One of the most fun articles of the year is back! It’s Fall Preview time, and it’s time for me to look forward to all the shows that will be canceled by the time the first snows fall. Every year I marvel at how the major broadcast networks can’t seem to pick a hit and this year is no exception.
The big hits last year were Will & Grace and Roseanne, so it’s no surprise that there is absolutely nothing original coming this fall. Rather than take the kind of bold steps that have critics raving about HBO and advertisers flocking to AMC, the broadcast folks continue to give us the same warmed-over stuff as before. They tell us it’s different, but we know better.
Here’s the list of shows premiering this fall from each of the major broadcast networks. I haven’t included any show premiering mid-season, just the upcoming stuff. As with every year, I haven’t actually seen any of the pilots. This year especially, this seems utterly unnecessary. Ready? Let’s dive in.
A Million Little Things
This is a millennial/GenX take on The Big Chill. There are friends, one dies, the rest deal with it.
A middle-aged guy joins the police academy. Reference: literally every Police Academy movie and pretty much every movie where anyone ever joins a group where they’re the oldest.
OK this has to be the biggest straight up ripoff yet. This is Castle with the genders swapped, and they don’t even try to hide it. Even the title tells you that they’re just doing what they did before.
The Kids are Alright
Just see the movie with the same name. Also somehow manages to be a ripoff of The Brady Bunch, The Wonder Years and a little bit of This is Us.
There are parents, and they aren’t married. Another concept that’s as old as the hills. Fans of Brad Garrett, who stars in the show, might tolerate it.
Seriously. Dick Wolf is producing it and the guy from The Good Wife created it. Is there anything else you really need to know that you couldn’t have guessed from that info?
God Friended Me
Anyone else remember the 1970s movie Oh God? Well, that. Except it’s supposed to be more like a drama.
Finally, a show that’s willing to admit it’s a straight-up remake. Unclear if Jay Fernandez, the eponymous Magnum in this go-round, has a class-A mustache. He has to, right?
This is literally a continuation of the 80s TV show. Will I watch it? Sure! But come on folks, at least try something new.
Apparently this is based on a real event. These two elder millennials have a singer move into their home. Think Bye Bye Birdie but without the songs which were the best part.
A nice guy moves to a city neighborhood. Look no further than The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for inspiration. Ironically, the nice guy is played by Max Greenfield who played a character in his last show named, you guessed it, Schmidt. Folks you can’t make this up.
The Cool Kids
OK, so this is The Golden Girls, with dudes. A guaranteed yuckfest considering Martin Mull is one of the guys.
Last Man Standing
This is the same show that was canceled last year on another network. Literally, the same show. Literally.
A person has his life turned upside down and moves to a midwestern city. I’m going to be pretty disappointed if he doesn’t start singing Love is All Around and throwing his hat in the air. I mean, if I don’t even have to tell you what show it rips off…
Passengers leave a plane and there have been all sorts of weird occurrences since they take off. Let’s see: Lost, Millennium, and pretty much every Twilight Zone episode.
A new staffer comes to a failing hospital. You might be thinking ER, St. Elsewhere, Grey’s Anatomy, or half a dozen other medical dramas. I’m thinking of the 70’s Wayne Rogers vehicle House Calls. When you can’t even pick which show it rips off the most, you know you have trouble.
I Feel Bad
A woman with a midlife crisis, played for laughs. Rips off so many shows, you just pick one. I’m getting tired.
Another straight up reboot. How many episodes do you think they’ll get to before they stunt-cast Shannen Doherty?
So this is sort of a sequel to The Vampire Diaries. Apparently it’s the kids of the original cast. I didn’t watch the show so I can’t tell you how any of the characters have kids. Aren’t they vampires?
Roswell, New Mexico
So the producers of this show desperately want you to know that this is not a reboot of Roswell, but then they’ll grudgingly admit that it’s based on the same source material.
No preview article would be complete without me mentioning that in addition to another season of Star Trek Discovery, (this time with more Spock!) there are no fewer than three additional Trek series in the works. Will CBS charge $10 a month for each of them or will they build some good will and actually give you enough content for your $10 that you’ll feel good about them? Who knows.
So that’s it, folks. I am pretty sure that scoundrel Buckler is working on his own rose-colored view of the coming season. Good luck with that, pal.