Alibi V.25 No.26 • June 30-July 6, 2016 

Idiot Box

What’s New?

Fresh TV shows debut in fall

Late last month the broadcast networks announced their new primetime lineups for the fall. So what can we look forward to loving or hating this September/October?

ABC—“American Housewife” is a family-based sitcom starring Katy Mixon (“Mike and Molly”). “Conviction” casts “Marvel’s Agent Carter” star Hayley Atwell as a crime-solving lawyer and daughter to a former US president. With “Designated Survivor” Kiefer Sutherland returns to TV as a low-level government official who becomes leader of the free world after the President and all other members of the cabinet are wiped out in a terrorist attack. “Downward Dog” comes from a popular web series and features Allison Tolman (“Fargo”) as a struggling millennial as seen though the eyes of her philosophical dog (voiced by creator Samm Hodges). Drop Dead Fred gets a gender swap in “Imaginary Mary,” the Jenna Elfman/Rachel Dratch sitcom about an imaginary childhood friend who returns in adulthood. “Notorious” is billed as a “sexy and dangerous” legal drama. “Speechless” is a comedy starring Minnie Driver as a mom with a special needs son. Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal”) reboots Romeo and Juliet in the period romance “Still Star-Crossed.” H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper into modern times in “Time After Time,” a weekly reboot of the 1979 movie of the same name.

NBC—“The Good Place” is a sitcom set in the afterlife and stars TV vets Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. “This is Us” is an “emotional and provocative” ensemble drama from creator Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love.). “Timeless” sends a scientist, a soldier and a history professor on a mission through time to capture a dangerous fugitive. Clive Standen (from “Vikings”) takes over for Liam Neeson in the TV version of “Taken” (in which, presumably, his daughter gets kidnapped on a weekly basis).

CBS—“Bull” stars Michael Weatherly (“NCIS”) as a “brilliant and charming” trial consultant (based, actually, on Dr. Phil). “The Great Indoors” casts Joel McHale as a famous adventure reporter suddenly desk-bound at a digital publication. “Kevin Can Wait” features Kevin James as a retired police officer raising three kids. “Man With a Plan” has Matt LeBlanc doing the Mr. Mom schtick as well as a retired contractor spending more time with his crazy kids. “MacGyver” gets a reboot with young guy Lucas Till (X-Men: Apocalypse) inheriting the mullet. “Pure Genius” is a medical drama in which a Silicon Valley billionaire recruits the greatest medical minds in the world to work at his state-of-the-art hospital.

FOX—Since A&E beat FOX to the punch with its Psycho- and Omen-based series, FOX settles for turning “The Exorcist” into a weekly series. And since CBS’ weekly version of “Rush Hour” was such a good idea, FOX tries it with “Lethal Weapon.” Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans replace Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. “Pitch,” another fall show from executive producer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love.), shines a spotlight on the first woman to play Major League Baseball (Kylie Bunbury from “Under the Dome”). Jason Sudeikis stars in the absurd sitcom “Son of Zorn,” in which a woman marries a cartoon-animated barbarian.

The CW—Steals CBS’ “Supergirl.” No surprise there. “No Tomorrow” is a remake of the Brazilian comedy-drama “Como Aproveitar o Fim do Mundo,” about a guy who convinces his new girlfriend to live it up before the world ends in eight months. “Frequency” is yet another movie-turned-series, this one a remake of the 2000 sci-fi drama about a detective who speaks with his dead father via ham radio to solve a murder.