Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Our Picks for Fall TV's Hits and Misses Based on Network Upfronts - Comedy Edition

When you're obsessed with TV like we are, network upfront presentations are like Christmas Day without all that pesky paper; it's that special time of year when we get to see what's in store for the fall season from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC (We're excluding the CW from this roundup because there are no new comedies on its fall schedule). Based on what we saw last week, many of the new comedies look promising, but you can bet there are more than a few stinkers in the mix. Can you spot them? We can, which is why we've chosen the best and worst sitcoms from each network's upfronts, along with a little commentary on why each will win or lose - according to us. Have a look, then let us know what you think will stand out or bow down come September.

ABC

Winner: "Back in the Game"

When we heard the fab Rebel Wilson was headlining "Super Fun Night" - a new ABC comedy on which CBS originally passed - we were stoked. We love that chick, which is no secret given that we dedicated an entire post to her funny-lady ways. We went into the upfronts expecting "Super Fun Night" to be our top pick for best fall comedy on ABC, but that's not the case. Rather, "Back in the Game" - about a single mom who moves home with her grumpy, estranged father and subsequently decides to coach a little league team of misfits - impressed us so much that we had to knock Rebel down a notch. The trailer for "Back in the Game" reveals lots of laughs from this prospect that we expect will complement "Modern Family" quite nicely.

Loser: "Trophy Wife

Marcia Gay Harden and Bradley Whitford are too uptight for a comedy, and the blond chick chosen to star doesn't have the chops to carry it on her own. Expect "Trophy Wife" to go back to the shelf in the first six weeks.

CBS

Winner: "The Millers"

Chuck Lorre - the man behind many of televisions highest-rated sitcoms, including "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men" - returns with a new show called "Mom" (starring Anna Faris), but we're going out on a limb to call the win for "The Millers," the post-"Up All Night" vehicle for Will Arnett. In this gig, Arnett plays a recent divorcee whose newfound freedom inadvertently inspires his parents to split up, which, ironically, may leave him up all night again.

Loser: "We Are Men"

The curse of Jerry O'Connell will strike again.

FOX

Winner: "Surviving Jack"

One name: Chris Meloni. If his stints on "Oz," "Law & Order: SVU," and "True Blood" - all highly rated and acclaimed shows in their own rights - are any indication, "Surviving Jack" will be the new comedy to watch on FOX this fall.

Loser: "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

We forgive Andy Samberg for quitting SNL at the height of his popularity. Looking the other way on this disaster, however, will be much harder.

NBC

Winner: "The Michael J. Fox Show"

Michael J. Fox has never let us down in the past, and we don't expect he will this time either.

Loser: "Sean Saves the World"

Sean Hayes proved that his comedic timing was the stuff that successful sitcoms are made of on "Will & Grace," but sometimes a show is only as good as its writers. This one looks like it might have gotten the short end of the stick on the latter.