The Remote: Navigating TV’s pilot season this fall

Ryan Pait

Sweaters, the smell of leaves burning and hot chocolate — all of these things make fall great.

But the best part of all is that it’s TV’s pilot season, which means a whole slew of new shows for me to digest.

Here are the new shows I’m most looking forward to this fall.

“The Blacklist.”-NBC

Ultimate weirdo James Spader (“Boston Legal”) returns to TV for NBC’s“The Blacklist.”And I definitely mean that as a compliment — no one does bizarre quite like Spader.

In this mashup of “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Homeland,” Spader plays a world-class fugitive who surrenders himself to the FBI.

But there’s a catch, of course. He’ll help bring down big criminals, but he’ll only work with rookie profiler Elizabeth Keen, played by Megan Boone.

“The Blacklist” sounds like all kinds of crazy fun and has earned some of the strongest buzz of the pilot season, so I’ll be tuning in.

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” -FOX

Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” comes from the minds of producers Dan Goor and Michael Schur, both of whom have worked on “Parks and Recreation” for years.

“Parks” is one of the best shows on TV right now, so “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” immediately caught my interest.

The show follows the adventures of a ragtag ensemble of NYPD officers, and the cast is led by Andy Samberg of “Saturday Night Live.”

While the show’s first episode wasn’t uproariously funny, there are some solid laughs and room to grow.

Consider “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” as the pilot with the most potential.

“Dracula.” -NBC

Bias alert: Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” is my favorite book, so I was beyond excited about a new iteration of it.

This limited series from NBC stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the titular vampire and will air ten episodes starting on Oct. 25.

“Dracula” sounds like it’ll follow Stoker’s novel more closely than other adaptations, and the timing of its premiere is impeccable.

The end of October is exactly when I want to be watching a show about my favorite vampire.

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” -ABC

Despite the ridiculously unwieldy title (seriously, try typing it or saying it out loud), “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” could end up being fall’s biggest hit.

“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” takes place in the same universe as 2012’s “The Avengers,” and ABC is banking on massive crossover appeal.

The series also comes from the mind of Joss Whedon, director of “The Avengers” and creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

Whedon’s established geek cred and the built-in audience for “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will make it massively successful, especially when it comes to ratings.

However, it’ll be interesting to see how much of this audience keeps sticking around.

“Masters of Sex.” -Showtime

Showtime is intending to push all kinds of buttons with “Masters of Sex,” which stars Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen.

Caplan and Sheen star as Virginia Johnson and Dr. William Masters, two researchers that spearheaded the movement to understand human sexuality in the late 1950s.

I’m a big fan of both Sheen and Caplan, and the series’ premise and period setting sound interesting.

“Masters of Sex” may suffer from a case of bad titling, though — it’s a little on the nose, kind of like “Cougar Town.”

If “Masters of Sex” is good, however, it’ll have no problem overcoming its touchy title.