Fall TV 2015: What I’m Watching (Monday Edition)

GUYS! In case you haven’t noticed yet, FALL TV IS UPON US! Most of our favourite shows are back, alongside a whole slew of newbies vying for our attention. This season, I find myself in a weird place, as I attempt to *gasp* cut back on my TV shows. I’ve said it before but I watch too much TV – I know that. For the past several months, due to work and personal family circumstances, I’ve had to make solid decisions on what I was watching and when. Making the call of what I really needed to watch day-of/live, as opposed to something I can watch later when I have time. Also, cutting shows that just weren’t doing anything for me. That last choice has been in effect for some time now, but as we begin this new TV season, I still question whether or not I still care about some shows. And even for that matter, do I even care enough about some of the new shows coming on the air to give my time to? Anyways, enough introductory babble, and onto my list of what shows I’ll be watching (and maybe watching)

MONDAYS

  • The Voice
  • Dancing With the Stars
  • Blindspot (NEW)
  • Minority Report (NEW)
  • Jane the Virgin
  • Supergirl (NEW)
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (NEW)
  • Gotham?

Honestly, The Voice and Dancing With the Stars has been relegated to commercial status, in that I’ll watch them when the other shows are on commercial break or just clips later. Why? Because one, I don’t even get to vote so why bother watching live? And two, why waste my time watching through the people I don’t like, when I’m just waiting to see my faves? Like this season of DWTS – here for my pro dancers (and their partners): Allison Holker & Andy Grammer, Derek Hough & Bindi Irwin, Sharna Burgess & Nick Carter, Witney Carson & Carlos PenaVega, and Mark Ballas & Alexa PenaVega. As much as I love The Voice and the coaches, even I have to admit that I’m getting a little burned out on too much Voice.

One of my favourite surprises from last season was Jane the Virgin and I am so looking forward to what hilarious/adorable/endearing things they’ll do this season. I mean, Britney Spears will be guest-starring as Rogelio’s nemesis! Like, this cast/crew just speak to me and I want to be friends with Gina Rodriguez because of her sheer awesomeness.

As for the new shows? I absolutely can’t wait for Supergirl to premiere. Yes, I know the pilot already leaked way back in late May, but I’m pretty proud of myself for not actually finding + watching it. Not to mention, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg has done so much good with Arrow and The Flash that I just have complete faith in them doing this show. And speaking of Berlanti, the uber-producer/writer who makes everybody else look bad, he’s also got another show on Monday with Blindspot. The premise of a Jane Doe waking up with no recollection of who she is and how she ended up with tattoos covering her body that serve as clues, is an interesting one. It makes me think of the movie Memento, but will probably veer towards a more procedural-style of storytelling. I’m definitely going to check out the pilot and see what they’re doing, but I definitely have my reservations about it.

I saw the first 15 minutes of Minority Report at SDCC and found some elements of it that were really interesting, especially the future tech. To be honest though, it kind of just made me miss Almost Human. Again, I liked what I saw, even if I wasn’t completely sold on any of the characters, but I’m hoping for the best. Another new show I’m a little iffy about is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the only new show to premiere this fall on The CW. Something about the previews just didn’t sit with me, so I’m going to wait until I watch the full pilot to see exactly what the tone of it will be and take it from there.

There’s one big question mark on my Monday schedule, and that is, do I want to give Gotham another shot? I so desperately wanted to like it last season. It had its ups and downs in the first half of the season, but when it came back from its winter hiatus, I found myself struggling to keep interest. Word is that this season will be slightly lighter in tone and function better as a collective unit. I just don’t know though. And I love Ben McKenzie and Morena Baccarin, which is why I kind of want to see what happens, but is it enough? I may wait and watch during the weekend or something, definitely not a must-see for me.

Upfronts 2015: The CW Keeps It Simple for Next Season

Last but not least for Upfronts, The CW presents its schedule for next season. The CW is always an interesting case because by all means, it’s a broadcast network, though it is often looked at as the annoying little sibling to the Big Four. No one really understands their business model because ratings aren’t (though sometimes are) a big issue for it. For years, CW’s roster was filled with teen shows or just generally, shows with pretty people and pretty people problems. The pretty people part still stands, but the past few years have seen a shift in the network’s programming – more adult, more genre, sometimes both. This past season saw The CW airing arguably the two best new series in The Flash and Jane the Virgin, the latter which gave the network a major award win with Gina Rodriguez beating out some heavy hitters at the Golden Globes. Now with its limited programming time and a very solid group of shows, the network picked up three additional series.

CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND [Comedy – Mondays @ 8]: Rachel has a great job working at a prestigious law firm in New York, and suddenly decides to leave it all behind to find love and happiness in Southern California. The show was initially developed for Showtime and when they passed on it, The CW picked it up. It’s the only new show to land on the schedule for fall and it’s getting paired up with Jane the Virgin, so it’ll be a cute and funny Monday night over on CW. My only concern is that JTV is not playing the lead-in for this new show, which I think would’ve worked better, but what do I know?

DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW [Drama – Midseason]: First Arrow, then The Flash, now this new spin-off. Familiar faces Brandon Routh, Victor Garber, Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell and Caity Lotz headline the series, which will see these heroes and villains come together to save the world and time itself. Newbies to this particular DC TV universe include Arthur Darvill, Ciarra Renee, and Franz Drameh. Ever since the project was announced two questions came up: 1) Who is Caity Lotz playing? Since last we checked, her Sara Lance/Black Canary was dead over on Arrow, and 2.) Where’s Robbie Amell, the other half of Garber’s Firestorm? From the key art below, it looks like we sort of have an answer in that Lotz is still playing Sara though in White Canary form; the question of she’s revived is yet to be answered. At the very least though, we can expect even more crossovers between the three Berlanti/Guggenheim/Kreisberg shows.

CONTAINMENT [Drama – Midseason]: A deadly virus outbreak forces a large quarantine on the city of Atlanta and those stuck on the inside must fight for their lives. So it’s Under the Dome with a virus, or at least that’s the first thing I thought of (even though Dome is really not good)? The other hardest working woman in TV (next to Shonda Rhimes), Julie Plec adapted this from a Belgian series. Shows like this ignite my Sociology education with its look at how people deal with a massive event that forces them to re-evaluate their morals and who they are as members of this society. It’s worth a look for sure, but everything hinges on what direction they decide to go with this.

Other Notables:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday nights will stay the same on the network, with the winning combos of The Flash/iZombie and Arrow/Supernatural.
  • It was inevitably going to happen – The Originals will now follow The Vampire Diaries on Thursdays.
  • Reign moves to Friday, leading into America’s Next Top Model.
  • The 100 will air sometime midseason, as will the fourth season (?!) of Beauty and the Beast.
  • Like I said previously, with their limited schedule, I’m curious to see how CW will fit in its 3 midseason shows. Presumably, one or two of the shows scheduled for fall will only have a 13 episode season, and maybe one of the midseason shows will be a “bridging the gap” show during winter hiatus.

That’s it for the broadcast Upfronts! Lots to digest and go over. Closer to the premieres in September, after seeing more trailers and promos, I’ll make a decision on what I’ll actually watch. Until then, I’m gonna go catch up on my current shows.

 

Upfronts 2015: CBS Releases Schedule for Next Fall

CBS is the opposite of ABC when it comes to announcements, as they tend to give renewals to a whole batch of their shows months before Upfronts. It makes it difficult to gauge afterwards just how many spots left on the schedule will be for the as-yet non-renewed shows and the new shows being picked up. This year however, they actually held off announcing renewals/cancellations until just a few days ago. CBS continues to be CBS in terms of shows, but at least they have one new show I’m really excited about this year, which of course is the most obviously non-CBS-like show. Below I give my thoughts on CBS’ newest offerings for next season.

SUPERGIRL [Drama – Mondays @ 8, starting in November]: Superman’s cousin Kara gets her own show! The latest DC comic to get the TV treatment follows Kara (played by Melissa Benoist) as she embraces her powers to become Supergirl. Trying to keep her identity a secret can be difficult when she’s enlisted by a super-secret agency to protect the citizens of National City. Berlanti, Kreisberg, Adler and co. have also assembled a hell of a supporting cast with: Chyler Leigh as Kara’s foster sister Alex, Calista Flockhart as Kara’s boss Cat Grant, Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen, David Harewood as Hank Henshaw, and Laura Benanti as Kara’s birth mom. PLUS, Helen Slater (aka the OG Supergirl) and Dean Cain (aka Lois and Clark Superman) are slated to guest star. Of course I’m ready for this!

LIFE IN PIECES [Comedy – Mondays @ 8:30, then Thursdays @ 8:30 in November]: CBS’ version of Modern Family or a funnier Parenthood? Here we have an ensemble show that will be told from the perspective of the Short family: matriarch Joan (Dianne West) and her kids, eldest daughter Heather (Betsy Brandt), son Matt (Thomas Sadoski), and youngest Greg (Colin Hanks). The series also stars James Brolin, Angelique Cabral, Zoe Lister Jones, and Dan Bakkedahl. It’s another family comedy, but how do you say no to at least checking out a show that features a cast like this?

LIMITLESS [Drama – Tuesdays @ 10]: It’s another movie adaptation, but like FOX’s Minority Report, you’re looking at a TV sequel to the movie, as opposed to just a TV remake. Jake McDorman plays Brian Finch, who discovers the abilities attached to taking the NZT drug and is pushed to use his new-found powers to help the FBI. So it’s another procedural. I liked the movie (except for the ending), but I’m still not sold on how they’re developing it into a TV series. I am far more intrigued by the fact that Bradley Cooper will guest star on the show from time to time, playing his character from the movie Edward Mora, who is now a senator, still uses NZT, and looks at Brian as a protege. Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio also star; Cooper, Marc Webb, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Heather Kadin are among the executive producers.

CODE BLACK [Drama – Wednesdays @ 10]: Apparently this is based on a documentary by Ryan McGarry. Marcia Gay Harden is Dr. Leanne Rorish, the residency director of L.A.’s busiest emergency room, wherein the number of patients outweigh the resources available. Sounds like a standard medical drama to me or E.R. on drugs.

ANGEL FROM HELL [Comedy – Thursdays @ 9:30]: Maggie Lawson plays Allison, who’s organized/”perfect” life gets upended when she meets Amy (Jane Lynch), an oddball who claims that she is Allison’s guardian angel. This has the potential to be really funny I think, as long as it doesn’t go for the obvious jokes with the mismatched pairing.

CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS [Drama – Midseason]: It’s Criminal Minds abroad! I don’t watch the original, so I don’t really care.

RUSH HOUR [Drama – Midseason]: Take the movie and expand to a TV series. Cultural jokes fly everywhere. I honestly have my doubts about this because as much as I enjoyed the movies, a lot of it had to do with the chemistry/camaraderie between Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. We’ll have to see how Justin Hires and Jon Foo work out as Detectives Carter and Lee.

Other Notables:

  • Long-time CBS staple, CSI will end its 15-year run with a two-hour series finale on Sept. 27th. Original castmembers William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger will return for the finale.
  • Comedies 2 Broke Girls, The Odd Couple, and Mike & Molly will return midseason.
  • Critical fave Person of Interest was renewed for a fifth season, comprising of 13 episodes, and will also return midseason. Rumours are that it will be the final season for the series, but CBS is not saying anything about it.
  • With CBS having football on Thursday nights in the fall, The Big Bang Theory and Life in Pieces will begin their seasons in September on Mondays, before moving over to Thursdays with Mom and Angel from Hell, once those Thursday night football games finish in November.
  • CSI: Cyber was also renewed for a second season and will air Sundays at 10 p.m.
  • Everything else is as it was this season.
  • Many others have already mentioned the fact that Supergirl will be going up against FOX’s Gotham in the timeslot. I’d imagine that WB isn’t particularly happy with that, but from this fan’s perspective, two different shows. And I’ve already decided I’m gonna watch Supergirl at that time anyways, because Gotham is not as exciting as I had hoped it would be.

Tomorrow we wrap things up with The CW!

Upfronts 2015: ABC Releases Familiar Schedule for Next Fall

ABC has always been interesting (and infuriating) to write about when it comes to Upfronts. They tend to hold things to the vest, neither confirming or denying what has been renewed or cancelled, until pretty much the day of. This year, they made their announcements pretty early (for them anyways), revealing over Twitter on Thursday night.

THE MUPPETS [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8]: This isn’t the kids’ Muppets. In this new series, it’ll be the Muppets a la The Office, employing a documentary-style feel that will explore the personal life and relationships of the Muppets. It may not be the kids’ Muppets, but it’s the Muppets for the kids at heart.

QUANTICO [Drama – Tuesdays @ 10]: The series follows a group of young FBI recruits as they fight their way through training at Quantico. We will see them in present day, with flashbacks to what made them who they are and what led them to joining the FBI, as well as a flash-forward to when one of the recruits gets activated as a sleeper terrorist and becomes responsible for a big terror attack. Consider it to be like How to Get Away With Murder, except it’s “Who’s the terrorist?”

DR.KEN [Comedy – Fridays @ 8:30]: Ken Jeong stars as a man who is trying and failing at juggling his career as a doctor, his marriage, and parenting. First of all, kudos to the network for continuing to diversify its shows. Second of all, Albert Tsai is back on another TV series – BERTWHEELS!

OIL [Drama – Sundays @ 9]: Chace Crawford and Rebecca Rittenhouse play a small-town couple who uproots their life to North Dakota, where the biggest oil discovery in America is made. Soon after, they find themselves threatened by a ruthless business tycoon (played by Don Johnson), who pushes them to bet on everything they’ve ever worked for; Amber Valetta, Scott Michael Foster, and India de Beaufort also star. I know for certain I’m going to have to wait and see more of it before I make a decision, because as is, it doesn’t really appeal to me. I like the cast they’ve assembled, so I’ll give it a shot.

OF KINGS AND PROPHETS [Drama – Sunday @ 10]: Biblical saga…. Aaannnd that’s where you lose me. Sorry.

THE CATCH [Drama – Midseason]: In the latest Shondaland drama, Mirelle Enos plays Alice Martin, a fraud investigator who is about to get conned herself by her fiance. At this point, we know way better than to underestimate the power of Shonda Rhimes, and once again, she’s bringing stories of powerful women to the forefront. None of the other names in the cast stand out to me, except Bethany Joy Lenz! Haley James Scott, everyone! Count me in!

THE FAMILY [Drama – Midseason]: When the previously presumed dead son of a politician returns after disappearing a decade earlier, it causes many suspicions from those all around, including those linked to the initial murder case. Joan Allen, Rupert Graves, Zach Gilford, and Allison Pill are among the stars of this series. I really think they should reconsider the title because it is incredible vague and generic, and doesn’t really give you a sense of what the show is about. Title aside, this has potential; however, in this day and age, I don’t know how a mystery like this could stretch out further than one season.

THE REAL O’NEALS [Comedy – Midseason]: A seemingly picture-perfect family find their life changed when the youngest son comes out, and they decide to finally stop pretending and just be real. Martha Plimpton, Jay R. Ferguson, and Bebe Wood star.

UNCLE BUCK [Comedy – Midseason]: Based on the 1989 movie of the same name, Mike Epps plays the title character, a man-child who learns to be an adult by becoming the nanny to his brother’s (James Lesure) kids.

WICKED CITY [Drama – Midseason]: This will be another series going the anthology route if it goes on for multiple seasons, following a notable case in Los Angeles history. For its first season, the case revolves around a murder on the Sunset Strip in 1982, where sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll were everything. I think this could be a really interesting show because of the history involved. Plus, Ed Westwick and Erika Christensen is in it? I’ll be more than happy to check it out.

Other Notables:

  • ABC is pretty much sticking to what worked for them this season. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday (TGIT) will stay the same, with their midseason shows airing either after a series has finished its run for the season or bridging between two halves of a show’s season. The Catch will air after How To Get Away With Murder is done, because obviously. Wicked City will take over Tuesdays at 10 after Quantico finishes. Secrets and Lies will run during Nashville‘s winter break. Same goes with Galavant/Once Upon A Time and Agent Carter/Agents of SHIELD as it was this season.
  • Speaking of Agent Carter, ABC also released a synopsis for next season, which is actually quite surprising that they already had it on hand. Season 2 will see Peggy move from NYC to LA to fight against new threats. My immediate question is: What does that mean for Angie/Lyndsy Fonseca??!! (Because you know I constantly need to see my Nikita people on screen.) AND THEN: What does that mean for Jarvis/James D’arcy, Sousa/Enver Gjokaj and Thompson/Chad Michael Murray? I need to know!!!
  • Fresh Off the Boat will stay on Tuesdays, but air after The Muppets. That is until Muppets finishes its run and then it moves back to its original timeslot and one of the other new comedies will get slotted into 8:30. No word on whether the real Eddie Huang will continue working with the show.

 

Upfronts 2015: FOX’s Schedule for Next Fall

With NBC getting a head start by announcing their fall schedule yesterday, FOX is up next, announcing their schedule early this morning. It’s been an interesting year for the network, laying claim to the biggest victory of the season with Empire. Now, FOX is looking to find another hit with these new offerings. Mind you, the network has less hours of programming than the other Big 4 networks, running from 8-10 p.m., plus they have baseball interruptions in October.

MINORITY REPORT [Drama – Mondays @ 9]: Consider this a TV sequel of the 2002 film, as opposed to a TV reboot. The series takes place 10 years after the original film, wherein pre-cog Dash (played by Stark Sands) still can’t shake his visions and his Pre-crime life; he begins to discreetly work with Detective Lara Vega (played by Meagan Good) to do what he had done before – stop crimes before they happen. Admittedly, I haven’t even seen the movie (not sure why) so my interest in the show has nothing to do with the movie at all. I legitimately am interested in seeing this. It just sounds cool even if it is slightly procedural, and kind of makes me miss Almost Human. Plus, not to kill your viewing ability, but future Washington, D.C. looks a hell of a lot like Toronto (they filmed the pilot here, so I’m assuming they’ll continue to film the series here as well).

 

GRANDFATHERED [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8]: John Stamos is a perpetual bachelor in this series, but is in for a real shock when he finds out he’s not only a father but yep, a grandfather. The grandfather part is clearly the twist on what we’ve seen before, where a bachelor’s life changes forever when their long-lost child pops back up in their life. It’s not completely new territory, but played right, there’s potential.

THE GRINDER [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8:30]: Rob Lowe plays the star of a long-running TV series, who moves back to his hometown thinking his “training” as a TV lawyer qualifies him to take over his family’s law firm. Lowe definitely showed his comedic chops on Parks and Recreation, and this character ALMOST feels like Chris Traeger, with the “can do anything” attitude. Let’s see if this is even half as good as I make it out to be.

SCREAM QUEENS [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 9]: It’s a horror comedy from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, aka the people who brought you Glee and American Horror Story. Naturally, the next step is this show, which if it goes on for multiple seasons, will follow the anthology footsteps of AHS. For this first season, the story involves murders on a college campus and a sorority. Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, and Abigail Breslin are among the stars. Who knows, this could be campy fun.

ROSEWOOD [Drama – Wednesdays @ 8]: Morris Chestnut plays private pathologist, Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, who does autopsies for hire to uncover clues that the police can’t. He’s joined by Miami P.D. Detective Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz), in helping solve these cases. He’s optimistic, she’s a cynic, I’m bored already. I applaud the casting of POC, but how many times have we seen this type of personality mismatch-up before?

THE X-FILES [Drama – Midseason]: The truth is still out there. Mulder and Scully reunite once more in this limited series. FOX wisely is saving this six-episode run for midseason, set to premiere after the NFC Championship game (football talk, I have no idea what that means.)

THE FRANKENSTEIN CODE [Drama – Midseason]: When Ray Pritchard (Philip Baker Hall), a morally corrupt retired cop dies, he suddenly gets a second chance at life when he is brought back in a younger body (Rob Kazinsky). Now he must decide whether to continue on in his ways or do things differently and right his past wrongs. I like that it isn’t a straight-up retelling of the Frankenstein story. In this format, it will probably lean towards procedural, but I could be wrong. I am willing to give it a shot, plus Tim DeKay (Peter Burke/”Suit”, White Collar) and Dilshad Vadsaria (Rebecca, Greek) is in it!

THE GUIDE TO SURVIVING LIFE [Comedy – Midseason]: A show which looks at what happens after you graduate from college, you know, that weird transition period before becoming a real adult. If the jokes are there, this could turn out to be something. I mean, we’ve seen shows cover high school, college, and then for some reason jump to thirtysomethings and adulthood, so this could turn out well if the writing is smart.

LUCIFER [Drama – Midseason]: FOX is doubling down on comic book lore with this TV series, which sees Lucifer bored with life in Hell, and leaving his throne behind for the LA craziness. Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Rachael Harris, and DB Woodside star. As usual, I know nothing of the source material, so I’ve got nothing to go on. If I didn’t know that this was based on a comic, I would’ve thought this was a hilarious plot. Because really, the devil got bored and decides to help out the LAPD solve crimes? That sounds ridiculous to me. Again, that’s just my impression of it.

Other Notables:

  • The biggest news coming out of the schedule reveal is that American Idol will come back for one last go ’round. Yep, after 15 seasons, Idol is done. I haven’t watched Idol in ages, because frankly I got bored, but it’s a big deal that Idol is ending. I half-expected it to run on forever. You know scripted shows will end at some point, but some of these reality shows that have continued on for years, you just think they’ll keep going. I mean, when the day comes that Survivor/The Amazing Race/So You Think You Can Dance/Dancing With The Stars ends, it’ll be a big deal too.
  • Empire will continue in its Wednesdays at 9 p.m. slot, but will expand to 18 episodes, broken up into 9-episode blocks for the fall and winter. Ne-Yo has also been added as one of the songwriters for the show.
  • Sleepy Hollow moves to Thursdays at 9 p.m. It’s a tough call to make because it made sense to pair it with something genre (Almost Human and Gotham, previously) but the numbers decreased significantly this season, so FOX gave the post-Gotham spot to newbie Minority Report. They could’ve paired it with another newbie like Frankenstein, but that might be taking too much of a risk, since Sleepy is sort of a wildcard going into this third season. FOX is already banking on all new shows on Tuesdays, so pairing Sleepy with the stable Bones might be better for the network, even if they are presumably facing Shondaland Thursdays on ABC. We’ll have to see how that works out.
  • Absent from the fall schedule is New Girl, which will return midseason and still air 22 episodes.
  • The Sunday night block of Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Family Guy, and The Last Man on Earth will remain as is.

Tomorrow will be ABC’s turn! In the meantime, what are your thoughts on FOX’s schedule for next season? Any new shows seem interesting? Or are you still bummed about some of their cancellations? (*cough* The Mindy Project *cough*)