Once again, there are too many new shows debuting in a given day for me to have time/space to write about them all, so some extremely quick thoughts on "Mercy" & "Eastwick" coming up after the jump...
Fienberg does an excellent job of cataloging the many, many, many ways that "Mercy" (8 p.m., NBC) is similar to "Nurse Jackie" and "Hawthorne," so I won't rehash that here. I want to like the show, because it's both set and shot in Jersey (with Paterson standing in for Jersey City), and because I think the lead (the almost entirely unknown Taylor Schilling) has interesting screen presence. But "Mercy" isn't just derivative; it's stridently, obnoxiously derivative. And the producers' refusal to acknowledge that there's not an original moment in the pilot suggests it's not going to improve anytime soon. Pass.
"Eastwick" (10 p.m., ABC), meanwhile, is a remake of 1987's "The Witches of Eastwick" (which was itself adapted from the John Updike book), only we've downgraded from Jack Nicholson, Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon to Paul Gross (who I usually love, but who's woefully miscast as Satan), Rebecca Romijn, Jamie Ray Newman and Lindsay Price (who puts on glasses so she can play The Plain One). That's a pretty steep talent drop, and the show (which is shot on the old Stars Hollow set from "Gilmore Girls") seems like a WB show circa 2002 - not one of the good ones, but a copy of a copy of a copy of one of the good ones. And where I might check back in on "Mercy" in a month or two (assuming it's still on) just because I like some of the actors and want to see if they're being used better, there's nothing here that interests me enough for a return visit.
Feel free to use this post to discuss one or both of these shows after they air tonight.