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Veteran performers return in new shows


It’s that time of the year again when the networks roll out what they hope will be the new hit wonders for their station affiliates. Competition for the big three (ABC, NBC and CBS) is at an all-time high, with cable networks vying for an ever-shrinking television audience.

Each year TV Guide presents a comprehensive look at the new fall shows. As for me, I want to see how many Black performers landed jobs on the little screen. Listed below are September premieres. The list only highlights the Black celebrities featured in the show’s PR. Hopefully, more Black actors and actresses are featured in the new fall shows, but in smaller roles.

Veteran actress and super singer Vanessa Williams is back, this time she’s starring in ABC’s “666 Park Avenue.” Williams is the ultimate “bad girl” in this new network series.

An innocent Midwestern couple gets hired as resident managers of “The Drake,” a tony New York Upper East Side apartment building owned by (“Lost”) Terry O’Quinn and his wife, (“Housewives”) Vanessa Williams. The catch: The residents have all made deals with the devil to have their deepest desires fulfilled. “666 Park Avenue” premieres Sunday, Sept. 30, at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Veteran actor Andre Braugher returns to the ABC network starring in “Last Resort.”

What do you get when you cross “Crimson Tide” with “The Rock?” This Shawn Ryan thriller starring Andre Braugher as the leader of a renegade submarine crew that goes on the run after defying an order to fire nuclear missiles. They find sanctuary at a NATO base where they declare themselves the world’s smallest nuclear nation. Scott Speedman, Autumn Reeser, Daisy Betts and Robert Patrick co-star. “Last Resort” premieres: Thursday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Former Cosby kid Tempestt Bledsoe and funny man, Anthony Anderson star in NBC’s “Guys With Kids.”

This comedy from Jimmy Fallon is about guys with kids, specifically Jesse Bradford, Anderson and Zach Cregger. The three pals all live in the same apartment building and are learning the ropes of parenting together. Erinn Hayes (“Worst Week”) co-stars as Bradford’s ex-wife, Jamie-Lynn Sigler plays Cregger’s wife, Bledsoe plays Anderson’s wife. And the kids? Fourteen are used to play seven children. “Guys With Kids” premieres Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.

One of my favorite actors, Giancarlo Esposito stars as Capt. Tom Neville in the much-anticipated in NBC’s “Revolution.” Esposito stars as Capt. Tom Neville, a cultured former insurance-adjuster-turned-militia-leader in NBC’s “Revolution.”

Set in a post-apocalyptic future where there is no electricity, the series stars Elizabeth Mitchell, Tracy Spiridakos, Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito as a group of people struggling to figure out how the technology vanished and who holds the figurative power among the survivors. “Revolution” premieres Monday, Sept. 17, at 10 p.m.

Our girl NeNe Leakes of Atlanta Housewives fame will star in the NBC sitcom “The New Normal.” Her character name is Rocky, and she will be the nanny to a baby with two dads. Throw in the birth mother, her daughter and a bigoted grandmother played by Ellen Barkin, and you’ve got one hot mess.

With successful careers and a committed, loving partnership, Bryan and David are missing only one thing: a baby. Could Goldie be just the surrogate mother they’re searching for?  “The New Normal” premieres Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.

The month of October will also be a big premiere month; I will keep you posted. In the meantime, happy viewing.

Gail can be reached at