Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The New Shows of 2011-12: ABC

I'm back. While I still owe a sitcom ranking for the end of the season, I am still awaiting the (hopefully soon coming) end of Friends with Benefits. So before that, a look ahead to next years new shows.

Last year, I only previewed the live action network sitcoms, here, but this year I will do all of the new network series. But first, a look back at how well my predictions went last year:

-Remember, Breaking In was not picked up until October, so it did not receive a preview.
-I gave Better with You a 50% chance at season two, and it was one of the last sitcoms cancelled, so not bad.
-I mocked Happy Endings' cast and premise. It ended up being one of my top 2 favorite new sitcoms of the season. I gave it a 10% shot at season 2. It's back.
-I gave high praise to the cast and premise of Mr. Sunshine. I don't regret that, as it was the other of my favorite new sitcoms. I also gave it an 85% chance at renewal. Whoops.
-I completely mocked Mike and Molly, giving it a 5% chance at a second season. So naturally it was the highest rated new sitcom.
-I actually said $#*! My Dad Said "could be awesome." Luckily I followed that immediately with "it could be a disaster." It was the latter. I gave it a 50% shot at being picked up. Luckily I got that half right.
-I'd still bet on a Sarah Chalke/Jason Biggs/Judy Greer sitcom being funny nine times our of ten. Mad Love, while not as awful in the second half of it's season, was that other one time. I gave it 85%.
-I was iffy on Raising Hope, saying it could be hilarious or it could suck, and gave it a 33% shot. I found it somewhere in between. Fox found it to be their biggest live action sitcom in a long time.
-I said Running Wilde had a 99% chance of being good and a 66% chance of being renewed. See Will Arnett this fall in NBC's Up All Night.
-"Mixed Signals," which eventually became Traffic Light was a sitcom that aired last season. I gave it a 30% chance at a second season. It did not get a second season. I don't think I can tell you anything else about it.
-We all know about Outsourced. The less said the better.
-Technically Friends with Benefits is still airing. So it has that going for it.
-At 10%, even I didn't think The Paul Reiser Show would be anything. More on that in a bit.
-Nothing against Candace Bailey, but Olivia Munn should've stuck with Attack of the Show!

This year I'm gunna talk about all the new scripted network shows. But only scripted and network. So no reality. And no American Horror Story/Hell on Wheels/Homeland. I've never seen anything more than the trailers or promos for any of these shows. All summaries are from Wikipedia unless otherwise stated.

Here we go, 45 new scripted network series. Because there are so many, they're going to be split up by network.


-Apartment 23- "The series revolves around the lives of two different women (Dreama Walker and Krysten Ritter) who are roommates in a New York City apartment, with elements of The Odd Couple thrown in for good measure. Actor James Van Der Beek, who plays a fictional version of himself, plays a strong supporting role." It's too bad they couldn't get a bigger name to play a fictional version of James Van Der Beek. But seriously, this sounds kinda awesome. I know people are split on Krysten Ritter, and I could see her being annoying, but she was pretty good on Gilmore Girls. This doesn't really fit with any of ABC's other current sitcoms, but neither did Mr. Sunshine or Better Off Ted. Of course, Mr. Sunshine and Better Off Ted have both been cancelled. Chance of Season 2: 75%

-Charlie's Angels- "Three beautiful women, a former Miami police officer, a mysterious street racer, and a well-to-do thief, are given a chance at redemption when they are recruited by an anonymous millionaire named Charlie Townsend to solve crimes while struggling with their own personal problems, love lives and each others' friendship." Stars Derek Jeter's FNL's Minka Kelly, Grey's Anatomy's Rachael Taylor, and someone named Annie Ilonzeh as "Affirmative Action Angel" (previously known as "Asian Angel," and played by Lucy Liu). I don't think it's going to be good, but I do think it's going to be entertaining. If Hawaii Five-0 can get a big audience, adding hot girls to the formula can't hurt. Chance at Season 2: 65%

-Good Christian Belles (or maybe GCB)- "The series stars Leslie Bibb as Amanda Vaughn, recently divorced single mother of two children, returned to Dallas, where she grew up." Oh. Thanks. It's basically Desperate Housewives in the south, with Kristen Chenoweth. There was a time when I would watch this show because of Kristen Chenoweth. Unfortunately, that day was in 2004. ABC is hoping this can be Housewives' successor. I bet they try to make it that regardless of ratings. Chance at Season 2: 70%

-Last Man Standing- "Comedy about a man who lives in a world dominated by women." I love how in depth Wikipedia is going with some of these summaries. Anyway, in 2009 ABC said "you know what America really loves? The leading men of 1990's sitcoms!" And America said "umm, okay. I mean, they're fine I guess." And ABC said "you love them! Remember Frasier? Don't you love Kelsey Grammer?" And America said "I guess." And ABC made Hank. Hank lasted 5 episodes. Then in 2010 NBC said "ABC is right! America does love their leading men of 1990's sitcoms!" And America said "really NBC? I mean did you see what we just did to Hank? Five episodes! What a failure!" And NBC said "no, we know, ABC just got something wrong. They used a star from a 1990's sitcom from a different network. You have to use one from your own network. Hey America, remember Mad About You?" And America said "Mad About You? You mean that show with the girl from Twister? What did that last, three years?" And NBC said "it lasted seven seasons! You loved Mad About You! And you loved Paul Reiser!" And NBC made The Paul Reiser Show. The Paul Reiser Show lasted 2 episodes. And then in 2011 ABC said "We knew it! We knew it! America loves their leading men of 1990's sitcoms!" And America said "you're fucking kidding, right ABC? 2 episodes! We gave The Paul Reiser Show 2 episodes! That's less than half of Hank! Even Cavemen got 6 episodes! We like our insurance spokespeople more than we like the leading men of 1990's sitcoms! Give us a series with Flo from Progressive and we'll give it a shot, but dear god, not another 1990's leading man!" And ABC said "no, you just didn't watch because it was on NBC. You don't watch anything on NBC. I mean, you watched Harry's Law, but other than that, nothing. I mean look at Parks and Recreation and Community, they're awesome and you don't watch them, so of course you didn't watch The Paul Reiser Show. But remember how much you loved Home Improvement?" And America said "you mean Tool Time?" And ABC said "no, that was the show within Home Improvement." And America said "oh. So you're giving us Jonathan Taylor Thomas?" And ABC said "no. We don't know what happened to Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Have some Tim Allen." And that's why we have Last Man Standing. Chance of Season 2: 5%

-Man Up- "The series revolves around the lives of three guys with questionable childish behavior and lifestyles who decide its time to do the one thing they had forgotten to do: act like real men. But they need to grow up a little before that can happen, even at their age." The loss of manhood is this year's 3 couples at different point in their relationship. This one has First Lady Teri Polo. Chance of Season 2: 33%

-Missing- From ABC.com- "After her husband (Sean Bean) dies, Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) and their son Michael struggled to rebuild their lives. Now, ten years later, Michael goes missing under suspicious circumstances, and Becca will do anything it takes to find him." And that's about all we know about this midseason show. But, I mean, Ashley Judd. Chance of Season 2: 75%

-Once Upon a Time- The series is loosely inspired by the classic fairy tale stories except set in the present day, hence the series name. The stories hold a key to the mystery that will draw a bail bonds collector and the son that she gave up for adoption 10 years earlier to a New England town called Storybrooke, Maine. This town is actually a parallel world in which fairy tale characters look like normal people and don't remember their true identities or anything about their true lives." Look, I didn't like Jennifer Morrison on How I Met Your Mother. Zoey was a terrible character. But I don't think that was Jennifer Morrison's fault. In fact, despite the writing, Morrison, every once in a while, looked like someone who could play a likable character. And this is a strong premise. And Ginnifer Goodwin is a very, very good actress. I could see this being the biggest hit of all the new dramas. Chance of Season 2: 90%

-Pan Am- " a television series centered around the iconic airline Pan American World Airways during the 1960s...will focus on the pilots and flight attendants working for the world-famous airline in 1963." Am I ever going to see Christina Ricci and think of anything other than Casper the Friendly Ghost? Probably not. And after Casper, the next thing will probably be her Grey's Anatomy episode, alongside Coach Eric Taylor as Bomb Squad Guy, and quite possibly the high point of the series. But her as the leading lady of a network's version of Mad Men? That should be good. But will people watch? Even though it will probably be better NBC's Playboy Club (we'll get there in a couple days), it won't get the viewers the "Playboy" name brings in. You don't think "Playboy" will bring in viewers? Did you realize The Girls Next Door lasted six seasons (including one season after Kendra, Bridget, and Holly left the mansion) and spawned 2 spinoffs on E! (2 seasons for Holly, Kendra is entering her 4th season) and a 1 season show for Bridget on the Travel Channel. That's 13 seasons of television! 10 seasons for Kendra! And that's not counting Kendra and Holly's times on Dancing with the Stars. Playboy Club will do better than Pan Am, and I think, like Harry Potter and Voldemort, neither can live while the other survives. Chance of Season 2: 20%

-Revenge- "A mysterious woman, Emily Thorne, arrives in the Hamptons seeking revenge on the people who destroyed her family." It's loosely based on "The Count of Monte Cristo," kind of like how the story of my life is loosely based on "The Hunger Games." Emily VanCamp is extraordinarily likable, and I'll give the show an episode for her, but I see this being a one-and-done show. Chance of Season 2: 10%

-The River- "The series follows the search for a famous television host, a popular explorer/wildlife expert who was last seen traveling down the Amazon River in the middle of South America and disappeared without a trace. Six months later, his wife and son receive a beacon signal from him, indicating that he might be alive. This prompts the two to assemble a television documentary crew to follow his last known whereabouts, unaware that once they reach the location of where he was last seen that they're in for a horrific surprise." And the favorite for "they think this is Lost don't they?" show of the year. Chance of Season 2: 20%

-Scandal- "The series stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, former media relations consultant to the President. After leaving the White House, she opened her own firm, hoping to start a new career and personal life." Despite being barely talked about, this midseason show intrigues me. I know Shonda Rhimes has never had a successful show outside of the Grey's Anatomy franchise. But I think her style of writing would lend itself well to this type of show, it's not a procedural, and as a fellow GW alum I have to root for Kerry Washington. Plus Josh Malina! Chance of Season 2: 66%

-Suburgatory- "The series follows a divorced father who decides to get away from New York City to the suburbs so he can give his 16-year-old daughter a better life. However, the move to 'burbs has the daughter wondering if they just entered the world of The Stepford Wives after they see how 'perfect' their new locale is, right down to the neighbors who welcome them into the cul-de-sac." You know what works well for ABC sitcoms? Cul-de-sacs. I like the idea of this show, and the ensemble- Cheryl Hines, Alan Tudyk, Rex Lee, Ana Gasteyer, Chris Parnell- has to be the best ensemble of any new show. Chance of Season 2: 92%

-Work It- From ABC.com, the show "centers on two unrepentant guy's guys who, unable to find work, dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Not only do they pull it off, but they might just learn to be better men in the process." It's a midseason show. So there is still a chance it won't air. Let's pray. Chance of Season 2: 0.0001%

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