The networks will launch five shows over the next two days. They include two of the top new offerings for the fall in NBC’s “This Is Us” and ABC’s “Designated Survivor.”
Here’s a quick look:
“Bull” 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, CBS
Cast: Michael Weatherly, Freddy Rodriguez, Geneva Carr, Jamie Lee Kirchner, Chris Jackson
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It’s the story based on the early life of Dr. Phil McGraw when he was running his trial consulting firm.
McGraw on having Weatherly play him: “Obviously we’re really kind of twins as far as looks are concerned. He immediately came straight to mind. It was just a natural. I thought there’s nobody else to do it. But when I first met Michael and we started talking about it, I always found that people are either psychologically minded or they’re not. They kinda either get the hydraulics of human behavior and emotion or they don’t, and he so got it so quick and started layering and texturing this character and everything involved in it.”
“This Is Us,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, NBC
Cast: Sterling K. Brown, Dan Fogelman, Justin Hartley, Ron Cephas Jones, Mandy Moore, Chris Sullivan
It’s the story of how a very diverse group of people come in and out of each other’s life.
Mandy Moore on landing the role: “It was sort of a soul-crushing thing to be a part of pilot season for year after year and for things not to move forward. Not to sound cheesy, but I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason, and I could not be more thrilled. I read this script in October of last year. Immediately it was like, I would do whatever I can to be a part of this. So, yeah. I’m thrilled that this is the one, and it’s moving forward, and I get to be part of this incredible cast.”
“Lethal Weapon,” 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, FOX
Cast: Damon Wayans, Clayne Crawford, Kevin Rahm, Jordana Brewster, Keesha Sharp
The series is based on the film series starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.
What Crawford says of differences from the film: “I think in the films he was also doing cocaine, which kind of jacked things up just a little bit. This is Fox and family hour. No cocaine. So I was playing more of just the sadness, and if I lost my children, I don’t know how I would get up and pay the bills. I don’t know how I would kind of continue with life.”
“Speechless,” 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, ABC
Cast: Micah Fowler, Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie, Cedric Yarbrough
A mother keeps looking for the perfect school for her son. This means a lot of moving around for the boy’s siblings.
Driver on playing the crusading mom: “It is a high degree of difficulty to pull this particular character off because she’s a lot. And someone said that ‘Speechless’ refers to JJ, the character’s nonverbal situation, but also Maya renders people speechless with the stuff that she says. I think I understand her. I’m a mother. All mothers fight hard for their children. To have a child with special needs, you have to fight so much harder, from everything that I learned.”
“Designated Survivor,” 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, ABC
Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Kal Penn, Maggie Q, Natascha McElhone, Adan Canto
It’s the story of what happens when a low-level member of the Cabinet becomes the President.
Sutherland explains his character’s viewpoint: “This guy doesn’t want this job. If there was someone else he could have passed it off to, he would have in a heartbeat. I think one of the great dilemmas with regards to the family aspect of this show is that they both know that very few circumstances could be worse for what’s going to happen to their family as a result of this, but they feel a sense of patriotism to the country more than they do for themselves at that moment.”
Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley
New and returning shows Tuesday, Sept. 20
- 8 p.m. “The Voice,” NBC (Channel 24.1)
- 8 p.m. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” FOX (Channel 26.1)
- 8 p.m. “NCIS,” CBS (Channel 47.1)
- 8:30 p.m. “The New Girl,” FOX
- 9 p.m. “Scream Queens,” FOX
- 9 p.m. “Bull,” CBS
- 10 p.m. “This Is Us,” NBC
- 10 p.m. NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS
- 10 p.m. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” ABC (Channel 30.1)
New and returning shows Wednesday, Sept. 21
- 8 p.m. “The Goldbergs,” ABC
- 8 p.m. “Lethal Weapon,” FOX
- 8 p.m. “Survivor,” CBS
- 8:30 p.m. “Speechless,” ABC
- 9 p.m. “Empire,” FOX
- 9 p.m. “Modern Family,” ABC
- 9 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” NBC
- 9:30 p.m. “black-ish,” ABC
- 10 p.m. “Designated Survivor,” ABC
- 10 p.m. “Chicago P.D.,” NBC