June 12, 2012 / 9:43 PM / 7 years ago

Five new TV shows get early, critical thumbs up

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kevin Bacon’s new Fox thriller “The Following”, HBO’s upcoming “The Newsroom” and Fox comedy “The Mindy Project” were among five TV shows on Tuesday deemed the most exciting new series soon to be seen by Americans, in an early indication of possible success with viewers.

The USA political drama “Political Animals” starring Sigourney Weaver as a former first lady turned U.S. Secretary of State, and ABC’s upcoming new country music drama “Nashville” also were voted “most exciting new series” by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA).

None of the five shows have yet been broadcast, and serial killer thriller “The Following” won’t be seen on Fox until early 2013.

But the BTJA said that on the basis of pilots and early episodes made available to journalists the five shows looked the most promising among the more than 30 new scripted shows that will be vying for audiences in the next few months.

“This group of freshman series has already captured our attention, and we can’t wait to see how they evolve over the course of the television season,” said BTJA president Joey Berlin.

Last year, the BTJA picked out Zooey Deschanel’s ditzy “New Girl”, Broadway backstage drama “Smash” and sci-fi series “Falling Skies” as likely audience favorites.

“The Mindy Project” stars former “The Office” actress Mindy Kaling as a hopeless romantic OB-GYN doctor. Kaling also created and wrote the quirky, politically incorrect comedy that will premiere on Fox in the fall.

The first of the honorees to be broadcast is “The Newsroom”, writer Aaron Sorkin’s wry look at life on a fictional cable TV channel, premiering on HBO on June 24. Sorkin is known for “The West Wing” and “The Social Network.”

Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and David Gregorio

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