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Dramas on top of the list of fall TV’s best new shows

September 21, 2018

Ryan Eggold stars in "New Amsterdam" as Dr. Max Goodwin.

For TV writers, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, as well as the busiest. And these days it’s made even busier by the addition of numerous streaming viewing options.

But to me, the fall TV season is still all about the five broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW — and so I concentrate all of my fall TV attention on them.

With my usual caveat that these picks are based solely on the pilot episodes, here are my picks for the best new broadcast network shows of the fall.

5. “New Amsterdam” (pre-miering at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 on NBC)

Ryan Eggold (“The Blacklist”) is Dr. Max Goodwin, a new, idealistic medical director of a public hospital who is looking to shake things up by encouraging his staff to prioritize patients rather than billing. The various medical storylines are interesting, but it’s the relentless charm of Eggold that practically impels you to watch.

4. “Single Parents” (9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 on ABC)

Taran Killam finally gets the comedy spotlight he’s long deserved as the newest member of a clique of single parents who look after each other and their kids. Brad Garrett, Leighton Meester and Kimrie Lewis offer solid support.

3. “All American” (9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 on The CW)

Daniel Ezra is Spencer James, a standout football player at a tough California high school who’s recruited to play in Beverly Hills by a coach (Taye Diggs) promising NFL stardom. The show is basically “The O.C.” meets football, so, of course, I’m all in.

2. “God Friended Me” (8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 on CBS)

Brandon Micheal Hall is fantastic as Miles Finer, an atheist podcaster whose world is turned upside-down when he accepts a social media friend request from God and God’s friend suggestions lead him to help strangers solve their problems. Think of it as the late ’90s drama “Early Edition” updated for the digital age.

1. “A Million Little Things” (10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 on ABC)

The always welcome James Roday leads a strong ensemble cast in this drama about a group of friends who discover they never really knew each other after one of them mysteriously takes his own life. I’ve seen a lot of complaining on Twitter about the amount of promos ABC is showing for this one, but when you’ve got a good one you want people to know about it.

Just missing the cut is the comedy “The Kids Are Alright” (8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 on ABC), a 1970s-set mash-up of “The Wonder Years” and “The Goldbergs” featuring a tour-de-force comedic performance by Mary McCormack. I honestly didn’t find any of the new broadcast network shows to be truly bad, although I would definitely call the reboot of “Magnum P.I.” (9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 on CBS) truly unnecessary.

Fall TV premiere week for the broadcast networks begins Monday, Sept. 24. You can get more of my thoughts on this season’s new shows on my Facebook page at Facebook.com/angelahbent-ley.

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