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The best new show and the worst new show this fall have a lot in common.

"This Is Us" and "Pitch" both come to us from creator/executive producer Dan Fogelman ("Cars," "Crazy, Stupid, Love") and the 20th Century Fox Television studio.

Weird, huh?

Both shows are chock full of characters. Both end their pilot episodes with Big Plot Twists that are supposed to come as surprises.

(No spoilers here, so … treading carefully.)

NBC's "This Is Us" tells the parallel stories of five people: a young couple (Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia) who are about to become parents for the first time; a hunky actor (Justin Hartley) who's successful but unfulfilled by the lame sitcom in which he stars; his sister (Chrissy Metz), who's struggling with her weight and her life; and a successful young family man (Sterling K. Brown) whose world is upended when he meets his birth father for the first time.

These characters feel real. Relatable. Sympathetic. Their stories are compelling. They interact in unexpected ways.

The Big Plot Twist in "This Is Us" feels right. And it sets up what could be an outstanding series.

Fogelman said he created the show in response to feeling that "the world has grown more cynical."

"Maybe it's the right place, right time for a show that has a little bit of hope and optimism and can make you cry, make you feel — but also make you feel good," he said.

And yet Fox's "Pitch" is filled with cynical characters who undercut what's supposed to be an inspirational series. This show, which Fogelman co-created with Rick Singer, feels phony from the get-go.

The characters are caricatures. The premise is ludicrous. And the Big Plot Twist is manipulative, derivative and gob-smackingly stupid.

The problem is not that the series asks you to suspend disbelief by accepting the premise of the first woman being called up to play Major League Baseball — Ginny Baker (Kyle Bunbury) is a pitcher for the San Diego Padres. The problem is everything that goes with it.

Ginny is sort of surly and unpleasant — and the attempt to cast her as the female Jackie Robinson is overplayed. Mark-Paul Gosselaar is woefully miscast as one big cliché of a team captain/catcher. The team manager (Dan Lauria), the general manager (Mark Consuelos) and Ginny's agent (Ali Larter) are similarly cartoonish.

The inclusion of various Fox Sports personalities makes it look and feel like an advertisement for Fox's baseball coverage.

"It's about breaking the glass ceiling," Larter insisted. "It's about being whatever you want to be in this world."

Good intentions, certainly, but "Pitch" is one big swing and a miss.

Twitter: @ScottDPierce