This week has nearly as many new and returning shows as last week so I’m going to cover it similarly, though instead of daily posts I’ll be looking at groups of two or three days at a time.
Wednesday, October 1
Stalker (10-11 pm, CBS)
This odious thriller-procedural from Kevin Williamson combines the worst elements of his show The Following with the show that precedes this one, Criminal Minds, plus a bit of Law & Order: SVU. Dylan McDermott stars as a detective with a troubled past (hm, that’s new) who’s partnered in the LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit with Maggie Q, doing her best with this mess. Someone please find this woman a better role on a better show.
Criminal Minds (9-10 pm, CBS)
I laughed out loud when I heard that Jennifer Love Hewitt had been cast to replace Jeanne Tripplehorn, whose character Alex Blake quit the Bureau at the end of last season. And as embarrassing as it is to admit, I’m going to watch at least a few episodes to see how JLH does.
Key & Peele (10:30-11 pm, Comedy Central)
Season four started last week, but its season premiere got pushed aside by the network goings-on. That’s on me, because these guys continue to serve up some of the funniest and most sharply observed sketch humor on TV.
Thursday, October 2
Gracepoint (9-10 pm, FOX)
The Americanized remake of last year’s outstanding but little-seen British miniseries Broadchurch stars David Tennant (reprising his role from the original, but with an American accent) as a detective newly arrived in a small California coastal town who must immediately investigate the discovery of the body of a boy on the town’s beach. Anna Gunn plays his partner, whose son was a friend of the victim; other cast members include Michael Peña, Jacki Weaver, and Nick Nolte. The producers promise a different ending, so if you saw Broadchurch you won’t know whodunit in this version.
Bad Judge (9-9:30 pm, NBC)
Kate Walsh plays an unconventional judge who takes in a boy whose parents she sent to jail. The pilot was reworked after NBC got nervous about a show with a disreputable main character, sanding off most of the rough edges that made her appealing and leaving a show that’s dull and not very funny.
A to Z (9:30-10 pm, NBC)
Another romantic sitcom, this one chronicling the relationship between a cynical woman and a starry-eyed man. (Read my thoughts on the pilot episode in this article.)
The Vampire Diaries (8-9 pm, CW)
I’m not really up on any CW shows, but I do know the network knows its audience well. This is season six for TVD.
Reign (9-10 pm, CW)
As season two opens, a plague results in a quarantine.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)