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Dig Grey's Anatomy and Smash? The new crop of shows may have something for you

Shaun Harrison
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1 of 13 Justin Stephens/Fox; Chris Haston/NBC

Like House? Try Animal Practice!

Common Ground: Like Gregory House before him, Justin Kirk's Dr. George Coleman is an acerbic misanthrope whose interpersonal flaws are outweighed by his brilliance in medicine. The Twist: Aside from the obvious (Coleman treats animals, not humans), this series isn't a riff on Sherlock Holmes and is mostly playing for laughs. Coleman's boss is his ex-girlfriend (Joanna Garcia Swisher) and he's surrounded band a kooky veterinary staff that, unless you've been living under a rock, you already know includes an adorable monkey named Dr. Rizzo. (Don’t worry, Robert Sean Leonard; Wilson was cute too.)
2 of 13 Mario Perez/ABC Photo Archive/Getty Images; Mario Perez/ABC

Like Lost? Try Last Resort!

Common Ground: Both shows were shot in Hawaii and feature a group of people banding together on an island as they try to figure out a larger mystery and find a way back home. Also, there are submarines! The Twist: While the survivors of Oceanic 815 had no idea why their plane crashed, the men and women aboard serving under Capt. Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) know full well that their own government fired on them and left them for dead. (That's what happens when you don't follow orders.) Rather than waiting for rescue, the USS Colorado crew sets up a sovereign nation that threatens all-out nuclear war while they try to prove who set them up and why.
3 of 13 Michael Ansell/Warner Bros; Craig Blankenhorn/CBS

Like The Mentalist? Try Elementary!

Common Ground: Elementary features a new Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) who battles cocaine addiction and consults with the NYPD. The Mentalist features Patrick (Jane Simon Baker), a former fake psychic who uses his Holmesian observational skills to help law enforcement solve crimes and track the serial killer who murdered his wife and child. The Twist: Since The Mentalist was basically a Holmes rip-off to begin with, there's not much to go on here. Holmes' Watson is a woman (Lucy Liu), but that just echoes the platonic partnership between Jane and Robin Tunney's Agent Lisbon. Oh, wait! They work on different coasts!
4 of 13 Bob D'Amico/ABC; Robert Trachtenberg/NBC

Like Modern Family? Try The New Normal!

Common Ground: The unusual dynamic at the center of Ryan Murphy’s new NBC comedy — a young single mother agrees to be a surrogate for a gay couple — is the definition of a modern family. Both shows try to redefine the conventional sitcom with equal parts heart and humor. The Twist: The three families at the center of Modern Family are stuck together by blood no matter what. On The New Normal, the only thing keeping David (Justin Bartha) and Bryan (Andrew Rannells) tied to Goldie is the baby growing inside of her. So what will the series look like after she gives birth? Also, Pritchett family patriarch Jay (Ed O'Neill) has nothing on the wildly offensive (and hilarious) Jane (Ellen Barkin).
5 of 13 Everett Collection; Matt Kennedy/CBS

Like Will & Grace? Try Partners!

Common Ground: David Kohan and Max Mutchnick created both shows — which both feature four characters, with straight and gay BFFs in the lead. The Twist: While Will & Grace spent many years focusing on the titular characters' friendship with a fleeting outside relationship here and there, Louis (Michael Urie) and Joe's lifelong friendship — and professional relationship — on Partners is tested from the get-go after Joe (David Krumholtz) proposes to his girlfriend Ali (Sophia Bush). Also, there's no ampersand in the title.
6 of 13 Richard Foreman/ABC; Jack Rowand/The CW

Like Grey's Anatomy? Try Emily Owens, M.D.!

Common Ground: Grey's began following Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) through the ups and downs of starting her residency at Seattle Grace, navigating both romps in on-call rooms as well as her drive to get into the OR. The exact same thing happens with Mamie Gummer's titular character on Emily Owens. Seriously. The Twist: There's a lot more voice over in the CW show, providing an often-times hilarious point of view into life at the hospital. Plus, there's are no McNicknames.
7 of 13 Warner Bros. Television; Jack Rowand/The CW

Like Smallville? Try Arrow!

Common Ground: Both series tell the origin story of a DC superhero who eventually becomes a member of the Justice League. On the way, the heroes discover what they're truly made of and who they can and can't trust. The Twist: While Smallville was often campy and over the top, Arrow grounds itself in a gritty realistic world, which is compounded by the fact that the Green Arrow doesn't actually have any superpowers. (He's just darn handy with a bow and arrow.) Plus: Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) doesn't have Clark Kent's hang-ups about killing people.
8 of 13 Greg Gayne/Fox; Beth Dubber/Fox

Like New Girl? Try The Mindy Project!

Common Ground: Both shows find humor by exploring the struggle between a girl's optimistic expectations and the often-disappointing reality of life. New Girl's Jess (Zooey Dexchanel) has an idealism that is undercut by her jaded roommates while Mindy (Mindy Kaling) finds that in the real world, all romantic comedies don't have happy endings. The Twist: Unlike hyper-innocent Jess who can't even say the word penis, Mindy is far more comfortable with her sexuality (though, almost as awkward). And while Jess' naiveté makes for great comedy, it's fairly unrealistic. The disenchanted-but-romantic Mindy is someone most girls can relate to — even if they've never drunkenly ridden their bike into a pool.
9 of 13 Will Hart/NBC; Craig Sjodin/ABC

Like Smash? Try Nashville!

Common Ground: Music? Check. Established star vs. up-and-comer? Check. Both series also feature original music and a dramatic behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make it big. The Twist: Nashville doesn’t quite have the cheese factor of some of the bigger Smash numbers and features music you would actually download onto your iPod. (Country music trumps showtunes on the charts!) Plus: The backstage drama is less soapy and much more watchable and surprisingly relatable.
10 of 13 Giovanni Rufino/USA Network; Nathaniel Bell/Fox

Like White Collar? Try The Mob Doctor!

Common Ground: Both show feature protagonists who have to resist their natural instincts. White Collar's Neal (Matt Bomer) curbs his con man tendencies to work with the FBI, while The Mob Doctor's Dr. Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro) balances saving lives with taking them for the mob. The Twist: Neal has to work hard to be good. Grace has to work hard to be bad. Also, the premise of White Collar requires Neal to leave his criminal persona behind forever, while The Mob Doctor must continually walk the tightrope between right and wrong on a weekly basis with much higher stakes.
11 of 13 Warner Bros. International Distribution/Getty Images; Sandro/NBC

Like Third Watch? Try Chicago Fire!

Common Ground: Both series were developed for NBC by mega-producers (ER's John Wells and Law & Order's Dick Wolf, respectively) and track the personal lives of every day heroes who often make personal sacrifices in order to keep others safe. The Twist: Unlike Third Watch, which also featured New York's cops as well as paramedics and firefighters, Chicago Fire focuses on the men and women of a particular firehouse and all the hot (get it?) tempers under one roof. Dick Wolf also promises it's not a "fire of the week" show. And, you know, it's in Chicago.
12 of 13 CBS Archive/Landov; Jan Thijs/the CW

Like Beauty and the Beast? Try Beauty and the Beast !

Common Ground: Just like the 1980s drama starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman, the CW's take features pretty crime-fighter Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk) and a beastly creature with a heart of gold (Jay Ryan) to whom Catherine is drawn. The Twist: The updated version takes away the mystical elements of waterfalls and secret tunnels and instead exists it in the more "realistic" world of New York City post 9/11. And the season-long mystery of who really killed Catherine's mother is more likely to keep viewers tuning in for the plot's reveal.
13 of 13 Robert Zuckerman/FX; Patrick Harbron/ABC

Like American Horror Story? Try 666 Park Avenue!

Common Ground: Like the Harmons and Murder House, Henry Martin (Dave Annable) and Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) move into The Drake, a posh and historic apartment building that's filled with all sorts of horrors. The Twist: While Season 1 of Ryan Murphy's anthology series saw all sorts of ghosts haunt the Harmons, it's mainly the Devil (Terry O'Quinn) who will plague Henry and Jane, as they manage the building he owns. And we haven't seen anybody in a rubber sex suit…yet.