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'Back in the Game' (ABC)
Premiere Date: September 25
We're anticipating because: There are several new shows that could have taken this slot almost entirely on the back of a single star performance, including "Blacklist" for James Spader and "Ironside" for Blair Underwood. Here, it's Maggie Lawson who grounds this potentially slight and unstably wacky father-daughter comedy, with a performance that has both sass and heart. James Caan has moments that suggest he could be a good foil for Lawson, especially if he dials the ham down a tiny bit, while several of the kids have potential. Mostly, though, I picked "Back in the Game" because for this only occasional "Psych" viewer, Lawson's a total revelation.
We're nervous because: "Back in the Game" could go off the rails extremely easily. Without solid writing to ground things, any of the kids could become oppressively sitcom-y, while several supporting characters are already tending in that direction. "Back in the Game" has a good time slot after "The Middle" and the writers could do worse than to look to that sleeper hit for inspiration when it comes to tone management.