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: 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: 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?

Upfronts 2014: The CW Unveils its Schedule for the Fall TV Season

Last but not least for the major broadcast networks is The CW. Keeping it small, The CW only picked up four new shows, two of which are based on DC Comics entities.

THE FLASH [Drama – Tuesdays @ 8]: Barry Allen was introduced earlier this season on Arrow, with plans of having a backdoor pilot integrated. The network asked for a pilot but decided on its fate as separate from Arrow, so the backdoor plans never came about, but as expected, it got picked up regardless. Not being that familiar with the original source material, I’m not really in a place to comment on this, but I’m still not incredibly convinced that Grant Gustin was the right choice for Barry Allen/The Flash. He pulls off the geeky Barry Allen side; it’s the Flash side I’m concerned about. But hey, what do I know? Still looking forward to watching though, not to mention the inevitable crossovers with Arrow.

The Flash

iZOMBIE [Drama – Midseason]: This is the second show the network picked up that is based on a DC Comic, albeit one that is definitely not your typical superhero stuff. Liv (played by Rose McIver, previously known as Tinkerbell from Once Upon a Time) has been unexpectedly turned into a zombie and in order to maintain her humanity, she takes a job working at the coroner’s office, giving her access to brains that she needs. Of course, there’s a catch: with every brain she consumes, she inherits some of the person’s memories which she then uses to help solve cases. There’s obviously a procedural/case of the week style to this, but at the same time, this is VERY different. Not to mention, Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars, is the executive producer on this, so expect a lot more of its uniqueness to shine through. I’m intrigued, to say the least.

Pilot

THE MESSENGERS [Drama – Midseason]: A mysterious object crashes onto earth sending out a shock wave that kills a group of strangers. However, these strangers awaken shortly thereafter and learn that they are the key to preventing the impending rapture. It seems to me that these big mystery stories are very hit and miss. Obviously the mystery of how this happened and why did it choose these people are the hook, but the producers and writers have to be careful and make sure they make the story and the characters compelling enough to make viewers care. Also, none of the “answering questions with more questions” or plain old asking questions with no answers – that is more than infuriating as a viewer. I’m hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst.

Pilot

JANE THE VIRGIN [Drama – Mondays @ 9]: At 23, Jane has her life planned out – study to become a teacher while dreaming of being a writer, marry her fiance who accepts her insistence to save herself for marriage and her timeline for their future together. But all her plans get turned upside down when she accidentally gets artificially inseminated during what was supposed to be a routine check-up. As ridiculous as that sounds (really, how negligent of a doctor/nurse are you to “accidentally” do that to someone?), it’s obvious that this show is meant to have a lot of heart. If my guess is correct, this could make a decent pairing with Hart of Dixie.

Pilot"

Notables/Thoughts:

  • Surprisingly, The CW kept most of its current schedule in tact. Really the only big change is that The Originals got moved to Mondays @ 8. I like that The CW is trying to build their schedules more fully around their “established” shows (shows that they know have a very good audience), as opposed to putting the weaker and/or newer shows together. My only concern is that Jane the Virgin isn’t the most logical choice to follow The Originals.
  • On tap for midseason is Hart of Dixie and Beauty and the Beast, which if you ask me, the network will probably ship off to Fridays. As much as it pains me to say it, due to my love of Hart of Dixie, they are the lowest performers ratings-wise. I actually didn’t have much concern over Dixie’s renewal because it doesn’t get more in-house than that, being a Warner Bros. produced show and it’s filmed at the WB Studios lot with next to no special effects; in other words, it’s a cheap show to produce. BATB on the other hand…I don’t know. I got nothing. It’s renewal still confuses me.

So that’s it! All the broadcast networks have announced their fall schedules! For this Canadian, my scheduling doesn’t start until I hear what the Canadian networks are picking-up from all these new shows and how they plan to schedule them in for them for the fall.

Upfronts 2013: The CW Reveals Its Plans for the 2013-14 TV Season

Last but certainly not least, The CW rounds out the broadcast network Upfronts by unveiling its schedule for the new season. The CW is an interesting network; if you’ve read my blog before, you might have seen an extensive posting I wrote in regards to how I feel about the network, its shows, and its brand. With Gossip Girl and 90210 having ended their runs, it would certainly seem as though we are heading towards a new era for The CW. So how will the five new shows fare for the network? Let’s take a look at these new dramas.

THE 100 [Midseason] : 100 juvenile delinquents are among the lone survivors following a nuclear war that destroyed civilization. 97 years later, they are sent back to Earth to see if there is possibility of re-colonization. Going futuristic is a big risk in itself and you have to wonder where exactly they are planning to take this. What’s probably the most interesting is that the show is based on a series of books that haven’t been released yet.

THE ORIGINALS [Tuesdays @ 8]: An episode of The CW’s biggest hit, The Vampire Diaries, served as a backdoor pilot for this spinoff, which centers around Klaus (Joseph Morgan) returning to the New Orleans, a city he helped build centuries ago. Upon his return, he finds the city under the rule of his former protege, Marcel, a diabolical vampire whose ideals have become far removed from that of Klaus. Claire Holt (Rebekah) and Daniel Gillies (Elijah) will join Morgan in the series. To be honest, I didn’t really care much for the pilot, and I’m not sure if that’s because of the story or if it’s due to my declining interest in The Vampire Diaries, so I’m transferring those feelings onto this show. When the show actually premieres I might give it another try, but at this very moment, I can’t say that I’m all that excited about it. On a scheduling note, I guess The CW learned their lesson after pairing TVD with The Secret Circle two years ago: on paper, it made sense to pair them, but when you actually watch them back to back, it was all a little too much. So in a sense I suppose I’m happy that they didn’t go for the obvious scheduling here.

STAR-CROSSED [Midseason]: When an alien race land on Earth, they are immediately imprisoned in an internment camp. Ten years later, the Orion 9 are integrated into a high school, where one of their kind falls in love with a human girl. Their romance threatens the political peace of society. It’s easy to write this off as a futuristic take on the past, but until I see some footage, I’ll reserve my judgments.

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE [Wednesdays @ 9]: Keeping with the evident futuristic theme comes this show from Greg Berlanti and Julie Plec. Based on a UK series, the show focuses on the a group of young people (of course, it is The CW after all) who possess special powers and represent the next generation of human evolution. And if pop culture has taught us anything, it’s that if you have special powers (whether it be telekinesis, teleportation, telepathy) there will be evil forces out there either wanting your power or trying to destroy you “for the sake of mankind.” In all seriousness though, we have seen other shows and movies that are similar (X-Men and Heroes anyone?), but no matter how many times we see the “regular humans with super powers” get played out, it’s always fascinating. Count me in on this one.

REIGN [Thursdays @ 9]: Given the prime post-TVD timeslot and being the most different of the other newbies, is this show focused around the untold story of Mary Queen of Scots’ rise to power as she arrives in France at the age of 15. How’s THAT for different? We’ve seen shows focused on the past royals, historical intrigue, and the like, but those were/are on cable networks and MUCH more adult (see: The Tudors, The Borgias, and for good measure, Game of Thrones). So the fact that The CW is coming in with this is a huge leap of faith. Obviously, Mary Queen of Scots and her ladies-in-waiting represent the teenage demographic the network has always been going for, but everything else just seems so off-brand. So while I say kudos to the network for trying something very different, I’m not sure this is going to work. We’ll have to wait and see!

Scheduling notes:

  • The only 2 shows staying put in their timeslot are The Vampire Diaries (obviously) and Arrow.
  • With Arrow staying put on Wednesdays at 8, followed by The Tomorrow People, the Amells (Robbie, cousin to Stephen, is one of the leads on TTP) and Greg Berlanti (who executive produces both shows) rule The CW on Wednesdays!
  • Hart of Dixie moves back to Mondays, and is then followed by Beauty and the Beast.
  • Supernatural moves once again, this time to Tuesdays at 9, following The Originals.
  • The Carrie Diaries will now be paired up with America’s Next Top Model on Fridays. This pairing makes SO much more sense than ANTM and Nikita ever did (no, I’m still not over that).
  • Speaking of Nikita, it is with a great deal of sadness that I have to write that next season will be its last, with only 6 episodes. And it’s being held off until midseason, which pretty much just means delaying the inevitable end. Anyone who knows me (or have read the blog) knows that I LOVE Nikita and I’m not ready to process the thought of not having the show anymore. 6 episode final season is better than straight cancellation. But the funny thing is when the final seasons of Chuck and Fringe were announced, I was okay with it and yet with this, I just can’t…

Anyways, that is it for the broadcast network Upfronts! For full descriptions of the new shows, check out Deadline.com.