ABC, man. A-B-C. A network whose prime directive appears to be developing as many indistinguishable series as possible. The Alphabet’s lineup isn’t a reeking landfill like NBC’s or as procedural-heavy as CBS’s. No standouts, but no unforgivable embarrassments, either. It’s all just there, like the weird guy at parties who posts up by the keg and doesn’t speak to anyone for hours.
Unsurprisingly, the new series presented during Tuesday’s upfronts hew closely to the network’s established formula. More Shondaland, more family oriented multi-quadrant comedies, more prime-time soaps destined for Hulu burnoff. Laugh at ABC’s cookie-cutter approach to programming all you want. They trail only CBS in ratings (although they’re third in the demo), and they’ve ascended to second without an NFL football package to boost annual averages. Can’t knock the hustle.
Here’s what’s new:
Cast: Don Johnson, Chace Crawford, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Delroy Lindo, Amber Valletta Entire Premise in One Tweet: There Will Be Blood: The Series. Only with inferior acting, directing, writing, production values, cinematography, craft services… Best Worst Line: “They came looking for the American Dream. What they found was rock bottom.” Or anything Don Johnson says with his insane accent. Best YouTube Comment: “ABC You have the people to Upload videos to YT, how about use those same people to see what’s hot online & also realize that this looks like a bad YT parody. Not a viable program for anyone over 65 to take seriously in 2015. Just Horrible.” Number of episodes before cancellation: 9
Cast: Kermit Thee Frog, Ms. Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie, Beaker, Animal, Wynn Motherfucking Duffy Entire Premise in One Tweet: The Muppets are back on television. THE MUPPETS ARE BACK ON TELEVISION! Best Worst Line:
“You have children. Where will they go to the bathroom, in the woods?”
“Ok, THAT is an offensive stereotype.” Best YouTube Comment: “Natalie Dormer pig is kinda hot.” Number of episodes before cancellation: Full season
Cast: Mike Epps, Nia Long, James Lesure, Iman Benson, Sayeed Shahidi, Aalyrah Caldwell Entire Premise in One Tweet: A sitcom based on the John Candy movie of the same name with Candy doppleganger Mike Epps in the title role. Best Worst Line:
“Are you married?”
“Not at this time”
“Are you gay?”
“Not at this time.” Best YouTube Comment: “Blacks poisoning dogs…so funny.” Number of episodes before cancellation: 6
Cast: Mireille Enos, Alimi Ballard, Damon Dayoub, Jay Hayden, Jacky Ido, Bethany Joy Lenz, Rose Rollins Entire Premise in One Tweet: Another Shonda Rhimes show. Those four words should reveal 90 percent of the premise. Best Worst Line:
“Let’s play.” Best YouTube Comment: “Is this like a new Revenge spinoff?” Number of episodes before cancellation: 4,319
Of Kings and Prophets
Cast: Ray Winstone, Haaz Sleiman, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Oliver Rix, Simone Kessell, James Floyd, Mohammad Bakri Entire Premise in One Tweet: NBC’s biblical epic is a low-rated disaster, so let’s try the same thing but with more shirtless Philistines Best Worst Line: “You…take…REVENGE!” Best YouTube Comment: “This is not accurate biblically, I do not want to watch a twisted show that does not keep the heart of the story.” Number of episodes before cancellation: 6
Cast: Joan Allen, Alison Pill, Margot Bingham, Zach Gilford, Liam James, Rupert Graves, Andrew McCarthy Entire Premise in One Tweet: Lady running for governor is inconvenienced when long-missing son returns after a 10-year absence. Best Worst Line: “I want a big piece. I want the frosting.” Best YouTube Comment: “This looking depressing as fuck! And that title! Time to make a return to Generic Depot ABC.” Number of episodes before cancellation: Full season
Cast: Ken Jeong, Dave Foley, Kindergarten Humor, Lay-Z Ness Entire Premise in One Tweet: The Asian guy who was funny in The Hangover then sort of got on everyone’s nerves has his own seemingly awful show that’s basically a reverse The Grinder. Best Worst Line:
“But I barely eat.”
“The only thing fatter than you are your lies.” Best YouTube Comment: “What is up with the loads of unnecessary laughs in the background?” Number of episodes before cancellation: 4
Cast: Ed Westwick, Erika Christensen, Adam Rothenberg, Taissa Farmiga, Gabriel Luna Entire Premise in One Tweet: A guy stabs a girl in the head while getting head. Cops track a killer using song dedications called into local radio stations. I’m done. Best Worst Line: “That’s right, folks. Another day, another corpse in the murder capital of the country.” Best YouTube Comment: “That looks like rubbish, who would want to watch that?” Number of episodes before cancellation: 4
The Real O’Neals
Cast: White people Entire Premise in One Tweet: Nothing I can write will top the actual logline: “What happens when this perfect family stops pretending and starts getting real?” Best Worst Line: “I thought I handled it by taking him to a prostitute.” Best YouTube Comment: “Let us be understanding and respectful of others’ cultures and beliefs. Let us also not be quick to generalize or stereotype. That kind of behavior leads to bullying and ignorance. Lets not let the actions of a few dictate what we think about an entire group of people.
I mean, unless you are a TYPICAL IRISH CATHOLIC. I mean, f*ck those stupid clueless assholes, am I right? Actually, lets make an entire show based on a one-sided caricature of an American Catholic family!
-ABC” Number of episodes before cancellation: 7
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Dougray Scott, Jake McLaughlin, Aunjanue Ellis, Yasmine Al Massri, Johanna Braddy, Tate Ellington, Graham Rogers Entire Premise in One Tweet: Young attractive FBI recruits have casual sex, dig into each other’s past, and maybe execute a terrorist attack. Thanks Obama! Best Worst Line:
“Did he think he could coast by on his looks?”
“I’m not coasting on anything, Taylor Swift.” Best YouTube Comment: “Sex sells. Why the people are so desperate to show SEX SCENE in trailer? I mean really you guys want to get horny viewers? Other than that series looks intriguing.” Number of episodes before cancellation: Full season