As the new television season gets underway, it may seem to a discerning parent that there is not much being offered as family fare. I’ve found a few options, however, that the entire brood can enjoy. Mark your calendar, set your DVR, and check out these picks together:
Two new sitcoms stand out this season with great potential—both of them premiering this month on ABC. “Hank” features Kelsey Grammer ("Frasier") as a New York businessman who loses his job and is forced to move his family back to a small town in Virginia. The timely show comically deals with the highs and lows of downsizing.
“The Middle,” stars Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) and chronicles the life of a middle-class family in the middle of the country (Illinois). Critics have been very positive about both, some describing “Hank” as the role Grammer was born to play and pointing to the relatability and heart of “The Middle.” “Hank” premieres on Wednesday, September 30 at 8 p.m. EST, followed directly by “The Middle.”
Two new reality series may spark interesting family conversations.
The National Geographic Channel’s “Alone in the Wild” chronicles the ambitious adventure of Ed Wardle, a Scottish documentary director/producer who films himself surviving for 50 days alone in the Canadian Yukon. The show begins September 23 at 9 p.m.
“18 Kids and Counting” is TLC’s latest show featuring The Duggar Family—an ever-growing, close-knit family, led by Michelle and Jim Bob who are awaiting baby 19 and their first grandchild. “18 Kids” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
The History Channel will debut new episodes of its acclaimed series, “The Universe,” this month. Airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m., the show focuses each episode on a specific aspect of space, relating the most recent discoveries and displaying some amazing images.
Lastly, what is sure to be a home-run, is Ken Burns’ latest documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” Premiering Sunday, September 27, the six-episode series promises to foster an appreciation for some of America’s most beautiful sites and the people who sought to preserve them. If you watch nothing else, sit with your family and take this one in.