Breaking Down the 2015 TV Upfronts: ABC, CBS and The CW

by Matthew Thompson

Things got a bit busy for me this weekend and I didn’t have a chance to work further on my breakdown of last week’s Upfronts. Because of this, I have decided to roll the remaining three networks into one post. So here are some quick thoughts on what ABC, CBS and The CW showed off.

ABC

Muppets

Where I found FOX lacking, I came away impressed with ABC who presented a diverse lineup of new dramas. I’m not sure which of these I will end up watching or which will be good, but they showed off a fairly varied array of shows. The Family was probably the most intriguing to me, but I could see trying them all except Oil which looked especially bland to me.

Their new comedies looked much less appealing as a group. Dr. Ken and Uncle Buck looked as awful as anything I saw last week. On the bright side was the new Muppets show. I haven’t exactly kept up with the Muppets in recent years, but their show looks like a fun time that will skewer the mockumentary-style sitcoms that have sprung up so much over the last decade.

CBS

Supergirl

CBS showed off an alright lineup of new shows this past week. Supergirl looked pretty solid and represents something a bit unique for the network while also having a different feel than The CW superhero shows. I think my indifference towards it came more from my growing fatigue for superhero shows, but I found the lead charming and the trailer to be fairly fun.

I plan to check out Life in Pieces as well. I may not be in need of another family comedy, but there is a great cast here and the short story format may help it stand out. I haven’t seen Limitless the movie, so I have a hard time feeling excited for the show. I am impressed that Bradley Cooper will be making guest appearances though. The other two I was even less interested in. Angel from Hell just isn’t for me and Code Black looks like a pretty cliché entry in a genre I don’t care much about anyway.

The CW

Legends of Tomorrow

Over the last few years, the CW has grown into my most watched broadcast net. It did so slowly with a shift towards fun genre TV, but last year also marked a banner year for them as far as new shows go. Jane the Virgin and iZombie are among my favorite shows of this past season. I don’t feel as strongly about The Flash, but I can recognize why it is such a hit for its target audience.

Of the three shows they trotted out this past week, I can only say for sure I’ll be watching Legends of Tomorrow. The trailer was better than I expected. The tone seems more in line with The Flash which is a better fit given the kind of cheese that is likely to accompany the series (unlike Arrow whose tone kind of clashes with all the corniness). Plus Captain Cold is one of my favorite characters in the Arrow-verse. I can only hope his awesomeness and the badassery of Sara Lance (now the White Canary) will offset the overwhelming lameness of Ray Palmer.

Containment didn’t do much for me, but given how much I like on the network right now, I will give it a shot if the reviews are good. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a bit out of my wheelhouse. A bit too much singing and awkwardness for me, but they needed something to pair with Jane the Virgin, so it might work for that purpose.

Overview

When I only had loglines and the talent attached to go on, I was really unenthused with the new network offerings for next season. I found a lot more to like than I expected after seeing the trailers, so in that way I guess Upfronts had a positive effect on me. Yet I don’t find myself all that jazzed about any particular new show. I think what hurts is that none of my favorite creators have a show debuting this season. For instance, last year I had new shows from the minds behind Veronica Mars, 30 Rock and Happy Endings. There seems to be plenty I will give a try, but very little I’m truly excited for this time. Hopefully that will change when I actually watch some of these shows next Fall. Feel free to let me know in the comments what you’ll be checking out from this new crop next season. Thanks for reading!

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4 comments on “Breaking Down the 2015 TV Upfronts: ABC, CBS and The CW

  1. I was skeptical of Supergirl until I saw the trailer. I’d probably give the show a chance. I like the lead actress and their take on this character.

    I’m less enthused by Legends Of Tomorrow. I’ll have to see the pilot to get a handle on the team chemistry and how it’ll all fit together. I do like most of the actors though.

    • How Legends of Tomorrow will fit together is definitely a question mark. I don’t know if there is some basis for this grouping in the comics, but it seems like kind of a haphazard collection of heroes from those other two shows plus some new ones. Even like perhaps the popularity of a couple characters got them thrown into this mix. So it sounded like a mess on paper, but I ended up liking the trailer more than I expected I guess. But it really does depend on if they all work together well. Seems like a lot of moving parts.

  2. Legends of Tomorrow sounds like it could be neat. I like that Captain Cold is in it, he’s been great on The Flash so far. Supergirl has me really excited, especially after that Batman vs Superman movie trailer. Looks like it’ll capture what I love about Superman better than that movie even with the gender swap. The new Muppet show sounds awesome too.

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