<p>Michael J. Fox and Robin Williams will square off tonight at 9 with their new sitcoms.</p>

Michael J. Fox and Robin Williams will square off tonight at 9 with their new sitcoms.

Credit: NBC/CBS

Review: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' & CBS' 'The Crazy Ones'

Do these former sitcom icons still have what it takes to carry a show in 2013?

Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox became TV stars about four years apart, Williams with "Mork & Mindy" and Fox with "Family Ties." They made their first big movies about five years apart, Williams with "Popeye," Fox with "Back to the Future." The movie business took much longer to figure out how to harness Williams' unique gifts, but he's worked steadily and topped call sheets for decades. Marty McFly was instantly a perfect film role for Fox, but his run as a successful leading man only ran a few years, up through "Doc Hollywood," before he starred in some flops, went back to TV, then semi-retired due to complications from Parkinson's.

Their careers are not identical, and yet it feels somehow appropriate for these two to be returning full-time to television tomorrow on the same night, at the same time, with a pair of shows — Williams' "The Crazy Ones" (9 p.m., CBS) and Fox's "The Michael J. Fox Show" (9 & 9:30 p.m., NBC) — that seem built with the same guidelines: Step 1. Build star vehicle that lets beloved actor do the thing people love watching them do. Step 2. ________ Step 3. Profit!

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<p>Lizzy Caplan in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Lizzy Caplan in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime

'Masters of Sex' star Lizzy Caplan on nudity, the 1950s and typecasting

Why the 'Party Down' alum wanted to play sex researcher Virginia Johnson
Lizzy Caplan has carved out a successful, if very specific, niche for herself in Hollywood as a portrayer of very modern, very sarcastic women. She only occasionally gets to play the lead in things (“Party Down,” “Save the Date”) but more often than not she’s the heroine’s dark, clever best friend (“Mean Girls”).
 
With Showtime’s terrific new “Masters of Sex” (it debuts September 29 at 10 p.m.), Caplan will be eliminating a lot of preconceptions about her. As pioneering sex researcher Virginia Johnson, Caplan fits seamlessly into the late ‘50s period setting, and works wonderfully opposite Michael Sheen as Johnson’s colleague (and, at times, much more) Bill Masters. She’s still playing an assertive, independent woman — the real Virginia Johnson was very much ahead of her time — but it’s not the kind of role Caplan’s been able to play before, and she does it very, very well.
 
I'll have a "Masters" review tomorrow, and at press tour, I talked with Caplan about typecasting, coming to grips with the show’s abundant nudity and, yes (briefly) about the ever-possible idea of a “Party Down” movie.
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<p>Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher in &quot;Brooklyn Nine-Nine.&quot;</p>

Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

Credit: FOX

Evening TV Round-Up: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' & 'New Girl'

Peralta and Holt chase a tagger, and Winston tries to kill a cat

It's evening round-up time, with brief thoughts on tonight's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I'm tried as an adult Highlander...

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<p>Brett Dalton in &quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

Brett Dalton in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

Series premiere talkback: 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

What did everybody think of Joss Whedon's new ABC drama?

I published my review of ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." this morning. Now it's your turn. For those of you who tuned in tonight, what did you think? If you haven't memorized all the different Marvel movies, could you follow this? If you're a devout fan of Marvel comics and/or movies, how do you feel the world of SHIELD was adapted for TV? Did Clark Gregg work as the lead? Did you like the younger actors, or did you find yourself wishing J. August Richards was taking one of their places? Did the superhero police procedural format work for you, or did it feel too similar to non-super shows like "NCIS" or "Bones" (some of which already have pretty high-tech gadgets)?  Did the whole thing feel like a Joss Whedon show, or like Whedon (and Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen) as guns for hire for a larger entity? And will you watch again?

I'll keep watching, but the plan right now is for someone else at HitFix — most likely Drew McWeeny, who has written extensively about all of Marvel's film projects at various phases of development at his Motion Captured blog — to do weekly coverage. If I have specific thoughts on specific episodes, I'm more than free to write them here; this is just a matter of time management.

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<p>Demi&aacute;n Bichir and Diane Kruger in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Demián Bichir and Diane Kruger in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

FX renews 'The Bridge' for season 2

Diane Kruger/Demian Bichir border cop drama has had uneven first season

FX has ordered a second season of "The Bridge," the cop drama set on the El Paso/Juarez border starring Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir.

Even by FX's patient standards, this is a pretty late renewal, with only two of the first season's 13 episodes still to air. I've been reviewing the show all summer, and while I like a lot of the performances and the way the show has dealt with the world on the border, season 1 went off the rails the last few weeks with the denouement of its evil serial killer mastermind story arc.

That said, there is excellent raw material here, and the serial killer stuff was largely adapted from the original "Bron," and simply didn't translate here. I've seen tomorrow night's episode, which gets back to a lot of what the show was dealing with in its early episodes, and it's much stronger than any other recent installment. It fits with what producers Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid have said is the direction they want the show to go in, and if that's the case, I'm back on board.

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<p>Isiah Whitlock Jr. in &quot;Lucky 7,&quot;&nbsp;Malin Akerman in &quot;Trophy Wife&quot;&nbsp;and Jeff Garlin in &quot;The Goldbergs.&quot;</p>

Isiah Whitlock Jr. in "Lucky 7," Malin Akerman in "Trophy Wife" and Jeff Garlin in "The Goldbergs."

Credit: ABC

Fall TV Reviews: 'The Goldbergs,' 'Trophy Wife' & 'Lucky 7'

How do the non-'SHIELD' parts of ABC's all-new Tuesday lineup stack up?

As I noted yesterday, the combination of A)a really weak freshman class of fall shows, and B)my very slow recovery to full health means I'm not going to be doing long reviews of all the new shows (and in certain cases will be skipping them altogether).

Tuesday has four new shows debuting, all of them on ABC. (When you have as many holes as ABC has, you sometimes have to do insane things like schedule a night featuring only first-year shows.) "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." got the full review treatment, and I'll have some brief thoughts on "The Goldbergs," "Trophy Wife" and "Lucky 7" coming right up...

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<p>Maria Hill (a cameo-ing Cobie Smulders) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg)&nbsp;in &quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot; </p>

Maria Hill (a cameo-ing Cobie Smulders) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

Review: ABC's 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

HitFix
B
Readers
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Are too many companies too invested to let 'The Avengers' spin-off be special?

The overstuffed nature of the title "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." says a lot about "The Avengers" TV spin-off (it debuts tonight at 8 on ABC) as a whole. It's a show serving multiple masters in ABC, Disney and Marvel — and, in turn, the throng of Marvel superhero films to which the show will be very loosely tied. It has a whole lot of producers, though the most famous and talented of them, Joss Whedon, is too busy making the "Avengers" sequel to be as hands-on as he was in his days with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel" and "Firefly."  The pilot episode introduces three different point of entry characters for the audience, on top of mysteriously bringing Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson back from his apparent "Avengers" death.  There are many potentially fascinating shows lurking inside the "S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot, but the primary agenda seems to be to make a superpower-flavored "NCIS" — which, conveniently, will be airing right against "SHIELD."

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<p>Cristin Milioti as the Mother in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Cristin Milioti as the Mother in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Season premiere review: 'How I Met Your Mother'

Cristin Milioti gets her first big exposure as the Mother

"How I Met Your Mother" has begun its ninth and final season. A quick review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I want the Kennedy package...

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<p>Toni Collette in &quot;Hostages,&quot;&nbsp;Anna Farris in &quot;Mom&quot;&nbsp;and James Spader in &quot;The Blacklist.&quot;</p>

Toni Collette in "Hostages," Anna Farris in "Mom" and James Spader in "The Blacklist."

Credit: CBS/NBC

Fall TV Reviews: 'Mom,' 'Hostages' & 'The Blacklist'

The TV season officially kicks off tonight with a Chuck Lorre sitcom, a Jerry Bruckheimer drama, and James Spader

Hey everybody, as you know I am still in the hospital. Infections are tricky things, and we're just working to get this one under control.

I'll be fine, but for now — and even after I'm home — I'm going to be at half-speed, at best, for a while. With the TV season officially beginning tonight, this is not an ideal time for that, but what can you do? I'll be writing fewer reviews, what I do write will often be shorter than normal, etc.

As it happens, this is a pretty weak season in terms of new shows, so I have no problem cutting bait on long reviews (or reviews of any kind) of most of the newbies. When I have time or energy, I'll put together posts like this one with very quick hits on what's debuting that night, just so you have some sense of my initial thoughts. If I stick with a rookie, maybe down the road I'll do something longer. (And some shows, like "SHIELD," will get the fuller treatment up-front.) There may be shows that are just skipped altogether, maybe a lot, depending on how I feel as the week moves on.

Three premieres tonight, with a sitcom and two dramas. In order:

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<p>Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Granite State'

Walt skips town in the series' devastating penultimate installment

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I'm managing a Cinnabon in Omaha while owning three pairs of Dockers...

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