ABC went into its upfront presentation today in the same place it has been for the last couple of years, in fourth place. While their percentage of viewer decline has been way less than that of the other networks, they still can’t catch a break as all their new dramas and comedies have failed terribly and not even Shonda Rhimes can save them. Their biggest problems are Tuesdays, Thursdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 11 pm and it doesn’t really seem like they tried to change much on the schedule. The biggest change occurs on Tuesday and Thursday. They moved their comedy block an hour earlier on Tuesdays to start the night off. That’s good as it won’t have to go up against FOX’s comedy hour at 9 pm. They moved The Goldbergs to the time slot it should have been in from the beginning, after The Middle. Maybe if they had done that last fall, along with giving Trophy Wife the post Modern Family slot, that show wouldn’t have sunk the way it did. Yes, I’m a little bitter. See here and here. They have also done what I figured they were going to on Thursdays and just made it a Shonda Rhimes night of television. Moving Grey’s Anatomy to 8 pm is definitely going to be a huge challenge as it will be going up against the highest rated comedy on television, The Big Bang Theory. That show could put a huge dent into the ratings of ABC’s highest rated drama. They also moved Scandal to the 9 pm hour which I think would have worked except NBC will be moving The Blacklist to that time slot making it a very competitive hour. For Sunday they finally did what they should have done two years ago, which was move Revenge back to it’s 10 pm time slot. Check out all of these changes in the new Fall 2014 schedule.
New shows in bold.
8:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars
10:00 p.m. Castle
8:00 p.m. Selfie
8:30 p.m. Manhattan Love Story
9:00 p.m. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
10:00 p.m. Forever
8:00 p.m. The Middle
8:30 p.m. The Goldbergs
9:00 p.m. Modern Family
9:30 p.m. Black-ish
10:00 p.m. Nashville
8:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy
9:00 p.m. Scandal
10:00 p.m. How to Get Away With Murder
8:00 p.m. Last Man Standing
8:30 p.m. Cristela
9:00 p.m. Shark Tank
10:00 p.m. 20/20
8:00 p.m. Saturday Night Football
7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos
8:00 p.m. Once Upon a Time
9:00 p.m. Resurrection
10:00 p.m. Revenge
Cancelled – The Assets, Back in the Game, Betrayal, Killer Women, Lucky 7, Mind Games, Mixology, The Neighbors, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Suburgatory, Super Fun Night and Trophy Wife
The network picked up 12 new series, 6 comedies and 6 dramas. I’m liking the look and entire cast of Black-ish. And it totally makes for a great show for the post Modern Family time slot. The other ones that I’m all in for just from the first look are the Shonda Rhimes produced, How to Get Away With Murder and The Whispers. Overall ABC picked some great pilots. They might be my favorite so far. Here are all the show descriptions and trailers if available.
American Crime – All over the news are reports about a young couple in Modesto, California, who were attacked in their home. Matt Skokie, a war vet, was killed, and his wife, Lily, is unconscious, barely hanging on. Both sets of parents are at her bedside hoping for a miracle while four suspects are about to be arrested. The case sends shock waves into the community stirring up tensions across racial lines in this gritty drama—from the point of view of the victims. “American Crime” stars Felicity Huffman as Barb, Timothy Hutton as Russ, W. Earl Brown as Tom, Richard Cabral as Hector Tonz, Caitlin Gerard as Aubry, Benito Martinez as Alonzo Gutierrez, Penelope Ann Miller as Eve, Elvis Nolasco as Carter and Johnny Ortiz as Tony Gutierrez.
Forever – Doctor Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), New York City’s star medical examiner, has a secret. He doesn’t just study the dead to solve criminal cases, he does it to solve the mystery that has eluded him for 200 years—the answer to his own inexplicable immortality. This long life has given Henry remarkable observation skills which impresses his new partner, Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza). Each week, a new case and their budding friendship will reveal layers of Henry’s long and colorful past. Only his best friend and confidant, Abe (Judd Hirsch) knows Henry’s secret. Stars Ioan Gruffudd as Henry, Alana De La Garza as Det. Jo Martinez, Barbara Eve Harris as Lt. Marcia Roark, Donnie Keshawarz as Detective Hanson, Joel David Moore as Lucas, and Judd Hirsch as Abe.
How To Get Away With Murder – The brilliant, charismatic and seductive Professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) gets entangled with four law students from her class, “How to Get Away with Murder.” Little do they know that they will have to apply what they learned to real life, in this masterful, sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, executive producers of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Stars Viola Davis as Professor Annalise Keating, Billy Brown as Nate, Alfred Enoch as Wes, Jack Falahee as Conner, Katie Findlay as Rebecca, Aja Naomi King as Michaela, Matt McGorry as Asher, Karla Souza as Laurel, Charlie Weber as Frank and Liza Weil as Bonnie.
Marvel’s Agent Carter– Marvel’s Agent Carter, starring Captain America’s Hayley Atwell, follows the story of Peggy Carter. It’s 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers. Inspired by the feature films Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, along with the short Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter. Starring Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter.
Secrets and Lies – Ben Garner (Ryan Phillippe) is about to go from Good Samaritan to murder suspect, after he discovers the body of his neighbor’s young son in the woods. As Detective Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis) digs for the truth, the secrets and lies of this town come to the surface and no one is above suspicion. Ben’s family’s life will be turned upside down as he sets out on a complicated journey to prove his innocence in this thriller mystery from Barbie Kligman (Private Practice) based on the original Australian series of the same name. Stars Ryan Phillippe as Ben, KaDee Strickland as Christy, Natalie Martinez as Jess, Clifton Collins, Jr. as Dave, Indiana Evans as Natalie, Belle Shouse as Abby and Juliette Lewis as Detective Cornell.
The Whispers – Aliens have invaded Earth by using our most unlikely resource to achieve world domination—our children. As the kids unwittingly help these unseen enemies, the clock counts down in this suspenseful race to save humanity. Stars Lily Rabe as Claire Bennigan, Barry Sloane as Wes Lawrence, Milo Ventimiglia as John Doe/Drew Bennigan, Derek Webster as Jessup Rollins, Brianna Brown as Lena Lawrence, Catalina Denis as Dr. Maria Benavidez, Kylie Rogers as Minx Lawrence and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf as Henry.
Black-ish – Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson (Anthony Anderson) has a great job, a beautiful wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids, and a colonial home in the ‘burbs. But has success brought too much assimilation for this black family? With a little help from his dad (Laurence Fishburne), Dre sets out to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family that honors their past while embracing the future. Stars Anthony Anderson as Dre, Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow, Yara Shahidi as Zoey, Marcus Scribner as Andre Jr., Miles Brown as Jack, Marsai Martin as Diane and Laurence Fishburne as Pops.
Cristela – In her sixth year of law school, Cristela (Cristela Alonzo) is finally on the brink of landing her first big (unpaid) internship at a prestigious law firm. The only problem is that her pursuit of success is more ambitious than her traditional Mexican-American family thinks is appropriate. She’s stuck straddling the old culture she’s trying to modernize at home with her working-class family and the modern world she’s trying to embrace in her professional career. Breakout comedian Cristela Alonzo stars in this hilarious comedy about laughing your way down the path to the new American dream. Stars Cristela Alonzo as Cristela, Carlos Ponce as Felix, Terri Hoyos as Natalia, Andrew Leeds as Josh and Sam McMurray as Trent.
Fresh Off the Boat – It’s the 90s and 11 year old, hip-hop loving Eddie (Hudson Yang) just moved to suburban Orlando from DC’s Chinatown with his parents (Randall Park and Constance Wu). It’s culture shock for his immigrant family in this comedy about pursuing the American Dream. Fresh Off the Boat is based on Chef Eddie Huang’s memoir Fresh Off the Boat. Stars Randall Park as Louis, Constance Wu as Jessica, Hudson Yang as Eddie, Forrest Wheeler as Emery and Ian Chen as Evan.
Galavant – Screenwriter/executive producer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Tangled, Cars) teams up with Broadway and Hollywood award-winning musical team—composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast) and lyricist Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid, Tangled)—for a musical comedy fairytale of epic proportions. Once upon a time, the dashing hero, Galavant (Joshua Sasse), lost the love of his life, Madalena (Mallory Jansen), to the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson). Now, our fallen hero is ready to take revenge and restore his “happily ever after.” But it won’t be without a few twists and turns along the way. Stars Joshua Sasse as Galavant, Timothy Omundson as King Richard, Vinnie Jones as Gareth, Mallory Jansen as Madalena, Karen David as Isabella and Luke Youngblood as Sid.
Manhattan Love Story – Have you ever wondered what your date was thinking? This romantic comedy exposes the differences between men and women through the unfiltered thoughts, and often contradictory actions, of a new couple who have just begun dating. Stars Analeigh Tipton as Dana, Jake McDorman as Peter, Nicolas Wright as David, Jade Catta-Preta as Amy, Chloe Wepper as Chloe and Kurt Fuller as William.
Selfie – “Instafamous” Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) has 263,000 followers who hang on to her every post, tweet and selfie. But one lonely day, she has a revelation: being friended is not the same as having actual friends. She asks marketing guru Henry (John Cho) to ‘rebrand’ her self-obsessed reputation and teach her how to connect with people in the real world. Loosely based on My Fair Lady, Selfie explores the modern struggles of Eliza and Henry, as he tries to teach her how to live life offline—whether she ‘likes’ it or not. Stars Karen Gillan as Eliza, John Cho as Henry, Tim Peper as Ethan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Charmonique, Allyn Rachel as Bryn and David Harewood as Sam.