I really wanted to like NBC's new sitcoms, "Up All Night" and "Free Agents," but after watching the pilots, I just didn't get very many laughs out of either one.
When it wants to, the network can still put out some great comedies, like "Parks & Recreation" and "Community."
But neither of the new shows, which air tonight from 10-11 p.m., come close to that territory.
I enjoy Christina Applegate and Will Arnett very much, so the idea of them paired up as new, later-in-life parents had me excited for "Up All Night." But honestly, there's not much new that we haven't seen before in other sitcoms about new parenthood -- changing diapers at 3 a.m., the overwhelmed daddy, etc.
There were a few funny moments as the couple tries to recapture its youth at a karaoke bar, but not much else. Maya Rudolph, one of my least-favorite "SNL" performers, goes over-the-top playing an over-the-top, Oprah-like TV personality for whom Applegate's character works.
I actually laughed a bit more during "Free Agents," which has gotten less buzz than "Up All Night." Hank Azaria plays a divorced dad who hooks up for a one-night stand with his co-worker (Kathryn Hahn), an alcoholic whose fiance died a year earlier. Again, there wasn't too much that was new or earth-shattering in the pilot, but the company's co-workers, led by their boss (Anthony Stewart Head) helped provide some laughs.
You can also find online the pilot episode for Showtime's "Homeland," which debuts in October. It's probably the best pilot I've seen this season.
Based on an Israeli TV series, "Homeland" centers around a pill-popping CIA analyst (Claire Danes) who suspects that a recently returned Marine (Damian Lewis) has secretly been converted to a terrorist. Is she correct? What did happen to the marine during his eight-year capture? The excellent cast is rounded out with the likes of Mandy Patinkin and Morena Baccarin, and is something I'd list as "can't miss."
WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: CBS opens the new season of "Survivor" at 8 p.m., followed by the season finale for "Big Brother" at 9:30 p.m. Meanwhile, NBC announces the winner of "America's Got Talent" from 8-10 p.m.
On cable, it's the season finale for "Necessary Roughness" (USA, 10 p.m.) On BBC America, there's a new "Law & Order: UK" at 9 p.m., followed by the penultimate "The Hour" at 10 p.m.