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The 2021 fall TV season: What to watch and what to skip this year

Brooke Cain, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Entertainment News

— CSI: Vegas (10 p.m., CBS) — Somehow this new “CSI: Vegas” series is not the same as the original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” series (2000-2015), which was also set in Vegas — even though it has many of the same actors. This one is considered a “sequel” to the original “CSI,” and follows a new investigator, Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome), who enlists the help of ... you guessed it, characters from the original series: Gil Grissom (William Petersen), Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) and David Hodges (Wallace Langham).

Friday, Oct. 15

— Home Sweet Home (NBC) — This new unscripted show, created by acclaimed film director Ava DuVernay, is a sort of updated (and more high-minded) version of the old “Wife Swap” show. The premise is that two very different families will exchange homes for a week, and see what it’s like to live in someone else’s world. The idea is to challenge our notions of racial, religious, economic, geographic, gender and identity assumptions.

Tuesday, Oct. 19

— Queens (10 p.m., ABC) — A new musical drama series about four women from a defunct hip-hop group who reunite in their 40s to attempt a comeback and reclaim their former glory. The women — Brianna (aka Professor Sex), Jill (Butter Pecan), Valeria (Da Thrill) and Naomi (Xplicit Lyrics) — are played by Eve, Nadine Valesquez, Naturi Naughton and Brandy, respectively. The show comes from “Scandal” writer and producer Zahir McGhee.

Friday, Oct. 22

 

— The Activist (8 p.m., CBS)- This started out as a competition series, hosted by Grammy-winning performer Usher (with co-hosts Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Julianne Hough) in which six activists from around the world would work to bring meaningful change to one of three urgent universal causes: health, education and the environment. The activists were to compete in missions, media stunts, digital campaigns and community events aimed at getting the attention of the world’s most powerful decision-makers, demanding action. Their success was to be measured via online engagement, social metrics and hosts’ input.

But after a good bit of backlash, the show format changed from reality competition to docuseries.

Monday, Oct. 25

— 4400 (9 p.m., The CW) — Another new show that’s not really a new show. This is a reboot of the USA sci-fi drama “The 4400,” in which 4,400 people who had previously disappeared from Earth are returned unchanged to Washington state. In the new series, the people who vanished were “overlooked, undervalued or otherwise marginalized,” and are returned all at once to Detroit, with no memory of what happened to them. An empathetic social worker (Joseph David-Jones) and a community corrections officer (Ireon Roach) play two civil servants who deal with the refugees.

Among the people they are trying to help: a young mother (Brittany Adebumola), who has a rocky reunion with her estranged husband (Cory Jeacoma); a WWI Army surgeon fresh from the Harlem Renaissance (TL Thompson); an influential figure from the Mississippi civil rights movement (Jaye Ladymore); a black sheep born to a notable televangelist family in Chicago (Derrick A. King); a misunderstood D-list reality TV star (Khailah Johnson); and two wildly different teens — a vibrant girl (Autumn Best) with a 1970s upbringing, and a prescient boy (Amarr) whose origin remains a mystery.

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