ABC and CBS pushed out their fall lineups with a little less fanfare than the No. 1 network (NBC — yes, really, NBC) and FOX did earlier in the week (in part because of Cannes). Still, the upfronts from two of the Big Four networks sported plenty of juicy tidbits for the upcoming fall season and beyond. Below Indiewire’s TV team Liz Shannon Miller and Ben Travers discuss their most anticipated shows, the best network shifts, and what it could all mean come the fall.
Liz: So I’m trying to come to this from a place that is not angry, because I loved “Trophy Wife” and thus have a lot of feelings right now. That said, as both a Marvel fan and a fan of period dramas, I think “Agent Carter” looks exciting. What has you jazzed, though?
Ben: I think all of the ABC shows will be judged by “They chose YOU over ‘Trophy Wife’?” this coming fall, but for now I’m trying to hold out hope for “Galavant.” While the trailer didn’t exactly bust my gut, Dan Fogelman has written two of my favorite films in the last four years, “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “Tangled.” I’ll give him the benefit of waiting to see an episode or two to judge. But those aren’t slated ’til mid-season — can “Black-Ish” be the “Modern Family” follow-up that works?
Liz: Good question! If only because ABC has spectacularly failed to find a solid follow-up to “Modern Family,” which is ridiculous, because it should be easy to pair a sweet family comedy with another — Oh, wait, ABC had one of those, and then they canceled it! I apparently still have a bunch of “Trophy Wife” feelings.
Speaking of trailers killing excitement, the “Selfie” trailer did a number on my enthusiasm for that show. Which really made me sad, because I love both Karen Gillan and John Cho.
Ben: It’s amazing how much of an impact trailers can have, and even more surprising how many look like uneven, uninspired clip shows. Why not put a little pizzazz into what will be everyone’s first look at your show? It has to help more than having Pitbull do a set for advertisers.
Over on the CBS side of things, the only new show peaking my interest is “The Odd Couple” remake. As worried as I am for another multi-cam CBS sitcom, Matthew Perry deserves to be on TV every week. Here’s hoping this material is a tad better than his previous efforts “Mr. Sunshine” and “Go On.” With Wendell Pierce (Bunk!) and Thomas Lennon on board, at least the cast is solid.
Liz: That is some old-school TV star loyalty, right there! I’m genuinely impressed.
Honestly, I keep looking at the CBS line-up trying to find a word that’s not “dusty.” I keep failing. It feels like a tired joke, the network’s reliance on procedurals and spin-offs of procedurals, and while it definitely seems to be working for them, the fact remains that I can’t say I’m interested in any of these shows. Beyond “Odd Couple,” is there anything that inspires you?
Ben: I’m with you for the fall. I’ve got a fondness for Dylan McDermott as well, but I can’t say I’m as thrilled about “Stalker” as I was “American Horror Story” Season 1. Vince Gilligan’s mid-season crime show “Battle Creek” is the only one I’ll be paying close heed. If anyone can shake the cobwebs off CBS, it’s the creator of “Breaking Bad,” and he’s enlisted some solid talent to help him out. Josh Duhamel, Janet McTeer, and Kal Penn are a formidable trio. Still, I’ll hold by belief that CBS is where creativity goes to die until shown otherwise.
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