ABC’s upfronts 2018-9 – a rundown and clips from the new shows – A Million Little Things, The Fix, Grand Hotel, The Kids Are Alright, Whiskey Cavalier, The Rookie and Single Parents

The Rookie
Nathan Fillion in The Rookie

All through ‘upfronts’ week, TMINE will be revealing the new shows that are going to be hitting US TV screens from September 2018

NBC, Fox and Syfy have come and gone – now it’s the turn of ABC. ‘The alphabet network’ traditionally ends each year’s schedules with mass cancellations of all its new shows from the previous year, pick-ups of numerous identikits replacements of dubious quality and continuing renewals of its tired out regulars.

This year’s no different and there’s a varied bunch of almost identical shows with surprisingly decent casts to ‘look forward to’ this time around: A Million Little Things, The Fix, Grand Hotel, The Kids Are Alright, Whiskey Cavalier, The Rookie and Single Parents. There’s also Schooled, which is a spin-off from The Goldbergs, but there b’ain’t be no trailer for that yet.

Still, want to know more and exactly when these (and the surviving old shows) will be airing? And do you want to get TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes? Follow me after the jump if at least one of those things interests you…

A Million Little Things
A MILLION LITTLE THINGS – “Pilot” (ABC/Jack Rowand) RON LIVINGSTON, DAVID GIUNTOLI, JAMES RODAY, ROMANY MALCO JR

A Million Little Things

The Short Version

Desperate attempt to do This is Us featuring people who used to be in a lift together.

The Long Version

They say friendship isn’t one big thing, it’s a million little things; and that’s true for a group of friends from Boston who bonded under unexpected circumstances. Some have achieved success, others are struggling in their careers and relationships, but all of them feel stuck in life. After one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake-up call the others need to finally start living. Along the way, they discover that friends may be the one thing to save them from themselves.”A Million Little Things” stars David Giuntoli as Eddie, Ron Livingston as Jon, Romany Malco as Rome, Allison Miller as Maggie, Christina Moses as Regina, Christina Ochoa as Ashley, James Roday as Gary, Stephanie Szostak as Delilah and Lizzy Greene as Sophie. DJ Nash is writer and executive producer; Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor are executive producers; and James Griffiths is the director on the pilot and an executive producer, from ABC Studios/Kapital Entertainment.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

Feel like having your emotions manipulated in a really obvious and joy-free way by people who think they have important things to say but don’t? Then this is the show for you.

The Fix
THE FIX – ABC’s “The Fix” stars Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Steven Sevvy, and Robin Tunney as Maya Travis. (ABC/Ed Herrera)

The Fix

The Short Version

Ah, if only we could do the OJ Simpson murder trials again.

The Long Version

Attorney and author Marcia Clark co-writes and executive produces a new legal drama about Maya Travis, an L.A. district attorney who suffers a devastating defeat when prosecuting an A-list actor for double murder. With her high-profile career derailed, she flees for a quieter life in Washington. Eight years later when this same celebrity is under suspicion for another murder, Maya Travis is lured back to the DA’s office for another chance at justice. This legal thriller is executive produced/co-written by Clark, Liz Craft and Sarah Fain, and is from Mandeville TV and ABC Studios. The Fix stars Robin Tunney as Maya Travis, Adam Rayner as Matthew Collier, Merrin Dungey as CJ, Breckin Meyer as Alan Wiest, Marc Blucas as Riv, Mouzam Makkar as Loni Kampoor, Alex Saxon as Gabriel Johnson, with Scott Cohen as Ezra Wolf and Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje as Sevvy Johnson. Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain and Marcia Clark are writers and executive producers. David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks are executive producers (Mandeville). Larysa Kondracki directed the pilot.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

A good cast, including Treble A from Lost getting to do his normal London accent, but you can’t put together a show from the leftovers of American Crime Story, Bull and Notorious and expect it to be any good.

Grand Hotel
GRAND HOTEL – ABC’s “Grand Hotel” stars Demian Bichir as Gonzalo Cardenas, and Roselyn Sanchez as Gigi Cardenas. (ABC/Ed Herrera)

Grand Hotel

The Short Version

Modern remake of a good Spanish drama by people with a long track record of bad TV.

The Long Version

Eva Longoria executive produces this bold, provocative drama set at the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Charismatic Santiago Mendoza owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi, and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success. The hotel’s loyal staff round out a contemporary, fresh take on an upstairs/downstairs story. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior. The show is based on the Spanish series. The series stars Demian Bichir as Santiago Mendoza, Roselyn Sanchez as Gigi Mendoza, Denyse Tontz as Alicia Mendoza, Bryan Craig as Javi Mendoza, Wendy Raquel Robinson as Mrs. P, Lincoln Younes as Danny, Shalim Ortiz as Mateo, Anne Winters as Ingrid, Chris Warren as Jason, Feliz Ramirez as Carolina and Justina Adorno as Yoli. Brian Tanen is the writer and executive producer; Eva Longoria and Ben Spector (UnbeliEVAble), Ramon Campos and Teresa Fernandez-Valdes (Beta) are executive producers of the series. Ken Olin directed the pilot. The series is produced by ABC Studios.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

Soapy soapiness set in caliente Miami than misses every single piece of subtlety of the original. Is there even a murder-mystery?

The Kids Are Alright
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT – “Pilot” (ABC/Tony Rivetti) SAWYER BARTH, SANTINO BARNARD, CALEB FOOTE, CHRISTOPHER RICHARDS, JACK GORE, MICHAEL CUDLITZ, MARY MCCORMACK

The Kids are Alright

The Short Version

Ahistorical period family comedy that wants to be the 1970s Malcolm in the Middle.

The Long Version

Set in the 1970s, this ensemble comedy follows a traditional Irish-Catholic family, the Clearys, as they navigate big and small changes during one of America’s most turbulent decades. In a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Mike and Peggy raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household is turned upside down when oldest son Lawrence returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and “save the world.” Times are changing and this family will never be the same. There are 10 people, three bedrooms, one bathroom and everyone in it for themselves. The series stars Michael Cudlitz as Mike Cleary, Mary McCormack as Peggy Cleary, Sam Straley as Lawrence, Caleb Martin Foote as Eddie, Sawyer Barth as Frank, Christopher Paul Richards as Joey, Jack Gore as Timmy, Andy Walken as William and Santino Barnard as Pat. The series is inspired by the childhood of writer/executive producer Tim Doyle. Randall Einhorn directed and was an executive producer on the pilot. The series is from ABC Studios.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

As someone who grew up at least a bit in the 70s, none of them looked anything more than normal to me, albeit American, although unless someone gets you to stick your head into the back of the gas oven with a match to ‘light the pilot light’, how authentic can such a show be? Again, a good cast, but I can’t see myself watching more than an episode, thanks to its pressing lack of jokes, point of difference, etc. I mean have a look at the rest of the ABC line up and see if you can spot the real difference and whether this is just a replacement for The Middle.

The Rookie
Nathan Fillion in The Rookie

The Rookie

The Short Version

‘Oh bugger, we cancelled Castle and pissed off Stana Katic. I wonder if we can get Nathan Fillion back to do something vaguely coppish, though.’

The Long Version

Starting over isn’t easy, especially for small-town guy John Nolan who, after a life-altering incident, is pursuing his dream of being an LAPD officer. As the force’s oldest rookie, he’s met with skepticism from some higher-ups who see him as just a walking midlife crisis. If he can’t keep up with the young cops and the criminals, he’ll be risking lives including his own. But if he can use his life experience, determination and sense of humor to give him an edge, he may just become a success in this new chapter of his life. The series stars Nathan Fillion as John Nolan, Alyssa Diaz as Angela Lopez, Richard T. Jones as Sergeant Wade Grey, Titus Makin as Jackson West, Mercedes Mason as Captain Zoe Andersen, Melissa O’Neil as Lucy Chen, Afton Williamson as Talia Bishop and Eric Winter as Tim Bradford. Alexi Hawley is writer and executive producer; Mark Gordon, Nathan Fillion, Michelle Chapman and Jon Steinberg are executive producers on the series. Liz Friedlander directed and executive produced the first episode. Entertainment One (eOne) is the lead studio on The Rookie, a co-production with ABC Studios.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

Not dreadful and Nathan Fillion is always appealing to watch, but it’s not exactly Southland despite its best efforts and you know you’re not watching a documentary either. Old(er) men can be cops? I’m not sure that was a message we especially needed.

Single Parents
SINGLE PARENTS – ABC’s “Single Parents” stars Devin Trey Campbell as Rory, Kimrie Lewis as Poppy, Sadie Hazelett as Amy, Grace Hazelett as Emma, Brad Garrett as Douglas, Taran Killam as Will Cooper, Marlow Barkley as Sophie, Jake Choi as Miggy, Leighton Meester as Angie, and Tyler Wladis as Graham. (ABC/Ed Herrera)

Single Parents

The Short Version

Lots of single parents work together to help each other raise their kids.

The Long Version

This ensemble comedy follows a group of single parents as they lean on each other to help raise their 7-year-old kids and maintain some kind of personal lives outside of parenthood. The series begins when the group meets Will, a 30-something guy who’s been so focused on raising his daughter that he’s lost sight of who he is as a man. When the other single parents see just how far down the rabbit hole of PTA, parenting and princesses Will has gone, they band together to get him out in the dating world and make him realize that being a great parent doesn’t mean sacrificing everything about your own identity. The series stars Taran Killam as Will, Leighton Meester as Angie, Kimrie Lewis as Poppy, Jake Choi as Miggy, Marlow Barkley as Sophie, Tyler Wladis as Graham, Devin Trey Campbell as Rory, Grace Hazelett as Emma, Sadie Hazelett as Amy and Brad Garrett as Douglas. The series is from 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios. JJ Philbin and Liz Meriwether are creators and executive producers, and Katharine Pope is executive producer. The pilot was directed by Jason Winer, who is also an executive producer.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

The first of any of the comedies this upfronts to raise so much as a titter out of me (roughly the 1 minute mark in the trailer). Pretty weak stuff, though, but Leighton Meester and Brad Garrett are always worth a watch.

Whiskey Cavalier

Whiskey Cavalier

The Short Version

Soft FBI guy meets tough CIA gal and the sparks fly!

The Long Version

Whiskey Cavalier” is a high-octane, hour-long action dramedy that follows the adventures of tough but tender FBI super-agent Will Chase (codename: “Whiskey Cavalier”), played by Scott Foley. Following an emotional breakup, Chase is assigned to work with badass CIA operative Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (codename: “Fiery Tribune”), played by Lauren Cohan. Together, they lead an inter-agency team of flawed, funny and heroic spies who periodically save the world (and each other) while navigating the rocky roads of friendship, romance and office politics. The series is from writer/executive producer Dave Hemingson and executive producer Bill Lawrence with Warner Bros. Television. The series stars Scott Foley as Will Chase, Lauren Cohan as Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge, Ana Ortiz as Susan Sampson, Tyler James Williams as Edgar Standish and Vir Das as Jai Datta. Dave Hemingson is writer and executive producer; Bill Lawrence and Jeff Ingold (Doozer Productions) are executive producers; Peter Atencio is director and executive producer (pilot), and Scott Foley is producer of the series from Warner Bros. Television.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

Not as funny as it thinks it is, not as sassy as it thinks it is, not as action-packed as it thinks it is. But not awful and might even grow into something watchable after a few episodes. Probably not, though, but at least they’ve found a show that allows Scott Foley to marry the Scrubs and The Unit parts of his career together.

Fall schedule

New programmes in UPPER CASE

MONDAY

8 PM — Dancing with the Stars
10 PM — The Good Doctor

TUESDAY

8 PM — Roseanne
8:30 PM — THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
9 PM — black-ish
9:30 PM — Splitting Up Together
10 PM — THE ROOKIE

WEDNESDAY

8 PM — The Goldbergs
8:30 PM — American Housewife
9 PM — Modern Family
9:30 PM — SINGLE PARENTS
10 PM — A MILLION LITTLE THINGS

THURSDAY

8 PM — Grey’s Anatomy
9 PM — Station 19
10 PM — How to Get Away with Murder

FRIDAY

8 PM — Fresh Off the Boat
8:30 PM — Speechless
9 PM — Child Support
10 PM — 20/20

SATURDAY

8 PM — Saturday Night Football

SUNDAY

7 PM — America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM — DANCING WITH THE STARS: JUNIORS
9 PM — Shark Tank
10 PM — THE ALEC BALDWIN SHOW