2019 Fall TV Preview – ABC (Mixed-ish Is A Terrible Title)

Oh, ABC. You’ve gotten a little more interesting, what with picking up other networks’ pilots and recasting the male leads of two of the three shows you picked up. Maybe one day you’ll be as messy as NBC used to be and I can use that “antelope eating popcorn” gif once again.

Mixed-ish

In mixed-ish, Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the ’80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow’s parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they’re perceived as neither black nor white. This family’s experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one’s own identity when the rest of the world can’t decide where you belong.

Starring: Arica Himmel, Tika Sumpter, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gary Cole, Christina Anthony, Mykal-Michelle Harris, Ethan William Childress, Tracee Ellis Ross

Pros:

Rainbow Johnson fucking rules and I would like to see how that happened. It’s good that her family is getting more attention. On the rare occasions that the Jacksons show up on Black-ish, they make for interesting episodes. There also isn’t a whole lot of biracial representation on television. It’s a lot of you’re one thing or the other, when that isn’t the reality for a lot of people. Especially if you’re a child and choosing one over the other could feel like rejecting a paren-oh no, I’m quoting the Meghan Markle Lifetime movie. Anyway, mindful of this, there are a lot of biracial people behind and in front of the camera on Mixed-ish. This includes Tracee Ellis Ross herself, who is an executive producer, and Mariah Carey, who sings the theme song. And it’s probably not the reason they replaced Anders Holm with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, but it probably doesn’t hurt that the former Zack Morris is part Asian.

God, I miss Pitch.

Cons:

I guess that I am one of those fucking nerds who cares about continuity in sitcoms because how the fuck does Tika Sumpter turn into Anna Deavere Smith? What was it The Root called it? “A reverse Aunt Viv?” But also Tika Sumpter is fab so *shrug*

Also the title is bad.

Premieres September 24th Airs Wednesday 9 PM EST

Emergence

A character-driven genre thriller, Emergence is about a police chief who takes in a young child she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what has happened. The investigation draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all.

Starring: Allison Tolman, Alexa Skye Swinton, Ashley Aufderheide, Clancy Brown, Donald Faison, Owain Yeoman, Robert Bailey Jr., Zabryna Guevara

Pros:

So this was developed for NBC and when they passed, ABC swooped in and snapped it up for themselves. That speaks very highly of what they saw from just one episode. ABC also has history with the creators and showrunners, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters. Butters and Faekas ran Agent Carter for ABC. The network also was home to heir creation, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. And while this show probably isn’t a part of the Reaper extended universe like Kevin was, it shows a lot of promise. Butters & Faekas are immensely talented and they’ve assembled a great cast. I would like to watch Molly Solverson, Turk, and Clancy Brown protect a lil Demon Alien Child please.

Cons:

I mean…NBC picked up the Bone Collector show over this. If you take ABC nabbing this from under their competitor as a good sign, you gotta take that as a bad one (I don’t hate the Bone Collector show. I just think it’s weird that they made a Bone Collector show).

Premieres September 24th Airs Wednesday 10 PM EST

Stumptown

Based on the Stumptown graphic novel series, the show follows Dex Parios – a strong, assertive and sharp-witted army veteran with a complicated love life, gambling debt and a brother to take care of in Portland, Oregon. Her military intelligence skills make her a great PI, but her unapologetic style puts her in the firing line of hardcore criminals and not quite in alliance with the police.

Starring: Cobie Smulders, Jake Johnson, Tantoo Cardinal, Cole Sibus, Adrian Martinez, Camryn Manheim, Michael Ealy

Pros:

I’ve never read the Greg Rucka comic this is based on but it’s supposed to be good. The cast is pretty wonderful. It’ll be nice to have Cobie Smulders and Jake Johnson back on our TVs on a weekly basis again. So help me, if the showrunners waste Michael Ealy like so many have done before them…I will set things on fire.

Also it tickles me some that they put Taran Killam and Cobie Smulders shows’ back to back.

Cons:

I love Jake Johnson and I’m glad that he’s in it. But also I’m just a little concerned that Mark Webber was not considered “handsome enough” for executives and given the boot. Apparently, an executive stood over him while the bewildered make up artist took orders on what his look for the show would be. It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth that is unfortunately associated with the show now.

Premieres September 25th, Airs Wednesday 10 PM EST

What More Interesting Shows Did They Move To Midseason?

The Baker and the Beauty

Daniel Garcia is working in the family bakery and doing everything that his loving Cuban parents and siblings expect him to do. But on a wild Miami night he meets Noa Hamilton, an international superstar and fashion mogul, and his life moves into the spotlight. Will this unlikely couple upend their lives to be together and pull their families into a culture clash?

Starring: Victor Rasuk, Nathalie Kelley, Carlos Gomez, Dan Bucatinsky, Lisa Vidal, Belissa Escobedo, Michelle Veintimilla, David Del Rio

For Life

Inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr., For Life is a fictional serialized legal and family drama about a prisoner who becomes a lawyer, litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.  His quest for freedom is driven by his desperate desire to get back to the family he loves and reclaim the life that was stolen from him.  The show will also, through the window of his ferocious struggle and his complicated relationship with a progressive female prison warden, examine the flaws and challenges in our penal and legal systems.

Starring: Nicholas Pinnock, Indira Varma, Joy Bryant, Boris McGiver, Tyla Harris, Mary Stuart Masterson, Dorian Missick

United We Fall

United We Fall is a profoundly realistic family sitcom that follows the trials and tribulations of Jo and Bill, parents of two young kids, as they try to make it day to day as a functioning family. Bill’s very judgmental live-in mother and Jo’s large, Latinx Catholic family will never hesitate to let our couple know they’re seemingly screwing up, but Bill and Jo will always have each other’s backs, united against everyone – other parents, teachers, doctors, specialists, coaches, co-workers and, especially, their kids.

Starring: Will Sasso, Christina Vidal, Jane Curtin, Emma Grace Helton

What Show Do We Wish They Had Picked Up?

While I do enjoy that the cast of the new NYPD Blue was sending Jimmy Smits “Wish you could be here but you’re dead” texts, Triangle was my most anticipated pilot on any of the networks. *mumbles* I wanna see a time displaced kingdom in the Bermuda Triangle filled with shipwrecked people from all of history.