Predicting the Future of ABC’s New Fall Shows

SelfieABC 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. 

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

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

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

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 year
Airs: 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.

Viola Davis, How To Get Away With MurderABC Television Network

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