Alphabet Soup


A new season on the way, a new entertainment president, does that mean we’ll see good things? Yes and no. It’s the tough part of the job, but sadly someone has to do it. Hopefully it doesn’t all blow up in Channing Dungey’s face, as she has enough pressure as is. Any decisions she didn’t make before taking the new post, will be put on her. I guess sometimes it doesn’t pay to be at the top, as the buck stops with you.

Continuing on this exciting, and somewhat tiring journey, that is known as Upfronts Week, we have come to a network that time and time again has given me a reason to stick around. I don’t think if it’s my favorite, but if I were to tally the number of shows I watch on this network, or watched, it may in fact be the highest. I was excited and afraid of what the network would be offer up. I already have enough shows, new and old, to watch, and that’s just between NBC and Fox. Yet, just looking at the list and reading the synopsis of the shows, I’m looking at adding a lot more. It won’t be all nine of them, but about half. Let’s hope I’m not wrong in these choices, or that the network was wrong. That would suck.

So, for those of you not even paying the tiniest bit of attention to this crazy week, here are the new shows that will be debuting during the 2016-2017 TV season on the alphabet network!

American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

“Designated Survivor”

“Sir, you are now the President of the United States.” What?! I understood early on what the premise is, and I like it, but now having seen the trailer, I’m TOTALLY onboard! I can’t say if this will be all that great, I mean, Geena Davis in “Commander in Chief” couldn’t convince the network, so what makes them think Kiefer Sutherland can? It’s a political drama, so right away, I’m interested. After the full trailer, let me say this before I get too far ahead, I was instantly intrigued after it. Okay, now that that’s out of the way. Yes, political drama and I’m already excited. Next is the cast. I got so excited seeing some cast members, and can’t wait to see what they bring! In a pilot season and Upfronts week that is stingy on true diverse representation of characters, and by extension, actors, it was great seeing Maggie Q pop up as an FBI agent of some sort. Kal Penn also pops up as some sort an aid, maybe? I’m not sure. I can’t recall, but it’s exciting still. I’m going to be willing to check out the pilot and see what comes next, but I can’t even begin to speculate if this show will last even one year.

“Downward Dog”

I don’t even think I can with this one. It’s just… It strikes me… Okay, okay, it looks flat out fucking stupid. No offense to Allison Tolman, who was brilliant in the first season of “Fargo”, but this looks like shit. All the way around. I think it’s the premise. When watching the trailer I was already growing tired of it. I also couldn’t figure out what the goddamn point of it was. I still don’t know what it is. I’m probably going to completely skip this one. I just can’t, no matter how much they try to make her character interesting, I just don’t think it will be.

“Conviction”

Agent Peggy Carter she is not! As sad as it is that Hayley Atwell won’t be back playing that particular character, this one does look interesting enough for me to get past it. Making it even easier, is the fact that Atwell seems to be sporting a pretty good American accent. Not all actors can do it. The worst part about the trailer, which I didn’t notice until half way through or at the end, it spells out a typical pilot. It’s a pilot that sets everything up. Paint by numbers. Still, I’ve already found a lot to like about her, and I think that says a lot. However, like with some others, I can’t pinpoint which direction this could go. It’s a legal drama, but it also has a few other interesting caveats that will drive this show, hopefully. One, which I love, is characters. I can see this being a really character focused show, along with the cases the team takes on. Oh, and the team! I only could recognize a few actors, but that was enough! Merrin Dungey and Manny Montana, plus, apparently an Ashmore brother, and a former “Walking Dead” star. I forgot, and if it weren’t for IMDB I wouldn’t know this. I watch way too many trailers. Regardless, it’s a cast that’s worth getting excited about! I can see them all being memorable in some way. They just have to be given good material, and there has to be good stories. I have hope.

“Time After Time”

When two time travel shows isn’t enough, bring in another! Nobody gets tired of them. Well, they didn’t, until today. I’m officially over time travel plots. Mind you, this one’s not as idiotic as the one over on Fox. But it comes in second place. I was cautiously optimistic, I guess. I like the two lead actors, but upon seeing the trailer, I just realized it had so many problems. One, it’s stupid. As the trailer went on all I got was more and more annoyed. How could Kevin Williamson, the writer of “Scream” and “Stalker” be creating this? I’m not sure, but he apparently is. Let’s see, what else did I think? It was a tiresome trailer, but at the end it did offer one slight morsel that may get me to the pilot, but that’s it. H.G. Wells chasing after Jack the Ripper (who has a name) in the future is not exactly that interesting. I don’t believe others will find it so either. Just cancel it now!

“Notorious”

This might possibly (already) be my favorite new show! Let me explain the biases I have, which in this case, obviously, work in the shows favor. It’s a behind the scenes look at a news show, where Piper Perabo (yay!) is a producer and Daniel Sunjata is some lawyer and something. That’s the bit of the trailer I’m not too sure on. Anyway, it’s the behind the scenes look that really has me on board. I love news and newsrooms and anything behind the scenes, especially as it explores the lives of the characters doing this work. When Perabo says, “I’m about to go live.” Oh my god I was all kinds of excited! I was giddy. My heart lept. There’s a kind of glamor, sex appeal, and news! that is drawing me in. How can I resist the closest thing to a replacement for “The Newsroom”? Also, the cast. Right now it’s mostly Perabo that has me excited. But hey! since it’s about news and law, and other things, that’s not a bad additive. I’m hoping the pilot really makes clear what the point of this is, as I was surprised I still felt confused after the trailer. Sure the logline tells you what it’s about, but I was hoping the trailer would basically confirm this. It does, but it doesn’t. I’m hoping it’s interesting enough, as it seems like it could offer an interesting perspective and opportunity for discussion on news, coverage, and legal cases that become national headlines. I’m excited! Are you?

“Still Star-Crossed”

The fact that I even watched the trailer, should be given some recognition. I tried to go into it with an open mind, or something, but it really didn’t work. I’ve never enjoyed the story of “Romeo and Juliet”, but not from having to read it in high school. I just hate it. When I first heard of this show, I laughed and cried, and I can see I was right to do so. This looks so ridiculous. Not an ounce of enjoyment can be had or found. On this one, I can’t blame my strong dislike. It just looks bad. I hope it gets cancelled quickly, as it does look like one of the more expensive shows on tap for ABC. Granted, good and bad, it’s not slated until midseason. That’s too damn long. Oh well, hopefully by then I will have completely forgotten about it.

“American Housewife”

I can’t believe I’m really excited about a comedy! This one looks promising! Okay, it’s more that I’m seeing the potential and hope that other TV watchers will too. Even though I can’t really relate to anything in this show, there’s something, that in some way, I’m connecting to. Simply liking. Maybe it’s the fact that a lot of what this show is about, or could/can be about, is very universal. I also already really love the female lead! She’s a hoot and I have no idea who she is! That’s also my reason for wanting to see this. Worst case, I’ll discover it’s another comedy that’s like all the others, and I’ll stop watching. This could be one of those times I’m really glad I have a six episode test run limit.

“Speechless”

Oh, look, Minnie Driver! Okay, that’s interesting. Oh, wait, damnit, I watched the trailer. Now I’m not so sure. In my notes, so as not to forget some of my feelings about this, I wrote, “Oy. This is a problem already. I can tell, but I can’t figure out what the problem is.” It too is a family centered comedy, but something just isn’t sitting with me. And honestly, I don’t think the pilot is really going to sell me on why I should watch the series. I’m sure some people, but not enough to keep on air, will find something to like about it, but I don’t believe I’ll be one of them. I’ll wait and see if I even have time. Now with ABC’s shows worked into my schedule, I’m starting to feel the pressure of the water rising.

“Imaginary Mary”

I feel like this trailer alone shows why I hate comedies and can’t trust them. This one definitely borders on idiocy. It’s cute, I will not deny that, but I don’t think it’s cuteness is at all enough to get me to watch a whole season or series. Jenna Elfman, whom I’m excited to see on TV once more, is the only draw. Her imaginary friend Mary (title, duh), is cute and a little creepy, plus funny, but it’s all about too much in some way. I’m looking for some kind of value that I could get out of this, and I’m not finding it. I don’t think there’s anything anyone can do that will make this show worth it. At least “American Housewife” has that already built in. I’m going with this show will be cancelled and I’ll probably only watch the pilot.

For ABC it’s a big toss up! Also, it’s a big jumbled schedule! A lot of shows took over old slots and some were relocated. Will it pay off though? Time will tell, as will the viewers. I’m excited for a lot of these, and hope that most do well, but like with Fox and NBC, there are some I’m a bit embarrassed by. How could anyone let them go to series? It’s the one area of the series creation process, which begins with a pitch and ends with a series ending or early cancellation, that I don’t understand. Can’t people recognize something stupid when it’s put before them?

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