As soon as the broadcast networks ditched all their dead weight (arrivederci, “Dads”), they announced all the exciting new shows we’d be watching come fall. It’s called “Upfront Season,” and it’s a chance for the nets to flaunt all their fancy new stuff before we actually watch it and realize it sucks. So what’s on tap for fall 20014?
ABC—Based on the relative success of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” ABC adds “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” a prequel series heading back to World War II to show how the superspy agency was formed. “How to Get Away with Murder” is written by Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and spotlights Viola Davis (The Help) as a criminal defense professor. “Forever” features Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) as a medical examiner who is immortal. “The Club” is described as “Downton Abbey” in a country club. Aliens invade Earth for the umpteenth time in “The Whisperers.” “Galavant” is a “fairy tale musical” from “the team behind Tangled and responsible for the music in Aladdin.” “Selfie” is a rom-com about a social media personality who gets a makeover, starring Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who”) and John Cho (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle). “Black-ish” features Anthony Anderson (“The Shield”) and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix) as a father and son duo. “Manhattan Love Story” sounds rather self-explanatory.
NBC—“Constantine” features DC Comics’ supernatural crime solver. “The Mysteries of Laura” is a dramedy about a single mom/detective (Debra Messing from “Will & Grace”). “State of Affairs” gets Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s Anatomy”) back on TV in the role of a presidential advisor. “A to Z” (about an online dating company) stars Cristin Milioti (“How I Met Your Mother”). You didn’t like “Bad Teacher,” but maybe you’ll like “Bad Judge” with Kate Walsh (“Grey’s Anatomy”). Casey Wilson (“Happy Endings”) and Ken Marino (“Veronica Mars”) do the long engagement thing in “Marry Me.”
CBS—“Battle Creek” is a detective story from Vince Gilligan (“Breaking Bad”). “NCIS: New Orleans” needs no explanation. “Stalker” is a “psychological crime thriller” from writer Kevin Williamson (“The Following”). Singer Katharine McPhee stars alongside Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day) in “Scorpion,” a drama about an eccentric genius with an international network of super-geniuses who fight “complex threats of the modern age.” “The McCarthys” is a single-camera sitcom about a sports-crazed Irish clan in Boston with a gay son.
FOX—“Gotham” takes us back to a pre-Batman Gotham City. “Empire” claims to be a “family hip-hop drama” from The Butler’s Lee Daniels. “Red Band Society” is set in a children’s hospital and stars Octavia Spencer (The Help). “Backstrom” casts Rainn Wilson (“The Office”) as one of those brilliant-
The CW— “Arrow” worked, so now we’ve got “The Flash.” “The Messengers” (also shot in New Mexico) concerns a group of strangers who die after a mysterious object crashes to Earth, only to be brought back to life and tasked with preventing the Apocalypse. “Jane the Virgin” is based on a Venezuelan telenovela about a religious woman who is “accidentally artificial inseminated.”