Upfronts are here! We begin as usual with my thoughts on new, cancelled, and returning shows. Trailers and show info follows. Fox is up first. Stay tuned for NBC, ABC, CBS, & The CW. Let’s go!
First, let’s talk returning shows… The Orville is without a doubt my favorite show on Fox so knowing that this is coming back warms my heart so, so much. I LOVE this show. I’m behind on a lot of TV but this is one I watch immediately. My other current Fox favorites are 9-1-1 and Bob’s Burgers. Go you, Fox. Doing some good and keeping the winners. Oh wait, I spoke too soon…
Thoughts On Notable Cancelled Series:
The Gifted is a show that I never quite connected with and I really wanted to so I’m really bummed because 1) I never was able to break through with it which made me feel super guilty because the X-Men world is my world and 2) it’s now cancelled. We also said goodbye to Gotham this year. I still haven’t seen the final season but I definitely plan to finish the series at some point. That about wraps it up on cancelled Fox shows that I care about…
As for new shows that were cancelled, there’s only one worth mentioning. The Passage is a huge blow for many reasons, the main two being that 1) this is an absolutely incredible sci-fi series and 2) this is the second drama that Fox has cancelled with Mark-Paul Gosselaar opposite a Black female lead. Fox really wants to make sci-fi happen on their network but really never gives it a chance. If you ask me, The Passage should have been on Syfy or Netflix or Hulu. We for sure would have gotten at least a season 2 at any of those networks. Ughhhh. *breathes in and out*
Finally, after the whole Jussie Smollett fiasco, it’s no surprise that Empire is entering into its final season. This wasn’t my kind of show but regardless of that, I think we all pretty much knew it was over for this show when all of that went down. I hope the cast and crew can have as painless a final season behind the scenes as possible and can find a way to enjoy closing this chapter.
Thoughts On New Series:
Starting with dramas… We already know that anything Jason Katims is attached to, I’m watching. So Not Just Me is high on my watch list. It looks really compelling, which, of course. I’m also really excited to see Brittany Snow having another moment right now and I’m really hoping this show takes her to that next level. The show has such a great cast; Timothy Hutton, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Emily Osment, Mo McRae, Victoria Cartagena, & Mustafa Elzein. Yeah, I can’t wait. Prodigal Son is from Greg Berlanti, so again, another must watch. It looks so good omg. I am so down for this serial killer drama. Same round of applause for the cast; Tom Payne, Michael Sheen, Lou Diamond Phillips, Halston Sage, Aurora Perrineau, Frank Harts, & Keiko Agena. Yes. I am so down for this! I love 9-1-1 so I am definitely going to check out 9-1-1: Lone Star. That said, I’m really hoping Fox doesn’t get into the habit of spinoffs taking over their lineup because they always pick up such great original content and never follow through with giving it a chance. Business is business, I get it. But times are a changing and Fox needs to give their shows more opportunity to thrive. I’m not the audience for Deputy but it also stars Yara Martinez and Bex Taylor-Klaus, so I have something to look forward to when I check out the Pilot. Tate Taylor is behind Filthy Rich which is a “southern Gothic family drama in which wealth, power and religion collide” so it has heavy expectations. I do have THOUGHTS that I will save for later. Long story short though, I will certainly be watching. I really, really, really want to root for neXt but I already feel defeated after reading the synopsis and watching the trailer. This feels like a classic case of a great show that’s going to get cancelled because it’s on Fox. Please let me be wrong. Please.
As for the comedies…Emily Spivey is behind Bless the Harts so I’m excited for this one. On the page, this doesn’t seem like something I’d be too interested in but the preview makes me so excited for this one. Absolutely hysterical. The voice cast is stellar, filled with my favorite SNL alumni and more. Can’t wait. Outmatched seems like a great concept and it looks great (minus the laugh tracks). Tisha Campbell-Martin stars in this (though she’s not in the trailer) which immediately raises my interest. For how long remains to be determined. Next… Amy Poehler and fantasy? Sign me up for Duncanville right away. Yes, please! The Great North comes from the creator of Bob’s Burgers, Loren Bouchard, so I’m in. The voice cast includes Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Jenny Slate, and Will Forte in case you needed any more of a reason to watch.
Finally, on the unscripted front, Ultimate Tag is a high stakes playground game, which sounds fun but to tune in every week makes me want to yawn. But I’m biased as I cut down on the number of reality and competition shows I watch years ago.
New series are in CAPS.
7:00-7:30 NFL On Fox
7:30-8:00 THE OT / Fox Encores
8:00-8:30 The Simpsons
8:30-9:00 BLESS THE HARTS
9:00-9:30 Bob’s Burgers
9:30-10:00 Family Guy
9:00-10:00 PRODIGAL SON
8:00-9:00 The Resident
9:00-10:00 Empire: The Final Season
8:00-9:00 The Masked Singer
9:00-10:00 NOT JUST ME
7:30pm Thursday Night Football
8:00-10:00 WWE’S SMACKDOWN LIVE
7:00-10:30 Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football
Midseason Dramas: The Orville, The Resident, 9-1-1: LONE STAR, DEPUTY, FILTHY RICH, neXt
Midseason Comedies: Last Man Standing, OUTMATCHED, DUNCANVILLE, THE GREAT NORTH
Unscripted: Beat Shazam, Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back, Hell’s Kitchen, The Masked Singer, Masterchef, Masterchef Junior, So You Think You Can Dance, FIRST RESPONDERS LIVE, PARADISE HOTEL, SPIN THE WHEEL, ULTIMATE TAG
PRODIGAL SON is a fresh take on a crime franchise with a provocative and outrageous lead character and a darkly comedic tone, from Emmy Award-nominated executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter (“Riverdale,” “The Flash”) and writers Chris Fedak (“Deception,” “Chuck”) and Sam Sklaver (“Deception,” “Bored to Death”). The series stars Tom Payne (“The Walking Dead”) as the son of a convicted serial killer (Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex,” “Frost/Nixon”), who has made hunting murderers his life’s work. The series also stars Bellamy Young (“Scandal”), Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Lou Diamond Phillips (“Longmire,” “Stand and Deliver”), Halston Sage (THE ORVILLE), Aurora Perrineau (“The Carmichael Show”), Frank Harts (“The Path”) and Keiko Agena (“Dirty John”).
Executive producer Jason Katims (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”) and writer Annie Weisman (“About A Boy,” “Desperate Housewives”) bring you NOT JUST ME, the story of an unusual family formed through extreme odds, exploring such hot-button issues as identity, human connection and what it truly means to be a family. An only child (Brittany Snow, the “Pitch Perfect” franchise, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) finds her life turned upside down when her father (Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton, “American Crime,” “Ordinary People”) reveals that, over the course of his prize-winning career as a pioneering fertility doctor, he used his own sperm to conceive upwards of a hundred children, including two new sisters (Megalyn Echikunwoke, “The Following,” “90210,” and Emily Osment, “The Kominsky Method,” “Young & Hungry”). As these three young women slowly embrace their new reality, they will attempt to form an untraditional bond as sisters, even as they must welcome a tidal wave of new siblings into their rapidly expanding family. The series also stars Mustafa Elzein (“Sequestered”), Mo McRae (“Big Little Lies,” “Pitch”) and Victoria Cartagena (“Manifest”).
From writer/executive producer Will Beall (“Aquaman,” “Gangster Squad”) and director/executive producer David Ayer (“Training Day,” “End of Watch”), DEPUTY brings the spirit of a classic Western and a gritty authenticity to the modern cop drama. When the Los Angeles County’s Sheriff dies, an arcane rule forged back in the Wild West thrusts the most unlikely man into the job: a fifth-generation lawman (Stephen Dorff, “True Detective”), more comfortable taking down bad guys than navigating a sea of politics, who won’t rest until justice is served. DEPUTY also stars Yara Martinez (“Jane the Virgin,” “True Detective”), Brian Van Holt (“Cougar Town”), Siena Goines (“Andi Mack”), Bex Taylor-Klaus (“Arrow”), Shane Paul McGhie (“What Men Want”) and Mark Moses (“Mad Men”).
FILTHY RICH is a southern Gothic family drama in which wealth, power and religion collide – with outrageously soapy results. When the patriarch (Emmy Award winner Gerald McRaney, “This Is Us,” “24: Legacy”) of a mega-rich Southern family, famed for creating a wildly successful Christian television network, dies in a plane crash, his wife (Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Kim Cattrall, “Sex and the City”) and family are stunned to learn that he fathered three illegitimate children, all of whom are written into his will, threatening their family name and fortune. With monumental twists and turns, FILTHY RICH presents a world in which everyone has an ulterior motive – and no one is going down without a fight. From writer/director Tate Taylor (“Ma,” “The Help,” “The Girl on the Train”), the series also stars Melia Kreiling (“Tyrant”), Aubrey Dollar (“Battle Creek”), Corey Cott (“The Good Fight”), Benjamin Levy Aguilar (“Straight Outta Compton”), Mark L. Young (“We’re The Millers”) and Olivia Macklin (“LA to Vegas”), with Emmy Award nominee Steve Harris (“The Practice”). Kim Cattrall also serves as a producer on the series.
From creator and executive producer Manny Coto (“24: Legacy”) and executive producers and directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (“This Is Us”), neXt is a propulsive, fact-based thriller about the emergence of a deadly, rogue artificial intelligence that combines pulse-pounding action with a layered examination of how technology is invading our lives and transforming us in ways we don’t yet understand. Starring Emmy Award nominee John Slattery (“Mad Men”) as a Silicon Valley pioneer, who discovers that one of his own creations – a powerful A.I. – might spell global catastrophe, and teams up with a cybercrime agent (Fernanda Andrade, “The First”) to fight a villain unlike anything we’ve ever seen – one whose greatest weapon against us is ourselves. The series also stars Michael Mosley (“Ozark”), Jason Butler Harner (“Ozark”), Eve Harlow (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Aaron Moten (“Mozart in the Jungle”), Gerardo Celasco (“How to Get Away with Murder”), Elizabeth Cappucino (“Jessica Jones”) and Evan Whitten (THE RESIDENT).
9-1-1: LONE STAR
From 9-1-1 co-creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear, the series stars Rob Lowe (“The Grinder,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The West Wing”) as a sophisticated New York cop who, along with his son, re-locates to Austin and must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving the problems in his own life. Rob Lowe also serves as a co-executive producer on the series.
From writer/executive producer Lon Zimmet (“LA to Vegas”), and starring Jason Biggs (“Orange Is the New Black,” the “American Pie” franchise) and Maggie Lawson (“Lethal Weapon,” “Psych”), OUTMATCHED is a multi-camera family comedy about a blue-collar couple in Atlantic City trying to raise four kids – three of whom just happen to be certified geniuses. The series also stars Tisha Campbell-Martin (“Dr. Ken,” “My Wife and Kids”), Jack Stanton (“The Mick”), Connor Kalopsis (“The Grinder”), Ashley Boettcher (“Lost in Oz”) and Oakley Bull (“Beautiful Boy”).
The new animated comedy joining the lineup this fall is BLESS THE HARTS. Created and executive-produced by Emmy Award winner Emily Spivey (“The Last Man on Earth,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Saturday Night Live”), BLESS THE HARTS follows the Harts, a Southern family that is always broke, and forever struggling to make ends meet. They one day hope to achieve the American dream, but they’re already rich – in friends, family and laughter. The series features the voices of Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids,” “Saturday Night Live”), Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Maya Rudolph (“The Good Place,” “Bridesmaids”), Emmy Award nominee Jillian Bell (“Workaholics,” “Fist Fight”), Ike Barinholtz (“Blockers”), Fortune Feimster (“Office Christmas Party,” “Chelsea Lately”), Drew Tarver (“The Other Two”) and Mary Steenburgen (“The Last Man on Earth,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”). Executive producers on the series include Academy Award winners Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “The LEGO Movie” franchise) and Kristen Wiig.
From Golden Globe winner Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation,” “Saturday Night Live”) and Emmy Award winners Mike and Julie Scully (THE SIMPSONS, “The Carmichael Show,” “Parks and Recreation”) comes DUNCANVILLE, an animated family comedy centered around a spectacularly average 15-year-old boy with a rich fantasy life, and the people in his world. Poehler voices the series’ two leading characters, DUNCAN and his mother, ANNIE. The series also features the voices of Emmy Award winner Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), Emmy Award nominee Riki Lindhome (“Garfunkel and Oates: Trying to be Special,” “Another Period”), Betsy Sodaro (“Another Period,” “Disjointed”) and Yassir Lester (“Making History”), as well as guest voices Rashida Jones (“Parks and Recreation,” “Angie Tribeca”) and Wiz Khalifa (“American Dad!,” “BoJack Horseman”).
THE GREAT NORTH
Also premiering in 2020 is new animated comedy THE GREAT NORTH, from BOB’S BURGERS creator Loren Bouchard. The series follows the Alaskan adventures of the Tobin family, as a single dad does his best to keep his weird bunch of kids close, especially as the artistic dreams of his only daughter lead her away from the family fishing boat and into the glamorous world of the local mall. Featured voices on the series include Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”), Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”), Jenny Slate (BOB’S BURGERS), and Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth”).
Hosted by football superstars and brothers JJ, TJ and Derek Watt, ULTIMATE TAG is a high-octane physical competition show based on the classic playground game of chase. The thrilling, energy-sapping competition will premiere in 2020.