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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: New Comedies on Fox; Arnett & Cross on IFC; Stephen King on #SOA

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"Raising Hope" premieres on Fox tonight at 9pm

"Raising Hope" premieres on Fox tonight at 9pm
Tonight Fox debuts to new comedy series, "Raising Hope" and "Running Wilde". Let's first talk about the known quantity of "Running Wilde" [Fox, 9:30pm] which has been billed as "From the Creators of 'Arrested Development'", oh yeah, that award-winning show that Fox cancelled prematurely. Well, the creators got their chance and the show has a very "Arrested Development" feel to it primarily via the presence of Will Arnett who stars as Steven Wilde, an extension of Arnett's George 'Gob' Bluth II character. We think Arnett is incredibly funny and we're sure he has more tricks in his bag than Gob, so we're not sure about why he's trotting it out again. If we're talking "Arrested Development" then where would we be without an appearance by David Cross, who has a recurring character in the series. Keri Russell stars as the female lead as a foil to Arnett.The show would be a lot funnier if it didn't feel so derivative. However, from what we understand, the two episodes that we saw at the end of July have had segments re-shot and re-edited since then, so there's hope that it won't feel so hackneyed. This isn't to say that this isn't a funny show and there isn't a better place to be if you want comedy on a Tuesday night, we just had higher expectations.

Speaking of hope, the much more original show in this new comedy hour from Fox, "Raising Hope" airs at 9pm. Starring the relatively unknown Lucas Neff as the 20-something Jimmy Chance who, by hilarious circumstances, becomes a single dad, he is well-balanced by the much more familiar Martha Plimpton and the incredible Garret Dillahunt ("Deadwood", "The Book of Daniel", "John From Cincinnati", "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles", etc.). The show is fearless: characters die, there is appalling behavior by parents, and harsh lessons are doled out. But stick with it - there is some very real feeling in there and the characters are multi-dimensional, and not strictly caricatures. Even Cloris Leachman, who stars in the now-common grandma-with-dementia schtick, connects with the other characters and the audience during her moments of clarity.
Just so you don't think we're Will Arnett- and David Cross-bashing, we urge you to keep an eye open for the premiere of their other new series, "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret" which premieres at 10pm on October 1st on IFC. This is David Cross' show so we only get Arnett doled out to us in spoonfulls that are entirely too small but perhaps less is more. Arnett is again, well-to-do but that's because he plays a cutthroat businessman running a multinational company that mistakenly employs a bumbling idiot and pathological liar with the unlikely name of Todd Margaret (David Cross).

There will be several guest stars including Janeane Garofalo (of course) and Russ Tamblyn but the other regulars are Brits as the show was shot mostly in the UK where the pilot has already aired. Perhaps because it was shot in the UK, the show feels a bit "off" but it's that off-ness that is refreshing. We don't know how the show was received in England and we don't know if the show gets re-ordered, but if you're a fan of Arnett & Cross, the show is an interesting experiment that is worthy of your time. [IFC, Fridays at 10pm starting on October 1st]
As if we needed another reason to watch "Sons of Anarchy", tonight at 10pm on FX, famed author Stephen King has a guest spot on tonight's episode. Check out the video interview with him at the end of this post and, as always, check out the #SOA blog.
The TV Junkie Plan: "Glee", "Raising Hope", "Running Wilde", "Sons of Anarchy", "The Daily Show" (Sigourney Weaver), Colbert (Google CEO Eric Schmidt), Kimmel ("Modern Family" cast members Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson)

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8:00pm Glee Fox - Season Premiere. After a tough loss at regionals, the glee club returns as the underdogs of McKinley High; Mr. Schuester pushes the students to recruit new member.

8:00pm The Biggest Loser NBC - Season Premiere.

8:00pm NCIS CBS - Season Premiere. Gibbs must take desperate measures to protect his loved ones with Paloma Reynosa still on the loose.

9:00pm Raising Hope Fox - Series Premiere. A 23-year-old man must enlist his family to help him raise a baby that is the result of a one-night stand with a wanted felon.

9:00pm NCIS: Los Angeles CBS - Season Premiere. A member of the team disappears while under cover; the team works alongside LAPD on a human-trafficking caper.

9:00pm Swords: Life on the Line Discovery - Frustrations stymie the Bjorn 2; Greenhorn Don decides to sew up his own head wound

9:00pm Dancing With the Stars ABC - The first elimination takes place; Santana performs; Daughtry performs.

9:00pm Warehouse 13 Syfy - After the events at Warehouse 2, the team tries to stop a new threat.

9:30pm Running Wilde Fox - Series Premiere. Filthy-rich, immature playboy Steve Wilde tries to win the heart of his childhood sweetheart, a liberal humanitarian.

10:00pm Sons of Anarchy FX - The club exploits its porn connections to entertain Henry Lin's clients, which doesn't sit well with one member.

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10:00pm Parenthood NBC - Adam offers Sarah an internship; Kristina tries to help Suze Lessing by baby-sitting Noel

10:00pm Detroit 1-8-7 ABC - Series Premiere. Washington and Fitch investigate a double homicide at a pharmacy.

10:00pm The Colony Discovery - A attack from the militia of outsiders strikes the Colony; the virus claims two group members.

10:00pm NCIS: Los Angeles CBS - The team tracks a mysterious hit squad after a special agent is taken out.

10:00pm Chopped Champions Food - $50,000 Tournament: Part 4 One spot is left with four more returning champs to compete to get a place in the Grand Finale

11:00pm The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Comedy Central - Sigourney Weaver guests

11:30pm The Colbert Report Comedy Central - CEO of Google Eric Schmidt guests.

11:35pm Late Show With David Letterman CBS - Actor Simon Baker; Maroon 5 performs.

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Jay Leno NBC - Actor Ed Helms; actor Casey Affleck; Sheryl Crow performs.

12:05am Jimmy Kimmel Live ABC - "Modern Family" cast members Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson; Band of Horses performs.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Actress Patricia Heaton; actor Adam Brody; Sara Bareilles performs.

12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Actress Tina Fey; actor Colin Hanks; Robert Plant performs.