Welcome to Me+TV’s 2016 Fall TV Preview, where I offer my unfiltered thoughts and analysis on each broadcast network’s upcoming shows. In May, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW released trailers for their new shows. So now, to kick off the Summer of The Blog (More On That Below!) please enjoy this year’s Fall TV Preview!
This page offers a summary and brief thoughts on each network. For more in depth analysis and to watch all the trailers you could dream of, click each network’s logo or the link at the end of the description.
N E T W O R K S
Though NBC only released first looks at three shows, this year’s slate looks miles better than what they offered up last year. A stacked new comedy from Parks And Recreation‘s Michael Schur starring Ted Danson and Kristen Bell leads a promising fall slate for the Peacock.
Though I am definitely not over FOX’s unjust cancellation of The Grinder, its hard for me to hate a network that’s taking so many risks. FOX’s new shows are all over the place, in good ways and some bad ones too. But hey, Jack Bauer is black now, so there’s that!
As surprising as it may sound, CW may be well on its way to becoming TV’s best broadcast network. The network has improved each season, adding original, unique and fun shows every year. And judging from these trailers, there’s no reason to believe that trend stops in 2016! Also the CW now has 100% more Galavant than any other channel, which is a huge plus in my book.
Fair warning, ABC’s new slate is just plain weird. From a comedy about a grown woman with an imaginary friend who interferes with her love life, to another sitcom about a talking dog, ABC is certainly going for it next year. Do these shows look any good though? Well, that’s another story…
You want White Male Leads? WE GOT WHITE GUYS FOR DAYS!
You want Kevin James? WELL TOO BAD!!! WE GOT HIM TOO!
Have you ever felt like a movie was made just for you? That every frame on the screen, every line of dialogue, every note of the soundtrack, was carefully crafted and curated just because someone, somewhere, knew you were out there to see it. Admittedly, it’s a pretty absurd, idealist notion. Hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of people work tirelessly on creating these films, the idea that all of their hard work is all for one person is insane, and people who subscribed to it are even crazier.
Maybe that’s the magic of film. The idea that an operation on such a massive scale can produce something so personal to so many people is a miracle in and of itself. Or, maybe the magic lies within film’s ability to make you forget that there even was an operation to begin with. I don’t quite know, exactly. It’s a Pandora’s box of questions that no one has really nailed down an answer to.
Nonetheless, I’ve been thinking about this relationship, between a film and a single viewer, a lot recently. It all started on a foggy Sunday morning last month when I watched Chris Evans’ directorial debut Before We Go instead of engaging in my regularly scheduled productivity.
How Superstore And The Carmichael Show Found Originality (And Success!) In The Cliche-Riddled World Of Sitcoms
Anyone who knows me, or has access to my Netflix history, knows that I love sitcoms. The warmth and enduring appeal of the format has made it a TV staple, and regular resident of my Netflix queue, practically since both technologies were invented. While the format has evolved slightly over time, unlike a lot of pop culture, the sitcom is a genre heavily resistant to change, and that’s not an accident.
Ideally, when someone turns on a traditional sitcom, it should feel like they are going home. The characters on screen should feel like family to viewers, and that connection and relationship between the characters on the screen and the people at home will keep audiences coming back week after week. That formula, one of the most lucrative in TV history, isn’t very conducive to change.
Why not? Well, the heart any sitcom’s appeal is familiarity. Audiences, for the most part, want to know what to expect when they turn on a show. If they don’t, you lose the connection that brings people back week after week. At the same time, most people don’t like watching a show that’s a carbon copy of something they’ve already seen before. So, the underlying question is, how do you create a show unique enough to stand on its own but familiar enough to not scare away audiences?
For new shows, this balancing act is tricky to say the least. Tens of series fail every year at striking this balance. Two that haven’t though are a pair of NBC comedies: Superstore and The Carmichael Show. These young shows navigate the line between innovation and familiarity outstandingly well, and have become two of my favorite TV comedies in the process.