ABC has only four fall series premieres this year and the cast of characters is very interesting! We have a former Miss India and Bollywood star, an actual doctor, medical license and all, my teen crush Sonny Crockett and my childhood favorite, Miss Piggy. (And the rest of the Muppets too.)
With this line-up of mostly returning programs and only four debutants, ABC can easily support its claim of stability. ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee said that the network is now the most modern network. Network prime is no longer the time for “least objectionable storytelling” and ABC is the leader of the movement away from bland. Since the annual network re-birth is a time for optimism, let’s move on to the line-up.
ABC starts off the week with the timeless Dancing with the Stars and Castle. Tuesday presents the first new show The Muppets at 8PM paired with Fresh Off the Boat and then Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D at 9PM. Tuesday at 10PM has the Shark Tank companion program Beyond the Tank, which started airing this May. There are no changes on Wednesday: The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Black-ish and Nashville. Note that there are not a lot of changes on any network on Wednesday so it should be interesting to see how that plays out. There are also no ABC changes on Thursday with the successful Shonda Rhimes line-up of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. Friday has Last Man Standing leading into the new series Dr. Ken, then Shark Tank and 20/20. Saturday night is college football and the week wraps up on Sunday with AFHV, Once Upon a Time and the network’s big hopes: Blood and Oil at 9PM followed by Quantico at 10PM.
ABC New Shows
THE MUPPETS, Tuesday 8-8:30PM, Comedy The Muppets are back. They are starring in a mockumentary that delves into their private lives as they join together to produce a late-night talk show. The Muppets will be written and produced by Bill Prady of Big Bang Theory and Bob Kushell of 3rd Rock. COMMENTS: The show is targeted toward adults, not children. I may be wrong but I believe two things will have to happen for The Muppets to have a chance. It will need to target families with children, not specifically adults. And it will need to pull in a variety of stars. In an interview with Vulture.com in May, Bill Prady stated that they have already gotten “a lot of incredibly enthusiastic interest” from people who want to be a part of it.
DR. KEN, Friday 8:30-9PM, Comedy Ken Jueng (The Hangover and Community) stars as a general practitioner and family man. At work, he’s an unconventional, no-nonsense and spot-on doctor but at home he’s loving and just tries to do the right thing. And at either place, he is a time bomb waiting to get himself into trouble. COMMENTS: My opinion is that this has the potential to be one of those sitcoms like Yes Dear, King of Queens or even its lead-in Last Man Standing. They’re not perfect or hysterical but manage to slide onto the schedule year after year, seemingly unnoticed. As a buyer, these are usually nice, affordable, available options to add to a schedule. However, according to my co-workers’ horrible reviews such as “Jueng is carrying the show by himself,” “he’s visibly trying too hard,” and “even fans of Jueng couldn’t bear to watch it,” it seems more likely to crash and burn.
BLOOD AND OIL, Sunday 9-10PM, Drama This is an exciting drama about current day North Dakota where millions in oil can be made or lost on any day. The show is filled with extremes: unimaginable riches to ‘can’t catch a break’ poor, hard worker to thug, love to deceit. Blood and Oil stars Don Johnson as the patriarch owner of a successful oil company, Scott Michael Foster (ABC Family’s Greek) is his disowned son and Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl) is the man who wants to be the next overnight success. COMMENTS: The show has so much potential if only it can find someone not already tuned into football or The Good Wife. The setting, oil rigs in North Dakota, certainly isn’t over used. The actors are all beautiful and talented. And the drama is definitely there.
QUANTICO, Sunday 10-11PM, Drama Quantico is a thriller filled with twists and turns surrounding the lives of several FBI agents in training. The story moves back and forward between the beginning of training and the events following an attack on New York City where it is suspected that one of them is involved. COMMENTS: Quantico is very similar to Blood and Oil in that it looks like a great show that is faced with tough competition.
ABC Mid-Season Replacements
THE REAL O’NEALS This is a sitcom about how a seemingly perfect family has flaws just like other families. Now that they’ve admitted them, they’re going to try to start living, for real.
UNCLE BUCK Mike Epps plays Buck, a man who has never really been able to pull it together and be an adult. Buck’s brother and sister-in-law think they have it all figured out but when they need an emergency babysitter and are forced to turn to Buck, in the way of all feel-good, family sitcoms, they realize they can learn a lot from each other.
THE CATCH This is the latest Shonda Rhimes production about a very intense fraud investigator, Alice Martin. One day the tables are turned on Alice when she finds out that she’s the victim and her fiancé had set her up just to steal her savings.
THE FAMILY Starring Joan Allen (The Bourne movies) as the strong head of the household and mayor of Red Pines, Maine. The family is first aggrieved and broken when the youngest child goes missing, and then shocked again when he returns to Red Pines years later. There are secrets and mysteries at every turn.
WICKED CITY This series planned to have a limited time storyline with a different case each run. This current season, which is set to start at the end of October on Tuesdays at 10PM, takes place on Sunset Strip in LA in 1982 where a team that includes police and a budding journalist try to find a serial killer.
OF KINGS AND PROFITS Apparently this show is going to be awesome but for now, the word is they scrapped the original pilot and are refilming it. It will be a biblical drama, based on the Book of Samual, and will tell the story of King Saul with unfolding stories of power, ambition and betrayal.