9 New Shows Guaranteed to Earn a Second Season

Last week, we predicted 13 new network shows that don’t stand a chance of existing this time next year. It was all doom and gloom for Debra Messing, Dylan McDermont, and Kate Walsh. Now it’s time we look at the 9 shows you can count on returning in 2015.

*Same rules apply from last week- I have no access to screeners, just good old-fashioned gut reactions to trailers, casting, time slots, and plot synopses. Recaps (in italics) provided by TVGuide.com:

A to Z  (Thursday 8PM, NBC)

A student of the How I Met Your Mother school of television, A to Z is a romantic comedy that chronicles a relationship from beginning to end, à la 500 Days of Summer. Mad Men’s Ben Feldman stars (with both of his nipples!) as Andrew, a true believer in destiny and romance, while HIMYM’s ever-charming Cristin Milioti plays the object of his affection, Zelda. (A to Z, get it?) Lenora Crichlow, Henry Zebrowski, and Christina Kirk round out the cast.

Wait, they cast crazy Michael Ginsberg from Mad Men with the actual mother from HIMYM in a romantic comedy? On paper this seems like a tough sell, I mean, couldn’t I just watch 500 Days of Summer and be done with it? But the hopeless romantic in me (and lover of all things Mad Men) is rooting for it!

It’s probably going to be the first one cancelled.


Black-ish (Wednesday 9PM, ABC)

Created by and starring comedian Anthony Anderson, Black-ish explores one man’s efforts to establish a cultural identity for his family after he discovers his children don’t have one. Anderson stars as man-of-the-house Dre, and Tracee Ellis Ross plays his biracial wife Rainbow; they’ve got their hands full working and raising kids Zoey, Andre (who prefers to be called Andy and really, really wants a bar mitzvah despite the fact they’re not Jewish), and twins Jack and Diane. Hannibal’s Laurence Fishburne appears as Dre’s father, Pops, and wears velour tracksuits because he’s Laurence freaking Fishburne.

I made a big mistake last season when I bet against a good wholesome family comedy named The Goldbergs. You can never underestimate the power of family viewing. It’s called the “Nielsen family”, not the “Nielsen dude who lives alone in a studio apartment”. Good family shows become appointment television, and this has all the makings of being around for many years. ABC has the same mindset, by making Wednesday night their family TV night: The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, then Black-ish. Houston, we have a hit.


The Flash (Tuesday 8PM, The CW)

The CW’s highly anticipated Arrow spin-off stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, who becomes the fastest man alive, aka The Flash, after an explosion at the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator bestows him with superhuman speed. The Flash is set in Central City, where Barry works as a forensic investigator and uses his special power to help fight crime. He’s aided in that endeavor by Det. Joe West (Law & Order’s Jesse L. Martin), a cop who also serves as Barry’s surrogate father; Barry’s real father (TV’s original Barry Allen, and Dawson Leery’s dad, John Wesley Shipp) is in prison for allegedly murdering Barry’s mother. Rounding out the cast are Candice Patton as Iris, Joe’s daughter and Barry’s BFF; Danielle Panabaker and Carlos Valdes as S.T.A.R. Labs scientists Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon; Rick Cosnett as Det. Eddie Thawne; and Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Harrison Wells.

You know how we hear about a new Marvel movie coming down the pipeline, and even if we don’t know the property well (or at all) we are at ease that it will be well made and probably be a giant hit? We know that the Marvel folks know what they are doing. That’s the same feeling I get with the CW when it comes to comic book TV shows. I have never watched a minute of Arrow or Smallville, but talking to fans of the characters, they were done right. It doesn’t hurt that The Flash was introduced last season on Arrow, and the geek overload was felt across the internet. CW + Comic books = season(s) pass.


Gotham (Monday 8PM, FOX)

Described as the origin story of future Gotham police commissioner Jim Gordon, Gotham is Fox’s effort to get in on TV’s comic-book craze.Southland and The O.C. alum Ben McKenzie stars as Gordon, a fresh-faced police detective whose life begins to change when he and his partner, the brash Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), start investigating the murder of the parents of none other than a young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). However, the noir crime drama isn’t just about Gordon’s rise through the ranks of Gotham City’s PD; it also promises to tell the origin stories of several DC Comics’ villains, including Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), and the Riddler (Cory Michael Smith).

Obviously I think the show will make it to season two, but I can’t help but get the same feeling I did reviewing Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last year. I never questioned it would be loved out of the gate, just wondered if it could sustain an audience. I have the same issues with this series. Will fans of Batman watch a show without Batman? Can having Gordon be the central figure in the series maintain non-comic book fans? I want to say no, but the talented cast (especially Logue) and the chance to see some of the Dark Knights nemeses back stories should be enough to keep it on for at least two seasons.


Gracepoint (Thursday 9PM, FOX)

When a young boy is found dead on an idyllic beach, a major police investigation gets underway in the small California seaside town where the tragedy occurred. Soon deemed a homicide, the case sparks a media frenzy, which throws the boy’s family into further turmoil and upends the lives of all of the town’s residents. Based on the British series Broadchurch, the event series stars David Tennant and Anna Gunn as the pair of cops investigating the case. The cast also includes Nick Nolte, Michael Pena, Jacki Weaver and Kevin Rankin.

First off, before you tweet at me that this is a mini series, let me assure you that I know. Apologies in advance for my series/mini-series rant forthcoming: True Detective debuted to critical acclaim, great ratings, and practically breaking HBOGO. It, by all accounts, was a mini-series- a 10 part story that would have a beginning, middle, and end. The success of the show led to HBO changing their tune. ‘This is a series! There will be a season two, with a whole new cast, crew, story, time frame, etc!’ So, a mini series. Cool.

Gracepoint is True Detective’s basic cable brethren.

Television viewers have the ability this season to invest in 10 hours of a show and not worry about it making it to season 2, 3, or 10. One story told over the course of 2 ½ months featuring a cast with Breaking Bad’s (multiple) Emmy winner Anna Gunn and David Tennant? Sign me up.

My guess is we will be hashtagging different actors and actresses #gracepointseasontwo before long.


Marry Me (Tuesday 9PM, NBC)

Happy Endings’ David Caspe is the writer behind this rom-com about a couple (played by Ken Marino and Caspe’s real-life wife Casey Wilson) who are well on their way to tyring the knot. There’s just one problem: They can’t get the marriage proposal right! Is it a sign that they aren’t supposed to be together? Or do they need to just stop screwing up their overly inventive attempts to get engaged? Sarah Wright and John Gemberling also star.

marry me

Ken Marino deserves to be a on hit television series. He has been on and off our TV screens for the last twenty years, from The State to Party Down. Last year, he did some of his best work as Guy Young on the final season of Eastbound & Down. By all accounts, Casey Wilson was hilarious on Happy Endings, and from the promos and trailers, they seem to have great chemistry. It also has a solid time slot, following The Voice’s results show.


Mulaney (Sunday 9PM, FOX)

What’s the deal with this show? Stand-up comic and former SNL writer John Mulaney does his best Jerry Seinfeld impression as a comedian who lives and works in New York City and whose pals (Nasim Pedrad and Seaton Smith) and wacky neighbor (Elliot Gould) like to butt into his life. But John will have a more regular gig than Jerry ever did: He writes jokes for a game-show host and comedian played by Martin Short. Yada, yada, yada…

When I saw the first preview for this show, I yelled out “Cancelled by Christmas!” But that was before I knew Elliot Gould and Martin Short were on the show. MARTIN SHORT CAN DO NO WRONG. I will be watching, and you should too.


NCIS: New Orleans (Tuesday 9PM, CBS)

Why should Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles have all the fun? The Big Easy gets its own iteration of TV’s most-watched drama, with Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan, and C.C.H. Pounder solving crimes on Bourbon Street and beyond. We guess the Navy boys get into lots of trouble while they’re on leave!

Simple math: Scott Bakula + C.C.H. Pounder + Mardi Gras (NCIS) = Nielsen gold.


Scorpion (Monday 9PM, CBS)

Based on the experiences of real-world genius Walter O’Brien, Scorpionis about a bunch of nerds who form a team to solve some of the world’s most complex problems. (It’s like if the Justice League of America traded their superpowers for supersmarts, computer wizardry and hacking skills.) And to give the show a Big Bang Theory-esque twist, Katharine McPhee plays the diner waitress who glues them all together. Elyes Gabel, Robert Patrick, and Eddie Kaye Thomas also star.

This is the show that could have been on either list. On the plus side, you have a loaded CBS lineup (The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Scorpion, NCIS:LA) which should help. One the negative side, folks that enjoy competition shows (see: America) will never see this, for it competes with the second hour of Dancing With The Stars and The Voice.

And how do you sell this cast to the general public? “Sooo we have the T-1000, an American Idol runner up, and Shitbreak from those American Pie flicks.” I guess I’m putting my money on the power of The Eye. The once-perennial bronze medalist is nothing but gold these days.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below!


Mr. Serious (@chapmanrunner) has been selling his whole life, nowadays he happens to get paid for doing 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.

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