And the rest of the fall TV season

  • Article by: NEAL JUSTIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 9, 2012 - 5:04 PM
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Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling in "The Mindy Project."

DRAMAS

"The Mob Doctor": A surgeon (Jordana Spiro) must balance an impossible workload with her obligations to the mob. The most shocking element of this medical-gangster mashup is that it expects the audience to swallow the plot without cracking up. Premieres 8 p.m. Sept. 17, KMSP, Ch. 9.

"Elementary": Somewhere during his journey from London to modern-day New York, Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) misplaced his wicked wit and his mojo. Even casting Lucy Liu as his new Watson doesn't do the trick. Stick with PBS' smarter, sexier "Sherlock." 9 p.m. Sept. 27, WCCO, Ch. 4. ★★

"Made in Jersey": An attorney (British import Janet Montgomery) uses her Jersey wits to transform into a modern-day Perry Mason, one with poofy hair, blue-collar siblings and an accent as thick as Boardwalk pretzels. Any law partner who would put such a novice in front of a judge--not to mention a savvy TV viewer-- should be disbarred. 8 p.m. Sept. 28, WCCO, Ch. 4. ★★

"666 Park Avenue": A young couple move into an apartment complex haunted by something a lot more sinister than Casper the Friendly Ghost. "Lost" veteran Terry O'Quinn revisits his creepy side as the manager who just may be the devil's advocate. There's a fair share of spooky moments, but compared with "American Horror Story," this address feels like Graceland. 9 p.m. Sept. 30, KSTP. Ch. 5. ★★ 1/2

"Arrow": Stephen Arnell's abs star in this no-talk, all-action saga about one of DC Comics' lesser-known superheroes, the Green Arrow. The success of this series will hinge solely on how many viewers want to ogle Arnell's ripped bod. 7 p.m. Oct. 10, WUCW, Ch. 23. ★ 1/2

"Chicago Fire": "Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf introduces a team of would-be supermodels who trade in their runway clothes for uniforms at what appears to be the world's busiest fire station. There's little time spent making chili -- or developing compelling story lines. 9 p.m. Oct. 10, KARE, Ch. 11. ★★

"Beauty and the Beast": In the CW's version of this classic tale, "Beauty" is a butt-kicking detective (Kristin Kreuk) who could be Nancy Drew's classmate and "Beast" (Jay Ryan) is a hunk who turns Hulk whenever you make him angry. It's a winning formula -- for 16-year-old girls. 8 p.m. Oct. 11, WUCW, Ch. 23. ★★

SITCOMS

"The New Normal": It's about a same-sex couple who want to raise a baby. No, it's about a young mother who leaves her cheating boyfriend to strike out on her own. Wait, it's about Ellen Barkin spitting out insensitive comments that would make Archie Bunker blush. It's about--never mind. It isn't worth the trouble. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, KARE, Ch. 11. ★ 1/2

"Guys With Kids": Last year's slew of shows about wimpy men flopped with audiences, so it's a little surprising to see this sitcom about woe-is-me fathers. It has some decent comedy bits, and the team of Anthony Anderson and "Cosby" vet Tempestt Bledsoe as a married couple is a winner, but overall this comes across as just another whine-athon. 9 p.m. Wednesday, KARE, Ch. 11. ★★ 1/2

"Partners": Whatever good the creators of "Will & Grace" did for the gay movement is threatened by their latest effort, about a straight architect (David Krumholtz) who just happens to be best friends with the most flamboyant person not participating in "RuPaul's Drag Race." Offensive and dreadful. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24, WCCO, Ch. 4.

"Ben and Kate": Creator Dana Fox works out some family issues in this lackluster sitcom about a cautious single mother (Dakota Johnson) who puts up with her reckless brother (Nat Faxon) through fairly predictable predicaments. Fox would be wise to shift her dirty laundry from the small screen to a psychiatrist's office. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25, KMSP, Ch. 9. ★★

"The Mindy Project": Mindy Kaling transferred from "The Office" to this promising vehicle about a gynecologist who spends her scant free time trying to turn her love life into a Sandra Bullock movie. Instead of "While You Were Sleeping," she winds up with "Crash." The pilot is a bit too cutesy, but the talented Kaling is worth keeping an eye on. 8:30 p.m. Sept. 25, KMSP, Ch. 9. ★★★

"Animal Practice": "Weeds" star Justin Kirk plays a curmudgeonly veterinarian, a cross between Dr. Doolittle and Gregory House. But the initial draw is the cast of animals, including a scene-stealing monkey. Cute, but if this show is going to stick, it needs to focus on the humans. 7 p.m. Sept. 26, KARE, Ch. 11. ★★ 1/2

"The Neighbors": Jami Gertz and Lenny Venito move into a neighborhood populated by aliens who cry green blood from their ears, sleep in cocoons and dine on frozen newspapers. (Hey, a new use for print!) It's the kind of out-of-this-world silliness we saw on "3rd Rock From the Sun"-- and that show lasted six seasons. 8:30 p.m. Sept. 26, KSTP. Ch. 5. ★★★

"Malibu Country": Reba McEntire brings back her trademark drawl -- and just about everything else from her last sitcom -- in a show that should be titled "Reba 2.0." Country music fans need to start buying more McEntire albums, if only so she won't have time to commit to substandard fare such as this. At least Lily Tomlin is among those picking up a paycheck. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2, KSTP, Ch. 5. ★★

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