The fall TV season is coming, which means a lot of new shows will be vying for your attention over the next few months. But a few have already caught our eye, and they demanded we include them in a Top 10 list. So because they're very convincing (incriminating photos, etc.), we've assembled a roster of shows that we're calling our most anticipated new programs of 2012.
One note before we start, though, because we like to be honest with you guys. The slate of new shows this fall is... how do you say it? Not awesome. Comedy is especially barren, but the dramas aren't looking a whole lot better. And the worst part is that our old lifeline, cable, is almost entirely silent on the new-shows front until 2013. Hence, there are lots of network programs listed below. Let's face it, we were kind of spoiled last year.
But that's okay, because many of the new shows feature familiar faces! Hey look, Matthew Perry! He used to be famous! And Dennis Quaid! He's still in the business! And Connie Britton and Andre Braugher are stopping by network TV to show people how to act! So even if their series don't turn out to be very good, at least you'll be able to reminisce about their former roles.
10. Ben and Kate (Fox)
When it's on: Mondays at 10pm starting September 17
Who's in it: Nat Faxon, Dakota Johnson, Maggie Jones, Lucy Punch, and Echo Kellum
What it's about: It's about Ben and Kate, dummy! They're brother and sister; the former is a vagabond dreamer and the latter is a responsible single mom working as a waitress. Ben comes back into Kate's life after some time away and helps her raise her daughter Maddie (one of several adorable kids on new TV shows this fall), and Kate helps Ben get his feet back on the ground.
Why we're excited about it: Faxon and Johnson are both pretty good on their own, but it's their chemistry that makes this show fly. They seem like real siblings—you know, the kind who rub each other the wrong way but would rip out the throats of each others' enemies. There's a lotta heart here.
9. Vegas (CBS)
When it's on: Tuesdays at 10pm starting September 25
Who's it: Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, Carrie-Ann Moss, Jason O'Mara, Taylor Handley
What it's about: This 1960s drama is based on the life of Ralph Lamb, a Las Vegas sheriff who got all cowboy on the mobsters that were moving into the Strip.
Why we're excited about it: Michael Chiklis finally goes back to playing bad, and Quaid has the potential to rejuvenate his career (though he'll always be the guy who was injected into Martin Short in Innerspace to us). The sets look good, and TV can always use more men in big hats.
8. Hunted (Cinemax)
When it's on: Fridays at 10pm starting October 19
Who's in it: Melissa George, Adam Rayner, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Stephen Dillane
What it's about: A hot female spy gets betrayed by her own people and hides out undercover as a nanny. But trouble finds her again.
Why we're excited about it: It's produced by the people behind The X-Files and U.K. series Life on Mars and Spooks/MI5! Plus, "hot female spy." And she kicks ass if this trailer is any indication.
7. Arrow (CW)
When it's on: Wednesdays at 8pm starting October 10
Who's in it: Steven Amell, Katie Cassidy, Colin Donnel, Paul Blackthorne
What it's about: It's a gritty re-telling of the DC Comics character The Green Arrow, with enough abs for four Mr. Universes. Think of it as Batman Begins for The Green Arrow.
Why we're excited about it: This ain't no high-school teen party; people DIE. And the action sequences we've seen are tricked out with Parkour and serious stunts. Yes, it's still a CW show, but it's a lot darker than you'd think. Oh! One more thing: ABS.
6. Coma (A&E; miniseries)
When it's on: September 3 and 4 at 9pm
Who's in it: Lauren Ambrose, Steven Pasquale, Geena Davis, James Woods, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss
What it's about: I dunno, it's pretty much a mystery! But a bunch of people in a hospital fall into deep comas and things get scary from there. Based on the story by Robin Cook.
Why we're excited about it: This four-hour miniseries plays out over two nights, so commitment is minimal (and we're all for that). But atmospherically, it looks like it has the goods to creep us out.
5. The Mindy Project (Fox)
When it's on: Tuesdays at 9:30pm starting September 25
Who's in it: Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Ed Weeks, Anna Camp, Stephen Tobolowsky
What it's about: Kaling ditches The Office for her own sitcom about an obstetrician (or gynecologist if you're a pervert) who's unlucky in love and super obsessed with romantic comedies and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and other people like that.
Why we're excited about it: Kaling's one of The Office's brightest talents, and there's more to her than Kelly Kapoor. Messina is looking like a promising sitcom asshole, too!
4. Elementary (CBS)
When it's on: Thursdays at 10pm starting September 27
Who's in it: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn
What it's about: You know how there are a bunch of different versions of Sherlock Holmes out there? Well, now there's one more! This time in modern-day New York City. And also this time Watson has lady parts!
Why we're excited about it: Miller has been a favorite of ours since Trainspotting, and after the executive producers said they don't want Sherlock and Watson to become romantically entangled, we softened our stance on the gender swap. This has a chance to be something CBS needs: cool.
3. Go On (NBC)
When it's on: Tuesdays at 9pm starting September 11 (However, the pilot already premiered as part of a sneak peek. Watch it now!)
Who's in it: Matthew Perry, Laura Benanti, Julie White, Brett Gelman, John Cho, Allison Miller
What it's about: A loudmouth sports-talk radio show host is forced to attend group therapy sessions with a bunch of goofballs after his wife dies in a car accident.
Why we're excited about it: The return of Matthew Perry, for one. But Go On mixes some legitimate funny with some touchy-feely drama for a half-hour that's unlike most other sitcoms on TV.
2. Nashville (ABC)
When it's on: Sundays at 10pm starting October 2
Who's in it: Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, and who cares who else!
What it's about: An aging country-music star must revitalize her career by piggybacking on the stardom of a cocky, up-and-coming vixen. Let the fur fly!
Why we're excited about it: This is like Tami Taylor versus Julie Taylor! These roles were tailor-made for Britton and Panettiere, and who doesn't love song lyrics comparing old boyfriends to broken-down pickup trucks?
1. Last Resort (ABC)
When it's on: Thursdays at 8pm starting September 27
Who's in it: Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman, Autumn Reeser, Robert Patrick, Daisy Betts, Dichen Lachman
What it's about: The crew of an American military submarine defies orders to flatten Pakistan with a flock of nuclear missiles, and becomes a target of the U.S. itself. On the run (swim?), the crew parks at a tropical island, declares the island a sovereign nuclear country, and starts searching for a way to prove its innocence.
Why we're excited about it: Shawn Ryan (The Shield) created this show, and he does not make bad television. But of all the new shows, this is the only that's focused on being a hard thriller.
Close, but not quite there:
... Revolution (NBC), about a massive power outage that sends the world into a post-apocalyptic Stone Age. There's potential here, but there's also potential for it to be a boring mess.
... 666 Park Avenue (ABC), which stars Terry O'Quinn as a devilish apartment building owner in New York City. If it takes itself less seriously, it could be a fun time!
... The New Normal (NBC), about two gay men and the new family they form when they find a surrogate mother for their future child. The pilot can get preachy at times, but it can also be touching.
... Animal Practice (NBC), a comedy about a monkey. And other things, I think.
Which new shows are you most looking forward to this fall? Post your own list in the comments, then cast your vote in our new show bracket poll.