Whereas NBC seems as if they are running away from family comedies after an embarrassing recent development track record, ABC has fared better with Modern Family, The Goldbergs and The Middle. Looking to build on that, the network has committed to three new family comedies - Black-ish, Cristela and Fresh Off the Boat (mid-season) – that also happen to inject a bit of welcome diversity into ABC’s lineup.
Besides that triumvirate of suburban giggle inducers, the network has also committed to three laughers that are a bit more high-concept – keeping with ABC’s mixed development approach that has delivered shows as varied as the now cancelled Mixology and The Neighbors in the last two years. This time, ABC is giving us a musical fantasy tale (Galavant, which will be held till mid-season), an ultra-modern retelling of My Fair Lady (Selfie), and a conventional romantic comedy that somewhat focuses on the characters inner-monologues (Manhattan Love Story).
On the drama side of the aisle, ABC will also look to supplement their stock of reliable mainstays and promising sophomores with four very different crime dramas. How to Get Away with Murder from Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal super-producer Shonda Rhimes; a Castle/Bones type show about a mismatched cop/civilian adviser pair whose hook is that the civilian is an immortal medical examiner (really); and a pair of intense mid-season crime dramas with casts that are filled with familiar faces – American Crime and Secrets and Lies. Besides those four, ABC is also echoing their most successful drama debuts from last season (Resurrection and Agents of SHIELD) with another serialized and grand sci-fi mystery show (The Whispers, which also seems to echo Torchwood: Children of Earth based on the trailer and the synopsis), and Marvel’s Agent Carter.
So, are any of these going to be your next favorite? To help with your quick assessments of each series, we’ve broken the shows down to give you a better idea of what you can expect.
Showrunner: Larry Wilmore (who will reportedly step aside due to his new job as host of The Minority Report)
Producers: Kenya Barris, Larry Wilmore, Anthony Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Helen Sugland, Tom Russo, Brian Dobbins, Peter Principato, Paul Young and James Griffiths
Starring: Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin, and Laurence Fishburne
Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson (Anthony Anderson) has a great job, a beautiful wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids, and a colonial home in the ‘burbs. But has success brought too much assimilation for this black family? With a little help from his dad (Laurence Fishburne), Dre sets out to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family that honors their past while embracing the future.
Showrunner: Cristela Alonzo and Kevin Hench
Producers: Cristela Alonzo, Kevin Hench, Marty Adelstein, Becky Clements and Shawn Levy
Starring: Cristela Alonzo, Carlos Ponce, Terri Hoyos, Andrew Leeds, and Sam McMurray
In her sixth year of law school, Cristela (Cristela Alonzo) is finally on the brink of landing her first big (unpaid) internship at a prestigious law firm. The only problem is that her pursuit of success is more ambitious than her traditional Mexican-American family thinks is appropriate. She’s stuck straddling the old culture she’s trying to modernize at home with her working-class family and the modern world she’s trying to embrace in her professional career. Breakout comedian Cristela Alonzo stars in this hilarious comedy about laughing your way down the path to the new American dream.
Fresh Off the Boat (Comedy)
Showrunner: Nahnatchka Khan
Producers: Nahnatchka Khan, Jake Kasdan and Eddie Huang
Starring: Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen
It’s the ’90s and 11 year old, hip-hop loving Eddie (Hudson Yang) just moved to suburban Orlando from DC’s Chinatown with his parents (Randall Park and Constance Wu). It’s culture shock for his immigrant family in this comedy about pursuing the American Dream. “Fresh Off the Boat” is based on Chef Eddie Huang’s memoir Fresh Off the Boat.
Showrunner: Dan Fogelman
Producers: Dan Fogelman, Alan Menken, Glenn Slater and Chris Koch
Starring: Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, Mallory Jansen, Karen David and Luke Youngblood
Screenwriter/executive producer Dan Fogelman (“Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “Tangled,” “Cars”) teams up with Broadway and Hollywood award-winning musical team-composer Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast”) and lyricist Glenn Slater (“The Little Mermaid,” “Tangled”)-for a musical comedy fairytale of epic proportions. Once upon a time, the dashing hero, Galavant (Joshua Sasse), lost the love of his life, Madalena (Mallory Jansen), to the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson). Now, our fallen hero is ready to take revenge and restore his “happily ever after.” But it won’t be without a few twists and turns along the way.
Manhattan Love Story (Comedy)
Showrunner: Jeff Lowell
Producers: Jeff Lowell, Peter Traugott, Robin Schwartz, Rachel Kaplan and Jon Liebman
Starring: Analeigh Tipton, Jake McDorman, Nicolas Wright, Jade Catta-Preta, Chloe Wepper and Kurt Fuller
Have you ever wondered what your date was thinking? This romantic comedy exposes the differences between men and women through the unfiltered thoughts, and often contradictory actions, of a new couple who have just begun dating.
Showrunner: Emily Kapnek
Producers: Emily Kapnek, Julie Ann Robinson
Starring: Karen Gillan, John Cho, Tim Peper, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Allyn Rachel and David Harewood
“Instafamous” Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) has 263,000 followers who hang on to her every post, tweet and selfie. But one lonely day, she has a revelation: being friended is not the same as having actual friends. She asks marketing guru Henry (John Cho) to ‘rebrand’ her self-obsessed reputation and teach her how to connect with people in the real world. Loosely based on “My Fair Lady,” “Selfie” explores the modern struggles of Eliza and Henry, as he tries to teach her how to live life offline-whether she ‘likes’ it or not. “Selfie” stars Karen Gillan as Eliza, John Cho as Henry, Tim Peper as Ethan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Charmonique, Allyn Rachel as Bryn and David Harewood as Sam.
American Crime (Drama)
Showrunner: John Ridley
Producers: John Ridley and Michael J. McDonald
Starring: Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, W. Earl Brown, Richard Cabral, Caitlin Gerard, Benito Martinez, Penelope Ann Miller, Elvis Nolasco and Johnny Ortiz
All over the news are reports about a young couple in Modesto, California, who were attacked in their home. Matt Skokie, a war vet, was killed, and his wife, Lily, is unconscious, barely hanging on. Both sets of parents are at her bedside hoping for a miracle while four suspects are about to be arrested. The case sends shock waves into the community stirring up tensions across racial lines in this gritty drama-from the point of the victims.
Showrunner: Matt Miller
Producers: Matt Miller, Dan Lin and Jennifer Gwartz
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Alana De La Garza, Barbra Eve Harris, Donniie Keshawarz, Joel David Moore and Judd Hirsch
Doctor Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), New York City’s star medical examiner, has a secret. He doesn’t just study the dead to solve criminal cases, he does it to solve the mystery that has eluded him for 200 years-the answer to his own inexplicable immortality. This long life has given Henry remarkable observation skills which impresses his new partner, Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza). Each week, a new case and their budding friendship will reveal layers of Henry’s long and colorful past. Only his best friend and confidant, Abe (Judd Hirsch) knows Henry’s secret.
How to Get Away with Murder (Drama)
Showrunner: Peter Nowalk
Producers: Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers
Starring: Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch, Jack Falahee, Katie Findlay, Aja Naomi King, Matt McGorry, Karla Souza, Charlie Weber and Liza Weil
The brilliant, charismatic and seductive Professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) gets entangled with four law students from her class “How to Get Away with Murder.” Little do they know that they will have to apply what they learned to real life, in this masterful, sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.”
Marvel’s Agent Carter (Drama)
Producers: Tara Butters, Michelle Fazekas, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Chris Dingess, Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Joe Quesada, Stan Lee and Jeph Loeb
Starring: Hayley Atwell
“Marvel’s Agent Carter,” starring “Captain America’s” Hayley Atwell, follows the story of Peggy Carter. It’s 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers. Inspired by the feature films “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” along with the short “Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter.”
Secrets and Lies (Drama)
Showrunner: Barbie Kligman
Producers: Barbie Kligman, Aaron Kaplan, Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield
Starring: Ryan Phillippe, KaDee Strickland, Natalie Martinez, Clifton Collins Jr., Indiana Evans, Belle Shouse and Juliet Lewis
Ben Garner (Ryan Phillippe) is about to go from Good Samaritan to murder suspect, after he discovers the body of his neighbor’s young son in the woods. As Detective Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis) digs for the truth, the secrets and lies of this town come to the surface and no one is above suspicion. Ben’s family’s life will be turned upside down as he sets out on a complicated journey to prove his innocence in this thriller mystery from Barbie Kligman (“Private Practice”) based on the original Australian series of the same name.
The Whispers (Drama)
Showrunner: Soo Hugh
Producers: Soo Hugh, Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Dawn Olmstead
Starring: Lilly Rabe, Barry Sloane, Milo Ventimiglia, Derek Webster, Brianna Brown, Catalina Denis, Kylie Rogers and Kyle Harrison
Aliens have invaded Earth by using our most unlikely resource to achieve world domination-our children. As the kids unwittingly help these unseen enemies, the clock counts down in this suspenseful race to save humanity.
So, that is what ABC has planned, now we want to know what you think!
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more news about ABC’s fall lineup.