Well, we know it’s been a long time and that we promised to get all of these done for each network the same week that we announced schedules but you know what? Sometimes we just suck. We’re unreliable and we break promises. There… we said it.
So, here we go: ABC’s new shows for the 2012 – 2013. ABC included so much production information in their press release that it’s going to take up the whole blog to repost it so if you want more info about these new shows, go here.
666 Park Avenue — At the ominous address of 666 Park Avenue, anything you desire can be yours. Everyone has needs, desires and ambition. For the residents of The Drake, these will all be met, courtesy of the building’s mysterious owner, Gavin Doran (Terry O’Quinn). But every Faustian contract comes with a price. When Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable), an idealistic young couple from the Midwest, are offered the opportunity to manage the historic building, they not only fall prey to the machinations of Doran and his mysterious wife, Olivia (Vanessa Williams), but unwittingly begin to experience the shadowy, supernatural forces within the building that imprison and endanger the lives of the residents inside. Sexy, seductive and inviting, The Drake maintains a dark hold over all of its residents, tempting them through their ambitions and desires, in this chilling new drama that’s home to an epic struggle of good versus evil.
Our Take: John Locke is now Satan, himself… whoopty doo! Honestly, we were skeptical to begin with when we read the show description but we were completely non-plussed when we saw the trailer and it turns out that we aren’t the only ones. The folks at Comic-Con in San Diego had a chance to screen the pilot last week and their reaction was equally as mixed. Park does look like it has potential, but it looks very slow with many of the same horror themes we’ve seen many, many times before. We’ll certainly give it a shot but it had better be a lot more compelling than it appears.
Chance of Renewal: This type of genre programming has been finding some moderate success lately and if it gets the ball rolling out-of-the-gate, it could hook a loyal fanbase very quickly, but it’s got to move fast or genre-skeptical audiences will stop watching it after a couple of episodes.
Last Resort – 500 feet beneath the ocean’s surface, the U.S. ballistic missile submarine Colorado receive their orders. Over a radio channel, designed only to be used if their homeland has been wiped out, they’re told to fire nuclear weapons at Pakistan.
Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) demands confirmation of the orders only to be unceremoniously relieved of duty by the White House. XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) finds himself suddenly in charge of the submarine and facing the same difficult decision. When he also refuses to fire without confirmation of the orders, the Colorado is targeted, fired upon, and hit. The submarine and its crew find themselves crippled on the ocean floor, declared rogue enemies of their own country. Now, with nowhere left to turn, Chaplin and Kendal take the sub on the run and bring the men and women of the Colorado to an exotic island. Here they will find refuge, romance and a chance at a new life, even as they try to clear their names and get home.
Our Take: Seriously… no joke. This is on your television this fall. Shawn Ryan returns to television in what looks like to us perhaps to not only be the best new series this season, but the best new American series in a decade. This looks beyond fantastic with an all-star cast and production team that puts feature films to shame. You wanted a high-octane thriller and replacement for 24, well you got one. Now, stop complaining.
Chance of Renewal: We have a hard time believing that audiences won’t instantly become attached to this. But then again, let’s be honest; American audiences in general are pretty stupid.
Mistresses – Welcome to a provocative and thrilling drama about the scandalous lives of a sexy and sassy group of four girlfriends, each on her own path to self-discovery, as they brave the turbulent journey together.
Meet Savi (Alyssa Milano), a successful career woman working toward the next phase in her life — both professional and personal — simultaneously bucking for partner at her law firm while she and her husband, Harry (Brett Tucker), try to start a family of their own. Savi’s free-spirited and capricious baby sister, Josselyn (Jes Macallan), couldn’t be more different – living single, serial dating and partying, and regularly leaning on her big sister along the way. Their common best friend, April (Rochelle Aytes), a recent widow and mother of two, is rebuilding her life after tragedy and learning to move forward, with the support and guidance of her closest girlfriends. And friend Karen (Yunjin Kim), a successful therapist with her own practice, reconnects with the girls after her involvement in a complicated relationship with a patient goes far too deep.
“Mistresses” is a salacious new drama about a group of friends caught in storms of excitement and self-discovery, secrecy and betrayal, and bound by the complex relationships they’ve created.
Our Take: This show is offensive on every level possible and no one at ABC seems to have a problem with it. We hate everyone on this show including the now very fat Alyssa Milano (Seriously… WTF happened?). The show is a deliberate affront to marriage that seeks to give some kind of glory, stature and moral high-ground to women who intentionally violate the sanctity of marriage. Sorry, but we don’t feel sorry for you that a married man chose his wife over you, in fact we think that the only redeeming thing that this show could possibly do would have to have all of these characters off themselves – and graphically – in prime time. We were waiting for a vomit-inducing show and we thought that NBC’s The New Normal might fit that bill. Nope… not even close. The New Normal is Shakespeare compared to this. Congratulations, ABC… YOU WIN!!!
Chance of Renewal: This is another failed attempt to try to recreate the magic of the now canceled Desperate Housewives and to bring a sexually-charged British drama to an American audience that hasn’t shown any interest in them. ABC tried the former course of action last year with GCB and it didn’t work and GCB was far less offensive. They need to learn that the key to recreating that kind of success isn’t by making the characters and situations more salacious, it’s by making the characters likable and the storylines well-written. Stop just trying to push the envelope. It’s cheap and it’s lazy. This is a midseason replacement and we expect ABC will try to shove it in on Sunday like they did with GCB for the DH nostalgia audience or if Scandal tanks (as we suspect it might) it will go into that timeslot on Thursday. Regardless, we don’t expect this show to last beyond its original 13 episode order and we really don’t expect it to last more than five or six episodes before it’s dumped into the Saturday night burn-off slot.
Nashville – Chart-topping Rayna James (Connie Britton) is a country legend who’s had a career any singer would envy, though lately her popularity is starting to wane. Fans still line up to get her autograph, but she’s not packing the arenas like she used to. Rayna’s record label thinks a concert tour, opening for up-and-comer Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), the young and sexy future of country music, is just what Rayna needs. But scheming Juliette can’t wait to steal Rayna’s spotlight. Sharing a stage with that disrespectful, untalented, little vixen is the last thing Rayna wants to do, which sets up a power struggle for popularity. Could the undiscovered songwriting talent of Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen) be the key to helping Rayna resurrect her career?
Complicating matters, Rayna’s wealthy but estranged father, Lamar Hampton (Powers Boothe), is a powerful force in business, Tennessee politics, and the lives of his two grown daughters. His drive for power results in a scheme to back Rayna’s handsome husband, Teddy, in a run for Mayor of Nashville, against Rayna’s wishes.
Our Take: Is it just us, or is this the country music version of NBC’s Smash? Proving that there is really hardly anything original in network prime-time drama, any more, Nashville, recycles a million and one film and television clichés in order to hobble together a weekly soap that all things considered, although not our cup of tea, doesn’t look particularly awful.
Chance of Renewal: Looks just compelling enough to attract a broad audience and we are pretty confident in saying that this will probably be a big hit.
Red Widow — When Marta Walraven’s (Radha Mitchell) husband is brutally murdered, her first instinct is to protect her three young children. Her husband’s business partners – Irwin Petrova (Wil Traval), Marta’s scheming and untrustworthy brother, and Mike Tomlin (Lee Tergesen) — were involved in an illegal drug business deal with rival gangsters, and Marta’s husband paid the ultimate price. She already knows the violent world of organized crime; her father, Andrei Petrova (Rade Sherbedzija), and loyal bodyguard Luther (Luke Goss) are gangsters too. She and her sister Kat (Jaime Ray Newman) had always wished for a safer life without bloodshed and fear. For a while Marta lived happily as a stay at home housewife in San Marta’s cooperation, FBI Agent James Ramos (Mido Hamada) now promises justice.
Marta discovers a tenacity she never knew she had, and takes on the gangsters and the FBI to unveil the truth about her husband’s death. As she digs into this dark underworld, she’ll test her own strength, relying on her resourcefulness, determination and family ties like never before. To get out of this mob, she needs to beat the bad guys at their own deadly game.
Our Take: First, this isn’t 2000 and sorry, but since The Sopranos, audiences have kind of lost interest in shows revolving around organized crime (which is yet another reason why FOX’s The Mob Doctor will fail… along with the fact that it looks stupid.). Second, seriously what the crap is this show about? We cannot discern any plot or main premise for this show from the trailer or show description. It’s like it’s just a bunch of ideas for a show about what a drama about organized crime should have in it thrown up on a white board and then filmed.
Chance of Renewal: Very difficult to tell because it’s nearly impossible to make any kind of assessment based on the show description and the trailer. Right now, we’re leaning toward “not likely” but again, there’s so little information to go on that we really have no idea. We’re looking forward to watching it just because we’re so damned curious as to what’s going on in this confused madness.
Zero Hour – As the publisher of a paranormal enthusiast magazine, Modern Skeptic, Hank Galliston has spent his career following clues, debunking myths and solving conspiracies. A confessed paranormal junkie, his motto is “logic is the compass.” But when his beautiful wife, Laila (Jacinda Barrett), is abducted from her antique clock shop, Hank gets pulled into one of the most compelling mysteries in human history, stretching around the world and back centuries.
Contained in one of his wife’s clocks is a treasure map, and what it leads to could be cataclysmic. Now it’s up to Hank to decipher the symbols and unlock the secrets of the map, while ensuring the answers don’t fall into the wrong hands – a man they call White Vincent (Michael Nyqvist). With his two young associates, Rachel (Addison Timlin) and Arron (Scott Michael Foster), in tow, along with Becca Riley, a sexy FBI agent (Carmen Ejogo), Hank will lead them on a breathless race against the clock to find his wife and save humanity.
Our Take: Mother Goose is back on TV, folks! That’s right, the least likely leading man in the history of cinema and television, ER‘s Anthony Edwards, returns to prime time midseason for what honestly looks like a fantastic and epic action/adventure SciFi/supernatural series with a whole ton of mystery and suspense. Just based on the trailer, Edwards’ everyman persona would seem to fit the bill for this role perfectly.
Chance of Renewal: As great as this looks, American audiences tend to shy away from shows as grand as this on network television and they especially shy away from serials. That being said, ABC is smartly debuting this midseason which means a shortened schedule (less for audiences to keep up with and minimal hiatuses) and less competition from premiering shows. So, 50/50 on this one, however ABC’s smart scheduling may just pay off.
How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) – Polly (Sarah Chalke) is a single mom who’s been divorced for almost a year. The transition wasn’t easy for her, especially in this economy. So, like a lot of young people living in this new reality, she and her daughter, Natalie (Rachel Eggleston), have moved back home with her eccentric parents, Elaine (Elizabeth Perkins) and Max (Brad Garrett). But Polly and her parents look at life through two different lenses. Polly’s too uptight. Her parents are too laid back. Polly’s conservative when it comes to dating (no action, whatsoever), while her parents are still sexually adventurous. They think Polly turned out okay, so what’s the big deal? Well, they say it takes a village to raise a child…and in Polly’s case, this village is on fire. But with help from her best friend Gregg (Orlando Jones), her lovable yet irresponsible ex-husband Julian (Jon Dore) and her cool and fun assistant Jenn (Rebecca Delgado Smith) Polly takes her first steps toward getting a life, starting with a social one.
Our Take: Our regular readers know how much we hate comedies but this actually looks very funny. Good writing and an excellent cast can go a long way. Not really a whole lot more to say.
Chance of Renewal: This should be a hit considering that it’s in the same vein as ABC’s recent comedy successes.
Malibu Country – When Reba Gallagher (Reba) discovers that her husband, Bobby, (Jeffrey Nordling) a country music legend, has a cheatin’ heart, her world is turned upside down. Reba dreamt of becoming a country star herself, but put her career on hold to raise a family. Now she’s questioning all of that, big-time. With the ink on her divorce barely dry, Reba packs up her sharp-tongued mother, Lillie May (Lily Tomlin), her two kids and the U-Haul and heads for sunny California to begin a new chapter. Leaving Nashville in the rear view, they start over at their Malibu residence — the last remaining asset they have. Reba gets to know her new open and loving neighbor Kim (Sara Rue) and her son, Sage, but also discovers that relocation to Southern California is going to be quite an adjustment for a traditional southern belle: the West Coast seems like the polar opposite of Music City, and Reba feels like an outsider. Still, with the support of her family she sets about finding her voice, jump-starting her music career with the help of her new music agent, Geoffrey (Jai Rodriguez), and embracing this chance to begin again.
Our Take: Not for nothing, but hasn’t this show been done before and isn’t it a bit self-aggrandizing and arrogant to not only keep having Hollywood write shows specifically for you, with the lead character’s name the same as yours, pretty much based on your idealized version of yourself as just a regular person despite the fact that you’re an international celebrity and multi-millionaire? Reba, we’re sick of you and so is America (except for the dopiest of country western fans). You don’t bring anything to the table and you really never have (except for the fact that you were kind of hot one time and we guess you could sing). No one’s impressed with your sassiness anymore. It’s tired and so is the whole fish-out-of-water-southerner-moves-to-upscale-southern-California-and-shows-them-a-thing-or-two-about-good-old-country-wisdom-and-hilarity-ensues premise. The first time it was tried was on the Beverly Hillbillies and it’s the last time it worked. Sorry, Reba, but we knew Jed Clampett, and you’re no Jed Clampett.
Chance of Renewal: This show looks absolutely horrible and we sincerely hope that audiences are smart enough to see through the Reba crap and recognize this show for what it is: a pathetic attempt at resurrecting a TV career of someone who shouldn’t have had one to begin with using the typical stupid crap that all the sitcoms use while throwing in a little southern zing in for flavor. We predict that Malibu Country will get a full season and then be canceled. Sorry, but not even the return of Lily Tomlin can save this.
The Neighbors – How well do you know your neighbors?
Meet the Weavers, Debbie (Jami Gertz) and Marty (Lenny Venito). Marty, in hopes of providing a better life for his wife and three kids, recently bought a home in Hidden Hills, a gated New Jersey townhome community with its own golf course. Hidden Hills is so exclusive that a house hasn’t come on the market in 10 years. But one finally did and the Weavers got it!
It’s clear from day one that the residents of Hidden Hills are a little different. For starters, their new neighbors all have pro-athlete names like Reggie Jackson (Tim Jo), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Toks Olagundoye), Dick Butkis (Ian Patrick) and Larry Bird (Simon Templeman). Over dinner, Marty and his family discover that their neighbors receive nourishment through their eyes by reading books, rather than eating. The Weavers soon learn that the entire community is comprised of aliens from Zabvron, where the men bear children and everyone cries green goo from their ears.
The Zabvronians have been stationed on Earth for the past 10 years, disguised as humans, awaiting instructions from home, and the Weavers are the first humans they’ve had the opportunity to know. As it turns out, the pressures of marriage and parenthood are not exclusive to planet Earth. Two worlds will collide with hilarious consequences as everyone discovers they can “totally relate” and learn a lot from each other.
Our Take: Stupid, dopey, and corny yet seemingly charming, heart-warming and endearing at the same time. We thought this was cute yet utterly repulsive. Kind of an odd dichotomy for an odd little show.
Chance of Renewal: The biggest problem with this is that although it may actually be decent, the weak casting of primarily no-names isn’t gong to give audiences a reason to stick around and find out. Canceled after six episodes.
The Family Tools – Mixing family with business is never easy, and Jack Shea (Kyle Bornheimer) is about to learn that lesson the hard way. When Jack’s father, Tony (J.K. Simmons), has a heart attack and is forced to hand over the keys to his beloved handyman business, Jack is eager to finally step up and make his father proud. Unfortunately Jack’s past career efforts have been less than stellar, so everyone seems to be waiting for him to fail. His new job isn’t made any easier by Tony’s rebellious, troublemaker assistant, Darren (Edi Gathegi), and Darren’s flirtatious sister, Liz (Danielle Nicolet), who works at the local hardware store. Yet with the support of his Aunt Terry (Leah Remini) and his oddball yet endearing cousin Mason (Johnny Pemberton), Jack Shea may just find his true calling right at home.
Our Take: Oddly enough, but even though the trailer isn’t anything special (and the fact that we generally hate comedies), for some reason we have this gut feeling that this will be very funny.
Chance of Renewal: Unlike The Neighbors, the casting on The Family Tools is brilliant and we expect that it will at least complete its first season. It will be on the bubble until May and we give it a 50/50 chance at renewal.