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The 5 Worst Network Pilots of the Fall Season

Unfortunately, not every television show made can be the next Breaking BadThe Wire, or Kid Nation. Some won't be good and some will be downright bad. Years of experience has taught us that we tend to get a lot of these during the big fall push by the networks when they show off their new wares, but this season, things are a tiny bit different! For the better! The amount of absolute stinkers is down, while the number of "ehhh, whatever" shows is on the rise. Hence, our list of the five worst pilots of the fall season focuses not only on the shows that are not as good as the rest, but decent shows that have major problems that will hopefully be fixed down the line. Watch these at your own risk!

(We also have a list of the five pilots we thought were the best.)

Grandfathered (Fox)

Premieres: Tuesday, September 22 at 8pm

Better known as The Show With John Stamos, this shlock stars the former Full House heartthrob as a playboy restauranteur (okay) who discovers that he has a full-grown son (ugh) from an old fling, and his son has a baby daughter, making Stamos' character an unexpected grandfather (UGH). Grandfathered, get it? You can already see Stamos making a "stinky diaper" face when he's left in charge of the little one while Table 30 waits for their veal piccata. Elsewhere, Josh Peck stars as the meek son with his own relationship problems, and it's up to studly dad to show him the ropes. But did they have to make Peck's character so helpless? Yep, because this is The John Stamos Show.

Dr. Ken (ABC)

Premieres: Friday, October 2 at 8:30pm

Community's Ken Jeong can't save this changtastrophe about a doctor (Jeong, who was a real doctor before turning to acting) with poor bedside manner. Jeong's not bad in Dr. Ken and brings a ton of his wound-up energy to the show, but the material he has to work with (and the laugh track) bring him down. This multi-cam comedy broke the speed record for failing the Butt Stuff Joke test by making its very first line of dialogue a joke about rectal exams. It's downhill from there. Trophy Wife's adorable Albert Tsai is trapped in this as Jeong's son, so expect #SaveAlbertTsai to start trending in a few weeks.

Blindspot (NBC)

Premieres: Monday, September 21 at 10pm

Why so serious, Blindspot? The much-hyped-by-NBC drama thinks it's an Oscar-winning tough-guy movie, but it's really the latest forced contortion of a network procedural drama trying to freshen up a stale genre in absurd ways. Yeah, it's about an FBI guy (Sullivan Stapleton) who solves crimes, but he does it by reading the tattoos all over the body of a Jane Doe (Jaime Alexander) who can't remember who she is or why she wound up naked in a duffle bag in Times Square. If we had a nickel, lady. Just deal with it. There's zero amount of fun in the show as characters bark orders at each other like a pack of grumps, and the seriousness doesn't work under network decency standards.

Truth Be Told (NBC)

Premieres: Friday, October 16 at 8:30pm

Actually, Truth Be Told isn't terrible terrible, but the premise sold to us (BFF couples who are also neighbors tell it like it is) wasn't what we saw in the pilot. Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tone Bell star as the husbands in these friendly couples, and the focus quickly devolves into how much typical guy shit they can get away with without their wives knowing instead of involving anything of substance or a solid point of view, which was made all the more apparent after the strong run of the superior (and also multi-cam) The Carmichael Show this summer. Bell's great, but truth be told? The rest of the show is not.

Minority Report (Fox)


Premieres: Monday, September 21 at 9pm

Though it's based on the 2002 film, which was adapted from a Philip K. Dick short story, Minority Report is but a mere police procedural stuck in the future. There might be some pilots that were worse than this, but our disappointment in Fox taking a promising concept—a man can see crimes before they happen—and turning it into something generic was enough to put the show on the list. There's no reason Minority Report needs to be set in the future based on its premise, but the show takes every opportunity to show off future doodads and gizmos as if they're important to the story. They're not. Make the sci-fi part of the actual core of the story, and get back to us, Minority Report.

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