Upfronts 2016: Looking Ahead to the 2016-17 TV Season

Every year in the middle of May, the TV networks do their big presentations and announcements, handing out renewals and pilot pick-ups, while cancelling other shows. For the past 5 years, I’ve been doing posts with my thoughts and reactions to their proposed new season schedule, every day to correspond with each network’s presentation. This year, with so much going on in my personal life, in lieu of my usual day-by-day posts, I’m going to streamline it and pack it all into one big post, after the fact. Snap judgments on the new shows and quick thoughts on the fall schedule.

ABC

RENEWED: American Crime, Black-ish, The Catch, Dr. Ken, Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Last Man Standing, Agents of SHIELD, The Middle, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, Quantico, The Real O’Neals, Scandal; The Bachelor, DWTS, Shark Tank

CANCELLED: Agent Carter, Castle, The Family, Galavant, The Muppets, Nashville

NEW SHOWS:

  • Conviction [Drama – Mondays @ 10] – Hayley Atwell will still be on ABC, despite Agent Carter being cancelled. With her as lead of this legal drama, and with a cast the includes Merrin Dungey (Francie from Alias!), Daniel DiTomasso (Killian from Witches of East End!), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman!), Eddie Cahill (Tag from Friends!), Emily Kinney, Manny Montana (Johnny from Graceland!), I need nothing else to tune in. It is going to take some getting used to, not hearing Hayley talk in her regular British accent.
  • American Housewife [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8:30] – This used to be called The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport, so you can take a gander at what this show is about. I just don’t know what other comedy can be mined from housewives and suburbia that hasn’t been done before. And I didn’t really laugh at any of the jokes in the trailer, so I think I’m gonna pass.
  • Speechless [Comedy – Wednesdays @8:30] – A comedy that revolves around a family with a special-needs child. Not gonna lie, I’m worried about the quality of the jokes. However, Minnie Driver in a comedy got me thinking about her last show, About A Boy, which I loved, and the trailer kinda gives off those same kinda vibes, so I’m not gonna dismiss it entirely.
  • Designated Survivor [Drama – Wednesdays @ 10] – Washington politics? Whatever. But this cast (Kiefer Sutherland, Maggie Q, Italia Ricci, Kal Penn, Natascha McElhone, Adan Canto)? A++
  • Notorious [Drama – Thursdays @ 9] – Criminal law and the media intersect with Daniel Sunjata and Piper Perabo (two more of my favs from the USA network!) starring. Count me in.
  • Downward Dog [Midseason] – The dog talks, confessional-style. Suurrreee…..And the trailer does nothing for me.
  • Imaginary Mary [Midseason] – A CGI creature in a regular comedy. Suurrreee…..The trailer also does nothing for me, except for “WHHHHYYYY?”
  • Still Star-Crossed [Midseason] – What happens to the Montagues and Capulets after the death of Romeo and Juliet? This series aims to show just that. I think younger me might’ve been interested in this, now not so much.
  • Time After Time [Midseason – Sundays @ 9] – Something about H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper, travelling to the present? Meh.

Quick Thoughts on the Schedule:

  • I still can’t believe they cancelled Agent Carter! I don’t care that Hayley has another show regardless, I wanted her to have both because I don’t like a world in which we don’t get to see more of Peggy, Jarvis, and Sousa. Not to mention, we’ll never get to see how SHIELD came to be.
  • Speaking of SHIELD, the show moving to Tuesdays @ 10 might seem weird at first, but considering ABC’s horrible luck at putting a new show in the timeslot for the past few years, the move was inevitable.
  • Shondaland TGIT is put on hold for the fall, as Scandal moves to midseason due to “scheduling” as they officially put it, but as we all know it’s really to accomodate Kerry Washington’s pregnancy.

CBS

RENEWED: 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Code Black, Criminal Minds, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0, Life in Pieces, Madam Secretary, Mom, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, The Odd Couple, Scorpion; Survivor, The Amazing Race

CANCELLED: CSI Cyber, The Good Wife, Mike & Molly, Person of Interest, Rush Hour

FATE UNKNOWN:  Limitless

NEW SHOWS:

  • Kevin Can Wait [Comedy – Mondays @ 8:30; 8 after football]  – Never been a Kevin James fan, so this is of no interest to me.
  • Man With a Plan [Comedy – Mondays @ 8:30] – Joey Tribbiani as a dad? Time fly by or what?! Obviously checking it out.
  • Bull [Drama – Tuesdays @ 9] – Michael Weatherly plays a fictionalized version of Dr. Phil. Pass.
  • The Great Indoors [Comedy – Thursdays @ 8:30] – Joel McHale plays a boss to millenials. So Jeff Winger 2.0? I worry a little about the tone, being that it’s on CBS, but I’ll check it out.
  • Pure Genius [Drama – Thursdays @ 10] – A tech titan and a veteran surgeon open up a hospital with a newer approach to medicine. Doesn’t really appeal to me, I’m afraid. But how do I say no to a show that has Odette Annable and Brenda Song within its cast, and is executive produced by Jason Katims? I can’t, so I’m gonna have to give it a shot.
  • MacGyver [Drama – Fridays @ 8] – Has the name going for it, but with massive retooling being done, the pickup seems odd.
  • Doubt [Drama – Midseason] – Not a fan of Katherine Heigl. Pass.
  • Training Day [Drama – Midseason] – Takes the name and conceit of the movie for brand recognition, otherwise has nothing to do with the movie or the characters. Sure you’ve got Bill Paxton in the Denzel-like role, but why bother?

Quick Thoughts on the Schedule:

  • CBS has never really been my network of choice, what with all the procedurals and kinda lame comedies. There are exceptions to those of course, but majority of the shows are just not my cup of tea and they all just meld together in my mind.
  • The Amazing Race is being pushed until midseason? Say what now?! For the past three years, I’ve gotten TAR pretty much year-round (U.S. fall and winter, Canada summer). I don’t accept this at all.
  • The network is looking for a new home for freshman series, Limitless. Why they didn’t renew it is mind-bloggling. But not even admitting that they are canceling it? Infuriating.

FOX

RENEWED: Bob’s Burgers, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Empire, Family Guy, Gotham, The Last Man on Earth, Lucifer, New Girl, Rosewood, Scream Queens, The Simpsons, Sleepy Hollow; Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, MasterChef Junior

CANCELLED: Bordertown, The Cleveland Show, Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, Grandfathered, The Grinder, Second Chance

NEW SHOWS:

  • Lethal Weapon [Drama – Wednesdays @ 8] – Fits right in with the buddy cop dynamic of most TV cop shows lately, with added brand name quality. Will watch the pilot (even though the trailer was probably enough) but it’s gotta have something extra to make me want to tune in regularly. Otherwise, it’s just another dude cop show to me, and I don’t need that.
  • Pitch [Drama – Thursdays @ 9] – Baseball may not be exactly my thing, but a show about a woman making the Major Leagues? Sign me up! The preview looks absolutely great for it!
  • The Exorcist [Drama – Fridays @ 9] – Not my type of show.
  • Son of Zorn [Comedy – Sundays @ 8:30] – Animated Barbarian father comes home to live-action ex-wife and son. Man, are they pulling out the weird, or what? I honestly have no idea what to make of it. From the trailer, I already get the sense that it’s not for me.
  • 24: Legacy [Drama – Midseason, Mondays @ 8] – I was never really interested in the original 24, I don’t know why, but maybe I’ll get into this spinoff. I mean, the cast (Corey Hawkins, Miranda Otto, Jimmy Smits) is a pretty solid one, so we’ll see.
  • APB [Drama – Midseason, Mondays @ 9] – A tech billionaire buys a police precinct, in hopes to get justice for the death of his friend. Off of the previews, with some of the tech being used, reminds me of Almost Human but obviously not so futuristic sci-fi. I’ll give it a shot, but I don’t expect much.
  • The Mick [Comedy – Midseason, Tuesdays @ 8:30] – A woman is tasked with taking care of her imprisoned sister’s spoiled kids. Comedy ensues? Hope so. Sustainable? Well, the preview looks like the show would be a better movie than a series, but what do I know?
  • Shots Fired [Drama – Spring, Wednesdays @ 8] – The whole investigating shootings in a small-town and dealing with the media, seems both timely and played out somehow. It looks like it could be a really good show, just maybe not for me.
  • Star [Drama – Midseason, Wednesdays @ 9] – A music-based drama, which centers on three girls who hope to rise to fame. Put more focus on the music and the industry, and character development, less on the crazy drama, and I’m in.
  • Prison Break [Midseason, Thursdays @ 9] – Like the X-Files series event, this is another limited event continuation of the old show, set years later. Didn’t care for it then, don’t really care now.
  • Making History [Comedy – Midseason, Sundays @ 8:30] – They had me with Adam Pally time-traveling comedy.

Quick Thoughts on the Schedule

  • I don’t think I have ever been so conflicted about a show’s renewal than I have with Sleepy Hollow. On the one hand, I still love the people working on the show. On the other hand, season 3 was on/off, and letting go of Nikki Beharie (a critical, if not the most important aspect of the show) was kind of the final straw. The show won’t come back until midseason, so we’ll see how I feel then.
  • It’s a bummer that the network canceled Grandfathered and The Grinder. Grandfathered was a really sweet comedy, while The Grinder kind of redefined the meaning of meta.

NBC

RENEWED: The Blacklist, Blindspot, The Carmichael Show, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., Grimm, Law & Order: SVU, Shades of Blue, Superstore; The Voice, Hollywood Game Night, Little Big Shots

CANCELLED: Crowded, Game of Silence, Heartbeat, The Mysteries of Laura, Telenovela, Undateable

NEW SHOWS:

  • Timeless [Drama – Mondays @ 10] – Lots of time travel happening this season. This one seems the strongest of the bunch, giving me 12 Monkeys-vibes (without the virus stuff). I already have a favourite time-travel show so it will have to do a lot to overcome the comparisons, for me anyways, and make me see it as a separate thing. But, Abigail Spencer!
  • This Is Us [Drama – Tuesdays @ 9] – Follows a group of people who cross paths and have their lives intertwine in different ways. I like Mandy Moore, Milo Ventigmilia, and Justin Hartley, so I’ll give it a shot. Some people have said that the trailer reminds them of Parenthood; I personally don’t see it. I do need to see more of the overall product to really judge it.
  • The Good Place [Comedy – Thursdays @ 8:30] – Kristen Bell and Ted Danson in a comedy about the afterlife, from Michael Schur (Parks and Rec!) SOLD
  • Taken [Drama – Midseason, Mondays @ 10] – We’re looking at the life of younger Bryan Mills, 30 years before he became that guy in the movie series. Do we really need this show? My gut says not really.
  • The Blacklist: Redemption [Drama – Midseason] – Don’t watch The Blacklist to begin with, so no interest.
  • Chicago Justice [Drama – Midseason] – Hard pass.
  • Emerald City [Drama – Midseason] – The Oz “event series” was picked-up, cancelled, and then picked-up again. We’ll see, I guess? Not a lot of faith here.
  • Great News [Comedy – Midseason] – Briga Heelan and Andrea Martin, in a mother-daughter workplace comedy from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. I’m in.
  • Marlon [Comedy – Midseason] – Loosely based on Marlon Wayans’ real life. Willing to give it a shot.
  • Midnight, Texas [Drama – Midseason] – Based on Charlaine Harris’ series (the one that isn’t True Blood), focuses on a town full of vampires, witches, psychics, and such. Checking it out purely for Arielle Kebbel, Sarah Ramos, and Dylan Bruce.
  • Powerless [Comedy – Midseason] – Office comedy set around the regular people who have to deal with the aftermath of DC superhero fights. That is so ripe with jokes, I have to check it out.
  • Trial & Error [Comedy – Midseason] – Big city lawyer working on a murder trial in a small town. Classic fish-out-of-water stuff. If it doesn’t do the obvious jokes, then it stands a chance.

Quick Thoughts on the Schedule:

  • It’s nice to see that NBC is trying to get back into Thursday night comedies, with Superstore and The Good Place.
  • Can’t believe it took them so long to renew The Carmichael Show, a comedy that is so current and topical, even when it looks like an old-school sitcom. To think that it is now NBC’s longest running comedy (with its 3rd season renewal) certainly says a lot of the network’s current state.
  • I still need them to scale back on The Voice. There’s been so much TV that I’ve pretty much stopped watching it simply because I don’t have time for it. Not to mention, I am definitely feeling the burnout from it.

THE CW

RENEWED: The 100, Arrow, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, iZombie, Jane the Virgin, The Originals, Reign, Supergirl (!), Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries

CANCELLED: Containment

NEW SHOWS

  • No Tomorrow [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 9]Opposites attract: risk-aversed girl meets carefree guy who thinks the apocalypse is coming. Watching for Joshua Sasse, since Galavant got cancelled.
  • Frequency [Drama – Wednesdays @ 9] – Don’t remember watching the original movie that the show is based on, but the preview seems interesting enough.
  • Riverdale [Drama – Midseason] – A modern take on the Archie gang that has the small-town be more than its wholesome appeal? Oh, and it’s yet ANOTHER show from Greg Berlanti? Yeah, okay, I’m in.

Quick Thoughts on the Schedule

  • Supergirl is where it finally belongs – on the CW! The audience that CBS wanted for the show wasn’t quite there, but it fits so much better here with its DC superhero cohorts. Epic crossover between Supergirl/The Flash/Arrow/Legends of Tomorrow to be expected, though let’s be real, all we really want is a big musical episode. How much the show itself will change with the network move is certainly the biggest question. Moving the filming to Vancouver, lesser budget, and possibly less Calista Flockhart/Cat Grant (who reportedly took the show because it filmed in LA)? We’ll have to wait and see
  • Schedule-wise: I love the CW pairing Supergirl and Jane the Virgin. I mean, I was watching it that way anyways, so thanks to them for letting me keep my schedule as is there.
  • iZombie being held off until midseason? I don’t like it.

And that’s the rundown of what next season will look like!

Upfronts 2015: A Look at NBC’s Schedule for Next Fall

As is often the case every year, NBC gets a jump on announcing their schedule for next fall on Sunday, a day before their actual Upfronts presentation. It certainly looks as though we’re continuing somewhat of a transition period for the network, as NBC cleaned out almost all of this past seasons’ newbies, and this fall we’ll see only two comedies from the network. In their place, a bunch of new shows trying to get our attention and become a hit for NBC. Here is a look at all the shows picked up by the network, along with my quick first reaction to them.

BLINDSPOT [Drama – Mondays @ 10]: Jaime Alexander stars as a woman who turns up in Times Square in a duffel bag, with no recollection of who she is or what the tattoos on her body means. When she begins to work with the FBI, they find her tattoos are clues to a bigger conspiracy. It’s giving me Memento vibes, so I’m really interested on how it turns out. Of note, it’s another Greg Berlanti show (what an overachiever, making everybody else look bad!)

HEARTBREAKER [Drama – Tuesdays @ 9]: Dr. Alex Panttiere (played by Melissa George) is one of the few female heart transplant surgeons; she does things on her own terms and constantly finds innovative ways to treat her patients. Sounds a bit like House, no? I’ll check it out, if only for George (whom I will constantly associate with Alias) and Dave Annable (whom I love in just about all the shows he’s been in), but I have a feeling it’s already not for me.

THE PLAYER [Drama – Thursdays @ 10]: Wesley Snipes stars as a former military operative turned security expert, who gets drawn into a twisted game among a group of rich folk. This organization bets on his ability to stop massive crimes from happening in Las Vegas, while he tries to avenge his wife’s death. It’s an interesting hook to say the least, though I already have my doubts on how it can sustain itself as a series.

PEOPLE ARE TALKING [Comedy – Fridays @ 8:30]: Guys, Zack Morris is back! Okay granted, Mark-Paul Gosselaar starred on Franklin and Bash for a few years over on TNT, and has been working steadily since the Saved By the Bell days, but just roll with me here okay? The show is about two couples, who are best friends and live next door to each other; as the title suggests, they talk/analyze/obsess over everything they do in their lives. It’s a pretty straightforward concept, but the key will obviously be in the execution. NBC’s decision to make this one of two comedies to air this fall, and on Fridays no less, is questionable. It’s not like it’s the days of ABC’s TGIF lineup. Granted, the network has not been doing well at all launching new comedies, so Fridays seem like a low cost way to test out the show. I don’t know, Friday just seems like a terrible idea to launch new shows regardless.

CHICAGO MED [Drama – Midseason]: Who would’ve figured that within four years, Chicago Fire would lead to not one, but two spin-offs? Not me, that’s for sure, though never underestimate the power of Dick Wolf, who is behind Law & Order and all of its spin-offs. If Sophia Bush’s presence can’t get me to watch Chicago P.D., what makes you think I have any interest in this? Procedural? Snooze.

HOT & BOTHERED [Comedy – Midseason ]: Eva Longoria stars in this show about the backstage world of a telenovela. Honestly, I just need the fake telenovela in question to be half as fun as Jane the Virgin‘s Passions of Santos, and I think I’m good.

COACH [Comedy – Midseason ]: Random reboot sequel time! Craig T. Nelson returns to the role of Hayden Fox, which he played for nine seasons on ABC from 1989 to 1997. In the new series, Fox has retired from coaching, only to get roped back in to play assistant coach to his son. I vaguely remember the original series, but then again, I was really young. I have my reservations about all these reboots, but we’ll just have to wait and see some actual footage before making any judgments.

CROWDED [Comedy – Midseason]: Patrick Warburton and Carrie Preston play Mike and Martina, parents who are just getting used to being empty nesters, and suddenly find themselves with a full house once again when their daughters move back in, along with Mike’s parents. Carrie Preston was always a bright spot on True Blood, so I’m looking forward to seeing her do straight comedy. Hopefully this turns out well.

GAME OF SILENCE [Drama – Midseason]: An Atlanta lawyer (David Lyons) unexpectedly reunited with his group of childhood friends (including Michael Raymond James and Larenz Tate), whom he hasn’t seen in 25 years. A dark secret they once shared begins to creep back up, forcing these old friends to band together and right the wrongs of their past. I honestly have no idea what to make of this. There’s a mystery involved, but my concern is how long they intend on dragging it out and whether they payoff will actually be worth it. I know that’s talking long term, but call it one of the things I’m cynical about – I just need to know that I’m not wasting my time.

SHADES OF BLUE [Drama – Midseason]: This was actually picked-up straight-to-series last year and is now finally making it onto the schedule. Jennifer Lopez stars as a cop who is forced to work as an FBI informant. The show also stars Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo, and Warren Kole. This kind of reminds me of last year’s Gang Related from FOX, except with a female lead. My guess is that it won’t be so much of a procedural, and will focus more on the relationships; that’s what I’m hoping for at least.

SUPERSTORE [Comedy – Midseason]: It’s The Office, if the office in question is a Costco-like megastore. America Ferrara returns to TV once again, alongside Ben Feldman, who is jumping right back into it after the cancellation of A to Z. I think there’s a lot of fun to be had in a setting like this, so I’m in.

Other Notables:

  • Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris will air through to November on Tuesdays at 10 p.m., starting after the America’s Got Talent finale in September. The show got picked up last fall and will be NPH’s new take on a variety show. It certainly is getting a push from NBC by airing it after AGT and then the first few weeks of The Voice, but like most others, I’m surprised that they’re airing it in the 10 p.m. hour, instead of 9 p.m. since it would seemingly be a family friendly (-ish) show.
  • Chicago Fire will then premiere in its old timeslot after Best Time Ever finishes its run.
  • Wednesdays will stay in tact with The Mysteries of Laura, Law & Order SVU, and Chicago P.D.
  • Way back last year, it was announced that Heroes was coming back as an event miniseries. This fall, NBC has settled on Heroes Reborn to anchor its Thursday night at 8 p.m. As someone who enjoyed most of Heroes‘ first season and thought that each subsequent season got significantly worse, I kind of rolled my eyes at the thought of this reboot of sorts. I’m still wary about how Reborn will turn out, but I’m here for Zachary Levi.
  • NBC’s only returning comedy, Undateable, will make up the other half of the Friday comedy block, starting off the night.
  • Grimm moves back to its 9 p.m. slot on Friday nights, with NBC mainstay Dateline closing off the night.
  • Also set for next season is a limited series comedy, You, Me, and the End of the World, which stars Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer and Megan Mullally. The show is about a group of strangers who come together before the apocalypse sets in.
  • There’s also Little Big Shots, a variety show from Steve Harvey and Ellen DeGeneres, featuring young kids and their extraordinary talents.

When September rolls around and we see all the promotional stuff, maybe I’ll change my mind about some of the shows I’m on the fence about, but right now I’m kind of meh. Once again, NBC is saving a lot of their new shows for midseason, which hasn’t shown to pay off for the network, so I don’t really know what to make of it.

Tomorrow, FOX!

 

Upfronts 2015: All the Renewals and Cancellations

Ahh Upfronts. We’re not even done with the current TV season and yet here we are already discussing next season. I was going to just include these renewals and cancellations with the pilot pick-ups for each network, but I have thoughts and just felt it best to separate them like I did last year. So without further ado, a complete rundown of what shows from the 2014-2015 TV season the major broadcast networks have renewed or cancelled.

ABC

  • Renewed: American Crime, Black-ish, Castle, Dancing With the Stars, Fresh Off the Boat, Galavant, The Goldbergs, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, The Middle, Modern Family, Nashville, Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Secrets & Lies
  • Canceled/Ended: Cristela, Forever, Manhattan Love Story, Resurrection, Revenge, Selfie, The Taste
  • Pending: Last Man Standing

Unlike the other networks, ABC tends to leave renewals until a few days before Upfronts, and this year was no exception. Pretty much everything that was expected to earn a renewal did. I for one, am SO EXCITED that ABC chose to renew Fresh Off the Boat (which was pulling in solid numbers) and Agent Carter (which was doing respectable numbers, but also has so much support from critics and fans alike). It was a welcome surprise to Galavant get renewed as well, because it’s such an oddball show and with the network airing all the episodes within 4 weeks in January, it didn’t seem like it was going to continue on. On the cancellation end, I’m surprised they didn’t give Forever another season. I watched the first few episodes, thought the overarching mystery was intriguing and could definitely see the appeal, even if I didn’t have the time to continue with it.

CBS

  • Renewed: 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Madam Secretary, Mike & Molly, Mom, NCIS New Orleans, Scorpion, Survivor
  • Cancelled/Ended: Stalker, Battle Creek, The Millers, The McCarthys, Two and a Half Men, The Mentalist
  • Pending: The Amazing Race, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI, CSI: Cyber, Elementary, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Odd Couple, Person of Interest

CBS typically does a batch renewal early on, so it’s intriguing to see that at this moment, there’s so much pending. Of the shows they did give early renewals to, were 3 of 4 freshman series that premiered in the fall. Suffice to say, that was a big indicator that Stalker wasn’t going to be coming back. By no means did I think Stalker was great, but my admiration/love for Maggie Q kept me watching, and though the show was pretty standard procedural fare, I really enjoyed watching the storyline/character arc of Maggie’s Beth. I hope to see Maggie join another TV show in the near future (maybe a Marvel show, because how awesome would that be?!). We know for certain that The Big Bang Theory is still around for at least two more years, to which I say, maybe it’s time to pack it up. I still enjoy watching it, and maybe it’s just me but it’s starting to show its age and it has to end at some point.

FOX

  • Renewed: Bob’s Burgers, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Empire, Family Guy, Gotham, Hell’s Kitchen, The Last Man on Earth, New Girl, The Simpsons, Sleepy Hollow, Masterchef, Masterchef Junior
  • Cancelled/Ended: The Mindy Project, Glee, Gracepoint, Kitchen Nightmares, Red Band Society, Utopia, Mulaney, Backstrom, The Following
  • Pending: American Idol, Weird Loners

It was a big year for FOX, based on Empire alone, which just kept increasing its audience week after week. The network also had a decent hit with Gotham, though personally I think I’m done with it unless they do something drastically different next season. Then there’s The Last Man on Earth, which turned out to be a rather welcome surprise in terms of how different and funny it was; I know I had my doubts about it, this time last year, so I’m happy to see it turned out well. Sleepy Hollow thankfully got renewed despite its uneven second season, which I think is a matter of the producers figuring out a happy middle ground, between the mythology of it all and the network wanting something accessible to new viewers (a la procedural/case of the week). I still enjoyed season 2 of Sleepy, but it was fairly noticeable when the network meddled with the creativity of the show. We also need to talk for a second how much it sucks that FOX cancelled The Mindy Project. SUCH a fun and funny show, and they let it go? Ridiculous! Hopefully it does find a home somewhere else because I need more Mindy in my life. In terms of the shows awaiting news, I don’t think FOX is going to let go of Idol, even if it is declining. Weird Loners, on the other hand, is as good as cancelled; the writing just wasn’t there and the cast dynamic just didn’t work.

NBC

  • Renewed: The Blacklist, Celebrity Apprentice, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Grimm, Law & Order SVU, The Mysteries of Laura, The Night Shift, Undateable
  • Cancelled/Ended: About a Boy, Allegiance, A to Z, Bad Judge, Constantine, Marry Me, One Big Happy, Parenthood, Parks and Recreation, The Slap, State of Affairs
  • Pending: American Odyssey, The Biggest Loser, The Voice

Oh NBC, no idea what to do with you. The network seemingly called it a wash on this past season, cancelling almost everything it picked up last year, with the only freshman drama that survived being The Mysteries of Laura. A to Z was cancelled way back in the fall, but the cancellation of Marry Me and One Big Happy – two shows featuring Happy Endings alums, that weren’t great but still enjoyable – kind of bum me out a bit. That’s also not to mention that Marry Me and About A Boy were pulled from the schedule in February, to make way for The Voice and the other midseason comedies, with no word on when (or if) it was coming back. I’m really hoping the remaining episodes of both shows will air at some point. I’m bummed for the fans of Constantine, because it was a good show, even if I wasn’t that into it; word is, it’s being shopped to other networks/outlets, so here’s hoping it gets another chance to live somewhere else. The sole remaining comedy on the network (before the new pilots obviously) is underdog Undateable, which began as a summer series, survived to season two, and has now been picked up for a third season, which in a change of format, will consist of entirely live shows. Also, The Night Shift continues to surprise in its steadiness for the network, earning a third season pick-up. In terms of shows still awaiting news, I think American Odyssey is a goner; I wanted to watch it for Anna Friel, but it just didn’t appeal to me at all. The Biggest Loser and The Voice are coming back, though I would really like to see them scale back on The Voice and just do one season a year. Even as a fan of the show, I’m getting tired watching this much Voice in a year, and honestly, NBC really needs to put their marketing efforts towards their new shows, or else we’re gonna end up with the same situation next year.

THE CW

  • Renewed: The 100, Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, The Flash, iZombie, Jane the Virgin, Reign, Supernatural, The Originals, The Vampire Diaries
  • Canceled: Hart of Dixie, The Messengers

Surprisingly, CW made almost all of their renewals back in January, with the exceptions being their midseason shows that hadn’t aired yet. Though they didn’t admit at the time, every one (cast included) knew Hart of Dixie was done after this season, and with the finale that it had, I had already accepted it as being the end. iZombie fully deserved its recent second season pick-up. Unfortunately, The Messengers didn’t make an impact and was pretty much doomed from the start, when the network slotted it right into Friday. We all know Friday is a deadzone, even moreso on The CW (will never forgive them for putting Nikita there), so putting a new show there isn’t exactly a vote of confidence.

So there you have it, a complete list of everything that has been renewed or cancelled on the main broadcast networks. Anything you’re bummed about being cancelled? Which renewal got you most excited?

Gearing Up for Fall TV 2014

It’s officially September, which means regular TV will be coming back soon! Don’t get me wrong, summer TV has been good. My returning faves – So You Think You Can Dance, Suits, Covert Affairs, Graceland, Witches of East End – were still great to watch and got me through the summer. I tried watching some new shows – a couple I like but not love (Outlander, Legends) and a couple that didn’t stick for me (The Strain, Extant, The Leftovers). And then there was True Blood (the less said about it, the better). Point is, I am REALLY excited that all my other shows are coming back and some potentially new favourites are premiering soon!

If this year has shown me anything, it’s that I’m starting to get picky about the shows I watch because there is just simply not enough time to watch everything. Even if everybody else is seemingly talking about it, if it doesn’t hold my interest or if I don’t connect to it, I’m not going to spend more time than I should on it. That being said, I’m still starting off the new season with a pretty packed schedule filled with returning shows and new shows that I’m willing to give a shot. By November sweeps, I’m expecting my load to lighten up a little…that is until all the midseason shows premiere (it’s a never-ending cycle!)

*New Shows

SUNDAY

 

  • Once Upon A Time (ABC, Sept. 28, 8 PM )
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX, Sept. 28, 8:30 PM)
  • Resurrection (ABC, Sept. 28, 9 PM)
  • Mulaney (FOX, Oct. 5, 9:30 PM)*
  • The Affair (Showtime, Oct. 12, 10 PM)*

Sundays used to be a packed night for me, but after deciding to drop both Revenge and Homeland this season, plus The Amazing Race moving to Fridays, tonight became a lot lighter.

MONDAY

  • Gotham (FOX, Sept. 22, 8 PM)
  • Sleepy Hollow (FOX, Sept. 22, 9 PM)
  • The Voice (NBC, Sept. 22, 8 PM)
  • Dancing With the Stars (ABC, Sept. 15, 8 PM)
  • Scorpion (CBS, Sept. 22, 10 PM)*
  • Jane the Virgin (CW, Oct. 13, 9 PM)*
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS, Sept. 22, 8 PM)

My plan is to watch Gotham and Sleepy Hollow live but realistically, knowing that I’ll be at home having dinner with my family, it’s gonna end up being The Voice with DWTS in between commercials, and watch everything else after. Can we just talk for a second how Allison Holker (one of my favorite dancers, not just from SYTYCD but, ever) is one of the pros on DWTS this season?! AND that Julianne Hough is back, but this time as a permanent 4th judge? The Big Bang Theory is on Mondays for a little while until Thursday Night Football (how many nights of football are there?!) is over, and then it’ll move back to Thursdays.

TUESDAY

  • The Flash (CW, Oct. 7, 8 PM)*
  • Marry Me (NBC, Oct. 14, 9 PM)*
  • About a Boy (NBC, Oct. 14, 9:30 PM)
  • The Mindy Project (FOX, Sept. 16, 9:30 PM)
  • SHIELD (ABC, Sept. 23, 9 PM)
  • Selfie (ABC, Sept. 30, 8 PM)*
  • Manhattan Love Story (ABC, Sept. 30, 8:30 PM)*

Of all the new shows tonight, the only one I’m on the fence about is Manhattan Love Story. I like the two leads, Analeigh Tipton and Jake Dorman, but I’m reserving a wait and see approach. I know I’ll like Marry Me (from David Caspe who created Happy Endings? YES) and have already seen the Selfie pilot, which looks promising. Super excited for The Flash. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I loved About A Boy last season (I shouldn’t have been so surprised. I mean, Jason Katims, creator of Friday Night Lights and Parenthood), so very much looking forward to its return.

WEDNESDAY

  • Arrow (CW, Oct. 8, 8 PM)
  • Survivor (CBS, Sept. 24, 8 PM)
  • Stalker (CBS, Oct. 1, 10 PM)*
  • Nashville (ABC, Sept. 24, 10 PM)
  • Red Band Society (FOX, Sept. 17, 9 PM)*
  • Modern Family (ABC, Sept. 24, 9 PM)
  • Black-ish (ABC, Sept. 24, 9:30 PM)*
  • Kingdom (DirecTV, Oct. 8, 9 PM)*

I’m not sure how it happened, but all of a sudden my Wednesdays became REALLY packed. I was able to kind of manage it last year with some crafty/skillful timeshifting (via multiple outlets), but this year is a whole ‘nother ballgame. Arrow and Survivor are my staples, Stalker has Maggie Q, and after having already watched the pilot of Red Band Society, I feel like I already love it (Octavia Spencer and Dave Annable? Plus a talented younger cast?) So it doesn’t really leave me much time for anything else. The rest might have to be pushed to the weekend.

THURSDAY

  • Scandal (ABC, Sept. 25, 9 PM)
  • How to Get Away with Murder (ABC, Sept. 25, 10 PM)*
  • A to Z (NBC, Oct. 2, 9:30 PM)
  • Parenthood (NBC, Sept. 25, 10 PM)

What happened to Must See Thursdays?! This line-up is WEAK. I have nothing at 8 PM, until Big Bang Theory moves over at the end of October. I should be happy that this is manageable but still, this is my schedule until I add in the final season of White Collar and the second half of Covert Affairs season 5 run, which premiere Nov. 6. Then at that time I’ll have more decisions to make because WC and CA are at 9 and 10 P.M. respectively.

FRIDAY

  • The Amazing Race (CBS, Sept. 26, 8 PM)
  • Cristela (ABC, Oct. 10, 8:30 PM)*
  • Grimm (NBC, Oct. 24, 9 PM)
  • Constantine (NBC, Oct. 24, 10 PM)

Sinceriously, I love that CBS moved Amazing Race to Fridays – it just works out so well for me (the shut-in that I am)

On tap for MIDSEASON

  • Parks and Recreation
  • Agent Carter
  • Empire
  • Hart of Dixie
  • iZombie
  • Fresh Off the Boat
  • Weird Loners
  • One Big Happy
  • Mr. Robinson
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • The Messengers

And that is how my schedule is shaping up for the next couple months, unless some of the new shows inevitably disappoint me or don’t interest me as much I thought they would and I stop watching. But still, that’s a lot of TV. Good thing I don’t have much of a social life (LOL!)

Upfronts 2014: NBC Schedule for the Fall TV Season

Though NBC’s official Upfront presentation isn’t until Monday morning, they got a head start on everyone by announcing their schedule Sunday afternoon. The network picked up 13 shows, along with previously announced event series Heroes: Reborn and A.D., Mark Burnett’s follow-up to The Bible miniseries. A brief look at the new shows and my thoughts on them (which are based purely on their descriptions).

CONSTANTINE [Drama – Fridays @ 10]: Based on the DC Comic, Constantine is con man turned supernatural detective/demon hunter, albeit reluctantly. It’s a character that has been visited once before in a movie of the same name, starring Keanu Reeves, and with Arrow doing so well, it was only a matter of time before we got some other DC characters making their way to TV.

THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA [Drama – Wednesdays @ 8]: Debra Messing bounces back from the Smash mess to star in this show as a homicide detective, who can handle the criminals she puts away but not her twin boys. Add to that? Her ex-husband is now her boss.

MARRY ME [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 9]: Casey Wilson and Ken Marino star as a couple who quickly become engaged, only to realize that being engaged is not all its cracked up to be. From David Caspe, who brought us the incredibly funny and underrated Happy Endings, and again, starring Casey Wilson (also from Happy Endings), I have incredibly high hopes for this show.

Marry Me - Season Pilot

ONE BIG HAPPY [Comedy – Midseason/TBA]: More Happy Endings people! Eliza Cuthbert and Nick Zano play a pair of best friends, Lizzy and Luke, who decide to have a baby together…though it’s in the more medical way because Lizzy’s gay. (So basically, it’s like that one storyline on Will & Grace.) But things get complicated when Luke goes off and gets married, and suddenly they’ve got a different kind of family.

ALLEGIANCE [Drama – Midseason/TBA]: Alex O’Connor (played by Gavin Stenhouse) is a CIA analyst who finds out his parents and his sister are Russian sleeper spies. Things get complicated when they are reactivated and are forced to choose where there loyalties lay – betray their country or turn their son against his. Sounds a little like FX’s The Americans except set in present day. Without a doubt, if done well, the show will be full of interesting drama.

Allegiance

A TO Z [Comedy – Thursdays @ 9:30]: Cristin Milioti (our heretofore Mother of HIMYM) jumps back quickly into another rom-com series, this one set at an online dating company. The show chronicles the “A to Z’s” of a relationship from match-up to break-up. Happy to see Milioti back so soon and though completely unrelated, I hope this show helps us HIMYM fans feel like we’re finally catching up to what “the Mother” was like. But again, the characters are completely different with one another, so just let me pretend this is some alt universe.

A to Z

AQUARIUS [Drama – Midseason/TBA]: Set in the 1960s, an undercover L.A. cop (played by David Duchovny) sets out to find Charles Manson, before the infamous murder spree occurred. It’s set as a 13-episode event series, which for these types of mystery stories is becoming the ideal, and I think works out much better than attempting to stretch it out over multiple seasons.

BAD JUDGE [Comedy – Thursdays @ 9]: Kate Walsh jumps back into TV, trading in the drama of being a doctor on Private Practice/Grey’s Anatomy, for the comedy of being a House-like judge. Things take a turn in her life when a boy who’s parents she put away in jail comes asking for her help. We’ve seen this before: wild-child with a heart of gold; it doesn’t seem particularly new but who knows, it might surprise me later.

MISSION CONTROL [Comedy – Midseason/TBA]: Krysten Ritter stars as an aerospace engineer, who leads a team of NASA scientists. The catch? It’s the 1960s and she’s the only female in a group of men. Ritter is a great talent but I’m not so sure about the premise. Granted, it is a comedy so it’s not going to be incredibly serious given the subject matter, but I’m just not sold on it.

ODYSSEY [Drama – Midseason/TBA]: A soldier (Anna Friel), a corporate lawyer (Peter Facinelli), and a political activist (Jake Robinson) find themselves drawn into the same international military conspiracy in this series that is drawing comparisons to the movie Traffic, with its intersecting storylines. Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory? Played out right and the ride could be absolutely thrilling.

Odyssey

STATE OF AFFAIRS [Drama – Mondays @ 10, starting in November]: Katherine Heigl returns to TV since leaving Grey’s Anatomy in 2010. Here she plays Charleston Tucker, a top CIA analyst who briefs the President (Alfre Woodard) on the biggest security issues of the nation and the world. It doesn’t seem incredibly compelling on the description alone but this could turn out to be a mix of Homeland and Scandal, without the crazy. I’m not a huge fan of Heigl so her starring in the show isn’t a big draw for me; we’ll see how I feel come November.

State of Affairs

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT [Comedy – Midseason/TBA]: Tina Fey and Robert Carlock created this show starring Ellie Kemper as Kimmy, who escapes from a doomsday cult and attempts to restart her life in NYC.

MR.ROBINSON [Comedy – Midseason/TBA]: Craig Robinson is a musician, who has to readjust his life when he takes a job as a middle-school music teacher. I’m thinking School of Rock but with Robinson instead of Jack Black.

Other Notables:

  • Parenthood has been renewed for a 13-episode final season. As sad as it is for me to see it go, I think Parenthood is one of the shows that has given NBC a lot of good will because it wasn’t pulling spectacular ratings, was perpetually on the bubble, and NBC kept renewing it. Obviously, it wasn’t going to run on forever, so it is at least nice of the network to give the show a proper send-off, as opposed to abruptly cancelling it.
  • It was also announced that Parks and Recreation will be ending after this coming 7th season, which saddens me but it also makes sense. With the events of the season finale, you have a small glimpse of what’s to come in this final season and plus it’s hard to figure out what else there is for Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope career-wise. Again, the show fought the odds to last this long. Another thing of note is the fact that the show isn’t on the fall schedule and is being kept for midseason.
  • Speaking of midseason, you’ll notice that quite a number of NBC’s new shows are being saved for later on in the season. A lot of those shows seem to have a lot of potential, so to keep it until midseason is a risk, especially for NBC because in recent years, midseason hasn’t worked out all that well for the shows or the network. We’ll have to wait and see I suppose.
  • NBC’s comedy Thursday line-up seems to be done for the moment, with The Biggest Loser now anchoring the night, leading into the new comedies Bad Judge and A to Z. With CBS now doing two night of comedy on Mondays and Thursdays, NBC faced really tough competition, particularly against The Big Bang Theory on Thursdays. I suppose I understand the decision to try something different, but it feels weird to not see a complete comedy lineup on NBC Thursdays.
  • The fall schedule will see About A Boy stay on Tuesdays, but now following Marry Me, which is getting The Voice lead-in. The Blacklist will continue to air after The Voice on Monday nights until State of Affairs takes over, at which time The Blacklist will take a break and return to the schedule in February on Thursdays @ 9. Hannibal will return sometime midseason.

For more on the new shows (including trailers!) and a complete look at the fall schedule, head on over to Buzzfeed or EW.