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Fall 2014 TV Preview: Tuesday Gambles on 'Forever,' While 'The Flash' Looks Ready to Sprint

By Liz Shannon Miller and Ben Travers | Indiewire August 12, 2014 at 11:05AM

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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Tuesday night features a range of programming that is so eclectic you might almost call it schizophrenic, thanks to broadcast television's reliance on specific formulas. Fortunately, if you dig, there are some truly entertaining gems scattered about. 

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

What There Is To Watch

Jim Caviezel and Amy Acker in "Person of Interest."
Giovanni Rufino/Warner Bros. Jim Caviezel and Amy Acker in "Person of Interest."

Interested in prestige drama? With one exception, Tuesday night is a great time to catch up with the stuff on your DVR left over from Sunday. Otherwise, while CBS leans on the procedurals that have kept it afloat for over a decade, the other networks bounce between reality formats, single-camera comedies and B-level hour-longs like "Person of Interest." Not to say Tuesday night plays it safe -- there are a few risky moves in play. 

Veteran of the Night

Charlie Hunnam in "Sons of Anarchy."
Prashant Gupta/FX Charlie Hunnam in "Sons of Anarchy."

For its seventh and final season, "Sons of Anarchy" will be returning to Tuesday nights; at this point, "Anarchy" is really just playing for the die-hard fans who've followed the series since the beginning, but it happens to be the most award-winning drama of the evening. (That comes courtesy of Katey Sagal picking up a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress back in 2001 -- this is not a night for prestige shows.)

Also, "NCIS" is more than a veteran of Tuesdays -- it's the proud grandfather of many procedurals, and this fall will be serving as a lead-in to its latest progeny, the Scott Bakula-starring "NCIS: New Orleans." At a certain point, you just have to stand back and admire how "NCIS" has endured over the years. Like the obelisk in "2001: A Space Odyssey," it's an awe-inspiring, inescapable presence in the broadcast line-up. "NCIS" on CBS: It is here. It has always been here. It forever will be. 

Best New Bet

Grant Gustin as The CW's "The Flash."
Jack Rowand/The CW Grant Gustin as The CW's "The Flash."

Of the new shows premiering on this night, there are a few with potential, but it's hard to imagine anything going terribly wrong with "The Flash," the newest CW take on a classic DC superhero, which also functions as a direct spinoff of "Arrow." Steered by the same creative team as "Arrow," and promising a somewhat cliche mystery revolving around who killed Barry Allen's mother, the show nonetheless has a chance at being a slightly lighter take on life as a "meta-human." Plus, our nostalgic hearts can't help but skip a beat at the sight of Tom Cavanagh (as long as we breathe, "Ed" lives on). So "Flash" seems likely to be a solid addition not just to the night, but to a new franchise. 

Sleeper Picks

Casey Wilson and Ken Marino in "Marry Me."
Colleen Hayes/NBC Casey Wilson and Ken Marino in "Marry Me."

There are three good reasons to get excited about ABC's "Selfie": Karen Gillen ("Doctor Who"), John Cho ("Harold and Kumar," "Star Trek") and creator Emily Kapnek ("Suburgatory"). There is one good reason to not get excited: The gimmicky, over-the-top premise, which borrows the "Pygmalion" trope for a story about a young woman who needs to get over her social media addiction. However, if "Selfie" can calm down a little bit and spare its strong leads from the over-the-top slanguage and hashtag references, it could evolve into something charming -- much like "Suburgatory" did.  

READ MORE: 'Happy Endings' Creator David Caspe on Why the Show Got Canceled and Why His New One - NBC's 'Marry Me' - Won't

Also, NBC's "Marry Me" finds itself in a similar scenario: Strong cast and creator, well-crafted, but suffering from a story-heavy premise that will need to get broader in order to last long-term.  Casey Wilson and Ken Marino promise to be a hilarious pairing, however, and David Caspe's last show, "Happy Endings," overcame similar issues to become a comedy powerhouse by the end of its first season. Fingers crossed that "Marry Me" could pull off the same achievement, should it get the chance.  

Biggest DVR Conflict

Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson in "New Girl."
Patrick McElhenney/FOX Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson in "New Girl."

Fox and NBC are pitting sitcom blocks against each other at 9pm, and for some comedy fans it might be tough to choose between "Marry Me" and "New Girl" (which has gone from being a tonally inconsistent star vehicle for Zooey Deschanel to one of television's funniest comic ensemble series). There are also now genre fans who must put their love of "Supernatural's" demon-fighting brothers up against "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD." But arguably that's an easier choice -- the overlap between those audiences likely isn't massive. 

First to Get Canceled

Mackenzie Mauzy and Ioan Gruffudd in "Forever."
K.C. Bailey/ABC Mackenzie Mauzy and Ioan Gruffudd in "Forever."

Of the choices available, there's one show that's in clear danger: ABC's "Forever," about an immortal medical examiner, does star the charming Ioan Gruffudd ("Fantastic Four," "Horatio Hornblower"). But not only have many shows failed to pull off this particular blend of supernatural mystery and crime-of-the-week drama, ABC has a terrible track record of launching non-Shonda Rhimes dramas at 10pm. Recent casualties include "Black Box," "Lucky 7," "666 Park Avenue" and "Red Widow." Of the shows airing Tuesday night, it's in the most tenuous of positions, and thus in this category the safest bet.  

Our Top Pick for Tuesday

The cast of "Agents of SHIELD."
Justin Lubin/ABC The cast of "Agents of SHIELD."

This choice admittedly comes with reservations, but "Agents of SHIELD," on ABC, finds itself in a unique position coming into its second season. Season 1 of Marvel's attempt to loop television into its Cinematic Universe was highly anticipated (due in part to nerd god Joss Whedon's involvement) but stalled out for most of the year until a massive plot twist (tied into the release of Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Solider") jump-started the series.

Coming into Season 2, "SHIELD" has the opportunity to take advantage of that new momentum and completely rewrite its status quo; it's also stacking the deck with some exciting guest stars, including Lucy Lawless and Kyle McLachlan. Whether it soars or flounders, we'll be watching -- especially because whatever happens, the 1950s-era companion series, "Agent Carter," has us even more excited. The only thing better than superheroes and super-spies? Superheroes and super-spies in 1950s-era hats. 

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

This article is related to: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Sons of Anarchy, NCIS, The Flash, Selfie, Marry Me, Marry Me, Forever, Fall TV 2014





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