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Ranking the Best New Fall Network TV Offerings Based on their Trailers

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 16, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 16, 2019 |


Upfronts week is winding down for the networks, so they’ve released their fall televisions schedules (that’s here in its entirety if you’re curious) and also released trailers for their new shows.

As is typically the case, there’s a lot of crap, much of which is on CBS and will run for 7 seasons in spite of that. There are also several that aren’t even worth talking about, and then there are those that have a fighting chance, or that look decent (but will probably be canceled). Of all the new fall offerings, I basically see three shows that I think I’ll end up watching for an entire season, and four shows that I’ll at least give a shot.

Probably Will Watch

Unicorn — I hate that it’s on CBS, and this cast makes no sense for a CBS series, but the cast is also a huge draw (Walton Goggins, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins) and honestly, it looks like Parenthood with an endearing single-parent widower. It’s weird to see Goggins in this role, but I ain’t mad at it, and I’m a sucker for the Jason Katims’ vibe.

StumptownStumptown, on ABC, is the Cobie Smulders series that recast Mark Webber, but otherwise looks fun, even though the first two minutes of this trailer straight-up lifts from Tulip’s car ride in the pilot for Preacher. I like it anyway, and Michael Ealy cinches it (that man is a soulful smokeshow).

Mixed-ishMixed-ish is the second Black-ish spin-off, and honestly, that’s why I’ll probably stick with it. It’s a prequel to Black-ish focused on the upbringing of Rainbow Johnson. I feel like it’s rewriting some of Rainbow’s history, but I’m here for Gary Cole.

Shows I’ll Give a Chance

SunnysideSunnyside on NBC comes from exec producer Mike Schur and honestly doesn’t look that great, but I love the premise. It stars Kal Penn as a guy trying to help a group of immigrants gain their citizenship. It looks a little broad and as though it’s trying too hard, but it could settle into a decent series.

Perfect Harmony — This is another NBC show, and it looks dumb — like Pitch Perfect, except with a church choir. BUT, Bradley Whitford and Anna Camp mean I’m at least gonna give a few episodes.

Prodigal Son — I’m not really feeling the trailer for Prodigal Son, either, but it stars Tom Payne (Jesus from The Walking Dead who almost looks unrecognizable here) and Michael Sheen as his serial killer father. Payne’s character is an FBI profiler tracking what appears to be a killer copycatting his imprisoned father, who will be advising his son a la Hannibal Lector.

EmergenceEmergence on ABC looks like a show that might have been inspired by the “success” of Manifest, and therefore I hate it. But also, it stars Alison Tolman, who I love, which may mean that it’s a successful show that I end up hate-recapping every week.

Nancy DrewNancy Drew with a Riverdale vibe? Meh. I mean, it could be good (like the first season of Riverdale) or it could be terrible (like seasons two and three of Riverdale).

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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