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story.lead_photo.caption Kiki Sukezane stars as Miko in the new NBC series Heroes Reborn.

This will be a tough night to try to break into the lineup for freshman shows, but two from NBC are giving it a shot.

Tough? First of all, Thursday Night Football (Redskins vs. the Giants) takes up the entire evening on CBS starting at 7.

And over on ABC, Shonda Rhimes continues her quest for world domination with the return of all three of her hit shows: Grey's Anatomy at 7 p.m., Scandal at 8 and How to Get Away With Murder at 9.

Whenever I've asked TV executives about what seems like a programming suicide mission, they always say something like, "We believe the audience for our new, compelling (fill in the blank) will not be the same as that for (fill in the blank with an established hit show)."

At least these days, with DVRs in a majority of households, Nielsen counts not only live viewing, but recorded viewing within seven days. That's a game-changer in the ratings world.

Here's what NBC is throwing into the mix tonight.

Heroes Reborn, 7 p.m. The two-hour premiere will bring back a few familiar faces from NBC's 2006 Heroes, as well as introduce several newcomers.

The reboot comes from Heroes creator/executive producer Tim Kring and will be a 13-episode "event" miniseries that promises to get back to the Heroes Season 1 basics, and "chronicle the lives of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities."

The premise: A terrorist attack destroyed Odessa, Texas, a year before the action opens. Those with special abilities (the "Evos") were blamed and are now in hiding or on the run.

Two of those hunting the heroes are Luke Collins (Zachary Levi, Chuck) and Joanne Collins (Judith Shekoni, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2).

Back for the sequel is Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman). New characters include gawky teen Tommy Clark (Robbie Kay, Once Upon a Time), sheltered teen Malina (Danika Yarosh, Shameless) and, in Tokyo, quiet Miko Otomo (Kiki Sukezane, Death Yankee 3), who is trying to find her missing father.

Former soldier Carlos Gutierrez (Ryan Guzman, The Boy Next Door), will be a different sort of hero.

Several of the above will encounter heroes from the original series. The veterans include Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and The Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis).

The Player, 9 p.m. NBC is touting this drama as "an action-packed thriller set in Las Vegas." That's to be expected with a series from the executive producers of The Blacklist and starring martial arts actor Wesley Snipes (the Blade trilogy) and hunky Philip Winchester (Strike Back, Crusoe).

English actress Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall) is on board just to keep the testosterone level under control.

The premise is that mysterious pit boss Mr. Johnson (Snipes) and dealer Cassandra (Wakefield) run a high-stakes game where wealthy types gamble on the ability of former military operative Alex Kane (Winchester) to stop big crimes before they can be carried out.

Action ensues.

Note: The Blacklist will return to take over NBC's 8 p.m. Thursday time slot beginning Oct. 1.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Weekend on 09/24/2015

Print Headline: NBC bets big debuting newbies against solid hits

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