Sunday, May 20, 2018

Blast from the past - going through the 2018 network upfronts

It's been a good decade since I worked in post production and tracked shows in development, and over the years I gradually tuned out of pilot season and the upfronts, which I used to love. I also used to blog about them like crazy, including my picks for which shows would be hits (I was usually wrong).

For the upcoming season, there are several new network shows that have my attention (alas, not L.A. Confidential, which wasn't picked up) so I decided to revisit my old stomping grounds.

I'm also hoping this helps me get through the first Sunday in eight weeks that won't have new episodes of both The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale and Barry. Sunday, which I'd gotten used to looking forward to, is now a TV wasteland, at least until Joel McHale returns in July. But I digress.

Loglines are from Deadline.com's new show coverage. Let's check out the shows that will be getting a shot at cluttering up my DVR!

ABC
The Fix
Logline: After losing the biggest case of her career and being shredded by the media, former prosecutor Maya Travis has left Los Angeles for a quiet life in rural Oregon. Eight years after her devastating defeat, the murderer strikes again, forcing Maya to return to L.A. to confront him one more time. Will she play by the rules, or will she do whatever it takes to get him behind bars?

You had me at: Robin Tunney as Maya. Love her.

Bonus: Marcia Clark is a writer/producer.

The Rookie
Logline: John Nolan is the oldest rookie in the LAPD. At an age where most are at the peak of their career, Nolan cast aside his comfortable small-town life and moved to L.A. to pursue his dream of being a cop. Now, surrounded by rookies 20 years his junior, Nolan must navigate the dangerous, humorous and unpredictable world of a "young" cop, determined to make his second shot at life count. Inspired by a true story.

You had me at: Nathan Fillion as a 40 year old LAPD rookie.

Bonus: A tie between that last line of the logline and playing "Spot That Location" - especially around Hollywood - in the trailer.

CBS
God Friended Me
Logline: Exploring questions of faith, existence and science, it centers on an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he is friended by God on Facebook. Unwittingly, he becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.

You had me at: The possibility of Hollywood not treating believers like hicks/nutjobs. A longshot, I know, but enough to at least give it an episode or two.

Bonus: Not your average premise and it will also be interesting if the industry has learned anything from the profitability of shows that appeal to people outside their big-city bubbles (see also Roseanne reboot and the return of Last Man Standing).

FOX
Fox only has two new dramas this year and neither of them piqued my interest.

NBC
Manifest
Logline: A plane disappears from radar and returns years later after being untraceable and presumed lost at sea. No time has passed for those on the plane, but for their loved ones at home, many years have gone by. The series follows their personal lives as well as the larger mystery and purpose that is their destiny.

You had me at: That creepy premise and trailer.

Bonus: Robert Zemeckis is involved.

CW
In the Dark
Logline: A flawed and irreverent blind woman is the only "witness" to the murder of her drug-dealing friend. After the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while also managing her colorful dating life and the job she hates at Breaking Blind, the guide dog school owned by her overprotective parents.

You had me at: That logline. How can you not love it, especially with the sure-to-be adorable dog and Breaking Bad reference?

Bonus: Pretzel could fill my dog-viewing void left by the cancellation of Downward Dog. Levi (his real name) has already made the news. Also, Michael Showalter of The State is involved, at least in the pilot.


It will be interesting to revisit this when the shows launch in September. Happy viewing everybody!

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