Tag: designated survivor

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

Designated Survivor (ABC) preview: Kiefer Sutherland is the new US president in a brainier 24

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Created by David Guggenheim (Safe House, Stolen, Bad Boys 3). Produced by Mark Gordon (Quantico, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds), Simon Kinberg (X-Men, Deadpool, The Martian), David Guggenheim, Kiefer Sutherland & Suzan Bymel (Touch). For The Mark Gordon Company, ABC Studios, Entertainment One, Entertainment 360 & Genre Films. 60 pages.

Description: Tom Kirkman, a family man and lower level United States Cabinet member, is suddenly appointed President after a catastrophic terrorist attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession. Unprepared, over one night, he moves in the White House with his wife and kids and starts his new job, the most important and scrutinized in the free world…

With Kiefer Sutherland (24, Touch), Kal Penn (Dr House, 24), Nathasha McElhone (Californication), Maggie Q (Nikita, Stalker), Italia Ricci (Supergirl, Chasing Life), Adan Canto (The Following)…

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Protecting the US presidents, fighting against terrorism and saving the country, as well as the whole world, was not enough for Kiefer Sutherland anymore. He doesn’t want to be a part of 24: Legacy -except by keeping his executive producing credit to get some more money out of the lucrative franchise, fair enough- but he surely wants to be on television again. And this time, HE will be the president. And he will fight against terrorism and save the country and the whole world again. Designated Survivor was designed for the actor, or so it seems, and could be a new game-changer in his career. It’s better than Touch, the last series he did for FOX with Heroes‘ creator Tim Kring, which was a trainwreck after a promising start. The show could also be better than The Blacklist, where he was asked to play the lead but turned it down ultimately (then it was given to James Spader), which would be a way better show if it was less of a procedural and more serialized. But is it such a good idea for Kiefer Sutherland to come back in a conspiracy thriller drama? Can we forget Jack Bauer while watching him as Tom Kirkman? That’s definitely a challenge. One he’s up for.

The Designated Survivor project sparked a bidding war among the networks, before landing at ABC. Which is unexpected. FOX, NBC or even CBS looked like safer homes. But it’s an interesting twist and we can already envision it as a companion series for Quantico on sundays, if it’s renewed for a second season. They tackle the same current issues, but one through the FBI lens, the other through the White House. They could even make a crossover. Especially since both are produced by Mark Gordon. And if Quantico is cancelled, just make Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) Tom Kirkman’s personal bodyguard! They’re not written the same way though, Designated Survivor being a more traditional drama with less jumps back and forth in time and no multiple twists, and it suits it well. But don’t expect as much action as in 24.

As you can imagine, the US president does not carry a gun and doesn’t run everywhere everytime. There are people who do that for him and we don’t meet them, at least for now. Even the explosion that kills everyone is not directly shown. Good for the budget. A bit disappointing for the audience. There’s smoke afar. Images of chaos on television. But since our hero is not in the heart of the attack -that’s the whole idea, that’s why he’s the only government member who survives- the writer does his best to make us feel the urgency of the situation from a distant point of view. And everything goes really fast. It only takes 9 pages before Kirkman realizes he might become the new president and the point of view suddenly changes. It works, it’s exciting. You don’t necessarily need huge explosions to satisfy an audience. And then, it’s a “15 hours earlier” act. Time to breathe a little. And we’re right in the middle of a family drama. In fact, it works the same way as Madam Secretary‘s pilot two years ago, but with higher stakes. We meet Jessica, his wife; his two kids, Leo and Penny; his chief of staff and longtime friend Emily; and we discover Tom was about to be fired from his job as the head of the housing and urban development department. Little by little, step by step, the thrilling family drama gets more and more intense and… political. And that’s where it really differs from 24 and Quantico.

Of course, there will be an investigation on the Capitol bombing, lead by Hannah Watts, the FBI agent in charge. And we can imagine it won’t be the last terrostist attack in the country. That’s for the thrill and the action. But the real story here, the one that’s the most interesting in my opinion, is about what’s happening inside the White House in the midst of this never seen before crisis; the political game between the new appointed president -Kirkman was supposed to be neutral, neither a Republican or a Democrat, but he will have to choose a side now- and the opposition, but also between the people who worked with Tom before and the new ones he has no choice but to work with now. There’s a diverse and eclectic team around him: Aaron Shore, the former White House Deputy Chief; Harry Cochrane, a five star general in his sixties; Seth Wheeler, a genius speechwriter in his twenties; and of course Emily. Their interactions with Tom are energetic, sometimes funny, especially with Seth -they meet in the bathroom and there’s vomite involved- and makes the show entertaining as well as riveting. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Is Kiefer able to do that?

The whole concept of Designated Survivor is so strong it could only turn into an exciting first hour of television (with the right persons involved). The real challenge now is to maintain this level of ambition and efficiency moving forward, while giving to the secondary characters the space they need and deserve to grow. It can’t be “the Kiefer Sutherland as president of the United States show”. It has to be an ensemble show with Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman at the center. Not the same thing. It has to be more The West Wing than 24, to be clearer. Not that it could ever compare to The West Wing though. A brainier 24