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Fall TV First Impression: CBS' 9JKL

TVLine logo TVLine 7/3/2017 Matt Webb Mitovich
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The broadcast networks have nearly 20 shows debuting this fall, including the maiden space voyage of Fox’s Orville, NBC’s look at Brave heroes and ABC’s Ten Days with Kyra Sedgwick. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots. 

Next up on our list….

THE SHOW | 9JKL (Mondays at 8:30/7:30c, premiering Oct. 2)

THE COMPETITION | NBC’s The Voice, ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, Fox’s Lucifer and The CW’s Supergirl

RELATED Read Our First Impressions of ABC’s Ten Days in the Valley, CBS’ S.W.A.T., The CW’s Dynasty, NBC’s The Brave and More

THE CAST | Mark Feuerstein (Royal Pains), Linda Lavin (Alice), Elliott Gould (Ray Donovan), David Walton (About a Boy), Liza Lapira (Super Fun Night), Matt Murray (Rookie Blue) and Albert Tsai (Trophy Wife)

THE SET-UP | Feuerstein plays Josh Roberts, an actor who in the wake of his TV cop show’s cancellation and a brutal divorce winds up living in a New York apartment sandwiched between his overly-doting parents (Lavin and Gould) and his brother/sister-in-law (Walton and Lapira).

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | Thanks to Feuerstein’s innate geniality (Prison Break excepted!), this pilot was a bit more charming than I expected it to be — in the scarce moments it was going for that. But some of the crass, Older People Say the Darnedest Things! jokes coming from Gould and Lavin’s characters threaten to undercut that warmth. (The task ahead for Lavin, a two-time Golden Globe winner, is to make the “comically” overbearing mom remotely endearing, in a Marie Barone sort of way.) Recently upped to series regular, watch for Tsai to steal scenes as a Hollywood-savvy neighbor kid all too happy to keep Josh’s ego in check.

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Leading out of The Big Bang Theory to start, 9JKL will have four short weeks to glom onto and hopefully retain some of TV’s most-watched comedy’s audience. Because once CBS’ Thursday Night Football slate ends, 9JKL will be have less-reliable neighbors: the Kevin Can Wait revamp and the unproven Me, Myself & I,.

Watch the trailer for 9JKL, then vote in our poll below.

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