ABC Television Network
Every network has a tent pole series, but ABC has a tent pole show runner: Shonda Rhimes. So when the network unveiled their fall 2014-2015 schedule on Tuesday, nobody was surprised to see that Thursday nights are now all Rhimes, all the time. But one person can only develop so many shows, and luckily ABC has several other series lined up to fill in the hours that aren't produced by the woman behind Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, series that include a superhero spinoff, an immortal medical examiner who solves crime, and a sitcom about how kids these days are too obsessed with technology.
With so many new shows arriving this fall, it can be hard to figure out which ones are going to be worth your time, so we've rounded up all of ABC's upcoming shows and some clips from their first episodes to save you the hassle. Although, this batch features a next seasons' Trophy Wife and a replacement for Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23, so fans of those shows might want to tread carefully to avoid further heartbreak.
Selfie What It Is: Sitcom What It's About: After a 20-something woman finds herself the subject of an embarrassing viral video, she hires an image consultant to help her rebrand herself in the real world. Who's In It: Karen Gillan and John Cho What It Sounds Like: Pygmalion for the Internet age. How Good Will It Be: The premise (and title) are pretty ridiculous, but both Gillan and Cho are charming and talented, so they might just be enough to keep the show afloat. How Long It Will Last: Like Cougar Town and Trophy Wife before it, the terrible title will be its downfall. We’ll be surprised if it gets two seasons.Airs: Mondays at 8 pm
Manhattan Love Story What It Is: Sitcom What It's About: A romantic comedy about a couple in the beginning stages of their relationship that reveals their inner thoughts as well as their actions. Who's In It: Analeigh Tipton, Jake McDorman, Jade Catta-Preta and Nicholas Wright What It Sounds Like: Peep Show meets How I Met Your Mother How Good Will It Be: McDormand has been playing the loveable jerk for years now, and Tipton is charmingly awkward, but the inner monologue shtick seems like it will get annoying very quickly. How Long It Will Last: One and done.Airs: Mondays at 8:30 pm
Forever What It Is: Drama What It's About: A medical examiner who just happens to be immortal. Who's In It: Ioan Gruffudd, Alana De La Garza and Judd Hirsch What It Sounds Like: Remember New Amsterdam? No? Well, it’s basically the same thing. How Good Will It Be: It depends on how well the show is able to integrate the issue of him immortality, but there are so many “cop with a mysterious secret” procedurals on the air right now that this one does How Long It Will Last: Unlike New Amsterdam, it will probably get a full season. Airs: Mondays at 10 pm
Black-ish What It Is: Sitcom What It's About: An upper-middle class black man struggles to raise his assimilated, color-blind kids with a sense of cultural identity. Who's In It: Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis-Ross and Laurence Fishburne What It Sounds Like: The early episodes of The Fresh Prince that were actually about something How Good Will It Be: It’s got a cast full of TV vets and Larry Wilmore behind it, but it looks a little too generic to really stand out. How Long It Will Last: Even with Wilmore leaving for the Minority Report in October, the cast should be enough to earn it a second season. Airs: Wednesdays at 9:30 pm
Christela What It Is: Sitcom What It's About: An ambitious law student is torn between her dream job and her traditional Mexican-American family. Who's In It: Christela Alonzo, Carlos Ponce, Terri Hoyos, Andrew Leeds and Sam McMurray What It Sounds Like: If Leslie Knope were a character on George Lopez How Good Will It Be: Alonzo is an accomplished comedian, which will help the show in the long run, but thus far we haven’t seen anything that’s worth getting excited over. How Long It Will Last: Probably a yearAirs: Fridays at 8:30 pm
How to Get Away With Murder What It Is: Drama What It's About: A group of law school students find themselves entangled in a real-life murder mystery. Who's In It: Viola Davis, Alfie Enoch, Liza Weil, Matt McGorry, Aja Naomi King and Michael Gaston What It Sounds Like: Legally Blonde, minus the light-hearted goofiness, plus Scandal How Good Will It Be: Like Shonda Rhimes’ other shows, it will probably be campy and over-the-top, but completely addicting nonetheless. How Long It Will Last: Again, it’s Shonda Rhimes, so at least 7 seasons.Airs: Thursdays at 10 pm, after Grey's Anatomy and Scandal
Agent Carter What It Is: Drama What It's About: A female secret agent helps to establish S.H.I.E.L.D. in the days following World War II Who's In It: Hayley Atwell What It Sounds Like: It’s an extended version of the Agent Carter short film. How Good Will It Be: Marvel’s last TV show floundered, but Peggy Carter is an established character, a fan-favorite and is played by the very talented Atwell, so things should go a lot more smoothly this time around. How Long It Will Last: Thanks to the Marvel brand, it’s guaranteed at least two seasons.Airs: Between the winter finale and spring premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
ABC Television Network
Galavant What It Is: Comedy What It's About: A musical fairy tale that follow a prince’s quest for revenge on the king who stole his true love. Who's In It: Vinnie Jones, Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Mallory Jansen, Karen David and Luke Youngblood What It Sounds Like: Once Upon a Time: The Musical! How Good Will It Be: If it doesn’t get bogged down in mythology and plot complications like Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, it could be entertaining in its ridiculousness. How Long It Will Last: Well, Once Upon a Time has been on for three years and Glee has been on for five, so four seasons sounds about right. Airs: Between the winter finale and spring premiere of Once Upon a Time
Fresh Off the Boat What It Is: Sitcom What It's About: Based on the memoir by chef Eddie Huang, it follows as 12-year-old boy as he and his immigrant family adjust to life in suburban Florida. Who's In It: Randall Park, Paul Sheer, Constance Wu, and Aubrey K. Miller What It Sounds Like: Aliens in America meets The Goldbergs, but set in the 1990s How Good Will It Be: It’s written by Nahnatchka Khan, who ran Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23, so it will probably be quirkily funny. How Long It Will Last: Like Don’t Trust the B, it will squeak its way to a second season.Airs: Midseason
Secrets and Lies What It Is: Drama What It's About: A man discovers the body of his neighbor’s son in the woods, sending the town into a tailspin that will reveal everyone’s hidden secrets. Who's In It: Ryan Phillipe, KaDee Strickland, Natalie Martinez, Clifton Collins Jr. and Juliette Lewis What It Sounds Like: Broadchurch, minus David Tennant, with a touch of Revenge. How Good Will It Be: It’s a pretty generic premise, but the cast is good, so like most of ABC’s dramas, you will become addicted to it but you won’t tell anybody about it. How Long It Will Last: It will either be cancelled in the middle of the first season, like Hostages, or it will run for at least four seasons. Airs: Midseason
American Crime What It Is: Drama What It's About: After a couple are attacked in their home, racial tensions are stirred up in a small California community. Who's In It: Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, W. Earl Brown, Richard Cabral, Benito Martinez and Penelope Anne Miller What It Sounds Like: Crash: The TV Series How Good Will It Be: It’s a bit of a complicated topic for ABC's brand of soap-y drama, so we don't see things working out. How Long It Will Last: Cancelled after one season.Airs: Midseason
The Whispers What It Is: Drama What It's About: Aliens have invaded the earth by inhabiting the bodies of children. Who's In It: Lily Rabe, Barry Sloane and Milo Ventimiglia What It Sounds Like: The exact plot of Torchwood: Children of Earth, minus both Peter Capaldi and John Barrowman How Good Will It Be: It’s got a solid cast behind it, but the premise has been done before – and done really well – so we don’t have high hopes. How Long It Will Last: Well, Resurection got a second season, so this probably will too.Airs: Midseason
Emily Owens, M.D./Facebook
If Grey’s Anatomy and New Girl were their best selves and had a child they would have Emily Owens, M.D. The series is chock full of awkwardness and a very realistic portrayal of life as a medical intern. Plus, Mamie Gummer shows she is ready to be part of the Meryl Streep acting dynasty by embodying a lovable, relatable character.
Emily Owens (Gummer) is an awkward, overachieving virgin. She’s hopelessly in love with her best friend, Will Collins (Justin Hartley). She is interning with her medical inspiration Dr. Gina Bandari (Necar Zadegan). The only hitch in her plans is that her worst enemy from high school, Cassandra Kopelson (Aja Naomi King) is also in her intern group. Suddenly, her strong grasp of medicine and stellar credentials are useless compared to her overbearing awkwardness and social anxiety.
Gummer brings a quirky and endearing sweetness. Plus, the show offers a grounded approach to medicine. Each episode, Emily uses her connection to patients and extensive medical knowledge to help them. Unlike a show like Grey’s, the show doesn’t rely on outlandish medical anomalies or unprofessional sexual relationships. Instead, the tension is derived from Emily’s love of Will and a budding attraction to equally dorky and unavailable Micah (Michael Rady). However, the show doesn’t just rely on girl crushes and teenage drama. It represents people of a certain age in a time where high school wounds can live on.
This series is cute, engaging, and will have you rooting for the “good guy.” Gummer is a star on the rise. Luckily, the 13 episodes of this prematurely cancelled series are available on Netflix.
Tuesday night the CW premiered its foray into the medical world with the new drama Emily Owens, M.D. Starring Mamie Gummer (the glorious offspring of the great Meryl Streep), Emily Owens is a med school grad beginning her surgical internship at Denver Memorial Hospital, and she just can’t seem to shake her high school insecurities. Whether it’s her nefarious school days nemesis Cassandra (Aja Naomi King) passively aggressively undermining her every move, her med school friend/fellow intern/secret crush Will (Justin Hartley), or her demanding, intimidating idol, the brilliant Dr. Bandari (Necar Zadegan), Emily finds herself anxiety-ridden in a lifestyle that's stressful enough as it is. But there’s a ray of sunlight in her new job: Micah (Michael Rady), her resident, who not only helps her put things in perspective, but maybe, just maybe, likes her as more than just a mentee. Boom: requisite love triangle established.
Watching the season premiere last night, I was shocked by the show’s similarities to another, famous long-running medical drama. You know the one I’m talking about. The one whose doctors recently survived a plane crash on a mysterious island where the Dharma Initiative was born and are now running around with a revengenda hunting villains with a bow and arrow and… wait, I’m getting confused!
Deep breath. Let’s start over. I'm talking about Grey’s Anatomy. Emily Owens, M.D. seemed to be almost a carbon copy of ABC’s veteran medical drama. Now, medical dramas are obviously going to see some crossover. That’s unavoidable. But this isn't merely a few coincidences here and there. The entire show’s structure was practically the same, and those similarities can’t be ignored:
1. The voice-over/narration by the titular doc throughout the episode, kind of like Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) in every episode, ever.
2. The emotional monologues from the characters, telling (not showing) how they feel and explaining their actions, a.k.a. Grey's Anatomy, also in every episode, ever.
3. The brilliant, yet bitchy doctor all the interns fear and idolize, much like Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) in Grey's earlier seasons.
4. Emily’s profession of love in a bumbling speech to her best guy friend, which has happened to just about every character on Grey's Anatomy.
5. The lesbian intern struggling with the implications of her sexuality, much like Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez).
6. The Chief of surgery cheating on his wife with another hospital employee, just like the Chief Webber cheating on Adele with Meredith's mother.
7. The patients’ medical drama eerily mirroring the doctors' relationship drama, giving the patients the opportunity to give advice that conveniently and completely solves all the doctors’ dilemmas. Once again, this is every episode of Grey's Anatomy ever.
Now, that’s a whole lotta similarities going on. The comparisons should completely turn viewers off, and yet, it works.
Somehow the few, small-yet-game-changing differences completely change the entire tone of the show and the result is really quite charming. For one thing, after Emily’s profession of love to Will, her crush completely shuts her down, saying he just sees her as a friend. It was awkward. It was uncomfortable. It was mortifying. And it was totally realistic.
Unlike Grey’s Anatomy’s epic love stories and heartfelt confessions that are few and far between in real life, having a crush not return your feelings happens more than we’d all care to admit. That “just friends” response Will gives to Emily slams the swelling romantic background music to a jarring halt, quickly reminding us this was one happy ending that isn't going to play out. Emily raids the vending machines and camps out in a stairwell to nurse her wounded pride. Girl, I’m with you on that one. Life isn’t pretty, and Emily does the best she can with the lemons she's given.
And another significant difference is that Emily – unlike Meredith Grey’s "dark, twisty" personality – is light, happy, and optimistic. Even after her heart is stomped on by the guy she’s been crushing on for years, a quick pep talk with Micah puts her life in perspective, and she puts that smile back on her face and gets back to work with a kick in her step. Faced with her high school nemesis, she remains upbeat and confronts her, determined to not let anything stop her from being a good doctor.
This sunnier disposition can partly be attributed to Gummer’s brilliant portrayal of Emily. She conveys emotions and feelings with subtle shifts in her facial expressions and the tone of her voice is astounding. It could have something to do with her good genes – being Meryl Streep's daughter never hurts. No other comment will be made of her parentage, though. Gummer clearly has talent, and I don’t care whether it is learned or inherited. As long as I get to see her on my TV Tuesday nights, that's fine by me.
The effect of these few changes made this show (at least, the pilot) worth watching. Only time will tell if the rest of the season continues on this trend. And in the words of Emily Owens herself at the end of the pilot: “Oh come on. It’s gotta get better than this—right?”
Emily Owens, M.D. airs Tuesday nights on the CW.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW]
'Emily Owens, M.D.' Stars Tease the Show's Steamy Love Triangle
Teaser Time! CW's 'Beauty & The Beast,' 'Arrow,' 'Emily Owens MD'
TV Tidbits: 'Sons' Vet Moves On, Bette Midler Goes 'Glee'
Oh, Emily Owens: You've already made us cringe in so many ways. First, there was that inability to get over high school drama. Seriously, you're a doctor now — just drop it. Second, there was that strange tendency towards awkward, inappropriate conversations with schoolchildren. Weird. But worst of all was your lack of game, and that declaration of love that was so awkward, it made viewers need a trip to Denver Memorial Hospital. They nearly died from an overdose of awkwardness.
But fear not: Hollywood.com visited the Vancouver set of Emily Owens with Warner Brothers last month, and stars Mamie Gummer, Justin Hartley, and Michael Rady assured us that the love triangle (quadrangle?) would continue to shake things up at Denver Memorial, and that we shouldn't count Emily out just yet.
The pilot made it pretty clear that Will (Hartley) already feels some attraction to Cassandra (Aja Naomi King), and Gummer said that his upcoming relationship with her, serious or not, will be an impetus for the ladies to play nice. "By necessity, they have to kind of figure out how to get along, because of the mere fact of working together, she said. "But now, they’re potentially sharing this very important person in both of their lives. So they’re playing nice."
However, the fact that Micah (Rady) has his eye on Emily might drastically change the "love square" between the characters — and not in a way Cassandra wants. "I think maybe seeing someone else’s attention turn on [Emily] — looking at her like that — might start to make [Will] wonder," Gummer said.
Hartley, who plays Will, thinks that another factor could also increase his attraction to Emily — seeing her hard at work. "I think a lot of the things that they know about each other were found out in high pressure situations in med school," Hartley said. "They became best friends. Now it's real, you're operating on real people, and it's life and death, literally. So he starts to see her professionally in a different light, but also personally."
Hartley also said that the way Emily approached Will in the pilot may have been a little too much, too soon. "Sometimes, when something is presented to you that you weren't aware of, I think there's a knee jerk reaction," he said. "Then after that, [when] you have time to sort of slow down and take a breath, you look at it a little bit differently. That's what Will is going through right now."
So there's hope for our heroine after all! And, even better, there's hope that things will get hot and heavy with someone, soon: "I think we can safely get steamy without getting ridiculous," Hartley teased.
Rady, who is another fourth of the love square, teased that things would only get steamy if Will was involved, since Hartley is so damned tall and handsome. "Why should you root for Micah? I don't know," he laughed. "I'm so taken with Will. He's really tall, if you haven't noticed."
But he is also the good guy, who hasn't broken Emily's heart (yet). "He's got a good heart," Rady added. "There's no demons on anything. I think [Emily] would be very happy with Micah."
Emily Owens, M.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: Jack Rowand/The CW]
Teaser Time! CW's 'Beauty & The Beast,' 'Arrow,' 'Emily Owens MD'
Meryl Streep's Daughter Cast in CW Doctor Drama
CW Upfront: Trailers Deliver Abs, 'Beauty,' and 'Arrow' Action — VIDEO
From Our Partners:
NY Comic-Con: 34 Crazy Costumes
James Bond’s ‘Skyfall’: New Clip!
There's probably still someone somewhere that would fall for one of Sacha Baron Cohen's weird and wooly scenarios but let's face the facts: the days when Ali G. could snag an interview with Pat Buchanan or Gore Vidal are long gone. 2009's Bruno definitely let some steam out of Borat's tires not to mention the ensuing lawsuits. But it's refreshing to see Cohen and his Borat/Bruno cohort director Larry Charles flex their muscles in the fictional universe of The Dictator a vehicle that doesn't skimp on their signature cringe-worthy humor.
The world of The Dictator gives them the leeway to create crazy spectacles — at one point Cohen's General Aladeen rides down Fifth Avenue on a camel surrounded by a giant motorcade. Having a plot helps too; although part of the genius of Sacha Baron Cohen's schtick is how the viewer is made culpable by proxy by our amusement and horror at how he tricks and torments people who aren't in on the joke The Dictator continues the self-reflexive satirical bite. We're certainly not off the hook. Aladeen says and does truly outrageous things but they're also exaggerations of the world we live in. It might be a stretch to call Sacha Baron Cohen the British Lenny Bruce or George Carlin in a face merkin but rest assured that no topic is off limits. If you are offended by jokes about abortion rape feminists body hair race religion politics STDs war crimes ethnic cleansing necrophilia and/or bestiality don't even bother. However if you like the kind of comedy that makes you hide your face in your hands feeling like each laugh is being pried from you against your will you're in business.
Cohen eats up the screen as both General Aladeen and his incredibly dumb body double; the latter prefers the intimate company of one of his goats to a human while the former is a fairly stupid ruthless dictator whose own people are so disloyal to him that they actually ignore his commands to execute people. (He really likes to execute people.) When he arrives in New York City to attend a summit at the UN his uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley) has the two switched so he can easily manipulate the "General" into signing a treaty to make Wadiya a democracy and reap the financial benefits. Aladeen finds refuge with Zoe a hairy-pitted activist who thinks he's a political dissident and is excited to be able to give him a safe haven in her touchy-feely Brooklyn grocery co-op. Instead of being typecast as another blonde dummy Anna Faris is finally given room to play as the wide-eyed naïf who takes Aladeen's very serious statements as jokes or simple miscommunications. She's a great foil to Baron Cohen who is easily half a foot taller than she is and has a wolfish grin. Their banter is often the most politically incorrect of the bunch but also the funniest.
Alas the plot. It's a bare bones situation to get a very broad character from A to B. Aladeen is obviously an outlandish mishmash of modern dictators; he spouts racist misogynist rhetoric endlessly and after a while...yeah we get it. However like all of Sacha Baron Cohen's humor The Dictator also takes a direct shot at Western countries (specifically the United States) which would be all fine and dandy if he didn't wedge an expository speech in about it as well. The problem with making a traditional narrative movie is that with some exceptions you've got to play within the guidelines. The Dictator isn't trying to do anything fancy; all it needs a few big beats and a neat ending to wrap it all up. It doesn't quite manage to tie it all together in a way that makes The Dictator more than an hour and a half or so of laughing and cringing.
Besides Faris and Kingsley there are a number of cameos by a very wide variety of comics and actors. Megan Fox plays herself Kevin Corrigan appears as a creepy dude who works at the co-op John C. Reilly is a racist security guard and Fred Armisen runs an anti-Aladeen café in New York's Little Wadiya district. The very funny Jason Mantzoukas has a large role as Nadal the former head of rocket science who was supposedly executed for not making Aladeen's nuclear warhead pointy. It's a good ensemble and hopefully Sacha Baron Cohen's next feature-length film will build on The Dictator's weaknesses.
It's official: the Stephen King Movie Renaissance is now in full swing. With the announcement that two producers are headed to the Cannes Film Festival to sell a big screen version of King's short story The Reach (a tale King is often quoted as saying he would "most like to be remembered for after his death"), a new era of the author's movie adaptations has begun. There's been no shortage of movies based on the writings of King since the author's career exploded in the '70s, but finally the quality is hitting its peak. That hasn't always been the case.
Most people would label Stephen King as a horror writer, thanks to seminal works like Carrie, The Shining and It. In the '80s and early '90s, that's exactly what he was to Hollywood: a source material mine that resulted in two decades of half-hearted, shlocky horror flicks — apologies to anyone with a strong passion for Gary Busey's werewolf movie Silver Bullet or Children of the Corn. Brian de Palma's Carrie or Stanley Kubrick's The Shining stand apart as outliers to the trend, but more often than not, King's works were reduced to silly adaptations cashing in on the man's success. Heck, King himself even boarded the train with his directorial debut, Maximum Overdrive (you know, the one where a killer mac truck takes down a little league game.
But Stephen King isn't simply a horror writer. In the second half of the '90s, some of his most interesting, genre-bending works were translated into compelling big screen dramas. The Shawshank Redemption, Dolores Claiborne, Apt Pupil and the The Green Mile showed off the potential of King's works when taken seriously. There were still some painful horror misfires as Hollywood segued into the new millennium — remember Dreamcatcher? — but with most of the horror tomes translated to screen decades before, Hollywood was finally looking for new ways to bring King's books to life.
Jump to today, and you'll find a movie business even more enthralled by King's work than ever before. With the author working as steadily as he was years ago, Hollywood is pushing to take the author's recognizable brand to the next level — and on a variety of levels. The Reach (part of King's Skeleton Crew collection) is an unconventional by Hollywood's standards: the story follows a 95 year old woman is decides its finally time to leave her home, Goat Island, and cross the waters to the mainland. Along the way, she comes across the ghosts of those who passed away on the island — many of them familiar faces from her past. The movie is budgeted in the $12-15 million range, a distinctly indie approach to adapting King.
The Reach joins a plethora of King adaptations currently in the works, ranging from blockbusters to independents to TV series:
The Stand: Warner Bros. was courting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows director David Yates to take on King's end of the world saga, but has since turned to Ben Affleck. The 1994 mini-series is a TV movie classic, but the WB hopes to launch a two-movie franchise that can do service to the book's epic scale.
Pet Sematary: First made in 1989, Transformers producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, writer Matthew Greenberg (who penned the entertaining King adaptation 1408) and director Alexander Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3-D) will bring King's terrifying dead pet story back to life.
11/22/63: Director Jonathan Demme, who won an Oscar for his work on The Silence of the Lambs, is set to write and direct a feature based on King's latest novel, a time travel saga revolving around JFK's assassination.
Carrie: Continuing the trend of gravitas, Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry, Stop-Loss) tackles a retelling of King's supernatural high school drama with one of the finest young actresses working today: Chloe Moretz. Keeping the bar set high is four-time Oscar-nominated actress Julianne Moore as Carrie's mother.
Under the Dome: Lost writer and comic book overlord Brian K. Vaughn is set to adapt King's massive ensemble drama into a TV show for Showtime.
Rose Madder: Nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 2004 for In America, Naomi Sheridan is writing an adaptation of King's story of marital abuse and otherworldly escape.
The Dark Tower: King's seven-book Western/Fantasy epic is getting the Lord of the Rings treatment from director Ron Howard, writer Akiva Goldsman and producer Brian Grazer. Originally set up at Universal, the movie/television hybrid (the plan is to jump back and forth between the two mediums over several years) has recently jumped to Warner Bros.
There's no shortage of King in the works, but for one of the first times in the author's career, it finally looks like Hollywood is doing it right.
Find Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and remember to follow @Hollywood_com!
Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' Reborn at Warner Bros.
Pierce Brosnan Stars In Stephen King Miniseries
Steven Spielberg, Stephen King to Collaborate on 'Under the Dome' Adaptation
Photo Credit: WENN