The networks have done some purging since the fall 2014 premieres (see: ABC’s Manhattan Love Story and NBC’s A to Z) to make room for these new midseason shows.
So what looks good, bad, and plain ugly? Here are my predictions.
What Will Survive
A.D. – NBC – Sunday April 5
According to the plot description, this series picks up where The Bible mini-series left off.
Reason: Bible shows always seem to do well on NBC. And it already has a platform, with The Bible (the show, not the actual book).
Agent Carter – ABC – Tuesday Jan. 6
Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) gets her own spin-off. Think Alias meets Mad Men.
Reason: Audiences are ready to embrace a new female TV hero, and that hero may be Ms. Carter.
Battle Creek – CBS – Monday March 1
Hey, Dummy. It’s a buddy cop comedy starring Dean Winters (Dennis Duffy of 30 Rock) and Josh Duhamel.
Reason: If it’s one thing CBS viewers love, it’s a cop show. Bonus points for recognizing Mayhem from the Allstate ads.
Better Call Saul – AMC – Sunday Feb. 8
Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) gets his own spin-off after Breaking Bad.
Reason: Breaking Bad was a cultural phenomenon. Even before the show was announced, fans wanted Saul to get his own series.
CSI: Cyber – CBS – Wednesday March 4
Yet another show in the CSI franchise.
Reason: Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Look at NCIS: New Orleans which premiered last fall and ranks as the most-watched new series.
Fresh Off the Boat – ABC – Wednesday Feb. 4
Just as ABC’s The Goldbergs tackles the ‘80s, FOTB hopes to tackle the ‘90s. It follows a Taiwanese family moving to America during the decade that gave us the Macarena.
Reason: ABC seems to do well with representing modern families—and not just the Emmy Award-winning series. This looks to continue the diversity trend started by Black-ish.
Man Seeking Woman – FX – Wednesday Jan. 14
A surreal look at dating, starring Seth Rogen’s buddy Jay Baruchel.
Reason: This show looks to fill the quirky void left by Wilfred. Plus, it has a movie star.
The Odd Couple – CBS – Thursday Feb. 19
A remake of a classic, this one includes Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon.
Reason: After Mr. Sunshine and Go On, Perry’s due for a hit. This could be it.
Schitt’s Creek – POP – Wednesday Feb. 11
Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara star in TVGN’s first scripted comedy about a video store magnate and his family as they move to the crap town they bought in the ‘90s.
Reason: Looks a little like Arrested Development, so don’t expect huge ratings, but definitely a cult following.
Younger – TV Land – Tuesday March 31
A 40-something (Sutton Foster) poses as a 26-year-old in order to get a job.
Reason: It’s every woman’s dream: being older and looking younger. And it’s written by every woman’s favorite TV writer: Darren Star.
What’s on the Bubble
American Crime – ABC – Thursday March 5
It’s jury duty. With Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton.
Reason: Despite the interesting premise, apparently the case deals with racial motives. With racism a real hot-button issue, will audiences want to watch a fake case? Plus, since it’s on ABC, it will probably lack any real grit.
Babylon – SundanceTV – Thursday Jan. 8
Brit Marling is tasked with bringing Scotland Yard into the age of Twitter. Basically, it’s a British cop comedy from Danny Boyle.
Reason: Did I mention it’s a British cop comedy from Danny Boyle?
Empire – FOX – Wednesday Jan. 7
Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Hinson round out the cast of this modern drama loosely based on King Lear. It’s about a music honcho who’s trying to figure out who to leave his empire to.
Reason: It looks great. Sounds great. But FOX is not having a good year. While it’s getting decent reviews, could it be a one-hit wonder?
The Last Man On Earth – FOX – Monday March 1
Will Forte is the last man on earth, looking for another human being. It’s a comedy.
Reason: The success of this show will largely depend on how much audiences love Forte.
Secrets & Lies – ABC – Monday March 1
Ryan Phillippe gets caught up in the murder of a child in his neighborhood.
Reason: Murder is big on ABC (see: HTGAWM), but solving a child’s murder sounds a lot like the ill-fated Gracepoint, the remake of a highly acclaimed BBC show.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Netflix – Friday March 6
A woman (Ellie Kemper) escapes from a cult and heads to New York City.
Reason: NBC passed on this comedy, created by Tina Fey.
Togetherness – HBO – Sunday Jan. 11
Two couples live under the same roof and try not to kill each other. This is not a sitcom.
Reason: Mumblecore creators the Duplass Brothers created this series, but will the independent-movie schtick stick with HBO audiences? Maybe.
What Will Be Canceled
12 Monkeys – SyFy – Sunday Jan. 16
TV remake of the ‘90s sci-fi film that starred Brad Pitt.
Reason: Even if it’s really good, most people are only interested in SyFy when it comes to sharknados.
Allegiance – NBC – Thursday Feb. 5
An American war hero doesn’t know that his family is Russian double agents.
Reason: If people want to get their fill of Russian espionage, they’ll tune into FX’s The Americans.
Backstrom – FOX – Thursday Jan. 22
Dwight Schrute is finally getting his own show based on a Swedish novel about a detective who hates everyone.
Reason: It looks like a rip-off of House.
Galavant – ABC – Sunday Jan. 4
A medieval musical in the same vein as Spamalot.
Reason: While the trailer was charming, all of the good moments seem to be in the preview. Plus, the theme song has a lot of people like me on suicide watch.
Odyssey – NBC – Sunday April 5
It’s NBC’s version of Homeland starring Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) and Peter Facinelli (Twilight).
Reason: Knowing NBC, it’s probably more like the second-season version of Homeland.
One Big Happy – NBC – Tuesday March 17
She’s a lesbian (Elisha Cuthbert). He’s gay (Nick Zano). They decide to have a baby together. Then, he gets a girlfriend.
Reason: This sounds like it’s 2015’s The New Normal.
The Slap – NBC – Thursday Feb. 12
One small incident (bet you can’t guess what it is) sets off a chain of events within a family.
Reason: Parenthood, this is not. This remake may have worked in Australia, but not even Peter Sarsgaard will save this. Plus, the film Carnage is proof that one-event plots don’t always work with American audiences.
Weird Loners – FOX – Tuesday March 31
Four people become friends in New York.
Reason: This premise is staler than that cup of Central Perk coffee Gunther left out from the ‘90s.