Oct 9, 2020
Hit or Miss? Predictions for every new show on FOX this fall (Bonus: The CW, too!)
All this week, Agony Booth is previewing and predicting the fate of every new show coming to a broadcast TV network near you this fall. CBS, ABC, and NBC are in the books. Today, FOX is in the spotlight with three new shows, plus two newbies from The CW.
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Huh. As it turns out, Family Guy’s Seth McFarland didn’t so much create a spoof of Star Trek as an off-brand, dime store imitation. Forget the wild, zany romp across the galaxy that the marketing campaign tried to sell you on. Two weeks into the show, it’s clear The Orville wants to play everything straight if not serious. McFarland is an inexperienced starship captain with his ex-wife as second officer to tell him everything he’s doing wrong. And if that sounds like a prelude to sitcom-esque shenanigans in space, well, it’s not.
Jordon: I’ve seen the first two episodes of The Orville so I feel like I’m kind of cheating, like a wife who just has a male “friend” at work. Do not expect a straight satire. And do not expect hardcore sci-fi. Instead, this is lighthearted sci-fi without the strain. If Star Trek is heroin, The Orville is methadone. If you refuse to pay CBS just to watch Discovery, this may help control the symptoms of withdrawal. But get it fast because this show will never find a wide enough audience, just like a man with a cheating wife will never find enough heroin. CANCELLED
Thomas: I didn’t have high hopes when I first heard about this series and I still don’t. I loved Galaxy Quest, but that didn’t mean I wanted to see an ongoing series in that vein. And Seth saying The Orville isn’t a comedy, but…y’know, I’m not sure what he said it was going to be but it seemed to be an excuse to explain why the show wasn’t as funny as people were expecting. Anyway, CANCELLED.
Marion: Wasn’t Seth McFarland 12 when he invented The Family Guy? This show is proof that eventually everyone rises to the level of his incompetence. But nice to see Victor Garber, the hardest working man in television, make an obligatory appearance in the promo. CANCELLED
Tyler: “This is almost as weird as the time Seth McFarlane directed Star Trek.” The whole concept plays like a Family Guy cutaway gag, and we all know what happens to those when they go on too long. CANCELLED
Julie: Hmmmm…so it’s basically Star Trek: The Funny One. This show apparently had a pretty impressive opening night, ratings-wise. That’s usually a good indicator of solid future performance… unless of course, the pilot was so offensively awful, no one in their right minds would tune in again. And I don’t THINK that’s the case here? Perhaps the most interesting thing about The Orville so far has been the diverse reactions to it: critics HATE it; but fans LOOOOOOOOOVE it. Ultimately, the fans keeps the lights on at FOX, so they win out. Besides, Seth MacFarlane may actually poop gold. You heard it here first, folks. RENEWED!
Winston: I watched the pilot, and it mostly left me wondering how MacFarlane hasn’t been sued by CBS/Paramount yet. (The guy literally took the Jem’Hadar and dropped them completely unaltered into his show! One of the main characters is Kasidy Yates!) As others have noted, the show’s not silly enough to be parody and not serious enough to leave a lasting impression. It mostly feels like the same Anomaly of the Week episodes that doomed Voyager and Enterprise. But FOX is indebted to MacFarlane for Family Guy and also keenly aware of its (undeserved) reputation for not giving sci-fi shows a chance, so they’ll probably let it stick around for a couple of seasons. RENEWED
Odds of Survival: 33%
A secret government agency forces a skeptic and a true believer to team up and investigate paranormal happenings of all different types: zany, slapstick, and absurd. The Office’s Craig Robinson makes a beautiful Dana Scully, with Parks & Rec’s Adam Scott in the Fox Mulder role.
Jordon: When I first saw the promos for Ghosted, I was absolutely baffled as to what it was about just like a man is baffled why a “friend” from work would call his wife on Christmas. But this promo is really funny. Why didn’t they show these parts earlier? Craig Robinson and Adam Scott have proven to be reliable single-camera actors. I’ll watch it and I think everyone else will, too. RENEWED
Thomas: Well, with Supernatural finally going away, I guess it was inevitable that we would be seeing the networks trying to fill that void. Some of this looks funny, but I don’t think it’s funny enough. CANCELLED
Marion: I don’t understand any of this including the title. Are these guys dead? If not, why is it called Ghosted? And yet Craig Robinson and Adam Scott are appealing performers and smart cookies, and I don’t think either of them is desperate for work, so maybe there’s something there. RENEWED – but only for one more season.
Tyler: The title of the series is Ghosted, but there are aliens, also? I’m something of a genre purist, and those two don’t mix. That is the extent of my strong feelings about this show. RENEWED, I guess.
Julie: So…Fox…doubling down on sci-fi nerdy shows this year, huh? This one is actually debuting first on Twitter. Because what better introduction to a paranormal show than a 140-character link to a low-quality YouTube video that looks like the found footage from someone’s webcam after she got abducted by aliens. Full disclosure, I’ve always had a little crush on Adam Scott. I did not, however, have a crush on this trailer. Way too many shots of people screaming about aliens and ghosts and way too few shots of actual aliens and ghosts for my taste. I liked the stuff about the copy machine though. Because if anything in this world is secretly possessed by evil spirits, it’s the copier in my office. CANCELLED!
Winston: Wait, is this a trailer for a new fall comedy that actually makes it look like it might be funny? Much like the alien intruders at the core of this show’s premise, I didn’t think those existed. And I realize quality doesn’t always equal big ratings, but I’ll be optimistic and say RENEWED.
Odds of Survival: 66%
Do you absolutely love X-Men except for all the X-Men? You are in luck! Here’s the story of two super-powered mutants who are hated and feared by society and who completely fail to become superheroes at any point. That’s so much better, right? Angel’s Fred and True Blood’s Bill star as parents on the run with their mutant teens.
Jordon: I feel bad for The Gifted. It’s the second new Marvel show debuting this year, and the other one is crap. People may get confused and just not tune in, That’d be too bad because this show looks good. It seems to get the idea of family right. FOX has a history of abandoning good shows like a wife with a “friend” from work might abandon a good husband. But if FOX shows a little backbone and supports the show, people will find it and it will be RENEWED.
Thomas: And along with The Inhumans we might be seeing the beginning of the superhero implosion. This series simply doesn’t have the legs. I’m not even talking about it running on FOX, where sci-fi goes to die. Why didn’t FOX do a New Mutants or Generation X or some other teen X-Men movie? Who greenlit this nonsense? CANCELLED
Marion: Psychokinetic adolescent mutants! Hell yeah. Sure the dialogue sounds more like a by-the-numbers comic book than Buffy, but give it time to get its groove. RENEWED
Tyler: Why is it that in the X-Men universe, only the bullied misfits become mutants? Statistically, wouldn’t bullies sometimes end up with superpowers? That’s be interesting, at least. I mean, you don’t want to root for bullies, but it beats sitting through another tired narrative about a weepy emo teen finally snapping and dropping a car on his tormentor. CANCELLED
Julie: Well, this looks kind of fun. I love me a good X-Men origin story. And better yet, I don’t read the comic books, so I won’t have to be pissed when this series inevitably bastardizes pre-exising X-Men characters like Blink and Eclipse. I noticed that the whole trailer looked like it was filmed in someone’s dark mildewy basement. But I didn’t mind that so much, really. It added to the “ambience.” Also, I couldn’t really tell from the trailer what the kids’ powers were. (Teen Angst for the boy, and Grumpy Voiceovers for the girl, maybe?) But I’m still on board. Except, would someone who is actually familiar with these comic books please spoil me, and let me know whether the kids ever get cool mutant names? Because Andy and Lauren Strucker are pretty much the lamest mutant names ever…RENEWED!
Winston: An X-Men show without the X-Men is like having a Batman show without Batm… Oh yeah, right. And that one’s on its fourth season now. Well, judging by this boring trailer, I don’t think FOX is going to see that kind of lightning strike twice. CANCELLED
Odds of Survival: 50%
Two hot, young, female Army helicopter pilots engage in love triangles, backstabbing, and all the other soapy escapades you’d expect from The CW while also hiding a dark secret about what went wrong on their Cover Ops mission in Somalia.
Jordon: I couldn’t really concentrate on this promo because Christina Ochoa is maybe just a little bit too pretty for a military drama. Her eyebrows alone are hypnotic. I also don’t understand this show being on the CW, like a man might not understand why his wife has keys to the apartment of a “friend” from work. I’m sure the plot is interesting. I’m sure that it’s well acted. But this show will never find its audience among the fans of Supergirl and teenage vampires and whatever else they’re doing over there. CANCELLED
Thomas: Is it possible that the CW is making a war series that looks more realistic than the one NBC is producing? When did I side-step into a parallel universe? I admire the ambition the show displays, but I don’t think it’s going to find a large enough audience. CANCELLED
Marion: Looks like an over budget military recruitment ad that needs less plot and better dialogue. The actors may be more attractive than their real-life counterparts, but in a promo that felt like it lasted an hour, I still have no sense of who these characters are. CANCELLED
Tyler: If there’s one thing military folks love, it’s getting into internet screaming matches on the topic of military-themed TV shows. How accurate they are or aren’t. How they are too nice or not nice enough to the A-rabs. Whether their portrayal of the average serviceman trends further towards pious veneration or demonizing caricature. This show promises enough factual mistakes, controversy, and trashy melodrama to keep your semi-stable Marine uncle’s fingers a-twitter all season and beyond. And he’ll watch every episode twice just to be sure how outraged he should be. RENEWED
Julie: In its continued effort to overcome its reputation as the network for Hot 20-Something Vampires, Hot 20-Something Superheroes, and Hot-20 Something Rich People with No Discernable Life Skills, The CW has apparently decided to jump on this year’s military drama bandwagon with a Hot-20 Somethings Who Occasionally Wear Camo show. Unfortunately, I think this choice is a bit of a misfire (pun intended). This show looks way too earnest for the fanbase of this network. “Supergirl and Jane the Virgin are earnest too!” you say. Yeah, but those shows get away with being earnest because they are quirky. I tend to like my CW shows with a side order of either edge, trash, or quirk, and Valor’s got none of the above so, CANCELLED.
Winston: More like SEAL Team Sex, am I right? But other than the vaguely soapy elements, I don’t see how the general viewing public is going to be able to distinguish this one from any of the 17 other military dramas airing on the five broadcast networks. CANCELLED
You don’t have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude. This honest-to-goodness reboot (not revival, expansion, reimagining, or whatever) doesn’t just share a few character names with the original 1980s primetime soap but pulls entire plotlines from its pilot. Most of the madness and power struggles center around the bitter feud between born-rich Fallon Carrington and her married-into-money step-mother Cristal.
Jordon: Now this is more like it, CW: impossible people having impossible sex in impossible places. This is your show. The promo makes no sense whatsoever, like it makes no sense whatsoever for a wife and a “friend” from work to vacation together in Aruba. Still, making no sense is exactly what CW’s 14-year-old audience craves. And the Dynasty name will probably get enough attention to make it stand out. This show will run for forty years. RENEWED
Thomas: When I heard there was going to be a new Dynasty series, I rolled my eyes and thought “Great, another retread.” I had the lowest of expectations. But damn if this extended teaser doesn’t have me curious. It looks like a lot of filthy fun with a group of reprehensible self-serving bastards doing horrible things to one another. RENEWED
Marion: A billionaire married to a much younger gold-digger. Adult children vying for a place in the corporate structure. This porny over-the-top remake of the classic series might work if it didn’t remind us we have a family of private-jet flying grifters controlling access to health care and the nuclear codes. Under the circumstances, it’s just… #sad. CANCELLED
Tyler: It’s no coincidence that this show’s been rebooted at a time when the country is as economically stratified as it’s ever been since television was a thing. This show seems to revel in the fact that it’s gushing with ostentatious 1%er excess. It clearly wants us to despise all these piece-of-shit characters and laugh when they fuck each other over. A show like this, right now, could function as a kind of safety valve, to allow us to expend our excess class rage on fictional plutocrats so we don’t go all pitchfork-and-torch-y on the real ones. It’ll probably work like gangbusters. RENEWED
Julie: Truth be told, I know next to nothing about the original Dynasty series. But I know a ton about Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, and their deliciously trashy early ‘00 brainchilds, The O.C. and Gossip Girl. If these showrunners’ prior contributions are any indication, this show will boast (1) almost obnoxiously attractive people (2) who alternate between porking one another and brutally backstabbing each other in luxurious locations that I will never dream of affording in my lifetime. What could possibly go wrong? Sure, it’s a reboot. But nobody who actually watches The CW regularly is anywhere near old enough to recognize these plots as being recycled. In fact, Schwartz and Savage can pretty much just copy and paste the entire old series entirely onto their laptops (with a few minor modifications to add cell phones and eliminate big hair) and their network success would definitely be sealed for years to come. Why didn’t I think of this first? Dammit! RENEWED!
Winston: Of course they’ve de-aged the characters because this is the CW, but part of the fun of the ‘80s show was seeing glamorous old-school TV stars duke it out in a lily pond. And for a show that’s supposed to be about the lives of billionaire families, this reboot looks unbelievably cheap. CANCELLED
Odds of Survival: 66%