BLINDSPOT. 10 tonight, NBC10.
It's back-to-school week for America's broadcasters, which means that tonight brings the season premieres of shows like CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," ABC's "Castle," NBC's "The Voice" and Fox's "Gotham," as well as two new dramas about extraordinary people who help solve crimes and a new comedy featuring a kind-of modern family.
Based on pilots alone, the strongest of tonight's new crop is NBC's "Blindspot," one of a half-dozen shows that uber-producer Greg Berlanti ("Arrow") is overseeing this year. Created by Martin Gero, who wrote the short-lived "L.A. Complex," a CW soap from Canada about struggling actors that I was a little bit obsessed with a few seasons ago, this visually arresting thriller suggests that Gero is not easily pigeonholed.
Jaimie Alexander ("Thor") stars as Jane Doe, an apparent amnesiac who emerges from a bag in Times Square, naked and covered in tattoos. FBI agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton, "Strike Back"), anxious to find out what his name's doing inked between her shoulder blades, quickly finds that she knows more than she's so far able to tell.
Alexander, who was on the wrestling team of her Texas high school, makes a convincing action hero, but there's reason to hope that "Blindspot" is more than just "See Jane run," "See Jane knock bad guy into next week." It's also, for instance, "See Jane discover that she speaks Chinese."
It doesn't hurt that she's wearing a beautifully constructed puzzle - not unlike the one Wentworth Miller sported in Fox's soon-to-be-revived "Prison Break" - that should provide plenty of closed-end stories to tide viewers over while they wait for the bigger reveal.
MINORITY REPORT. 9 tonight, Fox 29.
Fox's new futuristic cop drama, "Minority Report," isn't just one of several new shows this season inspired by movies, it's also one of two derived from the work of Philip K. Dick, the late writer whose "The Man in the High Castle" inspired an Amazon series that premieres Nov. 20.
I don't know if Dick would recognize this story, or if fans of the 2002 Tom Cruise movie will flock to this Cruise-less sequel, which isn't terrible, just ordinary.
Maybe Dash knows.
Stark Sands is Dash, a psychic who lost his childhood to the program from the movie that spotted future criminals and stopped them. With the program long ago folded, he's left with visions of murders he can't stop, at least not without the help of Detective Lara Vega (Meagan Good, "Mr. Robinson"), who shares his vision of preventive police work.
Wilmer Valderrama ("That '70s Show") plays Vega's ambitious boss, who has other ideas about policing in 2065. If "Minority Report" is any indication, police shows 50 years from now won't look so different, or at least not different enough to stand out in a schedule that's already pretty full.
LIFE IN PIECES. 8:30 tonight, CBS3.
CBS' newest comedy doesn't look or sound like a CBS comedy.
That's brave, since CBS' long run of extremely successful multicamera sitcoms appears far from over.
But it's not that brave, since the pilot for "Life in Pieces," a single-camera half-hour with one of the best casts of the new season, looks a lot like one particular ABC comedy that's also had a good run.
James Brolin and Dianne Wiest star as the parents of three adult children, played by Thomas Sadoski ("The Newsroom"), Colin Hanks ("Fargo") and Betsy Brandt ("Breaking Bad").
I list the offspring in order of appearance, since, as in the "Modern Family" pilot, several seemingly disjointed stories are brought together by the end of the episode.
It's a finish more sitcommy than the show seems to call for, but one not weak enough to upset the balance of funny and heartfelt that made me want to see a bit more, even if it was just for the pleasure of this company