Our Staff Picks: TV Shows to Watch the Week of Sept. 19, 2016

Variety Staff

Introducing Tune In: our new weekly newsletter, offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.

Each week, Variety’s TV team will be combing through the week’s TV schedule, selecting our picks. We’ll tell readers what to watch and when/how to watch it. This week, we’re kicking off with a schedule that’s packed with fall premieres.

The Voice,” NBC, Monday, 8 p.m.

Emmy winner “The Voice” returns with Season 11, starting off with everyone’s favorite segment: the blind auditions. This time around, new coaches Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys will be spinning around in the red chairs.

The Good Place,” NBC, Monday, 10 p.m.

Mike Schur is back at NBC with his latest comedy — but will it be the next “Parks and Recreation”? If anyone can create a hit, it’s the star-studded duo of Ted Danson and Kristen Bell.

This Is Us,” NBC, Tuesday, 10 p.m.

If you miss “Parenthood,” you may want to tune into “This Is Us.” Just try to get through Dan Fogelman’s family drama without shedding a tear — thanks to the winning performances of of Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz and newly minted Emmy nominee Sterling K. Brown, as characters whose lives intersect in a compelling storyline.

Speechless,” ABC, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. (CRITICS PICK)

ABC’s success with family comedies continues with “Speechless,” a good example of how a willingness to explore challenging topics, when united with crisp commercial instincts and warmhearted compassion, can produce admirable results. The headline about “Speechless” is that one of its characters is disabled, but the show gleefully avoids being treacly or sentimental. From the outset, it treats teenager J.J. DiMeo (Micah Fowler) as a multifaceted character who has flaws and likable qualities, just like everyone else in his fractious, loving family of five. If it sustains the quality of its terrific pilot, “Speechless” is likely to emerge as the best new broadcast network comedy of the year.

Designated Survivor,” ABC, Wednesday, 10 p.m.

Kiefer Sutherland is back in his action-star element, following his iconic turn in “24.” This time, he toplines ABC’s political drama, in which he’s appointed President of the United States after an attack on Washington, D.C. wipes out the entire Cabinet. Variety’s Sonia Saraiya says the thriller is “one of the highest-quality pilots broadcast is offering this fall.”

Pitch,” Fox, Thursday, 9 p.m.

Fox is taking a big swing with the baseball bat in the new female-led drama, which showcases the talents of breakout star Kylie Bunbury, who stars as the first woman to play in the Major Leagues. Variety critic Maureen Ryan calls it “one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts.”

Transparent,” Amazon, Friday 

The third season of the critically-acclaimed Amazon series launches just days after the Emmys, which saw Jeffrey Tambor nab a repeat win as lead actor in a comedy. Season 3 welcomes guest star Caitlyn Jenner, who will appear in a dream sequence, creator Jill Soloway revealed to Variety in a recent interview.

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