Now that the 2017 Upfronts are complete, networks are starting to release trailers for their upcoming pilot seasons. Fan Fest will be watching them all and giving you the low-down on what to watch and what you should probably avoid.
Time Slot: Sunday’s at 8:30
Premise: Two men are recruited to work as partners hunting paranormal activity for a secret organization called The Paranormal Underground.
I think that Ghosted has potential. With 2 men from beloved comedies (Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott and The Office’s Craig Robinson) taking the lead, the show is off to a promising start for fans that have been binging those shows more times than they can count. For the most par, the humor seems sharp. It certainly does have it’s slapsticky (and I mean that very literally) moments, but that may not deter many people because Scott and Robinson can pull it off.
While a sci-fi buddy cop show does seem like it could be a win for the network I wonder what the longevity of this show will be. Is this something that people will continue to tune into week after week? I think that it will depend on where it decides to go with the plot. It could get predictable and repetitive but for Adam Scott’s sake, I say give it a chance.
4. The Gifted
Time Slot: Monday’s at 9:00
Premise: When two parents discover that their teenage children are superhero mutants, they must do whatever it takes to protect them from the organization that is trying to capture and neutralize them. What’s the drama you ask? Well, their dad works for said organization.
First of all, I haven’t seen much that Stephen Moyer has been in since True Blood and I find his accent to be almost unrecognizable in this trailer. I kept expecting a “Sookie” to pop out. The Gifted is a fresh take on Marvel’s X-Men. If you’re going to do a superhero show, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the backing of Marvel behind you. After watching the trailer I think that the premise of having Moyer torn between his duty and his family will be a really interesting concept that will give those craving a more family based show a fun series to tune into.
I do worry that the initial plot shown here may not be enough to really drive the series forward. What’s going to make it different and worthwhile? Something else that I wonder about is how the series will find it’s footing when it comes to splitting time between the teenagers and the adults as that has proven to be tricky when working with a cast and plot such as this. Overall, it’s a Marvel show and will definitely try it’s hardest to keep up with the pack.
3. LA to Vegas
Time Slot: Midseason
Premise: Follows the shenanigans of the flight crew and captain of a plane that makes weekend trips from L.A. to Vegas.
This show is completely different than what you would expect to see work on primetime television these days. However, I think that the idea is clever and the writing team behind it may just give this show a chance. It’s the brain child of Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Lon Zimmet (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Steven Levitan (Modern Family). Dylan McDermott, who seems to always fall victim to first season cancellations, seems to be working really hard to make a balanced and comedic character here.
I think that the show definitely has potential to become claustrophobic and annoying at times, which is why it will be a good change of pace to have the characters either out in L.A. or out in Vegas. L.A. to Vegas would probably find a lot of success on a streaming network where the whole season could be released at once, but this may just be a comedy that people continue to tune in weekly for.
2. The Resident
Time Slot: Midseason
Premise: A new medical drama following a third-year resident that “rips the curtain back to the truth of what really happens, both good and bad, in hospitals across the country,” according to the FOX description.
I wasn’t really sure where to put The Resident on this list exactly. I think that it’s a somewhat fresh take on the hospital dramas that we’ve seen in previous pilot seasons, mainly because it seems to be focusing on a small group of three or four rather than a whole team often. The show’s main draw though is it’s cast. With Gilmore Girls‘s Matt Czuchry and Revenge’s Emily VanCamp taking the helm, The Resident already has the potential for a pretty big built-in fan base.
While it seems just like your run of the mill medical drama, I really liked the fact that there is clearly a huge cover-up and power struggle that is going to occur throughout the season. That, in addition to the episodic nature of hospital shows, could keep audiences tuning in. The one worry that I have is that from the trailer the show seems to be lacking in the humor department, something that Grey’s Anatomy really shined in.
1. The Orville
Time Slot: Thursday’s at 9:00
Premise: Think Galaxy Quest meets Seth MacFarlane. The Orville follows a commanding officer (MacFarlane), his alien crew, and his newly assigned first officer (who also happens to be his ex-wife) on their extraterrestrial missions aboard The Orville.
Never did I think that I would be putting this show as number 1 on my list. Sure, the premise seems a little out there for network TV but then again, it’s MacFarlane. I found myself genuinely laughing at the humor. It’s sharp and it’s witty and it’s exactly what a show like this needs in order to maintain an audience.
The potential for plot seems like it could work, but also could putter out by the end of a season. However, the supporting cast seems great (including the aliens) and the visuals seem like a valiant effort. I’d say The Orville is definitely worth a shot for any MacFarlane fan.
Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn’t be as proud as I am to be so similar to Nick Miller, I do hope to one day write my own “Pepperwood Chronicles’.