It’s that time of year again- summer is winding down, the kids are heading back to school, and you can’t go ten minutes without someone raving about a pumpkin flavored coffee or snack cake. And as the temperatures cool and sweaters replace tank tops, we are reminded that autumn brings a new season of television.
It has become tradition here at UnderScoopFire to provide a public pop culture service to our readers. We know that you have busy lives, and that you cannot devote countless hours every fall to find out what shows are going to become a hit, and which ones have no chance at becoming the next Big Bang Theory. That’s why we do the leg work for you! This post will serve as your guide as to what shows will have staying power beyond its freshman season, and what shows you shouldn’t waste your time on.
Here are the “rules” to this guessing game: I review the new network shows by cast, plot synopsis, trailers, word of mouth, and time slot. I do not have access to screeners, and even if there are pilots floating out there on the internet, I avoid them. It has become much more enjoyable and rewarding to strictly guess. The name of the game is whether or not the show will return next fall for season two. If its not on the schedule, its been canned!
Let’s start off with the goners, the shows that have zero chance of cutting that “We Made it to Syndication!” cake in a few years.
Just like last year, show summaries (in italics) are brought to you by TVGuide:
Blood & Oil, Monday, 9pm, ABC
This show, formerly known as Boom, follows a young couple who move to North Dakota’s busy oil fields hoping to make big money. A ruthless tycoon (is there any other kind of tycoon?) stands in their way. Don Johnson, Chace Crawford, and Rebecca Rittenhouse will star.
Television audiences have a nice history with Don Johnson. We all know he changed the fashion game back in the 80s with his work on Miami Vice. But did you know he managed to keep Nash Bridges on the air for SIX SEASONS in the late 90s? Six! Honestly, I don’t know much about this show, haven’t heard any good (or bad) buzz about it. It does sound like a poor mans version of Dallas though. It has to contend with Sunday Night Football and The Good Wife. That could prove costly out of the gate and this show might not make it to its “Very Special Blood & Oil Christmas” special.
GONE BY: National Yorkshire Pudding Day (October 13th)
Dr. Ken, Friday, 8:30pm, ABC
Ken Jeong stars in the title role as a physician who’s good at pathology but bad at bedside manner. He tries to be a good doctor, husband, and dad, but frequently screws things up. Fortunately, he has a therapist wife (Suzy Nakamura) to help balance him out.
I like Ken Jeong. I think he is a funny guy and does well in supporting roles. I also understand that he is actually a licensed physician. That type of background might help consult a show like ER or Chicago Med, but I doubt its going to make this sitcom funny. Go watch the trailer. If you laugh more than once, we cannot be friends. The only way this show makes it to season two will be because of its cake time slot- the ratings would have to be dreadful for it to be shut down. If Jeong is not a big enough name to land him a sitcom on a night that matters, maybe he is one and done.
GONE BY: National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day (October 19th)
Quantico, Sunday, 10pm, ABC
Quantico is where the FBI trains its most valuable employees. But in this freshman class, among the best and brightest is a suspected terrorist mastermind who is plotting the biggest attack since 9/11. Priyanka Chopra, Dougray Scott, Jake McLaugthlin, Yasmine Al Massri, Johanna Braddy, Tate Ellington, and Graham Rogersstar.
The sneak peak for this show doesn’t isnt a disappointment, but it also doesnt scream, “Watch me!” I get the feeling that its a run of mill serial that will get stale sooner than later. With no real star power (Sorry Dougray Scott fans!) I don’t see this show lasting long. The shows target audience will most likely be invested and engaged in Sunday Night Football by the time it starts at 10.
GONE BY: National Reptile Awareness Day (October 21st)
Minority Report, Monday, 9pm, FOX
Ten years after the events of the Tom Cruise movie of the same name, a “pre-cog” named Dash (Stark Sand) struggles to live a normal life. He gets help from a detective (Meagan Good) and finds a purpose for his powers.
Let me start by saying that I loved the Spielberg-directed flick. I thought it was an amazing concept, and as the credits rolled and I was leaving the theater in 2002, I said to myself, “That would make a great TV show.” Scouts honor! Its such a great concept and you could easily do one murder case per episode. So why do I have this on the cancelled list? Easy. Fox plus SciFi equals short leash. For every X-Files, there are ten Terra Novas, Alcatraz, Firefly, and The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Almost Human. FOX is notorious for not allowing their new shows time to find their voice and carve out their audience. If the ratings our poor out of the gate, consider it gone. Minority Report has to duke it out on a busy Monday night which includes NFL football, the sophomore season of Scorpion, and ratings juggernaut Dancing With The Stars. Its got a good lead in with Gotham, but will that be enough to see this show into a second season?
GONE BY: National Chicken Lady Day (November 4th)
Wicked City, Tuesday, 10pm, ABC
This anthology series will focus on a different criminal case in Los Angeles history each season. For the first, Adam Rothenberg, Ed Westwick, Taissa Farmiga, and Gabriel Luna are among the cast of people involved in committing, reporting on, or solving a string of serial murders on the Sunset Strip in 1982.
Anthology series are tough to predict. The network is in a no lose situation- if the ratings are poor, you can pull the shows off of the schedule, offer them streaming only and say “We only planned to do this one season.” If you have a critical or ratings hit on your hand, you can claim it was part of the master plan to produce multiple seasons. Its a public relations dream. Again, on paper this feels like it would be right up my alley: short commitment, one central story, and characters that are one and done. My one concern is the time period. 1982? Is anyone dying to relive that years politics, fashion, and lifestyle in a television series? If you had to do a period piece from the 80s, 1982 wouldnt make the top 8. 1986, sure. 89? Hell yeah. But 82?
GONE BY: National Brownie Day (December 8th)
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