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Fall 2014 TV Preview: Mondays Seem Dark in ‘Gotham’ But There’s Fun to Be Had in ‘Sleepy Hollow’

By Liz Shannon Miller and Ben Travers | Indiewire August 11, 2014 at 1:26PM

Thanks to the television revolution, new shows now spring up throughout the calendar year -- but no matter how many premieres occur during the other seasons, the fall is still when most programming kicks into full swing. The Indiewire TV team is here to help you wade through the sea of fall TV, balance your time between alluring new shows and returning veterans, and give a little insight into what you should be watching.
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Anna Faris and Allison Janney in 'Mom'
Monty Brinton/CBS Anna Faris and Allison Janney in 'Mom'

It's Garfield's least-favorite day and also an evening largely consumed by football, but that doesn't mean there's a lack of interesting TV to explore. Though for all of it, you'll find yourself checking out the broadcast scene. 

READ MORE: The Indiewire Fall 2014 TV Bible: Daily Breakdowns of the Upcoming Season

What There is To Watch

All the water-cooler action happens on Sunday, really, but there's still reality fare like "Dancing With the Stars" and "The Voice," multi-camera sitcoms including "Mom" and "Partners," and some intriguing new genre drama options to keep fans of superheroes, vampires and apocalypses happy.

Veteran of the Night

Nathon Fillion and his crew in "Castle" on ABC
Danny Feld/ABC Nathon Fillion and his crew in "Castle"

"Castle" on ABC enters its seventh season this fall, and the series remains a reliable favorite for fans of both mystery procedurals and Nathan Fillion. The sixth season finale ended on a cliffhanger that was both bang and whimper ([Mild spoiler follows] note to show: hinting at the death of a character is more effective when that character's name is not the title of the show). But its likable cast and light take on murder investigation have helped "Castle" hold its own on Monday nights since its very first year.  

Best New Bets


Even if you're not a massive DC Comics fan, Fox's "Gotham" may draw you in -- the Batman prequel focuses on a young Detective Gordon, played by "The OC" and "Southland"'s Ben McKenzie, as he attempts to help orphaned Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and cope with the rise of the city's criminal element. Think of it as a crime procedural, but the criminals have more interesting names than usual. (Seriously, Jada Pinkett Smith plays a crime lord named Fish Mooney. Fish. Mooney).  

Speaking of procedurals, CBS's "Scorpion" was recently dubbed a "fun-cedural" by executive producer Nick Santora -- maybe not the most graceful of phrases. But while the show itself, about a team of socially awkward super-geniuses who help the US government with impossible problems, might struggle to be seen as anything more than "'The Big Bang Theory' with actual stakes," a flashy and, yes, fun pilot directed by Justin Lin ("Fast and Furious") could win people over. 

Sleeper Pick

Gina Rodriguez and Andrea Navedo in "Jane the Virgin."
Greg Gayne/The CW Gina Rodriguez and Andrea Navedo in "Jane the Virgin."

"Jane the Virgin," on the CW, is unlike anything else airing on Monday -- a cheerful, fun post-modern ode to the telenovela, with the amazing Gina Rodriguez at its center as a young woman whose accidental artificial insemination kicks off a sweet-toned soap opera with a lot of potential. Not being like anything else could work to the show's advantage, and it already has a lot of critical support.  

Biggest DVR Conflict

James Spader in "The Blacklist."
David Giesbrecht/NBC James Spader in "The Blacklist."

"NCIS: LA" is moving to a new time (so that "NCIS: New Orleans" can take over its slot on Tuesday evening), and it's not just ladies who love Cool James these days. (Yes, that's what LL Cool J stands for.) So while last year, NBC's "The Blacklist" dominated the night, at 10pm folks may find it tough to choose between it, "Castle" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (at least until November, when "Blacklist" moves to Thursdays). None of these shows have massive buzz with the under-40 set, but when the ratings start coming in, blood may be spilled in this arena. 

First to Get Canceled

Elyes Gabel and Katherine McPhee in "Scorpion" on CBS
Monty Brinton/CBS Elyes Gabel and Katherine McPhee in "Scorpion"

If "Scorpion" doesn't find an audience right away, it's a goner -- when a CBS show doesn't succeed quickly, CBS has a way of losing patience with it. And Fox also is not known for keeping around a new show that's failed to connect, so if "Gotham" struggles early on, it could face fast cancelation. But otherwise, across the board it's a solid, if not particularly daring, line-up. 

Our Top Pick for Monday

Tom Mison in "Sleepy Hollow" on FOX
Brownie Harris/FOX Tom Mison in "Sleepy Hollow"

Last year, "Sleepy Hollow" went from dark horse to genuine delight, thanks to a mutual agreement between the show's cast, creators, viewers and critics that its most insane qualities were also its greatest strengths. Its second season now has to overcome a hurdle its first season didn't -- high expectations -- but as long as everyone remains on the same page, and Ichabod Crane still calls Abby Mills "Leftenant," we'll be happy.  

What are you most excited about on Mondays this fall? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter using the hashtag #IWatchFallTV 

This article is related to: Fall TV 2014, Castle, Sleepy Hollow, The Black List, Gotham, Scorpion, Jane the Virgin






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