Continuing to raise the bar for shallow, gimmick-based criticism everywhere, my highly scientific assessment of next season’s network TV schedule rolls on. See here and here for the first two entries in this series, in which I watch the trailers for a few new shows and predict whether they are bound to more closely match the creative nadir of The Cape, or the hopes once held by Mr. Nadir for The Cape. Today I take a gander at some of the whopping 13 new programs to be unleashed by ABC in 2011-12, while categorically refusing to suffer even a second of Work It, lest I pop a few veins and activate Dark Willow mode.
Once Upon A Time
Sundays, 8 p.m. EST / 7 CST
The Premise: Have you guys ever read Fables? How much would it cost to license that as a series? … Whoa, seriously? Fuck that noise, Snow White’s public domain.
The Prediction: Real-Life The Cape. Congratulations, Once Upon A Time trailer. Creepily uttering the phrase “happy endings” three times in about 20 seconds shatters Entourage’s all-time record.
Thursdays, 8 p.m. EST / 7 CST
The Premise: Young, attractive women do crime-stoppy things while being young and attractive. Also they have a Bosley who is suave and good-looking, which is as offensive to the Pop Culture Gods as having a Horshack who’s soft-spoken and erudite.
The Prediction: Six Seasons And A Movie. On a technicality, this is kind of a lock. After all, the original series has already generated five seasons and two movies. All this one has to do is survive til May, and the promise of Minka Kelly donning a cheerleader uniform once again should guarantee that.
The Premise: Look, let’s just throw some people into a jungle and hit them with ooky supernatural stuff again. It can’t do any worse than Off The Map.
The Prediction: Real-Life The Cape. Though not before introducing some conspicuously out-of-place panda bears and an ominous Silt Monster.
Thursdays, 8 p.m. EST / 7 CST
The Premise: Why hear it from me, when you can hear it straight from Ashley Judd, who, despite starring in the show, clearly only learned what it’s about ten minutes before shooting this:
The Prediction: Real-Life The Cape. Something about this trailer doesn’t instill me with a lot of confidence. Maybe the fact that it’s centered on the star narrating the plot to us in a weirdly affectless monotone, like she’s reading from the darkest children’s book ever.
The Premise: A crisis management expert helps D.C. politicians out of embarrassing situations. And how could you not root for her! Because what self-respecting body politic would actually want to see such tawdry circumstances come to... um... hmm.
The Prediction: Six Seasons And A Movie. But just a HUGE missed opportunity by not naming the main character "Scandal." Just think of the crossover potential with Castle. Or with Gail Simone’s Secret Six.
Last Man Standing
Tuesdays, 8 p.m. EST / 7 CST
The Premise: It’s hard to be a man-sitcom these days in a world ruled by lady-dramas.
The Prediction: Six Seasons And A Movie. Look, ABC paid all that money to build the Sitcom-O-Matic 9000. Are they going to let it collect dust or are they going to churn out some good old-fashioned syndication fodder, dammit?
Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. EST / 7:30 CST
The Premise: It’s hard to be a man-sitcom these days in a world ruled by lady-dramas, especially if you can’t even trot out the soothing nostalgia of a Tim Allen to score some faint good will.
The Prediction: Real-Life The Cape. Not only does it star a guy who was ON The Cape, but ABC’s promotional blurb actually lists that as his primary credit. It’s like they’ve never even heard of jinxes over there.