Hit or Miss? Predictions for every new show on NBC this fall

All this week, Agony Booth will preview and predict the fate of every new show coming to a broadcast TV network near you this fall. CBS and ABC are in the books. Today we tackle NBC.

Our team of TV gurus consists of: Jordon DavisThomas StockelSusan VelazquezMarion SteinTyler PetersonJulie Kushner, and Dr. Winston O’Boogie.

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The Brave

What if G.I. Joe were set in the Homeland universe? A secret strike force of shiny, attractive, American heroes—each with their own special talent and nickname—is the only things keeping you safe from the gritty, gritty world of Middle Eastern terrorists. Former potential movie star Anne Heche sends not-Flint, not-Roadblock, and the rest of the not-Joes on Special Ops missions every week. Faux Joe!

Jordon: I was going to say something snarky, but I really liked this promo. This looks like just the right mix of running around with guns, more running around with guns, and then just crying for a while. Maybe NBC is right to debut only three shows. Watch this, please. RENEWED

Thomas: Say, this reminds me of that CBS series, SEAL Team. I’m having DS9/Babylon 5 flashbacks here. Eh, at least it isn’t another failed attempt at a superhero series. While this show looks less realistic than the CBS series, it looks like it might be more fun. RENEWED

Susan: Maybe this could have been a movie, but really, in the midst of the other soldier dramas, there doesn’t seem to be anything here that stands out. CANCELLED

Marion: I’ve seen Homeland. I’ve written recaps of Homeland. And while these shows may share producers, The Brave is no HomelandHomeland had a helluva hook: bipolar agent falls for Manchurian candidate. This one has Anne Heche. CANCELLED

Tyler: Given how much people hate movie trailers that give away the whole plot, and given that it ought to be really easy to avoid doing that with a TV series, this trailer’s inexcusable. At the end of the day, what’ll sink it is that there’s not enough to distinguish this show from any of the other Team America ooh-rah circle jerks on TV this fall. CANCELLED

Julie: This one reminded me a bit of that SEAL show that’s going to be on CBS, except, umm, worse? Every word out of Anne Heche’s mouth sounds like it was copied and pasted verbatim from the “No-Nonsense Female Character in a High Power Law Enforcement Position” handbook. The rescue soldiers’ lines were fairly cringeworthy as well, but in more of a thought bubbles from a kid’s comic book kind of way? Also, are they actually planning on rescuing a different American civilian every week? If so, why were we beaten over the head with hostage Kimberly Wells’ full name so many times throughout the trailer? “We have to rescue, Kimberly Wells!” “Don’t leave Kimberly Wells behind!” “Kimberly Wells needs us!” Enough! CANCELLED!

Winston: If there was any excitement about the premiere of a bland, family-friendly Homeland knockoff, I’m sure seeing the entire pilot episode condensed down to two minutes (including the ending) just killed it. CANCELLED

Odds of Survival: 29%

 

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers

FX’s American Crime Story anthology series scored big in its first season with the O.J. Simpson trial, so right on cue, here comes a major network to shameless steal the idea. This time it’s the trial of the Menendez brothers who, not long before OJ, gripped the nation in morbid fascination when they murdered their gazillion parents for the inheritance and blamed abuse. And they’ve slapped the Law & Order brand name on it because why not, it was just lying around. Nurse Jackie Edie Falco stars.

Jordon: So a podcast wins national praise, which causes FX to make a true crime series that wins national praise, which causes every-damned-body to produce a true crime series. This one is about another trial I lived through and have absolutely no desire to relive. It was lurid and ghoulish enough before they propped up the mummified skeleton of Edie Falco. Please, lord, let this be CANCELLED.

Thomas: Hmmm, are people really that interested in reliving this horrific piece of American history? If the success of the aforementioned OJ Simpson series is any indication, then the answer is an overwhelming “Yes!” I’m thinking this series is going to be strong and inspire Dick Wolf to look for more atrocities to dramatize. RENEWED

Susan: Law & Order has always had stories ripped from the headlines so it’s no surprise it’s ripping off other shows too. We can expect to see Edie Falco making the rounds at the Emmys next year, but it appears to be missing the sensationalist heart of American Crime Story. I predict the ratings will do enough to justify getting RENEWED, but it’ll hit a slump when American Crime Story returns at full throttle.

Marion: Sure, it sounds like a rip-off of that other “true crime” series, but we can hardly wait for future seasons featuring William Kennedy Smith, Jeffrey Dahmer, the cops who beat up Rodney King, and other greatest hits of the ‘90s. It’s nostalgia! It’s retro! It’s possibly even relevant to some current conversation. Plus, it’s Law & Order, new life for an old franchise. RENEWED

Tyler: Hearing the McDonald’s jingle at the end of this trailer could hardly have come as a bigger surprise than the Law & Order “chung chung.” This appears to be the final destination of the Law & Order brand’s slow but no less spectactular downward trajectory: innumerable failed one-season spinoffs, the cancellation of its flagship show, the descent of SVU into a schlocky soap opera, and whatever the fuck happened to Criminal Intent. Really, I’m more offended by this than any of the trailer’s content, which seems largely inoffensive, if a bit on the melodramatic side. I’m going to cheat a little bit and say the show will be RENEWED, but they’ll drop Law & Order from the title after finding the show gains nothing from it.

Julie: So, it looks like the Law and Order franchise is finally moving away from “ripped from the headlines” toward “pried from the cold dead wrists of headlines 30 years ago.” I also notice that Edie Falco is sporting the same hideous hairdo Sarah Paulson did for her role as Marcia Clark in The People vs. O.J. Simpson. Was that look a requirement for early ‘90s female criminal attorneys? Because, if so, that’s a crime against humanity, in and of itself! Bad hair aside though, I’d watch this. The cinematography looks decent, and I’ve adored Edie Falco since she her days playing Carmela on The Sopranos. (Mind you, Carmela Soprano always had excellent hair.) Plus, after watching The People vs. O.J. Simpson, it will be nice to watch one of these shows where the murderers actually get convicted for a change. Yeah, I went there. RENEWED

Winston: Yes, People vs. OJ Simpson was a hit, but come on, that was OJ. How many people in the target demo even know who the Menendez brothers are? What true crime story will they tackle in the second season, the Craigslist Killer? CANCELLED

Odds of Survival: 71%

 

 

Will & Grace

It’s Will & Grace.

Jordan: Will and Grace? Really? But it ended. They showed a flash-forward where they reunited while bringing their kids to college. Did that timeline not happen? Is it because of the Romulans? Whatever. It was a funny show with much loved characters then, and it’ll be a funny show with much loved characters now. I’ll get really angry if this show gets in the way of Eric McCormack shooting Travelers. Otherwise, definitely RENEWED.

Thomas: Never watched the original run, have no interest in seeing this one. Man, NBC must be seriously desperate if they’re recycling shows like this. I can’t wait to see when they talk Seinfeld and company into getting the band back together. I’m thinking nostalgia is going to give the show a strong first few episodes and then ratings are going to slide until execs wish they hadn’t already RENEWED this “bold” experiment. 

Susan: So everything’s the same aside from a few pop culture references to FOX News and the Brangelina divorce? I know the nostalgia factor is strong here, but soon people must realize that if they want to see Jack, Karen, Will & Grace again, they can just go to Netflix. Would be cancelled if NBC hadn’t already jumped the gun/shark and RENEWED it.

Marion: Looks like they’ve jettisoned the timeline that gave us the unfortunate finale, and it’s business as usual. But these characters are as resistant to change as fossils in amber. Doesn’t a series have to go somewhere? Then again, maybe not as long as it’s funny. But will the young people watch it? Only RENEWED because it’s already been renewed, not because it’ll earn it.

Tyler: You naughty boy, Rick. Will and Grace was already renewed. But I guess I’ll play along. Okay…I’m really nostalgic for a time when a show could just go off the air and stay off. I think that taking a show that already had the immense good fortune to run eight seasons and wrap up its story, dragging it out of a comfortable grave, and making its corpse dance for money is as crass as commemorative 9/11 box cutters. I think the recent vogue of bringing back long-cancelled shows is further cementing Hollywood as a hellish artistic Ouroboros perpetually sustaining itself on its own refuse and making it ever harder for fresh ideas to see the light of day. That Karen’s a stitch, though. RENEWED

Julie: This one feels like cheating a bit, seeing as the show was already RENEWED for a second season, six months before its scheduled return date. I imagine NBC is banking on the fact that sheer nostalgia alone will be enough to propel this show to renewal-worthy numbers, albeit with a slightly older demographic than NBC typically targets (Take that, CBS!). The fact that the trailer features mainly “old-show” material is pretty telling in that regard. I think that’s a pretty safe assumption to make on NBC’s part, at least as far as the first few episodes are concerned. So, the only question that really remains is: will the series live up to the hype of its younger self? For that to happen, I think two things have to occur: (1) these beloved characters have to exhibit some noticeable growth and evolution over their 10-year hiatus, while still retaining the adorable quirks of their earlier selves; (2) the storylines and punchlines also have to evolve to fit this crazy 2017 world in which we currently live. Oh, and we definitely need more Jack and Karen. Those two are the friggin best!

Winston: I’m guessing revivals of Caroline in the City and Suddenly Susan aren’t far behind. The power of nostalgia is strong with this one, so I’m going to boldly put my rep on my line and 100% guarantee that this one will get RENEWED. (Okay, I cheated and looked it up.)

Odds of Survival: 100%

 

Come back tomorrow for FOX and The CW.

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