ABC: Fall 2012
The May Upfronts bring a slew of announcements by the networks. In this installment we focus on the fate of shows you should care about at ABC.
Nathan Fillion and friends will be returning this fall when Castle comes back for its fifth season. The show is still going strong in the ratings, which bodes well for its future, as long as Fillion and the rest of the cast are enjoying their employement at the network. The series will be returning to its regular times lot Mondays at 10:00, but this year it will be going up against NBC’s new series Revolution. For those of us with DVRs or other ways of time shifting the shows, it wont be a problem. Hopefully neither of the two series will suffer from the competition.
Happy Endings, one of my top three favorite comedies last year, is returning this fall for its third season. Last year the show continued its record pace comedic timing, and likely has more jokes per minute than any other show on the air. The series has an outstanding cast, Elisha Cuthbert who has developed into an outstanding comedic actor as the show has progressed. Happy Endings has become one of those shows that is filled with funny people who can turn in solid performances no matter the pairing. Many of my favorite comedies (Archer, Parks and Recreation, Louie) are filled with interesting and often hilarous performances and jokes but I can honestly say that no comedy makes me belly-laugh like I do when I watch Happy Endings. Tune in Tuesdays this fall at 9:00 to give it a try.
It is never a surprise when a network renews the top rated drama it premiered the previous season. That being said, this time last year I would not have been able to predict that Once Upon a Time would be that show. Although I fell off part of the way through this first season, the show continued to pull in strong ratings for the network. With Jane Espenson and the rest of the writing staff still going strong, I have no doubt that the series will continue in an upward trajectory of quality kicking off the second season. If time permits I hope to do a bit of a catch-up this summer. For those who stayed with the show, and those who plan on giving it a try, Once Upon a Time will air Sundays at 8:00 this fall.
The most promising new series from ABC is the drama Last Resort. Last Resort is a series that I have been following for quite some time in development. The show centers on the crew of a nuclear submarine that is forced to land on and inhabit an island after refusing to launch one of their nukes. The concept of the series seemed strange, and throughout the development I was wondering how a show like this would run every week. In the trailer, though, the series seems to tackle interesting political and social dynamics. Plotlines seem to revolve around who ordered the nuclear attack, how and why the sub and crew were attacked, and how the crew will take over, live on, and protect the island that they come to call home. Add to this what looks to be a very strong cast led by Andre Braugher, with Dichen Lachman, Autumn Reeser, and many others to round it out. Last Resort will be kicking off ABC’s line-up Thursdays this fall at 8:00. The time slot is tough, with a Two and a Half Men/Big Bang Theory block on CBS and the X-Factor Results show on Fox, but hopefully the series will pull in enough viewers to keep it going.
Another new series you should be interested in is Nashville. We will have to put this one in the awesome or awesomely bad category in that this show, like so many others, will rely entirely on the execution. Nashville stars Friday Night Light’s Connie Britton (Mrs. Coach!) and Heroes Hayden Panettiere as country music singers (wait, wait, stay with me here) in a power struggle for the fame that comes with being on the top of the charts. In the series trailer you can see the outline of what could possibly be an interesting show about fame, power, and the ends people are willing to go to in order to achieve them.
Panettierre plays the power hungry newcomer whose drive and willingness to use her looks as a means of pushing forward in the industry threatens Britton, the former chart topper. In a reveal near the end of the trailer, you see a road the show might travel. Britton’s character might wield her talent and experience to help shepherd a true talent into the industry, in an attempt to both propel herself forward and surpass Panettierre’s rising star status. All that being said, I will reserve the right to hate this show with a passion should it take the easy road filled with melodrama, catfighting, and implausible storylines straight out of Young and the Restless. Tune in with me Wednesdays at 10:00 this fall to check it out.
“The Cancellation that really wasn’t” is without a doubt Cougar Town. The Bill Lawrence series (which is truly much better than its name implies) is not being renewed by ABC, but will still be on TV this fall. The show was let go by the network and picked up somewhere else. On this occasion it was TBS that stepped in to renew the series. As it goes forward the show will be run without Lawrence at the helm (his decision, not a Dan Harmon situation), but will hopefully keep the laid back atmosphere that makes the show a joy to watch.
Whereas the Cougar Town decision was an unexpected one, the decision to not renew The River seemed all but set in stone. Although I enjoyed The River for what it was, it seemed to work well as a one and done mini-series, and does not need another installment. With that in mind, had it not received such terrible ratings it would still be on the air. It is hard to feel too disappointed in this cancellation with all things considered.