Alibi V.27 No.21 • May 24-30, 2018 

Idiot Box

Upfront About it

Networks hawk new shows

Earlier this month the big broadcast TV networks dumped their unwanted shows in record numbers—all to make room for a new crop of sitcoms, reality shows and doctor-based dramas. It’s known as “Upfront Season,” and it’s when the networks pitch these new shows, sight unseen, to advertisers. Theoretically, this gives the networks an idea of which shows will be hot in the fall. Or at least which new lawyer drama Pfizer wants to advertise Viagra on. So what do the networks have in store for us later this year? Let’s take a look.

NBC—The Peacock Network starts out by transferring just-canceled cop sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (midseason) from FOX. Of course, since cops can’t solve crimes without the intervention of someone magical/psychic/impossibly high-tech, “The InBetween” (midseason) finds Australian TV actress Harriet Dyer playing a clarivoyant who helps LAPD solve crimes by talking to the dead. Like “Lost” in reverse, “Manifest” (Mondays, fall) is a mysterious drama about a missing plane that suddenly reappears five years later. Amy Poehler produces the domestic sitcom “I Feel Bad” (Thursdays, fall) based on the book by Orli Auslander. Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”) stars as a CIA agent-turned-traitor who is released from a Supermax prison to help an FBI agent (Morris Chestnut, “Rosewood”) track down a dangerous criminal in “The Enemy Within” (midseason). (Think “The Blacklist,” but genderswapped.) Producer Mike Schur (“Parks and Recreation”) indulges his inner “Cheers” with the bar-set sitcom “Abby’s” (midseason). Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson produces yet another obstacle course fitness competition with “The Titan Games.” (Wednesdays, early 2019). “The Village” (midseason) is ABC’s attempt to duplicate the sentimental ensemble drama of “This is Us.” “The Gilded Age” (2019) is creator Julian Fellowes’ Americanized copy of “Downton Abbey.” Finally, doctors do medical stuff in “New Amsterdam” (Tuesdays, fall).

ABC—“The Fix” (midseason) is a legal drama based loosely on the life and career of producer Marcia Clark (yes, that Marcia Clark). “Grand Hotel” (midseason) is a primetime soap produced by Eva Longoria, based on the popular telenovela about a fancy hotel in Miami. “The Kids Are Alright” (Tuesdays, fall) is a ’70s-set sitcom about a large Irish-Catholic family. “A Million Little Things” (Wednesdays, fall) is a family drama in the vein of “This Is Us.” Fresh off “Castle,” star Nathan Fillion transfers directly to another lighthearted police procedural with “The Rookie” (Tuesdays, fall). “Schooled” (midseason) is ’90s-set spinoff of ’80s-set “The Goldbergs.” “New Girl” producer Liz Meriwether teams with Taran Killam from “SNL” for the self-explanatory sitcom “Single Parents” (Wednesdays, fall). Scott Foley (“Scandal”) and Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead”) star in the hourlong action-comedy “Whiskey Cavalier” (midseason), about an FBI/CIA task force. Weirdly, ABC has no reboots/remakes, having passed (perhaps wisely) on “Greatest American Hero” and “Get Christie Love.”

Tune in next week for part 2 (CBS, FOX, The CW).