LOOKING TO THE FUTURE OF THE ABC TV FALL SCHEDULE
A TV article by Tim Riley
Two blockbuster films continue to suck up a lot of the oxygen in multiplexes, which explains why other big budget films are going to hold off for now while the Star Wars chapter “Solo” and comical film “Deadpool 2” are holding on to top spots at the box office for now.
Let’s turn to take a look at the television landscape on the ABC Fall schedule, which now won’t include “Roseanne” due to the titular star’s racist tweet resulting in the show being canceled faster than a Jesse Owens dash at the 1936 Olympics. By the way, if you miss comedian Tim Allen’s popular family comedy “Last Man Standing” that has been off the air for more than a year, then grab the remote come fall and find it reincarnated on another primetime network. To see how a network doesn’t need to revive a series but just a kernel of an idea behind other shows, there is no need to wait for the fall because ABC is airing a new series starting June 21.
In “Take Two,” Eddie Cibrian’s lone-wolf private investigator is talked into allowing Rachel Bilson’s Sam Swift, the former star of a hit cop series whose epic breakdown is broadcast to the public, to shadow his moves as she’s desperate to restart her career. Rachel Bilson’s rehabbed private eye is hoping to emulate Hank Azaria’s boozy sports announcer who had a meltdown on his radio broadcast and worked his way back into the minor leagues in the IFC network’s series “Brockmire,” now in its second season.
The analogy may not be spot-on but the old memory bank recalls the same network airing “Moonlighting,” where Cybill Shepherd’s Maddie Hayes, a former top model no less, ends up owning a detective agency and soon enough she’s working cases with Bruce Willis’ David Addison. After years of watching television, you start to wonder how scriptwriters make it work, and then along comes “A Million Little Things” about a group of friends in Boston who have bounded under unusual circumstances. Some achieved success and others are struggling on many fronts.
The wake-up call to reassess the need to finally start living is one dies unexpectedly, and along the way, they discover that friends may be the one thing to save them from themselves. “A Million Little Things” stars the always funny Ron Livingston as Jon, Romany Malco as Rome, Allison Miller as Maggie, David Giuntoli as Eddie, Christina Moses as Regina, Christina Ochoas as Ashley, James Roday as Gary, Stephanie Szostak as Delilah and Lizzy Greene as Sophie.
The star of “Castle,” Nathan Fillion, looks to be the perfect choice of the prime role in “The Rookie,” in which he’s small-town guy John Nolan who, after a life-altering incident, is pursuing his dream of being an LAPD officer. As the force’s oldest rookie, Nolan is met with skepticism from some higher-ups who see him as just a walking midlife crisis. But if he can use his experience to keep up with the young cops and the criminals, his grit and sense of humor may triumph in this new chapter of life.
“Single Parents” is an ensemble comedy following a group of single parents as they lean on each other to help raise their 7-year-old kids and maintain some kind of personal lives outside of parenthood. The group meets Taran Killam’s Will, a 30-something guy who’s been so focused on raising his daughter that he’s lost sight of who is as a man. Falling into the rabbit hole of dealing with PTA meetings and little princesses look a situation for intervention.
The stars ending up in this orbit of parenthood include Leighton Meester as Angie, Kimrie Lewis as Poppy, Jake Choi as Miggy, Marlow Barkley as Sophie, Tyler Wladis as Graham, Grace Hazelett as Emma, Sadie Hazelett as Amy, Devin Trey Campbell as Rory and Brad Garrett as Douglas. As a traditional Irish-Catholic family, the Clearys are the focus of “The Kids Are Alright,” set in a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, as they navigate changes during one of America’s most turbulent decades.
Michael Cudlitz’s Mike and Mary McCormack’s Peggy raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household gets turned upside-down when the oldest son returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and “save the world.” The Fix” arrives midseason and the interesting thing is that former prosecutor Marcia Clark (the O.J. Simpson trial) is a co-writer of this new legal drama about a Los district attorney who suffers a devastating defeat when prosecuting an A-list actor for double murder.
Another anticipated series on the horizon is “Whiskey Cavalier,” a dramedy that follows the adventures of a tough FBI agent played by Scott Foley assigned to work with a badass CIA operative played by Lauren Cohan. A lot more will be reported about this and other networks new lineup of the fall programs when stars and show creators show up for panels at the summer TV press tour.