A’s new shows

A look at A's new shows for fall - and what they're up against.

Mike & Molly (CBS)
Mondays 9:30 p.m.
This sitcom about an overweight couple might make a genuine connection with viewers, many of whom perhaps battle food addictions of their own. But how many times can Billy Gardell’s (My Name is Earl) character knock over a table with his oversized belly before viewers tire of the fat jokes? Gardell and Melissa McCarthy (Gilmore Girls) have genuine comedic chops, but the secondary characters, such as Mike’s mouthy partner (he’s a cop) and Molly’s dope-smoking, slutty sister can be irritating, despite their show-stealing quality. The Two and a Half Men lead-in might help Mike & Molly’s odds if viewers don’t wander to catch the second half of Dancing with the Stars, which is on at the same time. However, new temptations in this timeslot include much-buzzed about Lonestar and The Event, and the competition may eat into its debut.

Wednesdays 9 p.m.
Gossip Girl’s success proves there’s an audience happy to follow the lives of beautiful women who are also unpretentiously relatable. The peppy Hellcats must find this difficult balance or risk a meltdown faster than Ashton Kutcher’s A Beautiful Life had last season. Hellcats follows a pre-law student (Aly Michalka, Bandslam) who is as anti-pom-pom as an indie rocker can be (except for her blonde hair, perfect figure and gymnastics background) until she finds out that in order to obtain a scholarship, she must join the squad. Mean girls hate her sexy brand of cheerleading – “I think she forgot the pole,” says one frenemy – which would be amusing if it weren’t for boring scenes of hurdles, grinding and the tuck/eagle spreads that continue well into the regionals. Slot competish Modern Family attracts a slightly older crowd, which is why Hellcats has a good shot, provided it can bring it with the storyline. 

Thursdays 9 p.m.
There hasn’t been a truly badass chick on TV since the departure of Jennifer Garner and Alias in 2006. Nikita (Maggie Q, Live Free or Die Hard), who explodes cars with a twist of her lipstick and breaks necks with a flick of her powerful wrist, is hot enough to fill that role. Nikita, however, is an unoriginal story of a trained assassin who leaves the Division only to wage war on the corrupt organization. Exec producer McG (The O.C., Charlie’s Angels) knows the female-skewing target well and will put just the right amount of explosions and undercover ball gown ops in this La Femme Nikita remake, however J.J. Abrams (Alias) knows the genre even better, and his drama Fringe airing on Citytv will likely prevail.

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