New show: Pitch
When/where: Sept. 22, 9 p.m., Fox
Cast: Kylie Bunbury, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Michael Beach, Ali Larter
Premise: Ginny Baker (Bunbury) is the first female baseball player in Major League history.
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Verdict: This one’s a winner – but if you’re expecting a warm-and-fuzzy, Disney-esque sports tale, adjust those expectations now. The drama is as much about Baker’s experience pitching for the San Diego Padres – her teammates, management, the fans, her performance – as it is about how she got there, and the complicated relationship with her dad (Beach), who relentlessly pushes her to excel.
The perfectly spaced flashbacks to Baker’s childhood with her dad are what initially sold me on the pilot, but her interactions with teammates, who aren’t quite sure what to make of her, are also satisfying. Bunbury and Beach are great here, but it’s also a nice turn to TV for Gosselaar (“Saved by the Bell,” “NYPD Blue” and the dreadful “Franklin & Bash”), who plays Baker’s catcher – an important person in every pitcher’s life.
This is another pilot which will reward viewers who avoid any possible spoilers.
Read our complete guide to what to watch and what to skip for the 2016 Fall TV season.