[Upfront Watch 2014] That's a wrap, folks.

FriendlyFace
Just a few concluding thoughts about this year's Upfronts...

A large number of the shows reported earlier as picked up by the networks did not appear on the fall schedules.  This is a continuing sign that networks are starting to abandon "new in the fall" as a model and are copying the cable networks more and more by having shows that start at various times throughout the year.  This is a very good plan-  having no new television in the summer (besides True Blood's final season, The Newsroom's final season, and Under The Dome's tragic continuance) is kind of a drag.

I was struck by the reduction in the number of comedies on the air this fall-  very few of the new shows are comedies, and very few of the listed comedies actually look funny.  With How I Met Your Mother and The Neighbors off the air, The Big Bang Theory and Parks & Recreation are still the best returning comedies, and there aren't many new contenders for making me laugh.  A to Z has some potential, as does Manhattan Love Story.  Still, there's nothing there that looks truly hilarious-  nothing like Community or 30 Rock, alas.  Even Parks & Rec is being held for midseason, which is sad.

Comics, comics, comics! Right now the major networks have seven comic-book based shows, and the cable networks have more than that.    Constantine, Gotham, Arrow, The Flash, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (god I still hate that title), Agent Carter, and iZombie. It's a great time to be a tv-and-comics geek.

The show that I am most excited about for next season is The Flash.  I like everything I've seen so far.  I like the mythology they're setting up. and the five minute trailer that was posted yesterday suggests that the particle accelerator that powered up Barry has opened the door to lots of other DC Universe superpowers.  It sounds a little bit like a Smallville-style "freak of the week" formula, but they referenced dark energy, antimatter, and X elements.  These are all components of other DC comics characters.  I think there's a great deal of potential here.  I still think they missed a great opportunity by pairing this with Supernatural- tonally, this is a mismatch.  They really ought to have paired it with Arrow.

Now we just have to wait four or five months until the September and October premiers of most of this stuff.
FriendlyFace
Well, two of 'em anyway.  The two that are on the Fall line-up.  First an extended trailer for The Flash.  I am SO excited about this show.



...and one for Jane The Virgin.  I'm so NOT excited about this show.

[Upfront Watch 2014] The CW

FriendlyFace
Boilerplate: The Upfronts that I write about are for the five main broadcast networks- NBC and FOX (Monday), ABC (Tuesday), CBS (Wednesday), and The CW (Thursday).  I don’t bother tracking the cable network Upfronts because I would never be able to stop writing.  TBS, USA, HBO, and so forth all have wildly different schedules and more new programming than you can shake a stick at. TNT is doing a Firestarter series set twenty years after the movie and some other really interesting stuff.  They're doing better at television than the original television networks now.

The CW has renewed several of their strongest shows.  They have renewed: Arrow, The Originals, Reign, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Beauty & The Beast, The 100.

These shows are in the Gone Club: Nikita, The Carrie Diaries, Star-Crossed, The Tomorrow People.

The highly anticipated spinoff to Supernatural, Supernatural: Bloodlines, did not get picked up.  They did pick up five new shows, but only two are on their initial fall schedule. The highly anticipated spinoff to Supernatural, Supernatural: Bloodlines, did not get picked up.  They're going to try for another Supernatural spin-off next year because why not.

Here's the fall schedule, with the new shows in ALL CAPS.

MONDAY
8 pm The Originals
9 pm JANE THE VIRGIN

TUESDAY
8 pm THE FLASH
9  pm Supernatural

WEDNESDAY
8 pm Arrow
9 pm The 100

THURSDAY
8 pm The Vampire Diaries
9 pm Reign

FRIDAY
8 pm Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30 pm Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9 pm America’s Next Top Model
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FriendlyFace
The CW won't release their full schedule until later today, but the Flash teaser aired last night after the season finale of Arrow, and it just has me really jazzed for this show.

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FriendlyFace
Extant: Halle Berry in a sci-fi thing that looks like AI meets Contact meets... eh, I don't even know.



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[Upfront Watch 2014] CBS

FriendlyFace
Boilerplate: The Upfronts that I write about are for the five main broadcast networks- NBC and FOX (Monday), ABC (Tuesday), CBS (Wednesday), and The CW (Thursday).  I don’t bother tracking the cable network Upfronts because I would never be able to stop writing.  TBS, USA, HBO, and so forth all have wildly different schedules and more new programming than you can shake a stick at. TNT is doing a Firestarter series set twenty years after the movie and some other really interesting stuff.  They're doing better at television than the original television networks now.

CBS renewed sixteen of their shows, which leaves little room for new stuff.  They renewed: The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI, Elementary, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, Mike & Molly, The Millers, Mom, NCIS, NCIS: LA, Person Of Interest, Two and a Half Men, The Mentalist (why? because so much was left untold?!), and 2 Broke Girls

In the Gone Club are How I Met Your Mother (::cry::), We Are Men, The Crazy Ones, Hostages, Intelligence, Bad Teacher, and Friends With Better Lives

The network did not pick up How I Met Your Dad, a hotly anticipated How I Met Your Mother spin-off.  Here's the fall schedule, with new shows in ALL CAPS.  I may post more later about CBS, because they haven't released much yet in the way of pictures or video.

MONDAY
8 pm The Big Bang Theory/2 Broke Girls
8:30 Mom
9 pm SCORPION
10 pm NCIS: LA

TUESDAY
8 pm NCIS
9  pm NCIS: NEW ORLEANS
10 pm Person of Interest

WEDNESDAY
8 pm Survivor
9 pm Criminal Minds
10 pm STALKER

THURSDAY
8 pm Thursday Night Football

THURSDAY (after football concludes)
8 pm The Big Bang Theory
8:30 pm The Millers
9 pm Two and a Half Men (final season)
9:30 THE MCCARTHYS
10 pm Elementary

FRIDAY
8 pm The Amazing Race
9 pm Hawaii Five-0
10 pm Blue Bloods

SATURDAY
8 pm Crimetime Saturday
9 pm Crimetime Saturday
10 pm 48 Hours

SUNDAY
7 pm 60 Minutes
8 pm MADAM SECRETARY
9 pm The Good Wife
10 pm CSI/CSI: CYBER

Scorpion: An eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age.  Steven says: We already have this show.  It's called Person Of Interest.  We also have another flavor of this show- CSI: Cyber, listed below.  I'm still waiting for someone on this network to show me a NEW concept this year.

NCIS: New Orleans: The two-episode backdoor pilot takes a look at NCIS' New Orleans office, which handles cases from Pensacola, Fla., through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle. New Orleans, with its rich setting of music, fun and debauchery, is a magnet for military personnel on-leave.  Scott Bakula, Zoe McLellan, Lucas Black, CCH Pounder and Paige Turco will star. Steven says: Why don't they just change the name of the netowrk to NCIS-CSI-CBS already?  Out of six new shows, one is an NCIS spinoff and one is a CSI spinoff.  Do we really need this many procedurals?

Stalker: A pair of detectives handle stalking incidents for the Threat Management Unit of the LAPD in this thriller. Dylan McDermott will star as Detective Jack Larsen, a recent transfer to the Threat Assessment Unit from the Big Apple, and Maggie Q will play Detective Beth Davis, the head of the Unit.  Steven says: Boooooring.  It seems like CBS is trying to regain their octogenarian core audience.

The McCarthy's: This family comedy is about a loud, sports-crazy Boston clan. Steven says: I'll pass.

Madam Secretary: A drama about the personal and professional life of a maverick female Secretary of State (Tea Leoni) as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life. Steven says: Why does every stinking show with a lead female who is a politician/cop/doctor/lawyer have to include "a complex family life?"  I think I'll pass.  Tea Leoni will never do a better show than Flying Blind anyway.

CSI: Cyber: Patricia Arquette stars as the head of the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI in Quantico, who is tasked with solving crimes that start online and play out in the real world. Steven says: I'm mildly curious how much work they'll have to do to make computer crime into good television.  I'll pass.

Held for midseason: They renewed the Mentalist, although I can't for a millisecond fathom why, and that will be on in midseason.  There was also one more potentially funny midseason show:

The Odd Couple: Friends alum Matthew Perry and Reno 911!'s Thomas Lennon will star in the modern take on Neil Simon's 1965 Broadway play about polar opposite roomates. Steven says: These are two of the funniest men on television, so there's great potential here.  It could also furiously suck.

So to recap, here's my personal viewing schedule so far.  It's worth noting that since I'm in Germany, I won't actually be watching them in real time.  Here's what I'll be watching in the Fall.  Midseason shows aren't indicated here:

MONDAY
8 pm Gotham [FOX]
8 pm The Big Bang Theory [CBS]
10 pm The Blacklist [NBC]
10 pm Castle [ABC]

TUESDAY
8 pm SELFIE  [ABC]
8:30 pm MANHATTAN LOVE STORY
9  pm Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  [ABC]
10 pm Person of Interest [CBS]

WEDNESDAY
10 pm Nashville  [ABC]

THURSDAY
8 pm The Big Bang Theory [CBS] (after football concludes)
9 pm Scandal  [ABC]
9:30 pm A to Z [NBC]
10 pm Elementary [CBS]

FRIDAY
9 pm Grimm [NBC]
10 pm Constantine [NBC]

SUNDAY
8 pm The Simpsons [FOX]
9 pm Family Guy [FOX]
10 pm Revenge [ABC]

More tomorrow.  There's just one Upfront left- The CW.

[Upfront Watch 2014] ABC

FriendlyFace
Boilerplate: The Upfronts that I write about are for the five main broadcast networks- NBC and FOX (Monday), ABC (Tuesday), CBS (Wednesday), and The CW (Thursday).  I don’t bother tracking the cable network Upfronts because I would never be able to stop writing.  TBS, USA, HBO, and so forth all have wildly different schedules and more new programming than you can shake a stick at.

ABC has announced their schedule.  They've renewed  Nashville, Shark Tank, The Bachelor, Dancing With The Stars, and Last Man Standing.

In the Gone Club are  Suburgatory, The Assets, Back in the Game, Betrayal, Super Fun Night, The Neighbors, Killer Women, Mixology, Lucky 7, Mind Games, and Once Upon A Time in Wonderland.

I'll miss The Neighbors.  When they first announced it two years ago, I thought it was quite ridiculous, but it turned out to be a very funny and engaging show, and guest spots from people like George Takei made it just that much funnier.  I also quite liked Super Fun Night, but mostly because I'll watch anything Liza Lapira is in.

Anyway, on with the fall schedule.  As always, new shows are in ALL CAPS.

MONDAY
8 pm Dancing with the Stars
10 pm Castle

TUESDAY
8 pm SELFIE
8:30 pm MANHATTAN LOVE STORY
9  pm Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
10 pm FOREVER

WEDNESDAY
8 pm The Middle
8:30 pm The Goldbergs
9 pm Modern Family
9:30 pm BLACK-ISH
10 pm Nashville

THURSDAY
8 pm Grey’s Anatomy
9 pm Scandal
10 pm HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER

FRIDAY
8 pm Last Man Standing
8:30 pm CRISTELA
9 pm Shark Tank
10 pm 20/20

SATURDAY
Saturday Night Football

SUNDAY
7 pm America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 pm Once Upon a Time
9 pm Resurrection
10 pm Revenge


Here's what we know so far about the new shows...

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[Upfront Watch 2014] FOX, Part Two

FriendlyFace
FOX has released their video tidbits, finally.  Some of these are for 2015-  FOX is trying a "year-round" programming model where some shows are deliberately started next year. I already posted the one for Gotham; here's the rest:

Mulaney: I like this comedian, so maybe his show won't suck.




Wayward Pines: This midseason show looks very "The Prisoner"-ish.



Empire: Still doesn't look interesting to me.



Backstrom: Look, it's House as a cop!



Gracepoint: I cannot-  CANNOT- understate how weird it is to see David Tennant speaking with an American accent.  Also, I'll pass- I don't have any interest in this show.



Hieroglyph: Another midseason show; this one looks like it might be a little interesting.  Or at least it did until I saw the fangs.  Egyptian vampires?  Really?!

[Upfront Watch 2014] FOX

FriendlyFace

Boilerplate: The Upfronts that I write about are for the five main broadcast networks- NBC and FOX (Monday), ABC (Tuesday), CBS (Wednesday), and The CW (Thursday).  I don’t bother tracking the cable network Upfronts because I would never be able to stop writing.  TBS, USA, HBO, and so forth all have wildly different schedules and more new programming than you can shake a stick at.

FOX has a long-standing tradition of killing off genre shows, but they also give more genre shows a chance than almost any other network, save perhaps The CW.    This year, they really haven't added much new to the fall schedule.

In the gone club: Almost Human, Raising Hope, Enlisted, Surviving Jack, Dads, The X-Factor, and Rake.  American Dad is moving to TBS.

FOX has renewed: Bob's Burgers, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Following, Glee, The Mindy Project, New Girl, The Simpsons, Sleepy Hollow.

Here's the fall line-up, not including midseason shows.  As always, new shows are in caps.

MONDAY
8 pm GOTHAM
9 pm Sleepy Hollow

TUESDAY
8 pm UTOPIA
9 pm New Girl
9:30 pm The Mindy Project

WEDNESDAY
8 pm Hell’s Kitchen
9 pm RED BAND SOCIETY

THURSDAY
8 pm Bones
9 pm GRACEPOINT

FRIDAY
8 pm Masterchef Junior
9 pm UTOPIA

SATURDAY
Fox Sports Saturday

SUNDAY
7 pm NFL
7:30 pm Bob’s Burgers
8 pm The Simpsons
8:30 pm Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9 pm Family Guy
9:30 pm MULANEY

I don't have details on all the new shows yet, so I'll be addeding pictures and trailers as they become available.  Here's what I do know:
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[Upfront Watch 2014] NBC

FriendlyFace
Boilerplate: The Upfronts that I write about are for the five main broadcast networks- NBC and FOX (Monday), ABC (Tuesday), CBS (Wednesday), and The CW (Thursday).  I don’t bother tracking the cable network Upfronts because I would never be able to stop writing.  TBS, USA, HBO, and so forth all have wildly different schedules and more new programming than you can shake a stick at.

NBC has released their fall schedule.  They cleaned house this year.  They cancelled nearly all of their new shows and a bunch of their returning shows:

In the gone club: Ironside, The Michael J. Fox Show, Sean Saves The World, Welcome To The Family, Crisis, Believe, Growing Up Fisher, Dracula, Revolution, and Community

I can’t say that I’m very surprised that Dracula didn’t rate a second season, and Community has been on its deathbed for a while, with the departures of Chevy Chase and Donald Glover.

NBC has renewed: The Blacklist, Parks & Recreation (final season), Grimm, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Law & Order: SVU, Hannibal, Parenthood (final season), and About A Boy.  The Blacklist and Chicago PD were the only freshman shows this year to be considered hits, and The Blacklist was renewed very early.

Here's the NBC fall lineup, with new shows in all caps.

MONDAY
8 pm The Voice
10 pm The Blacklist (STATE OF AFFAIRS premieres Nov. 17)

TUESDAY
8 pm The Voice
9 pm MARRY ME
9:30 pm About a Boy
10 pm Chicago Fire

WEDNESDAY
8 pm THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA
9 pm Law & Order: SVU
10 pm Chicago P.D.

THURSDAY
8 pm The Biggest Loser
9 pm BAD JUDGE (The Blacklist moves to the 9 o’clock hour starting Feb. 5)
9:30 pm A TO Z
10 pm Parenthood (final season)

FRIDAY
8 pm Dateline
9 pm Grimm
10 pm CONSTANTINE

The Thursday Night Comedy run that used to contain The Office and 30 Rock is no more.  Parks & Recreation was renewed for a final season, but it's not on the fall schedule.  I assume that it will be rotated in as soon as one of the other new shows fails.

The network has tapped twelve new shows, but only a handful are actually on the fall schedule.  Here's what we know about NBC's new shows.  Most of the show descriptions are lifted right from the press releases, but have been trimmed down heavily by me:

Constantine: Based on the characters in DC Comics’ stories about John Constantine, an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond. Steven says: This is everything the Keanu Reeves movie of the same name was not.  This series looks like they're trying to be very, very faithful to the original Hellblazer comic.  I approve.

Constantine_a_l

A to Z: A comedy set in an online dating company. Steven says: I’ll give this a shot just because it’s got Cristin Milioti.

A_to_Z_a_l


Allegiance: This thriller introduces the O'Connor family and their son, Alex, a decorated American war hero and CIA analyst, a true patriot who loves his country and family. Unbeknownst to him, both his parents and his sister  are part of a dormant Russian sleeper cell that has just been reactivated. Steven says:  Pass.

Allegiance_a_p

Bad Judge:  Centers on a hard-living, sexually unapologetic woman who plays with the law and whose life on the edge is constantly in balance because she also happens to be a judge in the criminal court system. Steven says:  Pass.

Bad_Judge_a_l


Marry Me: This half-hour comedy tells the story of longtime couple Annie (Happy Endings star Casey Wilson) and Jake (Ken Marino), who get engaged only to quickly realize it's harder than it looks.  Steven says:  These two are both hilarious, so there's a really good chance this will be funny.

Marry_Me_a_p


The Mysteries of Laura, about a female homicide detective and her evil twins.  Steven says: I'm pretty sure they mean the twin kids, not that the female homicide detective has an evil twin of herself.  Either way, pass.

Mysteries_of_Laura_a_l


Odyssey: Three families are torn apart when a stranded female soldier (Pushing Daisies' Anna Friel), a disillusioned corporate attorney and a political activist are pulled into the same shocking international mystery. Steven says:  I still can't tell anything about this show from the log lines or single image.  I'll wait until I have more information for this one.

Odyssey_a_l

State of Affairs: Katherine Heigl is a CIA attaché who counsels the president (Alfre Woodard) on international security. She balances her intense political responsibilities with a complicated personal life. Steven says:  Pass.  I have pretty much zero interest in watching Katherine Heigl in a Shonda Rimes joint.

State_of_Affairs_a_l


In keeping with tradition, I will end my NBC post with the schedule of shows from this year's Upfronts that I will actually watch in the fall.

MONDAY
10 pm The Blacklist

THURSDAY
9:30 pm A TO Z

FRIDAY
9 pm Grimm
10 pm CONSTANTINE

I'll be back later on with a post about FOX after they release their schedule, followed by more Upfront action tomorrow.  Here's the remaining Upfront schedule again-

Monday afternoon: FOX
Tuesday: ABC
Wednesday: CBS
Thursday: The CW

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