Author: Lulla

FOX | 2017/2018 – Fantasy Schedule

Those are predictions based on feelings and FOX final schedule may end up very differently! It will be announced on Monday. Stay tuned and until then, enjoy the read!

 

RENEWED

THE X-FILES | EMPIRE | GOTHAM | LUCIFER | STAR | LETHAL WEAPON | THE EXORCIST

THE SIMPSONS | FAMILY GUY | BOB’S BURGERS | NEW GIRL | BROOKLYN NINE-NINE | LAST MAN ON EARTH | THE MICK

ORDERED

THE ORVILLE | GIFTED | THE RESIDENT | 911

LA TO VEGAS | GHOSTED

While FOX is in a really tough spot with only declining Empire as a bright light, it’s hard to make a schedule that you can be happy with and proud of. Too many shows that went fractional this season were renewed and the new options don’t look very strong. So whatever happens, FOX is in deep shit. And since they will probaby do an even worse schedule than mine, let’s just say what follows is not a prediction or a wish, just a desperate move…

MONDAYS

THE GIFTED

LUCIFER

With The X-Files probably not ready for fall because of a late August shooting, The Gifted is the only show that seems to be able to give new life to monday night. They could pair it with Gotham but I chose Lucifer for two main reasons: stability -it’s its current slot- and compatibility. I expect The Gifted to be family friendly and lighter than Gotham.

TUESDAYS

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE / LA TO VEGAS

THE ORVILLE

FOX should keep New Girl‘s last season -which is rumored to be only 8 episodes- as a filler and try to bank a little bit more on Brooklyn Nine-Nine that could launch a new compatible comedy. LA To Vegas can be considered as a workplace comedy too, since it’s taking place in a airplane and tells the story of the crew and their passengers. Seth MacFarlane’s one-hour sci-fi dramedy The Orville has to air somewhere and Scream Queens‘s previous slot seems to be ready to welcome it. The ratings will probably be ugly but then again, it HAS TO air somewhere right?

WEDNESDAYS

STAR

EMPIRE

While keeping Lethal Weapon at 8 would make sense, finally pairing Star & Empire is the best way to go if FOX wants a full season of Star and to use Lethal Weapon as a launchpad somewhere else. If they’re still serious about an Empire spin-off, it could take over during the hiatus.

THURSDAYS

LETHAL WEAPON

THE RESIDENT

I know what you’re thinking : pairing Lethal Weapon & The Resident doesn’t look smart and logical, even more considering the fact that The Resident will have to launch against This Is Us on NBC. And you’re right. BUT honestly, where else FOX can launch the show? Tuesday could have been an option… I’m not sure I can defend this move, other than by saying that I think FOX thinks The Resident will skew more male than medical dramas usually do so the pairing would somehow make sense in that way. Plus, they’re both in the dark humor business. Another possible scenario: they keep it for midseason and put an unscripted fare there like Hell’s Kitchen. Anyway, I put my money on The Resident cancellation after a possibly shortened run.

FRIDAYS

GOTHAM

THE EXORCIST

The fact that The Exorcist has been renewed is overwhelming enough so thinking of moving it to another night is plain crazy. Gotham seems less and less a priority for FOX, especially since they don’t own it, and they have quite an impressive record to let shows they don’t really want anymore die on friday night. Here’s their next victim!

SUNDAYS

THE SIMPSONS / GHOSTED

FAMILY GUY / LAST MAN ON EARTH

Quirky Ghosted will probably end up there with The Simpsons. Like they did with other quirky entries Son of Zorn & Making History this season (with bad results).

MIDSEASON

THE X-FILES & not yet ordered THE PASSAGE could make a great pair on monday for 10 weeks while The Gifted -if it’s still alive- and Lucifer go on a hiatus.

The new Ryan Murphy show 911 could take over The Orville slot once the first season is done.

THE MICK could go back behind The Simpsons for a while. Or be paired with NEW GIRL again for a few weeks on tuesday.

More new shows should be ordered until then since FOX is rumored to pick-up a new batch of pilots to shoot this summer.

What do you think? Feel free to comment!

NBC 2017/2018 Schedule [+ THOUGHTS]


MONDAY

8- THE VOICE

9- THE VOICE

10- THE BRAVE

TUESDAY

8- THE VOICE

9- SUPERSTORE / THE GOOD PLACE

10- CHICAGO FIRE

WEDNESDAY

8- THE BLACKLIST

9- LAW & ORDER: SVU

10- CHICAGO PD

THURSDAY

8- WILL & GRACE / GREAT NEWS

9- THIS IS US

10- LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME

FRIDAY

8- BLINDSPOT

9- TAKEN

10- DATELINE

MIDSEASON

TIMELESS – RISE – CHICAGO MED – REVERIE – GOOD GIRLS – AP BIO – CHAMPIONS – SHADES OF BLUE

THOUGHTS

What’s good?

  • Choosing The Brave to follow The Voice on monday makes a lot of sense. They seem compatible and it gives the show the best platform NBC has right now.
  • Moving This Is Us to thursday night is very agressive and shows how much NBC is confident it will stay strong on its sophomore year. It’s gonna be tough for ABC’s TGIT in particular since they pursue kind of the same audience.
  • Cheap friday with Blinspot & Taken seems a good solution.
  • Keeping most of wednesday intact is not a surprise and the right move.

What’s bad?

  • Putting Will & Grace against The Big Bang Theory on thursday is putting way too much pressure on a show that stopped being strong when Friends ended. Though with football in the first weeks of its run, people who don’t watch sports might tune in.
  • Comedies after The Voice on Tuesday always got more than mixed results. Why would it change now?
  • Law & Order True Crime after This Is Us doesn’t look good on paper, especially because it means Chicago Med is benched for at least 8 weeks.
  • The Blacklist is again on the move. After monday and thursday, here comes wednesday. At this point of its run, it’s unlikely the show gets a boost…
  • Keeping so many shows for midseason means most of them will have to air during springtime -yes, after a big push during the Olympics- when the numbers are getting lower and lower every year; or in the summer for some of them…

NBC | 2017/2018 – Fantasy Schedule

Those are predictions based on feelings and NBC final schedule may end up very differently! It will be announced on Sunday. Stay tuned and until then, enjoy the read!

 

RENEWED

LAW & ORDER: SVU | THE BLACKLIST | CHICAGO FIRE | CHICAGO PD | CHICAGO MED | BLINDSPOT | SHADES OF BLUE | THIS IS US | TAKEN | TIMELESS

SUPERSTORE | THE GOOD PLACE | GREAT NEWS

ORDERED

THE BRAVE | RISE | REVERIE | GOOD GIRLS | LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME

WILL & GRACE | AP BIO | CHAMPIONS

NBC schedule seems to be the easiest to predict with a limited number of new shows ordered and some strong pieces from monday to wednesday that shouldn’t move. But overcrowding -both weakened The Blacklist & Blindspot are renewed for 22-episode season- may lead to strange decisions. Friday seems to be the day where they can get a little more agressive than the past few years. Let’s not forget they’ll have the Superbowl this year and also the Olympics for 2 weeks in february, which are great platforms to promote the new shows coming midseason. Let’s see what they could come up with…

 

MONDAYS

THE VOICE

THE VOICE

THE BRAVE

The post-The Voice slot on monday is traditionally used to launch new shows and since Timeless has been cancelled and Taken seems to be a midseason option/filler once again, The Brave (aka For God and Country) looks like the only new show that could appeal to the audience that watched The Blacklist & Blindspot there before (with mixed results). It’s an action-packed thriller, mostly procedural with serialized elements.

TUESDAYS

THE VOICE

THIS IS US

RISE

While it wouldn’t be crazy to let Chicago Fire stay after This Is Us to keep the strength of the night intact, it’d be a waste not to use NBC’s number one show as a launchpad for a compatible new one. Rise, which is probably NBC’s favorite drama for next season, is the perfect candidate. The musical component might be a turn off for some people but it’s a Jason Katims’ show, meaning it’s all about the characters and the emotion that comes out. Exactly like This Is Us, which is very close to Katim’s Parenthood. A no-brainer.

WEDNESDAYS

CHICAGO FIRE

LAW & ORDER: SVU

CHICAGO PD

Chicago Fire is both the strongest and the most family-friendly show of the Chicago franchise. Moving it to the 8pm slot on wednesday would make a lot of sense. NBC even tested it there one time for a big crossover event between the Dick Wolf shows and it did great. Law & Order:SVU met some difficulties this spring with a series of low numbers but it’s a show that always rebounds in the fall and it beat Criminal Minds a few times. Why would they mess with that? Chicago PD is always fine where it is.

THURSDAYS

SUPERSTORE / THE GOOD PLACE

WILL & GRACE / GREAT NEWS

CHICAGO MED

The Superstore/The Good Place pairing didn’t do miracles for NBC last fall but it’s safe to assume they were happy enough to repeat it next year. It would lead into the revival of Will & Grace for a 12-episode season, which is a priority for the network. They’re already promoting it heavily… Will it be as huge as they’re hoping for? Probably not. But can it do better than Chicago Med? Probably yes! Since NBC didn’t pick up any multicamera comedy to pair it with, Great News seems to be the best option. It feels like a multicamera as a lot of critics pointed out when it started and it’s a comedy NBC has faith on apparently: they renewed it despite terrible numbers. It’s its only chance to do better. Chicago Med at 10 where ER aired for years doesn’t seem to be far-fetched.

FRIDAYS

LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME

THE BLACKLIST

DATELINE

After years of low profile programming on friday, NBC seems to be ready to become a little more agressive. At 9, now that Grimm is gone, The Blacklist could move there and face Hawaii 5-0 on CBS. At 8, NBC could have put Blindspot BUT Law & Order True Crime, the anthology series about the Menendez crimes, is rumored to be on the fall schedule. There’s a chance the Dick Wolf show beats MacGyver, which is not as strong as the eye network wants us to believe by the way. It’s only for 8 weeks so Blindspot can take over later.

MIDSEASON

REVERIE & SHADES OF BLUE could be paired once Sunday Night Football is done. Two procedurals lead by women back to back.

AP BIO & TRIAL & ERROR (if it’s renewed) could replace Will & Grace & Great News. CHAMPIONS could replace THE GOOD PLACE which is only 13 episodes per season.

GOOD GIRLS could take over This Is Us slot once the 18-episode second season is done.

TAKEN could be used as a filler when The Voice & The Brave are off the air.

TIMELESS is supposed to come back for a 10-episode run in summer 2018.


What do you think? Feel free to comment!

CBS 2017/2018 Comedy Pilots ranked

Will CBS ever find a suitable comedy to follow The Big Bang Theory on thursday? After so many attempts with very different shows, including Joel McHale-starrer The Great Indoors this year that failed, they have found what looks like the best solution: a Big Bang Theory spin-off! And they didn’t even take the easy road since it’s a prequel about Young Sheldon, single-camera style. It’s already said to be in the vein of Malcolm in the Middle. We’ll see what happens and it’s not even confirmed that the show will air after the mothership at this point. They could also use it to re-energize their monday line-up which is far from impressive, losing viewers every half-hour. Kevin Can Wait proved to be a somewhat strong starting point but Man With a Plan is doing just okay right behind and Superior Donuts is not the hit they hoped for. Meanwhile, 2 Broke Girls is in limbo and could very well come back in midseason or not not come back at all. Remember it’s not produced in-house but a Warner Bros. big asset. Is a move on TBS possible? The Odd Couple is not officially cancelled yet but there’s no hope for it and The Great Indoors should join it. Mom and Life In Pieces are already renewed. The eye network should be able to launch 2 to 3 new comedies next year. Here are the contenders:

 

 

  1. HANNAH ROYCE’S QUESTIONABLE CHOICES (Sony Pictures Television/CBS Television Studios)

    The story of a woman who has made some interesting choices throughout her life – namely, having three different kids with three different men – but all have led her to having a very unique, loving, blended family. With  Alice Eve, Kyle Howard, James Earl, Tyler Labine, Michael Boatman…

This one’s simply the cutest! There’s no shame and certainly no harm doing a real feel-good family comedy, that is both diverse and modern. Exactly what the actual CBS sitcoms are not. And it’s told through the point of a view of a woman, which is another thing the usual CBS sitcom rarely dives in. Kevin Can Wait & Man With a Plan are really old comedies compared to this one. It’s not exactly revolutionnary to be honest but I thought a lot of Mom, Hannah being very close Anna Faris’ Christy, and that’s obviously a compliment. The workplace part of the show doesn’t totally work, but it reminded me of One Day at a Time, and that’s another compliment. So yeah, once CBS has changed the title, this sitcom has a great potential and a fighting chance.

 

2. DISTEFANO (Sony Pictures Television)

     Izzy and Chris, two 20-somethings are raising their newborn daughter and merging their loud families – one Puerto Rican, one Italian. With Chris Distefano, Dianne Guerrero, Annie Potts…

With such an easy and overused premice, Distefano does eveything you can expect but How I Met Your Mother‘s style since it’s written by Carter Bays & Craig Thomas, the creators of the long-running show. So we get flashbacks and flashforwards and it’s not shot in front of a live audience though it looks like any multicamera comedy. They’re not playing it too safe. It gets cute and smart many times and it knows how to be subtle when it wants to. The voice-over adds a little something that makes it even more relevant, young parents will love it for that. It’s not a sure bet and I’m not certain comedian Chris Distefano is such a big draw for the audience but it’s worth a chance.

 

3. ME, MYSELF AND I (Warner Bros. Television)

    Examines one man’s life over a 50-year span, somewhat in the vein of Boyhood. The show will focus on three distinct periods in his life: as a 14-year-old in 1991, a 40-year-old in present day and a 65-year-old in 2042. With Bobby Moynihan, John Larroquette, Jaleel White, Brian Unger…

Me, Myself and I goes in the high-concept comedy category where CBS is not used to be found in. I had high hopes about this one. It’s impossible not thing about the movie Boyhood and of course, this pilot can’t compare. BUT there’s a lot to like in there anyway, starting with the main character that is both moving and relatable. I wouldn’t say he’s that funny though. I didn’t picture him played by Bobby Moynihan but well, they probably had good reasons to choose him, right? At 14, Alex has to deal with his parents’ divorce; at 40, he discovers his wife is cheating on him; and at 65, he’s almost dying of a heart-attack. It doesn’t sound funny at all but it is. In the end, I’m not sure there’s a solid TV show behind this pilot but I enjoyed the ride.

 

4. 9K, 9J, 9L (CBS Television Studios)

   Inspired by a time in Mark Feuerstein’s adult life when he lived in apartment 9K in the building he grew up in, sandwiched between his parents’ apartment, 9J, and his brother, sister-in-law and their baby’s apartment, 9L, and his attempts to set boundaries with his intrusive but well-meaning family. With Mark Feuerstein, David Walton, Matt Murray, Liza Lapira, Linda Lavin, Elliot Gould…

CBS execs are reportedly very high on this project and it’s almost already on the schedule. I can understand why, though I feel like it’s such a safe bet that it’s not gonna become the hit they’re hoping for. Sometimes, you need to take risks and this pilot doesn’t take any. It knows what it’s doing. It knows where it’s going. And sadly, we do too. It’s terribly predictable. But the cast is great, appealing, and I’m pretty sure the final product will be better than the script is on the page. Then again, remember The Millers or The McCarthys… Pretty much the same story and it got rejected.

 

5. LIVING BIBLICALLY (Warner Bros. Television)

   A modern-day man at a crossroads in his life decides to live according to the Bible. With Jay R. Ferguson, Ian Gomez, Tony Rock, Lindsey Kraft…

Is CBS conservative audience ready to watch a show that openly mocks the Bible? I’d like to say yes, but obviously the answer is no. Living Biblically is not that ferocious and is not made to offend anyone but some people will get offended anyway, especially since the whole show is based on this very idea that nowadays, you just can’t live according to the Bible. The central character will try to prove it’s possible on and on and the pilot shows it can be a funny ride but I can’t help myself thinking there was a better show to make with this same idea, and not with a multicamera format that limits the concept. For me, it’s a pass. But I’d like them to redevelop it for next year, with a different take, a change of format and maybe a new writer?

 

6. REAL TIME (Sony Pictures Television/CBS Television Studios)

   The relationship of two 20-somethings who go from being co-workers on opposite coasts to working in the same office. With Rebecca Rittenhouse, Ryan Hansen, Brett Harrison, Brenda Song, Kristen Johnston…

Hello again, How I Met Your Mother‘s creators! But this time as producers, not as writers. Real Time was first developed last season under the title My Time/Your Time. CBS passed on it but wanted another try and here we are. This version pretty much solved the problem of the first pilot: the main characters meet in real life in this one, they don’t just talk over Skype. But then start a “will they? won’t they?” situation that’s a new problem to take care of for the writers. Because we’ve already seen it a million times and nothing proves this time will be different. It’s hard to picture where the show will go next and apparently that’s a concern CBS has since they’re not sure to keep Ryan Hansen, the male lead, in the cast. Yes, they’re already thinking of tweaking the concept… again. Well, it sounds like something that should not get ordered. It’s way too complicated already!

 

7. BROTHERED UP (CBS Television Studios)

   An emotionally guarded African-American cop is partnered with an emotionally available Pakistani cop and they are forced to find a way to connect as they patrol a Detroit neighborhood. With Adhir Kalyan, D.L. Hughley, Merrin Dungey…

Brothered Up is CBS attempt to be more diverse in their comedy department, after Superior Donuts proved them their audience won’t suddenly disappear into thin air if they have a black lead in one of their sitcoms! Too bad this script is the weakest they have in store. It just doesn’t really work as a multicamera comedy. They’re cops. They’re supposed to move a lot. They’re supposed to go outside. But they don’t. They’re in the car. And in their respective homes. And in their car again. Sometimes at the precinct. It will get boring pretty soon. And then there’s this Odd Couple pairing that doesn’t totally work because apart from their origins and their respective moods, they’re not that different. Maybe the chemistry between the actors will make it a more viable option…

 

FOX 2017/2018 Comedy Pilots ranked

FOX had a really rough year, both with their dramas and their comedies. Hybrid entry Son of Zorn started well initially but ended in bad shape; a renewal is not expected. Making History is doing terrible numbers since it started; a renewal is out of reach. Then there’s The Mick that FOX really loved and pushed with airings at special times. It definitely helped though its pairing with New Girl limited its potential on tuesday since the Zooey Deschanel-starrer has outstayed its welcome for quite some time but could defy the odds one more time with a final season; it’s still considered as a cash machine for 20th Century FOX Television. Brooklyn Nine-Nine moved a lot on the schedule once again and miraculously didn’t lose too much strenghth in the process; it should be back. Finally, high-concept comedy Last Man On Earth couldn’t compete on sunday night with depressing ratings; it could go either way for this one but I bet on a renewal. It leaves us animated comedies The Simpsons and Family Guy. They’re both suffering but they’re still stronger than most of FOX slate. Can a miracle happen next year with a breakout comedy hit? With this weak surrounding, it’s gonna be hard, even next to impossible, but you never know… Here’s what they have in store:

 

  1. THIN ICE (20th Century FOX Television)

    A woman reclaims her dreams when she finds herself at the end of the earth – in Antarctica – surrounded by a group of brilliant misfits… With Bridgit Mendler, Ian Harding, Isaiah Whitlock Jr, Jane Curtin…

It’d be easy to describe Thin Ice as New Girl in Antarctica but like it or not, that’s what it initially is. It starts the same way -sad lonely girl entering a new world full of men who are mostly childish- but creator of both shows Liz Meriwether slowly goes into another direction until we end up with something that has more to do with workplace comedies like Parks and Recreation or The Mindy Project. It seems fresh -no pun intended- and those characters are really good at convincing you to stay there a little longer, as the heroine experiences. There are way too many though. It’s not revolutionary but it makes you happy for a while. Now, can a studio lot in Los Angeles really look like Antarctica? I have my doubts. They can’t afford to shoot on location every week I guess…

 


2. TYPE A (20th Century FOX Television)

    A group of consultants are hand-picked to do the dirty work most professionals can’t handle: layoffs, downsizing, generally delivering horrible news. To everyone else, they’re the enemy – to each other, they’re family. With Eva LongoriaDavid Hornsby, Ken Marino, Kyle Bornheimer, Andy Richter…

Type A may be the contrary of Thin Ice: it’s so cynical about today’s world that it doesn’t make you happy. BUT it’s funny. Really funny. The dialogues are just superb. And those actors can’t screw it up. It’s definitely edgier than most network television comedies, it can get pretty vulgar, and I think that’s beautiful! FOX is the best place for it, no questions asked. I can already see it on the schedule, probably next to Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Those two would make a great pair. And that’s good news for Eva Longoria: it’s way better than Telenovela. She’s not THE star of the show, she’s one of the stars of the show and it’s better this way. Her character is hilarious. And she’s only asked what she does best: playing a witty bitch. Can’t wait!

 

 

3. LAX > VEGAS (20th Century FOX Television)

   About a group of underdogs trying to find their place in the world who all share the same goal: to come back a winner in the casino of life. Set on the Friday night flight from LAX to Vegas and the returning flight on Sunday. With Dylan McDermott, Ed Weeks, Olivia Macklin, Kim Matula…

Before reading the pilot script, I was 100% sure that it wouldn’t work. Who would want to spend 22 minutes each week in an airplane? Because just so you know, that’s where it’s set let’s say… 95% of the time! Well, the answer is: me. And you too probably. They made a pretty convincing case. Thanks to the principal characters -we want to know more about them- mostly and the promise that we’ll get to meet new passengers every week with their own set of stories and problems. At some point, I told myself: why nobody tried a comedy like this before, it’s a great idea? Well, maybe it has been tried but the projects didn’t see the light of day. Not a huge fan of the cast though. Will they live up to the expectations?

 

4. LINDA FROM HR (20th Century FOX Television)

   All it takes is one bad decision to throw Linda from HR’s monotonous, unfulfilled life into an exciting but dangerous tailspin of balancing work life, home life and a secret that could unravel everything. With Lauren Graham, Michael Landes, Zachary Knighton…

This pilot is batshit crazy, my friends! I’m not surprised the great Lauren Graham wanted to be part of it. It has been described as a comedic version of Mr Robot and I have to admit it’s pretty accurate. You never know where it’s going. It’s getting darker and crazier as the story progresses and you’re left with the sentiment you’ve just read something incredibly weird. And you want to watch more. The problem is:  the script needs a little more work and it’s not a network comedy AT ALL. It can’t work on FOX and it’s heavily serialized. I think FX or TBS should try to get it if FOX passes on. Or maybe a streaming platform? Hulu? Netflix? Those are the places where Linda from HR can be totally herself, without worrying about anything.

 

5. GHOSTED (20th Century FOX Television)

   A cynical skeptic and a genius “true believer” in the paranormal are recruited by The Bureau Underground to look into the rampant “unexplained” activity in Los Angeles – all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race. With Adam Scott, Craig Robinson, Ally Walker…

Maybe it’s just me but this paranormal comedy that wants to be a funny The X-Files is less funny than the funniest episodes of The X-Files. That being said, I didn’t find the script bad or anything, I just didn’t laugh as much as I thought. There is no reason to worry: with this concept, this cast and the fact that it’s produced in-house, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t be ordered to series. I’m even surprised they didn’t go for a straight-to-series order. Maybe just in case the Adam Scott/Craig Robinson duet didn’t work. Looking forward to it anyway. It’s very much in FOX alley.

 

6. AMY’S BROTHER (Warner Bros. Television)

   About an unconventional family that is formed when a successful type-A man and his estranged sister, plus her two children, find themselves not only back in one another’s lives but also living under one roof. With Michael Urie, Annie Mumolo

Have you watched The Mick? Haven’t watched myself the entire first season yet but it’s a good one. Sadly for Amy’s Brother. Because the story is pretty much the same in reverse -an uptight guy has to take care of his crazy family suddenly- with different characters and a less irreverent tone. It’s probably the cutest FOX comedy pilot of the year but cute doesn’t always win. The kids don’t have much to do and the principal character played by Michael Urie is too cliché. Not the “gay cliché” but the “uptight guy cliché”. We’ve already seen that a thousand times. Since it’s not produced in house, I’d say it doesn’t stand a chance to get ordered anyway.

 

 

 

 

ABC 2017/2018 Comedy Pilots ranked

 

ABC had a rough year in the drama department but comedy wise, all’s good in the hood! That’s where they excel. Modern Family has lost ground but it’s still fine and remains the center piece of ABC Funny; The Middle moved quite smoothly to tuesdays and helped significantly what once was a dead night for the network; The Goldbergs proved they could anchor wednesday nights as well as The Middle did for the past years; Blackish is not a huge success but the Golden Globes and the Emmys love it; Fresh Off The Boat managed to keep its head above water facing NBC’s tremendous hit This Is Us; and Last Man Standing once again did miracles for friday nights. But that’s not it for the winners: the two new fall entries American Housewife & Speechless also did amazing and fit perfectly with the comedy blocks. They’re probably here for the long haul.

Bad news are for Dr Ken, which might not be worthy of a renewal despite satisfying but not great numbers after Last Man Standing; The Real O’Neals, which showed promise during its first year last spring but couldn’t resist to This Is Us with disappointing numbers all year long and ABC doesn’t have any room for a pity renewal; and spring entry Imaginary Mary that didn’t deliver, the Jenna Elfman’ curse striked again. With theorically only one slot available for a new comedy next year and 13 pilots vying for it, ABC will have tough choices to make, especially since they had once again a great development slate. Will they add one hour of comedy on sunday night? Will they get rid off their friday night sitcoms for single cams?

 

SINGLE-CAMERA COMEDIES

  1. LIBBY & MALCOLM (ABC Studios)

    Two opposing pundits also happen to be married. One’s black, one’s white; one’s left, one’s right. Bitter rivals at work on their own political talk show Black & Wright, Libby & Malcolm have to turn conflict into compromise at home when it comes to raising their kids. With Felicity Huffman, Courtney B. Vance, Gary Cole, James Lesure…

Libby & Malcolm is about finding strength and answers through our differences, whether they are political or personal. It’s about unity. And unity is exactly what is missing in this sad sad world. It gives reflection, hope and fun. There are not so many comedies like that on television right now, let alone on a network. The next great comedy is here. And we’re ready for it. Felicity Huffman & Courtney B. Vance will get awards recognition with this one. ABC just can’t do without it. Pure and simple.

 

Read the full preview

 

2. RAISED BY WOLVES (Warner Bros. Television)

    Sheila Gable is a one tough mother struggling to support her five opinionated, eccentric kids on a shoestring budget in a Midwestern town. With Georgia King, Craig T. Nelson

Raised By Wolves is a like an edgier version of The Middle, with a different parenting dynamics since it’s about a single mother and I’d like ABC to think of those families too that do exist. It’s not always a mommy, a daddy and three or four kids. There is a big Shameless feel to it, which is not so surprising since it’s also the adaptation of an english series, with Diablo Cody’s unique voice making it even more special. It totally fits with the actual line-up and adds something more. A no-brainer to me… if only a more well-known actress had accepted the leading role!

 

3. STARTING UP (Sony Pictures Television)

     About all the things that happen — the good, the bad and the ugly — when a guy in his mid-30s with a wife and two kids makes the crazy decision to quit his good job and dive into the brave new world of starting a business. With Zach Braff, Tiya Sircar, Michael Imperioli…

Fun, smart an inspirational, Starting Up feels like Zach Braff’s feel good movies. It’s part family comedy, part workplace comedy, and the two genres mesh surprisingly well. It shares a lot of DNA with Blackish by the way. Scrubs fans will be happy to have Braff’s voice over back on TV on a weekly basis. And ABC should be happy to have a comedy that may skew more male than what they’re used to. A safe bet for a pick-up.

 


4. THE MAYOR (ABC Studios)

    Courtney Rose, a talented but struggling hip-hop artist, runs for mayor to promote his mixtape – and wins. The guy is a quitenssential optimistic, a dreamer through and through. He’s the coolest, most fun dude in town, and if you don’t believe it, just ask him and he’ll tell you. With Brandon Micheal Hall, Lea Michele, Yvette Nicole Brown…

It starts like a comedic version of Designated Survivor, it ends up like nothing else on the network or any other network for instance. So yeah, it’s a little off brand, it’s a wild card, but ABC should take this risk while they can. It’s political and topical; there’s a bit of a Parks And Recreation vibe because of the setting and the group of characters that will soon become a family of some sort. And there’s music too. What else?

 


5. LOSING IT (ABC Studios)

    About three misfit adult siblings and their parents who — between divorce, new parenthood, early-onset dementia and let’s just say life — are all losing it in different ways. And family is the only way they’re going to find it. With Jon Cryer, Natalie Morales, Sam Huntington, Gerald McRaney…

Adult siblings, death, alzheimer disease… Losing It is not your typical ABC family comedy. It can get really dark. But it’s very funny too and definitely different. It’s hard not to think of This Is Us, especially with Gerald McRaney being part of the cast and some sort of surprising twist towards the end. Will the comparison help it or doom it? I’m not sure but I want to believe there’s a special place for it somewhere on the schedule.

 

6. SPLITTING UP TOGETHER (Warner Bros. Television)

      The story of a couple whose marriage is reignited by their divorce. With Jenna Fischer, Oliver Hudson, Diane Farr…

The logline is a little short and doesn’t say what the show really is about. It’s a modern, emotional & edgy tale of a divorcing couple that decides to keep on living together with the kids for financial and sentimental reasons. I think it can really strike a chord with the audience if the cast delivers and if the execution is as impressive as the script asks it to be. But ABC will probably have to chose between this one and Raised By Wolves, since both are produced by Warner Bros. In a perfect world, they’d take both.

 

7. SCHOOLED – aka THE GOLDBERGS SPIN-OFF (Sony Pictures Television)

    Set in the 1990s and follows two high school teachers who become unlikely father figures to the kids at their Philadelphia school, the same school Adam from The Goldbergs graduated from. With Nia Long, Bryan Callen, Tim Meadows

ABC never tried to spin-off Modern Family or The Middle. Why starting now with The Goldbergs? I don’t think Schooled is needed and I’m sorry to report this pilot is not as good as the mothership’s. That being said, it’s effective, funny and it has potential moving forward. It’s yet again a family comedy but the difference is it’s mostly set in a high-school. Beverly Goldberg makes an appearance at the beginning but other than that, Schooled is its own thing. From a marketing perspective, ABC might be very tempted to give it a try and noboby could blame them.

 

8. CHARLIE FOXTROT (ABC Studios)

  Captain Charlie Taylor, a cautious, lovable dentist stationed at Fort Bragg, promises to look after his brother’s impulsive fiancée and her two misfit teens while his brother is deployed in Iraq… With Jason Biggs, Ana Ortiz, Swoozie Kurtz, Robert Baker…

Well. I’m not sure why ABC decided to order a pilot for this one, other than the military is very trendy these days and they probably wanted to be part of it in their own way, through comedy. But the problem is this script is really weak and I don’t think this quite good cast can do anything about it. It’s way too cheesy to be taken seriously and not funny enough to be watched like a guilty-pleasure comedy. Don’t make this mistake, ABC…

 

9. JALEN VS EVERYBODY (20th Century FOX Television & ABC Studios)

  Former NBA player and current ESPN personality Jalen Rose juggles his career responsibilities with the challenges of being a single dad. With Jalen Rose, Anna Maria Horsford, Marla Gibbs, Rich Sommer…

I’m not familiar with Jalen Rose but I can recognize a good comedy and this one is not. There is too much sports talk and private jokes to be appreciated widely and the central story about a dad who doesn’t want his children to grow is overused to death. It has to stop now. We get it. The behind-the-scenes part resembles Libby & Malcolm‘s except here we just don’t care. It’s just an excuse to have famous faces passing by. Creator Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat, Don’t Trust the B****) is worth better than that…

 

BLACKISH SPIN-OFF (ABC Studios) > Haven’t watched the planted episode focusing on Zoey Johnson as she heads to college but people don’t seem to be very happy with it and it’s probably not a good idea for ABC. Maybe for Freeform? Nice try but pass.

 

MULTICAMERA COMEDIES

  1. HOUSEHOLD NAME (Universal Television)

    A family gets a chance to buy the house of their dreams but under extremely abnormal circumstances: they must live with the current owner, an eccentric, larger-than-life actress — until she dies. With Carol Burnett, Matt Oberg, Timothy Omundson, Mary Holland…

This one’s a bit like Hot In Cleveland but more family-friendly with Carol Burnett instead of Betty White. It’s a solid and often hilarious old-school sitcom, that may not belong to ABC in 2017 or any other network. It’s for TV Land, if TV Land was still doing one of those. I’d be very happy to watch it if ABC gave it a chance but I have my doubts they will. The rumor has it NBC -which produces it- will pick it up if ABC passes on. To pair with Will & Grace? It would be an interesting option. Like the “Golden Gay Comedy Hour”.

 

2. UNTITLED SINGLE DAD COMEDY (ABC Studios)

      An intellectual but emotionally challenged single dad moves to Queens with his two young daughters and forms an unlikely family with the other residents in their apartment building. With Rob Riggle, Lombardo Boyar, Amy Hill…

Yet another old-school sitcom, cute and sweet, almost cheesy. Sadly, the dad character is kind of irritating and the kids characters have nothing special going for them. The neighbours are the funniest ones. It doesn’t sound like ABC to me.