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2014 Upfronts Part 1: NBC

June 3, 2014

Once again, it’s that time of year, when the networks announce what new shows they’ll be bringing to our TVs this fall in hopes of having all of the hits. In a way, for me, it feels like the culmination of a year.  A year that taught me how to love TV in a way that I never had before. Keeping up with shows, predicting what would be a success or a flop, and sharing those opinions with the world has been so invigorating and I can’t believe it’s time to start the process all over again.  So, without further ado, here are the new shows of the fall, and my early predictions as to what will survive and what will not.

NBC

NBC was the first network to announce it’s full lineup, including premiere dates, so I’ll start with them today.

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State of Affairs

From the writer/director of NBC’s big freshman hit The Blacklist, this show marks Katherine Heigl‘s return to TV as a CIA analyst with Alfre Woodard in the Oval Office. Heigl was married to Woodard’s son before he was killed in the line of duty, so she gets a few special privileges. The trailer sets up some tension between her and others of the President’s advisors, and her personal life is in shambles. Plus, her husband’s death may not have been an accident after all. I think this is an interesting idea, but it seems like something that might make a better movie. I’ll watch the pilot and get back to you.

State of Affairs premieres Monday, November 17th at 10pm. It will take over for The Blacklist while the hit show is on hiatus before it moves to Thursday nights. My guess is that since it’s from the same creator, NBC is banking on have the Monday night 10pm slot on lock with The Voice as a lead-in and moving The Blacklist to Thursdays in the spring will help them on that night, where they have a lot of competition from other networks. We’ll see if it works.

Marry Me

Well, this one looks cute. Ken Marino and Casey Wilson have been together six years, and she ruins his perfect proposal by alienating all of his friends and his mother. She tries to make it up by proposing at work and gets him fired. But they’re still gonna give it a go! Can’t stop love, right? Except I feel like I’ve seen all the funny bits in the trailer, and botched proposals every episode are going to get old after about, oh, I don’t know, the pilot. Pass. Cute, but pass.

Marry Me premieres Tuesday, October 14th at 9pm, after The Voice.

The Mysteries of Laura

You can’t keep Debra Messing off TV! But, maybe you should. She stars as Laura, a single mom and homicide detective who’s great at her job but struggles at home. Sadly, NBC gives away the entire pilot in the trailer and gives away the twist setting up the rest of the series in the synopsis. Way to go, peacock. But mostly, it’s gonna be a lot of mom jokes and supposedly witty banter with everyone around her. I predict it will flop hard.

The Mysteries of Laura premieres Wednesday, September 24th at 8pm. It is replacing Revolution and will have stiff competition from Arrow on The CW.

Bad Judge

Really NBC? Bad Teacher lasted all of five episodes on CBS before getting the axe. Don’t expect this to do any better.

Bad Judge premieres Thursday, October 2nd at 9pm.

Constantine

Ok, I’m actually really excited about this one. Based on the comic and not the movie, thankfully, John Constantine can see spirits and demons and fights them on a regular basis. Kind of like Supernatural, except without two brothers bickering every five minutes.

Constantine premieres Friday, October 24th at 10pm. This will go in the time slot Dracula tried to fill last year, and I expect it will do much better.

A to Z

This one is hard to predict. NBC seems to be trying to use Cristin Milioti‘s rise to household name status on How I Met Your Mother to create a similar type of show. It looks kind of cute. Mostly, though, I’m excited to watch because Lenora Crichlow from the British Being Human is on the show as well as Henry Zebrowski, with whom I went to college. Can’t tell right now how well it will do, but I’ll be watching.

A to Z premieres Thursday, October 2nd at 9:30pm, after Bad Judge.

 

The following shows don’t yet have release dates. NBC will use them as replacements for shows that tank from the get go, or as mid season replacements for shows that are only running during the fall.

Allegiance

Blah blah, Soviet Russia, blah blah, spies, blah blah, betrayal, blah blah, family torn apart, blah blah blah. Alias meets The Americans. Nope.

Aquarius

This could get interesting. David Duchovny vs. Charles Manson. It’s Hannibal and The Following, but with an actual historical serial killer. I will definitely be checking this one out.

Emerald City

You had me at “Emerald”. I’ve always loved anything to do with Oz, and a whole show about it where Dorothy is a warrior and witches are slightly harder to kill than we’re used to is right up my alley. Time will tell if it will succeed, but I’ll be tuning in every week for sure.

Mission Control

Oh, Krysten Ritter, you temptress! I love you so much that I will definitely check out the pilot of this show about a woman trying to work at NASA as an engineer in the 1960s. It’s like reverse Mad Men, but funny? I guess? I don’t know. We’ll see.

Mr. Robinson

Basically it’s School of Rock. Pass.

Odyssey

Conspiracy theories abound in this tale of government betrayal, corporate greed, and computer hacking. Liberals will love it. Conservatives will hate it. Expect plot twists. And probably cancelation by the end of the first season.

One Big Happy

She’s gay, he’s straight, they’re having a baby, but he just got married. Didn’t we see this already? Modern Family seems to have cornered the market on the “alternative family” front, since The New Normal couldn’t get a foothold. I’ll check out the pilot, because I will always support gay characters on TV shows (and it’s been a while since there’s been a decent lesbian on TV other than on Grey’s Anatomy), but I kind of expect it to suck.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

It was only a matter of time before Ellie Kemper got her own show and here it is! Kimmy just got rescued from a cult and is going to try living life in NYC with a Broadway actor roommate, a nanny job, and a mission to find love and live life to the fullest.  Kemper may have the wide-eyed goofy smile to pull it off, but I doubt it.

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