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 May 31 - Jun 6, 2018 
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Idiot Box

Upfront About It (Part 2)

Nets hawk new shows

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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 what the industry calls “Upfront Week.” Last week, “Idiot Box” looked at what new shows ABC and NBC have in store for us this fall. This week, we tackle the rest.

CBS—Like “Roseanne,” “Murphy Brown” (Thursdays, fall) gets a belated reboot/revival (with Candice Bergen), but “Magnum P.I.” (Mondays, fall) gets a ground-up reboot. (Jay Hernandez from Suicide Squad is our flippant detective, and Higgins is a woman!) Oddly, the network passed on its much-touted “Cagney and Lacey” reboot. “The Code” (midseason) is basically “NCIS,” but with Marines instead of the Navy. With “God Friended Me” (Sundays, fall), a dramedy about an atheist who starts getting Facebook messages from God, and “Red Line” (midseason), a serialized drama about the aftermath of a racially motivated police shooting, producer Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” “Black Lightning,” etc.) ups his primetime TV show count to a record-breaking 14 next season. Returning to tradition in the wake of the “Roseanne” reboot, “Happy Together” (Mondays, fall) is TV’s umpteenth new three-camera sitcom—this one about a group of suburban thirtysomethings whose new roommate is a pop star on the verge of stardom. “Fam” (midseason) finds Nina Dobrev ( “The Vampire Diaries”) trying to impress her inlaws-to-be, even though her out-of-control teenage half-sister has just moved in with her. And “The Neighborhood” (Mondays, fall) finds a polite midwesterner moving to a divisive block in Los Angeles. Dick Wolf (the “Law & Order franchise) adds the generic-sounding “F.B.I.” (Tuesdays, fall) to his resume.

FOX—The big news, of course, is that FOX stole Tim Allen’s staunchly traditional (in more ways than one) sitcom “Last Man Standing” (Fridays, fall) from ABC. Apparently FOX (creators of “Married With Children”) was the only network “conservative” enough to air it. Evidently Fox agrees that modern single-camera sitcoms are passé, having canceled “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Last Man on Earth,” “The Mick” and “New Girl” and replaced them with old school single-camera sitcoms like “Last Man Standing” and “The Cool Kids” (Fridays, fall), about a bunch of cliquish seniors in a retirement community. Know what else is old school? Comedians with eponymous, semi-autobiographical sitcoms. (“Seinfeld” anyone?) Comedian LilRel Howery (Get Out) lands one of those with “Rel” (Sundays, fall). On the innovative front, TV gets more vampires in the form of “The Passage” (midseason), based on the book trilogy by Justin Cronin. And lawyers do law things in “Proven Innocent” (midseason).

The CW—Broadcast TV’s smallest bigtime network adds a couple familiar shows with the reboot of former WB shows “Charmed” (Sundays, fall) and “Roswell”—the latter now known as “Roswell, New Mexico” (midseason). “All American” (Wednesdays, fall) is yet another entry from producer Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl”) about a high school footballer from Crenshaw recruited to play for Beverly Hills High. “In The Dark” (midseason) is a murder mystery about an “irreverent” blind woman who sets out to solve her friend’s murder. “Legacies” (Thursdays, fall) is a high school-based spinoff of “The Originals” (which is, itself, a spinoff of “The Vampire Diaries”).


 
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