Like those addicted to slots or the horses, TV networks never give up hope for a sure thing. Even against the odds, it’s that hope that in many ways propels the resurrecting of old favorites and past hits — even ones that would be far better off left alone. That’s the case with two of the three adaptations coming to broadcast primetime TV this week, when Lethal Weapon premieres on Fox tomorrow right before the return of Empire, followed by CBS’ MacGyver and Fox’s The Exorcist both on Friday.

Deadline Review Badge Dominic Patten

The remake of the Lethal Weapon big-screen franchise that starred Mel Gibson and Danny Glover and the new version of MacGyver, the Richard Dean Anderson-starring show from the Reagan Era, are pointless and silly as I say in my video review above. However, The Exorcist, which stars Geena Davis, Alfonso Herrera and Ben Daniels and is based on William Peter Blatty’s bestseller and the 1973 William Friedkin-directed blockbuster, is a surprisingly compelling canvas on which blood and much more is painted.

Full of iconic imagery, broken souls, Catholic church teachings and the feel of an unvarnished 1980s thriller, the series centers on the Chicago residence of Davis’ Rance family, where evil has found a new home. This Exorcist also has a lethal weapon of sorts: though not on the screen much in the pilot written by Jeremy Slater and directed by Rupert Wyatt, Flesh And Bone actor Daniels is sternly watchable as haunted and tightly contained holy soldier Father Marcus Keane. Without giving anything away, this Exorcist wasn’t exactly scary but instead scintillating – and that’s much better in the end.

So check out my trinity video review of Lethal Weapon, MacGyver and The Exorcist for more – and make sure to set your DVR for the latter Friday.

This review originally posted on September 20.