Lori’s List: What’s hot (‘Gotham’) — or not (‘Forever’) — in the week’s new TV shows

SHARE Lori’s List: What’s hot (‘Gotham’) — or not (‘Forever’) — in the week’s new TV shows


7 p.m. Monday, WFLD-Channel 32

This gritty, atmospheric “Batman” prequel ranks as the fall’s best new drama on broadcast television. A very young Bruce Wayne in his pre-Dark Knight days takes a back seat to an entertaining ensemble led by Ben McKenzie. The former “Southland” star does a turn as Detective Jim Gordon, a straightlaced cop saddled with a morally questionable partner (Donal Logue) and a crime-ridden city. Noirish Gotham serves as an incubator for iconic DC Comics villains including Catwoman, the Riddler and the Penguin. The latter (Robin Lord Taylor) steals every scene he’s in — until sassy crime boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) steals it back.

Rating:[s3r star=3.5/4]


8 p.m. Monday, WBBM-Channel 2

Maybe I’m just tired of computer hacking prodigies who don’t know how to act at a party, but this drama — loosely based on a real Irish genius who hacked into NASA’s computers as a teenager — is full of artificial intelligence. A quartet of socially awkward brainiacs gets enlisted by the government to catch the bad guys against all odds. Rinse and repeat. The addition of a misunderstood, brilliant kid belonging to a diner waitress unconvincingly played by Katharine McPhee doesn’t help. Note to TV producers: Please stop trying to make Katharine McPhee happen.

Rating: [s3r star=1.5/4]


9 p.m. Monday (sneak peek) and Tuesday (regular time slot), WLS-Channel 7

ABC’s new crime-solving drama about an immortal medical examiner is nothing more than a shameless “Sherlock” ripoff, from the opening music to the British-accented protagonist with a knack for deductive reasoning. Why stop there when there are more shows to crib? The inevitable relationship between Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) and Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza) smacks of “Bones” and “Castle,” while Morgan’s long-lost love from another century rings hollow — as in “Sleepy Hollow.” Here’s hoping “Forever” doesn’t last nearly that long.

Rating: [s3r star=1/4]


8:30 p.m. Wednesday, WLS-Channel 7

More than any network, ABC has made diversity a top priority, with new shows that do more than just cast minorities; they tell their stories. This family sitcom co-created by Anthony Anderson centers on a successful businessman (Anderson) with an equally successful, biracial wife (Tracee Ellis Ross) who worries that his privileged children aren’t in touch with black culture. The pilot is a little light at bringing the funny, but the concept has promise — and Laurence Fishburne.

Rating: [s3r star=2.5/4]


9 p.m. Thursday, WLS-Channel 7

Oscar nominee Viola Davis plays alaw professor whose star pupils land in legal trouble of their own in this crazy-train pilot; watching it sometimes feels like trying to follow a trail of breadcrumbs in a hurricane. Executive-produced by Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy” —basically all of ABC’s Thursday night lineup), the show would benefit from easing up on the frenetic pace, taking a breath every now and then, and making its younger cast members seem like they’re actually in law school, not an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog.

Rating: [s3r star=2.5/4]

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