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Three series premiere on Friday night a remake, a remake of a horror show, and a re-imagined horror classic.
• The remake of "MacGyver" (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2) casts Lucas Till (Havok in three "X-Men" movies) as Angus "Mac" MacGyver, who's more a super spy this time around although he still sometimes uses everyday items in unusual ways, like tin foil to stop a plane.
It gets awkward whenever there's an attempt at snappy banter among the primary characters. It's forced, awkward and just plain bad.
In the premiere, MacGyver and his team try to prevent bad guys from using a biological agent to kill hundreds of thousands of people. There's a big twist that's both predictable and hugely disappointing.
If you turn off your brain, this isn't the worst way you can spend an hour. But it's not a particularly good show.
• Most of the first hour of "The Exorcist" (8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13) is spent setting up the series. It's pretty slow.
This is related to the movies, but it's not a remake. It's just … similar.
Alfonso Herrera, who's the best thing about this show, stars as Father Tomas Ortega. He's a progressive young priest who thinks demons are just metaphors. But that's before he finds out what's happening in the home of a family in his parish.
Oh, he doesn't believe Angela Rance (Geena Davis) when she tells him her teenage daughter, Katherine (Brianne Howey), is possessed. But he starts to change his mind when he contacts Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels), a veteran priest who knows more about exorcisms than he wants to admit.
And Father Tomas changes his mind in the last five minutes or so of "The Exorcist" premiere, when yes stuff happens. Scary stuff.
If you're a horror fan, this series shows some promise. Stay tuned …
• Over on Syfy, there are buckets of bloods in "Van Helsing" (11 p.m. and midnight; two episodes) which is sort-of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"-ish only much darker and much more violent. And kind of like "The Strain."
Kelly Overton stars as Vanessa Helsing, a young woman who is resurrected into a near-future world that has been overrun with vampires. She's very good at fighting them, which is handy for the small band of human holdouts she joins.
Even better, it turns out that the only thing that can turn these vicious, feral creatures back into humans is Vanessa's blood.
It, too, gets off to a slow start, but "Van Helsing" picks up in the second episode. It is also super violent and super gory. If you like that sort of thing, you might want to give this a chance.