ABC’s “A Million Little Things” premieres Wednesday, but it feels like a desperate way for the network to have its own “This Is Us.”ABC2018 has been a pretty good year for television, but not for new network shows.
Most of the new shows that have come from the big broadcast networks feel like they’ve been done over and over again, like the medical drama “New Amsterdam” on NBC. And others, like ABC’s “A Million Little Things,” feel like knock-offs of successful shows like “This Is Us.”
In fact, network television has had a bad year generally, delivering many unwatchable or mediocre shows. While there are some promising new shows on the networks like CBS’ “Murphy Brown” reboot and ABC’s “Single Parents,” most are performing poorly with critics and audiences.
We rounded up the worst new fall TV shows on the networks, ranked according to critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
We also included each show’s description from the network, the Rotten Tomatoes audience score (which often differs from the critic score), and a revealing quote from a critic.
Here are the worst new TV shows of the 2018 fall season:
“New Amsterdam” — NBC
Description: A new medical director breaks the rules to heal the system at America’s oldest public hospital.
Critic Score: 29%
Audience Score: 77%
“Even if you are familiar with television’s tendency to make shows about great white-dude geniuses who tell everybody else what’s what and inspire the uninspired, the bluntness of the instrument at issue here might surprise you.” -Linda Holmes, NPR
“A Million Little Things” — ABC
Description: A group of friends become motivated to living fuller lives after the unexpected death of a close friend.
Critic Score: 36%
Audience Score: N/A (the show premieres Wednesday, September 26)
“A weepy wannabe from the This Is Us playbook that doesn’t build much of a case for caring about the characters, much less weeping over them.” -Verne Gay, Newsday
“I Feel Bad” — NBC
Description: Em et, the perfect mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter, is learning to be okay with being imperfect.
Critic Score: 43%
Audience Score: 44%
“When it’s not burying us in an avalanche of creaky sitcom clichés, it’s creeping us out with inappropriate sex jokes. … All I could think while watching is: They cancelled Great News for this??” -Dave Nemetz, TVLine
“Magnum, P.I.” — CBS
Description: An ex-Navy SEAL returns home from Afghanistan and uses his military skills to become a private investigator in Hawaii.
Critic Score: 53%
Audience Score: 31%
“The Magnum P.I. reboot feels unnecessary at best and absurd at worst, and the level of ridiculousness never reaches guilty-pleasure status.” -Kimberly Ricci, Uproxx
“FBI” — CBS
Description: Procedural drama about the inner workings of the New York office of the FBI, bringing to bear all the Bureau’s skills, intellect and mind-blowing technology to keep New York and the country safe.
Critic Score: 58%
Audience Score: 50%
“Given that it hits all the familiar Law & Order beats, the success of FBI is contingent on the charisma of its two leads, and the first episode does little to convince that Maggie Bell is even playing the same sport as Olivia Benson.” -Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast