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: 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*)