Creatively, television is rooted in the past. The Simpsons executive producer James L. Brooks wrote for That Girl and The Andy Griffith Show in the mid-60s before creating Room 222 in 1969. In the 80s, long before Law & Order and Chicago Fire were ideas ripped from the headlines, Dick Wolf wrote for Hill Street Blues, which was created by Steven Bochco, who started on The Bold Ones in the early 70s. Now comes FX’s Atlanta, a new 10-episode serio-comedy from Donald Glover, a multi-hyphenate here as creator, producer and star, who delivers a series with a look, rhythm, language and sensibility that is a defiant, definitive, and wonderful break from the past.
About two cousins trying to launch a career in that city’s hip hop scene, it rolls across the screen like a new song with a fresh sound and beat that you turn up so you can listen harder. Though likely a VOD-first series with niche-like linear ratings, Atlanta is definitely worth turning up and watching harder. Stars Glover, Lakeith Lee Stanfield and Brian Tyree Henry. Premieres September 6, at 10 pm.
Kristen Bell and Ted Danson star in The Good Place, a new NBC comedy about a young woman who dies and finds herself in the place you want to spend eternity – and no one is more surprised than her. The show lends itself to quippy one-line summaries: This series is in a good place. It’s heavenly. Not only will it be a hit in this life, it will have a long afterlife. And they’re all accurate. Danson signed on before creator Mike Schur (Parks and Rec) even had a script, and Bell was ready to go after listening to a message from Schur that said, “I have this idea. It’s weird and I can’t get it out of my head. I really think I need to talk to you about it cause I really think it’s for you.” It’s quirky, pretty funny, and outrageously charming. Prepare to fall in love with Kristen Bell. With William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden. Premieres with an hour-long sneak on September 19, at 10 pm, and then airs on Thursdays at 8:30.
You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Pitch, the new Fox series about the first woman to pitch in the major leagues. It’s from executive producer-creator Dan Fogelman, and like his other show, This Is Us for NBC, Pitch delivers an emotional fastball smack in the middle of the strike zone. In the pilot, lead Kylie Bunbury pulls off a complex role with an allure that makes you eager for her next start – er, episode two. A stellar supporting cast, with a bearded Mark-Paul Gosselaar, creates a formidable team. The show follows Rosewood on Thursday night and should be an empowering hour after that audience finishes ogling Morris Chestnut, but there is some considerable competition from NFL football and Chicago Med, so Pitch may be another series reliant on VOD. With Burnby, Gosselaar, Ali Larter, Mark Consuelos, Michael Beach, and Dan Lauria . Premieres September 22, at 9 pm.