Upfronts! It’s the exciting time when networks announce new and returning shows, the sad time when networks announce that your favorite sitcoms are canceled, and the overwhelming time when networks announce their fall schedules and you scramble to plan your life around television. Here is a helpful and exhaustingly comprehensive look at the 2014-2015 fall TV season, featuring everything you need to know: snazzy preview trailers, details about upcoming programs, when old favorites will be airing, and which network has the worst promotional photos. (Spoiler: It’s NBC.) We’ll update the post as needed.
ABC Cliff Notes: The network (which is in last place) unveiled a refreshingly diverse slate featuring black-, Asian-American, and Latina-focused sitcoms, a ton of shows with female creators/writers, and Thursday’s all-night Shonda Rhimes-a-thon. Also of note: ABC still likes horrible titles.
Black-Ish (Wednesdays, 9:30 PM)
The Cast: Anthony Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Tracee Ellis Ross, Miles Brown, Marcus Scribner
The Show: An upper-middle-class black man tries to raise his kids with a sense of cultural identity aided by his father (Fishburne).
Early Opinion: Great cast and interesting premise, unfortunately bad name. I’m really hoping this one will catch on and last more than a few episodes.
Cristela (Fridays, 8:30 PM)
The Cast: Cristela Alonzo, Carlos Ponce, Terri Hoyos, Andrew Leeds, Sam McMurray
The Show: In a similar vein to Black-Ish, Cristela is about a law student who struggles with her career choice vs. her traditional Mexican-American family’s opinions.
Early Opinion: That preview wasn’t too interesting but Cristela Alonzo (who also co-wrote the pilot) is a gifted stand-up, so this has potential.
The Cast: Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, Ian Chen
The Show: Set in the ’90s (why?), this comedy is about an 11-year-old and his family as they move from suburban Orlando to DC’s Chinatown and experience a huge culture shock. Based on Chef Eddie Huang’s memoir.
Early Opinion: It may not sound promising on paper but the preview is solid, and it’s written by Nahnatchka Khan, the brilliant mind behind Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23.
Manhattan Love Story (Tuesdays, 8:30 PM)
The Cast: Jake McDorman, Analeigh Tipton, Nicolas Wright, Jade Catta-Preta, Kurt Fuller
The Show: Manhattan Love Story is a romantic comedy that “exposes the differences between men and women through the unfiltered thoughts, and often contradictory actions, of a new couple who have just begun dating.”
Early Opinion: The season hasn’t even started and I’m already sick of rom-coms and this one seems particularly bland. McDorman’s great, but he’s made some bad choices after Greek.
The Cast: Karen Gillan, John Cho, Tim Peper, Da’Vine Joy Randolph
The Show: Internet queen Eliza Dooley (yes, it’s loosely based on My Fair Lady) hires a marketing guru to teach her how to make real friends instead of just Twitter followers.
Early Opinion: I’m really excited for this one — it’s from Emily Kapnek, who created Suburgatory — and I think it could be really good and join Cougar Town and Trophy Wife in the world of “fun ABC shows with ridiculous titles.”
The Cast: Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinne Jones, Karen David, Mallory Jensen
The Show: Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) teamed up with composer Alan Menken (Aladdin) and lyricist Glenn Slater (Tangled) for a musical/comedy/fairytale.
Early Opinion: This trailer was absurd in the best way, and I am 100% on board for its surely short-lived existence.