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?

Upfronts 2014: FOX Reveals Fall TV Schedule

Following NBC’s scheduling announcement on Sunday, FOX has followed suit as planned with their Upfront presentation today. For all the negativity that’s been put upon them by fans for cancelling quite a number of well-liked/well-loved shows, I have learned to not be so harsh on them. Don’t get me wrong, for all the good they’ve done this season by bringing us and renewing Sleepy Hollow and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, they also brought and cancelled Almost Human and Enlisted. Lucky for FOX, I have a tremendous amount of good will towards them for the five seasons of Fringe I got. Point of the matter is, I appreciate that the network actually tries new and different shows; the new season is no exception.

GOTHAM [Drama – Mondays @ 8]: Another network, another DC show. Gotham follows a young Jim Gordon (played by Ben McKenzie), as he and his partner are tasked with solving the murder of Martha and Thomas Wayne. That’s right, it’s a “Batman” show before Bruce Wayne became Batman. It’s an origin story for all the characters we know of Gotham – Gordon, Bruce Wayne, Penguin, Catwoman, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, and who knows who else will show up? It’s almost ridiculous how much I’m looking forward to this.

Gotham

HIEROGLYPH [Drama – Midseason/TBA]: It’s exactly what you think…we’re going back to ancient Egyptian times! A notorious thief is sprung out of prison to serve the pharoah and retrieve a dangerous scroll. Fantasy or shows set in ancient times tend to be hit and miss for me. The show is created and executive produced by Travis Beacham, who wrote the script for last summer’s Pacific Rim, but the selling point for me is actually the fact that Albert Kim (the former co-executive producer and writer extraordinaire of Nikita) is working on the show as well.

Hieroglyph

EMPIRE [Drama – Midseason/TBA]: Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson head up this family drama from Lee Daniels and Danny Strong which takes place at a hip-hop empire. Timbaland is also on board as the music supervisor/producer for the show, similar to T. Bone Burnett’s role during the first season of Nashville.

Empire

RED BAND SOCIETY [Drama – Wednesdays @ 9]: A group of teenagers meet in the pediatric wing of a hospital and become unlikely friends. The teenagers may be the focus but it’s the adults that are making me interested in the show, with Octavia Spencer and Dave Annable among the medical professionals at the hospital. On a network that does a lot of crazy different things, this show seems almost normal, so it’ll be interesting to see how it does. I’m certainly holding out hope for it.

Red Band Society

BORDERTOWN [Comedy – Midseason/TBA]: Another animated comedy from the world of Seth Macfarlene, this one revolves around a white border patrol agent and a Mexican immigrant. I honestly have never cared much for the animated comedies on FOX, so this doesn’t do much for me.

MULANEY [Comedy – Sundays @ 9:30]: The show centers on a stand-up comedian (John Mulaney) as he works towards taking his career to the next level. There are a lot of comedic talents behind the scenes of the show, which can hopefully mean only good things for it.

LAST MAN ON EARTH [Comedy – Midseason/TBA]: Will Forte stars in this show about two strangers who are forced to work together to save the human race. There might be some potential here, but I’ll reserve a wait and see attitude with this one.

WEIRD LONERS [Comedy – Midseason/TBA]: Becki Newton and Zachary Knighton (more Happy Endings alums!; this makes all three of the HE guys having moved on to the same network) star as two of the four titled loners, all relationship-phobic and who now form an unlikely bond. Sure it’s another Friends-like situation but you kind of have to hope for the best, especially for the people involved. Though I’m afraid I already have to worry about the show’s chances seeing as how it’s on the bench for now. Remember The Goodwin Games, also starring Becki Newton? It was essentially cancelled before it even aired, when production was cut from 13 to 7 episodes, and then it got burned off sometime last summer. Not exactly a vote of confidence you guys.

Weird Loners

BACKSTROM [Drama – Midseason/TBA]: Up for consideration this past season over at CBS, FOX picked it up instead later on. It was an unusual move, picking up a show – straight-to-series no less – in January, when the other networks were busy in development for the next pilot season. If one thing’s for sure though, FOX is thriving on being the offbeat one. Anyways, Backstrom is from Bones creator Hart Hanson and stars Rainn Wilson as a brilliant but offensive detective, who is brought back to run the Special Crimes Unit in Portland. It’s labeled a drama, but I’m sure there are strong comedic undertones, to which I say this could be a good lead-out of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (or is that too much comedy-cop hijinks?)

Backstrom

Notables/Thoughts:

  • The one-two punch of Gotham and Sleepy Hollow on Monday nights is going to be AWESOME! I mean what else can you possibly say about that?!
  • Similar to NBC’s decision to cut down its comedy Thursday, FOX has cut down its Tuesday with New Girl and The Mindy Project staying put in their respective timeslots. Leading off the night is some sort of reality show called Utopia, where 15 contestants move to an undeveloped location for one year and create their own civilization; the show airs Tuesdays @ 8 and Fridays @ 9.
  • FOX’s oh-so-reliable Hell’s Kitchen will move to Wednesdays @ 8.
  • The previously announced Gracepoint, the US adaptation of the UK’s Broadchurch, starring David Tennant and Anna Gunn, will air Thursdays @ 9 after Bones.
  • The network has also decided to sort of get back to its former Sunday comedy roots by airing Brooklyn Nine-Nine (at 8:30) and the aforementioned Mulaney, in-between animated staples The Simpsons and Family Guy.
  • Glee‘s final season is being held off for midseason. It’s tentatively sitting with a full 22-episode order, but there’s a good possibility that it will get reduced.
  • American Idol looks like it’ll finally be reduced to one night a week next season. Details aren’t clear yet, but that’s what you can expect there.
  • Event series Wayward Pines, originally scheduled to air this summer, is now being pushed to next.

That’s all from FOX. For a complete description of all the new shows, head on over to Entertainment Weekly.

Tomorrow: ABC!

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.

Upfronts 2014: The Crazy Before the Storm – Renewals/Cancellations

I know the saying is actually “The calm before the storm” but when it comes to network upfronts, there’s no such thing as calm. First of all, how has a year passed already that we are once again back at upfronts, the time of year where networks announce their line-ups for the coming year in hopes to attract advertising dollars? The official Upfronts for the broadcast network aren’t until next week; however as is often the case, the networks have already begun announcing what current shows are getting renewed for another season, which are getting cancelled, and which new shows are going to be taking their place on the network schedule.

I’ll save my thoughts on the new shows for later, after the networks make their official announcements next week, along with the schedule reveal. For now, an update on which shows will live on and which got the axe.

ABC

  • Renewed: Once Upon A Time, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Modern Family, The Goldbergs, Castle, The Middle, Resurrection, Revenge, Dancing With the Stars, Nashville, Last Man Standing
  • Cancelled: Trophy Wife, Suburgatory, Mixology, Super Fun Night, The Neighbors, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, The Assets, Back in the Game, Betrayal, Killer Women, Lucky 7, Mind Games

This time last year, we saw that ABC picked up a lot of new shows and it was inevitable that not all was going to see a second season. At the end of the season, ABC ended up only picking up three of its freshmen series: SHIELD, The Goldbergs, and Resurrection. If you think that’s low, well it is one more than they kept from last season, which saw only Nashville and The Neighbors getting a season two. The cancellations that hurt the most have to be Trophy Wife and Suburgatory – two funny, smart, and witty shows with a lot of heart that for reasons unknown, just did not connect. Suburgatory at least got three seasons in its run, doesn’t make the cancellation hurt any less, but at least we did get three seasons. And then there’s Trophy Wife, which for all intents and purposes, should have followed Modern Family in the schedule, even for a little while so it could get an audience.

CBS

  • Renewed: The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, CSI, 2 Broke Girls, The Millers, Two and a Half Men, Person of Interest, Mike and Molly, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, Mom, The Amazing Race, Survivor, The Mentalist
  • Cancelled: We Are Men, The Crazy Ones, Bad Teacher, Hostages, Intelligence, Friends With Better Lives

To be fair, I don’t watch a lot of shows that come out of CBS; Big Bang Theory, Amazing Race, and Survivor are my only CBS shows. I was hoping that The Crazy Ones would get another season because the cast work so well together and it’s such a joy to watch how much fun they’re having; unfortunately even the star power of Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar couldn’t get the show to season 2. As much as I enjoyed it, I never saw Hostages getting another season because it felt like it was very much a limited series and to try to expand the show further or replicate the original hook would be ill advised. I’m not too heartbroken over that loss.

FOX

  • Renewed: Sleepy Hollow, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mindy Project, Glee, The Following, Family Guy, New Girl, The Simpsons, Bones, Bob’s Burgers, Hell’s Kitchen, American Idol, Masterchef Junior
  • Cancelled: Almost Human, Enlisted, Dads, Surviving Jack, Rake, Raising Hope, The X-Factor

FOX is such an interesting network. Viewers can complain that the network cancels a lot of good shows (true), many of them rooted in sci-fi (also true) but at the same time, I appreciate the fact that FOX does try to give us different programming and when they truly support something they do their best to keep it on the air (thanks again for 5 seasons of Fringe!). Also, the scheduling on any network will never be perfect so no doubt I will complain about that endlessly. Almost Human had so much potential and unfortunately, suffered from the network shuffling the episodes around which caused some confusion to what was going on. You could also tell that the producers/writers were still trying to strike a balance between the procedural and mythological elements of the show, which now with the show being cancelled, has left a lot of questions unanswered. Poor Enlisted never stood a chance; it premiered late in the season (November) on Fridays (rough day/time for any show, let alone a new one), and again the episodes were aired out of order, making some storylines a little awkward. Additionally, Enlisted was a show that would’ve paired well with Brooklyn Nine-Nine had it been given a chance.

NBC

  • Renewed: The Voice, Parks and Recreation, About a Boy, Grimm, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., The Blacklist, Hannibal, Law & Order SVU
  • Cancelled: The Michael J. Fox Show, Sean Saves the World, Welcome to the Family, Ironside, Believe, Community, Crisis, Growing Up Fisher, Revolution, Dracula
  • Status Unknown: Parenthood

I am incredibly happy that Parks and Recreation and About a Boy both got renewed for another season, but of course, I have to comment on the cancellations. Believe had a lot of potential and with the clout that the show had (Alfonso Cuaron AND J.J. Abrams are two of the executive producers), I thought maybe there was some hope; alas it wasn’t the case. Crisis, like its similarly premised Hostages on CBS, didn’t seem like it would be able to sustain itself in the long run so it only lasting one season is okay with me. I’ve enjoyed watching Growing Up Fisher, so it hurts a little to see it get cancelled, but I kind of understand. Then there’s Community: after the dismal 4th season, I’ll admit I was surprised and kind of upset that it did get renewed for a 5th season, if only because I was a pretty big fan of Go On and wanted to see it get a season 2. Having Dan Harmon back for S5 however, rejuvenated the show, so the fact that the show didn’t get the “Six Seasons and a Movie” it was gunning for, left me surprised and upset because it was getting so good again  and it just seems odd for it to get cancelled now.

THE CW

  • Renewed: Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Hart of Dixie, The 100, Beauty and the Beast, Reign, The Originals
  • Cancelled: The Tomorrow People, Star-Crossed, The Carrie Diaries, Nikita

Leave it to The CW to get the biggest rise out of me this week when it announced what other shows were getting renewed (Arrow, TVD, SPN, Reign, Originals all received renewals a while back). For years, I gave The CW heck for how it treated Nikita, but with it ending back in December, my efforts were inevitably going to go elsewhere. From the beginning, The Tomorrow People put a lot of work into fleshing out these characters and their world, which actually doesn’t happen a lot THAT early in a series. The back half of the series really got the ball rolling with its twists and truly delivering on the action, raising the stakes for our heroes + the consequences of the decisions they make. Then the season (now series) finale dropped hints as to what season 2 might have looked like and really, what could have been. The cancellation of TTP made me incredibly upset, but I was sent over the edge by what got renewed over it: Beauty and the Beast. I never understood the appeal of BATB and I have no idea who these fans are that somehow got the show renewed for a third season because the ratings and numbers are dismal. When it comes to ratings, The CW is weird, let’s just put it that way, and I know their business model is different than the other networks. It’s why Nikita got 4 seasons – the ratings might not have been the best, but it was well-regarded by critics (the ones who actually did watch the show) and fans, plus it had international appeal; can’t say the same for BATB. So again, HOW DID IT GET A THIRD SEASON? The mysteries of CW continue.

Like I said, the crazy before the storm. I will update once we find out the fate of some of the other shows still on the bubble, but now I turn it over to you. Which shows are you happy to see renewed? Which cancelled shows hurt the most?