Charlie Hunnam, Sydney Poitier, Jerry O'Connell

Timothy White/FX, Mitchell Haaseth/NBC, Scott F. Schafer/FOX

Wednesday is hump day, and I hate to say it, but I'm not so sure the five new series the networks are offering up for fall are going to help you make it through.

This lackluster newbie night is home to NBC's Knight Rider, CBS' Gary Unmarried, Fox's Do Not Disturb, CW's Stylista and FX's Sons of Anarchy, and at least two of those are in a very tight race for my least favorite new series of the season.

To find out which, CLICK IN...

Knight Rider

NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth


Premiere: Sept. 24, 8 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: America's Next Top Model, Bones, Gary Unmarried, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Pushing Daisies
Cast: Justin Bruening, Sydney Poitier, Bruce Davison, Deanna Russo
Status: No one's seen it

Gary Scott Thompson, who wrote The Fast and the Furious and executive produced NBC's Las Vegas, is leading this extension of the iconic '80s series. The talking, turboboost-enabled car remains the star, although the Trans Am has been replaced by a Mustang in a commercial partnership that will no doubt be lucrative for both Ford and NBC.

The storylines and style of the series remain to be seen, but based on the success of last winter's TV movie, it seems like there could be a built-in audience for a new supercar show. (Er, I guess?) Our Vegas oddsmaker, Benjamin Eckstein of America's Line, has other ideas, though and I'm inclined to agree...

Vegas Odds on Survival: 100 to 1
My Verdict: Wait and see, skeptically


Premiere: Sept. 24, 8:30 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: America's Next Top Model, Bones, Knight Rider, Pushing Daisies
Cast: Jay Mohr, Jaime King, Paula Marshall
Status: I've seen the first episode

Gary Unmarried features Jay Mohr as a recently divorced father of two getting back into the dating scene. Told in tired/classic sitcom style, the unremarkable jokes garner uproarious laughter from an unseen audience inside the TV, while out here in the real world, the crickets are chirping. Sorry, Gary, but I didn't laugh once.

It's too late for me, but save yourself: Skip this one.

Vegas Odds on Survival: 20 to 1
My Verdict: Pass. (And if you run across it while flipping channels, burn some sage.)


Premiere: Sept. 10, 9:30 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Criminal Minds, Deal or No Deal, Private Practice, Stylista
Cast: Jerry O'Connell, Niecy Nash, Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Status: No one has seen the renovated pilot

Jerry O'Connell and Niecy Nash team up to manage the Inn, a high-end boutique hotel in New York. The upstairs-downstairs rivalry keeps Jerry and Niecy busy trading barbs, and the hotel guests bring each week's wacky situations with them.

Amenities aside (I love Jerry and Niecy), the pilot episode made this hotel feel like the kind of place you want to run screaming from—remember those old Orbitz ads with all the bugs everywhere? That is the feeling. Despite a stellar leading and supporting cast (including Jesse Tyler Ferguson from The Class), the jokes fall flat and are even mildly offensive.

Sorry, DND, I love your stars, but this script needs a serious upgrade.

Vegas Odds on Survival: 30 to 1
My Verdict: Um, maybe it'll get better?


Premiere: Oct. 22, 9 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Criminal Minds, Deal or No Deal, Do Not Disturb, Private Practice, 'Til Death
Cast: Anne Slowey
Status: No one's seen it

You've seen The Devil Wears Prada, Project Runway and America's Next Top Model? Stitch them together and you have Stylista, a reality show where the winner takes a top job at Elle magazine. Elle fashion director, Anne Slowey, does the Miranda Priestly/Tyra Banks job of tough-loving the kids toward successful careers in the fashion industry.

Good times? Remains to be seen, but I can tell you that Anne's harsh, self-serving demeanor did her no favors when she met with the critics last month at the Television Critics Assocation press tour last month. "Why can't you be nice to people?" one reporter shouted out to her in the middle of the panel.

So this series just might be completely unwatchable...or the guiltiest of all pleasures.

Vegas Odds on Survival: 50 to 1
My Verdict: Wait and see


Premieres: Sept. 3, 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: CSI: NY, Dirty Sexy Money, Lipstick Jungle
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman, Maggie Siff, Mitch Pileggi, Drea de Matteo
Status: I've seen the first two episodes

Sons of Anarchy is the story of an outlaw biker gang trying to maintain its grip on the Northern California illegal weapons trade while preserving its beloved "brotherhood," which is endangered by cops, crank and working-class economic realities. Imagine the Sopranos in the San Joaquin Valley, with a little Hunter S. Thompson and lots of Hamlet thrown in for good measure.

Actually, screw Shakespeare. The best reason to watch is a decidedly shallow one: Charlie Hunnam's Jax, a blazing-hot bandit prince who finds himself at odds with the reigning bosses of the club—his mother and step-father—after his own son's birth changes his perspective on life.

All that said, before you dive in, know that this is very much a 10 p.m.-on-FX-style show. Parental discretion advised and all that, because there are skanks throwing themselves in Jax's path (not that I'm jealous or anything), extreme ball-busting violence (balls are actually, and fairly graphically, busted), and the kind of aggressively profane dialogue you'd expect from a biker gang.

Bottom line on Anarchy? I'm very much lukewarm on it, but my partner in crime, Jennifer Godwin, insists Jax's shirtless, bad-boy hotness is the best thing on television since Josh Holloway's shirtless, bad-boy hotness and that Sons of Anarchy is entirely worth watching. And while that actually might be true, I find the rest of the characters and storylines too despicable and dirty to watch.

Does that make me a prude? Well, so be it. Now pardon me while I go take a nice hot shower (which may or may not include visions of Jax)...

My Verdict: DVR or pass altogether, Jen's Verdict: Definitely watch it!

Fall TV Preview Wednesday
Knight Rider?
Gary Unmarried?
Do Not Disturb?
Sons of Anarchy
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