Fall TV Preview: A Whole Lot of Hot Garbage

There is a whole mess of a lot of shows hitting Network TV this fall… many of which don’t have tons of potential…. I’m going to run through some very quickly, still likely giving them more times than the Networks actually will and dive a little deeper on the most promising picks. If I don’t put in the provided bio of a show I have zero interest in it, but you can see expanded descriptions here. Either way good or awful I’ll give my lifespan prediction for each show.

Let’s get it going first off with ABC’s incoming group:

Conviction:
“Lawyer and former First Daughter Hayes Morrison (Atwell) is about to accept a job offered from her sexy nemesis, NY District Attorney Wayne Wallis, to avoid jail time for cocaine possession and avoid hurting her mother’s Senate campaign. Working with his team at the new Conviction Integrity Unit will let her use her brilliant mind to turn over cases where there is credible suspicion of wrongful conviction, and give her a chance to turn things around with her high-powered political family.”

I don’t know if this show will be any good, but I do know that we should all strive to find ourselves a “sexy nemesis,” but I digress. Atwell, formerly of the now cancelled, Agent Carter, jumps into a Scandal meets the exhausted tortured genius plot line. Looks like this will be Agent Carter Part Deux for Atwell, Lifespan: 2 Seasons

Designated Survivor: Keifer Sunderland tries to bounce back from Touch (which somehow limped through 26 episodes). Anyway he plays the president during tumultuous times (where have we seen this story before….). Lifespan: No way it has a shorter existence than Touch, has to make 2 seasons even though my gut says 1.

Downward Dog: A show about a millennial and her philosophical dog? HARD pass. Lifespan: <half a season

Imaginary Mary: Starring Jenna Elfman (from Dharma & Greg, a show I liked way too much despite being well outside the target audience), a career woman who falls in love with a guy with kids blah blah blah and then her imaginary creature friend show up in this CGI/live action show that sounds unwatchable. However it’s written by the guy who made The Goldberg’s, which I can’t believe is still on, so this will either last forever or 1 season… Lifespan: 1 season.

Notorious: Unfortunately, not about Biggie, but instead about a criminal defense attorney and cable news producer played by Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata respectively. Now I like both those actors and the show is described as a “unique, sexy, and dangerous interplay of criminal law and the media,” which normally would create a recipe of a show I’m in on, but when you combine two people from shows prominent on USA I just can’t get my hopes up. Lifespan: 1 Season

Speechless: A family show about a mom who is on the grind trying to give her fam the best life possible while also trying to seek out the person who can give her eldest son with special needs a voice. Real strong family audience potential here, not for me, but seems like a feel good bit of TV so it hurts me to say… Lifespan: 1 Season.

Still Star-Crossed:
“A period drama from Shondaland, picks up where the famous story of Romeo and Juliet ends, charting the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.”

I’m not super interested in this show, but anything from “Shondaland” aka the production company led by Shonda Rhimes (responsible for Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, etc.) will likely have some serious kick. Based on current trends it’s survival for the relative long-term seems like the smart bet. Lifespan: 3+ Seasons.

Time After Time: H.G. Wells chases Jack the Ripper in modern day New York City. Not only do I think H.G. Wells had one of the more boring writing styles I have ever encountered (despite awesome subject matter), I also firmly believe any show involving bringing old timey people to the present is destined to be trash. Lifespan: 1 Season.

American Housewife: No actors I recognize (besides a Kenny Powers’ love interest) centered around a plot about a “plump wife” and her flawed family growing up in a Connecticut town surrounded by perfect families. My god this sounds unwatchable. Lifespan: <1 Season.

ABC: 8 New Shows – Lifespan: <15 Total Seasons

Now onto CBS to see what they’ve got coming.

Bull:

Michael Weatherly, of NCIS fame, is sticking with NCIS in this new show about a consultant who uses crazy technology and amazing smarts during a trial of a rich teenager charged with murder of a drug dealing peer. Now don’t dismiss after this next line… it’s based on the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, yes that Dr. Phil… If this an accurate portrayal then Dr. Phil may have been one of the coolest guys in the world before settling for a talk show that solves family issues in the middle of the day. CBS has a way of making shows last forever (even at times when they have no business being on i.e. Big Bang Theory). I’d imagine it’ll be a new case each season and Weatherly, playing Dr. Bull, will tackle them in a unique way while injecting some of that quick wit and charm we saw during his stint as Agent Tony DiNozzo. Lifespan: Infinity Seasons.

Doubt: Katherine Heigl + Laverne Cox (from Orange is the New Black) in a law drama about a “chic boutique law firm” where a lawyer falls for client who may or may not have committed a serious crime. I thought Katherine Heigl’s last show, State of Affairs, was awesome, but that only managed 13 episodes, so not a ton of hope here. The big draw of this show is that it features the first role specifically written for a transgender actor. Unfortunately once that gimmick wears off I don’t love it’s chances. Lifespan: 1 Season.

The Great Indoors:

Joel McHale makes his return to (following his run on Community, which was a painfully underrated show) as an adventure reporter who comes back to civilization to work at a magazine that he his the face of. Basically it’s McHale’s interaction with the magazine staff full of millennials, which include McLovin (who I have soured on since his ALL CAPS ARGUMENT with NY reporter Frank Isola). But regardless this seems like the perfect half hour comedy to lose yourself in and momentarily forget about your life. Lifespan: 2 Seasons… I hope.

Kevin Can Wait: Stars Kevin James as a retired cop… dear god could they make people think any more about Paul Blart with this… Kings of Queens had a mean run back in its day, but since it seems James has just done a great job creating unwatchable material… Hopefully it relies more on storyline and less on brutal in your face comedy attempts. Lifespan: Anywhere from <1 to 10, I honestly have no idea.

MacGyver: A reboot of the Mcgyver series that had a 7 year run from ’85-’92 starring Lucas Till (Havok from the X-Men movies) as MacGyver… I’m am so out on recreation shows that just scream “we’ve run out of ideas!” and even though Hawaii 5-0 has (I think it’s still on?) stuck around, I don’t see this having that same nostalgia that created appeal amongst middle aged people. Lifespan: 1 Season.

Man With A Plan: Stars Matt LeBlanc as a stay at home dad learning about his kids… Ugh… I love Friends and I’m a big fan of his show on Showtime, Episodes, but yeah I think this suffers the same fate that “Joey” did. Lifespan: 1 Season.

Pure Genius:
“Pure Genius is about a young Silicon Valley tech titan (Prew) who enlists a veteran surgeon (Mulroney) with a controversial past in starting a hospital with a cutting-edge, “new school” approach to medicine.”

I don’t really know anyone in this show, but the premise sounds pretty cool. Destined to be one of those I start watching and inevitably give up once there’s too many shows to keep track of. Additionally, not sold it has the names attached to it to make it last long term. Lifespan: 1 Season.

Training Day:
“Training Day is described as a reimagining that begins 15 years after the 2001 film left off, the reboot centers on an idealistic young African-American police officer (Cornwell) who is appointed to an elite squad of the LAPD where he is partnered with a seasoned, morally ambiguous detective (Paxton).” 

I loved, LOVED, Training Day, and in saying that I know there’s no way this show can do it justice. Is there anyway to get this to be stopped before it airs? Lifespan: 1 Season.

CBS: 8 New Shows – Lifespan: I have no idea, but I do know CBS is kicking ABC’s ass when it comes to new content.

Alright, lets see what’s good with Fox this fall.

24: Legacy: Coming midseason 2017, seems be the same formula of the original 24, but stars Cory Hawkins (Dr. Dre from Straight Out of Compton) as the new Jack Bauer. The world is filled with 24 stans (which I am not), however I feel like a lot of them find themselves in an age bracket, which makes them… errr…. not as open to… “cultural advancement.” Lifespan: Uh anywhere from 1 season to infinity seasons.

APB:
“APB centers on a tech billionaire (Weeds’ Justin Kirk) who purchases a troubled police precinct in the wake of a loved one’s murder, but can this eccentric and enigmatic figure’s cutting-edge approach fix the broken ways of these blue blooded veterans?”

 

The return of Uncle Andy from Weeds is sort of the police version of Pure Genius (see above) and who plays a Bruce Wayne type character without the costume. The trailer for this show looks sneaky good and it’s based on the NYT’s piece “Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans?” (which is an awesome piece that you should read ASAP aka as soon as your done reading this post). I hope it has some legs and sticks around for a few years, but naturally I’m a cynic and have fallen victim to really getting into a show that is abruptly cancelled and with all the cop dramas out there I’m not super hopeful. Lifespan: 1 Season.

The Exorcist: Based on the same book from 1971 that inspired the 1973 movie, described as a “modern day reinvention,” aka another “we’ve run out of ideas” show. Already out on this. Lifespan: =<1 Season.

Kicking & Screaming: Initially thought this was going to be a show version of the Will Ferrell movie, which would’ve been bad enough, but nope. A reality competition show with 10 adventure experts and their “pampered partners” compete in challenges and oh my god get out of my face. Lifespan: 1 Season.

Lethal Weapon: Another remake… about a very good (albeit one that got progressively worse) movie franchise… Hollywood please stop this inhumane practice. Lifespan: 1 Season.

Making History: 

Adam Pally (Mindy Project, Happy Endings), Yassir Lester (who doesn’t even have a picture on his IMDB page, come on, be professional for me one time) and Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) star in a time traveling comedy, it has some Drunk History meets Hot Tub Time Machine vibes to it. And yeah after I read the synopsis I just figured this show would be unbelievably bad, but the trailer got a few chuckles out of me, so sign me up for episode 1, I’ll be giving it a chance. However that chance evaporates when examining it’s long-term prospects. Lifespan: 1 Season.

The Mick:
“The comedy revolves around a hard-living, foul-mouthed woman who moves to affluent Greenwich, Conn., to raise the spoiled kids of her wealthy sister who has fled the country to avoid a federal indictment. She quickly learns what everyone else already knows: other people’s children are awful.”

You know what else is awful? My prediction for this show. Lifespan: <1 Season.

My Kitchen Rules: A cooking competition that places celebrities duos against each other. This show is scheduled for an 8 episode run and hopefully not a second longer comes of it. Lifespan: 1 Season.

Pitch: Kylie Bunbury stars as the first female pitcher to break into the big leagues for the San Diego Padres. I’ve seen it listed as a TV show and a TV movie, so I have no idea if this is one time thing or multiple episodes, but it’s got an interesting premise and access to full MLB licensing, so at least realism will be present. It also stars Ali Lauter and my man Mark-Paul Gosling (I’m still so salty about the cancellation of Franklin & Bash, which was a TV treasure) and I think it’s got some potential if it’s a movie and less so if it’s viewed as a long-term television show. Lifespan: Will be happy to answer once someone finally tells me what kind of program this is.

Prison Break: People were obsessed with the original run of this show and with the original actors coming back with it I’m sure it’ll be a pretty big hit. People badgering you for your Netflix password is going to be at an all-time high with so many folks wanting to rewatch the earlier seasons before this kicks off. General consensus was that it was taken off the air too early the first time around, so unless the ratings are awful (which I doubt) I bet it sticks around a while: Lifespan: => 3 Seasons.

Shots Fired:
“Examining the dangerous aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small Southern town, Shots Fired is a dramatic new event series that is a “why done it?” and a “who done it?” The 10-hour event series is an explosive look at the criminal justice system. When an African-American police officer kills an unarmed white college student, a small town in North Carolina is turned upside-down. Before the town has a chance to grapple with this tragedy, the neglected murder of an African-American teen is brought to light, re-opening wounds that threaten to tear the town apart. Shots Fired tackles the racial divide from all perspectives.”

Seems like a good take on what’s going on in a lot of areas of the country and has some serious award potential if done right. If it catches fire it could end up being one of the rare shows you have to watch the night it airs because everyone will be talking about the next day. However it could fall into the same realm as American Crime where people praise it, but no one actually watches it.

Son of Zorn: Jason Sudeikis plays an animated He-Man knock-off that returns to Earth after 10 years to reconnect with his live action wife and son…. Would have paid to be a fly on the wall during the pitch meeting for this. I need to know how it is possible enough people thought this was a good idea. Lifespan: <1 Season.

Star:
“In Star, three talented singers navigate the cut-throat music business on their road to success. Featuring three newcomers (Demorest, Destiny and O’Grady) as the young singers, plus Queen Latifah and Bratt, the series will feature original music, along with stunning musical fantasy sequences, as the girls dream of their future.”

Queen Latifah still has enough pull to get on TV? Thought for sure that ship has sailed, but anyway this show is from the co-creators of Empire, which is mind blowingly popular, but this seems screams Cheetah Girls to me. Lifespan: 1 Season.

Fox: 13 New Shows – Have a hard time seeing them even getting 13 seasons total out of this lineup, Prison Break/24 could be huge wins and I’m rooting for the underdog Making History.

Ok, last but not least (sorry CW not covering you since Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill are all you ever gave me and I have no faith in your future endeavors) NBC.

Blacklist Redemption: A spin-off of the Blacklist, which if you don’t watch it is a great formulaic show about a most wanted criminal (James Spader) who works with the FBI to catch other criminals from his, you guessed it, blacklist.

This show gives easily the second most interesting character, Tom Keene, as he partners with a mercenary group to tackle problems “governments don’t dare to touch.” I’m a sucker for this genre of show, but spin-offs make me very nervous. Lifespan: I hope, but am not confident in 1+ Seasons.

Chicago Justice: I don’t watch the other like 17 shows about Chicago, but this is yet another spin-off, however one I do have faith in. Since NBC has basically brought every aspect of Chicago to life I expect this one to be as successful as all the others since people seem to love the character overlaps between shows. Lifespan: As many as they want.

The Good Place:

“Good Place centers on Eleanor (Bell), a woman from New Jersey who comes to realize that she hasn’t been a very good person. She decides to turn over a new leaf by learning what it actually means to be “good” or “bad,” and then trying to make up for her past behavior. Michael (Danson), who, through an unlikely set of circumstances, comes to be Eleanor’s guide through her self-designed self-improvement course.”

Quirky kind of shows like this usually don’t do much for me, but when you combine Kristen Bell + Ted Danson + the creators of Parks & Rec (which is definitely in the Top 10 Most Underrated Shows of all time) and I am in. So, so, in. Not only is Kristen Bell as cute as a button, but Ted Danson is like a dad to me (he just doesn’t know it yet). Despite my age I straight fell for Cheers and still hold as one of the best shows ever, that Seinfeld and Friends are about the only shows I’ll watch whenever they’re on. Danson also was awesome in the Zach Galifianakis/Jason Schwartzman private detective show, Bored to Death (that ended far too soon). Lifespan: Best case scenario I see is like 3 seasons and a Parks & Rec-esque cult following that’s claims it ended too soon.

Great News: This show stars Briga Heelen, from Ground Floor and Undateable, two shows that I don’t think were given nearly the chance they deserved (noticing a trend here? I fall hopelessly for shows with little or no hope, hence my very stern lifespan predictions).

She plays a news producer whose mother joins the station as an intern…. and I’m out. Briga, you deserve so much better than this. Lifespan <1 Season.

Marlon: Based loosely on the life of its star, Marlon Wayans as he raises his two kids with his ex-wife. Black situational comedies have a tendency to last a long time, but most of those are TBS, so I’m not sure how this will fair on a more major network. I literally have no idea, this could be one season or ten. Lifespan: ?

Midnight, Texas: Based on the books by the same author behind the books that inspired the True Blood series, I have a very short take on this show: NO MORE VAMPIRE SHOWS. Lifespan: 1 Season.

Powerless: Danny Pudi, of Community fame, returns to TV in the first comedy series set within the DC universe. Also starring is Vanessa Hudgens, as an insurance adjuster specializing in coverage for damages for regular people caused by superheroes. The show centers around Hudgens’ workplace and her co-workers. This doesn’t seem to feature any regularly occurring superheroes (at least as far as IMDb is concerned), so I don’t think it’ll have the same appeal as some other shows set in comic book universes that have had success. A fun idea, but one that is hard to create lasting appeal. Lifespan: 1 Season.

Taken: Based on the movie series.. you know where this is going… Lifespan: 1 Season.

This Is Us:
“Sometimes life will surprise you. This refreshingly honest and provocative series follows a unique ensemble whose paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways. We find several of them share the same birthday, and so much more than anyone would expect. From the writer and directors of Crazy, Stupid, Love. comes a smart, modern dramedy that will challenge your everyday presumptions about the people you think you know.”

Yo, first off shoutout to the return of Mandy Moore. Now, with that main point addressed, this show doesn’t really appeal to me, but I can already tell my mom will LOVE it. And shows moms love tend to last for goddamn ever. Lifespan: 4+ Seasons.

Timeless:
“Timeless is a thrilling action-adventure series in which a mysterious criminal steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine, intent on destroying America as we know it by changing the past. Our only hope is an unexpected team: a scientist, soldier and history professor who must use the machine’s prototype to travel back in time to critical events. While they must make every effort not to affect the past themselves, they must also stay one step ahead of this dangerous fugitive. Can this handpicked team uncover the mystery behind it all and end his destruction before it’s too late?”

Abigail Spencer aka Scottie from Suits *fire emoji* stars in seemingly a much more serious version of Making History (see above). If this show was on TNT or USA I could see it lasting a bit longer, but on NBC were space is predictably more valuable, I don’t think it has the staying power. Lifespan: 1 Season.

Trial & Error: Here we go, a quirky lawyer show, a genre which I am a huge fan of (Franklin & Bash the most recent example) starring a bunch of people I’ve never heard of and the dad from every movie ever. It utilizes an overdone cliche, country boy moves to the big city, where I assume he’ll be super charming to women and piss off the douchey city rival. If there was a more recognizable cast I’d be so in, but I don’t like change and I don’t like new guys in my TV shows. Lifespan: 1 Season.

The Wall: A game show, skimmed the synopsis because gameshows suck, but you can somehow win $12,000,000 by bouncing a ball over a 40 foot wall. I don’t know, if you’re game show doesn’t have a high probability of physical harm or humiliation I cannot see it succeeding. Oh, and it’s produced by LeBron James, so yeah, fuck outta here. Lifespan: Who cares.

NBC: 12 New Shows – I have no idea how much they milk these for, a lot of high potential and just absolute disasters mixed together here.

IN REVIEW:

I’m sure you can tell I am just about no optimism when it comes to the success of a new show. And you can probably tell this comes from a lifetime of falling in love with shows that blindside me with cancellations. So, with that said, probably don’t take any of lifespans too seriously (however if someone 90% of new shows this fall fail I will be gloating and I will be doing so loudly).

Out of all the flaming hot garbage coming our way, these are my top picks (aka what I’m going to probably, maybe watch):

  • Bull
  • The Great Indoors
  • Making History
  • Blacklist: Redemption
  • The Good Place

In closing I still don’t know how Downward Dog is getting made, good lord that sounds fucking awful.