Tag: conviction

How to fix ABC in 5 easy steps [My Take]

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As you probably all know by now, ABC is in trouble with two of their new shows, Notorious & Conviction, not surprisingly starting poorly, with no hope for potential recoveries over the next few weeks. They can’t even count on a good word of mouth: they were not well-liked by both critics and curious viewers. The question now is whether the network will let them stay on the schedule until the remainder of their initial order (which consists of 13 episodes), trim it to 10 or even less, or cancel them altogether with an immediate effect. Since ABC didn’t order that many new shows for the entire season overall, they will probably stick with them through the fall, at least.

Not everything is this dark for ABC though: Kiefer Sutherland-starrer Designated Survivor looks like a hit with very decent live numbers and huge DVR; and comedy Speechless fits perfectly with the ABC Funny line-up alongside The Goldbergs & Modern Family. American Housewife has yet to start but stuck between The Middle & Fresh Off The Boat, it’s expected to make decent numbers.

While making too many changes too soon is never a good idea, ABC has to make some anyway so they can stay competitive before starting anew next season, with the first shows developed by the new regime. And by the look of things, Channing Dungey shouldn’t rely too much on procedurals: that’s simply not ABC’s brand, even if they’re more profitable when they actually work.

 

1/ MOVE “HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER” RIGHT AFTER “GREY’S ANATOMY”

Unless ABC can start the 6th season of Scandal sooner than expected -I doubt it because of Kerry Washington’s pregnancy- they can’t let their best drama lead-in –Grey’s Anatomy– go to waste (Notorious). Since HTGAWM has a hard time at 10 with its live numbers -the +3 & +7 are still potent- it wouldn’t hurt to move it to 9 where it can do a little bit better. The more they wait, the less the move will be effective. They can put Notorious at 10 or…

 

2/ FINALLY SAVE QUANTICO !

Is it too late so save the L+7 blockbuster? Probably. At least, the show helps keeping the lights on at 10 on sundays, where anything new would crash and burn. And that’s probably why they decided to keep it that way this season. BUT as numbers suggest, Quantico is not dead. Not yet. And it’s still an asset for the network. Giving it a push at 10 on thursdays, which was not possible when the TGIT was still a thing, is now very much possible. It probably won’t rise that much, but any rise is good to take, even for a few weeks! Justice for Quantico!

 

3/ PAIR THE BACHELOR WITH STILL STAR-CROSSED

They’d make a perfect march, wouldn’t they? Of course, ABC will be tempted to launch the Shondaland’s Romeo & Juliet soap on their TGIT night come spring, but it certainly would be a better fit with The Bachelor, which is now, by the way, a better lead-in than Dancing With The Stars on the demo. They could also put it on sundays after Once Upon A Time, and it’d be fine but not ideal. If ABC wants a try at another hit this season, they know what to do…

 

4/ GIVE A REAL CHANCE TO TIME AFTER TIME

Don’t make the same mistake you did with Forever, ABC. There are still very angry fans out there, and we can’t really blame them. What you did with Forever made sense somehow but you could have handled things better and give it a push. Give Time After Time -which is not that different tonally- a real chance to shine and find its audience, even though it’s not produced in-house but by Warner Bros. once again. And what does it mean precisely? Don’t hide it somewhere at 10. Don’t put it after Dancing With The Stars for example. It wouldn’t be a good fit. Don’t waste it on fridays. But you’re not FOX, I guess you would never do that, right? So what? Yes, it’s a difficult timeslot but sundays at 9 seems to be the best option. Once Upon A Time is not a good lead-in anymore, but at least Time After Time is compatible with it. Doing the same numbers or slightly better would be a victory of some sort.

 

5/ GIVE A PRESTIGE FEEL TO YOUR SUNDAYS

Meaning doing this (either during the winter hiatus -if there’s one- or this spring)…

8- IMAGINARY MARY / DOWNWARD DOG

9- AMERICAN CRIME

10- WHEN WE RISE

I know most of you will call me crazy but it’s all about changing the narrative! Let me explain. Can we agree that ABC is dead on sunday for multiple reasons (football on NBC, no sports before 8 to support the night like this is the case on CBS, The Walking Dead on AMC… and of course shows which are not Desperate Housewives)? Yes we can. What if ABC self-proclaimed sunday night as their “prestige night” by scheduling there the shows that critics give much praise to but viewers don’t massively go to? The only “veteran” American Crime could be put at the center, at 9. Right before that, they have two midseason comedies waiting in the wings with a real cable feel: Imaginary Mary & Downward Dog. Make it a combo. And put When We Rise, a period drama about the LGBT movement, at 10. ABC could use the Oscars to promote the four of them heavily for a March launch. Of course, the numbers won’t be impressive but at least ABC could proudly turn a bad night into a prestige night where numbers don’t matter that much.

 

What’s your opinion? Feel free to comment!

ABC 2016/2017 Schedule / TRAILERS & THOUGHTS

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MONDAYS

8- DANCING WITH THE STARS

9- DANCING WITH THE STARS

10- CONVICTION

TUESDAYS

8- THE MIDDLE / AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE

9- FRESH OFF THE BOAT / THE REAL O’NEALS

10- AGENTS OF SHIELD

speechless

 

WESNESDAYS

8- THE GOLDBERGS / SPEECHLESS

9- MODERN FAMILY / BLACKISH

10- DESIGNATED SURVIVOR

 


notroois

 

THURSDAYS

8- GREY’S ANATOMY

9- NOTORIOUS

10- HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER


FRIDAYS

8- LAST MAN STANDING / DR KEN

9- THE SHARK TANK

10- 20/20

 

SUNDAYS

8- ONCE UPON A TIME

9- SECRETS & LIES (Midseason TIME AFTER TIME)

10- QUANTICO

 

timeaftertime

 

 

MIDSEASON

TIME AFTER TIME

STILL STAR-CROSSED

SCANDAL

AMERICAN CRIME

WHEN WE RISE (february 2017)

THE CATCH

DOWNARD DOG

IMAGINARY MARY





THOUGHTS

What’s good:

  • EVERYTHING is right where it should be. It’s almost exactly the fantasy schedule I made and explained (HERE). So yeah, I’m very happy with this smart and solid plan.

What’s bad:

  • Nothing. Except the fact that The Real O’Neals could have gotten a better timeslot in order to improve. It’ll be more complicated at 9.30.

ABC | 2016/2017 – Fantasy Schedule

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

Dramas renewed: GREY’S ANATOMY | ONCE UPON A TIME | SCANDAL | AGENTS OF SHIELD | HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER | AMERICAN CRIME | SECRETS & LIES | QUANTICO | THE CATCH

New dramas ordered: DESIGNATED SURVIVOR | WHEN WE RISE | CONVICTION | NOTORIOUS | TIME AFTER TIME | STILL STAR-CROSSED

Comedies renewed: MODERN FAMILY | THE MIDDLE | LAST MAN STANDING | THE GOLDBERGS | BLACKISH | FRESH OFF THE BOAT | THE REAL O’NEALS | DR KEN

New comedies ordered: SPEECHLESS | DOWNWARD DOG | THE SECOND HOUSEWIFE IN WESTPORT | IMAGINARY MARY

 

ABC new president Channing Dungey didn’t prove to be very greedy (or satisfied?) in the drama department for her first pilot season with only 4 pilots getting picked-up + straight-to-series Designated Survivor. Which is even more surprising when you take into account the fact that both veterans Castle & Nashville have been cancelled. Last year, they ordered six new dramas. On the comedy side, they’re even with 4 orders, meaning a new hour of comedies could be added in the schedule. It will be an important year for ABC after the 2015/2016 disaster but let’s be realistic: it will take time before things look good again. Will the new schedule be conservative or a bit more ambitious with unexpected moves? There’s a lot of opportunities, especially with Scandal not coming back in the fall –apparently– which could lead towards a revamped TGIT. Here are my predictions.

 

MONDAYS

DANCING WITH THE STARS

DANCING WITH THE STARS

CONVICTION

Dancing With The Stars is not the hit it once was but stays very relevant on mondays against The Voice. There’s no reason to change that. The interesting thing though is that The Bachelor is stronger now in the demo when it takes over the slot between two editions. It’s one of their strongest lead-in, actually. During 8 years, only Castle aired at 10pm. Now that it’s gone, there are two options: launching a new drama or moving an older show and giving it a boost. Procedural Conviction looks like the safer bet. BUT airing Secrets & Lies season 2 then lauching something new behind The Bachelor is a convicing idea too. And what about The Catch? ABC renewed it against all odds, and with its older-skewing, a spot after DTWS would make sense. That’s a tough one. I’ll go with Conviction anyway.

 

TUESDAYS

THE MIDDLE / THE REAL O’NEALS

FRESH OFF THE BOAT / SECOND FATTEST

AGENTS OF SHIELD

Comedies are among ABC’s strongest assets right now: it’s time to finally expand to 2 hours on Tuesdays. But adding two new shows at 9 is not the best way to go. Weakened on wednesdays but still potent The Middle could move at 8 to anchor the night, followed by a compatible comedy that needs a boost: recent entry The Real O’Neals. At 9, Fresh Off The Boat can take the lead, followed by a new show, preferably Second Fattest Housewife in Wesport. At 10, Agents of SHIELD can die peacefully. ABC could also dump it to sundays but I don’t see it happening yet, sadly.

 

WEDNESDAYS

THE GOLDBERGS / SPEECHLESS

MODERN FAMILY / BLACKISH

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR

The Goldbergs is strong enough to anchor the wednesdays comedy block and help launching a new show. Speechless is the best contender for that, it’s very compatible, totally on-brand and it has potential for a long run. Modern Family & Blackish can stay together. I have the feeling Blackish could totally collapse in another timeslot. At 10, it’s go big or go home now that Nashville is gone for good. Some may argue it’s a waste not using Designated Survivor for a 9pm slot but quite frankly, as good as it looks, I’m not sure it’s such a good fit with ABC’s lineup. That timeslot is less risky. If the numbers are good, the affiliates will be happy –which is important– and ABC can give it a better exposition for season 2.

 

THURSDAYS – TGIT

GREY’S ANATOMY

NOTORIOUS

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER

What ABC will do with the TGIT is unpredictable, due to Kerry Washington’s pregnancy. It has not been confirmed that Scandal will air on midseason but it’s talked about and at this point it’s a safe bet. It opens many doors and it’s hard to tell which one ABC will choose. Designated Survivor is a debatable possibility. It would make sense if they want to make noise BUT very dangerous. Too dangerous in my opinion. It’s not a good fit at all with Grey’s Anatomy. Thursday should remain female-oriented. It makes Conviction tempting and it would be an interesting pair, but Notorious is definitely the most logical option. It should satisfy Scandal fans AND give a boost to How To Get Away With Murder if it works. Scandal could take over when the Viola Davis-starrer ends or sooner if Notorious flops.

FRIDAYS

LAST MAN STANDING / DR KEN

THE SHARK TANK

20/20

Why fixing something that doesn’t need to be fixed?

 

SUNDAYS

ONCE UPON A TIME

SECRETS & LIES

QUANTICO

Sunday is another big question mark. Once Upon A Time is not strong anymore but moving it would only make it worse. Delayed Secrets & Lies should finally air at 9, where season 1 managed to get okay numbers. Once it’s gone –it’s only 10 episodes– ABC has Still Star-Crossed & Time After Time as possibilities I would go with the first one. I have no idea what they can do with Time After Time but it needs to be taken care of properly, it has a big potential. At 10, I’m sad to tell that Quantico should stay here. ABC wasted it there for the first season, and it’s too late now to move it to another night. New viewers won’t jump on the occasion and those who are used to watch the show in +3 or +7 will probaby keep doing the same, if they don’t give up on it. It makes me sad but that’s the way it is.

 

MIDSEASON

SCANDAL / THE CATCH / STILL STAR-CROSSED / TIME AFTER TIME / AMERICAN CRIME / WHEN WE RISE / DOWNWARD DOG / IMAGINARY MARY

 

Any thoughts? Feel free to comment.

 

SEE FOX 2016/2017 FANTASY SCHEDULE

SEE NBC 2016/2017 FANTASY SCHEDULE

Conviction (ABC) pilot preview: From Agent Carter to Carter Morrison, Hayley Atwell slays!

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Created & executive produced by Liz Friedman (Jessica Jones, Dr House, Elementary). Directed & executive produced by Liz Friedlander (Stalker, The Secret Circle). Also produced by Mark Gordon (Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy, Quantico) & Nick Pepper. For ABC, ABC Studios, The Mark Gordon Company & Entertainment One. 65 pages.

Description: Carter Morrison, the brilliant but ne’er-do-well daughter of a former President, is blackmailed into taking a job as the head of Los Angeles’ newly created Conviction Integrity Unit. She, along with her team of lawyers, investigators and forensic experts, work together to examine cases where there’s credible suspicion that the wrong person may have been convicted of a crime…

With Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter, The Prisoner 2009, The Pillars of Earth), Eddie Cahill (CSI New York, Friends, Under The Dome) , Shawn Ashmore (The Following, X-Men, Quantum Break), Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead, Masters of Sex, the Knick), Manny Montana (Graceland, South Beach), Daniel DiTomasso (Witches of East End)…

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Of course, this Conviction ABC pilot has nothing to do with the NBC 2006 short-lived Law & Order:SVU spin-off series of the same name. I dunno if they plan to change the title at some point but if they don’t, it shouldn’t be a problem. Who remembers the other show? For starters, I have to answer your burning questions about this Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) at the center of the story, ‘cos I’m sure you have a ton of them. First and foremost, yes it does exist in real life. In L.A. but also in some other cities (Dallas, Baltimore, New Orleans, New York, Chicago…). For how long? It’s pretty recent actually. The L.A. office only opened last year for instance. In 2007 for Dallas. Does it work? That I don’t know, but based on a few articles I read on the internet, this effort got a reasonable amount of fanfare and also a bit of skepitiscim. Finally, is it worth making a TV show about it? I’d say yes. At least by judging this pretty decent pilot script.

Have you ever heard the term “charactercedural”? That’s the word Dick Wolf used to describe his Conviction when it launched and that’s a word I will use to describe this one as well, and many pilots this season, so it seems. It basically means a procedural that deals extensively with characters’ back stories and personal lives. Scandal started as such, before it became less and less procedural and heavily serialized. Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise also works this way. That being said, it’s mostly a matter of dosage. Straight procedurals don’t exist anymore but CBS shows like Criminals Minds, CSI:Cyber or Scorpion tend to rely on the serialized elements much less. And for a very good and not artistic reason: it sells better in syndication. It’s easier for reruns. My comparison with Scandal is not an innocent one. In many ways, Conviction resembles the Shonda Rhimes show. At least what it was at the beginning. It has something to do with the political background but not only.

I know some of you hated the first version of Scandal. I thought it had a big potential and hopefully they did the right thing making it bolder, louder, kinkier after a few episodes. I feel the same way about Conviction at this point. It has what it takes, the characters it needs, to become exciting and even addictive, but as of now, the pilot is too sober and too flat. It’s fast-paced and there are funny moments, because those guys are funnier than expected, but they lack eccentricism in my opinion. And our heroin, Carter Morrison, tries too hard being cool and detached. Plus, she’s too buzzy being sexy. Olivia Pope is sexy because she is. Because Kerry Washington is. Not because the writers absolutely wanted her to be. Let Hayley Atwell being her sexy self without underlining it with a huge pencil, please. Carter is a rebel with a cause. She doesn’t fight with her legs and fists -she doesn’t have to- but she fights with her words and her attitude. She’s like a more intellectual Jessica Jones (same writer). And she’s a mess. She stands up to her boss. Her family. Her colleagues. Any men. Any women. Everybody.

The rest of the team is composed of Sam Sullivan (Shawn Ashmore), an handsome thirtysomething who was supposed to be the boss of CIU before Carter came out of nowhere; Tess (Emily Kinney), a young blonde paralegal who looks naive but who’s not; Frankie (Manny Montana), the forensics expert, a nerd who went to prison for quite some time; and finally Maxine, an ancient LAPD detective in her forties, who’s as stubborn as Carter. On paper, the dynamics between those five totally work. The case of the week, the first the team has to tackle, is smartly chosen, timely: a black man who may have been wrongly accused of the murder of his girlfriend, 15 years ago. In the show, there’s a different type of suspense than in the vast majority of other legal dramas: it’s not whether the accused will be found guilty or not in the end, since he has already been, but is he REALLY guilty or not… It doesn’t make that huge a difference but in this television landscape filled with this type of shows, any difference is welcome.

The script of Conviction does exactly what a pilot of a “charactercedural” is supposed to: meeting the leader and her team, giving a hint about their respective secrets -cos of course they all do have some- solving the first case in the same fashion as the next 250 episodes -if they’re very lucky- and giving us enough reasons to come back (good dynamics, funny lines, gimmicks…). Check check check. Now, Conviction is left with two choices if it’s ordered to series: staying a bit basic and boring people quickly OR taking the Scandal route. We’re on ABC. I think the right answer is obvious… Hayley Atwell can slay in this. And sometimes, the right actress is just enough to turn something correct into something really good!