Saturday, May 25, 2013

A look at the new fall schedule

The broadcast networks recently unveiled their fall lineups. Here are some things I noticed:

1. There are a ridiculous number of stars. Many of them are TV staples, like James Spader (NBC's "Blacklist"), Sean Hayes (NBC's "Sean Saves the World"), Michael J. Fox (NBC's "The Michael J. Fox Show"), Sarah Michelle Gellar (CBS's "The Crazy Ones"), Bradley Whitford (ABC's "Trophy Wife") and Andre Braugher (Fox's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine).

There are some typically movie-types, like Greg Kinnear (Fox's midseason drama "Rake"), Toni Colette (CBS's "Hostages"), Durmot Mulroney (NBC's "Crisis") and Giovanni Ribisi (Fox's "Dads").

And finally, some prodigal sons/daughters, like Robin Williams ("The Crazy Ones") and Gillian Anderson ("Crisis").

My memory is terrible and I haven't always been paying attention, but it seems to me the star power for the 2013-14 season is unprecedented. It means the to-watch calendar is going to be much fuller than usual.

2. If shows look familiar, it's because they are. TV is no stranger to remakes, which is why many critics were shocked that CBS passed on a new "Beverly Hills Cop." But there are still plenty of remakes/reimaginings on the way.

NBC is remaking "Ironside" with Blair Underwood as the wheelchair-bound cop played in the 1960s-70s by Raymond Burr. It's also got "Dracula," in which everyone's favorite vampire (played by "The Tudors'" Jonathan Rhys Meyers) turns up in 19th century London to take revenge on those who made him the way he is.

Over at Fox, "Sleepy Hollow" is being adapted with a resurrected Ichabod Crane teaming up with a modern-day police officer.

ABC has "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," self-explanatory (and title unwieldy), plus the spinoff "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland."

Also at ABC are two shows that aren't straight remakes, but still feel familiar. They are "Back in the Game," with James Caan and Maggie Lawson, which has a "Bad News Bears" vibe to it, and "The Goldbergs," which has been described as a "Wonder Years" set in the 1980s.

3. Parents are all the rage. Sitcoms about families will outnumber sitcoms about swinging singles. And many of the family sitcoms are parent-centric.

In "Sean Saves the World," Hayes plays a divorced gay dad whose daughter moves in with him. In "Dads," Ribisi and Seth Green are two successful guys whose dads (Martin Mull and Peter Riegert) move in with them.

On NBC, "Welcome to the Family" seems to focus on two dads who dislike each other but have to deal with it because their young kids are getting married.

On CBS: In "The Crazy Ones," Williams and Gellar are a father-daughter ad team. "The Millers" features Will Arnett as a man whose parents (Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges) split up after they learn he's had a divorce. And "Mom" is about a newly sober single mom (Anna Faris) who's trying to regroup while her formerly estranged mother (Allison Janney) is back in her life.

Get a look
Three of the networks have previews for many of their fall shows for you to check out.
Fox just has a calendar:

I'll leave you with a preview for "The Michael J. Fox Show," which I'm most looking forward to.

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