What’s New & What’s Gone: Upfronts 2017 Recap
It is that time of year again: Upfronts! Some tears will fall as fans find out which TV shows are getting cut, but there is also excitement as we hear buzz surrounding new shows to get invested in. And in some cases, the stakes get even higher when a network changes it mind about a show’s fate (looking at you, NBC). It is a rough time of year for TV fans, and while we are in the midst of the network Upfront presentations, there is plenty of news to share.
Although this list is not completely comprehensive, here’s what might interest our readers by network:
ABC has a somewhat standard outcome for their fall 2017 schedule in that it will be a mix of renewed favorites and new programs which happen to be heavy on genre. Fan favorite Once Upon A Time will be back for its seventh season, but with leads Jennifer Morrison, Rebecca Mader, and Ginnifer Goodwin all leaving, it could be a different show completely. Popular series Scandal was renewed, but the next season will be its last. Many of ABC’s popular sitcoms were renewed including Blackish, The Goldbergs (which got picked up for two seasons), Modern Family, and freshman series Speechless (one of my personal favorites).
Unfortunately not everything could be saved. Freshman series Time After Time, Conviction, and The Catch were all chopped, as well as sitcoms Last Man Standing and The Real O’Neals. Luckily, this makes room for some seemingly very promising new series at the network. The Crossing stars Steve Zahn and portrays refugees seeking a new home in a small town from America 150 years in the future. And of course, the highly anticipated Marvel’s Inhumans, based on the comic book about a race of humans whose DNA has been genetically modified by aliens. ABC has taken a huge risk with genre TV in the past, and hopefully that will continue to pay off for the fall season.
CBS has a pretty solid formula with their broadcast TV, and that tends to hit heavy on the full-hour procedurals. Indeed, they only canceled two series that fall under that category: Doubt and Limitless. Long-running sitcom 2 Broke Girls and freshman comedy The Great Indoors were also cut. What that means, though, is that the network’s staples such as Criminal Minds, NCIS, Hawaii Five-o, and Scorpion were all renewed. Fan favorite sitcoms Big Bang Theory and Life in Pieces will also return in the fall.
Keeping along with that tried and true formula, most of the network’s new series fall under full-hour procedurals. These include SWAT (based on the 2003 film of the same name), SEAL Team (starring genre favorite David Boreanaz), and Instinct starring Alan Cumming. CBS also does a great job taking risks with their comedies, too, and there are several new series joining the lineup this fall including Me, Myself, and I, By The Book, 9JKL, and the highly anticipated Big Bang Theory spinoff Young Sheldon based on, you guessed it, Sheldon Cooper as a child.
NBC has had an interesting time deciding on their fall schedule. In the most unusual move this Upfronts season, the network canceled fan favorite and freshman series Timeless last week, only to reverse their decision and renew it two days later. No one knows for sure what caused the decision to change, but there was quite a hefty backlash among fans on social media following the initial cancellation. Sometimes strength in numbers can work!
There fortunately were not many surprises from NBC on their other cancellations. We knew early that this would be the last season of Grimm, but three freshman series (Powerless, Emerald City, and Blacklist: Redemption) were all removed for the fall season.
The network has a really great track record for comedies, and while they may have stumbled a bit in the past couple of years, NBC renewed Superstore along with two freshman series The Good Place and Great News. This bodes really well for the network’s new comedy series Champions (written by Mindy Kaling), AP Bio (executive produced by Seth Myers), and of course the limited series re-vamp of Will and Grace.
NBC is also a powerhouse for drama, and they, like CBS, rely heavily on procedurals so it was no surprise to see Blindspot, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, Shades of Blue, and Taken all renewed along with freshman hit This Is Us. But I am really excited about some of the new shows being added to the fall lineup especially Rise, a high-school theatrical drama featuring Auli’i Cravalho, Shannon Purser, and Josh Radnor, and Reverie created by Mickey Fisher. Good Girls and The Brave round out the other new dramas for the network.
Fox is the network notorious for making surprising broadcast decisions, and although there were some noteworthy announcements, nothing stuck out as particularly surprising. Unfortunately, freshman series Pitch will not be returning as well as Son of Zorn, Making History, Rosewood, and APB. It had been previously announced that this would be the last season of Bones. One of the biggest cancellations of note for the network is Sleepy Hollow. Although the show started out strong, ratings and fan support fell sharply at the end of season three with the departure of lead actress Nicole Beharie, and it never really recovered.
Fox renewed a good number of drama and comedy across the board including sleeper hit The Exorcist, Empire, Gotham, Lucifer, and Star. The network’s comedy renewals include Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Last Man on Earth, and The Mick. In a late announcement, Fox also made official the renewal of New Girl, although it will be a short season and its last.
Since several shows are exiting, the good news is that Fox has a pretty good lineup of new shows coming including paranormal comedy Ghosted, Ryan Murphy procedural 911 starring Angela Bassett, medical drama The Resident, and a new ten-episode revival of The X-Files. For genre fans, The Gifted will be a new series for the network in conjunction with Marvel Television. The series stars Amy Acker and Stephen Moyer who discover that their children are mutants. We aren’t sure how close exactly the story will follow The X-Men, but we know it will be related.
Like CBS, The CW has a pretty specific formula for success, and the network renewed almost all of their scripted shows including iZombie, The 100, Arrow, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Flash, Jane the Virgin, Legends of Tomorrow, The Originals, Riverdale, Supergirl, and longtime series Supernatural. Unfortunately, The Vampire Diaries and Reign have come to an end along with No Tomorrow and Frequency.
The nice part about The CW, however, is that they are very genre-friendly and when there are canceled shows, there will inevitably be new good ones to look forward to. The network has picked up another series to add to their DC heavy lineup, Black Lightning starring Cress Williams. Additionally, the network will be adding Life Sentence starring Lucy Hale, military drama Valor, as well as a Dynasty reboot to their lineup.
I could spend entire articles writing about all of the amazing shows that the cable networks have renewed or added, but I definitely wanted to give a quick breakdown of what to expect. Some of our favorite shows at The Geekiary including The Expanse (Syfy), Legion (FX), Hit The Floor (BET), American Gods (Starz), Westworld (HBO), Wyononna Earp (Syfy), and Outlander (Starz) have all been renewed.
I am very much looking forward to the following genre series as well: The Sinner (USA), Will (TNT), Nightflyers (Syfy), Krypton (Syfy), Happy (Syfy), and The Haunted (Syfy). I have to also give a shout to Freeform which is quickly becoming a hotbed of great genre TV. Some of their new series include Cloak and Dagger, The Bold Type, and Siren.
That was a lot of information! With most of the broadcast TV networks having their Upfronts presentations this week, we can expect to learn even more about the Fall TV lineups and schedules, but we will also learn even more about the new series pickups. Are there any surprises in the network announcements? What are the shows you are excited for? What shows will you definitely be tuning in for or want The Geekiary to review? Let us know in the comments!
Erin has reviewed many shows over the years including Orphan Black, iZombie, Penny Dreadful, and Killing Eve. She has a keen eye for on-screen chemistry, and loves to tackle the subject of casting. She is also our horror aficionado. She live tweets shows, and loves to share her feelings. Erin has a BA in History, and likes to analyze the lore behind historical fiction. She attends San Diego Comic Con every year and has also attended C2E2 and WonderCon.
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