2018 Fall TV Preview – NBC (Make Freema Agyeman The Lead of Your Show, Cowards)

Dear NBC,

You have bought a great deal of goodwill from me, what with the rescuing of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and greenlighting a Very Timeless Christmas. I’m sure I’ll be just as enthused by your new stuff. Let’s see what you’ve got.

Manifest

When Montego Air Flight 828 landed safely after a turbulent but routine flight, the crew and passengers were relieved. Yet in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years and their friends, families and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they’re all given a second chance. But as their new realities become clear, a deeper mystery unfolds and some of the returned passengers soon realize they may be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible.

Starring: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, J.R. Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Jack Messina and Parveen Kaur.

Pros:

NBC posted the first act of Manifest online and you can watch it now. It moves very fast but watching the passengers return to a world that is so markedly different is deeply effective. Those 10 minutes are focused on the event and the reactions to the plane’s return. They don’t really touch on the mystery hinted at in the trailer. At Comic-Con, the show’s creator reassured the fans that this wouldn’t just be Lost without the plane crash. He came up with this idea 10 years ago and has apparently mapped out most of what is going to happen.

Cons:

I kind of hope that this stays grounded in the characters and their journey back because that was what spoke to me in the footage I saw. But the introduction of a sixth sense in the passengers makes me think of all those shows with one word titles that popped up the season after Lost aired. Most of those didn’t really last more than a season. I shan’t get invested in another! I still mourn for alien fighting Peter Dinklage…

I’m quite sad that Luna Blaise is a regular here and will probably not be returning to Fresh Off the Boat. Poor Eddie, losing his best friend to a demon plane.

ALSO STOP CALLING YOUR FANDOM MANIFESTERS. THE SHOW HASN’T AIRED YET. YOU CAN’T JUST GIVE YOUR VIEWERS A NICKNAME BEFORE THEY’VE SEEN THE SHOW. IT’S PRESUMPTUOUS.

Premieres September 24th, Airs Mondays 10PM EST

New Amsterdam

Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in America, this unique medical drama follows the brilliant and charming Dr. Max Goodwin, the institution’s newest medical director who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care. How can he help? Well, the doctors and staff have heard this before. Not taking “no” for an answer, Dr. Goodwin must disrupt the status quo and prove he will stop at nothing to breathe new life into this understaffed, underfunded and underappreciated hospital — the only one in the world capable of treating Ebola patients, prisoners from Rikers and the President of the United States under one roof — and return it to the glory that put it on the map.

Starring: Ryan Eggold, Freema Agyeman, Janet Montgomery, Jocko Sims, Anupam Kher and Tyler Labine.

Pro: 

I will watch every episode of this because Amanita Caplan and Martha Jones are fucking goddesses. Freema Agyeman makes everything she’s in brighter. It’s got some interesting people involved. Anupam Kher, an Indian film star who’s been every Indian or Pakistani father in a Western film since the early 00s, is playing a neurosurgeon. I can’t really bring myself to hate on something that is expounding the need for kindness and service to our fellow man over indifference to their suffering. It seems like it means well.

…Have an Amanita GIF:

Cons:

Excuse me.

New Amsterdam is a show about an immortal NYPD Detective that is also Jaime Lannister. Pick a new name for your holier than thou white dude who knows better than all of you because he has the empathy we lack and truly understands what it means to be a doctor.

Premieres September 25th, Airs Tuesdays 10PM EST

I Feel Bad

Emet is the perfect mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter. OK, she’s not perfect. In fact, she’s just figuring it out like the rest of us. Sure, she feels bad when she has a sexy dream about someone other than her husband, or when she pretends not to know her kids when they misbehave in public, or when she uses her staff to help solve personal problems. But that’s OK, right? Nobody can have it all and do it perfectly. From executive producer Amy Poehler comes a modern comedy about being perfectly OK with being imperfect.

Starring: Sarayu Blue, Paul Adelstein, Madhur Jaffrey, Brian George, Aisling Bea, Zach Cherry, Johnny Pemberton and James Buckley

Pros:

Sarayu Blue is a gem. If you watched her steal scenes in No Tomorrow or her small role in Blockers, you know this. I’m thrilled that not only is she the lead in a show, we are getting another Indian-American led comedy. Based on the book by Orli Auslander, I Feel Bad delves into the guilt and fear women are often conditioned to feel for normal, non-terrible things. Feelings not helped by Emet’s parents and her young co-workers at the graphic design firm. It’s got a good cast, it’s got a good concept, it should be worth watching.

Also you need to read Madhur Jaffrey’s Wikipedia page. It is amazing and so is she (She introduced Merchant and Ivory to each other and helped popularize Indian food in the US)

Cons:

I get that asking your co-workers if you’re bangable is an honest reflection of creator Aseem Batra’s experience in male dominated writers rooms, but I’m pretty sure it’s also sexual harassment. Something they probably don’t want brought up considering that one of the producers of I Feel Bad is Dave Becky. I’ll be watching this but I understand if you’re uncomfortable with that man’s involvement considering his part in covering up Louis C.K.’s misdeeds.

Premieres October 4th, Airs Thursdays 9:30PM EST

What More Interesting Shows Did They Move To Midseason?

Abby’s

From the producers of “The Good Place” comes a hilariously aspirational new comedy about the best bar in San Diego, home to good prices, great company and, of course, Abby. This unlicensed, makeshift bar nestled in her backyard is the opposite of everything annoying about today’s party scene. There are rules at Abby’s: no cell phones (not even to “look something up”), earning a seat at the bar takes time and losing a challenge means drinking a limey, sugary “not-beer” drink. As the oddball cast of regulars will tell you, hanging out at Abby’s is a coveted honor. But once you’re in, you’re family.

Starring: Natalie Morales, Nelson Franklin, Kimia Behpoornia, Jessica Chaffin, Leonard Ouzts and Neil Flynn

In Mike Schur we trust. NBC now has all of his current shows. I suppose the plan is to just keep them going one after the other but we could potentially see Abby’s and Brooklyn Nine-Nine running concurrently. The thought warms my heart.

The Inbetween

Cassie Bishop was born with a gift, though she may call it a curse. She can see and communicate with the dead, helping them with their unresolved problems … whether she likes it or not. When her longtime friend Det. Tom Hackett and his new partner, former FBI Agent Damien Asante, need help solving a darkly puzzling murder, Cassie agrees to use her abilities. Despite her reluctance, she may have found a way to keep her demons at bay, all while solving some of the city’s most challenging cases.

Starring: Harriet Dyer, Anne-Marie Johnson, Cindy Luna, Chad James Buchanan and Paul Blackthorne.

If you’re going to do an “I can see dead people” mystery show, could you not just do the Meg Cabot one? It would be so snarky and fun. Also Star’s abusive football star boyfriend from the show Star is on this. He’s not on Star anymore because she hit him with a tire iron and then he was murdered by human traffickers.

…This may or may not be a ploy to find people to watch Star with.

The Village

Welcome to the Village, an apartment building in Brooklyn that appears like any other from the outside but is quite unique inside. The people who reside here have built a bonded family of friends and neighbors. Sarah’s a nurse and single mom raising a creative teen; Gabe’s a young law student who got a much older and unexpected roommate; Ava must secure the future of her young, U.S.-born son when ICE comes knocking; Nick’s a veteran who’s returned from war; and the heart and soul of the building, Ron and Patricia, have captivating tales all their own. These are the hopeful, heartwarming and challenging stories of life that prove family is everything — even if it’s the one you make with the people around you.

Starring: Moran Atias, Dominic Chianese, Warren Christie, Frankie Faison, Jerod Haynes, Daren Kagasoff, Michaela McManus, Lorraine Toussaint and Grace Van Dien.

NBC isn’t exempt from making This Is Us knockoffs just because they have the original. It is possible that this is a show about an apartment building banding together to raise and protect a victim of ICE though? It’s just a guess on my part, but if I’m right…holy shit, I want to watch that show.

The Enemy Within

In this fast-paced, spy-hunting thriller, Erica Shepherd is a brilliant former CIA operative, now known as the most notorious traitor in American history serving life in a Supermax prison. Against every fiber of his being but with nowhere else to turn, FBI Agent Will Keaton enlists Shepherd to help track down a fiercely dangerous and elusive criminal she knows all too well. For Keaton, it’s not easy to trust the woman who cost him so much. While Shepherd and Keaton have different motivations for bringing the enemy to justice, they both know that to catch a spy… they must think like one.

Starring: Jennifer Carpenter, Morris Chestnut, Raza Jaffrey and Kelli Garner

It kind of sounds like Blacklist or the Blindspot. If those are your jam, here’s something new. Having said that, Blindspot is actually pretty weird in a wonderful way. You should maybe drop in. It’s not every show that will cast the Superego guys as evil billionaires.

What Show Do We Wish They Had Picked Up?

Look.

Bad Boys II doesn’t hold up. We all know that. But Gabrielle Union was fucking awesome in it (like she always is). We were excited for a Syd spinoff where she moves to LA to join the LAPD. Especially when we found out that her partner was going to be Jessica Alba. Remember Dark Angel Jessica Alba? Who leapt from buildings and fought people with her weird cat powers? We miss her. From what I gather from the logline, her character would have melded that with her homemaker persona (but without those Honest Company billions.) You couldn’t have even give LA’s Finest a midseason berth?!?

CWFox, ABC, CBS