NBC and ABC are betting not everyone is interested in college basketball. The two broadcast networks are featuring new shows this week, including an entertaining cat-and-mouse game, “The Catch,” which will run head-to-head with the men’s NCAA Tournament. Here are my short takes on the three new shows.
“Crowded,” 8:30 p.m. Sunday, NBC. The new series debuted two episodes Tuesday and now settles into to its regular Sunday night time slot. It stars Patrick Warburton (“Rules of Engagement”) and Carrie Preston (“The Good Wife”) as a married couple whose empty nest isn’t so empty after their young daughters (Miranda Cosgrove, Mia Serafino) and Warburton’s parents (Stacy Keach, Carlease Burke) move in with them.
The comedy comes off as a less funny “Modern Family,” with the daughters uncannily similar (one’s dim and fashionable; the other is smart and geeky) to the “MF” girls. Warburton is good. He brings the same kind of deadpan sarcasm we’ve seen from him in “Seinfeld” and “Rules.” But that’s about it. I’m a Preston fan from her days on “True Blood” and “Good Wife.” Those characters were quirky. Here she’s too normal. Grade: C-
“Heartbeat,” 8 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. The network will use “The Voice” as a lead-in for its Tuesday premiere. The series then will move to its regular 7 p.m. Wednesday time slot the next night.
We need another medical drama about as much as we need hemorrhoids -- unless, that is, it can give us something different. In this case it’s Melissa George, who is absolutely charming, adorable, funny and a whole bunch of other complimentary adjectives.
George, who played Gov. Florrick’s in-house ethics counsel on “The Good Wife,” stars as a bend-the-rules, push-the-envelope surgeon whose personal life is, well, a bit complicated. She’s in love with two other doctors (Dave Annabale and Don Hany), who are both stand-up guys, and shares custody of her two kids with her gay ex-husband rock star (Joshua Leonard).
George is the reason to tune in. She’ll be the reason why you keep coming back. Grade: B+
“The Catch,” 9 p.m. Thursday, ABC. Two things about this new drama drew me to it right off the bat: English novelist Kate Atkinson (I'm a fan) is a creator and executive producer and Mireille Enos and Peter Krause are the lead characters.
Based on an Atkinson (“Case Histories”) story, the sleek drama from Shonda Rhimes’ (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal”) team stars Enos as an investigator for a security firm who, after being conned by her fiance (Krause), sets out to “catch” him.
Enos, known for playing the dark and depressing cop on “The Killing,” is nearly unrecognizable here. She’s kind of fun, especially when she’s matching wits with the veteran Krause (“Six Feet Under,” “Parenthood”). And Krause is perfect. He’s smooth, suave and charming. You’re rooting as much for him to elude Enos as you are for Enos to catch him. Let’s hope this chase lasts awhile. Grade: A