In its bounty of unknown pleasures, each new broadcast television season is a lot like Christmas or your eighth birthday. Wrapped in brightly colored paper, festooned with ribbons and bows, each new series is a sort of gift for viewers who have patiently endured a summer of reruns and lackluster reality shows. Trouble is, once you start tearing into the boxes, you find that about half of them contain clothes (ugh). The toys-to-turtlenecks ratio is unfavorable indeed.
Since the pilots were mailed out in June, media buyers have picked up the most promising parcels, placing an ear to the side of each box and giving it an investigatory shake. While most of the boxes return the dull whomping noise that portends another knitted sweater from Aunt Edna, at least a half dozen offer an intriguing, and eminently promising, rattle. Here’s a sneak peek at the shows you’ll cherish and the ones that’ll almost certainly wind up in the returns pile.