Fall TV Preview: What New TV Shows Should You Be Watching In A Few Months?
Traditionally, TV has started up with new episodes in the fall, finished up in the spring, and then taken a break for the summer with reruns and maybe a reality show here and there. But in the era of streaming, new shows are premiering all the time and old shows are eternally available, so there is no need anymore to wait until September and October to get your fix. But the traditional broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX and NBC) still like to make a big show of announcing their fall schedules. So every May, we mourn the bloodbath of cancelled series and look forward to the new shows that might fill the holes in our hearts. I have scanned the upcoming fall 2018 schedules and picked one show from each of the five networks that should be worth checking out in this fall TV preview.
ABC: Single Parents
ABC has built up a reliable stable of family sitcoms the past few seasons, with a couple more on the way in the fall (plus The Goldbergs spinoff Schooled in midseason). There is The Kids Are All Alright, about a 1970s SoCal Irish-Catholic family, which looks to follow the established formula, and then there is Single Parents, which promises to break the mold a bit. Instead of focusing on one family, it tracks several single parents of 7-year-old kids at the same school. SNL alum Taran Killam plays the dad who might be sacrificing his own identity in the name of parenthood too much, while Brad Garrett and the always-welcome Leighton Meester also star.
CBS: Murphy Brown
The Eye Network is leaning hard into reboot fever, with a modern reboot on Magnum P.I. plus a continuation of the 1988-98 sitcom about a recovering alcoholic making her way in the world of broadcast news. The indefatigable Candice Bergen is set to reprise her title role, alongside fellow returning cast members Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto and Grant Shaud. Reboots have been hit-or-miss the past few years, and Murphy Brown will have a vastly different TV news landscape to contend with, but there should still be room to carve out some relevance. After all, if it angered Dan Quayle back in the day, imagine what Mike Pence will think of it now.
The CW: Charmed
I am not super excited by any of the new options on The CW’s lineup — I would much rather much say that we should just get excited for the final seasons of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin. But if forced to pick, I would spotlight Charmed, about three sisters who discover that they are witches, rebooting the 1998-2006 WB series of the same name. The CW has a solid track with both supernatural and female-fronted shows, and with multiple Jane the Virgin veterans on the production team, viewers may just be the ones who end up getting charmed.
For those of you who saw Get Out and thought that Lil Rel Howery needed to be starring in a sitcom, pronto, well, you should have been watching The Carmichael Show. But the silver lining of that underwatched gem ending last year is that Howery is now free to star in his own series, and so he will in the autobiographical Rel. He stars as a Chicago husband and father whose life is torn asunder when his wife cheats on him with his barber, who is quite possibly the worst person for his spouse to sleep with, as it means that word will spread quickly and everyone will soon be all up in his business. Good Burger fans will be happy to know that Sinbad plays Rel’s dad.
The networks use the spring not only to announce what is coming in the fall but also what is due by winter/spring. So for The Peacock, I am going to look ahead to midseason and pick Abby’s as its best upcoming offering. Natalie Morales (a veteran of such classic short-lived sitcoms as Trophy Wife and The Grinder) finally gets a starring role as the owner of a quirky makeshift bar in her San Diego backyard. The pedigree on this show is ridiculous, with producers from Parks and Recreation and The Good Place, as well as a cast that includes Neil Flynn (Scrubs, The Middle) and Nelson Franklin (New Girl, black-ish).