Now is that special time of the year when all the major networks debut their fall 2015-16 shows. Every network is looking for the next big hit, and along the way there will always be duds despite their best efforts. Fox’s new lineup certainly had its fair share of odd choices. But ABC might just take the cake with its, featuring a lineup of shows that has one, maybe two diamonds among a whole herd of seemingly subpar offerings.
Of course, we can’t always accurately predict the future. Two and a Half Men stayed on the air for over a decade, so it’s not like lazily-written multi-camera sitcoms never take off. That being so, there’s a graveyard of canceled shows that tell us the format is effectively dead (or at least not catching on in a big way anymore). So without further ado, here’s your guide to the must-watch and must-misses of ABC’s fall lineup.
1. Dr. Ken
Ken Jeong first cropped up in Hollywood appearing as a doctor in Knocked Up. He since made a home for himself as the borderline insane Spanish teacher Ben Chang on NBC’s Community, carving out a comedic niche that fits his style perfectly. What many don’t know though is that before he was an actor, Jeong was actually a licensed medical physician. It was only a matter of time before someone saw that and turned it into a show, and so Dr. Ken was born. Shot as a (*sigh*) multi-camera sitcom, its initial promo includes lines like “family is the best medicine,” producing a level of cheese that doesn’t inspire confidence at least initially. Dr. Ken premieres on Friday, October 2.
2. The Catch
There’s no stopping the Shonda Rhimes melodrama machine it would seem, with her latest show set to debut this fall. The Catch follows the exploits of a woman whose job it is to uncover fraud as a con-artist, only to find herself conned by her thought-to-be lover who runs off with all her money as part of his own con. There’s crying, yelling, and Inception-drums, so it must be a Shonda show. If it’s anything like her past work on Greys Anatomy and Scandal, the drama will ramp up quickly and never end, a formula that’s worked to perfection throughout Rhimes’s career. The Catch does not yet have an official premiere date, but is “coming soon,” per ABC.
3. The Muppets
Of all the shows in ABC’s upcoming new lineup, the reboot of The Muppets actually looks to be the most promising. The humor has grown up with its audience, showing us a series with jokes aimed at one audience: adults. It’s an interesting twist given that the Muppets have long been a crossover hit between kids and their parents. It would appear as though they know exactly who their audience is though, given that much of the appeal of Jim Henson’s creations is rooted in the nostalgia generation. The series will take on a newer format than the original Muppet Show, adjusted to a more straightforward storytelling structure. The Muppets premieres Tuesday, September 22.
4. Of Kings and Prophets
Every network reaches a special point, where they try to recreate the success HBO had with Game of Thrones. Netflix had it with Marco Polo, and managed to produced a lackluster, albeit slight entertaining, show that fell well short of its aim. Now it’s ABC’s turn to take a shot at GoT glory, telling the origin story of “David and Goliath” we never thought we needed. The series itself will be decidedly biblical, following the rise of King Saul, and the beginning stages of David before he killed the famously large Philistine with a slingshot. It’ll be tragically short on dragons, but religious themes will abound. Of Kings and Prophets doesn’t have an official premiere date yet, but is “coming soon,” per ABC.
5. Wicked City
Wicked City could very well prove itself to be the winner of the bunch in terms of dramas, telling the story of a serial killer in 1980s Los Angeles, along with the police officers tasked with solving the mystery of the trail of bodies left behind. It puts a bygone era of Southern California on display, acting as a sort of modern period piece. It’s hard to tell how far the concept can carry on past its initial run given its focus on one series of murders, but given the wide, expansive universe the show is built in, there will be plenty of places to go if things go well in its inaugural season.Wicked City premieres on Tuesday, October 27.
6. Uncle Buck
And here we are. The idea pool for comedies has apparently run so dry, that we now feel the need to take a 25-year-old movie with no real promise as a TV show and adapt it into one anyways. So Uncle Buck was born, showing us firsthand that there’s quite literally nothing Hollywood won’t re-purpose and reboot in hopes of capturing even the smallest of built-in audiences. Given that most people in their target demographic were toddlers when Uncle Buck first hit theaters, there’s a better chance that most viewers will be baffled as to why this show exists. Uncle Buck doesn’t have an official premiere date yet, but is “coming soon,” per ABC.