10 New Fall Shows Guaranteed to Make it to Season 2

by Corey Chapman @chapmanrunner on September 4, 2013

in Television

Anyone that has listened to the UnderScoopFire Podcast knows how I am cautious about watching new television shows: I don’t want to invest my time in a new series that won’t be around the follow fall (I am looking right at you, Studio 60). I tend to wait until the show I have interest in gets picked up for season two.

After researching (ie. wasting time at work), I have come up with MY best bets for new shows that will still be on the air come September 2014. There was some math involved: I factored the cast, producers, networks, time slots, and plot summaries. Then I used good old-fashioned common sense and here is what I got. (Let’s check back in June to see how poorly I did!)

Summaries of series are provided by tvguide.com, because a) the networks wouldn’t send me screeners b) if the networks sent me screeners, I probably wouldn’t watch them. My comments are in bold.


About a Boy (NBC)
Based on the Nick Hornsby novel and Hugh Grant film, a loutish bachelor (David Walton) finds his priorities in life shifting after he befriends an awkward young neighbor (Benjamin Stockham). Parenthood‘s Jason Katims will write and executive-produce with original Boy producers Robert DeNiroTim BevanEric Fellner and Jane RosenthalJon Favreau will helm the pilot.

I don’t know why I am starting with this one. The movie wasn’t a hit, Hugh Grant is NOT on the show. Yet I have a good feeling “From the Producers of Parenthood” will bring in enough folks to watch it. Plus, with Jon Favreau directing the pilot, we might get a post credits scene with Nick Fury. Okay, maybe not.

Renewal Confidence Level 68%


Almost Human (Fox)
This action-packed buddy cop show is set in a future in which LAPD officers like John Kennex (Karl Urban) are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids like Dorian (Michael Ealy). Fringe‘s J.H. Wyman, who will write, will reteam with Lost‘s J.J. Abrams andBryan Burk as executive producers.

When I first saw the trailer for this, I thought it was a feature film. Its Star Trek’s Karl Urban plus buddy cop plus androids! The key here is that it’s Fox, which tends to have more patience with its hour long series.

Renewal Confidence level 80%


The Blacklist (NBC) 
The world’s most wanted criminal (James Spader) mysteriously turns himself in and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with. His only condition: He will only work with a newly minted FBI agent (Megan Boone) with whom he appears to have no connection. Perfect Stranger‘s Jon Bokenkamp will write and executive-produce with Alias‘ John Eisendrath.

This show screams “From the network that brought you Hannibal!” and I think its brilliant. Spader (Ultron!) is always good, and this could be the Silence of the Lambs type serial that network TV should have cashed in on 20 years ago.

**Note** Jon Bokencamp wrote the movie Perfect Stranger starring Halle Berry and Bruce Willis, not the sitcom with Balki & Cousin Larry. Just wanted to clear that up.

Renewal Confidence Level 85%


Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
A group of detectives — including Saturday Night Live alum Andy SambergAndre Braugher, Terry CrewsJoe Lo Truglio and Melissa Fumero — form an odd family in a police precinct in the outermost neighborhood of New York City. Parks and Recreation‘s Mike Schur and Dan Goor will write and executive-produce with 30 Rock‘s David Miner.

This is my pick for the season’s top new sitcom. From all the previews, it looks like Samberg & Braugher have great chemistry, and when you add a solid (and funny) supporting cast including Crews and Lo Truglio, this should be a hit.

Renewal Confidence Level: 80%


The Crazy Ones (CBS)
A single-camera, half-hour workplace comedy about a father-and-daughter team in the world of advertising. (Oscar winner Robin Williams plays the dad, while Sarah Michelle Gellar is the daughter.) Ally McBeal‘s David E. Kelley will write the pilot and executive-produce with Arrested Development‘s Dean Lorey and McBeal‘s Bill D’EliaJames WolkAmanda Setton and Hamish Linklater will also star.

I knew it was only a matter of time before Robin Williams stopped chasing that dream of being a movie star and returned to his television roots! This might not have the manic pace or laugh track that were staples of Mork & Mindy, but it has a great cast (Mad Men’s Bob Benson!) and great producers. Williams on CBS is a perfect match- his target demographic has grown old with him. This should be a big hit for them.

Renewal Confidence Level: 100%


Gang Related (Fox) 
A gang member (Ramon Rodriguez) sent in to infiltrate the San Francisco Police Department and rise through its ranks must balance his obligations to his crime family with an increasing sense of loyalty to his new “family”: the SFPD’s Gang Task Force. Fast Five scribe Chris Morgan will write and executive-produce with V‘s Scott Rosenbaum and Brian GrazerJay HernandezTerry O’QuinnCliff CurtisSung KangRZAShantel VanSanten and Inbar Lavi will also star.

John Locke AND RZA? Let me set my DVR now.

Renewal Confidence Level: 70%


Ironside (NBC)
In a remake of the 1960s drama, an acerbic police detective (Blair Underwood) who uses a wheelchair pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases in the city. The Sopranos‘ Michael Caleo will write and executive-produce with American Horror Story‘s David Semel.

Every season, there is always one show that comes along where I say to myself, “This show was made for my mother!” And when I saw that NBC was bringing back the Raymond Burr classic, I knew this was it. I don’t know much about Caleo and Semel, but I do know that middle age American women will be watching.

Renewal Confidence Level: 90%


Marvel’s Agents S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
Based on Marvel Universe’s fictional and secret law-enforcement agency. Avengers‘ Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen will write and executive-produce. Clark Gregg will reprise his Avengers role, joined by Ming-Na, Brett Dalton, Elizabeth Henstridge, Ian De Caestecker and Chloe Bennet.

Lock this show in for a renewal now. I wouldn’t be surprised if ABC pulled an HBO/Showtime and announce plans for season two right after the rating for the premiere come in. As I discussed on episode 71 of the podcast, its going to be a hit out of the gate. My concern was sustaining an audience of non-geeks who tune in early in hopes of seeing The Hulk or Thor, or hell, Nick Fury! The hard core fans will watch it, but will it be able to hold onto a general audience in a year (or two) from now? Time will tell.

Renewal Confidence Level: 100%


The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC)
Michael J. Fox returns to TV as Mike, a former New York news anchor who goes back to work but still manages to find time to drive his wife (Betsy Brandt) and three kids crazy. The show is executive-produced with Fox by Sam Laybourne and Will Gluck and also stars Conor Romero, Juliette Goglia, Jack Gore, Kate Finneran and Wendell Pierce.

You don’t bet against Michael J. Fox. Period. And it doesn’t hurt that Marie from Breaking Bad is playing his wife.

Renewal Confidence Level: 95%


Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC) 
The Wonderland-set Once Upon a Time spin-off is told through the eyes of Alice (Sophie Lowe), who has a generous heart, but carries the scars of a long and hard life. Once producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz will write and executive-produce alongside Jane EspensonZack Estrin and Steve Pearlman. Emma Rigby, Michael Socha, Peter Gadiot and Paul Reubens will also star.

I have never watched an episode of Once Upon a Time, but I know it has a loyal following. I am sure they will watch this show as well. Instead of following the original show on Sundays, Wonderland is scheduled for Thursday nights. That might worry me if I hadn’t read that ABC bumped it from 13 episodes to an “undisclosed” amount. Sounds like we could have a franchise here…

Renewal Confidence Level: 90%


Stay tuned- tomorrow I will be back with 10 shows that are guaranteed to be gone by Christmas!


Mr. Serious (@chapmanrunner) has been selling his whole life, nowadays he actually gets paid to do it. His long term goal is to retire young and spend his days watching old episodes of Saturday Night Live and tweeting about “the good old days”. He produces and edits the UnderScoopFire podcast.


Engineernerd September 4, 2013 at 12:34 pm

The only one I give more thatn 50/50 to is Shield.

I’m a cynic.

Corey Chapman (@chapmanrunner) September 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm

John- I am a TV cynic at heart as well! Stay tuned for the follow up! Its more up our alley!

Dex (@Dex1138) September 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I’m on board with your picks except for the Spader show. I just read the name of it a few minutes ago and I still can’t remember it (and I’m too lazy to scroll back up there).

Fios On Demand has had previews of fall shows and this one did nothing for me. It feels too much like Silence of the Lambs and there’s already Hannibal.

Ironside didn’t really appeal to me either, like it was trying too hard to get me to want to see it.

Corey Chapman (@chapmanrunner) September 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Dex- Ironside would be LUCKY to have you as a regular viewer! But I doubt you are in its target demographic. After writing the piece, I asked my mother if there were any new shows she was excited about, and without missing a beat, she proclaimed “Ironside, with that guy from LA Law!” I walked about of the room and mumbled to myself, “Nailed it.”

Dex (@Dex1138) September 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I’d much prefer to keep watching Ben from Lost and JC kickin some ass on Person of Interest.

wolfkin September 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm

call it a testament to her acting but I don’t like Betsy Brandt’s character on Breaking Bad. I’m not sure why Skyler gets ANY hate at all because she is a lovely person (physically and mentally) .. but Marie is the one character I don’t like and never have.

wolfkin September 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm

a lot of these shows won’t last long term but a season 2… i mostly agree with ya

Howard Decker September 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Amen. I thought I was the only person on the internet who thought Anna Gunn is hot

Me. Serious September 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm

For some crazy reason, Marie has gotten more attractive to me as the Aries has progressed. I liked Anna Gunn on Deadwood, and that has carried over to Breaking Bad.

Hail Mary September 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

There are at least 4 shows on your list that I plan to watch; and I’m not opposed to giving any of them a chance other than Wonderland. I hope Brooklyn Nine-Nine is as funny as the commercials make it out to be.

Me. Serious September 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I am looking forward to the Michael J Fox show and Brooklyn Nine Nine. There is a very good chance I will watch The Crazy Ones too.

T2H September 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Man, I was initially elated but ultimately melancholy after hearing the Perfect Strangers writer is returning to television, only to learn its the latter Halle Berry film.
Those guys can’t catch a decent break, despite standing tall on the wings of our dreams. They’re bound for better days.

Brian Morin September 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm

LOL! Well said!

Kevin Hellions September 4, 2013 at 10:37 pm

My wife just got me hooked on Once Upon a Time. Marathoned first season and part of second in the last week. Yeah, that spin off gets at least a year. Probably three.

Corey Chapman (@chapmanrunner) September 5, 2013 at 10:30 am

good call!

Dex (@Dex1138) September 5, 2013 at 10:34 am

I’m pretty excited about Wonderland despite it looking a little Sucker Punch-y. It seems like they’er going to have the fantastical elements more often.

Corey Chapman (@chapmanrunner) September 5, 2013 at 10:40 am

Its got a built in audience. Could this be the next Law & Order or CSI spinoff machine?

Jay September 5, 2013 at 10:51 am

Easily. The core show is solid, and any number of spin-offs can come from it. They’ve already proven they’re not afraid to mix classic literature (Frankenstein) in with fairy tales. They could go Mythology, folklore, urban legends…anything, really.

And I’ll watch every. Single. Episode.

Dex (@Dex1138) September 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

Plus the network is owned by Disney and they’ve already done things here and there in OUaT calling back to their fairy tale movies.

Jay September 5, 2013 at 10:53 am

Blacklist looks very interesting to me, so I’ll probably be checking that out. Spader is money, so the show has at least that going for it.

Other than that, though, the only 3 that really pique my interest are Brooklyn Nine-Nine, SHIELD, and OUaT In Wonderland.

Corey Chapman (@chapmanrunner) September 5, 2013 at 11:35 am

Blacklist, B99, Shield, and Wonderland all have the formula to be very successful!

Greg Vestal October 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Ironside is gone!

Corey Chapman October 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm

The Curse of Blair Underwood! I should have known better.

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