A sitcom premiering Monday night called Partners has a major advantage over the other new shows this season. Partners was directed by James Burrows. That's a name with particular resonance in Hollywood. When Burrows directs a TV pilot, it's more or less a given the show will be picked up for a full season.
The Scottish actress plays Margaret Thompson, a young Irish widow who marries a corrupt politician on HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Macdonald, who got her start in Trainspotting, tells Fresh Air that she enjoys playing a "strong character" for a change.
The actor says she researched her Emmy-nominated role as bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison by watching YouTube videos of people in manic states. She returns to television in the second season of Showtime's Homeland on Sept. 30.
Critic David Bianculli says of all the new programs premiering this fall, there isn't one you have to add to your weekly viewing list. The best new show, he says, is Emily Owens, M.D., which is just like Ally McBeal if she were a doctor instead of a lawyer — but it's graded on a curve.
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