SideReel's Fall TV Preview - ABC - Featured

We here at SideReel can taste the new Fall season it's so close!

As the premieres of all the new fall shows approach, we'll be giving you a peek at this fall's newbies and our opinions on each network's new shows all week, so check out the FOX Fall Preview here, the NBC preview here, and today...the ABC preview!

We have to say, out of all of the networks' new Fall Slates, we here at SideReel think that ABC's is among the most promising. Then again, they are also launching the most new series out of any of the networks. Check out their offerings:

The Best:

FlashForward - Premieres September 24th

ABC keeps assuring us that they aren't trying to make FlashForward the next Lost...but FlashForward is totally the next Lost (and we mean this in only the most complimentary way). This show has all of the elements of the net's next pop-scifi hit: great cast, unique premise and a slowly unraveling mystery that will keep us watching from week to week. Starring Joseph Fiennes (the one from Shakespeare in Love), Sonya Walger, John Cho and Dominic Monaghan (speaking of Lost...) to name a few, the premise of FlashForward is that for 2 minutes (and 17 seconds), the world blacks out and sees glimpses of the world 6 months into the future. This blackout rightfully causes some chaos, and leaves the world wondering not only what exactly everyone else saw, but if the visions will become reality. Philosophical questions about determinism and free will sure to follow...

Cougar Town - Premieres September 23rd

One might be weary that the whole cougar schtick may have already worn thin, and that a whole series based on cougar jokes just won't be that funny. But...fear not, as Cougar Town comes from Bill Lawrence (Scrubs!) and appears to have all the wit and charm that characterized the early days of Scrubs. We watched the preview. We laughed. We're officially excited.

Modern Family - Premieres September 23rd

ABC has loads of confidence in Modern Family. They have so much, in fact, that that they opted to screen the pilot in full at their Fall Upfront Presentation, which nobody ever does, so I guess we should have some confidence too. Shot mockumentary style (we know, what comedy isn't these The Office, Parks & Recreation), Modern Family is being hailed as TV's next great comedy - focusing on 3 separate - you guessed it...modern families! While we haven't screened the pilot, the casting looks solid (some fun familiar faces including Julie Bowen and Ed O'Neill), and the writing appears sharp (from the previews we've seen).

V (Reimagined Series) - Premieres November 3rd

File another one under the 'awesome' column for ABC's new Fall slate. In fact, V (based on the 1983 NBC miniseries) was originally scheduled to debut in the Spring, but apparently it was too awesome to hold until then (or ABC had a hole in their schedule), as instead, it's debuting in November. But seriously, watch the trailer and tell us that this show doesn't look like it's awesome. We also know we're not the only one that has loved Morena Baccarin since Firefly...and how perfect does she seem cast as an alien? The cast also includes Lost's Elizabeth Mitchell, Scott Wolf and Laura Vandervoort (Smallville) to name a few.

The Worst:

The Forgotten (TV) - Premieres September 22nd

We're not sure we'll ever be able to associate "The Forgotten" with anything other than that godawful Julianne Moore film.

While this series does come from Jerry Bruckheimer (who is behind practically every crime-related procedural hit on TV - from all of the CSIs to the now defunct Without a Trace) and recently recast its lead in the form of Christian Slater (whom TV networks apparently are convinced is a draw/TV star-in-the-making, even after the crashing and burning of My Own Worst Enemy last Fall), the plot just comes off as too generic to need to tune in on a regular basis. The Forgotten (TV) follows a team of amateurs who work on solving murder cases involving unidentified victims after the police have given up (so's like every other Bruckheimer procedural, but *TWIST* they aren't police).

In reality, we are sure that there will be worse new shows that debut on TV this Fall. But, as far as we can tell, this show's title choice seems a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy; The Forgotten (TV) might not be TV's worst, but it looks pretty forgettable.

Eastwick - Premieres September 23rd

Witchcraft. Wizardry. Magic. We get it. It's all the rage. Eastwick focuses on 3 witches (Rebecca Romijn, Lindsay Price, Jaime Ray Newman) who are brought together by "a mysterious man" who helps them to understand and master their powers. Sorry, but wasn't this show called Charmed when it aired on The WB for...oh...8 seasons? Yes, Eastwick is its own premise - and loosely based on the novel "The Witches of Eastwick" by John Updike, but a show about 3 witches harnessing their powers seems like it has been done already. And judging by watching the previews and reading the early reviews, it was done better the first time around...

The Wild Card(s):

Hank - Premieres September 23rd

In its favor, Hank has Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) as its lead, and a very timely premise: recession humor. Hank focuses on Hank, who has recently lost his job and thus relocates his family from his posh NYC home to small town South Bend. Humor ensues? It's possible, but frankly, unless executed exceptionally well I'm thinking it's far more likely that the recession humor will soon wear thin and if anything, seem depressing. What's more, Hank is part of ABC's Wednesday night lineup consisting of 4 new comedies. The network has had historical difficulty with successfully launching 30 minute comedies. Since we're already thinking that Cougar Town and Modern Family are the net's Fall comedy winners, statistics say that Hank and The Middle (see below) will be the losers.

The Middle - Premieres September 23rd

The Middle stars Patricia Heaton (who interestingly, starred with Kelsey Grammer in the canceled-after-a-season Back to You) as the matriarch of a middle class family living in middle America. It also stars the hilarious Neil Flynn (Janitor from Scrubs; yes - he is leaving Scrubs for this) as the family's father. While this could turn out to be a funny family comedy, much like Hank, I just worry that the show's overall premise - "Middle America. Haha." - might quickly wear thin. I mentioned above, its pretty much an impossibility that all of ABC's new family comedies will succeed...and my money's on Modern Family.

Saved for Spring:

Happy Town, The Deep End

Which new ABC shows will you be checking out?

Check out the Fall 2009 TV Calendar here



Large monkey

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Sep 2, 2009 11:10AM EDT

Yuck, I am witholding judgement on most of these shows but not Hank. I have $5 that says that "recession" humor will quickly give up the ghost and Hank will turn into 'Midwesterners are backward hillbillies, with heart, and New Yorkers are pretentious snobs, with brains, how Crazy is it that these folks know each other?!?' The Hillbilly/Snob contrast being even more painful because it will be forgotten that South Bend is home to Notre Dame and just a hop skip and a jump from Chicago and is not, in fact, a cultural wasteland. How many episodes do you think it will be before we get the "joke" that "It doesn't matter that we can't afford to go out to dinner/order in. There isn't a decent Thai/Greek/Ethiopian/Chinese/Whatever place for 1000 miles!"

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Sep 2, 2009 11:38AM EDT

The new ABC shows seem more promising than any of the other networks mediocre new offerings. Flash Forward seems like a can't miss hit, I am really excited for this one. The premise is completely original and has a JJ Abrams, Lost/Alias feel to it. However, since it isn't an Abrams vechile, people may be disappointed if it does not deliver like his shows have. Cougar Town seems, less my ally, but I do like Courntey Cox, hopefully her character is as charming and funny as her Monica Geller, in which case it has a chance. Modern Family seems like it has the cast necessary to last with this type of premise, and come on, Al Bundy, how can you not give it a chance. However, The forgotten seems like it will be one that is quickly axed, Bruckheimer does give it a better chance to stay around simply because he is behind it, networks are less likely to cancel one of his shows early out of fear they won't get a chance to work with him in the future. Slatter as the star is something that makes me fearful, lackluster films and a recent failed series makes him a less bankable TV show star. I like him in is guest roles on TV shows, but as the leading man, I dont know. Then Hank is just the cliche family comedy, ABC just canceled one of those so I can not see Kelsey Grammer's being better than Bob Sagets, this one will probably quietly go away.


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Sep 3, 2009 3:47AM EDT

I'm loving the look of V!!! Flashforward looks good too. ABC definitely has the more promising looking shows.


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Sep 7, 2009 6:06PM EDT

Finally! Something with Joseph Finnes! I am so happy he has decided to come back and do something else with his acting, and it looks as if he chose an awesome show to come back with! Love it, can't wait to see the pilot of Flash Foward!

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