You may still be mourning last season's losses of How I Met Your Mother and Raising Hope, but the upcoming 2014–2015 television season has a slew of new shows on the way.
This year, the broadcast networks are offering the usual hard-ass lady lawyers (Viola Davis' Annalise Keating on ABC's How to Get Away With Murder), quirky cop duos (played by Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters in the case of CBS's Battle Creek), and tortured superheroes (Batman's origins get the television treatment on Fox's Gotham). But, there is also an effort to shake things up this season, and literally diversify, particularly on ABC with 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley's gritty drama American Crime, Shonda Rhimes and Pete Nowalk's aforementioned Murder (which gives the Scandal creator oversight of an entire three-hour block), and some lighter fare in the form of comedies Fresh Off the Boat and black-ish.
But before we get into our first impressions, it's important to note that what follows is exactly that: These pilots we're reacting to were made available to critics by the broadcast networks and these are not reviews because everything — from the music to the dialogue to the casting — is subject to change. What hits airwaves to the American public could be drastically different from what we've seen. So, it's very possible our initial opinions upon seeing final review copies of these pilots closer to air could change. After all, some disappointing pilots have turned into some of television's greatest gems (cough 30 Rock cough).
Without further ado, let's begin with this season's biggest network risk-taker...
Selfie (Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC)
Manhattan Love Story (Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC)
Forever (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC)
black-ish (Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. on ABC)
How to Get Away With Murder (Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC)
Cristela (Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC)
Fresh Off the Boat (Midseason, TBA on ABC)
Secrets and Lies (Midseason, Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC)
American Crime (Midseason, Sundays at 9 p.m. on ABC)
The Whispers (Midseason TBA on ABC)
Galavant (Midseason, Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC)
Scorpion (Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBS)
Stalker (Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on CBS)
The McCarthys (Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBS)
Madam Secretary (Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS)
Battle Creek (Midseason TBA on CBS)
State of Affairs (Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC)
Marry Me (Tuesdays at 9 p.m.)
The Mysteries of Laura (Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC)
Bad Judge (Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC)
A to Z (Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC)
Constantine (Fridays at 10 p.m. on NBC)
Allegiance (Midseason, Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC)
Gotham (Mondays at 8 p.m.)
Red Band Society (Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox)
Mulaney (Sundays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox)
Jane the Virgin (Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW)
The Flash (Tuesdays at 8 p.m.)
Wait, aren't there a bunch of other shows for the 2014–15 season not mentioned here?
You're right: There are. However, we did not share our first impressions of spin-offs like CBS's CSI: Cyber and NCIS: New Orleans since those backdoor pilots already aired as episodes of their parent series, nor did we include Gracepoint since it was picked up off-cycle with a 10-episode order in August 2013.
Additionally, there are a bunch of pilots that have not been shot yet or that were not made available to the press — such as ABC's The Astronaut Wives Club, Marvel's Agent Carter, Members Only, NBC's A.D., Aquarius, Emerald City, Heroes Reborn, Mission Control, Odyssey, One Big Happy, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. CBS' The Odd Couple, Fox's Bordertown, Empire, Last Man on Earth, Utopia, Wayward Pines, Weird Loners, and The CW's The Messengers and iZombie.