Fall's Best and Worst TV

From Boardwalk Empire to My Generation, the nine new series worth checking out this fall and six you should avoid at all costs.

09.14.10 10:38 PM ET

Of the 30-plus new shows heading to the broadcast networks over the course of the season, well, we’re not going to lie—it’s a bleak landscape this year. Two strong contenders—FX’s Terriers and the CW’s espionage drama Nikita—have already premiered, kicking off an onslaught over the next few weeks. (If you haven’t already caught the series premieres for both, go do so straightaway.) But, with the notable exceptions of those and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, it’s a pretty lackluster autumn for television, and much of the product that’s being offered seems suspiciously familiar or—in the case of the CW’s cheerleading drama Hellcats—just shrill and annoying.

It’s never good when networks react out of fear rather than ingenuity. Yet that’s just what appears to have happened this year, following a development cycle that was shockingly light on compelling material rather than recycled tropes and more iterations on the typical doctor-lawyer-cop fare. (That said, CBS’ legal procedural Defenders is surprisingly enjoyable and the jury is still out on the new Law & Order: Los Angeles, which has not yet been screened for critics.)

Don’t know the difference between The Event and The Whole Truth? You can browse through descriptions of all 37 new broadcast network series here, while below The Daily Beast rounds up our recommendations for what you should be putting on your TiVo’s Season Pass… and which shows you should be avoiding at all costs.

Gallery: 9 Shows to Watch, 6 to Shun

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Jace Lacob is the writer/editor of Televisionary, a website devoted to television news, criticism, and interviews. Jace resides in Los Angeles. He is a contributor to several entertainment Web sites and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.