Bold Predictions for the Fall 2013 TV Season

By Tim Surette

Sep 16, 2013

Anyone can make a "regular" prediction about the new TV season (example: Dads won't win an Emmy for Best Comedy), but can you make a BOLD prediction? I'm talking out-of-the-box, against-the-grain, up-the-down-escalator type of prognosticating here. I asked a few members of the staff to make some big guesses regarding what we might happen this fall and threw in several of my own; you'll find them below, along with why we think they're possible.

Make your own bold predictions in the comments, and if we get enough of them, we'll collect the best ones in an all-user "bold predictions" story. Remember, bold is beautiful!

Bold Prediction: Dads will air its entire 13-episode order

WHY IT'S BOLD: The sitcom was pegged by many critics as the worst new comedy of the season and drew all sorts of side-eyes for its use of lazy jokes sprinkled with racism. 

WHY IT COULD HAPPEN: You know who's one of the creative forces behind Dads? Seth MacFarlane, who also owns 49 percent of Fox. Well, not really, but he's responsible for a lot of Fox's Sunday success thanks to Family Guy and other animated series, he's got Cosmos coming, and he's considered a real prize in the TV world. That kind of relationship earns him a few free passes, and Fox will keep Dads on the air so it doesn't have to deplete its comedy stock while it focuses on all those miniseries it has planned for next year. As history has proven time and time again, just because a comedy is bad doesn't mean it won't air. —Tim Surette 

Bold Prediction: The Crazy Ones will go down in flames

WHY IT'S BOLD: The series is one of the most-talked about new sitcoms of the season (in a good way and not a Dads way) because it marks Robin Williams' first foray into TV in 30 years, and Sarah Michelle Gellar's return to the small screen after that horrible Ringer disaster we all like to pretend never existed.  

WHY IT COULD HAPPEN: The buzz leading up to this series is probably far more than it deserves; the pilot wasn't that strong, and probably only made it to series based on the big names attached to it. Expectations are very high, and there's a lot of potential for a letdown—especially once viewers see how unoriginal and cringe-inducing it can be. —Kaitlin Thomas

Bold Prediction: Sleepy Hollow will be the season's surprise hit

WHY IT'S BOLD: The supernatural drama isn't generating much buzz, and its ridiculous premise doesn't exactly scream blockbuster.

WHY IT COULD HAPPEN: We watch television for entertainment, don't we? Well, Sleepy Hollow—which combines "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," bible stories, the Revolutionary War, and a police procedural, not to mention a headless menace with a huge axe—is one of the most entertaining hours of the season, even if it doesn't make a whole lotta sense. Producers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman have found a happy medium between insanity and fun with this bastardization of the famous short story, and it's just the sort of series that will please a large chunk of the population even if lots of people don't love it. The show is perfect for DVR-viewing, and Fox is also giving it an encore airing on Fridays that will catch even more eyeballs. Plus, its early start (it's the first new scripted network series to debut this fall) will help it out even more. —Tim

Bold Prediction: Community will be back on the air before Christmas

WHY IT'S BOLD: After oodles of on-set and scheduling drama, the firing of series creator Dan Harmon, and a much-maligned fourth season, few people expected the show to even come back for another round. But somehow it eked out a Season 5 renewal to become one of only two returning comedies at NBC, then was promptly shown to a spot on the network's "unscheduled midseason replacement" bench.

WHY IT COULD HAPPEN: Once known for its critically acclaimed comedies, NBC is also known for reversing course on some of its grandest—and in many cases most misguided—plans. Once some of the network's new fall sitcoms start to flop and the network is regretting its decision to ever move forward with its "broader comedy" initiative, it'll need to fall back on something, and Community's renewed buzz—Harmon has returned to the showrunner's seat, and the series has announced lots of big guest-stars for Season 5—means October 19 could actually fall on October 19 this year. —Jen Trolio

Bold Prediction: Nicholas Brody dies in Homeland Season 3

WHY IT'S BOLD: Along with Emmy-winning actress Claire Danes, Emmy-winning actor Damian Lewis is one of the show's two leads.

WHY IT COULD HAPPEN: The producers of the Showtime hit weren't even sure that Brody was going to make it out of Season 1, but Showtime convinced them to bring him back for Season 2, so they're obviously not afraid to say goodbye to the character. Homeland is a lot more about Carrie than it is Brody, and their relationship—the beating heart of the program's first two seasons—has become unsustainable. A man who's wanted for terrorism and a bipolar CIA agent simply can't be together if the show wants to retain any shred of believability; their fling has run its course, which means Brody is expendable because Carrie isn't going anywhere. This series is ready for a reinvention, and it starts with burying Brody. —Tim

Bold Prediction: Anna Gun upsets Maggie Smith in the Emmy race for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

WHY IT'S BOLD: The Emmys love movie stars, and Dame Maggie Smith is definitely a movie star. Plus, she's won the statue twice for her portrayal of the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey. And people are probably afraid to vote against a dame. 

WHY IT COULD HAPPEN: Downton is no longer the drama it once was, and while Smith is still the best thing about the British import, not even she can keep that ship afloat. Her past wins have never been about her acting; they've been about who she is and what we know she's capable of. Anna Gunn's performance as Skyler in the first half of Breaking Bad's final season was spectacular. She far out-shined Smith with her acting; while Smith was good, Gunn was better. Yes, the Emmy voters do make lots of questionable decisions, but I have faith they'll do the right thing this time. —Kaitlin

Bold Prediction: Revolution will improve big-time, but that won't help it get a Season 3

WHY IT'S BOLD: Season 1 of the NBC sci-fi series was dissed by creator Eric Kripke himself, and by May, the show had lost a large portion of its initial audience.

WHY IT COULD HAPPEN: I'm kind of cheating on this one because I've seen the Season 2 premiere and whoa! It's a lot better than what we last saw. And with an overhauled writing staff (Supernatural's Ben Edlund and sci-fi vet Rockne S. O'Bannon joined the crew during the offseason) and some hard lessons still fresh in Kripke's mind, the quality should continue to improve. But the show never earned the devotion of its audience, which mostly stuck around to find out what caused of the blackout and never intended to watch Season 2 anyway. Add in a move to 8pm on Wednesdays and you're looking at a show that will never return to its glory ratings, even if it becomes the Citizen Kane of post-apocalyptic power-outage shows. —Tim

Bold Prediction: S.H.I.E.L.D. debuts H.U.G.E. but falls fast

WHY IT'S BOLD: S.H.I.E.L.D. and its gratuitous punctuation are all we've talked about all freaking summer; to call it the most-anticipated new series of the fall is an understatement at this point. 

WHY IT COULD HAPPEN: Hype is a cruel mistress; no matter how many people turn out to watch the premiere, no matter how many Joss Whedon fans profess their undying love for it, no matter how big a blockbuster The Avengers franchise might be, S.H.I.E.L.D. is nevertheless going to be a genre-y show that's scheduled on Tuesday nights alongside a handful of mismatched and not-particularly-buzzworthy new series and against CBS's most powerful acronym: NCIS. Plus, ABC still hasn't sent the pilot to critics who didn't catch it at Comic-Con or the TCA press tour, and at this point it's starting to feel like they're hiding something. Yes, tons of people will tune in at the outset, but that doesn't mean they'll stick around until May. S.H.I.E.L.D. could be this year's Revolution—Jen

What are YOUR bold predictions for the new fall season?

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  • twingma Oct 18, 2013

    my predictions: Crazy one-out, Mom-out, The Millers-out, Shield-out, Super fun night-a real stinker, Sleepy Hollow-possible keeper. Most of the new shows are really awful-glad they moved up the return of Mike & Molly from 2014 to Nov. 4th.

  • AprilFox Sep 25, 2013

    Hostages was a big disappointment, hubby, son and I did not like it. Loved The Blacklist! Ditto hubby and son. Agents of SHIELD was okay, better than Hostages. Moms was average, Dads is awful. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is not fine for me but hubby and son love it. Still loving The Voice, X-Factor is just plain awful, uninspiring and insipid. Bye, bye Simon.

  • paris_slim Sep 25, 2013

    Bold prediction?
    Tim will write his first review of a new comedy that isn't funnier than the entire season's comedy lineup, and then he'll write one review of a drama that isn't funnier than the entire season's comedy lineup. Then the world will end. Or not.

  • dh4645 Sep 24, 2013

    Bold Prediction: The Crazy Ones will go down in flames

    is this really bold? i've been saying it since i saw the 1st preview. looks horrible.

  • RobAntolik Sep 24, 2013

    Shield will be the same as past tv shows... Terra Nova was "rumored" to be a hit. Awake didn't survive either...

  • dh4645 Sep 24, 2013

    yeah thats what im afraid of. being another firefly or dollhouse for JW.

  • RobAntolik Sep 25, 2013

    He should bring back Angel, and Buffy...

  • dh4645 Sep 25, 2013

    never watched them

  • AprilFox Sep 23, 2013

    As usual I won't comment until I watch a few shows. I loved Sleepy Hollow. Not impressed with Dads but then again not a fan of McFartlane. I also have a funny feeling S.H.I.E.L.D. will go the way of Heroes, No Ordinary Family etc. Which is weird because I love Arrow. Good call on Anna Gunn. The Crazy Ones leaves a bad taste in my mouth from what I have watched in the previews.

  • mad-pac Sep 18, 2013

    Bold predictions? Let's see... In the next few months I'm going to date Tracy Spiridakos!

  • pcsjunior002 Sep 17, 2013

    BOLD Prediction:Almost Human starts strong and continues that way through to a second season!
    Why it's bold: FOX has had a number of similarly themed, sci-fi/procedural shows: Fringe, Alcatraz, and Touch to name the most recent and noteworthy. They have been good enough about getting their shows a look-in crowd, but they have all fallen far and fast with Fringe a perennial bubble show, Touch securing its second season so late that no one noticed and whose corresponding episodes were then burned off. Alcatraz didn't even make it that far.
    Why it could happen: With this show, they've been given another show with the same feel, but this has the advantage of being of Fringe quality and pedigree. Where Alcatraz and Touch suffered from middling quality, plot and characters, this show is tight and well formed and has the feel of another strong quality program. FOX will be able to draw on mistakes made and things learned when trying to market those shows, but most especially Fringe. This isn't a new thing, FOX has been trying to grab solid Sci-Fi cred for a while, and the season 5 renewal for Fringe, late as it was, built them some leeway with fans, and as long as Almost Human continues to deliver the goods, it could go all the way.

  • Riverhawk Sep 17, 2013

    The fact that the commercials show a member of the supporting cast as essentially a laugh track for Robin Williams says to me that The Crazy Ones is an almost guarnteed flop.

  • KeithOConnor1 Sep 17, 2013

    ABC: Betrayal, Back In The Game will be canceled after two episodes. Super Fun Night will air a few episodes and then they'll swap it with The Neighbors on Friday nights. Hard to believe that The Neighbors got a second season when Malibu Country performed better, but with it being on Fridays, it'll be cancelled before the end of the second season. Nashville (my favorite) hopefully will begin to improve since the only 10pm competition is CSI. CBS: We Are Men and The Crazy Ones will be canceled quickly. Mike & Molly will be back on the air before 2013 is over. Two And A Half Men (which should have been cancelled two seasons ago), whill hopefully start to drop and finally be cancelled. NBC: all the so-called comedies will be canceled (hopefully anyway). With Parenthood's move to Thursday's it's as good as dead (unfortunately). FOX: Sleepy Hollow will be the only new show to survive. Raising Hope on friday is as good as dead.

  • KeithOConnor1 Oct 03, 2013

    Back In The Game isn't that bad... Super Fun Night was great and the ratings were fairly good. The Crazy Ones was terrible and I can not believe that 15mil + watched that nonsense.

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