2016 Unofficial Guide to Your New TV Addictions

If you’re a TV nerd, May is quite an exciting time. Current shows are wrapping up and rolling out their season finales, but networks are also announcing what they’re canceling and what they’re picking up so we can be addicted to brand new shows come fall. This year, ABC decided to Game of Thrones their line-up (did I even use that ref correctly) and axed a bunch of shows, NBC and FOX surprised us with a lot of promising pilots and CBS continued to be CBS-y and very white male-y. So in this “Golden Age of Television”, it’s of utmost import to be more selective than usual when it comes to picking up new shows, which is why I’ve compiled this handy guide to help you on your travels. Here are my picks for the most appealing new shows coming this fall (and midsesason) so you don’t have to waste your time on shows that will only last a few eps and get canceled right away.

The Comedies

The Good Place

Thursdays, 8:30pm • NBC

The Good Place was created by Michael Schur of Parks and Rec, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Office fame, and I feel like that should be enough for you to watch this. But if you still need more, it also stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson (our new #MCE). More? It’s written by a lot of the same writers from Parks. More? It’s features Kristen Bell as a woman who died and went to The Good Place (as opposed to The Bad Place), and now she’s living in a perfect world where she’s wrestling with what it means to be “good”. More? Ugh, stop being a dumb bench and watch the darn thing.

Making History

*Midseason* Sundays, 8:30pm • FOX

Oh Adam Pally. Ever since you walked into our lives as Max in Happy Endings, I never wanted you to leave. He had a great run on The Mindy Project, but he’s definitely making a splash with his own series, Making History. Written by the dudes who brought you 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie, it centers around three friends who “find a way to travel through time for truth, justice and riches, which complicates their lives in 2016. They visit some of the greatest moments of the past as they try to resolve their personal problems, while history and pop culture comically collide.” Also, Leighton Meester is in it and the complete opposite of Blair Waldorf. It’s great.

Lethal Weapon

Wedensdays, 8:00pm • FOX

I’ve never actually seen the OG Lethal Weapon movies (I know), but if they’re anything like the trailer for the TV adaptation, I’m here for it. Technically, it seems like the show is more in the dramedy category, but much like Season 1 of Orange is the New Black, I’m lumping it in the comedy section. Anyways, much like the movie franchise, it follows cops Riggs and Murtaugh who work for the LAPD. Former Navy SEAL Riggs (Clayne Crawford) recently lost his wife and unborn child, while Murtaugh (Damon Wayans Sr.) is back in the saddle after a near-fatal heart attack. I admit this isn’t the type of show I’d usually put on my radar, but I was sucked in by the trailer from the first second.

Honorable Mentions

Great News (NBC) {Midseason} – Much like Mike Schur or Shonda Rhimes, I will follow Tina Fey where ever she leads. This time, she’s reunited with 30 Rock writer Tracey Wigfield (they won an Emmy together!), who created and wrote the pilot, in addition to being an EP. It centers around a millennial woman whose mother (played by My Big Fat Greek Wedding aunt Andrea Martin) gets a job as an intern at the same cable network she works at. I also managed to see the trailer for Great News and it feels like Tracey’s voice – a mix of 30 Rock with The Mindy Project, where she was a writer and actress, playing Adam Pally’s new wife Lauren. There were some LOL lines in the trailer AND surprise – Horatio Sanz is in it!

Powerless (NBC) – {Midseason} Powerless is technically a workplace comedy – except that workplace is an insurance company within the universe of DC Comics. It centers on claims adjustors played by Vanessa Hudgens and Danny Pudi, among others, and how they deal with situations like if Batman ruined a Forever 21 at the mall while saving a little girl, and they have to deal with the aftermath. I managed to see a leaked trailer for the show (which has now been taken down) and it looks like it should be on CW or NBC in the era of Heroes. However, I love BBV with Danny Pudi and it’s a great high concept show that could find a big audience.

Imaginary Mary (ABC) {Midseason} – TBH I didn’t expect the trailer to be as intriguing as it was. Imaginary Mary stars Jenna Elfman as a career woman who meets the love of her life, who happens to be a divorced father with three kids. To help her navigate the transition, her childhood imaginary friend pops up, and she’s voiced by the one and only Rachel Dratch. It seems quirky enough that it might be charming, however it could go the way of The Goldbergs (currently in its 3rd season) or Trophy Wife (RIP). Sidenote: I didn’t realize it was created by Adam F. Goldberg who legit created The Goldbergs, so this will probably be a hit hahaaha

The Dramas

This Is Us

Tuesdays, 9:00pm • NBC

Out of all the new crop of shows, I am the most excited about This Is Us. And I’m not the only one. The trailer for this show has been viewed over 15 million times in a little over 48 hours on Facebook – it’s the most watched new-show trailer ever uploaded during upfront week. The previous record was CW’s Legends of Tomorrow which hit 4.1 million last year. In full disclosure I feel at least 7 million views is from me. Needless to say, people are liking it. And what’s great about it is that while it does star B-list actors like Milo Ventimiglia (<3) and Mandy Moore (<3) and Sterling Brown from The People v. OJ Simpson (<3), it’s not a show with a superstar name attached to it. People are responding to the trailer because it’s good.  This Is Us is written by the folks who brought us the brilliant Crazy Stupid Love, and NBC’s been promoting it like a replacement to Parenthood, which I’m totally fine with. It’s a multi-story show featuring characters who have one thing that times them together, and it’s their birthday. I full expect to laugh and cry and ship Milo and Mandy to the fullest. Gimme this show now.

Designated Survivor

Wednesdays, 10:00pm • ABC

Guys, believe it or not but I’ve never watched a TV program (maybe even movie) that Keifer Sutherland has been in…? This might be the first. Instead of playing a Jack Bauer character, Keifer gets promoted from a lower-level Cabinet member to President of the USA after an attack during the State of the Union kills the President, VP, Speaker of the House and everyone in line to be Pres. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a real law, and if you’re a The West Wing fan, you might remember the storyline from one of the eps. While the plot isn’t necessarily super original, the trailer makes it intriguing and appealing to watch. Because course I need another political drama to get into.

Frequency

Tuesdays, 9:00pm • The CW

I didn’t even know this pilot existed until my friend Jennie brought it up – it’s based on a 2000 movie starring Dennis Quaid of the same name. However this TV version features a female police detective in present day who discovers she is able to speak via ham radio with her estranged father who died in 1996. They have to “work together to change the history of tragic events to come.” Starring Mehki Phifer & Peyton List of Mad Men fame. While this wouldn’t usually be on my TV line-up, I still think it has the potential to be a great series.

Pitch

Thursdays, 9:00pm • FOX

Dan Fogelman of Crazy Stupid Love and This Is Us (see above) has HIT A HOME RUN this TV season, as his other show, Pitch has also been picked up to series. The show centers on a young female baseball player who becomes the first MLB pitcher. Think Mo’ne Davis, but a few years from now. It stars newcomer Kylie Bunbury as lead Ginny Baker,  my forever boo Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mark Consuelos, Ali Larter and Dan Lauria, the dad from The Wonder Years who I also had an irrational fear of. Again, this type of sports show isn’t my usual jam, but I feel like it has Friday Night Lights vibe in that you won’t be focusing so much on the sport, but rather the good drama happening during it.

Shots Fired

*Midseason* Wednesdays, 8:00pm • FOX

I recently got into American Crime and loved both seasons so much – it felt like it should be required viewing for all Americans, since it deals with tough issues like racism and gun control that we’re dealing with day to day. Shots Fired has that same feel. The series from EP Gina Prince-Bythewood, the brilliant writer behind Love & Basketball and Beyond the Lights, takes place in a small Southern town where racially charged shootings have just occurred. It stars Sanaa Lathan, Helen Hunt, Richard Dreyfuss, Stephen Moyer, and Tristan Wilds – not to mention I am 100% behind the title of this show.

Honorable Mentions

Still Star-Crossed (ABC) {Midseason} – As previously menitoned, I will follow Shonda to the ends of the TV earth. Her latest show is written by a Scandal alum, and based on the book by Melinda Taub. This period drama picks up where Romeo & Juliet left off, and what happens to the Montagues and Capulets once R&J drank the poison. I am such a sucker for Shakespeare that I would’ve watched this anyways, but the Shondaland factor just ups it a bunch of notches.

Bull (CBS) {Tuesdays at 9p} Hamilton’s George Washington AKA Chris Jackson plays a possibly gay dresser in this show kind of based off of Dr. Phil’s life. Except much more interesting and no Dr. Phil.

Star (FOX) – {Midseason – Wednesdays at 9p} Get ready for another music drama from Lee Daniels, this time starring Queen Latifah and a girl group. No Jussie Smollett, so maybe not worth your time?

Doubt (CBS) {Midseason}  – CBS execs originally developed this show last season, but passed it over, revamped it, replaced Private Practice’s KaDee Strickland with Katherine Heigl in hopes of finally giving her a big break on TV that doesn’t involve her being a doctor. In Doubt, she plays a defense lawyer who gets romantically involved with her client who may or may not be guilty of comitting a brutal crime. Hence, she has doubt. Reasons I’m looking forward to this: A) The rest of the cast includes Steven Pasquale, Dule Hill, Dreama Walker, Elliott Gould B) It also stars Laverne Cox, who will be making broadcast TV history when the show features a transgender series regular character played by a transgender actor. C) It’s created and written by Tony Phelan & Joan Rater, producers from Grey’s Anatomy. They also had another pilot up this season, Drew, featuring Sarah Shahi as a modern day adult Nancy Drew. You know, the whole #TooFemale thing.

Chicago Justice (NBC) {Midseason} – The #OneChicago franchise is like CSI/NCIS for CBS or Law & Order on NBC – like do we need another version of this Chicago series? I guess. Will I watch it? I mean probably if nothing else is on.

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3 thoughts on “2016 Unofficial Guide to Your New TV Addictions

  1. Pingback: Playlist of the Month: TV Tunes Scene Stealers | Cookies + Sangria

  2. Pingback: A Walk To Remember to Remember | Cookies + Sangria

  3. Pingback: Mandy Moore Monday: This Is Us | Cookies + Sangria

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