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Fall TV 2012: Shows I Really, Really Wanted to Like, But...

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Of all the new TV shows this fall, there aren't too many to nitpick about. There's creepy stuff ("666 Park Avenue"), the try-hards ("Revolution"), and the been there, done that ("Chicago Fire") -- all of which I didn't mind, if you must know -- and there are a few that I had high hopes for ... but, sadly, they disappointed.

"Partners"
"Will & Grace" is one of my all-time favourite shows, so coming from its creators, I had huge expectations for "Partners." But instead of being a newer, updated version of "W&G," "Partners" only comes across as a sub-par copycat. The cast just doesn't jibe. Michael Urie overacts here (at least on "Ugly Betty," it suited Marc St. James); David Krumholtz is embarrassingly unfunny (though even after "Numb3rs," his long-ago "ER" episode still haunts); and Brandon Routh needs to stick to action (sigh, "Chuck," how I miss you). Sophia Bush, however, was the show's one bright light (she always brought the funny to "One Tree Hill"), but the girl can only do so much.

"Partners" is cut from the same cloth as "2 Broke Girls" (which I absolutely detest for its predictable writing and ba-dum-bum delivery) -- but since it's part of CBS's Monday night money lineup, it'll probably be the first series to receive a full-season order. Sigh.

Debuts: Monday, Sept. 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Citytv/CBS

"The Mob Doctor"
I know it's uncool to like hospital dramas and crime procedurals, but I'm still religious aout "CSI," "Criminal Minds" and "Grey's Anatomy," and I'm always game to add more to my viewing schedule. But "The Mob Doctor" won't be one of them. Its premise -- a ballsy cardiothoracic resident (Jordana Spiro) indebted to a mob boss after striking a deal to clear her brother of his mafia ties -- is original, but it truly is just another medical drama. Now, if the hospital component was removed and it was just the mob stuff, that would have been original; executive producers Josh Berman and Rob Wright ("Drop Dead Diva") really missed out on an original opportunity by playing it safe.

Debuts: Sunday, Sept. 16 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV, Monday, Sept. 17 on Fox

"Animal Practice"
Justin Kirk, Tyler Labine, Joanna Garcia Swisher and Bobby Lee have the chops to make a show funny, but when a lab coat-wearing monkey is the best part, I had to do a little takesies-backsies. How anyone thought this show would work while past comedies like "Perfect Couples" and "Bent" got thrown to the wolves (yes, I'm still bitter) is beyond me. I mean, it's leading off the night. What is NBC thinking?! Ugh, the cast -- and viewers -- deserve better.

Debuts: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, Sunday Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. ET on Global

"The Neighbors"
Hijinks are supposed to ensue when a family moves into a neighbourhood populated by aliens (space, not illegal), but creator Dan Fogelman is asking for a miracle if he thinks laughs will happen. "The Neighbors" is supposed to fit in with "Modern Family," but it's more like a "Coneheads" rip-off (you know, because that's what we need on television right now). It actually reminded me of the ABC from a few years back, the network that once featured the likes of "Cavemen" and "Carpoolers." Shudder. Surprisingly, though, I didn't roll my eyes as much as I thought I would, but one would have to be a super-skilled hunter to spot a compliment in that forest of backhand.

Debuts: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CTV, Saturday, Sept. 29 at 10 p.m. ET on CTV, Monday, Sept. 17 on Fox

"Vegas"
Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, Carrie-Anne Moss and Jason O'Mara ... how could it go wrong? And to be honest, there's nothing awful about it, per se, but there's also nothing exciting about it. In fact, it's the total opposite. ("Vegas" is brought to you by the letter, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.) Perhaps "Mad Men" has the market cornered on period shows, or perhaps networks can't seem to figure out how to make them work (ahem, "Playboy Club," "Pan Am"), but "Vegas" is a bore. The writers try to make '60s Las Vegas as glitzy and glamorous as it is in modern day, but it's just not.

Debuts: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. ET on Global/CBS

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