It's that time of year when the networks are killing off as many failures as they can to make way for new shows that they're hoping will become big hits come next Fall. For the next few days we'll be taking a look at what the networks cancelled and what will be new on each of their fall schedules. This past season of new TV has been a weird one, especially for ABC. Therefore, ABC is the network I'm kicking this series off with.
This time last year ABC was looking pretty good with how big of a hit Revenge turned out to be (as well as Once Upon A Time). However, the network isn't looking quite as good going into Upfronts week this time around. ABC has had a tough year, having no real freshman success come from any of their new shows. Their biggest success from the past year is the surprising hit that Scandal has turned out to be (it's first season got a mere seven episodes and didn't find an audience until this recent second season). Nashville is the only freshman show to get a renewal, and even that wasn't a sure thing. Therefore, ABC's new shows that they'll be showing off during Upfronts have a lot riding on them.
This single-cam comedy stars Maggie Lawson as a recently divorced, single mom who moves back in with her estranged ex-baseball-player-father, played by James Caan. She begins coaching her sons baseball team and is brought back into the world of sports that she hates. Also Starring: Lenora Crichlow, Griffin Gluck, Ben Koldyke, Kennedy Waite, J.J. Totah and Cooper Roth.
This new drama comes from David Zabel about politics, murder, and love affairs. The plot seems to have a lot going on and after reading it a few times I'm still not sure who is who and what exactly is going on, but it does seem like Betrayal could satisfy fans who gave up on Revenge this past year. Starring: Hannah Ware, Stuart Townsend, James Cromwell, Henry Thomas, Chris Johnson, Wendy Moniz, Elizabeth McLaughlin and Braeden Lamasters.
From Happy Madison and Sony Pictures comes another single-cam family comedy set in the '80s. The nerdy, youngest brother is an aspiring director who carries a video camera around capturing his family's crazy antics. The pilot was directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) and could mis the hilarity of Modern Family with the feel-good, classic sitcoms that were actually made in the '80s. Starring: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jeff Garlin, George Segal, Hayley Orrantia, Sean Giambrone and Troy Gentile.
Tricia Helfer plays Molly Parker, the only female ranger in a Texas police squad in this show based on the Argentine series, Mujeres Asesinas. Expect a lot of southern accents mixed with a lot of sexist characters who Parker must put in their place. Also Starring: Mark Blucas, Marta Milans, Alex Fernandez and Michael Trucco.
Steven Spielberg executive produced this show about seven gas station attendants who regularly contribute to a lottery pool. Each of them have problems that money could easily fix but when they do win their lives are changed in ways that are unexpected (at least, according to TVLine. Every where else fails to say whether they win the lottery or not). Starring: Isiah Whitlock, Jr, Matt Long (!!!), Stephen Louis Grush, Lorraine Bruce, Anastasia Philips, Summer Bishil, Luis Antonio Ramos and Christine Evangelista.
This is one of ABC's most promising shows as it's connected to last summer's smash hit, Marvels: The Avengers, and the pilot was written, produced and directed by Joss Whedon. Clark Gregg will play his character from the Marvel films, Agent Phil Coulson, who runs a law enforcement agency that includes, you know, super heroes. This will be a cool tie-in to the film franchise and it's always fun to see Whedon with a promising network show. Also Starring: Brett Dalton, Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge and Chloe Bennet.
This workplace ensemble, single-cam comedy starring Christian Slater and Steve Zahn looks promising as it centers on two brothers- one bipolar genius, the other an ex-con, as they use human motivation and manipulation to solve client's problems. The show was created by Kyle Killen (Lone Ranger and Awake) who I am a complete sucker for so this show has the biggest potential to be fantastic but only last a few episodes. Also Starring: Megalyn Echikunwoke, Cedric Sanders, Gregory Marcel and Wynn Everett.
Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover screenwriters) wrote this high-concept, single-cam comedy set in a bar and takes place in one night. Ten single people find their lives intertwined over the course of one night in a Manhattan bar, and that's all the description gives away. It'll be interesting to see where the show goes from there or how it carries out a full season with that premise, but I do like a good show set in a bar. Starring: Blake Lee, Andrew Santino, Kate Simses, Adam Campbell, Craig Frank, Vanessa Lengies, Alexis Carra, Sarah Bolger, Ginger Gonzaga and Adan Canto. Ryan Seacrest also executive produced this one.
ABC is trying to recreate the magic from Once Upon A Time with this spinoff about Alice in Wonderland. Starring: Sophie Lowe, Michael Socha, Peter Gadiot, Emma Rigby and John Lithgow (!!!!) (as the voice of the White Rabbit).
A young boy wakes up in China and starts to remember his hometown, Arcadia, Missouri. Once he returns home he finds out that he's been dead for 30 years. Then other previously-deceased people start turning up and the people of Arcadia must figure out what exactly is going on in their town. These kinds of shows are always really good, albeit confusing, and never last more than a handful of episodes but I fall for them every time. Starring: Omar Epps, Matt Craven, Devin Kelley, Frances Fisher, Kurthwood Smith, Sam Hazeldine, Smaire Armstrong, Nicholas Gonzalez, Mark Hildreth and Landon Gimenez.
Produced by Conan O'Brien and written by Rebel Wilson (yes, THAT Rebel Wilson!) comes this single-cam comedy about three friends who have a Friday night tradition of staying in. When Kimmie (played by Wilson) gets a new promotion, she drags her friends out to a bar so she can network with co-workers and hang out with a cute British attorney (played by Kevin Bishop) which upsets the 13-year tradition of staying in on Friday nights. Though I've heard the pilot for this wasn't the strongest one that ABC saw, it's hard to deny Rebel's ever-growing fame. Also Starring: Lauren Ash, Liza Lapira and Kelen Coleman.
Jason Moore (director of Pitch Perfect) directed this single-cam comedy about Kate (Malin Akerman), a reformed party girl who marries Pete (Bradley Whitford (!!!)), who comes with some baggage. Within one year of dating, Kate becomes Pete's third wife, instantly finding herself in a family of three stepchildren and two ex-wives. The concept sounds appealing and I love both the leads (especially Whitford). Also Starring: Marcia Gay Harden, Michaela Watkins, Natalie Morales, Ryan Scott Lee, Albert Tsai and Gianna LePera.
What are you looking forward to most next fall on ABC? Without having seen the previews yet, I'm looking foward to Mind Games and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but there are certainly more that could turn out to be promising. Stay tuned for next time when we take a look at what NBC has in store for next fall.