A show like this rises or falls based on the charisma of its lead and the dedication of whoever’s driving its vision; luckily, Kaling is aces in both departments. Sept. 25 at 9:30 p.m., Fox.

3. Last Resort
Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman play officers on a nuclear submarine who take the sub awol rather than obey directives to fire nuclear missiles at Pakistan and … hole up on a tropical island. This is a hugely expensive series with an odd premise, and intriguing for precisely those reasons. Sept. 27 at 8 p.m., ABC.

4. Nashville
All About Eve goes country. An established C&W singer (Connie Britton) tries to protect her turf against a rising star (Hayden Panettiere). My most anticipated fall show, hands down, the fact that it’s biting a Robert Altman title notwithstanding. Oct. 10 at 10 p.m., ABC.

5. Save Me
Anne Heche plays a woman who has a near-death experience and comes out of it thinking she’s a prophet. In other words, a slow, fat pitch over home plate for Heche, whose distinctively weird energy has rarely been well-used. The previews for this show pretty much scream “low-stakes, uncategorizable kook-fest,” but I have a soft spot for shows like that, because broadcast networks rarely make them anymore. Date TBA, NBC.


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