This week, the five major TV networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and the CW) will be releasing their fall TV schedules. For me, and the three or four other TV addicts like me, this means a bunch of new TV trailers to analyze and judge. It’s admittedly absurd to form opinions about a show based on two to five minute trailers, but screw it, let’s do it anyway!
To keep everything simple, I will write one post for each network’s upcoming slate. This post is about ABC, check back later for the others.
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: “But first, let me make a TV show”
Whose Involved: Selfie stars John Cho (Harold and Kumar) and Karen Gillan (Dr. Who)
When’s it on: Tuesdays at 8:00
My Reaction: The show looks way better than it probably should with a name as stupid as Selfie, But that isn’t much of a compliment. For me, Selfie looks too predictable and cliché to be a hit, and not funny enough to be a critical success. I doubt this show stays on the air much longer than a snapchat story. One does have to ask how much money they’re paying John Cho to be in this show. He has to know he’s better than this, right?
MANHATTAN LOVE STORY
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: Imagine if Barney and Robin narrated How I Met Your Mother
Whose Involved: Analeigh Tipton (Crazy Stupid Love), Jake McDorman (Greek) and Kurt Fuller (Psych) star in the comedy from creator Jeff Lowell (John Tucker Must Die)
When’s it on: Tuesdays at 8:30
My Reaction: Though I’ll admit I laughed a couple of times, I don’t think I could handle a full episode of Manhattan Love Story. To be honest, I was already sick of the show during the trailer. I doubt that I, or most viewers for that matter, cold handle that much strange voice over week after week. So, unfortunately for ABC, Manhattan Love Story does not look destined to become the next HIMYM.
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: British people have amazing accents! Also they can’t die.
Whose Involved: Former Mr. Fantastic Ioan Gruffodd stars along with Judd Hirsch (Independence Day) and Joel David Moore (Avatar). The pilot was written by Matthew Miller (Chuck).
When’s it on: Tuesdays at 10:00
My Reaction: If this show lasts more than 5 episodes, I’ll honestly be surprised. Forever just looks bad, plain and simple. ABC is not off to a good start.
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: A wealthy Black family tries to get back in touch with their culture, also tons of field hockey jokes.
Whose Involved: The show stars and is produced by Anthony Anderson (Transformers) and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix).
When’s it on: Wednesdays at 9:30
My Reaction: The trailer is pretty funny, and being part African American I really connect with the premise. Plus, I love Anthony Anderson. He deserves a hit comedy, he’s too funny not to have one. ABC is giving Black-Ish the coveted post Modern Family spot on the schedule, so clearly they believe the show can be a hit. I’ll definitely be tuning in for the Black-Ish premiere next fall.
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: Imagine if your college professor was a morally questionable lawyer that basically helps people commits crime.
Whose Involved: How To Get Away With Murder comes from producer Shonda Rhimes (Scandal) and stars Viola Davis (The Help)
When’s it on: Thursdays at 10:00
My Reaction: Personally, I am not that big of a fan of Shonda Rhimes, though her shows are very popular. This looks to be more of the same for Rhimes: Lots of intense stare downs, steamy secret love affairs, everyone is hiding something, tons of diversity, implausible plot lines, the Scandal stuff. I’m sure this one will be another huge hit for ABC next fall, and that fans of Rhimes’ other shows will be happy. I, however, am going to stick with Suits for my intense courtroom drama for now.
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: George Lopez with a female lead.
Whose Involved: The show was created by and stars newcomer Cristela Alanzo.
When’s it on: Fridays at 8:30
My Reaction: Cristela is George Lopez with a female star. Though I did tune in occasionally to George Lopez on Nick at Night, I never felt the need to watch the show on a regular basis. Though I’m optimistic that Cristela will be able to find the same fan base as George Lopez did, there are so many better shows out there I can’t see myself watching Cristela over Parks and Rec or The Mindy Project. Props to ABC for giving Cristela her own show, she’s far from the typical TV female lead, and that’s one thing the show has going for it.
FRESH OFF THE BOAT
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: America is really, really weird.
Whose Involved: Fresh off the Boat stars Randall Park (Asian Jim from The Office) and was created by Nahnatchka Khan (American Dad)
When’s it on: Midseason
My Reaction: This trailer had the most genuine laughs out of any comedy trailer I’ve seen thus far. The premise is great, and the performances look downright hilarious (Especially the kid, he could be a breakout star if Fresh Off the Boat catches on). I hope Fresh Off The Boat can sustain the trailer’s hilarity throughout an entire episode, because if it can, ABC could have a new Modern Family on it’s hands.
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: Our kid’s imaginary friends have decided to take over the world … Seriously, that’s the premise of the show.
Whose Involved: The Whispers comes the the mind of creator Soo Hugh (Zero Hour, Under The Dome) and stars Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Barry Sloane (Revenge), and Mil0 Ventimiglia (Heroes)
When’s it on: Midseason
My Reaction: Look, I’m a sucker for a decent sci fi show. This trailer, for whatever reason, got me very interested in The Whispers. The imaginary friends angle is an original idea, and there are moments in the trailer that are just plain creepy. But for most sci fi shows the set up isn’t the problem, whether The Whispers can sustain it’s premise over multiple episodes and keep the audience intrigued will decide if it’s a hit or if it ends up cancelled like recent sci fi shows Revolution, Almost Human, Believe, etc.
SECRETS AND LIES
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: The guy who skipped “How To Get Away With Murder” class in high school got his own show.
Whose Involved: The adaptation of an Australian show was developed by Barbie Klingmen (Law And Order: SVU), and stars Ryan Phillipe (Flags of Our Fathers), Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers) and Clifton Collins Jr. (Star Trek)
When’s it on: Midseason
My Reaction: I’m on the fence about this one. The acting doesn’t look very good, but the story is interesting enough to carry a show like this. I am pretty curious to see if he did in fact kill this kid, the question will be if I will be interested after an episode or two. Right now, I’d suggest FOX’s Gracepoint if you want a mystery show this fall, but if the pilot gets decent reviews, I might check this one out as well.
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: Who would’ve thought so many people skipped “How To Get Away With Murder” class?
Whose Involved: American Crime stars Timothy Hutton (Leverage) and Felicity Huffman. The pilot was written and directed by John Ridley (12 Years A Slave).
When’s it on: Midseason
My Reaction: This looks infinitely better than Secrets and Lies, and though it seems a little too dark for my taste, if the reviews are good I’ll definitely check the pilot out. The problem with this kind of show is always how long can the storyline be sustained. If American Crime can keep a solid pace and maintain the intensity displayed during the trailer for a full episode or even a full season, it’ll be in good shape. At this point I’m skeptical, but hopefully the show proves me wrong.
Describe the show in 1 Sentence: Game Of Thrones: The Musical Comedy Event Of The Year!
Whose Involved: Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love) wrote the pilot, which was directed by Chris Koch (The Neighbors, Modern Family). The Show stars Timothy Omundson (Psych), Vinnie Jones (Snatch), and newcomer Joshua Sasse as the titular Galavant.
When’s it on: Midseason
My Reaction: What? Is this really a show? I actually can’t believe a network picked this up. I’m saying that in the best way possible, because I really can’t wait to check it out. Detective Lassiter from Psych with an amazing beard singing and making sex jokes? A prince who sings his way through battle…and wins! WIth networks going more and more for bland and predictable comedy, it is really cool to see ABC just going for it here. You got me, Galavant, I definitely want to see more.
After lackluster performances by their new shows this season, ABC is betting big on diversity for next year, How To Get Away With Murder, Black-Ish, American Crime, Cristela, and Fresh Off The Boat all prominently feature non white characters in their trailers. Will it Work? I don’t know. But I’m definitely interested in finding out.
Notably absent from the trailers in MARVEL’s Agent Carter series, which follows Hayley Atwell’s character from Captain America as she navigates the spy world of the 20th century. That show, which I will definitely check out, is being held for midseason. For those who don’t know, in the comics Agent Carter eventually helps found S.H.I.E.L.D. with Howard Stark.
I’M TUNING IN
The Whispers, Black-Ish, Fresh Off The Boat, Galavant
I’LL WAIT AND SEE
American Crime, Secrets And Lies
How To Get Away With Murder, Selfie, Manhattan Love Story, Forever, Cristela
CLICK THE LINKS BELOW FOR INITIAL REACTION TO OTHER NETWORK’S NEW SHOWS.