Now that the upfronts are over, and all the networks have unveiled their new shows (and the trailers for most), we can officially make slightly more informed assessments about which shows we should look forward to, and which should we should probably not bother with. Actually, I did the math on last year’s new series, and less than 25 percent of all the freshmen series made it to a second season, so don’t get too attached to any of these. There’s a 75 percent chance that they’ll be cancelled, starting with the most promising new show of next year.
1. Galavant (ABC, midseason) — It may be swiftly cancelled, but the prospect of a fun, quirky, and snarky medieval musical with Timothy Omundson is too irresistable. This was my favorite pilot trailer of the bunch. By a mile.
2. Gotham (Fox, Mondays) — Look, it’s Batman without Batman, so we’re all going to watch it, probably for five or six seasons, even if we don’t like it. The trailer, however, suggests that it may actually be good, though I’m not thrilled the Batman universe will be reduced to monsters-of-the-week episodes. My biggest concern here is the presence of Donal Logue, because he’s a huge showkiller.
3. Flash (The CW) — Those who watch Arrow are already onboard, and those who are behind on Arrow (like myself) will probably spend the summer catching up, so we can prepare ourselves for both season three of that show and Flash. Network television is clearly only good for superhero series now.
4. Gracepoint (Fox, Thursdays) — It looks like a frame-for-frame remake of Broadchurch. With the exception of Anna Gunn, they even picked actors who looked similar to the Broadchurch version. I also do not like Tennant’s American accent. At all (as I said on Twitter, it sounds like a black guy doing a lame white guy impression). That said, Broadchurch was so good that I’m not against watching it a second time with a different cast, especially if — as rumored — the ending is different.
5. Constantine (NBC, Fridays) — With this, and Hannibal returning at midseason, apparently Friday is the only place left on NBC’s schedule for the cool kids to hang out.
6. Backstrom (Fox, midseason) — It’s Hart Hanson (Bones) and Rainn Wilson as the Gregory House of detectives. On network television, that’s good enough for me. My standards have clearly dropped.
7. Black-ish (ABC, Wednesdays) — The coveted post-Modern Family slot went to Black-ish, which doesn’t look outstanding, but of the new sitcom pilots, it’s about the only one I could stomach (I do hope to eventually like Mulaney, but that trailer was dreadful, and buried against Sunday night dramas, I’d be surprised if Mulaney makes it to midseason).
8. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (NBC, midseason) — Likewise, there’s no trailer for this, but Tina Fey created it, Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski star, and it’s a sitcom about a woman who reclaims her life after 15 years living in a cult. How can that go wrong (so many ways)?
9. Marvel’s Agent Peggy Carter (ABC, midseason) — We haven’t seen a trailer for this yet, either, but assuming it manages to be as good as the good episodes of Agents of SHIELD, there’s definitely a lot of promise, especially since it won’t have to fill 22 episodes (it will bridge the fall and spring seasons of Agents of SHIELD.
10. Mr. Robinson (NBC, midseason) — There’s no trailer for this series yet, which is probably why I don’t yet hate it. The midseason comedy will star Craig Robinson in what is essentially a sitcom version of School of Rock. Fingers crossed.