Here's a few more thumbnails as I (very slowly) make my way through all the network screeners. I got a batch from NBC on Thursday, which I haven't gotten to yet, and I now have access online to Fox's shows. (No, you aren't getting my password).
I have finished up CBS and almost finished ABC, so here are a few more previews:
"Pan Am" (ABC): People will inevitably compare this series to "Mad Men," because it takes place during the same time period and invokes a sense of nostalgia by evoking a time when air travel was considered glamorous. (Think about the movie, "Catch Me If You Can.")
The series follows the lives of four beautiful air hostesses. One of them is a runaway bride; one had an affair with a passenger; one is a '60s radical who wants to see the world; and one is recruited as a spy. The series is based on the real-life adventures of Pan Am stewardesses of that era.
I enjoyed the pilot enough to check out future episodes, though all that nostalgia it evoked did nothing but remind me how much of a pain in the rear it is to get on an airplane these days. People who weren't around for the glamor of air travel (I caught the tail end) will probably think it's all a fiction, that no one ever traveled like that. Maybe the series will cause the airline industry to reform itself.
"Once Upon A Time" (ABC): One of two fairy-tale themed series debuting this fall, I found myself wrapped up in this, given the high production values. It tells the story of Snow White and Prince Charming's long-lost daughter Emma (Jennifer Morrison), who is whisked away to our world after the evil Queen (Lana Parilla) puts a curse on the fairy tale land. All of the characters -- Red Riding Hood, Pinochio, Jiminy Cricket, Rumplestilskin -- are trapped in a small New England town in our world, with no memories of their former lives. It's up to Emma to restore them.
It's a premise that you either buy into or you don't, but I found myself enjoying it. Emma has no idea of her roots, and is completely skeptical of the whole thing, so it's a combination of earnestness and cynicism.
"A Gifted Man" (CBS): Patrick Wilson plays a top neurosurgeon who is completely self-absorbed until the ghost of his kind ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle) appears and convinces to be a better person. It's got a good cast -- Margo Martindale, Julie Benz, Pablo Schreiber -- and again, it's got a lead character that gives the show a healthy dose of skepticism, but I see this more as a TV Movie rather than a weekly series. I guess we will see.
"Two Broke Girls" (CBS): Kat Dennings plays a working-class waitress who suddenly fines herself co-workers and roommates with a broke heiress (Beth Behrs). The show got some positive buzz, but I was underwhelmed by the pilot.
"How to be a Gentleman" (CBS): Rhys Darby plays a Niles Crane clone who writes a column about how to be a gentleman. This has led to a life of no friends, no girlfriends and getting beat up a lot. He goes to a gym and meets a former high school tormentor (Kevin Dillon) who decides to turn his life around. This show has a bit more promise and had more laughs than "Girls" did, but we've seen the odd couple-buddy thing before.
RIP ANDY WHITFIELD: The "Spartacus" actor, who gave up the role after he was diagnosed with cancer, died Sunday at age 39. It was a sad story for an actor on the verge of stardom, only to get ill.
MONDAY'S BEST BETS: The new network series begin tomorrow, so tonight is mostly reruns and cable series that are winding down.
ABC has three hours of "The Bachelor Pad," which ought to earn the network a special place in Hell. NBC airs the Miss Universe pageant, beginning at 9 p.m.
On cable, "The Closer" and "Rizzoli & Isles" wrap up on TNT, beginning at 9 p.m. Showtime has new episodes of "Weeds" and "The Big C" from 10-11 p.m.
SyFy is all-new with "Eureka," "Warehouse 13" and "Alphas.," while ABC Family has a new "The Lying Game" at 8 p.m.