ABC has released details of its array of new shows premiering during the 2014-2015 television season. This warrants dissecting the most exciting series coming from the Alphabet Network. Next year promises a diversity of programs, in both the themes of the shows and the backgrounds of featured casts. Perhaps more than any other network, ABC’s new shows represent many races, nationalities, and life experiences. This is quite encouraging, considering how often TV depicts only certain populations.
The other clear winning formula in ABC’s schedule may be how many new dramas come from the ABC Studios production company. This could translate into more successes compared to this past season (only three new shows were renewed, two of them coming directly from ABC Studios), as networks tend to renew more shows that they actually own.
Here are ABC’s 5 Most Anticipated Upcoming Series.
Marvel’s Agent Carter
My Geeks of Doom colleague Bobby covered Agent Carter recently, right before it was picked up. Luckily, the Marvel-themed series centered around Hayley Atwell‘s 1940s love interest to Captain America will have more of her life detailed. ABC’s Carter, which will likely debut mid-season, explores how the agent handles the ramifications of World War II while coping with working for the secretive Strategic Scientific Reserve. Did I mention how poor Carter must also deal with losing Cap? Sounds like a woman we can support. Fanboys may flock to ABC to see another Marvel series, while the allure of a strong female protagonist should deem appealing to viewers of both sexes. No trailer has been released yet, but you can expect Geeks of Doom to continue sharing coverage of Agent Carter as news breaks.
Imagine Monty Python, Once Upon A Time, and Game of Thrones mashed together. The milkshake is a musical comedy mix called Galavant, set in a medieval environment. The seemingly hilarious new series, which comes from the written mind of Dan Fogelman and musical geniuses Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, as well as director Chris Koch, brings fantasy and lyrics to primetime television. Fogelman, Menken, and Slater previously worked together on Tangled, the hit 2010 Disney film. Galavant will take over Once Upon A Time‘s time-slot once Time finishes the first section of its fourth season.
This similar genre show, focused on a heroic figure aiming to help revive his kingdom, could perform well given its originality, tongue-in-cheek nature, and entertainment value. The trailer sells the show. How about you? Nothing says awesome lyrics like the king chanting “I want to liberate his head from his neck and pump the blood erect sky high.” Yeah… this may not be a show whose songs you would want kids to sing, but for us adults, this appears to be a good potion for ABC.
Who would have pictured Laurence Fishburne to star on a sitcom that looks like The Cosby Show in Los Angeles in the 2010s, but with a funny take on racial differences? Even more, can you imagine Anthony Anderson, only nine years younger than Fisburne, as the legendary film star’s son? Well, even if you could not have envisioned this, the end result looks pretty amusing in its biting social commentary on being part of a middle-class, African-American family during this era. I laughed aloud on numerous occasions upon watching the initial trailer, especially when the teenage son vocalizes his interest in having a bar mitzvah.
ABC’s Black-ish will follow Modern Family on Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30c and may be the perfect comedy to ride that show’s coattails. Many other shows following Family in recent years have not aligned with the same type of comedy, thus those programs failing to resonate with viewers who had watched the antics of the Dunphys and Pritchetts. I cannot wait to watch the awkwardness of the Johnsons in ABC’s Black-ish this fall.
How To Get Away With Murder
ABC knows it can rely on super executive producer Shonda Rhimes to create massive hits for the network. Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are two of ABC’s most popular programs, and Viola Davis-vehicle How To Get Away With Murder looks like the third successful member in Rhimes’ unbeatable mix of dramas. Thursday nights on ABC will include Grey‘s at 8, Scandal at 9, and then Murder at 10. Essentially, ABC does not want you to turn your dial. And why would you? Murder appears instantly intriguing, based on the trailer.
Murder follows Davis’ professor figure, whose students find themselves in the middle of an investigation akin to their studies in the classroom. Davis, always a welcomed presence in any film, whether as a leading or supporting character, should take television by storm in this role. Let’s hope so.
Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton lead a tense drama focused on the divisiveness of race in America. From the Oscar-winning writer of 12 Years a Slave, this thought-provoking series could draw in viewers seeking some cerebral television. “At a time when nothing is black and white, one crime can infect so many lives,” the sharp tagline states.
Though it will not debut until midseason, American Crime could be met by the same interest people experienced in surprise hit Resurrection. Then again, the high-intensity, racially charged themes could deem more appropriate on a cable network over ABC. But props to ABC for taking on material with such substance and controversy.
Which shows will you be setting your DVR to – or watching live, if you’re still old school in your viewing habits? Count me in for the pilots of these five series and, fingers crossed, more episodes if they live up to their trailers.
This is Brett Nachman, signing off. Follow me on Twitter for alerts of new editions of Disney In Depth, Thursdays on Geeks of Doom.