Tube Talk: Time to play catch up on what’s a deep summer season

By Paula Hendrickson
Television Columnist

I’ve been absent a few weeks, so please bear with me as I try to catch up. If you didn’t already know it, the 67th Annual Emmy Awards are coming up this weekend. This year’s host is Brooklyn Nine-Nine star and Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg.

Samberg might not (yet) have an Emmy as a performer, but he was nominated several times during his tenure on SNL — once for writing and six times for co-writing original music and lyrics for some of the show’s most popular music video parodies. Samberg and Justin Timberlake were part of 2007’s Emmy-winning songwriting team.

How will Samberg do as a host? Your guess is as good as mine. But with some hotly contested categories, it’s worth tuning in for the awards themselves, not just to critique the host.

The fall season is beginning to roll out. As excited as I am for the new season of Doctor Who, I probably won’t watch the entire day-long marathon leading up to the season 9 premiere, but you might want to. The only reason I might skip some of the marathon is because I’ve seen those episodes before, and there are plenty of programs to choose from.

Some promising new shows debuting this week include a comedy, a drama, and a new spin on the horror anthology series from the makers of Glee and American Horror Story:

  • Life in Pieces – On the surface this CBS comedy may seem like the lovechild of Modern Family and Parenthood, but with each episode focusing on different combinations of a large and talented cast — including Oscar-winner Dianne Wiest, James Brolin, Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad) and Colin Hanks (Fargo) — should help the new series quickly establish its own identity apart from those other popular family-focused shows.
  • Blind Spot – This new NBC drama centers on a treasure map of a tattoo covering the body of an amnesiac (Jaimie Alexander) who has no idea who she is, what she does, or why she’s covered in tattoos that are keys to countless mysteries. Each answer raises new questions, so you can expect a roller-coaster of a ride from this series.
  • Scream Queens – Ryan Murphy’s new anthology series brings the original scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, True Lies), back to the horror genre in a big way as dean of a university where a serial killer is targeting a snooty sorority. Focusing on one story and cast per season helps attract actors who want to do TV without getting tied down to a multi-year contract. Among those joining Curtis are Lea Michele (Glee), Emma Roberts (American Horror Story), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee), and Nasim Pedrad (SNL)

The new season has barely begun and there’s already new programming to suit just about anyone’s taste. Don’t be afraid to sample shows that seem different from your usual fare. You might just enjoy it. And if you don’t you can always change the channel.

Programming Notes

Doctor Who season premiere is Saturday at 8 p.m. on BBC America.

67th Emmy Awards airs live Sunday starting at 7 p.m. on Fox.

Life in Pieces debuts Monday at 7:30 p.m. on CBS.

Blind Spot debuts Monday at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.

Scream Queens debuts Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. on Fox and moves to its regular 8 p.m. time slot the following week.

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