Fall TV: What is your family watching?

I love the start of the fall TV season and trying to figure out which shows are worthy of our DVR space. This year is interesting because for the first time there are prime-time TV shows that our kids are actually interested in watching. Bedtime isn’t an issue because you can tape them and they can watch in the afternoons.

Both of the big kids are interested in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Michael watched the first episode with them, and I listened from the bedroom. It seemed appropriate for them. They are both interested in the new “Sleepy Hollow” but I think it’s too intense and violent for them so they haven’t watched that one. Our 12-year-old is really excited about the new Alice in Wonderland take off  “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.”  And the 10-year-old likes “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” I’m not sure if that is a compliment to Andy Samberg or not.  His humor is enjoyed by a 10-year-old.

They always want to watch “The Simpsons,” “Survivor” and sometimes “Amazing Race.”

Of the new shows, I am most excited about “Sleepy Hollow” and “The Trophy Wife.” I didn’t think I would like “The Trophy Wife” but I really do.  I think the kids are funny and all the actors pull it off. I think the writing is pretty smart too.

As a child of the 1980s, I thought I would love “The Goldbergs” but it’s not as solid as “The Trophy Wife.”  I love Jeff Garlin and Wendi McLendon-Covey (of “Reno 911” and “Bridesmaids”) “The Goldbergs” has made me cry two weeks in a row at the end. In the first episode, the mom was sniffing her baby’s blanket lamenting them growing up and in the second it’s a similar sentiment and then I’m just crying on the couch. I like at the end of the show they show the creator’s home movies basically which the actors just portrayed.

I want to love the new Michael J. Fox show because we grew up with him, but it took me two days to get through the pilot. I think I will leave it on our DVR to do list for now. I didn’t love Robin Williams “The Crazy Ones” although I do like the actor the borrowed from “Mad Men” – James Wolk.

I haven’t caught “Mom,” with Anna Faris and Allison Janney, although Entertainment Weekly radio seemed to think it was good. I am willing to give it a try but I don’t think I will give “Dads” a try. (I think they need to work harder on these names.)

We were happy to welcome back “The Mindy Project” and “New Girl.” The “Mindy Project” makes me so happy. We’re still hanging in there on “How I Met Your Mother,” although we don’t enjoy it much as we watch.  “Modern Family,” “Parks and Rec” and “The Amazing Race” are always on our list. And we are finally caught up on “Homeland” and have Showtime for the next few months to watch it. (We subscribe and cancel cable channels based on which shows are on. We will subscribe to HBO only when “Game of Thrones” is back.) I am also excited about “Elementary” being back but Michael never watches it.

SheKnows.com recommended nine family friendly shows for the new fall season and five that you should not watch with your kids.

Here are nine family friendly shows to check out.

Here are five shows SheKnows.com says you shouldn’t watch with your family.

What new fall shows are you most excited about? Will you share them with your kids? What returning shows are you most excited about?

55 comments Add your comment


October 8th, 2013
10:57 am

Scandal! Scandal! Scandal! And I just picked up Ironside because I love Blair Underwood. I liked it.

I wouldn’t let kids watch either but I am child-free so it doesn’t matter at my place.

I have a question of parents, though, regarding “cartoons”. Is it me or are some “cartoons” just not appropriate for children? I know my brother watches some that I think he shouldn’t let the kids watch (watching my mama clutch her invisible pearls trying not to say anything was quite hilarious) but he says “they’re cartoons” and keeps it moving. I don’t watch cartoons so we negotiate something else when I’m at the house but some of that stuff is raunchy. I don’t think I’m a prude, or even overly conservative, but maybe I am when it comes to things kids do, see, and say. Oh, Lord! I might be my father with a wig on “do as I say not as I do”.

Young Lady

October 8th, 2013
10:59 am

Sleepy Hollow is hands down my new favorite show. I haven’t gotten to watch any of SHEILD yet. I have had to go shopping every Tuesday for the past 3 weeks so I this will be the first night I watch it. Whedon shows tend to start slow so I don’t feel bad jumping in on episode 3.


October 8th, 2013
11:06 am

I have been disappointed by this fall class. I like The Blacklist, Sleepy Hollow and Agents of Shield. I tried Hostages but I couldn’t get engaged. I tried a few of the comedies but all were stale.

I guess this works for me since I don’t watch much TV.


October 8th, 2013
11:13 am

Try The Middle, although not new. A show about normal family trying to do make it to tomorrow. It is hilarious without any inappropriate language, content, innuendo, etc. ABC/Wednesdays @ 8:00.


October 8th, 2013
11:20 am

We don’t have cable, just a Roku. Also, we seem to not be able to settle down to watch anything until 9pm because of work and homework and chores. So, we watch two shows and we alternate which we’ll watch each day – Supernatural and The Office. We’re a season behind and it’s on Netflix so time of day doesn’t matter.


October 8th, 2013
11:22 am

Ouu of all the shows that you listed, Sleepy Hollow is the only one that we’ve watched..The boy (11) loves it and will watch it when it comes on, the watches it again on on demand..I also watch (not new) Revenge..These two are it for us..

Just Me

October 8th, 2013
11:59 am

@ iRun,

Check out Hulu. You can watch it via your Ruku. It has current shows that you would find on NBC, CBS and other networks, also shows from some of the cable channels. You can get the current season plus all the previous seasons. Most of the network shows are available the day after it plays on television. Also has movies and documentaries. All for $8 a month (yes, you get one minute of commercials but that’s what keeps it at just $8 a month). You can get a trial week free. This isn’t a paid review, I just really love it.

Does anyone watch The Soulman on TVland?

Busy Mom

October 8th, 2013
12:19 pm

Not for kids, but “Blacklist” on NBC with James Spader!

ATL Born and Raised

October 8th, 2013
12:21 pm

I generally can’t stand anything on network TV (I guess I’m not in the target demographic) but there are a handful of exceptions. Scandal (it’s actually a terrible show, but I can’t NOT watch it), Castle, Bones, Parks and Rec, and Modern Family. That’s it. Everything else is cable and decidedly not appropriate for children, e.g. The League, It’s Always Sunnny, and South Park.

I really love BBC America’s shows – Luther, Orphan Black, and Dr. Who (this one is actually family friendly). I think all my favorites are on HBO and Showtime. So ready for Game of Thrones to come back.

ATL Born and Raised

October 8th, 2013
12:23 pm

@Just Me

I don’t like Hulu precisely because they charge you and show commercials. You can buy an HD antenna and watch network shows for free over the air.

Real Life

October 8th, 2013
12:31 pm

Only a few shows on Science and Discovery channel in our household. If the major networks relied my household’s TV viewing habits they would have been out of business years ago. We do watch some sports on the weekend, but overall TV is not a normal entertainment choice in our home.

But, ATL Born...

October 8th, 2013
12:40 pm

…those HD antennae ain’t cheap and are, on occasion, affected by weather, at least mine was…


October 8th, 2013
12:59 pm

Some good new comedies out there…Dads, Mom, The Millers, Back in the game–also Modern Fam, Big Bang, New Girl. Parenthood is pretty good too.


October 8th, 2013
1:23 pm

Take the time (or DVR it) to watch the Turner Classic Movie debut of a great documentary on the History of Film. It airs every Monday night at 10 (or so). They are up to episode 6. It starts in 1894 with the first films and does an outstanding job of covering the innovations and contributions by film pioneers from all over the world. Additionally, many of the films highlighted in the documentary are shown on Monday and Tuesday so you can see these innovative works. It definitely gives you a real appreciation for the movies that really added something to the art form. Great watching for the entire family. Will cause you to look at film in a whole new light. TCM always has the best things to watch.


October 8th, 2013
1:47 pm

I heard a clip about this link below, on the radio today and the comment was that adults are not reading books. Many do not read at all. LET’S HEAR IT FOR TV!


POLL: 28 Percent Of Americans Have Not Read A Book In The Past Year


October 8th, 2013
2:06 pm

My family watches Duck Dynasty for family morals.

mystery poster

October 8th, 2013
2:21 pm

@Just me
You can only get the paid Hulu Plus on your roku, not the regular free Hulu.


October 8th, 2013
2:31 pm

i really haven’t seen much of the new season. i watched brooklyn 911 and felt so sorry for andre braugher.

now have caught the new season of jeopardy.

personally, don’t care too much for what is on tv now….give me tvland, metv or antenna tv or the old movie channels.


October 8th, 2013
2:35 pm

For “family” watching, we added Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (boy that’s a pain to type) as a new program. For the adults, we’re giving Robin Williams’ show a chance as as well as The Tomorrow People since we enjoy Arrow. As a family, we watch Mythbusters, which is a fantastic educational show for just about all ages, especially elementary on up.


October 8th, 2013
2:36 pm

Definitely not for kids, but we’re looking forward to the new season of “Grimm” set to begin on NBC this week or next week at our house.


October 8th, 2013
2:48 pm

@ Just Me….are you talking about the show with Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash? I watched that once and it was mighty terrible. I wanted to like it because I love them both but it was buffoonery and foolery at it’s “finest”.


October 8th, 2013
3:05 pm

Trophy Wife & most of ABCs sit coms are being predicted to cancel. Several from NBC & the crazy onrs are also predicted to cancel. Sadly Back in the Game is expected to cancel too. Love James Caan.

Gray’s is in contract negotiation per Patrick Dempsy on letterman. Glee is signed for another (final?) Season. Last Man Standing is on the bubble but likely to renew. Marvel was down 30% over premier but we hope it lasts. Survivor Blood vs Water is doing well. Once Upon A Time is a go but not sure about the spin off. Big Bang & Modern Family are a must.

Cant wait for Twisted, Switched at Birth, Melissa and Joey, and Baby Daddy to be back. Mostly the DVR has like 2 nights where we have to juggle priorities (Wed & Thurs) but mostly prime time has been a big let down. No real need for 2 DVR most nights.

Books are certainly a big draw. House if Hades came out today and Alligiant is out on the 21st. Then movies kick up in Nov/Dec.


October 8th, 2013
4:04 pm

Okay…I don’t get regular TV, satellite, or cable. We do have netflix, so my kids like to watch How the Universe was Made (my 6 year old is astronomy obsessed), The Twilight Zone, The Suite Life, and Midwives. I guess I can’t really add to this conversation.

@MJ – We should start up a book club. Let’s start off with The Ice Master by Jennifer Nivens…a historical account of the survivors of the Kurluk, shipwrecked in the Artic in 1913.


October 8th, 2013
4:08 pm

I enjoyed The Goldbergs’ first episode but found the second one so painful and unfunny. I was disappointed because I thought it would get better with time. I didn’t care for Trophy Wife at all. I do like The Mindy show a bit, and usually watch it on demand a few days later. It is not “must see” but better than most of what else is out there. I don’t understand why comedies are often so badly written.


October 8th, 2013
4:13 pm

@Janice – I tried watching Brooklyn 9-1-1 and couldn’t, and I thought the same thing about Andre Braugher. Great actor – bad show. I liked “men of a Certain Age’ a few years ago and wished that had lasted more than 2 seasons. He was good on that program.


October 8th, 2013
4:15 pm

Gosh — I just couldn’t get excited by any of them. :-( I watch “How I Met Your Mother” (probably a good thing it’s the last year, but it’s nice to see how they will wrap everything up), and I always watch “NCIS” (not “NCIS: L.A.”) Other than that — eh. I watched the first “The Crazy Ones”, and was disappointed, because I really wanted to like it since I enjoy Robin Williams. And “The Michael J. Fox” show was just a little too — I dunno — too much like “this is my life, but not really, but it’s close . . .” I watched the pilot and the second one — and just kinda drifted away during the second one. It didn’t hold my interest . . .

In other news, for Diana Gabaldon “Outlander” fans, today was the first day of taping for the series that will air next spring on Starz :-)

C from Marietta

October 8th, 2013
4:55 pm

@ Real Life

Yeah right. I only read Playboy for the articles.

OMG!!! That bowling ball is my wife!!!!

October 8th, 2013
7:14 pm

I love watching midget bum fights on You Tube.


October 8th, 2013
9:37 pm

Two words —- Doctor Who.

OMG!!! That bowling ball is my wife!!!!

October 8th, 2013
10:06 pm

One word


OMG!!! That bowling ball is my wife!!!!

October 8th, 2013
10:07 pm

Now hand over your lunch money nerd!


October 9th, 2013
6:39 am

@MamaS, Doctor Who is right. Can’t wait for next month when it’s back!

Amanda's Mom

October 9th, 2013
7:29 am

I really wanted to like The Goldbergs. Just couldn’t stand all the swearing. I know they bleep it out but it’s not needed. We know what they said. Real talent doesn’t need swear words to be funny.


October 9th, 2013
7:34 am

For Me: Doctor Who, Face Off, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Once Upon a Time occasionally
With the Kid: Through the Wormhole, Face-Off, Jeopardy, (several random cartoon shows from different channels)

Mostly the T.V. is on for the noise. It usually doesn’t come on til late afternoon. Sometimes in the morning for the news. Half the time I can’t tell you what’s on or when it plays. We use On Demand a lot.


October 9th, 2013
7:55 am

Nothing I can add as we don’t watch network TV except for Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef. Any ohter shows are on non-network channels.


October 9th, 2013
9:40 am

I have used this site for the last several seasons and I find that they are very good at knowing what will stay and what will go:


Note from the above site: Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows by the end of the 2013-14 season in May, 2014.

From the site:

Lucky 7 has been cancelled.

Mom only dropped 12% in Week 2. It was still CBS’ second worst rated comedy, when midseason options like Friends With Better Lives and Bad Teacher are lurking.

Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine continue to drop; they are now doing worse than The Mindy Project (which interestingly enough is still above where it ended last Spring). I am going to predict them all as canceled until we get midseason show comparisons.


October 9th, 2013
10:09 am

@Just Me – we looked into Hulu but couldn’t stomach the idea of paying AND still watching commercials. We’re so far behind on TV shows that we just watch on Netflix and don’t know any better.

Oh, if anyone is looking for a different kind of show check out Ripper Street. It was on BBC America. Each show is an hour long. But there are only 8. It’s fantastic and it’s going to have another season in 2014.

From Wikipedia:

“Ripper Street is a BBC TV series set in Whitechapel in London’s East End in 1889, six months after the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. The series stars Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg. The first episode was broadcast on 30 December 2012 as part of BBC One’s Christmas 2012 package. It began airing in the U.S. on BBC America on 19 January 2013. It was confirmed on 29 January 2013 that Ripper Street will return for a second eight-part series to be aired in late 2013 and early 2014.”

I watched all 8 episodes over the course of a week. I couldn’t stop watching it.


October 9th, 2013
10:10 am

More about Ripper Street from Wiki:

The story begins in April 1889, six months since the last Jack the Ripper killing, and in Whitechapel H Division is responsible for policing one and a quarter square miles of East London: a district with a population of 67,000 poor and dispossessed. The men of H Division had hunted the Ripper and failed to find him. When more women are murdered on the streets of Whitechapel, the police begin to wonder if the killer has returned.
Among the factories, rookeries, chop shops, brothels and pubs, Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) and Detective Sergeant Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) team with US Army surgeon and former Pinkerton agent Captain Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) to investigate the killings.[3] They frequently cross paths with Tenter Street brothel madam Long Susan (MyAnna Buring), who came to London with Jackson from America and lets him reside at the brothel. Their relationship becomes strained due to Jackson’s attraction to one of her most profitable girls, Rose Erskine (Charlene McKenna), and because of his close involvement with H Division and Reid.
Sensationalist newspaperman Fred Best (David Dawson) knows a dark secret about Reid’s daughter’s death. Although still being troubled by her daughter’s death, Emily Reid (Amanda Hale) determines to make a new life by helping the fallen women of Whitechapel despite her husband’s reservations.
Each episode features stand-alone crimes that serve to test Reid, Drake and Jackson, both in their working and private lives.


October 9th, 2013
12:02 pm

Network TV is for brain dead morons.


October 9th, 2013
12:32 pm

For some reason one of the most watched shows has been left out of all of the discussions. I really enjoy the NCIS and La NCIS shows. I would say they are safe for the whole family. I enjoy the writing and the characters. We also love Blue Bloods.


October 9th, 2013
12:47 pm

iRun/Just Me…thinking of killing my Dish. Netflix let’s you watch the series like a box set? Hulu lets you watch current programming? I understand I can run either from my Wii. Does anyone know if that is correct? There is just so little we want to watch but the things we do want to see we want to see for sure.


October 9th, 2013
12:55 pm

@FCM Hulu Plus allows you to watch current shows. I use Hulu Plus when there is a conflict with the DVR. We are going to drop Dish in December. Between Netflix and Hulu Plus, we have more than enough. This weekend we binged on the first season of Twisted. I only have basic cable so I don’t get ABC Family. I am okay with watching shows 6 months after they originally air.


October 9th, 2013
12:56 pm

@FCM just to clarify. Netflix shows TV about 6 months after it airs (Walking Dead, Mad Men, ABC Family Shows). Hulu Plus shows current show. I could see where my original post might be confusing.


October 9th, 2013
1:07 pm

FCM, if there are specific things you really want to watch, you’ll need to do a bit a research on those specific shows. Not everything hits Netflix and Hulu (but a lot does). Hulu picks up new episodes just after they air. I think Netflix gets shows when the season DVD is released, so you’ll be a season behind. Most non-cable shows are also available on network websites the day after they air.

Within the Atlanta metro area, I would think you could pick up 30+ channels via antenna — all the network affiliates plus their subchannels, and I think you can get TBS over the air there too. And antenna is uncompressed HD (better than cable HD). I get about 40 channels in the DC area with rabbit ears in a high rise. If I had a rooftop antenna, I think I’d get 3 more PBS channels (I have 6 now) plus maybe 10 or so channels from the Baltimore network affiliates.


October 9th, 2013
1:30 pm

Some shows Netflix will air last season around the time the new season starts. So, for that it’s good if you didn’t start watching the series when it started. We started watching The Office 5 years after it started so it was fine. And Supernatural we started watching this past year. But, when we finally watched the last episode of season 7 we had to wait to see season 8 this week…season 9 started this week, as well.

Then, again, Netflix has it’s own shows, too, like Orange is the New Black. I’ve not watched that but some people love it.

Again, Ripper Street. Awesome show. Check it out.


October 9th, 2013
3:01 pm

About 5 of us in the office are looking at switching. Best we can tell Big Bang and Survior will be the ones that we cannot see as “current” season. I am already watching most shows in a binge on the weekend. Some shows (The Following was one) I had to wait months to watch so as to not have the kids walk in (that show got creepy!). So it just might work.

Thanks for the additional info. We really wanted to know how it all works before we stop dropping our current tv plans. One person plans a new 50″ smart tv with wi fi for Christmas.


October 9th, 2013
3:10 pm

Definitely pick up a $10 digital antenna then and see what kind of reception you get for CBS — you may be all set.


October 9th, 2013
6:53 pm

Oh, yeah, we have a digital antenna, too. We rarely use it, though. My MIL uses it constantly. But we just watch shows on Netflix and movies on both Netflix and Amazon (we’re Prime members). Oh, and there are a few Roku channels we enjoy, such as TED, YouTube, Plex, and a couple others.


October 9th, 2013
6:57 pm

Gee, I’ve not seen network TV show (with exception of first two Hawaii Five-O episodes) since L.A. Law and Ally McBeal went off. Tried watching a few things, but they were so disappointing that I couldn’t make it through entire show.


October 9th, 2013
11:30 pm

We have “over the air antenna”, Roku, Netflix, Amazon Prime.

Parents have been watching recently Homeland, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, but we will have to wait awhile for the next season of Homeland and Walking Dead to be available. We still have a few seasons of Breaking Bad to watch, though.

Eight year old watches occasional movies, nature documentaries and old TV shows Gilligan’s Island, Star Trek, and Leave it to Beaver. He likes all the “contraptions” they make on Gilligan’s Island.

I was just wondering, Theresa, why are you wasting time watching a show you don’t enjoy? “We’re still hanging in there on “How I Met Your Mother,” although we don’t enjoy it much as we watch.”