ABC has chosen stability for the second year running. There are five new shows premiering in the fall — fewer than in past seasons. Monday starts with the twenty-third season of Dancing with the Stars leading into the new drama Conviction. The Middle moves to Tuesday to anchor the night, leading into the new comedy American Housewife. It’s been a few years since we saw this strategy but 9-10PM will continue with comedies — Fresh Off the Boat and The Real O’Neals — and the night will end with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Wednesday is steady with four comedies and a drama but the line-up is slightly altered to replace The Middle and Nashville: comedies are The Goldbergs, Speechless, Modern Family and Black-ish followed by the new drama Designated Survivor. Thursday has Grey’s Anatomy going into its thirteenth season; the new show Notorious is next while Scandal is taking a break, and then How to Get Away with Murder. Friday continues with the grouping of Last Man Standing and Dr. Ken, Shark Tank and 20/20, no changes there. Saturday has college football. Sunday switches out last year’s quickly canceled Blood and Oil for Secrets and Lies so the line-up is America’s Funniest Home Videos, Once Upon a Time, Secrets and Lies and the sophomore hit Quantico.
ABC New Shows
CONVICTION, Monday 9-10PM, Drama Conviction stars Haley Atwell as a smart strong-willed lawyer and daughter of a former U.S. president who would rather be partying and making her own rules than doing what’s expected of her. After crossing the line one too many times, she is forced by the DA to take the lead position in a new task force that will investigate convictions that may have wrongly put innocents in jail. She expects to be just a figurehead but after the first case frees a young man after ten years of imprisonment, she realizes she might have found her calling. COMMENTS: The show is good. It’s a bad-ass who rights the wrongs. It’s hard to find much fault with it. However, with so much fighting for potential viewers’ attention, Conviction will need more than a good plot.
AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, Tuesday 8:30-9PM, Comedy Westport, Connecticut — home to huge mansions, money everywhere and beautiful, cookie-cutter people. This does not include the Otto family, who is only there for the good school district. The mom’s full time job is making sure her family remains “normal” and grows up to have good values. COMMENTS: Katy Mixon plays Mom and she is real, likeable and funny. You just want to be her friend. It’s a good cast and the writers have written in enough sub plots that it shouldn’t get old fast. With The Middle as a lead-in, American Housewife should pull some solid ratings.
SPEECHLESS, Wednesday 8:30-9PM, Comedy Speechless, staring Minnie Driver, is about a family with a special-needs teen. Minnie Driver’s character is the mother who is almost manic in her struggle to make sure her son has the best of everything. This can be hard on the rest of the family and really problematic for anyone who tries to get in her way. COMMENTS: This touching dramedy is going to have criers like me tearing up and laughing at the same time. Scott Silveri, who wrote and produced the pilot, comes from Friends, another show that had us laughing and crying simultaneously. ABC really wants this to work and has given it the cushy spot between The Goldbergs and Modern Family.
DESIGNATED SURVIVOR, Wednesday 10-11PM, Drama The incomprehensible happens and everyone in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government is killed in a bombing during a State of the Union address. Everyone except the person designated to take the lead, hold the country together, and keep America safe during a terrifying time. What happens when that person has neither political nor military experience? He is going to need to make really tough decisions while gaining trust and proving himself at the same time. It stars Keifer Sutherland, Maggie Q and Kal Penn. COMMENTS: YouTube viewer comment from the trailer: “how can you go wrong with Jack Bauer and Nakita?!” In addition to the strong cast, Designated Survivor has a lot of great elements: intense drama, power struggles, a humble and morally strong president. Oh, and, we still don’t know who pulled off the attack. There are some plot holes but this is one of the shows everyone will be talking about this fall.
NOTORIOUS, Thursday 9-10PM, Drama Notorious is a fast-paced, behind-the-scenes drama about the producer of the nation’s top news show. She decides what is the news and what viewers’ opinions will be. COMMENTS: Notorious stars Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly) and Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me). This was well received by my team for a good cast that works well together and for being very timely in a year filled with politics, scandal and hot national topics.
ABC Mid-Season Replacements
TIME AFTER TIME H.G. Wells has actually built his time machine and it works. But before he has the courage to use it, his associate uses it and goes to the future. The associate is Jack the Ripper. H.G. Wells must follow him to the future and stop him from continuing his murderous spree.
STILL STAR CROSSED This Shondaland period drama picks up after Romeo and Juliet’s fateful deaths with the continued war between the Montagues and Capulets. Amid the blame and the fighting, they must find a way to unite to save their city.
DOWNWARD DOG This is a story about the relationship between a dog and his owner. There are two sides to every relationship. We watch as Nan struggles with her job, friends, boyfriend. And then we get to hear Martin’s side, about Nan’s lack of respect for his schedule et cetera, as he talks to the camera.
IMAGINARY MARY Staring Jenna Elfman, Imaginary Mary is a comedy about an imaginary best friend from childhood who reappears. Mary’s ideals are the same as when they were children but Alice is trying to live her adult life, including committing to a relationship with a great guy. Getting caught talking to your imaginary friend is never a good thing.