Associated Press writers
NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS have all unveiled their schedules last week. Here are some of the highlights.
Expect “Roseanne” to cool it on politics and concentrate on family stories when it returns for the second season of its revival next year.
That was the word from ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey as she introduced the network’s plans for next year. The show’s return exceeded all expectations this spring, with the support of Roseanne Barr’s character for President Donald Trump attracting attention.
A whopping total of eight new series will roll out on ABC’s schedule next fall and midseason, including five dramas and three comedies.
One of the hourlong shows, “A Million Little Things,” is about a group of friends who get a “wake-up call” to embrace life after one of them dies. It sounds on paper like an interconnected-lives show akin to NBC’s new drama, “The Village,” about residents in a New York apartment building. And that seems to echo NBC’s hit “This Is Us.” Must be a coincidence.
One new show stars a familiar ABC face: Nathan Fillion, formerly of “Castle.” This time around, he plays a small-town, middle-age man with a dream of becoming a Los Angeles police officer in “The Rookie.”
Another ex-ABC star, Eva Longoria of “Desperate Housewives,” is producing, not acting, for “Grand Hotel,” about a luxurious, family-owned hotel in Miami Beach. Mexican film star and Oscar nominee Demian Bichir leads the ensemble cast.
Two distinctly different nonscripted shows will debut this fall: “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,” which will pair celebrity kids with young ballroom dance professionals, and “The Alec Baldwin Show,” a talk show featuring the actor and Donald Trump impersonator.
A slew of shows got the axe from ABC, which will undoubtedly prompt fans to call for another network or streaming service to give them a second chance at life. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” quickly found that at NBC after Fox canceled it, and “Last Man Standing” was resurrected – could any of the following be as well?
ABC’s dearly departed are “Marvel’s Inhumans,” “10 Days in the Valley,” “Designated Survivor,” “Quantico,” “Deception,” “The Crossing,” “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,” “The Mayor” and “Alex, Inc.”
Glance at next season’s schedule for CBS and you could be forgiven for wondering what decade it is.
The network is adding remakes of 1980s series “Murphy Brown” and “Magnum, P.I.” to a line-up that already includes blasts-from-the-past “Hawaii Five-0” and “MacGyver.”
CBS executives said Wednesday that the “Murphy Brown” reboot, which again stars Candice Bergen, moves TV anchor Murphy out of prime-time. She hosts a morning cable show with the snappy title of “Murphy in the Morning,” and is facing off against her son on a competing network.
A change that “Magnum” fans should watch for, beside a missing comma in the revamp’s title: The private detective has a goatee instead of the signature moustache of original star Tom Selleck. Jay Hernandez plays the new Thomas Magnum.
A number of freshman shows feature African-Americans leads, including “God Friended Me,” a comedy-drama with Brandon Micheal Hall as an atheist who does God’s work after they become Facebook friends. In the sitcom “The Neighborhood,” Cedric the Entertainer stars as an opinionated man who has to adjust to new white neighbors, and Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West play young marrieds in another comedy, “Happy Together.”
Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing,” canceled last year by ABC, is being resurrected by Fox next season because it’s a “great comedy” and not as a conservative statement, Fox executives said Monday.
Some fans may be drawn to the family sitcom because of Allen’s personal political views, but they “aren’t really a big feature of the show,” Fox Television Group executive Gary Newman said. “We just think it’s a really funny show” with general appeal, he said in announcing the network’s 2018-19 schedule with fellow chairman and CEO Dana Walden.
Among Fox’s new shows is “The Cool Kids,” a comedy about rebellious friends in a retirement community, with stars including David Alan Grier, Martin Mull and Vicki Lawrence.
Joining “The Cool Kids” and “Last Man Standing” is the comedy “Rel,” which Fox says is inspired by the life of Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out,” “Insecure”) as a divorced dad in Chicago. Sinbad is among Howery’s co-stars. Fox says it hopes broader-based comedies on Friday help keep some of Thursday night’s football fans tuned to the network.
NBC is turbo-charging the trend of reviving canceled comedies with its pickup of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
The network quickly swooped in after Fox dumped it this month, adding it to NBC’s midseason schedule. While the fan outcry was heartening, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said that because of business considerations, the pickup already was in the works. The show is made by an NBC Universal-owed studio.
NBC says it will introduce five new dramas and two new comedies next season. It’s the only one of the four biggest broadcast networks with more viewers than last season, although that would not have been the case without the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl.
NBC was admittedly “treading water” in the winter between editions of “The Voice,” during the last few years, Greenblatt said.
He’s taken steps to rectify that and will start a winter edition of the summer hit “America’s Got Talent,” with judge Simon Cowell on board. The format will be a championship tournament of past favorite performers and winners from international editions of the show.
Dwayne Johnson also will be a part of “The Titan Games,” a competition from the producers of “American Ninja Warrior.” Ellen DeGeneres also will return with “Ellen’s Game of Games.”
The drama “Blacklist,” said to be on the fence to return, is on the midseason schedule.
NBC’s schedule includes three series that will premiere in the fall.
The Monday night drama “Manifest” is a time-traveler series about passengers who get off a bumpy plane flight only to find it’s five years later and all of their friends and relatives assumed they were dead.
“New Amsterdam,” on Tuesday, is a medical series based in New York’s Bellevue Hospital.
“I Feel Bad” – not a medical series – is a comedy about a working mom who is “perfectly OK with being imperfect,” according to NBC’s description. Amy Poehler is one of the behind-the-scenes figures on the Thursday night show.