New TV Awards: ‘Ben and Kate,’ ‘Last Resort’ among our winners

This has turned out to be a rather interesting season of new TV, and we’ve really had a little bit of everything … at least so long as you don’t like reality TV.

So for the first time this year, we’re going to try and celebrate some of these achievements by handing down our own awards for some of the best (or at least the most promising) shows of the fall season. You have to remember, though, that these awards are based solely on pilots, and this can change in the weeks ahead. A bad show can get better over time (see “Whitney” from last year), and a great idea can fade out quickly and disappoint (“Smash”).

Best New Comedy – “Ben and Kate” (Fox, premiering Tuesday) – Is Ben Fox a little much? Sure, but there are so many laughs throughout here it is impossible to hate this show. Even though the subject matter is a little bit different, it’s almost like “Two and a Half Men” if the jokes were mature and if Alan Harper was played by a woman. If there is any justice in the world, this show will last for a long, long time.

Best New Drama – “Last Resort” (ABC, premiering Thursday) – There was some great competition here, but what really won us over was Andre Braugher as Captain Marcus Chapman, a man who, along with his crew, has to create his own temporarily sovereign nation follow being declared an enemy of the state. Braugher’s performance here is proof that there are people doing stellar work across network TV … you just have to give them a chance.

Most Promising Comedy – “The Mindy Project” (Fox, premiering Tuesday) – Mindy Kaling’s post-“Office” vehicle felt like it was a by-the-numbers TV pilot in some ways to introduce you to the characters; thankfully, there is still some good news in that the vast majority of the characters we saw were people we not only liked, but people we would want to actually watch again.

Most Promising Drama – “Arrow” (The CW, premiering October 10) – We were not expecting to love “Arrow” more than “Smallville,” but we did. Stephen Amell was a fantastic hero, and we don’t know if we have seen a superhero show do as good of a job at establishing an origin and creating so much intrigue within the span of one hour.

Most Disappointing Comedy – “The Neighbors” (ABC, premiering Wednesday) – Yes, this is our fault for having high hopes here. However, ABC’s Wednesday’s comedy lineup on Wednesday nights is generally stellar, and you would think that such a stinker like this “3rd Rock from the Sun” imitation would be on the same level. It’s not.

Most Disappointing Drama – “Revolution” (NBC, already airing) – It has J.J. Abrams, Eric Kripke, an interesting idea, and pretty visuals. What “Revolution” is lacking is a soul, and this is why other networks have failed in their quest to find the next “Lost.”

Worst New Comedy – “Guys with Kids” (NBC) – There is nothing redeemable here. If your entire show and all of its punchlines can be described in its title, it is a serious problem.

Worst New Drama – “Chicago Fire” (NBC) – It’s actually not so much that “Chicago Fire” is a terrible show. It’s just a very mediocre show. Plus, we’ve already had “Rescue Me,” and seeing Jesse Spencer get a new show does not make up for that.

What are some of your current favorites from the new season? We want to hear some of your thoughts below! If you want to check out some more of our Fall TV Preview series, be sure to head over to the link here.

Photo: Fox

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